Max Verstappen won the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, his sixth win this season and the eighth for Red Bull. So far, 2023 has been a clean sweep for the team but there are signs of hope for other teams. Verstappen’s margin of victory in Canada was just under 10 seconds, less than half of his usual 20-plus-second advantage. Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin held off Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes for second. There was close, exciting racing throughout the field, with 14 cars finishing on the lead lap and only two retirements. Verstappen now leads the drivers’ championship with 195 points to 126 for teammate Sergio Perez. Perez’s sixth-place finish on Sunday leaves him only nine points ahead of Alonso, who is 15 points clear of Hamilton. Red Bull has 321 constructors’ championship points, almost double second-place Mercedes’ 167. Aston Martin is third with 154 and Ferrari has 122 points for fourth. The next race is the Austrian Grand Prix on July 2.
The NTT IndyCar series took to the 4-mile Road America circuit on Sunday, with former champions and contenders deep in the field due to practice incidents. Up front, the young guns dominated with Colton Herta on the pole and Pato O’Ward starting alongside. Alex Palou started third, but was first to the checkered, 4.5 seconds clear of Josef Newgarden. It was Palou’s third win and second in a row, and a good day for Chip Ganassi Racing, with three cars in the top 10. Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, and Arrow McLaren had two top-10 finishers each, as well, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Christian Lundgaard joining them. The win put Palou well clear of teammate Marcus Ericsson, 324 points to 250, in the standings. Newgarden is third, just 7 points behind Ericsson, and O’Ward is tied for fourth with Scott Dixon at 226. The series will race next on July 2 at the Mid-Ohio road course.
NASCAR had a rare off weekend last week, but this weekend all three top series are on the 1.333-mile tri-oval at Nashville Superspeedway. It will be the third visit to the track for the NASCAR Cup cars, although both the Craftsman Trucks and Xfinity series have a long history there. The first two Nashville Cup races went to Hendrick Motorsports, with Chase Elliott winning in 2021 and Kyle Larson last year. As has been the case all season, Larson is the odds-on favorite at 5-1 with Martin Truex Jr. second at 7-1. Kyle Busch’s opening odds are 15-2, with William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Elliott at 17-2. Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell share 11-1 odds, with Ryan Blaney 12-1, Tyler Reddick 16-1, and Joey Logano 18-1. My longshot pick is Aric Almirola at 100-1. TV coverage switches from FOX to NBC platforms this weekend with the USA network broadcasting Xfinity qualifying today at 9 a.m., Cup qualifying at 10 a.m., and the Tennessee Lottery 250 at 12:30 p.m. Sunday’s Ally 400 will air on NBC.
Counting this weekend there are just nine more races to go in the NASCAR Cup regular season. Ten drivers have posted wins, provisionally locking them into one of the 16 playoff spots. Busch and Byron are locked in with three wins apiece, as are Larson and Truex at two each. Truex currently leads the point standings with 525, followed by Byron at 512, Blaney and Chastain tied at 501, and Kevin Harvick at 500. Winless top-16 drivers include Harvick, Chastain, Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, and Alex Bowman. Bowman is the last driver above the cut line at 331 points, just three ahead of Daniel Suarez and 11 over Ty Gibbs.