This weekend’s Napa 200 Nascar Nationwide series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve certainly lived up to my expectations! Justin Allgaier won the race with a last lap ‘bump & run’ pass of local favourite Jacques Villeneuve, who had led 43 laps of what was supposed to be a 72 lap race and ended up third. Villeneuve’s teammate, Sam Hornish, finished second.
In my post on prior to qualifying on Friday, I had predicted a win by Villeneuve, Hornish second, and Tagliani third. It almost happened for Villeneuve, who did an incredible job saving fuel over the last few laps. JV ran an amazing 35 laps on his final tank of fuel! The race, scheduled for 72 laps, ended up running 81 laps due to late cautions. Even the ESPN commentators, who have been fairly harsh on Villeneuve in his last few races, were giving him props for how well he managed his fuel situation, saying “if he wins today, he really deserves it.” Continue reading →
Quite a good NASCAR Nationwide race earlier today at Road America in Wisconsin.
As usual, when NASCAR races on road courses, we see a lot of ‘tradin paint’, especially in the last few laps. Today’s race, ultimately won by Nelson Piquet Jr., was no exception.
On the last lap, with Picquet running away with the victory, this happened:
Here’s my take… it’s too bad for Danica, because she drove a really solid race. But, that was a pure racing incident. All three drivers, Patrick, Papis and Villeneuve are racing for position. Villeneuve clearly had the most speed going down the straight and was bumped by Papis into the grass. Both Patrick and Villeneuve were carrying too much speed into the corner and were experiencing ‘wheel hop’. I wonder if either of them could have made the corner had the contact not happened. In the end, there was contact, and it wrecked Danica’s race, but I chalk it up to being a racing incident… can’t blame Jacques on this one. (Granted, Villeneuve could have been more gracious in his post race interview)
The post-race reaction has been quite negative towards Villeneuve, which I find interesting. How is this incident any different than when Michael McDowell spun Villeneuve earlier in the race? It isn’t… but there was no negative reaction to McDowell, nor should there be. It’s racing people!
Sadly, this incident doesn’t help Villeneuve’s chances of landing a full time NASCAR ride. Too bad, like him or not, Jacques always makes races interesting.