BROWNSBURG, Indiana — One off weekend down, one more to go before I head to Las Vegas on October 29. I can’t say my weekend was really as productive as I wanted it to be, but I did have a much restful one.
Even though NHRA was off, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Sprint Cup Series, along with the American Le Mans Series had plenty of racing action from Virginia to California.
On Saturday at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., Penske Racing Sprint Cup regular Sam Hornish Jr. made his Craftsman Truck Series debut in the Bobby Hamilton Racing-owned No. 4, with backing from Penske Truck Rental. In his first start, Hornish scored a ninth-place finish, a NASCAR career best finish, in the Kroger 200.
Ringers’ supporter Brendan Gaughan also competed in the Kroger 200 and finished 22nd.
Sunday brought unfortunate luck for all drivers in the Penske Racing stable. Each driver suffered from some sort of tire issue during the TUMS QuikPak 500.
Ryan Newman battled his ill-handling No. 12 Alltel Dodge throughout much of the race, before blowing a right-front tire on lap 332. Newman finished 23rd. Despite having a great run on Saturday, Hornish also blew a right-front tire on lap 161, forcing him to take his No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge into the garage for repairs. Hornish was able to return to the track and finished 34th, the highest-finishing rookie for the second race in a row.
Not only did Kurt Busch and his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge endure tire issues like his teammates, he also had to deal with brake issues during the race. Busch finished 34 laps down in the 36th position.
The Craftsman Truck and Sprint Cup Series head to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for their respective races, while the Nationwide Series head to Memphis Motorsports Park for the Kroger 250.
In American Le Mans Series action, two Ringers’ supporting teams capped off their seasons with wins in their respective classes at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca on Saturday. The No. 26 XM Satellite Andretti Green Racing Acura picked up the win in the LMP2 class and scored an overall third-place finish in the Monterey Sports Car Championship.
Another Ringers’ team finished right behind the AGR Acura in second place and that was the de Ferran Motorsports No. 66 entry driven by Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud, collecting the team’s third podium finish in 2008.
The No. 71 Tafel Racing entry driven by Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Muller scored their fourth win of the 2008 season in the ALMS GT2 class.
Congratulations to all our teams on a successful 2008 season! The American Le Mans Series will kick off the 2009 season with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 22.
That’s the minute for this week! I’ve recently become a house painter extraordinaire for a couple of my race teams, so that is how I’ve been filling my week nights at home. Have a great week everyone!
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