Motorsports Update – May 29, 2012

Next race:
Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, June 3

AMA Pro Racing
Miller Motorsports Park
Two-time champion Josh Hayes reclaimed the 2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike points lead he surrendered with his Infineon Raceway crash thanks to a perfect-points performance at Miller Motorsport Park yesterday.

Hayes raced into the lead from pole position and was never challenged, opening up almost a half-second gap by the conclusion of the opening lap and only building his advantage from there.

Josh Herrin came in second, Blake Young third, Geoff May fourth and Ben Bostrom rounded out the top five.

GRAND-AM Road Racing
Next race:
Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200, Belle Isle Park, June 1-2

American Le Mans Series
Next race:
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, July 6-7

Formula 1
Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco, Monte Carlo
Red Bull’s Mark Webber forged another little bit of motor racing history, as for the first time ever, a sixth different driver won the sixth race of the season.

But Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel were all nose to tail in his tracks.

Webber took the lead at the start and held it from Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, but the McLaren driver lost third to Alonso during their sole pit stops. Vettel, meanwhile, had started on soft tyres in contrast to the super-softs on which the rest of the top 10 were obliged to start, since he hadn’t set a time in Q3. Thus he ran a much longer first stint and was able to take the lead as Webber, Rosberg, Alonso and Hamilton made their stops.

The race then became a fight of Red Bull team mate against team mate as Vettel and Webber traded lap times. Vettel held on until the 46th lap, hoping that the forecast for heavy rain would come true. But the rain held off and eventually Vettel had to come in for his set of super-softs.

In the end Rosberg finished second, Alonso third, while Vettel had to settle for fourth.

Indianapolis 500
Dario Franchitti slipped the wreath over his head and took a healthy sip of cool milk in the 91-degree mid-afternoon heat in Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. First, however, he donned a pair of white cardboard sunglasses — a tribute to longtime friend, teammate, competitor and fellow Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon.

“Now my face on the Borg-Warner Trophy will be on either side of Dan’s,” Franchitti said of the 2011 race winner who died in October.

Franchitti became the seventh member of the three-time Indianapolis 500 winners club, holding off charges from Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan over the final five laps following a restart.

Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
Kasey Kahne wond the Coca-Cola 600 for the third time Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne beat runner-up Denny Hamlin to the finish line by 4.295 seconds. Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr., as nine cars finished on the lead lap at the 1.5-mile track.

Note: Danica Patrick finished 30th, five laps down, in her Charlotte debut.

Next race:
Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, May 31-June 3

World Superbike
Miller Motorsports Park
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) went 1-2 in the second race at Miller, which was halted, shortened to 18 laps, and then re-started almost an hour-and-a-half late. The wait was worth it for the spectators as the last lap fight was tense and exciting right up until Melandri won by only 0.195 seconds.

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) was third and Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Aprilia) fourth. The big winner today was Biaggi, who took an 18-point lead away with him, with Melandri and fifth place finisher Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in joint second place.

Sources: series websites, press releases and various independent motorsports websites