Saturday, August 17, 2013

MotoGP at Indianapolis, NASCAR at Michigan and Ohio, Grand-Am at Kansas, DTM at Nürburg

The top riders in the world are at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the fifth Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Honda factory rider Marc Márquez was fastest Friday with a time of 1:39.502 seconds. Márquez is going for his third straight win at Indianapolis. He has won the Moto2 race the last two years. His teammate, two-time Indianapolis Grand Prix winner Dani Pedrosa was right behind him in second. LCR Honda rider, German Stefan Brandl was third. The German scored his first career MotoGP pole and podium at Laguna Seca a month ago. 2009 Indianapolis Grand Prix winner, Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo was fourth ahead of Tech3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow and his fellow factory Yamaha rider, winner of the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix Valentino Rossi. Gresini Honda rider Álvaro Bautista was seventh with Tech3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith eighth with factory Ducati riders 2006 World Champion, American Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso rounding out the top ten. 

Ben Spies returned after missing the previous seven rounds. He was thirteenth fastest Friday, ahead of his Pramac Ducati teammate Andrea Iannone. There are two other Americans competing this weekend in MotoGP. Colin Edwards was sixteenth with Blake Young twenty-fifth on Friday. 

In Saturday practice, Márquez was fastest again at 1:39.339 seconds ahead of Brandl. Crutchlow was third ahead of Bautista with Pedrosa rounding out the top five. Lorenzo was sixth ahead of his teammate Rossi and fellow Yamaha rider Smith. Dovizioso and Hayden rounded out the top ten. Spies was fourteenth before had a high side during the session. Whether the American will race this weekend is still to be determined. Edwards was sixteenth and Young twenty-fifth. Qualifying is later today and can be seen on Fox Sports 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The Moto3 and Moto2 races can be seen live tomorrow on Fox Sports 1 at 11 a.m. ET and noon ET respectively with the Indianapolis Grand Prix airing live at 2 p.m. ET.

NASCAR at Michigan
The Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan and Penske Racing's Joey Logano took pole position for tomorrow's race with a time of 35.303 seconds (203.949 MPH), a NASCAR record at the track. Second will be Kurt Busch with Jimmie Johnson starting in third. Mark Martin was the fastest Toyota in fourth. Jeff Burton rounded out the top five. 

Juan Pablo Montoya was sixth fastest. It was announced earlier this week Montoya would not return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2014. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will start seventh ahead of Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. Kyle Busch rounds out the top ten. 

Other notable drivers starting positions are Matt Kenseth in twelfth, Jeff Gordon thirteenth, June Michigan winner Greg Biffle sixteenth, Carl Edwards nineteenth, Ryan Newman twenty-first, Austin twenty-seventh substituting for Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne in thirty-first. 

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series race from Michigan International Speedway can be seen tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Nationwide at Mid-Ohio
A NASCAR national touring division makes their first appearance at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course later this afternoon. The race can be seen at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Michael McDowell will be on pole position driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Next to him on row one will be Road America winner AJ Allmendinger. Australian Owen Kelly starts third driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. In two career Nationwide Series starts, Kelly has finishes of fifth and fourth. Both his starts came at Road America. Kyle Larson starts fourth with Nelson Piquet, Jr. in fifth. Regan Smith starts fifth ahead of Brian Vickers and Ohioan Sam Hornish, Jr. Parker Kligerman and Max Papis round out the top ten.

Points leader Austin Dillon will have to start at the rear of the field. Jason Bowles qualified his car as Dillon was in Michigan practicing for the Sprint Cup race. Marcos Ambrose will also start at the rear of the field. Ambrose's Ford was qualified by Ryan Truex while the Australian was in Michigan.

Grand-Am at Kansas
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series makes their debut under the lights at Kansas Speedway on Fox Sports 2 live at 8:00 p.m. ET. Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett start on pole position with a time of 1:09.883 seconds. IndyCar driver Justin Wilson and Gustavo Yacaman start second for Michael Shank Racing. Corvette DPs took the next five positions with the Action Express cars of João Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi and Burt and Brian Frisselle third and fourth and the Wayne Taylor duo of Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor in fifth. Jordan's brother Ricky starts sixth with Richard Westbrook for Spirit of Daytona. Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing's pair of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogerty start seventh. 

Daytona Prototype points leaders Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow start eighth ahead of Team Sahlen's Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker with Michael Shank's second car of John Pew and Oswaldo Negri rounding out the top ten. Overall winners at Road America last week, Brandon Hartley and Scott Mayer start thirteenth with German Pierre Kaffer joining them this weekend. 

Alex Tagliani took GT pole for AIM Autosport in his season debut. The French-Canadian is driving this weekend in place of Max Papis who is competing in the Nationwide race at Mid-Ohio. His co-driver is Jeff Segal. Ferrari 458s took the top three positions in GT with Leh Keen/Alessandro Balzan in second and Emil Assentato/Anthony Lazzaro in third. Stevenson Motorsports Robin Liddell/John Edwards start fourth with GT points leaders Andy Lally and John Potter eighth in class. 

DTM at Nürburg
Brazilian BMW driver Augusto Farfus won his third career pole position this morning with a time of 1:23.296 seconds. He held off fellow BMW driver, rookie Marco Wittmann who will start second. The rookie finished second in Austria earlier this year. Audi drivers rounded out the top four. Miguel Molina starts third. The Spaniard has not scored a DTM point since Brands Hatch in 2012. Italian Edoardo Mortara starts fourth. He finished second at the Nürburgring last year. Gary Paffett is the top Mercedes driver in fifth followed by three Mercedes drivers, Daniel Juncadella, Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris. Audi driver Mattias Ekström is ninth with defending Nürburgring DTM winner Bruno Spengler rounding out the top ten.

DTM points leader, Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller starts eleventh. Other notable drivers starting position: Timo Glock thirteenth, Joey Hand sixteenth, Timo Scheider eighteenth and Martin Tomczyk twentieth. Tomorrow's race from the Nürburgring can be seen live online at 7:15 a.m. ET in all territories expect Germany, Brazil, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Romania, Hungary, Thailand, Israel, Malaysia, Brunei and Portugal.