It’s the final round of the regular NASCAR season at Richmond this weekend and the last chance for several big name drivers to book their place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. theCheckeredFlag.co.uk looks at the contenders ahead of the big decider.
India’s Karun Chandhok is a genuine fan of motorsport on all levels. Having successfully navigated the minefield of junior single-seater championships and made it to Formula One, Chandhok is well placed to pass judgement on the difficulties facing today’s crop of young drivers looking to make their next career steps.
Felix Rosenqvist was elated with three podiums and a win at Silverstone to propel him back into the title hunt, after a disastrous opening round at Monza. The Swedish Mucke Motorsport driver discusses his season so far in an exclusive feature for The Checkered Flag.
Furniture Row Racing has announced that Kurt Busch will replace Regan Smith in the team’s #78 Chevrolet from Charlotte onwards. Busch, who was offered a lifeline by James Finch and Phoenix Racing after his public sacking by Roger Penske last year, will do the full 2013 season with the Colorado-based outfit, which has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing.
In the end, it did not matter so much that Clint Bowyer was able to save enough fuel to win at Richmond, as second place proved just enough for Jeff Gordon to beat Kyle Busch to the final Wildcard spot in the Chase by three points.
Denny Hamlin confirmed his place in the Chase with his second successive victory in Atlanta, but was fortunate not to be wrecked by Jeff Gordon. The four-time champion would have been well within his rights to dump Hamlin on the final lap, needing a win to leapfrog Kyle Busch into the second Wildcard spot with one race of the regular season remaining
Formula 3 has, historically, been a vital step on the way up to F1, but with the introduction of GP3 to the feeder series ladder that position has been under threat. Now with a revitalised structure for its European series F3 is fighting to retake its traditional place.
Greg Biffle held off Brad Keselowski to score his second victory of 2012 at Michigan International Speedway, although he had Jimmie Johnson’s engine to thank for letting go just five laps from home.
This time last year, Marcos Ambrose was still waiting for his first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup when the NACAR circus ventured to Watkins Glen in upper New York. Two battles with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch later and Ambrose finds himself a two-time winner. How things can change.
It takes commitment to reach Formula 1, with endless hours of training, learning languages, chasing sponsors and travelling around the world fundamental to budding young drivers aspiring to reach the top. For American F1 hopefuls, add to that list living on another continent on the other side of the world, far away from home.