Pirelli World Challenge: Mid-Ohio results

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Alex Figge was the biggest winner from the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The driver of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 took his second and third wins of 2013 in the GT class, sweeping the weekend. Races air Sunday, August 18, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

Bad luck has stunted his championship chances in the top class of the series, so his wins didn’t play a major role on the title chase. However, accident damage to his radiator cost Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, a fair number of points in Round 12 on Sunday. A pair of podium finishes brought James Sofronas, in the No. 14 GMG Audi R8 LMS, to within 13 points of O’Connell with just two races remaining. Sofronas has three early-season wins.

In GTS, Mark Wilkins (Saturday) and Lawson Aschenbach (Sunday) took class wins. The win was the second for Wilkins of 2013 in the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Optima turbo while Aschenbach captured his fifth win of 2013 in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro. Jack Baldwin, the No. 73 GTSport with Goldcrest Porsche Cayman S, had fourth and third place finishes and still leads Wilkins by 87 points for the GTS lead.

The pair of Touring Car and Touring Car B-Spec races on Saturday saw Michael Cooper (TC, both races), Ernie Francis Jr. (TCB race 1) and Robbie Davis (TCB race 2) take class victories. Cooper, in the No. 1 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda 3, held off a sustained challenge from Tristan Herbert in race 1 and had an easier time of it in race 2. Francis Jr. (No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda 2) wasn’t able to repeat his win in race 2 after being caught up in a first-lap accident, and Davis (No. 37 MINI of Charleston Racing MINI Cooper) held off Tyler Palmer for the latter win.

The full event coverage from Mid-Ohio can be found here on the Pirelli World Challenge website.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.