Ryan Reed dominates en route to first career ARCA win at Chicagoland

1 Comment

JOLIET, Ill. – NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Reed dominated en route to winning Saturday’s Scott 150 ARCA Series at Chicagoland Speedway.

Not only did he lead 70 of the 100 laps, Reed beat series regular Grant Enfinger to the finish line by a commanding six-plus second winning margin.

It was Reed’s first win in the ARCA series in 15 career starts, and his first ARCA race since the 2012 season.

“It was a lot of fun,” Reed said. “My job was easy in this thing. From the moment I hopped in it, we put a little wedge in it and called it a day. I just cruised and was real happy to get a win for these guys.”

Also, it was Reed’s second overall win of 2015, having won the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona in February.

“I really hadn’t won since my diagnosis (of diabetes) and I wondered if I would ever win a race,” Reed said. “It’s really a special moment to sit back and think when you were told you’d never drive a race car again, and here I am racing for Jack Roush and Carlos Lira.”

This is a brand new team and it was Lira’s first win as an ARCA team owner.

Reed’s celebration in the ARCA Victory Lane Saturday was short-lived, however.

He had to shift over for the evening’s main event, the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, for which he was slated to start from the 14th spot. However, a fast approaching rainstorm was expected to delay the start of the second race of the evening.

Will Kimmel finished third, followed by Matt Tifft in fourth place and Frank Kimmel in fifth.

Sixth through 10th were Matt Kurzejewski, Josh Williams, Sarah Cornett-Ching, David Levine and Tom Hessert.

There were two incidents of note in the 100-lap event.

* On Lap 64, Xfinity Series rookie Daniel Suarez had to exit his car quickly when his Toyota went up in flames. He had just come off pit road when his car burst into flame in Turn 1.

* Pole-sitter Cody Coughlin spun out on Lap 14 of the scheduled 100-lap event, getting spun from behind by Tifft, who was driving the same Ken Schrader-owned Chevrolet that Ross Kenseth won in last week at Michigan International Speedway.

Then about five laps later, it appeared Coughlin cut down another tire and wrecked hard on the frontstretch, knocking himself out of the race. What started as a promising day ended in disappointment.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

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.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

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.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).