It is the huge 3.4-mile road course at the Circuit of Americas for the NASCAR Cup stars this weekend. It will be worth watching, but note, teams and drivers with road course seasoning will be upfront and likely win. It will not be like Atlanta this past weekend. Where the racing was intense with more than a dozen drivers having a chance to win in the closing laps. Joey Logano won the event after a strong last lap move to pass former teammate Brad Keselowski. Unlike the track of old, Atlanta is a must to watch for any sports fan. Just exciting! Want to give a shout out to Louisville's Ben Rhodes finishing 5th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Race. For the most part Ben and his ThorSport Racing team have been consistent to start the new season.
Locally, weather permitting, the Sportsdrome Speedway is ready for the season ahead. It cranks up this weekend with a strong schedule featuring both Ovals and Figure 8 action. But note, track owner-operator Mike Gibson is holding a doubleheader: Friday AND Saturday! On Friday choose the Grandstand seats, admission is FREE! Tickets Saturday tickets range from $7-17, depending where you sit. This may be the boldest schedule in years for the Sportsdome, celebrating more than 75 years of racing! Be sure to check out: www.sportsdromeonline.com. And for last minute updates and ticket specials, go to the the Sportsdrome Facebook page. The Salem Speedway, about an hour northwest of Louisville opens in mid-April. The Ohio Valley Dragway is set to begin its season on April 7. It is located along Dixie Highway in West Point, Kentucky... about 25 minutes from downtown Louisville.
Also this weekend, the NHRA hits the track again. In the Gatornationals a couple weeks ago, Gaige Herrera scored his first career win in a Pro Stock Motorcycle. Other winners included: Mike Salinas, Matt Hagan, Amalie Motor, and Troy Coughlin Jr. This weekend the stars of the NHRA battle in the Arizona Nationals. After sitting in the FOX Sports broadcast booth the past few weeks, 3-time NASCAR Cup Champion will try again to get his first NHRA win as he navigates a Top Alcohol dragster. He came ever so close by inches to his first victory at Nevada late last year. Stewart is running a full schedule this season. Lucas Oil is a longtime supporter of the NHRA. See the action on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, be sure to check out www.protecttheharvest.com Find out what is being done for our farmers, ranchers, and agriculture workers. Many teams and drivers across all divisions of racing truly love the outdoors and want to preserve it. This is a major Lucas Oil backed program that many appreciate and support.
The Indy Car Series doesn't compete again until April 2nd. At the season opening event in St. Petersburg, Florida the racing was intense and there were plenty of wrecks. In recent years, the Indy Car Series drivers have shown much more assertive racing, battling so close to each other throughout. Marcus Ericsson won the season opening event for Chip Ganassi Racing.
We've told you Lucas Oil has been a longtime sponsor of Kentuckiana Motorsports, and we're thankful. As winter begins to fade, springtime kicks in. Be sure when taking spring and summer trips to put some Lucas Oil in your car! It Works! Our other sponsors include PNC Bank (Sponsor of Scott Dixon's Indy Car Series Car), Sportsdrome Speedway (Celebrating more than 75 years of Racing!), locally owned Bright Pest Control and Bright Retail in Louisville, (Offering Do-It-Yourself Professional Pest Products with a retail store), and Knox Ford in Radcliff, Kentucky) (It also has a sister dealership, Tri-County Ford in Oldham County, KY). KMS friends also include: VoiceTel Kentucky (Offering telephone service for $25.00 a line, and that includes all taxes and fees), Temco Roofing, Jim Ellis/Attorney At Law, ICA Dumpsters, Kentucky Raceway Ministries, Nimlok Kentucky, Dynamic Healthcare, Lyndon Mower Repair, and Kentucky Medicare Plans (Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana with Health and Medicare plans). We also thank our media connections in all series, especially NASCAR and with NASCAR Media for helping us bring the sport to the fans!
NASCAR unloaded on Hendrick Motorsports. It fined Hendrick Motorsports $400,000 ($100,000 per crew chief) for the confiscated hood louvers from its cars taken at Phoenix. And each team was docked 100 points and 10 playoff points, and its top 3 Cup drivers (Larson, Bowman, and Byron) were docked 100 driver points. It excluded Chase Elliott since he has not been racing due to an injury. Co-Team owner Jeff Gordon expressed concern over the situation. Hendrick Motorsports is appealing. Despite that, the team apparently will let stand, the four-race suspensions of its four crew chiefs. There is no doubt, NASCAR is putting teams on notice early for ANY violation, despite the reasons.