Mario Andretti visits Monza for the first time since 1983

1 Comment

Racing legend and 1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti returned to Monza today for the first time in 31 years, bringing an American feel to the paddock in promotion of the United States Grand Prix.

Andretti last came to Monza in 1983, but it is a track that holds great significance. This is where he first watched a Formula 1 race in 1954, and also where he clinched the 1978 world championship. However, on the same weekend as his title victory, his teammate and close friend Ronnie Peterson was killed in an accident. Coming back to Monza fills Andretti with mixed emotions, and he spoke about this during a track walk with NBCSN’s Will Buxton which you can watch during our broadcast this weekend.

This weekend, he is back in town to promote the United States GP which will be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas this November. Appropriately, he has brought a number of Stetson hats with him, which were given out to the drivers in the paddock on Thursday.

Andretti also commentated on a sim race between Buxton and Force India’s Sergio Perez later in the day (and yes, Force India, that’s something we thought you would never tweet).

Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Alexander Rossi, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were just some of the drivers to chat with Andretti and don a Stetson. Check out some of the pictures below.

The United States Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas between October 31st and November 2nd. For more information, be sure to visit www.circuitoftheamericas.com.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.