Racing Roundup: Penske has a surprise in store for Detroit


The news that Penske Corp. looking to move its highly successful IndyCar Grand Prix race from Belle Isle to downtown Detroit wasn’t surprising, but it did contain a surprise.

Here is the surprise. And that’s a big one.

The Grand Prix course, as presented, would allow most spectators to watch the race for free. You would only have to pay entry if you wanted a grandstand seat along the pit route or if you are a sponsor and want to rent a suite.

The city thinks it’s a swell because why pay entry to the race if you can watch the action for free and use the money saved to stay in downtown Detroit hotels and eat and drink in the bars? ?

But while this can be a great marketing stunt on behalf of the race and the city, I wonder what the people who promote races on other streets of the city – like Toronto, for example – are going to do. think of that? I already hear people say how come they have to pay to watch the IndyCar race in Toronto when a few weeks ago it didn’t cost them a dime to watch the same cars race in Detroit?

It’s one thing to be a financial Goliath like Penske Corp., which owns the show and can afford stunts like this, and the two guys promoting St. Pete, Toronto, and Portland and not. It would be fun to be a fly on the wall at the next IndyCar Promoters Meeting and listen when Mr. Penske is asked for an explanation.

In the meantime, here’s what’s not surprising.

Following the race riot of 1967, the majority of the white population left the city for the suburbs. Downtown Detroit has ceased to be a tourist destination. Since then, he recovers his way. Nicknamed the Motor City, auto racing has always been well received, starting with Indy dirt cars at the Michigan State Fairgrounds and continuing with Formula 1 street racing and then Indy cars.

But when Roger Penske wanted to promote his first Indy car race, downtown Detroit was still a bit risky. Enter Bell Ilse, who had also seen better days but had potential.

Here is the irony.

At first, the idea of ​​an IndyCar race on an island in the middle of the Detroit River didn’t bother anyone. Belle Isle, at the time, was not a place to organize a family picnic. But Penske, who has rebuilt Detroit along with two other entrepreneurial millionaires, has decided this is one of the places he would like to have a makeover. And, of course, he would be promoting a race there. Since that first race in 1989, it is estimated that Penske’s has invested some $ 18 million to make Belle Isle the attractive place it has become.

In the meantime, the sons and daughters of the people who left Detroit in the 1960s are back. And they cycle. Detroit is a great cycling community – at least the downtown part – and before you knew it this crowd started complaining about a car race in Belle Isle which had become a place they loved to cycle. the weekend.

So a place where no one really likes to cycle was made livable by a guy promoting a car race and now the cyclists wanted him. They’ve been warming up for a showdown for several years now, so it was only a matter of time before Penske either called off the Detroit Grand Prix or moved it.

His proposal to move the race downtown is a direct result of the above. If Detroit City Council says yes to the proposal, the race is downtown. Otherwise, there are two years left on the current contract and the last race on Belle Ilse would be in 2023.

I suggest that the race take place on the streets of the city. When it comes to anything, but Detroit in particular, it is not wise to bet against Roger Penske


Simon pagenaud, who lost his race with Penske Racing at the end of the season, joined another rejected ex-Penske, Helio Castronèves, To Meyer Shank Racing for the 2022 season. Both are Indianapolis 500 champions – Castroneves has won four times (although Paul Tracy looks like it was three) – and Pagenaud, who is also a marque sports car racer, won the IndyCar Championship in 2016. Norman Pagenaud is said to have a contract as well. . . . . .

F1 Refugee Romain Grosjean left Dale Coyne Racing (a mistake, some say) to join Andretti Autosport, where he and Alexandre rossi will be co-n ° 2 in the line-up behind Colton Herta. Devlin DeFrancesco of Toronto and Fort Lauderdale will be the fourth driver, occupying the seat occupied by our James hinchcliffe. Hinch was in Vancouver last week to officially announce the Formula Electric race and festival taking place there next Canada Day weekend. Andretti has a Formula E team. Is it possible that James and Andretti’s protege Kyle kirkwood, who dominates the Indy Lights championship this season, could share an Andretti electric car next year? . . . . .

Sebastien bourdais, who is paid to race for AJ Foyt Racing rather than paying, will be driving IMSA sports cars next season with a few IndyCar race started. . . . . .


Here is stupid for you. Apparently (I haven’t seen this, just read about it) FOX Sports left the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series race conclusion on Saturday without interviewing the winner. Social networks have gone crazy. Seriously.

Now the reason TV didn’t interview the winner is that he was in an ambulance and taken to the infirmary.

Let’s go back.

As for the ladies, Tate Fogleman – who had never won a big league truck race before – collided with John Hunter Nemechek, who is famous in these areas for taking Cole Custer off the track at the Canadian. Tire Motorport Park to win the Chevy Silverado 250 in 2016.

After the collision with Nemechek, Fogleman hit the wall and had to be taken to the infield care center for an exam. That’s when FOX, who would normally have done the interview, went to a soccer game.

Later, Fogleman said he was very happy to have won the race. Nemechek, meanwhile, was exchanging insults with Matt Crafton, with whom he had had an argument. “He’s an old man,” Nemechek said. Said Crafton, after hitting Nemecheck in the buttocks, hard, said: “What’s going on around the spectators.” I know Crafton. Nemechek would be wise to hold his head up high.

Tyler Hill was second, Todd Gilliland third and Nemechek fourth.

Jason White of Sun Peaks, BC didn’t finish after his truck died on lap 10

In the Xfinity series race that followed the truck race, Brandon Brown won his first race that was requested – wait for it – darkness. NASCAR called the 107th lap race of the planned 113 because it was too dark for the drivers to see properly. Brown followed a race car across the line to catch the ladies. Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier make up the rest of the podium.

Brown was so excited he said to the crowd, “You can ask my neighbors. . . I did a lot of burnout to train for this time.

Quebec runner Alex Labbe finished 21st.

The cutting stroke was canceled due to showers. NASCAR tried to participate in the race, but the intermittent precipitation meant that if they got a green they would run out of sun before the controllers. One per weekend could be explained; two could not. The race will go to the station Monday at 1 p.m. on TSN.


The end of the season is approaching and there are only a few open competitions. One of the most famous is the Fall Colors Classic which will be held October 8-10 at Peterborough Speedway, followed by the Northeast Fall Nationals (October 15-16) at Brockville Speedway. Both are clan gatherings – Peterborough for sidewalk runners and Brockville for track stars.

Meanwhile, at Humberstone Speedway (Port Colborne) on Friday, Knights of Thunder 360 sprint cars took to the action. Jordan Poirer was the winner, with section Ryan Turner and Cory Turner third.

In the Action Sprint Tour Jacob Dykstra was the winner, Lucas Smith was second and Allan Downey was third. The Sportsman feature was won by Brad Rouse while Pete Reid won the Thunder Stock Main.

In the Flamboro Speedway “Frostoverfest”, Will Quarrie (Junior Late Model), Austin Arben (mini stocks), Hudson Nagy (Legends), James Stanley (Pro sprints), Dalen Martin (OSCAAR Hot Rods) and Andy Kanrath (OSCAAR modified) were the winners.

Thanks to Derek Smith and Ashley McCubbin for the results.

ETC. . .

Aircraft Motorsports based in British Columbia organization has announced its 2022 schedule which will start June 4 and end September 17 on the beautiful Zone 27 road course in British Columbia. Two races will be held at the renovated Penticton Speedway and a trip to the Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon will mark the first meeting held outside of British Columbia. victories depend on the skills of the driver. 2, there are two divisions – RS1 Cup for elite drivers and Challenge for beginners and veterans. 3, the RS1 Cup champion will win a fully funded race in the 2023 NASCAR Truck Race at Martinsville Speedway. Good product.

The Sports Network, TSN, has confirmed additional episodes and air dates for the 2021 Canadian National Motorcycle Road Racing Championship series, CSBK. The 2021 Canadian Superbike Championships on TSN are primarily supported by Yuasa Battery, Mopar and Joe Rocket. Episode Seven premieres today and focuses on the latest Pro Superbike race in the 2021 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park unique three-headed race format, a first in the 41-year history of the CSBK Championship. “Old Mosport” hosted the very first Superbike race in Canadian history in September 1978. Without any spoilers, the action in episode seven features the closest top six in Superbike championship history.

REMARK: I will be traveling next weekend to test a car on the road and will be unable to deliver a Racing Roundup. It would have been a short week anyway. Happy Thanksgiving.

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