Brendan Gaughan took the lead after a green-white-checkered restart at Elkhart Lake, Wis., then held on to win the rain-soaked and wild NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America on Saturday.
Alex Tagliani was second, followed by Kevin O’Connell, Chase Elliott and J.J. Yeley as NASCAR drivers got a rare opportunity to race in the rain. It was a disappointing finish for Tagliani, who led in the closing stages of regulation but ran out of gas after a late caution flag came out.
It was the third time in Nationwide history that grooved rain tires have been used in a race; the previous two were in Montreal. NASCAR uses rain tires only on road courses, not on oval tracks.
“I love racing in the rain,” Gaughan said. “It’s fun. And when you’re good at it, it makes it even more fun. I haven’t smelled blood in a long time. That’s been something I’ve been lacking lately is that killer attitude. When it started to rain, even without the wiper blade, I started to smell blood and said, ‘I’m coming.’”
Gaughan won for the first time in the series, breaking through in his 98th career start.
Tagliani was second, followed by Kevin O’Connell, Elliott and J.J. Yeley as NASCAR drivers got a rare opportunity to race in the rain. It was the third time in Nationwide history that grooved rain tires have been used in a race; the previous two were in Montreal. NASCAR only uses rain tires on winding road courses, not on oval tracks.
McMurray takes pole for Sprint Cup race in Sonoma
Jamie McMurray won the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway with a track-record lap that bumped AJ Allmendinger from the top starting spot.
Allmendinger seemed to have the pole locked down until McMurray turned a lap at 96.350 mph in the final minute of Saturday’s qualifying session. It broke the record of 95.262 mph set by Marcos Ambrose in 2012.
It’s the first pole of the season for McMurray, 10th of his career, and third at Sonoma. McMurray also started from the pole last year but finished 25th.
Rookie Kyle Larson was third, followed by Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. The rest of the top 12 included Brian Vickers, Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Danica Patrick and Casey Mears. Patrick has now advanced into the final round of qualifying five times this season.
Massa gets first Formula One pole since 2008
Felipe Massa earned his first Formula One pole position since 2008 as Williams stunned Mercedes in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying at Spielberg.
Massa and Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas posted the two fastest times, setting up the first race of the season without Mercedes in the front row.
Championship leader Nico Rosberg was third, while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton went off track in the final qualifying round and will start ninth.
It’s Massa 16th career pole but first since the Brazilian GP six years ago. Williams had not had a 1-2 in qualifying since the German GP in 2003.
Brown top qualifier in NHRA top-fuel class
Antron Brown took the No. 1 qualifying spot in top fuel in the NHRA New England Nationals, and Robert Hight topped the funny car lineup.
Brown claimed the position with his 3.770-second pass at 323.58 mph on Friday night that shattered the New England Dragway elapsed time record. Brown has three victories this season.
Hight sped to the first three-second Funny Car run in track history Friday with a 3.998 at 321.58 in a Ford Mustang and it held through Saturday’s two qualifying sessions.
Shane Gray led the Pro Stock field and Eddie Krawiec topped the Pro Stock Motorcycle lineup, each with a track-record time.