Speedway Cup Season 11
Races Five through Eight
Week 5: March 13th, Indy Banked Race Results
Indianapolis Banked has become a mainstay in Speedway Cup since Season 8. Each race has produced three different winners in three thrilling races trailing back to the summer of 2013. Scott Jackson and Cristian Torres are looking to repeat their success at this race track and rack up their first wins of the season. Surprise pole-sitter and record setter Tony Long leads the field to the flag with a 45.789 second power-lap. The QSM tag-team of Ryan Heuser and Craig Lee would take the lead away on the high line before starting the second lap. Scott Jackson and Ken Pettit would tag each other in turn 1 bringing out the first caution of the race. Ken, Craig, Ryan and Tim McDonnell would exchange the lead multiple times riding behind Scott, who went a lap down after an internet issue. After the only set of green flag pit stops, Ken, Tim and Tony Pizzaro would come out in a conga-line seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Debris on the race track would trigger a late-race caution with less than 10 laps to go, giving the rest of the field a final chance for victory. Tim would look on the outside of Ken for the lead before tragedy struck. Problems would occur as Ken Pettit hits the apron, tagging teammate Tony Pizzaro and a rusty Ryan Heuser into the outside wall. Tim McDonnell would squeak by for his first Speedway Cup victory at Indianapolis Banked. He would also become the fourth Championship points leader in the seasons first five races.
Week 6: March 20th, Monza Race Results
As the standings start to spread out, we head towards our only international race of the season. Tim McDonnell and Tony Pizzaro are at a near stalemate for first place. Unfortunately, Tony will miss the race at his country of origin due to lingering foot fungus issues. Dave Miller would miss his second Speedway Cup Monza race in-a-row after losing his Italy plane ticket, rapidly minimizing his Championship hopes. This is good news for Scott Jackson, as he and Dave are currently tied for the final chase spot in the standings. The race would begin with Scott Jackson breaking the Monza Oval qualifying record with a 50.083 second lap time. Scott, Tim McDonnell, Ryan Heuser and Craig Lee would battle back and forth throughout the race for the lead. Several cautions led to intense pit strategy towards the end of the energetic event. The final green flag lap came down to Tim, Craig, Ryan and Ken Pettit fighting for the win. Ken and Ryan would grievously tag coming off of the final corner, handing the victory to Tim before the 'Hardracer' had his chance to make a move. Tim would become the second multiple and first repeat winner of the young season, all while taking a substantial 12-point lead in the standings.
Week 7: March 27, North Carolina Race Results
North Carolina starts out with second-in-points driver Craig Lee on the pole. He leads 17 of the first 18 laps before bottoming-out between turns 3 and 4, dishing the lead out to Jimmie Stevens. Jimmie leads his first laps of the season after a long hiatus following his Season 9 Speedway Cup Championship. Tim McDonnell and Dalton Lucas tag each other in turn 1, sending the points leader hard into the wall. Luckily, he would rebound to a lead-lap fourth place finish despite the damage. Tony Pizzaro would take the lead away after the caution flag and pull away from the field for the next 85 laps, handing himself his second victory of the season and a well-needed rebound in the points.
Week 8: April 3rd, Zen Joltis Race Results
Scott Jackson and Dave Miller are tied for the final spot in the chase heading towards the final event of the regular season. Zen Joltis 2012 is the destination, where both drivers have had success in the past. Scott does not want to be the second Speedway Cup Champion in-a-row to miss the chase the next season. Unfortunately, his recent lingering internet issues have lowered his confidence in finishing on the lead lap. Although Dave may seemingly have the advantage, Zen Joltis is always known for surprises. Points leader Tim McDonnell struggled, having to endure a tornado warning early on while finishing 12 laps down. Cristian Torres led the field to the green flag while Dave and Scott qualify 8th and 9th. Scott and Ryan Heuser would make contact on lap 17, damaging the back end of Ryan's machine without hindering the #38. After the restart, Tony Long attempted to take his second lead of the day when his engine blew in front of Cristian Torres, sending Tony in a violent barrel-roll against the turn 3 wall.11 drivers swapped the lead 22 different times in this race, but the most important one was on the final lap. Despite falling behind for the latter part of the race, Dave Miller remained in contention due to Cristian Torres's wild flip that brought out the caution. He was in 7th place on the final lap with Scott Jackson in second. Ben Geer and Ken Pettit made contact in turn 2 sending them both hard into the outside wall. Seconds afterward, Leaders Tony Pizzaro and Craig Lee tag while battling for the win, flying Tony high into the air and out of contention. Dave flew past Craig after the incident and ended up right behind Scott coming into turn 4. Scott would pull a block on the outside lane while Dave ducked to the inside, narrowly staying above the double-yellow line. Coming to the checkered flag, Dave took the lead for one second and ended up making the chase by a foot. He knocked out friend and former Champion Scott Jackson for a chance at the Championship by 1 point. What a race!
Here are the Points Standings after the first eight Season 11 events:
Tim McDonnell - 5005
Tony Pizzaro - 5004
Craig Lee - 5003
Dave Miller - 5002
Ken Pettit - 5000