Start, NASCAR, Kansas, 2017

Disqualification ends driver’s NASCAR title hopes

Weekend Racing Wrap

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Last weekend’s NASCAR race at Kansas produced shocks in the championship. One driver dropped out of contention after being disqualified from the race and another was eliminated by an engine failure.

And the Japanese Super Formula championship came to a disappointing end as both the final races were cancelled. This ended the title hopes of F1 driver Pierre Gasly, who had skipped the United States Grand Prix to take part in the event.

NASCAR Cup

Race 32: Kansas

There were some hard-luck stories in NASCAR’s second race at Kansas Speedway last weekend as four drivers were eliminated from the championship. Among them was Matt Kenseth, who was disqualified from the race after more than the regulation six mechanics worked on his car during a pit stop. Kyle Larson, with four victories to his credit this year, was also knocked out after suffering an engine failure early in the race.

However seven-times champion Jimmie Johnson remains in the hunt despite spinning twice during the race. He recovered to take the chequered flag in 11th place.

Martin Truex Jnr was already assured of a place in the final eight but his seventh win of the year had particular significance for his team following the death of crew member Jim Watson the previous day. Truex and Johnson are joined by Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott in the final stage of the championship. Four more will be eliminated in three races’ time, setting up a four-way fight for the title at the final round.

Japanese Super Formula

Races 7-8: Suzuka

Pierre Gasly, Super Formula, Suzuka, 2017
Suzuka rain thwarted Gasly’s shot at the Super Formula title
It should have been a thrilling weekend for the Super Formula series where eight drivers arrived at the double-header finale with a shot at the championship. And Pierre Gasly ‘doing an Alonso’ by missing an F1 round to be there only added to the intrigue.

Unfortunately Typhoon Lan had other ideas. Increasingly heavy rain affected the qualifying session and the the forecast looking dire the organisers took the decision to cancel the race. Worse, with so many of the series’ drivers committed to racing elsewhere later in the year, they also decided against rescheduling it.

This made for the most anti-climactic title-decider at Suzuka since Nigel Mansell’s practice crash ended the F1 title fight 30 years ago.

Hiroaki Ishiura, who arrived at Suzuka with a half-point lead over Gasly, therefore clinched his second Super Formula title. It also denied Honda a chance of beating Toyota in the championship for the first time since Naoki Yamamoto’s triumph in 2013.

Also last weekend

Lewis Hamilton moved another step closer to clinching the 2017 Formula One drivers’ championship by winning the United States Grand Prix.

Over to you

What racing action did you watch last weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Next weekend’s racing

The following series are in action next weekend:

  • Euroformula Open races 15-16: Catalunya
  • Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup races 21-23: Catalunya
  • NASCAR Cup race 33: Martinsville
  • World Rally Championship race 12: Great Britain
  • World Touring Car Championship races 15-16: Japan

Thanks to Robert Mathershaw (@mathers) for contributing to this article.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 11 comments on “Disqualification ends driver’s NASCAR title hopes”

    1. I went to the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch this weekend. I’ve been a few times before and it’s always a brilliant day out for a racing fan. Four 20 minute-ish races with 30 Formula Ford cars in each, loads of support races, including Porsche’s and BMW’s this year.

      The entire circuit is visible from the main grandstand, making it so easy to follow. The sound is intense but not deafening, there are gravel traps meaning mistakes are punished and cars can follow each other and overtake without gimmicks. Any one of the top eight could have won every race with a lap to go.

      Take note Formula One!

      1. …and all that at £10 a head, with free parking.

      2. @ben-n I’m still lost as to why the WEC doesn’t pull a bigger crowd. So much racing for so little money,…

        1. @flatsix, that amount of racing can be both a positive and a negative things. If you were taking a family to a six hour race, and perhaps having to add on a couple of hours of travel time on both legs of the journey, then that is a quite long day – particularly if you have younger children with you as well.

          Even on television, the 6 Hour races pull pretty small audiences because, on balance, people are not keen to spend that much of their day on a single race.

    2. Shame to see Larson knocked out of the playoffs. Him and Truex have been the standout drivers of the season. Typical NASCAR with a complicated and entertainment driven set of rules to deprive a deserving driver of a chance to win the title.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        24th October 2017, 17:30

        How could Kenseth’s disqualification happen? Especially when there was so much at stake?

        1. Trying a little to hard and not being used to the new rules for this year. This would not have been a problem in the past

    3. So much rain fell at Suzuka it caused a mudslide which seems to have damaged the boundary of the circuit:

      https://twitter.com/Racing_injapan/status/922841626648616960

    4. The playoff, dropout, chase thing that Nascar uses to determine its ‘champion’ has to be one of the stupidest, most contrived set of gimmicks in the history of this sport.

      The series champion should be the driver that scored the most points over a FULL SEASON.

      1. I’m pretty sure 90% of nascar fans feel the same way. If they wanna do a special cup im for it but a full season should reward the best team all year not the team who gets lucky 1 or 2 times a year beating someone with 7 Winn’s and almost all top 10’s

    5. MotoGP provided another fantastic race this time at Phillip Island. Looks like Marquez is on his way to another championship and heaven help the field if Zarco gets into a top team.

    Comments are closed.