Just three months into the year we have already seen some incredible races across multiple racing divisions. Here are five of our favorites as we head into the heart of the racing season.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville
The STP 500 was the first time we got to see stage racing in NASCAR’s premier series at a short track. It didn’t disappoint, with a lot of bumping and banging for positions up front to close out the opening two stages. While the final stage featured much more green-flag racing, there was no shortage of action up front as Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch traded the lead no fewer than five times during the last 100 laps. Brad Keselowski emerged as the eventual victor for his second win of the season.
USA TODAY SportsMichael Shroyer
250SX Eastern Regional Supercross at Detroit
The 250SX Main Event at the Detroit Supercross was action-packed from the drop of the gate. Multiple riders - including points leader Zach Osborne - went down in the first turn. Adam Cianciarulo got the holeshot but then lost the lead to teammate Joey Savatgy. Dylan Ferrandis took the lead after a mistake by Savatgy, and then Jordon Smith got by Ferrandis. Savatgy and Smith then engaged in a lively last-lap battle with Smith emerging the victor for his first career 250SX Main Event win.
FIA Formula E Championship Mexico City ePrix
If racing doesn’t work out for Lucas di Grassi, he should take up chess. Sebastien Buemi had won the opening three rounds of the 2016-2017 season, and it looked unlikely that Di Grassi would be the one to stop him in Mexico. Di Grassi had qualified 15th and then had to pit for repairs after contact on Lap 1. Di Grassi’s team then opted to pit him during an early Safety Car period and the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver was forced to conserve energy throughout the last three-quarters of the race. While Di Grassi had the lead after everyone else had pit, the rest of the field was charging hard behind. However, Jerome d’Ambrosio - also conserving energy - kept them at bay in second, and Di Grassi took the win.
LAT PhotographicFormula E
Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway
Fans and drivers alike head to Daytona in late January to watch the new racing season kick off with the Rolex 24 Hours. This year’s race had garnered more interest than usual as the cars were new and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon was set to drive the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac. However, it was Gordon’s teammate Ricky Taylor in the car in the closing stages who made the critical dive down the inside of the No. 5 Action Express Racing machine. The two made contact and Taylor went on to win, while a big scrap for the lead in GTLM kept the GT fans entertained in the closing stages.
LAT PhotographicMichael L. Levitt
The 2017 Daytona 500 was the first ever time we got to see how stage racing would play out in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and it didn’t disappoint. The race featured plenty of side-by-side racing and incidents in the first two stages as drivers tried their best to score the most amount of points possible under the series’ new format. However, at the end of the day it came down to strategy with Kurt Busch taking his first Daytona 500 win after leading just the final lap, while many of his competitors ran out of fuel.