No. 976
December 12, 2018

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NOVEMBER 15, 2017

(The Guardian)
Sebastian Vettel 
(No. 5 Scuderia Ferrari) scored his first victory since July at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Vettel controlled the race after taking the lead from pole position man Valtteri Bottas (No. 77 AMG Mercedes Petronas F1 Team) at the start. Vettel cruised to the win, Bottas was second and Kimi Raikkonen (No. 7 Scuderia Ferrari) finished third. Lewis Hamilton (No. 44 AMG Mercedes Petronas F1 Team), his fourth world title won at the last race in Mexico, provided much of the excitement, carving through the field in the early laps as he attempted to make up for the crash in qualifying that left him at the back of the grid. He was sixth within 20 laps, and into the lead on lap 30 as leaders Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, and Max Verstappen (No. 33 Red Bull Racing) made their pit stops. Hamilton ended up finishing fourth. Watch Brazilian Grand Prix highlights .
(Getty Images/BBC Sport)
Twenty-four-year-old Marc Marquez (No. 93 Repsol Honda Team) won his fourth MotoGP title in five years by finishing third in the Velencia MotoGP. Dani Pedrosa (No. 26 Repsol Honda Team) won the race, with rookie Johann Zarco (No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech3) finishing second. Marquez had a scare when he attempted to pass Zarco for the lead on lap 23 in Turn 1. He went off the track but managed to stay on his bike and recovered. "It is an amazing feeling," Marquez said. "In the race I tried to be calm and control the situation. In turn one I lost concentration on the braking point. I would like to congratulate Dovi and the Ducati team." Andrea Dovizioso (No. 4 Ducati Team) was frustratingly held up by teammate Jorge Lorenzo (No. 99 Ducati Team) before both crashed out in separate incidents. Watch a video 
Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Circle K Toyota) retook the lead in the waning laps at Phoenix Raceway to claim a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. Kenseth was passed by Chase Elliott (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Hooters Chevrolet) in the closing laps, but started closing on the leader in the final fifteen laps before passing Elliott for the win. “It’s really not describable,” Kenseth said from victory lane. “With only two left, I didn’t think we probably had a good chance of getting back to victory lane. It’s been I don’t know how many races – somebody’s probably going to tell me tonight – but it’s been at least 50 or 60, so it’s been a long time. We’ve had a lot of close ones. Just felt like it was never meant to be and today it was meant to be.” The victory marked Kenseth’s first win of 2017 – the 18th full-time season for the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion – and comes just one week after the Camry driver confirmed he is stepping away from racing in 2018. Understanding he may only compete once more in the top level of NASCAR, Kenseth’s emotions were overflowing during the victory lane celebration. “What a storybook ending,” Kenseth explained. “I wasn’t sure that I was ready for this and to move onto something next year, but honestly God made the decision for me – he put me here for a reason and he’s taking me out for a reason. It’s been an incredible journey and there’s no way you could write it any better than this.” 
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota) finished third and he, along with Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&Ms Caramel Toyota), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Busch Light Ford) and Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Miller Lite Ford) will go for the championship next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
The 2017 Trans Am Finale at Daytona International Raceway saw Ernie Francis, Jr. (No. 98  Ford Mustang) take the TA win. For Francis, who locked up the TA class championship two rounds ago, the victory marked his 10th of the season. Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Murder on the Orient Express Chevrolet Corvette) made it interesting, however, as he was the only member of the TA class to take to the 3.56-mile Daytona track with Pirelli rain tires as showers pelted the track early in the race. Drissi would build a lead of over 40-seconds on Francis, the pole sitter, during the first eight laps until the field went under a full-course caution. The race would restart on the 11th lap, however, the track had dried considerably forcing Drissi to pit for a tire change on the 12th lap. Francis, then running second, took the lead and comfortably led the remaining 17 laps en route to the checkered flag. “It was definitely an interesting race,” said Francis. “First off, I’ve got to thank Frameless Shower Doors, R & B Company and the Buoniconti Fund.  I was honestly questioning the strategy at the beginning going out on slicks, those first couple pace laps were very, very slippery.  Even the start, it was probably one of the most lack luster starts in TA we’ve ever had, no one really went anywhere.  Drissi was out there on wet tires, so we knew he’d be fast.  We knew the track would most likely come our way; and after the restart it dried out considerably and we took the lead, and cruised to the finish from there.” RJ Lopez (No. 06 Republica Brewing/Optica Lopez Chevrolet Corvette) was second and Vinnie Allegretta (No. 41 TA Sights & Sounds Chevrolet Corvette) finished third. Check out John Thawley's scintillating images from the Trans-Am weekend at Daytona in the AE Gallery here.
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @  ~ 248.227.0110)
In TA2, Tony Buffomante (No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Best Line Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang) captured his fifth win of the season. Curt Vogt (
No. 12 Cobra Automotive Ford Mustang), the sole member of the TA2 field on rain tires, led the initial laps with Cameron Lawrence (No. 79 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro), taking the TA2 lead on the restart. Buffomante continuously climbed, taking third on lap 17, second on lap 22, and finally overtaking Lawrence for the lead on lap 27. Lawrence would finish second, while Josh Bilicki (No. 25 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro) finished third.  Check out John Thawley's scintillating images from the Trans-Am weekend at Daytona in the AE Gallery here.

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