MotoGP revs up

MotoGP will make its third annual trek to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca July 20-22 for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and it might be none too soon for world champion Nicky Hayden.

Hayden has had a rough start to the defense of his MotoGP title, but he finally earned his first podium of the season Saturday with a third-place finish after qualifying 13th at the A-Style TT Assen. The Kentucky Kid has won both MotoGP events at Laguna Seca since the series returned in 2005 and he used last year’s win to catapult him to the world title.

“It’s really nice to get a good result and just have fun — be up there at the front battling with the boys,” Hayden said. “On the warmup lap, I was thinking this is by far the best my machine has felt all year in any conditions and, even though I’d qualified in 13th, on the line, I just remember thinking, ‘Fight like a dog today, boy!’”

Ticket information is available by calling (800) 327-7322 or logging on to www.redbullusgrandprix.com.

People Power at Infineon: Shifting gears to bicycle competition, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma will host the Cougar Mountain Classic this weekend featuring professional and amateur racing divisions in a variety of cycling disciplines including SuperD, cross country, mountain bike downhill, road criterium and road circuit. Each discipline will feature both men’s and women’s professional categories.

There will be plenty forfans to enjoy in addition to the cycling action during the event weekend. From a charity ride to the Tour de France Lounge and Xtreme Karting as well as the Vintage Bicycle Concourse, there’s sure to be something for everyone. For more information on the Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic, please visit www.cmclassic.com or call (707) 933-3556.

Cooksey Wins Thriller at Altamont: The Western Late Models returned to Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy last weekend with Brentwood’s Doff Cooksey making a thrilling lap-97 pass of Phil Perry to win the 100-lap race on the “Fastest Half Mile in the West.”

Cooksey set up the pass in Turn 4 and made it stick on the inside in Turn 1.

“Phil got loose coming out of Turn 4 and I was not going to lift,” said Cooksey, who had to come from the rear of the field to secure the win.

The 24 Hours of LeMons shows up at the track this weekend followed by USAC-CASA racing on July 14.

BUSCH, SAUTER GET PENALIZED

NASCAR has penalized the Nextel Cup teams of Kyle Busch and Johnny Sauter for rule infractions found on their cars during the postrace inspection following Sunday’s Nextel race. Both the No. 5 Chevrolet of Busch and the No. 70 Chevrolet of Sauter were found to have used unapproved parts and failed to meet the minimum front car heights.

THIS WEEK’S PIT STOPS

NEXTEL CUP

WHAT: Pepsi 400

WHERE: Daytona Beach, Fla.

WHEN: Sat., 3:30 p.m.

BUSCH

WHAT: Winn-Dixie 250

WHERE: Daytona Beach, Fla.

WHEN: Fri., 4:30 p.m.

NHRA

WHAT: Thunder Valley Nationals

WHERE: Bristol, Tenn.

WHEN: Sun., 10 a.m.

IRL

WHAT: Watkins Glen GP

WHERE: Watkins Glen, N.Y.

WHEN: Sun., 12:30 p.m.

CHAMP CAR

WHAT: Grand Prix of Toronto

WHERE: Toronto

WHEN: Sun., 10 a.m.

FORMULA ONE

WHAT: British GP

WHERE: Silverstone, England

WHEN: Sun., 5 a.m.


Can Nicky Hayden get back into the race for the MotoGP title?

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