You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Motor Racing

  • Hamilton wins third straight F1 race at Chinese GP
    SHANGHAI – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix.
  • Indianapolis 500 changes qualifying for 11th row
    Indy 500 changes 11th-row qualifyingINDIANAPOLIS – The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 now allows any entry that has not made the field at the end of the first day a chance to make the last row of the grid on the
  • Conway surprise Long Beach winner
    Tempers flared in almost every corner of the IndyCar paddock Sunday at Long Beach, where Mike Conway was the surprise winner of a surprisingly physical race.
Advertisement

Champ defends Nationwide title

– Ricky Stenhouse Jr. left little doubt that he’s ready for a promotion.

Stenhouse became the sixth driver to win consecutive championships in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series. He finished sixth Saturday in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, edging Elliott Sadler for the title.

“A lot of people put a lot of effort into this and I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive it,” said Stenhouse, who is replacing Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup Series next season at Roush Fenway Racing.

Stenhouse finished his final Nationwide season with six wins.

About the only drama in the finale was whether he would play it safe. He did, but not without a few close calls. His spotter even had to remind him several times over the final 10 laps to avoid potential pitfalls.

Stenhouse eventually obliged, but only after he held the push-to-talk button down on his steering wheel to drown out all the chatter in his helmet.

“I don’t ride around,” Stenhouse said. “That’s not how we got in this position.”

Regan Smith won the 300-mile race, his first victory in 103 Nationwide starts. .

“These guys worked hard all year long, and we’re going to do the same next year and contend for a championship,” Smith said. “That’s our plan. Hopefully, tonight was part of a statement right there.”

Kyle Busch was second, followed by Brendan Gaughan, Sam Hornish Jr. and Austin Dillon. Danica Patrick was 19th in her final Nationwide race before moving to the Sprint Cup Series full time. She finished 10th in points, becoming the highest-finishing female driver in the history of NASCAR’s three national series. The previous record was held by Sara Christian, who finished 13th in 1949 in the Cup series.

Busch dominated the race early, but couldn’t get past Smith in the closing laps.

A year after winning 18 races across NASCAR’s three national series, Busch went winless in Nationwide and Trucks in 2012. He was 0 for 22 in Nationwide, finishing winless for the first time since his 2003 debut year.

Advertisement