The Brickyard 400 is always a big day for the sport of NASCAR, but this particular Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was especially so.
In addition to Jeff Gordon becoming the first five-time NASCAR winner at Indy, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Carl Edwards would be leaving the team at the end of the 2014 Sprint Cup season.
On today’s episode of NASCAR AMERICA, the crew broke it all down starting with Gordon’s historic fifth triumph in the Brickyard 400. NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast spoke after the race with Gordon, who talked about how Sunday’s win compared to his first Brickyard win in 1994 and the added confidence that he and his Hendrick Motorsports team now have as the Chase looms.
Also doing well on Sunday was Joe Gibbs Racing, whose drivers finished second (Kyle Busch), third (Denny Hamlin), and fourth (Matt Kenseth) behind Gordon. NASCAR AMERICA analysts Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty gave their takes on the JGR camp seemingly peaking at the right time.
But before the race came the announcement from Roush Fenway regarding its 2015 lineup, which surprised with its timing. On Sunday morning at IMS, NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan spoke with team owner Jack Roush and RFR drivers Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. about the impact of Edwards’ exit.
For more clips from NASCAR AMERICA, check out the show’s archive page. Another new episode airs tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
Fernando Alonso took his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 by testing an LMP1 car for the first time with Toyota in Bahrain on Sunday.
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso has made no secret of his desire to race at Le Mans, having signed a deal to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January as preparation for a possible entry at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Toyota confirmed after Saturday’s FIA World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain that Alonso would be testing its TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car in the traditional rookie test on Sunday.
Alonso was given the car for the bulk of the five-hour test day following an initial shakedown by Sebastien Buemi, completing 113 laps in total – more than any other driver – and posting a best lap time of 1:43.013.
“It was a great day,” Alonso said. “Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing.
“I have wanted to test a car like this for a long time now and today I could achieve that, so I am happy.”
However, Alonso did not finish as the fastest rookie, with that honor instead going to Pietro Fittipaldi, who was the final driver to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid ahead of the closure of the German marque’s LMP1 program.
Alonso is now set to head back to Europe before a test in United Autosports’ LMP2 car on Tuesday as part of his Daytona preparation, before then returning to the Middle East for the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend.