Kelli Stavast travels to the Hendrick Motorsports shop in Concord, NC, to speak with Greg Ives, who was named yesterday as the replacement for Steve Letarte as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #88 car, starting next season. Ives is currently crew chief for Chase Elliott, who is leading this season’s Nationwide Series
Current Dale Jr. crew chief, Steve Letarte, calls in from Pocono Raceway to discuss the hiring of his replacement Greg Ives. He’ll explain what input he had in the decision, the qualities he liked in Ives and how he expects Ives and Jr. to get along
Natalie Sather caught up with Darrell Wallace Jr. yesterday at the Kyle Busch Motorsports shop in Mooresville, NC, to talk about his Eldora win last Wednesday, the third Trucks Series win of his career.
Stavast also caught up with Kevin Harvick on Monday to discuss his season so far and he looks ahead to this weekend’s race in Pocono.
SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.
The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.
Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.
Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.
But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.
It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.
Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.