Lewis Hamilton salutes Chadwick Boseman after dominating pole run

Lewis Hamilton Chadwick Boseman
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After a dominating pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton immediately turned to Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” star who died of colon cancer Friday at 43.

Hamilton radioed his team “that one was for Chadwick. Chadwick Boseman. Rest In peace, mate” on the cooldown lap from thumping the field with a track record 1 minute, 41.451 seconds (more than a half-second better than Mercedes-AMG F1 teammate Valtteri Bottas) on the famed 4.3-mile Spa circuit.

The only Black driver in F1 exited his No. 44 car and honored Boseman with a “Wakanda Forever” salute (from the movie that Boseman made famous).

“Today’s a really important pole for me because I woke up to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away,” Hamilton said after his 93rd career pole position. “It’s been such a heavy year for all of us, and that news really, really broke me.

“It was really not easy to get back in focus coming in today with that kind of hanging on my heart, but I was like I’ve got to go out there and drive to perfection because what he’s done for our people and what he’s done for this superhero shows all the young kids that it’s possible. He was such a shining light. So, ‘Wakanda Forever.’ ”

Hamilton has been an outspoken voice this season for social justice and advocating change in F1, joining a Black Lives Matter march in London and pushing for diversity in the series.

Max Verstappen qualified third, followed by Daniel Ricciardo. Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz Jr. Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris also advanced to the third and final round of qualifying.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc continued to suffer through a disastrous weekend at the famed

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.