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  • Writer's pictureCraig & Scott

Kentuckiana Motorsports Presented by Lucas Oil

The sky is the limit for Alex Palou. The 26 year old Spaniard dominated in the Indy Car Series this year. Sunday at Portland, Palou won the race AND his second Indy Car Series Championship. He's won 5 races this year. Palou could earn a 6th win this weekend as the Indy Cars close out the 2023 racing season in Monterey, California. 6-Time Indy Car Champion Scott Dixon (PNC Bank is main sponsor) finished second in points to Palou. Dixon surged late in the season, but it wasn't enough. Congrats to Alex Palou!

In the NASCAR Cup Series veteran Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick had a rough time at Darlington. Thanks to two stage wins at Darlington, Hamlin is decently comfortable in points. But he lost momentum. Harvick, not so lucky. Denny Hamlin dominated the race. But a late race pitstop brought about a wheel noise (It was never found). Hamlin didn't like it and was forced to return for new tires, costing him the win. Many other drivers had issues at the Track Too Tough to Tame. NASCAR may have to create a new rule, and call it the Harvick Pit Rule. Late at Darlington, Harvick looked to be the driver to beat. A caution came out as Harvick was about 100 feet from entering pit road. He committed, but had not crossed the entrance line to the pits. He was close. There was seemingly no "safe way" for him to turn away back onto the track. Harvick could have driven through pit lane and back out onto the track without any tires or service by his crew. Would he have lost positions, time, momentum? Instead, his crew changed tires and got him back on track. A no-no under caution. Pits were not open. Harvick argued on the radio that he was "fully" committed to pit road and could not turn away? Another car, just in front of him, crossed the pit line and was allowed to be serviced. Harvick makes a strong point. However, rules are rules with NASCAR. It may have cost Harvick the win and a chance to advance in the playoffs. We bet NASCAR will "adjust" the rule later as to when cars are ever so close to the pit line during caution, and where they might line-up if the car returns to the track without service. It won't help Harvick now. Kyle Larson held off a late charge by Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher to get the Darlington win. Larson now advances to the next round. The drivers "outside" the top 12 in the playoff field looking to do better this weekend at Kansas: Wallace (He had a strong race at Darlington finishing 7th), Harvick, Stenhouse, and McDowell. Two drivers, Bell and Logano are inches above the playoff cut line. Whatever lies ahead, mistakes like what happened at Darlington will eliminate some playoff drivers. Just can't make them.

By the way, we got a some disagreement feedback about our picks to win the 2023 Cup title. Our picks prior to Darlington! Craig: Logano, Hamlin, Busch, and a longshot but a past champion- Brad Keselowski. Scott: Truex Jr., Byron, Logano, and a sentimental choice-Kevin Harvick. Some questioned us! Asking- what about Larson or Reddick? We'll know more after Kansas and Bristol! Patience!

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series closes out the first round of the playoffs after Kansas this weekend. 10 drivers are in the playoff field. Two will be cut. 8 will advance. Louisville's Ben Rhodes is 9th in points after finishing 22nd at Milwaukee. He needs a win, a top five finish, and plenty of points to advance and remain in the playoffs. He finished 16th at the spring Kansas race. The NASCAR Xfinity Series. playoffs won't begin for another week. Cup regular Denny Hamlin won The Xfinity race at Darlington. We still believe it likely is going to be John Hunter Nemechek or Austin Hill who will claim the series title. The outsider would be Justin Allgaier.

Locally, up next at the Sportsdrome Speedway on September 17th is the 77th Annual Clark Nickles Excavating Season Ending Championships. It has been a great year of racing. Do check out the Facebook page for last minute ticket specials, changes, and weather updates. The short flat track is just off I-65 in Jeffersonville, IN (About 5 minutes from downtown Louisville). That same weekend, the Salem Speedway (An hour from Louisville in Southern Indiana) has a full-slate of action including GAS action, Legends, and Scrappers. Other area tracks are also winding down the 2023 racing season the next couple are the Ponderosa Speedway in central Kentucky at Junction City near Danville (About an hour and fifteen minutes southeast of Louisville), Beech Bend in Bowling Green (KY), and just outside of Louisville in West Point Kentucky is the Ohio Valley Dragway, a small drag strip on Dixie Highway.

The NHRA had a packed field and a good turnout Labor Day weekend at the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Up next September 15-18 is the PA NHRA Nationals outside of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Kentuckiana Motorsports has provided fans racing coverage for more than two decades. It started with a half hour program and specials on cable, then a major television channel, and as media has transformed, online and social media. Lucas Oil has been a huge part of it. They support local and grass roots. Always have. We remind you to make sure your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, other vehicles, and lawn equipment are all running efficiently. Think Lucas Oil Products. They do so much for racing communities across America. Other sponsors of KMS 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 low as $25.00 a line per month), 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, NASCAR and with NASCAR Media, Indy Car, Monster Jam, ARCA, and NHRA for helping us bring the sport to the fans!

Be sure to check out the FREE Lucas Oil/KMS Giveaway! It is a great Kentucky Speedway Picture Book. Very hard to find. Great memories of the first action at the NASCAR Kentucky track! Time to enter is running out!

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