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Preview: Weekend of April 12-13-14, 2019

Preview: Weekend of April 12-13-14, 2019

This weekend we are watching the Chinese Grand Prix, a pair of NASCAR races from Richmond, and a double-header (IMSA + IndyCar) from Long Beach. In addition there are races in some other series including the MotoGP at COTA and ARCA at Salem, IN. With Easter falling next weekend, there are no major races that weekend and this has resulted in a clustering of race events this weekend the week before Easter.

The Richmond Raceway is a 3/4-mile paved oval at the fairgrounds just outside Richmond, VA. In earlier days it was half-mile dirt track built in 1946, used for both horse races as well as car races. The first NASCAR Grand National (now Cup) race was held here in 1953, the track was first paved in 1968. During 1988 the track was reconfigured into its current 3/4 mile layout. No IndyCar race has been held here since 2009 when Scott Dixon was the race winner.

Races have been held on the streets of Long Beach, CA, since 1975. The first year saw a demonstration race for Formula 5000 cars. Formula One came to Long Beach in 1976 and it ran there for eight years, the final F1 race was there in 1983. Since then this venue has been a popular round in Indy car racing, seeing 24 CART races run there with the Hulman-based IndyCar series picking up the chain there and running each of the 11 years since. Sports car championship races – as Rolex Grand-Am, ALMS, and IMSA – have been running there since 2006.

The F1 Chinese Grand Prix has been held each year on the Tilke-designed Shanghai International Circuit since it was completed in 2004.

Friday, April 12
1. NASCAR Xfinity ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond, VA

• 0.75 mile; 250 laps = 187.5 mi; Stages: 75/75/100 laps
• TSN2 at 7:00P
• Last year, Christopher Bell won here with Ross Chastain second (driving a Ganassi-entered No.42 car) and Daniel Hemric third. Chastain will be driving the less competitive No. 4 car entered by JD Motorsports this year while Hemric has moved up to Cup this season, driving for Richard Childress.
• Joe Gibbs driver Christopher Bell won last week’s Xfinity race at Bristol. This was his second win of the year, the first coming at Atlanta back in February. He now has the most wins by an Xfinity championship eligible driver so far this year. This event is the second round of the Dash-4-Cash series making Cup drivers like Kyle Busch ineligible to enter. The four Dash-4-Cash-eligible drivers for this race are Bell, Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe and Cole Custer. The driver from this foursome who finishes best at Richmond will receive a $100K bonus.
• Bristol last week was the seventh race in the Xfinity season. After those seven races, Tyler Reddick leads the points standings with 2016 points while Bell is second with 2024 points and Custer is third with 2014 points. Bell has two wins so far while Custer has one and Reddick none. Note that Cup drivers (like Kyle Busch) are not allowed to accumulate championship points in this series.
• Click HERE for the Entry List

Saturday, April 13
2. IMSA WeatherTech Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, Long Beach, CA

• 1.968 mi (3.167 km); timed race: 100 minutes
• TV: Discovery-Velocity (DVELO) at 5:00P
• Last year’s race was won by Scott Sharp/Ryan Dalziel in the Tequila Paton Nissan DPi. Filipe Albuquerque/Joao Barbosa were second in the Action Express Cadillac DPi while Juan Pablo Montoya/Dane Cameron were third in the Penske Acura DPi. The only other class competing in this race at Long Beach was GT-Le Mans; the Corvette of Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia was the class winner.
• Ony two races have been run so far – the Daytona 24 and the 12-Hours of Sebring on March 16. The No. 31 Whelen Cadillac DPi, driven by Felipe Nasr/Eric Curran/Pipo Derani won at Sebring with the No. 10 Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi of Jordan Taylor/Matthieu Vaxiviere/Renger Van Der Zandewere second and the Action Express Cadillac DPi driven by Brendon Hartley/Filipe Albuquerque/Joao Barbosa was third. The GTLM class winner, which finished tenth overall, was the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Nick Tandy/Frederic Makowiecki/Patrick Pilet.
• After the first two rounds of the season five drivers – Jordan Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Pipo Derani, Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr – are tied for the points lead. While in GTLM, Philip Eng, who drives the No. 24 RLL BMW M8, stands alone at the top of the points standings having won at Daytona.
• Click HERE for the Entry List

3. NASCAR MENCS Toyota Owners 400, Richmond, VA

• 0.75 mi; 400 laps = 300 mi; Stages: 100/100/200 laps
• FOX/TSN1 at 7:30P
• Last year’s race was won by Kyle Busch with Chase Elliott second and Denny Hamlin third.
• Last week NASCAR was at Bristol. Kyle Busch won the race with his older brother in second place right behind him. Joey Logano was third while his Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney was fourth.
• After the first eight races of the season have been run, Kyle Busch is leading in the championship points standings with 2034 points – ahead of Denny Hamlin with 2021 and Joey Logano with 2016. Busch has won three of the eight races, Hamlin two and Logano one.
• Click HERE for the Entry List

Sunday, April 14
4. FIA Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China

• 5.451 km (3.387 mi)/56 laps = 305.066 km (189.6 mi)
• TV: TSN1/4/5 at 2:05P
• Daniel Ricciardo, driving for Red Bull was the winner here last year. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) was second and Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) was third. Lewis Hamilton finished in fourth place, Max Verstappen was fifth while Sebastian Vettel was eighth. All nineteen finishers were on the lead lap.
• The most recent Grand Prix this year was held at Bahrain two weeks ago. Lewis Hamilton was the surprise winner after the new Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc dropped out of the lead with an engine problem. Bottas finished in second place behind his teammate while Leclerc salvaged a third-place finish.
• After the first two rounds Bottas is leading the points standings with 44 points, a single point ahead of Hamilton while Verstappen is in third place with 27 points, well back.
• Click HERE for the Entry List

5. FIM MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, COTA, Austin, TX

• 5.5 km/3.43 miles; 21 laps = 115.5 km/72 mi
• TV on beIN at 2:20P

6. NTT IndyCar Series, Streets of Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

• 1.968 mi (3.167 km); 80 laps = 157.4 mi
• TV: Sportsnet World at 4:00P (also: highlights will be available on YouTube a few days after the event)
• Last year’s race was won by Alexander Rossi with Will Power second and Ed Jones (Ganassi) third.
• The most recent event was the race at Barber Motorsports Park last week, the third race of the 2019 season. It was won by RLL driver Takuma Sato with Scott Dixon second and Sebastien Bourdais third.
• After the first three races of the 2019 season, Josef Newgarden is leading in the points standings with 125 points. Dixon is second with 98 points and Sato third with 91. The Oakville driver James Hinchcliffe is seventh in points with 71 points.
• Click HERE for the Entry List

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