Late restart costs Kyle Busch another Nationwide win at Indy (VIDEO)

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Despite not having nearly as dominant a car as he had one year ago, Kyle Busch appeared poised to earn a second straight NASCAR Nationwide Series win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But after choosing the outside lane for a restart with 24 laps to go in today’s Lilly Diabetes 250, the Sprint Cup star was passed for the lead by Ty Dillon coming out of Turn 1 after the green flag came back out.

Busch never fully recovered and finished second to Dillon, who went on to his first career Nationwide victory by .833 of a second.

“Overall, we just never were as good as we were last year unfortunately,” Busch said. “We never had the car or the opportunity to stay up front. I guess we did get up front but gave it away on that last restart there in Turn 1.

“We came down in there, the car never turned, and the car on the inside – Ty- just drove on by and made me look stupid. He got the lead and it was over from there.

“I tried to maintain with him and tried to do some things early to get by him in the first few laps before I got tight, and as soon as I got tight, he just distanced me and that was it.”

This is not the first time that Busch has had problems with late restarts at IMS in the Nationwide Series.

In the series’ inaugural race at the Brickyard in 2012, Busch dominated the first half but spun out of the Top 5 after a restart to lose his chance at victory.

Busch would get his Indy win one year later in the 2013 Nationwide event, but only after having to pass Brian Scott and Joey Logano after he dropped from first to third on a restart with six laps left.

“Rowdy” made sure to note those instances when he explained why he opted for the outside lane for today’s critical restart. But the change of tactics did not give him the result he desired.

“I chose the outside and they blitzed me on the inside,” Busch shrugged. “It’s just really not working for me in Turn 1.”

Street race in Vietnam could lead Formula One’s Asia expansion

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TOKYO (AP) — Formula One is expected to add more races in Asia, including a street circuit in the capital of Vietnam, a country with little auto racing history that is on the verge of getting a marquee event.

“We think Hanoi could come on in the next couple of years, and we’re working with the Hanoi government to that end,” Sean Bratches, Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations, told the Associated Press.

There is even speculation it could be on the schedule next season, which Bratches rebuffed.

Vietnam would join countries like Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain, which have Grand Prix races, little history in the sport, and authoritarian governments with deep pockets that serve F1 as it tries to expand into new markets.

“This (Hanoi) is a street race where we can go downtown, where we can activate a large fan base,” Bratches said. “And you have extraordinary iconography from a television standpoint.”

A second race in China is also likely and would join Shanghai on the F1 calendar. Bratches said deciding where to stage the GP will “be left to local Chinese partners” – Beijing is a strong candidate.

Bratches runs the commercial side of Formula One, which was acquired last year by U.S.-based Liberty Media from long-time operator Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula One’s long-term goal is to have 24-25 races – up from the present 21 – and arrange them in three geographical segments: Asia, Europe and the Americas. Bratches said the Europe-based races would stay in middle of the calendar, with Asia or the Americas opening or ending the season.

He said their positioning had not been decided, and getting this done will be slowed by current contracts that mandate specific places on the calendar for several races. This means eventually that all the races in Asia would be run together, as would races in Europe and the Americas.

The F1 schedule is now an inefficient jumble, allowing Bratches to take a good-natured poke at how the sport was run under Ecclestone.

“We’ve acquired an undermanaged asset that’s 67-years-old, but effectively a start-up,” Bratches said.

Early-season races in Australia and China this year were conducted either side of a trip to Bahrain in the Middle East. Late in the season Formula One returns to Asia with races in Japan and Singapore.

The Canadian GP this season is run in the middle of the European swing, separated by four months from the other races in the Americas – the United States, Mexico and Brazil. These three are followed by the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, which means another trip across the globe.

“With the right economics, with the right structure and cadence of events across territories, 24 or 25 is probably where we’d like to be from a longer-term standpoint,” Bratches said.

Big changes are not likely to happen until the 2020 season ends. This is when many current rules and contracts expire as F1’s new owners try to redistribute some income to allow smaller teams to compete.

“There’s more interest than we have capacity in the schedule,” Bratches said, firing off Berlin, Paris or London as potentially attractive venues. “We want to be very selective.”

“Those cites from an economic impact standpoint would find us value, as do others around the world,” Bratches added. “It’s very important for us as we move forward to go to locations that are a credit to the Formula One brand.”

An expanded schedule would have to be approved by the teams, which will be stretched by the travel and the wear-and-tear on their crews. The burden will fall on the smaller teams, which have significantly smaller revenue compared with Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull.

Bratches also envisions another race in the U.S., joining the United States Grand Prix held annually in Austin, Texas. A street race in Miami is a strong candidate, as are possible venues like Las Vegas or New York.

“We see the United States and China as countries that could support two races,” he said.

Liberty Media has reported Formula One’s total annual revenue at $1.8 billion, generated by fees paid by promoters, broadcast rights, advertising and sponsorship. Race promotion fees also tend to be higher in Asia, which makes the area attractive – along with a largely untapped fan base.

In a four-year cycle, F1 generates more revenue than FIFA or the International Olympic Committee, which rely almost entirely on one-time showcase events.

Reports suggest Vietnamese promoters may pay between $50-60 million annually as a race fee, with those fees paid by the government. Bratches said 19 of 21 Formula One races are supported by government payments.

“The race promotion fee being derived from the government … is a model that has worked historically,” Bratches said.