A mid-September weekend of Monster Energy motor racing was fired to life on Saturday afternoon during the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Hangtown Motocross Classic. Held at the Prairie City SVRA Park in Rancho Cordova, California, Hangtown has been going on for 52 years. Saturday’s race served as the 12th and final round of America’s premier motocross series. Leading the way on what was a sun-splashed early autumn afternoon in Northern California, newly crowned 450cc Class National Champion, Dylan Ferrandis of the Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing team powered to 1-3 moto scores for the overall victory. Runner-up on the day was Monster Energy Kawasaki rider, Eli Tomac. Interestingly, Tomac will become teammates with Ferrandis at Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing come the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Series racing season. Concurrently in the 250cc Class action from Hangtown, Justin Cooper of the Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing was the star of the afternoon. The New Yorker easily swept both motos of the day. Amazingly, Cooper just missed out on the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250cc Class Championship by a mere six points. Look for major things out of Cooper to come in January of 2022. Runner-up to Cooper at Hangtown was Jo Shimoda of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team. A great rookie outdoor season for the kid from Suzuka, Japan.
The Heineken Italian Grand Prix ran at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in sunny Italy on Sunday afternoon. Built just north of Milan in 1922, the 3.600-mile, 11-turn circuit globally known as the “Temple of Speed” has been hosting the Italian Grand Prix since 1949. Sunday’s race was a wild one as Monster Energy’s Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team and Max Verstappen’s day ended early in dramatic fashion. Hamilton was narrowly ahead of Verstappen going into the second turn of the chicane but, with nowhere to go, Verstappen didn’t back off and instead launched his car off the curb and on top of the Mercedes. The car’s Halo device, introduced just three years ago, saved Hamilton’s life by protecting his head from Verstappen’s car on top of him. On a positive note from Sunday’s race, Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Valtteri Bottas placed an excellent third on the day. Next up for Formula 1 will be the 2021 Russian Grand Prix set for Sunday, September 26, 2021. The 53-lap race at the 3.634-mile, 18-turn Sochi Autodrom is located adjacent to the Black Sea resort town of Sochi in Krasnodar Krai, Russia.
The Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon ran at MotorLand Aragon and the 3.155-mile, 16-turn Circuito de Alcaniz on Sunday. Monster Energy athlete Francesco Bagnaia of the Ducati Lenovo Team stood atop the victory podium. Joining Bagnaia on the podium in the third position was Joan Mir of Team Suzuki ECSTAR. In the fight for the 2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship, Quartararo leads the way by 53 points over Bagnaia and Mir. In Moto3 racing from Aragon, it was Niccolo Antonelli of the Reale Avintia Moto2 team placing fifth on the day. Andrea Mingo of the Rivacold Snipers Team placed sixth. MotoGP will now race next on September 19th in The Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at the 16-turn Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Monster Energy Speedway Grand Prix and the Ecco Danish FIM Speedway Grand Prix played out on Saturday night from the Vojens Speedway Center in Denmark. Monster Energy racer Tai Woffinden placed fourth overall. Monster Energy teammate Freddie Lindgren placed sixth on the evening in Denmark. The EKO Acropolis Rally Greece took place over the weekend in the mountains north of Athens. Known as the “Rally of Gods” and held in smoldering hot conditions.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Go Bowling 250 was staged at Richmond Raceway on Saturday afternoon. Known as “America’s Premier Short Track,” the 0.75-mile D-shaped oval, Riley Herbst in the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing placed fifth. Ty Gibbs in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing placed seventh. Kurt Busch in the No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1 LE wound up 37th in the Cup race at Richmond. The 2004 NASCAR Cup champion was forced out of action on lap 40 of the race when a rear tire went down and sent the No. 1 Camaro into the wall. Busch now sits 12th in Cup Series Playoffs. NASCAR will compete next Saturday night, September 18th on the 30-degree high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series kicked off the first race of the NHRA Camping World Countdown. The Championship with the NHRA Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals was held on Sunday afternoon in Reading, Pennsylvania. Brittany Force and the 11,000-horsepower, nitroethane-burning Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster fought their way through race day eliminations to place 2nd on the day. Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster will compete again next weekend in the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals.