Sprint Cup Series: NASCAR’s Top Rookies Continue Promising 2016 Start – If Atlanta was the coming out party for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie class, then Las Vegas showed their staying power. Both Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott looked like legitimate contenders throughout a wild Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Elliott rose as high as fifth throughout the day’s proceedings, running inside of the top 10 for the majority of the 400-mile event. Unfortunately, the result wouldn’t follow for the Dawsonville driver. Poor luck in the pits stuck Elliott back in the pack late, leaving him stuck with nowhere to go as Matt Kenseth spun late in the race. Elliott plowed into Kenseth’s No. 20, totaling his No. 24 Chevrolet and ending his race early.
While Elliott’s luck turned sour, Blaney brought the Wood Brothers one of their best intermediate races in recent history. After qualifying 14th, he slowly rose throughout the 400-mile event, with the steady performance ultimately culminating in a sixth-place result for the No. 21 Ford. The finish has Blaney sitting inside of the top 15 in Sprint Cup points after three events. If both Blaney and Elliott can continue to maintain this level of execution, the Rookie of the Year battle may continue on with both drivers into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. – Aaron Bearden
IndyCar: Field Gears Up for 2016 Season – After a seven-month wait, the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series is finally upon us.
This weekend, IndyCar will return for their season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. With the series’ return comes a cast of face, both old and new.
A plethora of new faces will enter the series throughout 2016. Former Formula 1 drivers Max Chilton and Alexander Rossi join IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport, respectively. Fan favorite Conor Daly plans to take on the entire season with Dale Coyne Racing, and 2015 Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot joins Graham Rahal at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
With a breadth of new talent and returning faces such as James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin, the 2016 IndyCar Series season promises to be full of great competition, including the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. Fans can catch the first round of the 2016 season on March 13 at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC. – Aaron Bearden
Short Tracks: Tommy Lemmons, Jr. Wins Amid Controversy at Caraway – Tommy Lemmons, Jr. is $5,000 richer after a season-opening win in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Lemmons got the better end of controversial contact with Myatt Snider to claim the 51st season opener at Caraway Speedway. The win came over 16 other NASCAR Late Model Stock Cars in a 150-lap race that allowed for live pitstops at the .455-mile oval.
Racing for the lead on a late restart, Snider was running outside of Lemmons when the two drivers made contact in the first turn, sending Snider around and prompting another yellow. Lemmons would go on to inherit the lead on the following restart and drive off for the victory over second-place Bradley McCaskill. – Aaron Bearden
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