Jack Roush, the winningest owner in NASCAR history, still loves being at the track, particularly at Michigan International Speedway, where he’s hosting clients and employees this weekend in a private suite overlooking pit lane.
The Northville resident spoke to Detroit Free Press sports writer George Sipple on Saturday about the improvements made by his Roush-Fenway Racing drivers compared to 2016, how much longer he'll be involved in NASCAR and his place in automotive history. The interview comes ahead of Sunday's Monster Energy Cup Series race at MIS:
Video: Mercedes 2017 Canadian Grand Prix Strategy Analysis The strategy calls that led to the team's first 1-2 of the year - and the decisive moments of an enthralling battle throughout the field... Comment
Video: Valtteri Bottas Turns Petronas Lab into Race Track! For one day only, PETRONAS Lubricants International converted their Villastellone plant into a high-speed circuit! No prizes for guessing what happened when F1 star Valtteri Bottas turned up... Comment
This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is halfway complete with the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R still in the thick of things in the GTE Pro class. Jordan Taylor drove an impressive two hour-plus stint in the second six hours to keep the No. 63 Corvette on the lead lap as it chased a ninth class victory at the French classic.
Taylor, driving with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, was within two minutes and five seconds of the lead group. Numerous slow zones and a pair of safety car periods widened the gap from the No. 63 to the group of three cars running within 56 seconds of each other.
LeMans 24 Hour 12: Porsche has 9-lap lead at halfway
The lone #1 Porsche streaks through the night
The 24 hours of LeMans is now a borefest up at front. With the demise of all three Toyotas, the leading #1 Porsche now has a 9-lap lead over a lowly LMP2 car and is in stroker-ace mode for the last 12 hours of the race. Unless the lone LMP1 car also fails, which it should not in stroker mode, the over winner is a foregone conclusion.
The #1 Porsche continues to lead with Nick Tandy at the wheel. The #2 Porsche is P16 overall, 18 laps behind its sister car.
After losing last year's 24 Hours of LeMans on the last lap, the Toyota team has egg all over its face again as all three of its LMP1 cars have self destructed and are 30 or laps down. It's over for the Japanese.
First the Toyota Gazoo Racing team watched its leader and Le Mans lap record holder #7 grind to a halt with polesitter Kamui Kobayashi aboard, then its #9 (Lapierre) was hit in the Dunlop Chicane and sent flying through the gravel. Initially, it looked like just a puncture for the #9, but a puff of smoke from the back of the car showed that it was much worse.
Video: LeMans 24 - The world's biggest race for Porsche The Le Mans 24-hour race started at very high speed. Four hours into the race and after several position changes, the Porsche 919 Hybrid no. 1 is running second behind Toyota. At 7.30 pm, after 75 laps on the 13.629 kilometer track, the best placed 919 Hybrid is 45 seconds behind the leader. After a good start into the initial phase of the French long-distance classic, the new Porsche 911 RSR now rank sixth and 12th in the GTE-Pro class. Comment
The Toyota team is running into one trouble after another and they have lost the lead in the 24 Hours of LeMans. The #1 Porsche with Nicky Tandy at the wheel has assumed the lead of the race at 1:00 AM in the morning.
Porsche claimed the lead after the leading Toyota ground to a halt with a suspected clutch problem.
Night has fallen over the 24 Hours circuit. The temperature outside, approximately 33°C at the start of the race, has now dropped by 10°C. These are significant changes and should be taken into account as they alter the behavior of the cars and can affect the correlation between adversaries in each class. Overall, the lap times during the last hour were slower than previous hours by two to three seconds.
In LMP1, the ninth hour of the race proved less than stellar for the Toyota team: the #8 stopped in its garage for the entire hour due to problems with its front hybrid system. Remember the #2 Porsche lost a considerable amount of time with similar troubles during the fourth hour. So two Toyotas and one Porsche are still contenders for the overall win. At midnight, one minute separated the #7 Toyota driven by Mike Conway from the #1 Porsche with Neel Jani at the wheel. Nicolas Lapierre's #9 Toyota trails one lap behind.
Vintage Racing, Pro-Am results, Trans-Am postponed The team of Sarah Fisher and Kirk Blaha won their class as well as the overall victory in the 2017 Indy Legends Charity Vintage Pro/AM, driving a 1968 Corvette. Coming in second in another 1968 'Vette were Al Unser Jr and Peter Klutt ("Restoration Garage" host on TV). Coming in third, and first in their class, were Max Papis and Curt Vogt in a 70 Ford Boss 302.
Notable among those running were Bill Elliott, who had created a "very special" 1970 Boss 302, to come in second in class, 4th overall. Also notable were Dick Simon, who, at age 84, finished 15th in class with co-driver James Heck. Paul Tracy was forced into an early retirement after a minor incident on the track -- this is vintage racing after all, and there is a zero-contact policy in force.
The action was suspended when a brief, but notable shower, hit the speedway around 4:20. The Trans-Am guys called it a day and will line up tomorrow based on points. The Miata guys will run in an official "rain race". No word yet on further vintage events, including the laps by vintage Indy cars.
As night time approaches, the #8 Toyota with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel moved ahead of the #1 Porsche of Andre Lotterer and into 2nd place at the 7 Hour mark of the 24 Hours of LeMans. The #7 Toyota of Stephane Sarrazin continues to lead as it has for much of this race.
The #9 Toyota runs 4th and is playing the tortoise for Toyota, staying within striking distance, in case the faster sister cars falter.
LeMans 24 Hour 6: #7 Toyota and #1 Porsche do battle at 1/4 mark
The #7 Toyota has dominated up until this point
The top class has settled into a rhythm with the #7 Toyota (Sarrazin) continuing to lead the #8 Porsche (Lotterer) by nearly 28 seconds. The #8 and #9 Toyotas follow. The #2 Porsche is still numerous laps down after its long stint in the garage.
The order is the same, but the drivers and the gap have changed. The #7 Toyota is still the leader, but now Kamui Kobayashi is behind the wheel and has pulled out a 28-second gap over teammate Anthony Davidson in the #8.
Porsches are third and fourth with Nick Tandy in the #1 followed by Earl Bamber in the #2.
Vaillante Rebellion have an inter-team fight on their hands! The #31 ORECA with Nicolas Prost at the wheel had been leading his teammate Mathias Beche in the #13 ORECA, but Beche caught his teammate after a string of quick lap times and has taken the class lead.
Jackie Chan DC Racing continues to be the nearest challenger, but it is the #37 ORECA with Alex Brundle aboard that will have to shoulder the work. His teammate Thomas Laurent in the #38 ORECA went off course at Indianapolis, grazed the tires and lost some time.
Aston Martin is very strong in LMGTE Pro; the #95 (Sorensen) and #97 (Serra) have locked up the top two positions. Only now and then are they being challenged by the #66 Ford (Pla) or #67 Ford (Tincknell) and the #51 Ferrari (Calado).
Aston Martin also leads in LMGTE Am, but they need to beware of Dries Vanthoor in the #84 Ferrari. Since taking over the car, Vanthoor has climbed up to second behind the #98 Aston Martin driven by Paul Dalla Lana. The #62 Ferrari has fallen to third with Bill Sweedler at the wheel.
Nobody had expected that after qualifying: after an undisputed dominance by Audi in the practice session, Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG), Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler (both BMW) were the drivers who celebrated on the winners’ podium after the first race at the Hungaroring. All three of them benefited from their pit stop strategy that was based on an early tyre change, as well as a safety car intervention. Mike Rockenfeller was the best-placed Audi driver. He made maximum use of his dominant race speed, made up more than 20 seconds, but eventually turned out to be unable to find a way past Spengler and took the checkered flag in fourth place.
LeMans 24 Hour 2: #7 Toyota takes the lead in second hour Two hours into the 24 Hours of Le Mans Toyota continues to lead up top, while Vaillante Rebellion is looking strong in LMP2. Aston Martin and Ferrari are still the two to watch in both LMGTE classes.
Mike Conway was able to get around his teammate in the #8 (Buemi) to re-take the overall lead. The #1 Porsche with Neel Jani on board is still third.
Following contact on the opening lap, the #4 ENSO has officially retired.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – Spun during the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session Saturday morning
NOT THE WAY YOU WANTED TO START THIS FIRST MORNING PRACTICE. TELL US WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT EXTENT OF DAMAGE YOU SEE TO THIS CAR RIGHT NOW: “I got loose into Turn 3 and fought it for a long time and unfortunately came around. Did a nice job of keeping it off the outside wall, but came back down the hill and into the grass and the front end dug in pretty good. I’m pretty surprised the guys feel like the damage isn’t too bad and they can get that stuff pulled back out and get the shape of the body back. So, we are out for the rest of this practice and we will get back on-track for the second one. Not the way we wanted to start the day, but it is what it is.”
Coulthard leads another one-two finish for Penske Team
Coulthard and McLaughlin celebrate their 1-2
Shell V-Power Racing’s Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin claimed their third 1-2 of the season at the CrownBet Triple Crown in Darwin, continuing their red letter run in this year’s Supercars Championship.
The pair capitalized on strategy and the misfortunes of others to take a stranglehold on the race and strengthen Coulthard’s Championship lead. Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat grabbed the sixth podium of his career with third.
Ernie Francis, Jr., secures Indianapolis Motor Speedway pole position For the third time this season Ernie Francis, Jr., captured pole position in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, securing his place atop the 38-car, TA, TA3 and TA4 field for Saturday’s Trans Am Speedway Showdown, one of two 100-mile Trans Am races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, Round 5 of the 2017 Trans Am Championship. Also turning fast-laps in qualifying around the 2.439-mile “Grand Prix” course were Preston Calvert in the TA3 class and Brian Kleeman in TA4.
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