FENWICK: Spinning Wheels
CONCORD, N.C. — After a week away to refresh our minds and our proverbial pen, we’re back with some observations regarding some recent happenings in motorsports.
– Is anyone really surprised Donny Schatz has gone on his annual hot streak with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series? Schatz has won five of the last six series events with no signs of slowing down as the series heads to the West Coast this weekend.
– The sudden announcement that Sammy Swindell will be stepping away from full-time racing shouldn’t be all that shocking. The decision to drop off the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series tour was a huge clue. That being said, expect Swindell to be among those to beat during the Chili Bowl in January. Swindell could probably run that race until he is 70 and still be a serious threat to win. He’s just that good.
– No one seems to want to take command of the ARCA Racing Series championship battle. Despite having five victories this season, Grant Enfinger finds himself chasing Mason Mitchell for the championship. Mechanical gremlins struck both men last weekend at Madison Int’l Speedway, preventing either from making any gains in the standings. If they’re not careful 10-time champion Frank Kimmel could sneak back into the championship picture.
– Joey Logano’s third victory of the year makes him the fifth driver this season to collect three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. He joins Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski and Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon at the top of the heap. Odds are good one of them will walk away with the championship.
– Is it just us, or is Kyle Busch not very good at losing? After getting beat on a late-race restart in Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Busch’s post-race comments and facial expressions said it all. Perhaps he needs to suck it up and admit he got beat and not blame NASCAR for not managing restarts better.
– Congratulations to Dave Darland, who moved to the top of the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series all-time winner’s list with his 53rd victory in Sunday’s event at Kokomo Speedway. Perhaps he could top off that achievement by winning the series championship, which he currently leads by five points over Brady Bacon.
– We feel bad for Alexander Rossi, who in a matter of days went from planning to make his Formula One debut to finding himself back on the sidelines. It’s difficult to say what happened behind the scenes at Marussia to lead to the complicated situation, but we have to think Rossi’s time will come sooner rather than later.
– The inaugural FIA Formula E World Championship is continuing to look like one of the most interesting projects in recent memory. Not only does the concept have industry leaders looking on with great interest, but several big name drivers have signed on to race in the series. Nelson Piquet Jr. is the most recent of those to set his sights on Formula E, joining Mike Conway, Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld, Lucas di Gassi, Katherine Legge and several more. Watch this series closely, it has a lot of potential. The series debuts on Sept. 13 in Beijing, China.