Motorsports Weekend Guide: April 25 to April 27

MWG Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend. After most of the U.S. took last weekend off for the holiday weekend, most of the big American series return to action, as do Australian touring cars and both of the big international two-wheel series. After the jump, get the scoop on these series (and more):

  • IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park

  • V8 Supercars in New Zealand

  • MotoGP in Argentina

  • NASCAR at Richmond

  • SCORE Imperial Valley 250

IndyCar IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama (Barber Motorsports Park) America’s top open-wheel series heads to its third round of the season and its first dedicated road course after the openers at street circuits (St. Petersburg and Long Beach). It’s certainly been interesting in the series early on with some dicey moves at Long Beach lingering in drivers’ minds. Although it’s still very early in the season, Will Power tops the championship standings and is the only driver with more than one IndyCar win on Barber’s 2.3-mile course. IndyCar will share the track with Pirelli World Challenge for the third consecutive round this year. This will be PWC’s first visit to Barber. Defending champion Johnny O’Connell ran away with the last round at Long Beach in his Cadillac CTS-V, but his teammate Andy Pilgrim currently leads the championship after two rounds. Accompanying will be all three strata of the Road to Indy series. Website: IndyCar website. Event page. Barber site. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Pirelli World Challenge (All classes). Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, and USF2000 (Road to Indy site). Live coverage: IndyCar race on NBS Sports @ 3 p.m. EST on Sunday (TV) and SiriusXM 209 (Satellite radio). Live IndyCar Timing & Scoring and streaming radio here. Pirelli World Challenge live streaming on     V8 Supercars: ITM 500 (Pukekohe Park Raceway in Auckland, New Zealand) V8 Supercars heads to New Zealand for a four-race weekend at Pukekohe Park near Auckland on Anzac Day weekend. The Red Bull Racing Australia duo of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have looked great and Holdens occupy in five of the Top 10 teams, but as always Mark Winterbottom and Ford could make it interesting. Lee Holdsworth took Mercedes’ first win at the last round and Volvo got their first victory at the non-points round in Adelaid, so don’t count the non-Ford/GM rivalry squads out. The flowing 1.8-mile road course will also host a variety of Kiwi racing series, including V8S feeder series like the Super Tourers and V8 Utes. Website: V8 Supercars site. Event pagePukekohe site. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: New Zealand V8 Super Tourers, New Zealand V8 Utes, New Zealand Central Muscle Cars, GTRNZ  Live coverage: V8 SuperView (Streaming subscription) or live Timing & Scoring on the V8S site.   MotoGP: Grand Prix of Argentina (Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo) Both of the world’s top motorcycle series are in action this weekend with MotoGP staying in the Western Hemisphere after a stop at Circuit of the Americas. Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, both Spaniards, top the standings heading to the first MotoGP round ever at the new Argentine circuit. Motorcycle racing is something of a young person’s sport, but veteran 38-year-old Valentino Rossi is still kicking and P3 in the championship heading to Argentina. Website: MotoGP site. Event page. Track site. Supporting series: Moto2 and Moto3. Live coverage: Fox Sports 1 @ noon EST on Sunday (TV).   World Superbikes: TT Circuit Assen (Netherlands) World SBK sticks in Europe this weekend to race at Assen in Holland. A two-race sweep at the last round put defending champion Tom Sykes in P1 for the championship with his Kawasaki, but that lead is a mere four points with nearly 20 races remaining. Assen’s 2.8-mile circuit is a motorcycle-racing haven and should produce an exciting result for all five SBK series racing. Website: Superbikes site. Event page. Assen site. Supporting series: Super Sport World Championship,  Super Stock 600, Super Stock 1000, and European Junior Cup Live coverage: Replay at 10 p.m. EST Saturday and Sunday on beIN Sports network (TV)   SCORE SCORE International Off-Road Racing: Imperial Valley 250 (Plaster City, CA) The SCORE series carves through the desert in its second of five races this season, culminating in the grueling Baja 1000 in November. This 250-mile contest (for the top classes at least) will still test man and machine of extraordinary variety. The top-class Trophy Trucks are some of the most impressive race vehicles on the planet, putting down Formula One levels of power with several feet of suspension travel. The racing is raw and the field is massive with 132 entries for this first-time visit to Imperial Valley. Website: SCORE site. Weekend schedule. Entry List. Course Map. Live coverage: Live streaming on Dirt Live.   LucasOil Offroad Racing: Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park (California) LucasOil is to SCORE as rallycross is to stage rally. Rather than barreling over a course dozens of miles long, the LucasOil competitors will race each other on a shorter, closed dirt circuit featuring bumps, jumps, and plenty of dirt clumps. Again, there are a multitude of classes that race each other and this race weekend will feature the smaller LucasOil Kart series. Website: LucasOil series page. Lake Elsinore page. Weekend schedule. Live coverage: Live timing here. Tape-delayed TV broadcast on CBS and CBS Sports May 25.   NASCAR: Richmond International Raceway The top American stock cars head to yet another short oval, this one a 3/4-mile D-shaped oval at Richmond. I’ve fallen off the NASCAR train a bit, but a quick look at the standings shows that after eight races, there are still no repeat winners. With more than a dozen races left before The Chase and only 16 spots available, one can conclude that spots in the NASCAR postseason (such as it is) are not guaranteed by a single race win. Nationwide and the K&N Series open the weekend with races under the lights Friday and the Sprint Cup will also race in the evening Saturday. Website: NASCAR site. Event page. Richmond site. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Nationwide. K&N Pro Series East. Race names: Blue Ox 100 (K&N),  ToyotaCare 250 (Nationwide), Toyota Owners 400 (Sprint Cup) Live coverage: Sprint Cup @ 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday; FOX (TV) and Motor Racing Network (Radio and livestream). Nationwide @ 7:00 p.m. EST on Friday; ESPN2 (TV) and MRN (Radio and livestream).   ARCA: Federated Auto Parts 200 Presented by Crunch ‘N’ Nutter (Salem Speedway in Salem, IN) The “other” American stock car series, the Auto Racing Club of America, takes its act to Southern Indiana for a 200-mile race around Salem’s 0.55-mile oval. ARCA still carries a rootsy feel for American round-track racing and the national series with local supporting series remains a popular formula for ARCA. To date, Grant Enfinger has won both previous rounds and leads the championship by 50 points. Website: ARCA site. Event page. Salem Speedway page. Entry list. Supporting series: Great American Stockcars. Live coverage: No national TV.   NHRA: Spring Nationals (Royal Purple Raceway, Houston) As long as we’re talking big American muscle, we may as well talk about the rippling bulk of dragsters that would make NASA launch vehicles feel inadequate.  I won’t pretend to know much about drag racing, but it’s worth noting that 65-year-old drag racing legend John Force is second in the Funny Car championship as he seeks his 17th title. Website: NHRA site. Event page. RPR site. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Qualifying @ 6:00 p.m. EST on ESPN2 ,Saturday; Elimination @ 7:00 p.m. EST on ESPN2, Sunday. Streaming audio and live timing (account required) on NHRA site.   Renault World Series by Renault: Motorland Aragon While you may not be terribly familiar with the World Series by Renault, you almost undoubtedly know some of the series alumni. The past champions read like a who’s who of the current crop in Formula One, Indycar, and top sportscar drivers: Brendan Hartley, Mikhail Aleshin, Bertrand Baguette, Vallteri Bottas, Filipe Albuquerque, and Kamui Kobayashi to name a few. The series features the top class of Formula Renault 3.5, which are powered by 3.5-liter V6. Last year’s 3.5 champion is none other than current F1 driver Kevin Magnussen. Supporting the top 3.5 cars is the Formula Renault 2.0 series and the Eurocup Clio. Whether you can watch it wherever you live or not, it’s at least worth checking on results from time to time this year because you’ll be hearing many of the drivers’ names in the not-too-distant future. Website: WS by Renault site. Event page. Aragon site. Weekend schedule. Supporting series: Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Eurocup Clio. Live coverage: No TV broadcast in the U.S.   SCCA Majors Tour: West Region, Buttonwillow Raceway Just two weeks after the last U.S. Majors weekend in California comes another. Rather than Thunderhill, however, Buttonwillow Raceway Park will host this weekend’s races. Again, with the 2014 Runoffs at (relatively) nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, expect lots of hard racing from drivers hoping to qualify for the Runoffs and a chance to be national champion. Website: SCCA Majors site. Event page. Buttonwillow site. Weekend schedule. Entry list. Live coverage: Live timing on Majors site or via RaceMonitor app for SmartPhone.   [Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood | SCORE photo from | Formula Renault photo from Craig Moulding via Wikimedia]

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