Ladies Night: Women of NASCAR to run “Better Half Dash” at Charlotte

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Before Sprint Cup qualifying takes place on Oct. 10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the wives of multiple NASCAR drivers and figures will take on the track’s quarter-mile frontstretch oval in a 25-lap “Better Half Dash.”

The ladies will go racing in Bandolero cars and compete to earn sizable donations to charities such as Motor Racing Outreach and Speedway Children’s Charities.

A competition caution will be thrown at Lap 15, caution laps will not count toward the lap total, and there will be up to two green-white-checkered finishes if necessary.

Last year’s winner, Lyn-Z Pastrana – the wife of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana – will be in this year’s field to defend her title. The entry list also includes:

  • Wendy Venturini, motorsports TV analyst
  • Kristen Yeley, wife of driver J.J. Yeley
  • Michelle Gilliland, wife of driver David Gilliland
  • Ashley Stremme, wife of driver David Stremme
  • Heidi Stoddard, wife of team owner Frank Stoddard
  • Jessica Park, wife of driver Steve Park
  • Gina Cope, wife of crew chief Ernie Cope
  • Amy Gordon, wife of crew chief Todd Gordon
  • Melanie Self, representing Motor Racing Outreach

The husbands will act as crew chiefs and spotters during the race but the ladies’ Bandoleros cannot have modifications made to their engine, chassis or suspension.

The race winner will receive a $10,000 donation, with half of that going to the winner’s choice of charity. $2,500 will go to MRO, and $2,500 will go to Speedway Children’s Charities.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.