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Racing Updates : )

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:15 AM
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THE BIG STORY


Tropical Storm Hanna forced both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Richmond International Raceway to be postponed to Sunday. Jimmie Johnson won for the fourth time this season in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, which locked-in all the Chase positions. Kyle Busch (15th) is the top seed for the Chase as the points reset. He's 30 ahead of Carl Edwards (13th). At Chicagoland, Helio Castroneves came from last-to-first to win the IndyCar finale by .0033 second over Scott Dixon, but Indy 500 winner Dixon clinched the championship by 17 points.
Also: Dario Franchitti will return to the IndyCar Series next season with Chip Ganassi, while Dan Wheldon moves to Panther Racing, replacing Vitor Meira… David Stremme was named to replace Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Penske Dodge next year… Darian Grubb will leave Hendrick Motorsports to become Tony Stewart's crew chief next season… NASCAR Holdings, the legal operating entity that includes NASCAR and other subsidiaries, agreed to acquire the Grand-Am series. G-A will continue to independently sanction and officiate its races… The Audi of Emanuele Pirro and Marcel Fassler was disqualified from its P1 class win on Belle Isle after it failed to meet minimum weight in post-race tech. Intersport Lola drivers Jon Field, Clint Field and Richard Berry were awarded the win. Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner thus clinched the class driving championship.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series


Kyle Busch started on the pole Sunday at Richmond since qualifying was rained out. Kevin Harvick took the lead from Busch on lap 30. Due to the rain, NASCAR called a competition caution on lap 35 and Jeff Gordon came out of the pits as the leader, but Harvick soon went by. Carl Edwards had to pit under green on lap 74 with a flat tire. Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. got to the front before Johnny Sauter pounded the wall on lap 97. On lap 115, Greg Biffle scrapped the wall. On lap 123, David Ragan did a half-spin in turn two and was hit by teammate Matt Kenseth. Later, Kenseth was black-flagged for dragging debris. On lap 202, Martin Truex Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. spun. Busch was leading on lap 212 when he was bumped into the turn-one wall by Earnhardt Jr. Busch caused another yellow when he spun 30 laps later. David Reutimann got the lead when he didn't pit. After yellows for a Brian Vickers' wall-banger and an Edwards-Bill Elliott-Bobby Labonte incident, Tony Stewart went to the front with 52 laps to go. All pitted when Scott Riggs spun, and Truex Jr. got out ahead of Jimmie Johnson and Stewart. Johnson took the lead with 34 laps left. In the closing laps, Stewart and Johnson ran side-by-side, with Stewart in front for two laps. But Johnson got clear and won by .365 second over Stewart. Hamlin was third, followed by Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin. Johnson averaged 92.680 mph with 14 yellows for 71 laps. Clint Bowyer (12th) made the Chase while Kasey Kahne (19th) finished the regular season 13th overall, 69 points out of the playoffs. Patrick Carpentier started 39th in the Valvoline Dodge and finished 25th.


NASCAR Nationwide Series


Carl Edwards took the lead with 28 laps to go and won Sunday night's Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond. Clint Bowyer's Chevrolet was the dominant car, but his handling faded in the closing laps, and he finished third behind Scott Wimmer. Edwards' Ford won by 1.5 seconds and averaged 90.787 mph with nine yellows for 50 laps. Bowyer leads Edwards by 207 points. An appeals panel eliminated the probation on Tony Stewart and Joey Logano as a result of the No. 18 and No. 20 chassis dyno violation at Michigan.


NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series


Ron Hornaday Jr. led 113 of the 160 laps to win Saturday's Camping World 200 at Gateway International Raceway, near St. Louis. His Chevrolet finished .646 second ahead of Dennis Setzer's Dodge. It was Hornaday's fourth victory of the season. He averaged 93.860 mph with eight yellows for 38 laps. Johnny Benson was third and is 94 points clear of Hornaday. NASCAR issued a technical bulletin almost identical to the one that went to Nationwide teams, ordering smaller tapered spacers, which should reduce Toyota horsepower by about 15.

IndyCar Series


Helio Castroneves started Sunday's Peak 300 at Chicagoland in 28th position because he was penalized for driving under the white line during qualifying. The double Indy 500 winner sliced his way to the front by lap 78 and nosed ahead of Scott Dixon at the finish line for his second victory of the season. Poleman Ryan Briscoe was third. Dixon, who had fallen back to around 10th, led laps 186-199 and was originally scored as the race winner. Video replay showed Castroneves slightly ahead in the series' second-closest finish ever. He averaged 150.648 mph with seven yellows for 53 of the 200 laps. Raphael Matos won the Firestone Indy Lights championship with a third-place finish Sunday. Arie Luyendyk Jr. passed him on the last lap for his first career victory.


Formula One


Felipe Massa was declared the winner of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps after Lewis Hamilton was penalized for cutting a corner. Hamilton had overcome a spin on lap two and took the lead with two laps to go. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen went to the front on Hamilton's early mistake and stayed ahead until rain came in the closing laps. Hamilton's McLaren-Mercedes used the shortcut, seemingly to avoid contact with the driver who had won the three previous Belgium GPs, then recovered to dive underneath his rival. Both had to take evasive action to miss a car that went off in front of them, giving Raikkonen the chance to reclaim the top spot. Moments later, Raikkonen spun, got going, then crashed. Hamilton finished 14.4 seconds ahead of Massa's Ferrari until stewards overturned the results. Nick Heidfeld, who pitted on the last lap for rain tires, passed many cars and finished third after 44 laps - but was moved up to second. Hamilton got third and is two points up on Massa.


Valvoline Winner Last Weekend


Carl Edwards, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Richmond.


Racers of the Week


Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves. Thrilling finish at Chicagoland caps their 1-2 season in the IRL standings.


Yes, He REALLY Said That


Clint Bowyer, on Jeff Burton's 500th Cup start. "First of all, I am too stupid to get to 500 starts, that is a long time. I will be doing something else."

This Weekend


The Chase begins Sunday at New Hampshire, with Trucks on Saturday. NHRA debuts in Charlotte. Formula One goes fast at Monza.
 
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