Motorsports Weekend Guide: August 15 to August 17

MWG Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. Stock car enthusiasts will find plenty to cheer for with more than a half-dozen big races this weekend while IndyCar also races an oval. In Europe, Formula One is still on its summer break but MotoGP carries on.


  • IndyCar in Milwaukee

  • MotoGP in the Czech Republic

  • Red Bull Air Race at a horse-racing track

  • And a few more!

NASCAR_MIS NASCAR: Pure Michigan 400 (Michigan International Speedway) Michigan’s two-mile D-shaped oval hosts the headline race of the MEGA-NASCAR WEEKEND. With only four races left to qualify for the Chase (The championship “playoff” with a silly name) and only three of the 16 spots remaining, those without wins will be clawing and scrapping for a victory. Of the winless drivers, Greg Biffle has four career Sprint Cup and two NASCAR Trucks wins and could parlay that experience into a much-needed berth in the Chase. The Camping World Trucks run Saturday in the ever-so-concisely-named Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by the Cooper Standard Foundation and Brad Keslowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation. Website: Sprint Cup. MIS site. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by the Cooper Standard Foundation and Brad Keslowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation (NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series). Live coverage: Sunday @ 1 p.m. ET on ESPN (TV) and Motor Racing Network (radio/streaming audio). Trucks – Saturday @ 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (TV) and MRN (radio/streaming).   NASCAR Nationwide: Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) Nationwide will run a road course for the second consecutive weekend. Marcus Ambrose won at Watkins Glen last weekend and, despite leaning hard on him, finished runner-up to A.J. Allmendinger in the Sprint Cup race. Those two are really the cream of the NASCAR road-racing crop and expect them to run toward the front at Mid-Ohio, Allmendinger won last year in Nationwide’s first visit to the venerable course. I would expect a number of Sprint Car drivers to pull double duty with the relatively short distance between MIS and Mid-Ohio. SCCA Pro Racing’s Trans Am will run in support at Mid-Ohio. Corvette drivers Doug Peterson and Amy Ruman are 1-2 in the championship, but Mid-Ohio is Ruman’s home track so expect a solid result from her. Website: Nationwide site. Mid-Ohio siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: Trans Am. Live coverage: Saturday @ 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN and MRN (radio/streaming audio). Delayed broadcast of Trans Am race.   NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Biscuitville 125 (Virginia International Raceway) Like Nationwide, the K&N East series will race a road course for the second consecutive weekend. Oddly enough, these are the only two road courses on the K&N East series so they opt to cluster them together. Ben Rhodes leads the K&N points by a wide margin and he finished third at Watkins Glen last weekend. The rolling hills of VIR should provide a great venue to watch the big stock cars bang doors. Website: K&N East site. VIR siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Live coverage: None.   NASCAR K&N Pro Series West: NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 (Evergreen Raceway | Monroe, WA) Evergreen’s twin oval has been a staple of the NASCAR development series calendar since 1964 and K&N West will run 150 laps of the larger 2/3-mile oval. Greg Pursley leads in points over Dylan Lupton in the K&N West championship and, interestingly, Lupton just edged out Pursley at Evergreen last year. Website: K&N West site. Evergreen siteEvent page Live coverage: None.   ARCA_IL_Fair ARCA Racing: Allen Crowe Memorial 100 (Illinois State Fairgrounds | Springfield, IL) Along with marmalade judging and swine shows (not really like a donkey show…at least not during business hours), the Illinois State Fair features racing as part of the festivities. The annual tradition was at one time headlined by USAC (who will also race), but the featured race for more than 20 years has been a date on ARCA’s calendar. Ten-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel has dominated the Allen Crowe 100 (named for a USAC racer who died in the 1960s) with eight wins on the Fairgrounds’ mile-long clay oval. Website: ARCA siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Supporting series: USAC Silver Crown. Live coverage:    NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: Wilson Equipment 300 (Riverside International Speedway | Antigonish, Nova Scotia) NASCAR’s series north of the border heads to Nova Scotia for a melee on Riverside’s 1/3-mile oval, a circuit that was built as a smaller-scale replica of famed NASCAR circuit Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR CTS legend (such as it is) Andrew Ranger has won four of the eight races held at Riverside since its rebuild in 2008 and he’s coming off a stellar guest appearance at Watkins Glen in a K&N East car, where he scored a second place finish. Website: CTS site. Riverside siteEvent page. Weekend schedule Live coverage:    NASCAR Mexico Series: Puebla 240 (Autodromo Miguel E. Abed) The final MEGA-NASCAR WEEKEND is the series south of the border in Puebla, Mexico. Autodromo Miguel E. Abed is one of the country’s newest and most modern racing facilities with a 1.25-mile oval and a 2.090-mile road course. The Mexico series will run the Puebla 240 on the oval, which features two long straights with relatively short and tight curves. Website: NASCAR Mexico site. Puebla site. Event page with weekend schedule and entry list. Live coverage:    IndyCar: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 (Milwaukee Mile) If you’ve not paid attention to IndyCar to this point, now would be the best time to watch. The series runs its final three races in the net three weekends, starting at Milwaukee before heading to Sonoma Raceway and finishing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. The championship drama is palpable: Penske driver Will Power leads his teammate Helio Castroneves by a mere four points heading into Milwaukee while some 60 points behind, Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in third place a single point ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports ace Simon Pagenaud. At Milwaukee, Castroneves has as many starts as any other IndyCar driver (9) with two poles and he’s historically been a little better on ovals than Power. However, Power has improved his acumen on left-turn-only races. Either way, neither of the longtime open-wheel veterans has won a championship, having fallen just short in the past, so expect a knock-down, drag-out fight over the next three weekends. Website: IndyCar site. Milwaukee Mile siteEvent page. Supporting series: Pro Mazda. Indy Lights Series. Live coverage: Sunday @ 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (TV). Live timing and streaming audio on IndyCar Race Control.   NHRA_BIR NHRA: Lucas Oil Nationals (Brainerd International Raceway) As NASCAR’s “regular season” winds down before the Chase, so too does the drag racing season. This run to Brainerd marks the penultimate round before the Countdown to the Championship, where the points are reset so that each higher ranking has 10 more points than the driver ranked below (except the points leader, who gets a 30-point margin). Only 10 positions qualify and a number of drivers have already clinched a spot, so expect something of a scramble to claim the last remaining spots. Website: NHRA site. BIR siteEvent page. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Eliminations Sunday @ noon ET on Replay Sunday @ 9 p.m. ET.   DTM: Nürburgring The Nürburgring carries a certain amount of gravitas when it gets mentioned since it prompts most people to think of the Nordschleife. DTM, like most big series who race there, will race the shorter Grand Prix circuit, a configuration that takes a mix of the long track’s elevation changes and high-speed corners. BMW has been strong at the ‘ring since their return to DTM and they’ve dominated the DTM season entirely to date, so don’t be surprised if BMW win again. Championship leader and BMW pilot Marco Wittman won the last round at Red Bull Ring, giving him victories in half of the races this esason. In the support series, European Formula 3 driver Max Verstappen, son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, inked a contract this week to drive for Red Bull Formula Junior, a program that essentially serves as Red Bull Racing’s farm team with young superstars driving in series like Formula Renault. He’ll race Website: DTM site. Nürburgring site. Event page. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup. European Formula 3. Auto GP. Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. Live coverage: Sunday @ 6 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network (TV).   MotoGP_Brno MotoGP: Brno There’s not much really to say, again, about MotoGP. Marc Marquez obliterated the field at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend to maintain his perfect season with 10 wins in 10 races. Marquez simply exists on another plane from the rest of the field it seems and there’s little reason to expect that he won’t win in the Czech Republic. The season has by and large been a Honda and Yamaha show with Hondas occupying the top two championship spots and Yamaha the next two, but Andrea Dovizioso has snuck up to P5 in the championship on his Ducati a mere nine points behind Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha. Website: MotoGP site. Brno siteEvent page with weekend schedule. Supporting series: Moto2. Moto3. Live coverage: Sunday @ 7 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.   Red Bull Air Race: Ascot Racecourse (United Kingdom) Air races, of course, aren’t really racing in the true Hooniverse sense, but I suspect there are enough aviation nerds to be excited for Red Bull Air Race at a U.K. horse racing track. Not that anyone need really be an aviation nerd to find air races exciting; the precision and artistry involved in weaving through the slalom less than 100 feet of the ground. But avgeeks can get their fill of aerobatics with the Royal Air Force’s demonstration team, Red Arrows, performing between race sessions. Website: Red Bull Air Races site. Ascot siteEvent page. Live coverage: Delayed broadcast on FOX (TV).   SVRA: Pocono After a quiet first half of the year, Pocono Raceway has suddenly gotten busy with an IndyCar and NASCAR race in the last month. This weekend, vintage racing makes the trek to the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, though the vintage cars will forego the Tricky Triangle for the interior road course. Website: SVRA site. Pocono site. Event page . Weekend schedule. Live coverage: Live timing on Race Monitor.   NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship: Miller Motorsports Park NASA’s club racing endurance series only runs one race outside California, this six-hour race that will use the entire Outer Loop, a 4.48-mile circuit with 23 turns. The WERC really is small potatoes compared to, say, the SCCA Majors Tour, but these serve as something of a tune-up for the Thunderhill 25 Hours. The 25 Hour is not actually a WERC event, but it will see a lot of the same faces. Website: NASA WERC site. MMP siteWeekend schedule. Supporting series: NASA Utah weekend. Live coverage: Live timing on Race Monitor.   ChumpCar World Series: Autodrome St. Eustache ChumpCar has established quite a following north of the border and while most of the racing has been concentrated in Ontario, the series heads to Quebec for a run around St. Eustache. The short 1.1-mile road course is narrow and packs in 15 turns. 12 hours, 1.1-mile course. Website: CCWS site. St. Eustache site. Supplemental regulations with weekend schedule. Live coverage: Live timing on CCWS site and on Race Monitor.   [Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | Other photos: NASCAR, ARCA, NHRA, Red Bull]  

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