WATCH LIVE: NASCAR America at 5 pm ET — Allmendinger, Bowyer, Rudd on road courses; NASCAR California history

Leave a comment

On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, Leigh Diffey and Ricky Rudd take us into the weekend’s racing action from our Charlotte studios.

With Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway and Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Road America in Wisconsin, you couldn’t get a better road course expert to break down the nuances of turning left and right better than Rudd, a six-time road course winner during his lengthy career.

Rudd breaks down the attitude and instincts necessary to win on a road course, as well as what drivers must do differently than what they normally do on oval tracks.

Also on Friday’s show:

* Kelli Stavast reports from Sonoma Raceway, where she’ll chat with two drivers who have had past success on road courses: AJ Allmendinger (2 Nationwide Series road-course wins) and 2012 Sonoma winner Clint Bowyer.

* Continuing our State by State series, the legendary Eli Gold takes us through the history of racing in California, The Golden State.

Watch today’s episode at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN, but in case you can’t be near a TV, you can CLICK HERE to stream it online or on your mobile device with NBC Sports Live Extra.

If you plan to stream, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified. Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 5 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
Leave a comment

Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

Follow @JerryBonkowski