Monday Racing Roundup: Marquez’s Streak Ends at 10
Marc Marquez’s win at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP ran his remarkable season-long winning streak to 10.
But that’s as far as it went.
On Sunday in Brno, Czech Republic, Dani Pedrosa prevailed to become the first MotoGP rider not named Marquez to win in the premier class in 2014. Pedrosa is Marquez’s teammate, so the streak continued of Repsol Hondas winning every race.
“This year we have an amazing rival in Marc, who has had great performances at every round so far. Maybe today wasn't his best day, but I think that we also worked very well this weekend; bringing home the win for the team feels fantastic,” said Pedrosa, who won his 26th race in the top class.
Marquez fell back quickly at the start from the pole position – similar to his race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – but unlike two weeks ago he couldn’t catch up. He finished fourth, the first time in his two years in the premier class that he has failed to land on the podium in an event in which he finished.
The 21-year-old still holds a dominant 77-point lead in the standings over his teammate.
“In a way it’s taken a weight off my shoulders, as now people won’t be asking me if I can win every race anymore,” Marquez said. “It was also important that we were able to focus on staying in fourth, even though it was tough not to be fighting for the win. What matters is who wins the title not who wins the most races.”
Verizon IndyCar Series: Power inches closer to title with dominant Milwaukee win
In his quest for a first Verizon IndyCar Series title, Will Power grabbed some breathing room on Sunday at Milwaukee IndyFest.
A four-point championship lead turned into 39 points after Power led 229 of 250 laps from the pole to win the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250. It was Power’s first win at Milwaukee, first on any short oval and first on an oval since winning at Auto Club Speedway last October. “The handling was awesome; we hardly made any adjustments over the whole race,” said Power, who finished 2.794 seconds ahead of runner-up Juan Pablo Montoya. “I give full credit to the team for giving me such a great car. These are my favorite tracks these days. I really enjoy the ovals – it’s great fun.”
Power’s Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves finished 11th to fall back in the points though he still has a good grip on second, 53 points ahead of Simon Pagenaud. Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay is fourth, he retired with suspension issues in Milwaukee and finished 21st.
The Verizon IndyCar Series has two more races remaining, both in California. The season finale on Aug. 30, the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, awards double points.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Gordon back on top at Michigan
Coming into this season, Jeff Gordon hadn’t won a series title in 13 years. He had not won at Michigan in 13 years either.
Signs keep pointing to this perhaps being the season to end all the droughts.
Michigan was checked off the list on Sunday as Gordon held off Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano in his Chevrolet to win for the third time this season and leapfrog Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the Sprint Cup points standings.
“Our Chase has already started,” said Gordon, who won for the fifth time at IMS last month at the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. “It’s going to be tough and we want to put ourselves in the mindset of right now we are in it.
“We don’t want anything to change and do anything different when we get to Chicago (to start the Chase), other than keep going and charging for those wins. That is what we did today.”
Gordon broke the track qualifying record on Friday with a pole-winning lap of 206.558 mph.
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Buescher the best at Mid-Ohio
Chris Buescher became the third rookie to win this year in the Nationwide Series, surviving on fuel at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday.
The 21-year-old won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 in a Roush Fenway Ford with the same sponsor. It was the first series win for Roush in more than a year.
Buescher led the final 25 laps and went the last 38 laps on one tank, beating Regan Smith and Brian Scott.
“Not going to lie – Scott about had my nerves shot at the end,” Buescher said. “We were trying to save all we could there knowing that we were trying to keep the distance on the guys behind us.”
Chase Elliott finished fourth and maintains a 10-point championship lead over Smith. Ty Dillon, the winner last month at IMS in the Lilly Diabetes 250, finished one lap down in 19th.