NorCal Racing

Larson breaks through; Bowyer moves up

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(NASCAR)—Kyle Larson ended a 75-rce winless streak and claimed the first spot in the next round of NASCAR playoff races by outrunning Martin Truex in the closing laps at Dover this weekend. Larson had finished second nine times since his last win, a NASCAR record for runner-up finishes between wins.

The win locks him into the final round of eight drivers that will be determined after two more races and takes the pressure off of him going to the unpredictable Talladega race next weekend where big crashes often alter points standings.

Cllint Bowyer started 17th but was able to hang around the top ten all day and finished tenth, boosting him closer to the cutoff point for the third playoff round when only eight drivers will be left to run for the championship. He has moved from 12th to tenth in the standings and is only five points out of eighth place. As is the case with his colleagues, he’s had good days and bad days at Talladega. He was second there last fall but 29th in the race last April. He won the fall race at Talladega in 2010.

Several of the other drivers in the third playoff round had a handful of trouble at Dover. Defending Cup champion Joey Logano started the race in his garage with a gear problem. He got back on the track and was running at the finish—in 33th. Last week’s winner, Chase Elliott, lost an engine on the eighth lap and was dead last in the field. William Byron, who started sixth, lost a lap when he was penalized for speeding on pit road. He never could get that lap back and finished 13th. Dave Blaney’s brakes failed with 103 of the 400 laps left. His car went to the garage for repairs that could not be finished before the end of the race. Blaney finished 35th and dropped to 12th in the points. Logano has tumbled out of the top eight by one slot; Elliott drops to eleventh; Byron clings to the last playoff spot headed to NASCAR’s biggest track next weekend.

(INDYCAR)—Don’t let IndyCar President Jay Frye’s tone of voice make you think he’s not excited about the first test of the Aeroscreen cockpit protection device that underwent its first test this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “This is something that will change the complexion of the sport for all time to come,” he deadpanned in a post-test news conference.

Two Indianapolis 500 winners tested the device in various configurations at IMS. Scott Dixon (left) said cockpit was so quiet that he could hear his radio “for a change.” He said the 600-miles of running found no vision issues and allowed adjustments for such things as wind pressure on the drivers’ helmets as the air is directed up and over the screen, which still leaves the cockpit open.

Will Power (left) said afterward he was “so happy we have it.” He called the screen “a huge step in safety. In fact, he said, “If you’ve driven with it for a day you feel naked without it.”

Frye, a former Missouri Tiger football player, called the windscreen an “industry changing total driver safety solution, a game changer” that could be adapted for other forms of racing.

The development of the Aeroscreen was announced in May, just before the Indianapolis 500. It has been developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies. A titanium framework, similar to the “halo” used in Formula 1 this year holds the screen, made of polycarbonate laminated material, in place. The screen includes anti-reflective material on the inside and an anti-fogging system. It is designed to be part of the chassis structure.

Both drivers lapped consistently in the 224 mph range during the tests.

IMS provided video highlights of the tests, which has posted on its website:

Three other tests sessions are scheduled, each with different drivers representing different teams. A test Monday at the Barber Motorsports Park will be on a road course. Another test will be done at Richmond on the fifteenth, a short oval. The final test on the schedule will be at Sebring on November 5, a test that can simulate a street circuit.

All teams will get Aeroscreens by the end of the year. IndyCar’s first race of 2020

The first race test of the device will be March 15 when IndyCar runs on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

(FORMULA 1)—Formula 1 drivers take to the track again next weekend at the Suzuka International Racing Course in Japan.

(Photo credits: Jared, Getty Images/NASCAR; Indianapolis Motor Speedway/


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