As many of the world’s top motorsport series approach the halfway points of their respective seasons, one of the busiest stretches of racing all year begins to wind down. Lucas Oil Pro Motocross took its first off weekend of the season this weekend, while the Verizon IndyCar Series gets a long-awaited break next week; meanwhile, Stadium Super Trucks and the FIA World Rally Championship will take extended summer breaks after providing a pair of thrilling shows this weekend.
But between those series in action, as well as the NHRA’s return to Virginia Motorsports Park for the first time since 2009, there was plenty of great racing to go around this weekend. These five drivers were among the most impressive on Saturday and Sunday:
Verizon IndyCar Series: Scott Dixon
After winning the first leg of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit to kick off June, Dixon made it two wins in three races by taking the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver not only took the championship lead for the first time this season heading into an off weekend, he also broke a tie with Michael Andretti for third on the all-time American open wheel wins list by scoring the 43rd win of his illustrious career. He’s won at least one race in 16 of the past 18 seasons.
NHRA Mello Yello Series: Steve Torrence
The incoming NHRA Top Fuel points leader, Torrence proved himself undeterred by Clay Millican’s back-to-back victories and scored his fourth win in 10 tries so far this season in the series’ return to Virginia Motorsports Park. Making his 200th career start from sixth on the Top Fuel ladder, Torrence took down Scott Palmer, Terry McMillen, Antron Brown, and Doug Kalitta for his 20th career victory. He extended his points lead over Millican, who bowed out in the first round, from 25 points to 108 with the win.
Stadium Super Trucks: Matthew Brabham
Just hours after rolling his truck three times, Brabham rebounded to win the second race in the No Limits Offroad Rumble that bookended the IndyCar action at Texas Motor Speedway. The SST points leader equaled his top championship rival, Gavin Harlien, with his third victory of the season so far, and managed to preserve a large chunk of his incoming 48-point advantage. The series now takes a summer vacation of sorts before returning to action on the NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend at Road America.
Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel
Just hours after 1997 series champion Jacques Villeneuve drove the Ferrari that his father Gilles once raced to victory, Vettel dominated the Canadian Grand Prix from start to finish on the circuit that bears Gilles’ name to become only the fourth driver to earn 50 F1 wins. In scoring his second career Montreal victory, Vettel also gave the team its first victory at the track since 2004, while simultaneously taking the points lead from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by a single point heading into the French Grand Prix.
WRC: Thierry Neuville
The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team star stared down five-time defending WRC champion Sebastien Ogier in the third-closest finish in series history. Coming into the final Power Stage, Neuville was down only 0.8 seconds; he’d beat Ogier by 1.5 on the second pass at Sassari-Argentiera to win the rally by 0.7. Neuville thus scored the maximum 30 points at the event to extend his championship lead over Ogier to 27 points heading into the month-plus break before Rally Finland at the end of July.