NASCAR Hall of Famers Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett weigh in on prospect of winless champion


As you’d probably figure, NASCAR Hall of Famers and current TV analysts Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett were both complimentary of the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format during a 30-minute meeting with the media today at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

But when posed with the question of how NASCAR could explain things if a winless Ryan Newman claimed the Sprint Cup title this Sunday, Jarrett appeared to be stumped.

“Good question. Sometimes, there’s just not complete explanations for everything,” he said. “I mean, the whole thing was set up to reward winning.”

And yet Newman – who has collected just four Top-5s and a mere 41 laps led this season, and has not finished better than third over his last 51 races – can win it all by beating Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin in the Ford Ecoboost 400.

So what would Jarrett do to ensure that such a scenario could not exist?

“I proposed something to NASCAR and maybe I’ve said this to a number of y’all before…My solution to the situation – and we’ll use this year – Ryan Newman’s here but the only way he could become the champion if he wins this race,” he said. “Otherwise, the other three are the ones racing for the championship, to finish ahead of each other.

“Obviously, that doesn’t help this year, so to kind of answer the question, I don’t know. You can’t even say – a lot of times, you try to make the comparison with the Patriots going undefeated [in 2007] and then losing the Super Bowl. Well, the [New York Giants] won games before then, so they had to win. You can’t even do that [comparison].

“So, there’s just not an explanation other than you gotta give ’em credit.”

As for Wallace’s thoughts on the subject, he said that Newman has proven that you can get the job done either way: Winning or consistency.

“If he doesn’t win [Sunday], he’ll probably be consistent – and there’s a good opportunity he could win,” he said. “But I’d hope that the public is educated by now that there’s two ways to do it. I’m sure some of them aren’t. But I know for the excitement and for the goodness of the sport – I mean, it’s crystal clear, if you win, you punch your ticket and get to advance. Plan B is to be consistent.

“So, I’ve always looked at it that way. If you win, cool. If you don’t win, you better be damn consistent. Two things, not just one thing. But I know the hype going in was ‘You gotta win, you gotta win, you gotta win.'”

So if Newman does take the title, will this mean yet another tweak to the Chase?

Earlier today, Brian France said the probability for such in 2015 was “very modest to zero,” but Jarrett said that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it ensured that the champion had at least one race win in his pocket.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.