FeaturesThe Week That Was

The Week That Was: Impressive Performances in Pikes Peak, Road America, and More

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Volkswagen Motorsport (1); Chris Owens/IndyCar (2)

This weekend’s racing slate was about as diverse as anything a motorsports superfan could ask for. From the extreme challenge of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, to the ever-popular Verizon IndyCar Series round at Road America, to Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and NHRA Mello Yello Series events in the midwest, many of the finest drivers in action motorsports were on track battling for the win this weekend.

Between the PPIHC, LOORRS, and NHRA events, dozens of different class winners were crowned this weekend, meaning plenty of hardware was handed out. Today, though, we’ll focus on some of the most exciting accomplishments by some of the sport’s biggest names:

96th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: Romain Dumas

Volkswagen Motorsport’s social media posts leading up to yesterday’s PPIHC coyly suggested all the things that fans could do in under nine minutes, as the team prepared to go after Rhys Millen’s EV record. But after Dumas shattered Sebastien Loeb’s qualifying record by 10 seconds on Wednesday, the overall record was clearly in play as well. Sure enough, Dumas’ time of 7:57.148 allowed him to become the first driver to set the overall PPIHC record in an electric vehicle.

Verizon IndyCar Series: Josef Newgarden

The defending IndyCar champion made major strides toward his title defense in Wisconsin, winning the pole on Saturday night and leading all but two of the 55 laps in Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix. Newgarden’s third victory of the season allowed him to close the gap on championship leader Scott Dixon to a manageable 50 points with seven races to go; he won in three of those rounds (Toronto, Mid-Ohio, and Gateway) last season. Could the Team Penske driver be hitting his stride at the right time?

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: Rob MacCachren

The incoming Pro 2 points leader, MacCachren’s decision to focus mostly on a single class has paid some serious dividends so far in 2018. He’s won four of the first five races in the class to kick off the year, including a weekend sweep at Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri on Saturday and Sunday. With RJ Anderson making a strong bid at dual championships in Pro 4 and Pro 2, MacCachren’s dominance in the latter this weekend has enabled him to put on some distance in the point standings.

NHRA: Blake Alexander

Alexander became the 105th different winner in Top Fuel history when he defeated Terry McMillen in Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, OH. Despite qualifying 12th, the first-time winner took down some of the sport’s biggest names in eliminations, facing and defeating Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, and Leah Pritchett in order before making his second career final round appearance. It was only his fourth start of the 2018 season.

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