FeaturesThe Week That Was

The Week That Was: Impressive Performances in Long Beach, Minneapolis, and More

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images by Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (1); IndyCar/Joe Skibinski (2); Stadium Super Trucks (3)

It’s been an action-packed weekend of racing, with the Verizon IndyCar Series headlining the legendary Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, Monster Energy Supercross holding another Triple Crown weekend at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the start to the Lucas Oil Off Road season at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, and a surprising outcome in the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix thanks to a safety car period and some cunning strategy.

Today, we take a look at six drivers who topped the podium in their various events, and their four completely different ways of getting there. Whose win this weekend impressed you the most?

Verizon IndyCar Series: Alexander Rossi

Absolutely dominant all weekend, Rossi won Saturday’s pole and paced Sunday morning warmup before leading nearly the entire Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for his third career Verizon IndyCar Series victory. The Californian, who brought dozens of family and friends to 2018’s first IndyCar round in his home state, continued his streak of three straight podiums to kick off the season and took the championship lead, now 22 points ahead of defending IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden.

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: Carl Renezeder

Proving that he may have stepped away just a little bit too early, Renezeder stepped in for the injured Bryce Menzies and grabbed yet another Pro 4 victory to add to his illustrious resume. When defending class champion Kyle Leduc found himself on two wheels with three laps to go, a lurking Renezeder seized the opportunity to steal the lead and held the point for the rest of the way. Not bad for “retired,” huh?

Monster Energy Supercross: Eli Tomac

Tomac won the Minneapolis Triple Crown on Saturday night by posting the best overall finishing results among the three main events contested. While two riders—Justin Brayton was the other—finished in the top five in all three 450SX main events, Tomac won the initial race over points leader Jason Anderson and took an additional podium in the final race of the night. Despite missing the Houston round, he remains third in the championship with three races remaining.

Stadium Super Trucks: Gavin Harlien and Matt Brabham

While a late red flag and subsequent early checkered kept him from cracking the podium in Saturday’s final, incoming SST points leader Brabham managed to win in Long Beach for the second year in a row by taking Sunday’s checkered flag. But it was longtime SST racer Harlien who had the best overall performance of the weekend; he was the only driver that took home trophies on both days, as he won Saturday’s abbreviated final and charged from 13th on the grid to third on Sunday.

Formula 1: Daniel Ricciardo

The Formula 1 driver best known for his permanent grin gave Red Bull Racing and its fans plenty of reason to smile in Shanghai, scoring his sixth career win. After pitting under the safety car for fresh tires, Ricciardo blasted past Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and leader Valtteri Bottas in a masterful charge to the front. Even more impressive was the adversity the Australian had already faced over the weekend: his engine failed in practice, forcing a full rebuild before qualifying.

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