One day after almost falling out of his truck while doing victory donuts to celebrate his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, Kyle Busch stayed safe and sound inside the seat of his No. 54 Toyota as he delivered yet more burnouts after another dominating day in the Nationwide Series.
Busch rolled to his 10th NNS win of the season today at Chicagoland Speedway, and is now once again in position for a tripleheader sweep this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
He’ll look to get out of the Chase gate strong with a win in tomorrow’s post-season opener for the Sprint Cup Series, the GEICO 400.
“You always have to have good race cars, so we’ve got to have a good race car tomorrow as well,” Busch told ESPN in Victory Lane. “But I tell you what, this was an awesome race car right here. This Monster [Energy] Camry was phenomenal.”
Busch took the checkered flag by 1.6 seconds over another Chaser, Joey Logano, in second. NNS points leader Sam Hornish Jr. and his closest pursuer in the championship, Austin Dillon, finished third and fourth respectively, with a third Chase contender, Dale Earnhardt Jr., completing the Top 5.
Hornish now holds a 17-point lead in the NNS championship over Dillon, with Regan Smith (who finished 13th today) in third at 36 points out. Fourth-place Elliott Sadler fell back to 44 points off of Hornish after he was tagged from behind by Brett Butler in Turn 4 with less than 50 laps to go. Sadler would recover to finish 19th.
Status Grand Prix has set its sights on winning the 2016 GP2 Series championship following its decision to close down its GP3 team at the end of the current season.
Earlier this week, GP3 issued a statement confirming its team roster for the next three seasons that featured new entries from DAMS and Virtuosi Racing.
However, both Carlin and Status did not appear on the list, signalling that both had opted to leave GP3 at the end of 2015.
Status first entered GP3 back in 2010, but only set up a GP2 team in 2015 after taking over the old Caterham Racing operation.
This will now become the main focus for the Irish outfit, though, as explained by team boss Teddy Yip Jr. earlier this week.
“Status Grand Prix has not renewed entry into the GP3 Series from 2016 onwards in order to maximize focus on our GP2 campaign,” Yip said.
“Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series, we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.
“We are very proud to have given opportunities and achieved success with drivers such as Robert Wickens, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims and our current GP2 race winner, Richie Stanaway.
“We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016.”
Both GP2 and GP3 return from a one-month break next weekend in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has heaped praise upon Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen, supporting his decision to ignore team orders during last month’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen only turned 18 on Wednesday, but has already made a big impression on the F1 world during his first 14 races with his aggressive driving style and mature approach to racing.
In Singapore, Verstappen was told by Toro Rosso to let faster teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. go past, but refused to give up his position and eventually beat the Spaniard to finish eighth.
Writing in his Hermes blog, Hakkinen backed Verstappen’s decision to stay ahead and praised the Dutchman for his performances so far this season.
“A driver must be alert and keep track of what is happening around him at all times,” Hakkinen wrote. “That’s what Verstappen is. He does not simply let anyone pass if it’s not for the world championship, but only a few championship points.
“Verstappen is 18 years old, but the guy’s already a real pro. Young people are developing incredibly fast nowadays, and by that I don’t mean just drivers.”
Despite having more than half a season of F1 racing under his belt, Verstappen only gained his road driver’s license on his 18th birthday, having previously been under the age limit to drive a regular car in public.