All three divisions "We're getting back to the basics, we're going to try to minimize the change going forward as best we can and focus on what we've always focused on, which is the best product in the world." -- NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France
by Dave Grayson When the green flag falls on the Daytona 500 next February there is a distinct possibility that NASCAR racing fans may witness something that will be both unthinkable and unacceptable: the absence of Petty Enterprises and the famous #43. The need to find primary sponsorship, as well a merger agreement with another team, combined with last week's departure of driver Bobby Labonte has left one of NASCAR's most historically significant teams in a complete state of disarray and its future is extremely questionable.
Ford Racing Star Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, enters the off-season having won more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races than any other driver in 2008. Edwards, who won nine times, including three of the last four events, finished second to champion Jimmie Johnson. Edwards is looking forward to representing the USA team in this weekend's Race Of Champions at Wembley Stadium in England.
by Dave Grayson It's likely that no one expected any real surprises when NASCAR presented their annual Sprint Cup awards banquet in New York last Friday night. But they came up with a big one when three time series champion Cale Yarborough walked out onto the stage to present Jimmie Johnson his championship ring much to Johnson's total amazement.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet A busy week in New York City culminated Friday evening with the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Jimmie Johnson, who etched his name in the NASCAR record books by becoming only the second driver in the sport’s history to win three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, was officially coroneted as the 2008 series titlist.
Yarborough Surprises Johnson With Ring Presentation
NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Cale Yarborough made an unannounced appearance tonight at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City. Followed by a rousing standing ovation, Yarborough presented the championship ring to 2008 series champion Jimmie Johnson during this year’s annual ceremony.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Champions Week reaches its grand conclusion Friday evening at the Waldorf Astoria in New York where Jimmie Johnson will be officially feted for winning his third consecutive Sprint Cup championship. He will be joined on the stage by the top ten drivers in the final points standings. Dr. Jerry Punch, an ESPN NASCAR broadcaster, will emcee the banquet. The rock band Matchbox 20 will perform as will comedian John Pinette. Actor Kevin Costner will present a special NASCAR historical segment.
In New York City Day Three of Champions Week was a busy one indeed for three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson got an early start in the morning, by ringing the New York Stock Exchange’s Opening Bell, in what has become an annual tradition for the series champion. Following an appearance at the Tissot Countdown Clock event at the Marquee of the Hard Rock Café, Johnson attended the March of Dimes Luncheon at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, where he was the recipient of the organization’s Sportsman of the Year Award.
In New York City Jimmie Johnson visited one of New York City’s most famous landmarks – Central Park – for a photo shoot Tuesday, as the first full day of Champions Week activities unfolded. Among the photos taken were Johnson in front of Wollman Rink, one of two ice skating rinks in Central Park and one of him on a bridge overlooking The Pond in Central Park.
By Cathy Elliott Champions Week in New York City is full of glamour. It is a spectacular sport’s ultimate spectacle. There are parties and press conferences and television appearances and photo ops galore. It is difficult to even find a moment to shower. Forget the idea of a semi-quiet meal in the kitchen with a handful of friends. That’s just silly, not to mention unrealistic.
by Cathy Elliott Thanksgiving, probably more than any other holiday, is a time of reflection. Admittedly, we tend to engage in all this soul searching and profound life evaluation while stuffing ourselves with pie, stretched out on the sofa like gorged ticks and watching football. Still, we manage to retain enough presence of mind through our tryptophan-triggered trances to remember that yes, we do have some blessings left to count. Most of us are fortunate; we don’t have to deal with issues like war and unemployment and violent crime face to face, every day.
by Cathy Elliott I wish I had a funny or dramatic story to tell you about Clint Bowyer, but I don't. As far as I know, Bowyer's name isn't usually associated with words like "hijinks" or "shenanigans". I've never heard of Bowyer leaving a whoopee cushion in teammate Kevin Harvick's seat, or wrapping Carl Edwards' car in bathroom tissue, just for kicks.
by Dave Grayson While we're awaiting to see our favorite NASCAR stars and their beautiful ladies all dressed up for the annual awards banquet in New York next month, there are still some NASCAR related stories that require tracking. These stories involve the recent moratorium on team testing, two ageless wonders who refuse to hang up their helmet, as well as harsh economics that has heavily impacted the sport.
by Dave Grayson Just because the NASCAR season ended this past weekend in Florida doesn't mean that it's time to file away our notepads and interview tapes. Far from it. There's plenty of stories left especially regarding NASCAR teams trying to get fully prepared for the 2009 season in the midst of the economic turmoil that has gripped the nation. With that thought in mind let's begin this week with:
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR championship weekend, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, was pretty much everything NASCAR officials and the fans could ask for. It had good racing and plenty of post race pomp and circumstance ceremony. In the days that followed the weekend every motorsports journalist and television commentator was consumed with Jimmie Johnson's third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup title and rightfully so.
NASCAR Sprint Cup finale Carl Edwards did everything he had to do to try and wrestle the NASCAR Sprint Cup title from Jimmie Johnson by winning the Ford 400 as he ran out of gas crossing the finish line in his Office Depot Ford. But it wasn't enough as Jimmie Johnson and his Lowe's Chevy team won their third straight title by cruising home in 15th position and finishing with 69 points over Edwards.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Carl Edwards won the battle, but Clint Bowyer won the war. Edwards took the checkered flag in the Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, depriving runner-up Kyle Busch of a record 11th victory in a single season.
Nationwide Series Read post-race comments from NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 including: Series champion Clint Bowyer, Owner champion J.D. Gibbs, race winner Carl Edwards, Raybestos Rookie of the Year Landon Cassill and others.
NASCAR Truck Series Todd Bodine may have won Friday night's Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a pair of calls in the pits earned Johnny Benson a seventh-place finish—exactly what he needed to secure the series championship. Benson won the championship by seven points over his Chevy-driving rival and is the only driver other than Greg Biffle to win titles in both the Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series.
NASCAR Truck Series Johnny Benson’s seventh-place finish driving the No. 23 Bill Davis Racing (BDR) Tundra at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Friday evening’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race clinched the truck driver’s championship for the Grand Rapids, Michigan veteran. In one of the closest championship battles in series history, Benson edged Ron Hornaday, Jr., by seven points to capture his second-career NASCAR championship -- he won the Busch Series (now Nationwide) title in 1995.
by Mark J. Cipolloni David Reutimann captured his first career pole in his 63rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Friday in qualifying for the season-ending Ford 400. Scott Speed qualified a sensational 2nd to make it an all-Toyota front row with Matt Kenseth, and Kevin Harvick 3rd and 5th. Championship contenders Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson will start 4th and 30th respectively. Reutimann toured the 1.5-mile track with a lap of 171.636 mph to claim the inside front row spot.
Sprint Cup title contenders The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season has come down to one race and two contenders, Carl Edwards comes into Sunday's season finale, the Ford 400 at Miami Homestead Speedway, trailing Jimmie Johnson by 141 points. Carl described his challenge this past Sunday after the race at Phoenix when asked to assess his chances of a last race come back improbable but not impossible.
by Dave Grayson As we head towards the final NASCAR weekend it's getting closer to officially congratulating driver Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus, team owners Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon as well as the entire team that is connected to the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet for a job well done in winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship for the third consecutive year.
by Dave Grayson Here's a quick look back at the NASCAR weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway. HOORAH for Jimmie Johnson and the entire Lowe's 48 team for their seventh win of the season and virtually putting a lock on that record tying third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Their performance was virtually flawless. Johnson only needs to finish 36th or better to claim NASCAR's grand prize next Sunday.
3-In-Row NASCAR Winston Cup winner Three-time NASCAR Champion Cale Yarborough lets out a boisterous laugh after he says it, but you can tell he’s dead serious: “The one thing I can say is Jimmie (Johnson) better be glad I’m not racing with him today.” And then there’s that laugh – proud, full of memories and genuinely impressed that his three back-to-back championship titles from 1976, ’77 and ’78 are still intact.
Jimmie Johnson wins third straight race at Phoenix
Increases Sprint Cup points lead Points leader Jimmie Johnson dominated today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 race at Phoenix International Raceway to increase his point lead over Carl Edwards to an almost insurmountable 141 points with just one race remaining. Johnson led a race high 217 laps and beat Kurt Busch by about 1 car length. Jamie McMurray was third and Edwards 4th.
NASCAR First of all, good morning. I thought I'd make a couple of comments, because I know there's been a lot of discussion recently about the economy and how that affects NASCAR, certainly the manufacturers and what they're going through, the recent earnings announcements for both Ford and General Motors. And obviously, as we've said for, oh, for at least a year now, that as the economy either got better or worse, but certainly if it got worse, NASCAR would not be immune to the effects of a tough economy.
Nationwide Series Carl Edwards won at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday to remain in mathematical contention to defend his Nationwide Series title. Edwards trailed Clint Bowyer at the start of the race by 91 points, but an accident on a restart prevented Bowyer from challenging for the victory. It cleared the way for Edwards to roll to his sixth Nationwide win of the season.
NASCAR Truck Series at Phoenix Kevin Harvick held off hard-charging Kyle Busch to win Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, as title contenders Ron Hornaday and Johnny Benson struggled to wreck-plagued finishes that left them three points apart with one race left. Benson takes just a three-point lead to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Johnson deserves credit if he wins 3rd straight title
by Kathy Elliott There's a lot of talk going around right now about the chances of Jimmie Johnson winning his third consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship, an almost impossible feat. This has inspired plenty of discussion on the Chase for the Sprint Cup in general and whether or not the format needs revising to prevent any one driver from gaining the sort of commanding points lead which Johnson has enjoyed for much of the championship run.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jimmie Johnson won the pole Friday in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Johnson, who has won the last two Sprint Cup Series races held at the one-mile desert track, turned a lap of 134.725 mph in his Hendrick Motorsports Lowe's Chevrolet. Jamie McMurray will start 2nd.
by Dave Grayson All three of NASCAR's national touring series will be in championship mode this week as the teams journey to Phoenix International Raceway for the next to the last stop in the 2008 season. But in the midst of the attention the championships will receive, there are also some interesting story lines that will bear some follow up.
by Dave Grayson Late last Sunday morning, while I was settling in on the couch to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Texas, I found myself wondering if NASCAR officials had already engraved Jimmie Johnson's name on the cup and had it loaded into a special trailer so it would be available for presentation after the Phoenix race. By Sunday afternoon I came to the conclusion that they probably need to wait until the Homestead Miami race.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Carl Edwards used fuel mileage strategy in his Roush Fenway Ford to win his second straight Sprint Cup Series race and tighten up the Chase championship with his victory in Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The win allowed Edwards to take 77 points off the lead of points leader Jimmie Johnson who finished 15th.
Nationwide Series Statistically, Kyle Busch is moving into rarified air, and on Saturday his generosity went there, too. With defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Carl Edwards chasing him to the finish line in the 200-lap, 300-mile O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch won his 10th series race of 2008, tying Sam Ard's 1983 series record for wins in a season.
Wins 2nd title of 2008, third title in row Toyota clinched its third consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) manufacturer’s championship Friday at Texas Motor Speedway when Kyle Busch crossed the finish line second in his No. 51 Tundra -- enabling Toyota to take home another title with two races remaining in the 2008 season. It marks the fourth manufacturer’s title for Toyota since becoming a participant in NASCAR’s upper levels of competition in 2004.
NASCAR Truck Series Ron Hornaday Jr. overcame an ill-timed caution to win Friday night's Chevy Silverado 350K NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway and trim third-place finisher Johnny Benson's lead in the series standings to six points. Hornaday led the final 40 laps and crossed the finish line 0.958 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch to collect his sixth victory of the season and the 39th of his career.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jeff Gordon took his first pole position at Texas Motor Speedway Friday and the top spot in Sunday's Dickies 500. "It’s a great start to the weekend,” Gordon said. “I’m always optimistic any time we go to any racetrack, whether we’ve been good or bad. As a race team we’re just good enough to overcome anything that tries to tear us down." Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five qualifiers.
NASCAR Truck Series Rick Crawford, making his 22nd start at Texas, earned his first pole at the 1 1/2 -mile Texas Motor Speedway track with a qualifying lap of 178.826 mph. It is only his fifth pole in 295 career races. Cale Gale qualified second at 178.778 mph. Series points leader Johnny Benson qualified 20th, 13 spots behind Ron Hornaday Jr., who trails him by only 31 points. Kyle Busch qualified third Thursday for the NASCAR race at Texas in a truck that was salvaged two nights earlier from a hauler fire that destroyed the team's primary truck and a lot of equipment.
NASCAR Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is coming off his seventh win of the season in last weekend’s Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As the series shifts to this Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, Edwards spoke about his second-place position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup during a national teleconference Tuesday afternoon.
NASCAR Sprint Widely regarded as one of the most versatile racecar drivers in the world, ‘Mad’ Max Papis will add to his already impressive resume as he slides behind the wheel of the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The former Formula 1 driver and 2004 Rolex Grand Am Series Champion will lead the way for GEICO as they make their maiden voyage into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after spending eight years in NASCAR’s number two series.
by Dave Grayson As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway there are quite a few interesting story lines that will bear watching in the days ahead. Gillett Evernham Motorsports-GEM, who fields Dodges, will apparently have to abandon plans to purchase the Toyota operation belonging to Bill Davis Racing-BDR. In recent days it was revealed that Toyota was less than thrilled with the idea and then on Monday NASCAR made it clear that they were not interested in approving GEM's plans to switch to Toyota.
by Dave Grayson Kyle Busch who continues to have a lot of fun playing the role of NASCAR's bad boy, made an appearance on the nationally syndicated radio show known as "Big D and Bubba" to talk some NASCAR racing with the guys. The show's hosts asked him for an opinion on the recent physical altercation between drivers Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. Without a second of hesitation Busch said "Harvick is one of the biggest hot heads in Sprint Cup racing and Edwards is probably on more juice (as in steroids) than Barry Bonds."
by Pete McCole Carl Edwards desperately needed a victory to stay in the hunt in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Sunday, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he did just that, taking the checkered flag in the Pep Boys Auto 500 to keep his championship hopes alive, but made up no ground on series points leader Jimmie Johnson, who courageously fought back after being a lap down to finish second and extend his lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
by Pete McCole Ryan Newman spoiled Ron Hornaday’s dominating performance with a thrilling white-flag-lap pass to win Saturday’s E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Newman passed Hornaday on the high side with one lap to go to regain the top spot and held him off to become the fourth driver in series history to win in his first NCTS start.
Camping World takes over sponsorship of Truck Series
NASCAR Truck Series The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today that Camping World will be the title sponsor for the NASCAR Truck Series beginning in 2009. Camping World replaces longtime series sponsor Craftsman, which had been the sole title sponsor since the inception of the NASCAR Truck Series in 1995.
Dave Grayson Since last January the FCC, Federal Communications Commission, has been employing a wide variety of ways and means to let Americans know that the age of digital television is coming and it starts on February 17, 2009. However in recent days we received word that the FCC is concerned that not all American families are getting the word about the arrival of digital TV and may possibly have a lack of understanding of exactly what it means.
Jimmie Johnson wins Martinsville, expands points lead
by Pete McCole Jimmie Johnson continued Hendrick Motorsport's domination of Martinsville Speedway Sunday scoring his fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win as he led 339 laps and survived a green-white-checkered finish in the Tums QuickPak 500. His teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 2nd and Carl Edwards 3rd. Another Hendrick driver, Jeff Gordon was 4th.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Johnny Benson used fresher tires and a lightning-fast truck to pass Ron Hornaday for the lead with 46 laps to go in Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway and cruised to his fifth victory of the season. Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Hornaday, on older tires than Benson hung onto second before running out of gas with four laps left in the Kroger 200.
by Dave Grayson When NASCAR's Chase For The Championship began industry observers felt there were two events in the ten race schedule that could possibly provide mulligans that would completely turn around the points standings. Those races were at Talladega-Alabama and Martinsville-Virginia. Talladega lived up to its big one reputation and sent a few drivers on a downhill slide in the standings. There's a very good possibility that the short track aggressiveness at Martinsville could throw another major wrench into the Chase machine.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Bank Of America 500, held last Saturday night at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, provided some very lively moments and gave us all a lot to talk about this week. Following the wreck he triggered at the Talladega race the week before, Edwards found himself dealing with a highly unusual electrical problem that knocked out both of the car's ignition boxes. That's one of those one in a million situations. It's also Edwards' second Chase mulligan within a period of six days in a format where mulligans can kill a championship run.
by Pete McCole Despite Jimmie Johnson’s fast start to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Jeff Burton hasn’t been willing to concede the trophy to the two-time defending champion. On Saturday night, Burton gave more than lip service to that notion, holding off Kasey Kahne to win the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top five.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch pulled off the season sweep at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday night, holding off Jeff Burton in a final four-lap shootout to win the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. After a long night that included several cautions and two red flags for rain, Busch took the lead following a round of pit stops with 30 laps to go and held on through three late caution flags to notch his ninth win of the season in the Nationwide season.
By David Grayson We all saw that final "big one" at the conclusion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega. We all know that Carl Edward's effort to bump draft into the middle of turn three resulted in a multi car wreck that took out half of the contenders in the Chase For The Championship along with two of his Roush Fenway Racing teammates.
by David Grayson There were some high profile Talladega tidbits that followed the conclusion of last Sunday's Amp Energy Drink 500. Why wouldn't there be? After all it's Talladega. Hoorah for NASCAR for enforcing the yellow line rule following the conclusion of the race. There's already a lot of debate over how this race ended. Everyone from two guys sitting on barstools to racing professionals sitting behind a desk on national television will be talking about this for the next several days.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Tony Stewart held off hard-charging rookie Regan Smith, who made a last-lap daredevil pass below the yellow line in trying to beat the two-time champion. NASCAR rules prohibit passing below the yellow line that separates the racing track from the apron. It was Stewart's first win ever at Talladega Superspeedway.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Travis Kvapil scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole on Saturday for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Kvapil turned a lap of 187.634 mph in his Yates Racing No. 28 Ford Fusion to nose out Casey Mears who will start outside the front row in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet. DEI, who are struggling and need some PR courtesy of NASCAR to get new sponsors, saw Aric Almirola, Regan Smith and Paul Menard conveniently round out the top five.
by David Grayson There's no question about it, Dale Earnhardt Inc-DEI has endured a lot of frustrations in recent months and the latest problem comes with the recent announcement that driver Paul Menard is leaving and will sign on with Yates Racing in 2009. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the mega million dollar primary sponsorship, for the DEI #15 Chevrolet, is going with the driver. That of course would be the family owned business Menard's Home Improvement Stores.
NASCAR highlights from last weekend's racing action
by Dave Grayson Let's start things out with a HOORAH for the final lap of last Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 400 at the Kansas Speedway. For a very brief moment in time there was no consideration towards points for NASCAR's Chase For The Championship. That final lap was about four guys racing their guts out trying to get the win. Even after bouncing off of the turn three wall, Carl Edwards still did everything he could to pass eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson. It was riveting, albeit brief, television.
Race 3 of Sprint Cup Chase It was probably one of the most spectacular finishes in NASCAR history. Carl Edwards made a suicide run into the third turn underneath race leader Jimmie Johnson. He was determined to win. Unfortunately, Edwards ran out of track before running into the wall, struggled to maintain control and watched Johnson go back by him for the victory at Kansas Speedway.
Nationwide Series Denny Hamlin held off NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Clint Bowyer to win Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway, but Bowyer extended his margin in the standings over his two closest pursuers. Hamlin led every lap of a 36-lap green-flag run to finish the race and crossed the finish line 1.407 seconds ahead of Bowyer.
by Mark J. Cipolloni 2007 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Juan Pablo Montoya grabbed first career pole Friday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway. Montoya turned a lap of 172.150 mph in his Chip Ganassi Racing Texaco Havoline Dodge but Montoya's lap and pole-winning run were disallowed when NASCAR officials found that the rear shocks on Montoya's car exceeded the maximum gas pressure allowed by the NASCAR rule book.
by Cathy Elliott Someone we don't talk a whole lot about is Greg Biffle. This has become a real puzzler for me, so I posed the question recently, and this is what I learned: We don't dedicate entire segments to Greg Biffle because he simply isn't a guy who draws much attention to himself. Once you get past the major surface facts, fans don't really know all that much about Biffle.
by David Grayson Round three of NASCAR's Chase For The Championship moves to the Kansas Speedway this Sunday. Carl Edwards sits on top of the Chase standings but is only ten points ahead of Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle while Jeff Burton remains in shouting distance just 82 points back. But all eyes will be on Kyle Busch, and his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, this Sunday.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Greg Biffle is up on the wheel. For the second consecutive week, Biffle outraced the field down the stretch and won the Camping World RV 400 Presented by AAA at Dover International Speedway. Biffle, who ran with the leaders most of the day, turned up the adrenaline with 24 laps to go and dogged teammate Matt Kenseth for 15 laps before finally passing Kenseth with a eight laps remaining.
Nationwide Series With a committee of crew chiefs -- and in the face of some wishful thinking on the part of Mike Bliss -- Kyle Busch won Saturday's Camping World RV Sales 200 Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway in dominating fashion. Busch led 157 of 207 laps in a race that ended with a green-white-checkered-flag finish.
by David Grayson The ESPN Sports Networks likes to treat its viewers to Saturday night boxing matches. But even network executives were amazed when their coverage of last Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from New Hampshire turned into a genuine boxing match between team members representing drivers Todd Bodine, David Reutimann and David Starr. While it may have been the last thing NASCAR officials wanted to see, it was riveting, and highly entertaining, live television.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jeff Gordon backed up his fast practice lap on Friday at Dover International Speedway by taking the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV 400 after recording a lap of 157.061 mph in qualifying. Mark Martin qualified second, his best start of 2008. "Sixth-place in the Chase points Denny Hamlin will start third.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Greg Biffle, a true, hard-charging stock car driver, hasn't been talked about that much in the buzz leading up to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship. Some might say he was "The Forgotten Man." Not anymore. Biffle won Sunday. He grabbed his first victory since last year at Kansas Speedway, the 13th of his Sprint Cup career.
by David Grayson NASCAR's highly anticipated, and very likely dramatic, Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship officially begins this Sunday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the running of the Sylvania 300. The Chase will feature 12 drivers, ten races, 3,227 laps and 4,095,980 miles before a 2008 champion is crowned in a special series that is worth literally millions of dollars.
Field Set for 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
by Pete McCole Jimmie Johnson’s victory Sunday brought the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup regular season to a close, setting the field for the 12-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup to begin next week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The top 12 drivers in the points standings will advance to the 10-race Chase. David Ragan and Kasey Kahne are on the outside looking in as Clint Bowyer (right) locks up the final spot in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
by Tim Wohlford Neither Hurricane Hanna nor the best efforts of Toyota's Joe Gibbs Racing could rain on Chevy's parade today. Jimmie Johnson made it two-in-a-row by winning the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, followed by Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Mark Martin. David Ragan failed to break into the top 12, finishing 32nd, one lap down.
by David Grayson But she did and the heavy rain from tropical storm Hanna has forced some major adjustments for race #26 on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule at the Richmond International Raceway and we're going to have to wait until Sunday to find out exactly who is going to comprise the 12 man roster for the Chase For The Championship.
by David Grayson While NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series teams are very busy preparing for the countdown to the Chase For The Championship at Richmond this weekend, I decided that it would be fun to take a final look at the NASCAR Pepsi 500 weekend at the Auto Club Speedway and tell you who and what earned a HOORAH and how some things made the WAZZ UP list.
Sprint Cup Forget the rivalry between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. In Sunday’s Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway, there was only one car that counted, the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson. Johnson led 228 of 250 laps and held off a late-race challenge from Greg Biffle.
NASCAR With ticket sales soft, hometown hero Jimmie Johnson once again won the pole position at California Speedway for the Pepsi 500. The only driver to turn a lap at Auto Club Speedway in less than 40 seconds Friday afternoon, Jimmie Johnson survived a strong challenge from A.J. Allmendinger to win the pole for Sunday's Pepsi 500 Sprint Cup race.
by David Grayson Let's start our racing week out with a rarely issued combination HOO-RAH/WAZZ-UP. First off HOO-RAH for the alleged impending rivalry between NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch following last Saturday night's Bristol race. This has already evolved into more fun than any NASCAR fan could expect. It's now become apparent that Edwards' late in the race bump and run was actually pay back for a similar bumper thumping moment from Busch during a Nationwide Series race at Richmond.
'Concrete Carl' Edwards wins 2nd in row at Bristol
Sprint Cup Series 'Concrete Carl' Edwards has a knack when it comes to concrete race tracks. On Saturday night bumping him on the cool-down lap at the high banked concrete Bristol 1/2-mile oval Edwards bump-passed race leader Kyle Busch after the last restart to win his 9th race on a concrete track, 2nd race in a row and 2nd race at Bristol. Busch, who dominated the race in his Toyota was an unhappy 2nd and he let Edwards know it by bumping him on the cool-down lap. Denny Hamlin was third.
by Mark J. Cipolloni Carl Edwards is looking for back-to-back Sharpie 500 wins and started off the weekend on the right foot by winning the pole in Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying session at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards turned a lap of 121.860 mph in his Roush Fenway Racing Office Depot Ford to win his first pole of 2008 and first career one at Bristol. David Reutimann qualified second in the No. 44 UPS Toyota, to back up his recent contract extension with the team.
by Tim Wohlford Coursing through Jack Roush's veins is a mixture of racing fuel, adrenalin, and Ford-blue blood. Jack's first job out of college was with Ford, which he left to pursue a career of making Fords go faster. Jack looks like a kid caught in a cookie jar when asked about those stories of his younger days when he used to “test” customer's Mustangs on Detroit area highways at well over twice the legal speed limit.
by Tim Wohlford Carl Edwards swept the weekend, winning the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Edwards won a 2-lap shootout with Kyle Busch, who finished second. Roush cars finished first, third, fourth, sixth and twelfth, running Roush's Cup win total at MIS to eleven in the process. The race ended in a 2-lap shootout, but Edwards got a great start and Kyle never had a chance to catch him. The last lap, however, saw Matt Kenseth bounce off the wall to pass Mark Martin for fifth.
Nationwide Series If there’s such a thing as home cooking at a NASCAR race track, Michigan International Speedway served as Jack Roush’s kitchen for Saturday’s Carfax 250. In a race that ended under caution because of Danny Efland’s wreck on the white-flag lap, polesitter Carl Edwards gave Roush Fenway Racing its first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at the two-mile track since 1998.
by Tim Wohlford Brian Vickers always runs well at Michigan, and today he put his Team Red Bull Toyota on the pole for Sunday's 3M Performance 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Starting second will be Jimmie Johnson, followed by Elliott Sadler and Dale Earnhardt Jr in the second row. Missing the race was Johnny Sauter.
Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen Kyle Busch scored his eighth win of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, lengthened his point lead, and swept all two (actually three) road course races of the year with a win in Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Busch ran away from his overweight and out of shape Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart to the checkered flag.
After rain delay Carl Edwards won his 11th career NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and 4th of the season, Sunday at Pocono by 3.8 seconds over Tony Stewart. Jimmie Johnson was third with Kevin Harvick and David Ragan rounding out the top-5. The race was red-flagged for about a half an hour due to rain. The win moves Edwards up two spots in the championship to third.
Road Racers dominate NASCAR first wet race Ron Fellows, driving for JR Motorsports, won the rain-shortened NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was his 4th career Nationwide Series win. The race was called after 49 laps when the rain picked up, water began to stand on the track, and it started getting darker. Patrick Carpentier finished second, followed by Marcos Ambrose, who led 29 laps and dominated much of the race before being caught too fast on pit road.
After winning from the pole last week in Indianapolis, Jimmie Johnson grabbed the Coors Light Pole for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 this Sunday with a speed of 168.215 mph. Mark Martin grabbed the outside pole for an all Chevrolet front row, while David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.
NASCAR's Robin Pemberton apologizes for Indy fiasco
Goodyear to blame but NASCAR takes the heat First and foremost it's probably on everybody's mind right now what went on with the tire situation this past weekend at Indianapolis. We've had a call with Goodyear this morning, and talked to Joie Chitwood this morning about some things. You know, I can't say enough about how sorry we are, and you know, it's our responsibility being NASCAR that we don't go through this situation again. Robin Pemberton
by David Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be making their second appearance of the year at the Pocono Speedway, and its 2.5 triangular shaped track, this Sunday, August 3d, with the running of the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. Kasey Kahne won the June race earlier this year and Kurt Busch won the August race in 2007.
Tire fiasco ruins Allstate 400, Johnson wins for 2nd time
by Tim Wohlford In a fiasco not worthy of Indy, Jimmie Johnson won the 2008 Brickyard 400. Coming in second was Carl Edwards, followed by Denny Hamlin and Elliott Sadler. Severe tire wear issues forced a competition caution every 10 laps for the entire race, lowering the average speed to 115 mph, slightly more than Wilbur Shaw's 1937 Indy 500-winning speed. Press Conference
NASCAR HERB BRANHAM: We're ready to start our winners press conference. Rick, open up first and tell us how it feels today after this race. RICK HENDRICK: It's an unbelievable feeling to win this race. You know, after practice, Jimmie was so confident, it looked like early on we had a good car and we were just worried about not get in any trouble, finishing the race.
by Tim Wohlford The 2008 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will feature Jimmie Johnson on the pole, with Mark Martin starting second. The race will not feature four drivers who failed to qualify: Johnny Sauter, Stanton Barrett, Tony Raines, and Bill Elliott. Johnson, the 2006 winner of the event, turned a lap of 181.763 mph in his Hendrick Motorsports Lowe's Chevrolet around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Sprint Cup Series Hendrick Motorsports teammates and former Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winners Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon finished one-two in the speed rankings during practice Friday, July 25 for this year's annual NASCAR classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jeff Gordon has happy balance as family man, fierce competitor
NASCAR's winningest active driver As the 15th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard approaches, a couple hours spent recently with four-time race winner Jeff Gordon reveals that, in many ways, he's still the 23-year-old kid who won the inaugural Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 6, 1994. Despite the fortune, the fame, the Gordon one meets today is still in many ways the polite, funny, humble Gordon who left Pittsboro, Indiana in the early 1990s to seek NASCAR success.
Richard Petty memories of a middle-aged racing fan
by Dave Grayson This past July 12th marked the 50th anniversary of Richard Petty's first ever race and with that came the appropriate congratulations and media attention that a milestone like this richly deserves. This prestigious event took place in 1958 in Columbia-South Carolina. Petty started the race from the 13th position, worked his way to a sixth place finish. It also marked the beginning of one of the most prolific legacies in the world of auto racing.
Busch's Toyota outduels Johnson's Chevy in Chicago
by Rick Schenk The best driver in NASCAR has done it again. Kyle Busch looked like he was beaten by Jimmie Johnson when Johnson passed Busch with about 15 laps to go and began to pull away. But a late race caution bunched up the field and with two laps to go on the final restart Kyle Busch motored his Toyota around the outside of Johnson's Chevy in Turn 2 and then held off Johnson at the finish to win by 2 car lengths.
NASCAR Nationwide Series With a 10-second lead after a round of green-flag pit stops cycled through on Lap 155, Kyle Busch drove his No. 18 Toyota to a comfortable victory over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in Friday night's Dollar General 300 Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway. Busch's fifth 2008 victory, the 16th of his career, gave JGR a series-record-tying 13 victories.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Thundershowers soaked Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday, forcing cancellation of qualifying Thursday night for Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup race. The field was set according to the NASCAR rulebook, with the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of points leader Kyle Busch starting from the pole.
JGR and Tony Stewart to Part Ways after '08 Season
Stewart to leave #20 Car Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Tony Stewart have agreed to part ways upon the conclusion of the 2008 season. The two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will finish the 2008 Sprint Cup season with JGR behind the wheel of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota.
Sprint Cup race at Daytona In a wild and wooly finish so typical of races at Daytona International Speedway, Kyle Busch won by a whisker over hard-charging Carl Edwards with a chain-reaction accident behind them sending up a cloud of smoke that covered the track. The race ended in a green-white-checkered finish after a spectacular night of racing that more resembled a Saturday night short track event. Press Conference
Nationwide Series Same car. Same racetrack. Different driver. The cast of characters in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 Toyota is such a successful game of musical chairs that even Dale Earnhardt Jr. got confused. Tony Stewart took the No. 20 Camry to victory lane to open the NASCAR Nationwide Series season at Daytona International Speedway in February. The car, sans Stewart, returned to the winner's circle in Friday night's Winn-Dixie 250 with Denny Hamlin behind the wheel.
NASCAR at Daytona Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Paul Menard captured his first career Sprint Cup pole Friday to lead an all DEI front row in qualifying for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Menard is joined on the front row by veteran Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Mark Martin, who will start on the outside of Menard in the second position. In addition, DEI rookie Regan Smith will start eighth in the race.
Sprint Cup Series Kurt Busch and his No. 2 Miller Lite team decided to go for fuel mileage Sunday, hoping to salvage a good finish in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. For most of the afternoon, Busch raced under the radar while Tony Stewart, Casey Mears and a few others battled way ahead for the lead. But Mother Nature smiled on Busch and a few other drivers after 284 of the 301 scheduled laps, drenching the track just 17 laps from completion.
Nationwide Series Tony Stewart became the 22nd different driver to win in 22 NASCAR Nationwide Series races held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday taking the checkered flag in the Camping World 200. Stewart took only two tires on the final pit stop of the day and that proved to be the winning move and put him in position to win his fifth Nationwide Series win of the season.
Ex-Champ Car star Patrick Carpentier Ex-Champ Car star Patrick Carpentier surprised a lot of people on pit road by winning his first career pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Carpentier drove his Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge to his first pole in his 17th Sprint Cup start and will lead the field to the green in Sunday's 17th race of the 2008 season.
by Cathy Elliott Everything from fresh fruit to football enjoys a peak season, although increasingly some of them can't make up their minds regarding exactly which season best applies. Major League Baseball, for example, while billing its players as "The Boys of Summer," continues to refer to the season-ending World Series as the "Fall Classic". What's the deal, baseball? Make up your mind, already. You can't have it both ways.
by David Grayson As spring slides into summer it is once again time for my favorite part of the year: NASCAR's silly season. It's that time of the year when the garage rumors hit a fever pitch and we are regaled with intriguing stories of what driver and sponsor is staying put and who's looking for greener pastures. With that thought in mind let's take a look at the 2008 silly season.
Sprint Cup Series Kyle Busch held off David Gilliland and Jeff Gordon on a green-white-checkered finish to win Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California in his Toyota. Busch led 75 laps en route his first road course victory, coming from 30th starting position to the front. At the end Busch pulled away from runner-up David Gilliland.
Edwards ends Nationwide Series drought at Milwaukee
NASCAR All it took to end Carl Edwards' year-long NASCAR Nationwide Series winless streak was to change crew chiefs. The defending series champion had gone 36 races without a victory, and team owner Jack Roush decided that was enough. So Roush Fenway Racing swapped crew chiefs earlier this week, with Drew Blickensderfer taking over for Pierre Kuettel on Edwards' No. 60 team.
NASCAR Truck Series Johnny Benson won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at The Milwaukee Mile for the third straight year Friday night, taking the Camping World RV Sales 200. Benson's victory from the pole position in the Bill Davis Racing Toyota was his first of the season and 10th of his NCTS career -- all coming in the past three seasons. He entered the race leading the points and expanded his advantage to 50 over Todd Bodine.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kasey Kahne continued his recent hot streak Friday by winning the pole at Infineon Raceway for his best career starting position on a road course. Kahne was the third driver to make his qualifying attempt and his lap around the twisting track at 92.153 mph was good enough to hold the top spot for the entire session. It was his second pole of the season, and second in three weeks.
by Cathy Elliott At the age when most young people are enjoying their final completely carefree summer, preparing to go to college or enter the workforce, Joey Logano is getting ready to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As certainly as sixth grade follows fifth, Logano will be promoted to stock car racing's highest level, probably sooner rather than later.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rationale would tell you that 2003 Champ Car Champion Paul Tracy would be turning laps in the newly unified IndyCar Series. However, those who know PT know that he is not always a rational guy. Tracy is a guy who wants to win and a guy who races with passion beyond comprehension. He is a guy who will fit beautifully into NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series.
by Tim Wohlford In a classic Michigan International Speedway race against weather, fuel mileage and attrition, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a 2-lap shootout on fumes and old tires, winning the LifeLock 400 Sprint Cup race. Second place went to Kasey Kahne, followed by Kenseth, Vickers and Tony Stewart. Earnhardt benefitted by a yellow flag which shortened the shootout, as Earnhardt lacked the fuel to finish the race under green flag conditions.
by Tim Wohlford AutoRacing1.com readers have followed Scott Speed from the time he won the Red Bull Driver Search in 2003, through his test drive with Red Bull Racing in 2005, into his struggles with Team Toro Rosso, and finally his mid-season dismissal in 2007. For a while he was the great American F1 hope, fulfilling the dreams that were shattered with Michael Andretti's foiled attempt some 14 years earlier.
in Nationwide Series Everybody knew Joey Logano would win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. It was just a matter of how quickly he could get it done. In only his third career start, Logano answered that question Saturday night in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway, becoming the youngest driver to win in NASCAR Nationwide Series history at 18 years and 21 days.
by Cathy Elliott In no other professional sport is the connection between fathers and their kids more prevalent than in NASCAR. If you can't wax sentimental about your father, there's simply no hope for you. The earliest attachments in our lives are the bonds we share with our mothers, formed even before we are born. We spend years either following our mothers around or being followed around by them.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Rain washed out qualifying at Michigan International Speedway on Friday after 11 of the 45 Sprint Cup drivers had made attempts. The grid for Sunday's LifeLock 400 was set by the NASCAR rulebook. That puts Kyle Busch on the pole with Jeff Burton on the outside of Row 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.
by Frank Ryan Kasey Kahne started from the pole and overcame a pit road mishap to win the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. Toyota and Red Bull grabbed second place with a strong run by Brian Vickers. Rounding out the top 5 were Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jeff Burton.
Wins Sam's Town 400 Truck race Ron Hornaday Jr. made one of his trademark masterful restarts on a green-white-checkered flag restart and kept Kyle Busch in his mirrors for the final two laps to win the Sam's Town 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
by Frank Ryan Kasey Kahne put Dodge and Budweiser on the pole for the Pocono 500 with a late afternoon run that bounced Jimmie Johnson to the outside of the front row. Kahne's Dodge was followed by the Chevrolets of Johnson, Mark Martin, Regan Smith and Joe Nemechek to round out the top 5.
NASCAR This weekend, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch will make history by competing in three different series on three different tracks, all on the same weekend. His itinerary will take him to Pocono Raceway, Nashville Superspeedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kyle Busch and his dominant Toyota took his fourth checkered flag in the Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway. Busch led four times for 158 laps and never looked back after taking the lead in his No. 18 Combos Toyota for the final time on lap 327. The victory was the eighth of his career in 127 starts. Carl Edwards was 2nd and Greg Biffle 3rd, both in Fords.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Denny Hamlin extended the domination of Joe Gibbs Racing drivers with Toyota power Saturday with a convincing 1.154-second victory over Carl Edwards in the Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. Hamlin's win marked the eighth straight time and 10th time in 14 Nationwide events this year that a full-time Sprint Cup driver for Joe Gibbs Racing with Toyota power has won a Nationwide race.
Former F1 backmarker buries NASCAR regulars Making the most of his sixth start in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series -- and capitalizing on transmission troubles that temporarily sidelined Kyle Busch's dominant Toyota -- former Formula 1 driver Scott Speed ran away from the field after a late restart to win the AAA Insurance 200 on Friday at Dover International Speedway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Greg Biffle turned a lap of 155.219 mph to grab the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway. It was Biffle's sixth career Sprint Cup Series pole and second this season. Kurt Busch will start outside the front row in the Penske Racing Miller Lite Dodge. "They built me a great car," said Biffle. "It's exciting how the No.16 team has come around this year."
by Pete McCole Kasey Kahne lucked out when leader Tony Stewart crashed with two laps to go and went on to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The triumph was the third of his career at LMS and it followed up last week's $1 million dollar victory in the All-Star race.
by Pete McCole The Joe Gibbs Racing win streak in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has finally been broken, and surprisingly the driver that brought the streak to an end was a JGR driver as Kyle Busch gambled on fuel to win Saturday night’s Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Driving the no. 32 Toyota Camry fielded by Braun Racing, Busch led the final 39 laps.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch rocketed to his third pole position in two weeks on Thursday night, grabbing the lead-off spot for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Busch’s lap of 185.433 mph was enough to knock Kasey Kahne off the top spot, earning Busch his fourth career pole and his second of the season. Kahne held onto the second starting spot, followed by Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle and David Ragan.
by Cathy Elliott When the qualifying laps were completed, the front row for one of the biggest, most prestigious races of the entire season, run each year on Memorial Day weekend, featured a couple of familiar names. The number one and two starters drive for Chip Ganassi Racing, while the drivers in the third and fourth positions call Roger Penske their boss.
by Pete McCole Kasey Kahne pulled off a worst-to-first performance worth a million dollars, as he came from the back of the pack to win Saturday night’s 24th running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kahne started last among the 24 starters in the field after being voted by the fans into the final transfer spot.
NASCAR Trucks It took Matt Crafton 178 starts to snare his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory. It took about 35-crash filled laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway to set the unlikely win in motion. A chaotic turn of events that took front-runner after front-runner out of contention in the late stages of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Crafton hung on and survived for an unlikely triumph in a race that may well be remembered more for who didn't win than who did.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch’s winning streak continued Friday night as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader captured the pole for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Busch’s speed of 132.835 mph in the two-lap, four-tire pit stop format was enough to knock Jeff Gordon off the pole, giving Busch his first pole in just his third start in NASCAR’s all star event.
by Cathy Elliott If you attend a NASCAR event in order to get a little peace and quiet, you're in the wrong place. A particularly appropriate phrase comes to mind, but another Southern writer has already coined it. I'm not quite egomaniacal enough to compare myself to William Faulkner, but I am just brave enough to blatantly "borrow" from him, as NASCAR is the perfect contemporary definition of "The Sound and the Fury."
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch made it clear Saturday night that he demands respect, and the 22-year-old driver proved that he deserves it with a convincing victory in Saturday night’s Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the newly resurfaced Darlington Raceway. This time, he didn’t have to spin anyone out to do it.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Greg Biffle shattered the Darlington Raceway qualifying record in his Ford en route to capturing his fifth career pole with a fast lap of 179.442 mph on the 1.366-mile track's new surface. Hendrick drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson were 2nd and 3rd followed by the Toyota of Tony Stewart and the Dodge of Kurt Busch.
Bowyer wins Richmond after Hamlin & Earnhardt falter
by Pete McCole Clint Bowyer found himself in the right place at the right time to notch his first victory of the season Saturday night, ducking underneath Kyle Busch and the spinning car of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with two laps to go to win the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Bowyer lead the final three laps of the green-white-checker overtime session to beat out Busch and Mark Martin. Press Conference
NASCAR Nationwide Series Local favorite Denny Hamlin went to victory lane at his home track, Richmond International Raceway, Friday night. He did so with a well-timed pit stop in the closing laps of the Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Hamlin used strategy and timing to take his first win at the track located just 15 minutes from his hometown of Chesterfield, Va.
by Cathy Elliott It is an awful feeling, and in the manner of grim surprises since the beginning of time, you never see it coming. I was having a casual conversation over lunch the other day about fairly nebulous NASCAR topics; what I would consider general knowledge questions. We discussed the NASCAR Sprint Cup season so far, the next few races, the Chase, what in the world Tony Stewart will ultimately decide to do, anything and everything about Dale Earnhardt, Jr. … in other words, the usual.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Not by coincidence of course to try and sell the unsold seats, Denny Hamlin, at his home track, won the pole Friday night for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver turned a lap of 21.395 seconds (126.198 mph) on the 0.75-mile speedway.
Sprint Cup With Juan Montoya setting him up for the last lap pass, the caution flew with one lap to go and Kyle Busch, who fought back from being one lap down, went on to pick up the checkered flag in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Juan Pablo Montoya followed Busch across the line in second.
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Talladega Joe Nemechek in the National Day of Prayer/Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet qualified for the pole position for Sunday's Aaron's 499 race at Talladega Speedway followed by Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader. A.J. Allmendinger and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. Nemechek, the 46th of 47 drivers to make a qualifying attempt, knocked Stewart off the pole with a lap of 187.386 mph. It was the first pole since 2005, a span of 93 races, for "Front Row Joe," and was his fourth career pole at Talladega -- best among active drivers.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus played a fuel strategy game that paid off with a win in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. While the rest of the leaders were pitting for fuel Johnson was able to stretch his fuel load and not stop for his first win of 2008.
Nationwide Series in Phoenix First it was the truck series, and this year it has spread to the Nationwide and Cup series - Toyota's expected complete domination of NASCAR is in full swing. Kyle Busch liked the taste of victory so much that he came back for a second helping. After picking up his first win of the season in NASCAR's Nationwide Series last Saturday at Texas, Busch staved off a determined challenge from Carl Edwards to win Friday night's Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
At Infineon Raceway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards visited Infineon Raceway on Wednesday, April 9, to help promote the upcoming Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 20-22. He also took part in a Mini Triathlon with Colin Gibson (13) and Trueman Gibson (8), featuring a mountain bike ride, run around a portion of the road course and a grape stomp. The goal was to promote fitness among children. The Gibson brothers are from Santa Rosa in the North Bay. Below is a transcript from the post-event press conference.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman raced around 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway in 26.975 seconds (133.457 mph) Thursday to win the pole for Saturday's Subway Fresh Fit 500, edging Elliott Sadler for the top spot by just 0.009 seconds. It was Newman's first pole of the season -- the eighth consecutive year he has won at least one pole -- and the 43rd of his career, tying him with Buck Baker for 10th on the all-time list.
NASCAR Sprint Cup in Texas Carl Edwards dominated Sunday's Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway to win in his Ford over Jimmie Johnson's Chevy and Kyle Busch's Toyota. Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-5. The back-flipping Edwards is on a roll. Edwards held off Johnson and Busch in a two-lap shootout after the day's sixth and final caution with four laps remaining set the stage for an exciting green, white, checkered flag finish.
by Pete McCole Virginia native Denny Hamlin scored a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at his home track by holding off Jeff Gordon in Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin took the lead from Jeff Burton with 74 laps to go and drove his Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Toyota to his first checkered flag of the season. Polesitter Jeff Gordon was nearly two seconds behind in his Hendrick Motorsports DuPont Chevrolet.
NASCAR Trucks For the first time since the late Bobby Hamilton won at Mansfield, Ohio, in 2005, Dennis Setzer took Bobby Hamilton Racing back to victory lane. "This win right here is for Bobby Hamilton only -- he is the man!" shouted crew chief Marcus Richmond after Setzer, who had run 173 laps since his final pit stop, crossed the finish line with trucks wrecking in his wake.
Sprint Cup short track Jeff Gordon continued his domination of the 0.526-mile paperclip shaped Martinsville oval by winning the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in his DuPont Chevy. Denny Hamlin was 2nd in his Joe Gibbs Toyota. Aric Almirola, David Ragan and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-5. The 4-time champion is hoping a return to Martinsville will get his season turned around.
by Cathy Elliott It gets a little upsetting at times, when one of NASCAR's rare "off" weekends rolls around, to hear the inevitable lament, "Aw, man, there's no race this weekend." Let's correct that statement right off the bat, because it is inaccurate. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series does not compete every week, it is true, but even when the nation's premier racing series is enjoying a couple of rare and well-deserved days off, there is plenty of action for fans to enjoy, and some serious stargazing to be done.
by Pete McCole Jeff Burton has been a bridesmaid at Bristol three times in 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the famed half-mile track, but on Sunday it took extra-laps to finally break into victory lane as Burton led the final two laps of a green-white-checkered finish to win Sunday’s Food City 500 for his career victory at Bristol. Burton passed Denny Hamlin halfway through the opening lap of the overtime session and held off teammate Kevin Harvick to score his first career Cup victory at Bristol. Clint Boyer finished third to give Richard Childress Racing their first. 1-2-3 finish.
NASCAR Rain once again washed out qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. This week it was Bristol that saw showers roll in to see the field set by last year's final points. Jimmie Johnson starts from the pole while his Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon will also start on the front row. Bristol also marks the last points race start for Dale Jarrett, who is retiring after 24 years and 668 starts.
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Atlanta For the first time since 1954 a foreign car manufacturer has won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series as Kyle Busch claimed the win at Atlanta for Toyota, placing an exclamation mark on Toyota's NASCAR experiment. Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart was second, followed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr, Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon.
NASCAR at Atlanta Matt Kenseth may not have had the dominant car in Saturday's Nicorette 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but his No. 17 Ford was first to the finish line. Benefitting from Kyle Busch's blown tire, which took the dominant car out of contention, Kenseth held off Kevin Harvick by 0.159 seconds during a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race three laps beyond its scheduled distance.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Benefitting from an astute call from the pits, Kyle Busch held off Ron Hornaday Jr. on Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway to win the American Commercial Lines 200, the second straight victory for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader.
Sprint Cup For the second time in this young NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row for an event. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will lead the field to the green in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (AMS). Carl Edwards, winner of the last two Sprint Cup events, will start fourth.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Roush Ford driver Carl Edwards outran Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the checkered flag and won his second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Sunday's UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the Roush Fenway Racing driver's ninth career series win and the second in less than a week, after he won last Monday's rain-delayed Auto Club 500. Earnhardt, Jr., Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.
NASCAR Mark Martin made contact with leaders Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards in the closing laps but was able to go on to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The incident with six laps to go took out Keselowski and Edwards and paved the way for Martin to survive a green-white-checkered finish. Greg Biffle came home second followed by Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and David Stremme.
Cathy Elliott Some events on NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series schedule are referred to as "destination races." For the NASCAR fan, Las Vegas is the ultimate combo platter of fun, where you can get some Reutimann with your roulette and a side order of blackjack with your Biffle.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kyle Busch won the pole Friday for the UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch, who also leads the Craftsman Truck Series standings and is second in the Nationwide Series, turned a lap of 182.352 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Mark Martin (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) qualified third at 181.293, with Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) fourth and Mike Skinner (Bill Davis Racing) fifth.
NASCAR Mark Martin has visited victory lane on many occasions during his 26 year plus NASCAR career. In fact, the veteran of 700 Cup starts has hoisted NASCAR trophies more times than he can recall. However, his victory in the 1998 inaugural race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was special.
NASCAR Edwards battled his way past a pair of Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets and gave Roush Fenway Racing its fourth straight victory in the spring race at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. Carl Edwards won the rain-delayed Auto Club 500 on Monday, charging past defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson with 13 laps remaining. Johnson, winner of the past two Cup titles, came out of the final pit stop in the lead with 26 laps left. But Edwards came from third to capture the eighth victory of his career.
NASCAR NASCAR's 60th anniversary season continues this week with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returning to California Speedway for Sunday's Auto Club 500, renewing a tradition that has long preceded the 2-mile Fontana oval. The first NASCAR race held in 1951 on the dirt at Carrell Speedway.
NASCAR Newman had his winning 50th running of the Daytona 500 car – the No. 12 Alltel Dodge – inducted into Daytona 500 Experience on Monday morning. After months of preparation the car now sits for a year just within the reach of the countless fans trekking trough Daytona.
NASCAR Ryan Newman, with help from Penske Dodge teammate Kurt Busch, used the outside line to win Sunday's 50th running of the Daytona 500. Newman was fourth on the race's final restart with three laps to go and was able to move to the front with his Penske Racing teammate Busch in tow to score the historic win. It was the first Daytona 500 winner for car owner Roger Penske.
NASCAR Tony Stewart started from the pole and won the Nationwide Series Camping World 300 for Toyota. Kyle Busch led the most laps but finished second in a Toyota while Dale Earnhardt Jr finished in third. Toyota flexed its muscle and claimed three of the top four spots as Brian Vickers finished fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 5 in a Ford.
NASCAR Todd Bodine held off Kyle Busch and Johnny Benson during a nine-lap run to the finish to win the Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night at Daytona International Speedway. The 2006 series champion picked up his 13th career win in the 2008 season opener. Busch edged Benson for second place, while David Starr and Rick Crawford completed the top five.
NASCAR Tony Stewart won the pole for Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway, his first pole in the Nationwide Series since 2005 at Watkins Glen, N.Y. It was the third consecutive pole for the series opener at Daytona for Joe Gibbs Racing. The past two seasons then-JGR drivers J.J. Yeley and Aric Almirola won poles for this race with the organization’s No. 18 team.
NASCAR Denny Hamlin won the first ever race for Toyota as he out muscled the field to win the second Gatorade Duel at Daytona. Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart finished second in the one - two sweep for Toyota. Jeff Gordon finished third while Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin rounded out the top 5.
NASCAR Dale Earnhardt Jr won the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona leading 26 laps and making it two in a row for his Hendrick Motorsports team. Reed Sorenson and Ryan Newman followed Earnhardt Jr across the line while Casey Mears and Carl Edwards rounded out the top 5.
NASCAR Ford Motor Company has had its share of on-track success at Daytona International Speedway, but its biggest contribution may have taken place before the facility was even built. That’s because Ford engineers assisted Bill France, Sr., and his team of Daytona Beach city commissioner Dan Warren and engineer Charlie Moneypenny, in solving their main problem of transitioning from the daunting high banks in the corners to the otherwise flat straightaway of the proposed 2.5-mile superspeedway.
NASCAR Hendrick Motorsports driver and defending series champion Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 with a lap of 187.075 mph. Michael Waltrip went out late in Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session and posted a lap of 186.734 mph to win the outside front row spot.
NASCAR Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominated the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Saturday night to win the first time out since switching to the Hendrick Motorsports Chevy team. Earnhardt took his #88 Chevy to the front on lap 4 of the first 20-lap segment and then went on to win the final 50-lap segment as well. He led a total of 47 laps, the most ever by a driver in the Bud Shootout. Tony Stewart was 2nd and Jimmie Johnson third.
NASCAR The 50th running of the Daytona 500 lends itself to exemplary adjectives, ranging from special to extraordinary to cathartic. It lends itself to a special commemorative trophy, like the golden Harley J. Earl trophy this year’s winner will soon hoist. It lends itself to a big “thank you” to the fans, who are the reason why there’s been 49 of these monumental races.
NASCAR As the 50th running of the Daytona 500 approaches we present a half century of history with photos and specifications of the evolution of the NASCAR stock cars as they changed from the early days to today's Sprint Cup cars. See photos from the first Daytona 500 in 1959 through the 60s, 70s, 80s and up into the 2007 season.
NASCAR The NASCAR Mexico Series has made tremendous progress in its brief history. The NASCAR Mexico Series, entering its fifth season overall and its second under the NASCAR banner, has established a strong following among the Mexican fans and become one of the most important motor sport series of in the country.
Cathy Elliott Few events in sports rally the viewing masses like the NFL's Super Bowl. While this is understandable, I suppose, I nevertheless find it a source of irritation when I hear people refer to the biggest and most prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the year--the legendary Daytona 500--as "NASCAR's Super Bowl."
NASCAR Jack Roush Jr. and his father, Jack Roush, participated in a press conference in preparation for Friday’s Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series’ Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Roush Jr. will co-drive today’s race in the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Mustang FR500C with Dean Martin. The father and son duo talk about their start as a team in go-kart racing to Roush Jr. now having his first start at Daytona, a track where his dad captured 10 wins in 10 attempts in the Rolex Series GT class.
by Pete McCole The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway concluded on Thursday. The first stop of the afternoon was a visit to the host track for the media tour, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, where track founder and chairman Bruton Smith unveiled pans for a quarter-mile drag strip adjacent to LMS that will host a National Hot Rod Association event later this year.
by Pete McCole The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway rolled on with day three of the four-day tour. Wednesday’s planned visits included Petty Enterprises, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing. The first stop on the Wednesday road trip was a visit to the new home of Petty Enterprises in Mooresville, N.C.
by Pete McCole The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway continued on Tuesday with day two of the four-day tour, with scheduled announcements from Haas Automation, Dodge, and Joe Gibbs Racing. Highlighting the morning session was a trip to Windshear, Inc., a company formed by Haas Automation owner Gene Haas, and a tour of the company’s newly built wind tunnel.
by Pete McCole The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway kicked off in Concord on Monday, beginning a four-day tour featuring interviews and press conferences with some of the biggest names in auto racing as they prepare for the upcoming 2008 NASCAR season.
NASCAR NASCAR officials are once more courting their traditional fans, touting the sport's storied history as the 2008 season dawns. The sanctioning body is celebrating its 60th season while also preparing for the highly publicized 50th running of the Daytona 500. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France talked at length Monday about the sport's development from races on the beach road course in Daytona to the official formation of the series.
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