GRID Tonight: NASCAR Sponsor Rage Fire Driver
(Script from show below for hearing impaired)
Once again, there was only online simulation racing, sim racing for short. F1, IndyCar, and NASCAR all held events with their drivers racing online. The big story from the weekend comes from the NASCAR Pro Invitational E-Series race at Bristol, where Bubba Wallace and Blue Emu had a very public falling out
Blue Emu Out
The incident started when Clint Bowyer and Bubba Wallace exited turn 4 and made contact when Clint thought he had cleared Bubba and moved up in front of him. After Clint nosed into the front stretch wall, Clint retaliated and put Bubba in the wall exiting turn 2. Bubba commented on his live stream about his departure and he doesn't take virtual racing seriously.
Blue Emu replied to one of Bubba's tweets letting him know he was dropped.
Action news reported that a representative from RPM did contact Blue Emu, letting them know that they won't be invoiced for the Bristol race. Bubba finished 32nd out of the field of 32.
We asked on our Twitter “Should Blue Emu have dropped Bubba Wallace after the Bristol incident?” 64% of you voted No, with 36 voting Yes. Reminder you can follow both GRID Ranking and GRID WML on Twitter.
The GRID Ranking first week standing was released on Sunday and for the second year in a row Australia Supercars Series driver Scott Mclaughlin leads the GRID Ranking in Week 1. He and Jamie Whincup have the top two spots of the GRID Ranking. It is the first time one series has held the GRID Ranking top two spots on the first weekend.
This of course is most unusual since there wasn’t any racing for the weekend of March 6 through the 8. Out of the seven series scored in the GRID Ranking, only 4 have completed 2 races, the minimum number of events required. SuperCars completed two races at Adelaide, Jamie won the first race and finished fifth. Scott finished second and won the second race, this has both of them listed on top. Once more races are run, scoring will start to accurately reflect drivers' performance throughout the season.
When racing resumes, all seven series will be scored, and the GRID Ranking will be updated after each race weekend on Sunday following the final event of the weekend. The remaining three series to not score yet are F1, IndyCar, and MotoGP. Marc Marquez from MotoGP is the defending two time GRID Ranking World champion.
GRID World Motorsports League
The World Motorsport League (WML) was introduced in 2019. The WML is an extension to the Grid Ranking and integrates the biggest championships from around the globe into one leaderboard. Like the Grid Ranking of 2019, the WML came down to the very last race of scoring, where former F1 driver and current Toyota FIA WEC driver Kazuki Nakajima did enough to outscore the MotoGP champion Marc Marquez by .53 of a point, with a score of 22 out of a possible 25.
In 2019 the WML consisted of 440 races with 1257 entries, of which 692 had more the 5 starts to be classed as eligible for the league.In 2020 the WML further with now 22 series included in the WML. Currently the WML is being led by Scott McLaughlin with 21.5 points. Twitter @GRID_WML.
Presidential Sports Summit
IndyCar and NASCAR were included with the 13 US based series to participate in President Trump's conference call on Saturday. The administration goal was to provide a rough time table on when professional sports may see a return date. While the administration didn’t provide an exact date, they did offer a possible timetable. President Trump said in August or September he'd like to see fans back, maybe sooner, but did advise that the situation is still very fluid and medical experts will have the final recommendation. GRID Ranking does have a list of when the seven series in the GRID Ranking
IndyCar Updated Schedule
IndyCar announced Monday that the Duals in Detroit have been canceled, the doubleheader event was scheduled for May 30-31, this means the month of May has been vacated by all series except NASCAR.
The new schedule adds a second race to Iowa Speedway and Laguna Seca, making both events a doubleheader. The third new event is a second IndyCar race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. No word on the course run a different configuration or counter clockwise instead of clockwise.
St Petersburg is still to be determined if they can host the season ending race. Texas Motor Speedway is now listed as the season opener on June 6. This schedule gives IndyCar a 13-14 race season depending on St Petersburg. Barber Motorsports, Cota, and Long Beach have been canceled.
Formula 1 News
Formula 1 announced that F1 staff will see a cut in pay during the stoppage of racing events. This, along with extending the shutdown by another two weeks to help save costs. This same step has been done by NASCAR, SuperCars, other series, and teams. It was also announced that the Canadian Grand Prix has been postponed and now the French Grand Prix is likely to host the opening round The Circuit Paul Ricard does have multiple track configurations to host multiple races if needed.
All six of the MotoGP manufacturers are scheduled to meet with each other to discuss a freeze in motorcycle development. The proposed freeze would mean the 2020 aerodynamics and engines would be used in 2021 since there might be a shorten or no season at all. 2022 will be the next wave of new development.
MotoGP independent satellite teams are receiving financial assistance from Dorna Sports and the International Road Racing Teams Association. The payments are for the month of April, May, and June regardless of any races taking place during the three months. The move is to ensure the satellite teams financial security during the current hiatus. The larger factory backed teams are not eligible for the financial assistance.
Satellite Teams Financial Aid
For fans not familiar with the term “satellite teams” a satellite team is a team related to a larger, usually better-funded team that might be factory based. This relation may involve ownership, technical support, and staff sharing. Current examples include Wood Brothers relationship with Penske, with technical support and allowed Ryan Blaney cup experience prior to his move to the 12 team. HAAS F1 has a technical alliance with Ferrari where most of the items come from the Ferrari team. In MotoGP, factory teams are given the most up-to-date motorcycles and parts, while satellite teams may use the previous season's motorcycle and are given equipment updates only after the factory team has had them.
There has been an increase of satellite teams across Motorsports, the question of how competition can they really be rising up. Haas may have a great partnership with Ferrari, but Ferrari may not give them all the latest and greatest information. Financially, it’s a risk just look at Furniture Row, which closed shop after their sponsors left and the team couldn’t afford its alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Finally, conflict of interest becomes an issue, especially if a satellite team outperforms the factory team.
Zak Brown from McLaren has warned the F1 should so many as four teams could be lost if F1 does not act aggressively to tackle the substantial loss of income.We posted on Twitter the question Should other series like #F1, #IndyCar, #NASCAR, and other series offer some financial aid to smaller teams? In our Twitter poll, 81% voted in favor of the idea of smaller teams receiving financial assistance.
Once racing does begin again we do plan on bringing more programs, including pre race programming with a special guest for analysis. This is the GRID 4th season of covering Motorsports, first year for our new broadcast channel. #GRIDLive program moves to Sunday 7PM eastern, GRID2Night on Wednesday. We hope you join us by following our YouTube channel, click on the bell icon to receive all notifications, and of course follow us on Twitter.
Also follow our broadcast buddies at World Racing Media on YouTube and Twitter at WRMediaGroup. Every Monday they host Below the Yellow Line with guest appearance from race car drivers.
Thank you for watching, I'm Joe Samaniego, till we meet again.