Muppets’ Gonzo named grand marshal for Fontana

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Auto Club Speedway staged one of the most entertaining races of last year’s Sprint Cup season, so we’re looking forward to the Cup stars’ return to Southern California next weekend.

But the two-mile oval is betting there’s one thing that can make the Auto Club 400 even more entertaining: A Muppet. And perhaps the nuttiest one of the lot.

The Great Gonzo, known for his wild daredevil stunts, has been named as grand marshal for the Mar. 23 event, which takes place just two days after “Muppets Most Wanted” hits theaters nationally. As part of his duties, he will give the command for drivers to start their engines.

It’s plain to see that Gonzo has a lot of respect for the sport – unsurprising considering that, like him, the drivers are pretty much daredevils themselves going around at 200+ miles per hour.

“Going around in circles as fast as possible is how I got my start,” the Muppet said in a statement. “So it’s a real honor to be named Grand Marshal of this year’s Auto Club 400.

“For me, it’s right up there with sword-juggling, bog-snorkeling, and competitive dentistry.”

Auto Club Speedway has been bringing movie and television stars their way to take part in race-day festivities ever since it opened up in 1997.

But considering Gonzo’s penchant for mayhem, this may wind up being the most memorable command the track’s seen yet.

However, we must note he won’t be suiting up as a driver. Considering how he rides motorcycles, that’s probably for the best…

MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo scores third win of season

MotoGP Fabio Quartararo
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
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Fabio Quartararo won the Catalan Grand Prix, recapturing the MotoGP points lead and his championship momentum Sunday with his third victory of the season.

Quartararo, who opened the season with his first two career victories in the premier series, took his first checkered flag in two months by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT.

The French rider opened an eight-point lead (108-100) over Joan Mir, who finished second Sunday. Alex Rins was third.

After winning the previous race, Maverick Vinales slipped to 18 points behind Quartararo after a ninth-place finish.

Andrea Dovizioso was the points leader entering the race but crashed his Ducati in the second turn and placed last. Dovizioso fell three spots to fourth in the championship rankings, 24 points behind Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP.