Bits and pieces on the Firestone 550

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– Chevrolet locks out Top 5: The engine manufacturer war between Chevrolet and Honda has seen each side deliver some pretty big blows lately. At the Indy 500, the Bowtie claimed victory and the top four spots overall. Then last weekend, Honda went into Chevy’s backyard and swept both wins from the doubleheader in Detroit, grabbing all but one of six possible podium positions over the event.

Last night at Texas Motor Speedway, the Chevy camp reigned supreme with a lockout of the Top 5 positions – winner and new IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Helio Castroneves (pictured), runner-up Ryan Hunter-Reay, third-place Tony Kanaan, fourth-place Ed Carpenter, and fifth-place Marco Andretti.

When extended to the Top 10, Chevy came up with eight positions in that bracket, adding Will Power in seventh, James Hinchcliffe in ninth, and E.J. Viso in tenth.

– That’s no bull…Wait, it is: Kanaan continues to earn accolades for his victory in last month’s Indianapolis 500, but the one he received on Saturday may be the most unique of all: A bull.

Already a co-owner of two bulls (Downforce and Brazilian Bully) in partnership with a group that includes former INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, Kanaan has now received ownership of “TK500,” who will compete in the Professional Bull Riders’ top division, the Built Ford Tough Series.

“All of my dreams are coming true,” said Kanaan. “I win the Indy 500 this year and now I have my own bull named after me.  It doesn’t get much better than this!”

According to the PBR’s official website, “TK500” – formerly known as “Mud Wasp” – has only been ridden successfully four times over three years in the Built Ford Tough Series. Seems like he’s a tough customer on the PBR circuit, just like Kanaan is on the race track.

– Repeat denied for Justin Wilson: Defending Texas champ Justin Wilson started 20th on the grid last night, but was able to charge through the field in the first half of the race, eventually rising as high as second at the halfway point.

But a second potential upset in Fort Worth faded away in the middle stages, as Wilson found himself going backwards through the field with worn Firestones. He went multiple laps down, and eventually finished 15th, two laps off the pace.

“That second to last stint cost us a good finish tonight,” said Wilson. “It’s disappointing because the car was running in the top five up to that point, and we had a very good chance at repeating as race winners. The team did an incredible job giving me a really competitive race car tonight.”

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.