De Silvestro shakes recent rough stretch with an improved weekend

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Perhaps the final result wasn’t what she or the KV Racing Technology team was looking for, but for the first time in what seems like months, Simona de Silvestro was closer to the top end of the IZOD IndyCar Series grid at Mid-Ohio.

De Silvestro started ninth and finished 11th after a day spent mostly around the top seven or eight. It’s been a rough stretch for de Silvestro in the No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva Chevrolet since a respectable first four races. Over the last nine races prior to Mid-Ohio, she had only two starts better than 17th and two finishes better than 14th.

“It was an ok result. I wish we could have finished a little bit further up, but we didn’t quite have the pace we should have during the second stint,” said the popular Swiss driver. “We were in a bit of traffic in the beginning which didn’t help either. But, I think there are a lot of positive things that we can take away from this race and hopefully we do learn from it. It was good that we were running with the fast guys this weekend; the whole weekend. Now we can just look at the books again and hopefully we’ll do better next one.”

Next up for de Silvestro is Sonoma, a race she actually missed in 2011 after an issue with border patrol while re-entering the U.S., and a race she metaphorically missed in 2012 while saddled with the down on power Lotus engine. Given her pace on the road courses at Barber and Mid-Ohio, it could be a good track for her.

KVRT-SH teammate Tony Kanaan had a miserable Mid-Ohio weekend by contrast. In the last of his four races with Sunoco and “Turbo” sponsorship, Kanaan was the lone retiree on the day.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.