Many of the usual suspects are creeping into the headlines for this weekend’s auto industry news. “There doesn’t seem to be any stopping NHRA drivers Ron Capps in Funny Car, Steve Torrence in Top Fuel and motorcycle rider LE Tonglet, who all captured wins in Sunday’s final round of the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway,” reported Yahoo Sports. And there were some memorable moments along the way. “In Funny Car, 2016 series champion Capps earned his career-high sixth win of the season, but it was his first win ever at Route 66,” continued Yahoo. Make that his 55th career win overall. And crew chief Rahn Tobler celebrated a milestone of his own. “60 wins is huge, he’s had a pretty storied career,” Capps said of Tobler.
In other auto industry news, underdog fans were overjoyed to see a big IndyCar “W” snatched up by Castroneves; it was his first win in three long years. “Penske icon Helio Castroneves took the lead in the opening stint of the Iowa Corn 300, and held on to score his first win since Detroit 2014, and Penske’s first ever IndyCar win at Iowa Speedway,” according to Motorsport.com.
The familiar face of Michael Andretti was visibly absent from the Iowa Corn 300, as his Red Bull Global Rallycross team was doing its own race prep. “Andretti hadn’t missed a Verizon IndyCar Series race on-site since his one-year voyage to Formula 1 in 1993, and returned to the series in 1994,” Yahoo continued. “The decision to miss one team’s race for another paid dividends as the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team delivered the goods on Sunday in Red Bull GRC’s maiden visit to Indy.”
Scott Speed was on fire, finishing out a perfect day in his No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle GRC. He took home two heats, a semifinal, and then the 10-lap finals in the Supercars class, according to news reports. Bittersweet, Speed beat teammate Tanner Foust in his No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC and enjoyed his second win of 2017 (Memphis, Round 1) and the fourth 1-2 for the Volkswagen Andretti team this season.
“We had a great car all weekend from the moment we pulled it off the hauler, until the last lap of the Final; the team just did a great job,” Speed said. “The track was unbelievably fun. This is the first time we’ve been to a track that was predominantly some sort of gravel mix and it was just so fun because every time you went out onto the track it was a little bit different. There was water in areas there wasn’t before and the track was changing during the race.” Foust, plagued with penalties, has competed better. But he still leads the championship by 10 points unofficially (488-478) after today’s race.
Fiat Gets Cushy Spot at Swanky NY Museum
Fiat received its own form of recognition this past week. The New York’s Museum of Modern Art just got a little cooler for adding an original 1968 Fiat 500F ‘Berlina’ to its permanent collection. Gallery space will be shared alongside a 1959 Volkswagen, 1961 Jaguar E-Type, and 2002 Smart. “In its 60 years of history, the 500 has transcended its material manifestation to enter the collective imagination and become an icon, which has now the honor of being certified by being acquired by MoMA in a tribute to its artistic and cultural value,” said a spokesperson. “The Fiat 500 fundamentally altered car design and production,” said Martino Stierli, architecture and design curator at MoMA, in a release. “Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum.”
A lot of history was made this weekend. Make sure to join us for next week’s auto industry news!