TORC invades NASCAR country with ‘Showdown in Charlotte’

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Writer’s Note: The following is a recap of this weekend’s TORC: The Off-Road Championship event at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NBCSN will air the event this Thursday, May 1, at 10 p.m. ET. If you don’t want to know who won until then, we suggest you find another post to read here on MotorSportsTalk…

NASCAR fans know a thing or two about short track racing. But TORC: The Off-Road Championship brought a decidedly different brand of short track action to stock car country this weekend at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The two-day Husqvarna Showdown in Charlotte started on Friday night with wins from Johnny Greaves (PRO 4) and his son, C.J. Greaves (PRO 2), as well as the return to action for Arie Luyendyk Jr.

The former open-wheel competitor netted his first-ever class podium result with a third in PRO 2. The accomplishment comes three weeks after breaking his clavicle in a wild crash at the season opener in Primm, Nevada.

Also victorious on Friday was Doug Mittag, who led teammate Jerett Brooks home in the PRO Light category.

Friday’s Podium Finishers
PRO 4: 1st – Johnny Greaves, 2nd – Mike Jenkins, 3rd – Mark Jenkins
PRO 2: 1st – C.J. Greaves, 2nd – Chad Hord, 3rd – Arie Luyendyk Jr.
PRO Light: 1st – Doug Mittag, 2nd – Jerett Brooks, 3rd – Shawn Morris

Saturday’s action featured a weekend sweep from C.J. Greaves in PRO 2, while Brooks captured the checkered flag in PRO Light and Scott Douglas won in the PRO 4 main event.

Saturday’s Podium Finishers
PRO 4: 1st – Scott Douglas, 2nd – Mark Jenkins, 3rd – Mike Jenkins
PRO 2: 1st – C.J. Greaves, 2nd – Chad Hords, 3rd – Jeff Kincaid
PRO Light: 1st – Jerett Brooks, 2nd – Doug Mittag, 3rd – C.J. Greaves

TORC’s next event for 2014 comes on June 14-15 with the Throwdown in the U.P. at Bark River, Michigan.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.