FeaturesThe Week That Was

The Week That Was: Impressive Performances from RedBud, Dallas, and More

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via MXGP (1); John Force Racing (2); Subaru Rally Team USA (3)

From Motocross of Nations returning to American soil for the first time in eight years at RedBud, to key championship rounds across the globe for the NHRA, Formula 1, and multiple rally championships, it was a good weekend to tune into action motorsports. The world’s finest racers, on both two wheels and four, stood out with impressive performances in all types of conditions and on all racing surfaces.

There’s a ton to digest from all the action, but if you’re looking for a few performances to key in on, here are the racers you’ll want to look back upon:

Motocross of Nations: Glenn Coldenhoff/Jeffrey Herlings

MXoN may be a team event, but France’s fifth consecutive victory wasn’t fully indicative of the best team out there. That was the Dutch squad, which won all three motos: MXGP rider Herlings won the first, followed by two victories from Open class rider Coldenhoff. Herlings’ victory came despite falling off his bike in the muddy conditions on the first lap and falling back to fifth. Unfortunately, an eye issue and second race DNS for Calvin Vlaanderen meant the team couldn’t drop enough points to earn the win.

NHRA: Robert Hight

Injured two weeks ago in St. Louis, Hight underwent surgery on his left shoulder and returned to his John Force Racing Chevrolet at Texas Motorplex. Although he only qualified sixth on the Funny Car ladder, Hight defeated Jim Campbell, Tim Wilkerson, and Bob Tasca III before taking down his closest Countdown to the Championship rival, JR Todd, in the final round. The win was the 45th of Hight’s career, and allowed him to extend his points lead with just three races remaining in 2018.

WRC: Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia

In a weekend where Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja were poised to take the WRC points lead before ending up with a DNF, Ogier and Ingrassia proved their pursuit of a fifth straight title wasn’t dead yet. They won M-Sport’s home event at Wales Rally GB, pulling to within seven points of championship leaders Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul. Only two events remain on the schedule, in Spain and Australia; Ogier and Ingrassia have won them each three times.

Rally America: Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak

Four times out of seven this Rally America season, Fetela and Jozwiak have found themselves on the top step of the podium. The latest came at Saturday’s Show-Me Rally, which saw them hold off points leaders Dave and Mike Brown by 37.2 seconds despite an afternoon monsoon. With only two rounds remaining in the championship, the Fetela Rally Team is now within single digits of the overall lead, and 58 points left on the line at Lake Superior Performance Rally and Rally Wyoming.

ARA: Patrik Sandell/Per Almkvist

David Higgins and Craig Drew won the second American Rally Association championship, but it was their Subaru Rally Team USA teammates who ended the season on top at the revived Tour de Forest. Sandell and Almkvist won eight of the rally’s 14 stages, including the final three after Higgins and Drew went off course on the second pass at Taylor Towne. The Swedish duo were three for three this season after Sandell, the 2006 Junior World Rally Champion, returned to rally alongside his rallycross program.

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton

The 2018 World Drivers’ Championship might as well be awarded by now with Hamilton’s latest victory at the Japanese Grand Prix. The Suzuka victory came as his top rival, Sebastian Vettel, struggled all weekend, qualifying eighth and finishing sixth. Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas completed a podium sweep, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third. Hamilton’s points lead is now up to 67 with four races left, while Mercedes leads Ferrari by 78 in the World Constructors’ Championship.

ARCA: Sheldon Creed

Christian Eckes won the battle at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, but Creed won the war. After finishing second, his 425-point lead over MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith is insurmountable with just a single race left on the ARCA schedule. Creed also locked up the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge championship by 35 points, again over Smith. The two-time Stadium Super Trucks champion has three wins, 15 top fives, and 17 top 10s in 19 starts so far in 2018.

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