by Cathy Elliott On the day Joie Chitwood III was born in Tampa, Fla., his father was not there. â€œMy dad wasnâ€™t at the hospital; he was driving a race car around Daytona International Speedway,â€ Chitwood says. Like the famous sirens of seafaring lore, the call of the race track seems too powerful for the Chitwood family to resist. Joieâ€™s grandfather was a Sprint Car champion who competed in the Indianapolis 500 seven times.
by Dave Grayson We've always known that NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards can hold his own in the many humorous tinged television commercials he's appeared in on behalf of his team sponsors. His numerous appearances with the AFLAC duck certainly proves that point. But Edwards' next television appearance could actually elevate to the ranks of being considered as a serious actor. It was just recently announced that the popular driver has joined the cast of an upcoming mini series on the Home Box Office Network, (HBO).
NASCAR drivers listed as dirtiest athletes of all time
by Dave Grayson Anyone who religiously followed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the 2010 season has already figured out that the two drivers who made a list like this has to be Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. You're absolutely right. The 50 Dirtiest Athletes Of All Time was recently released by the "Complex Media Network" following what appears to be a massive amount of research.
by Cathy Elliott Like most avid baseball fans, I have a keen interest in stats and numbers. This year, two numbers were particularly noteworthy. Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCARâ€™s top series in a single weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway and â€“ you may have heard about this one already â€“ Jimmie Johnson won his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Neither of these things has ever been done before.
by Cathy Elliott One of the most stress-inducing undertakings in racing is a track repaving project. If you do it right, it can really cause your stock to rise with fans and drivers alike. But if you happen to get it wrong, you can literally turn a time-honored tradition upside down.
by Dave Grayson So, it's that time of the year again. The time for rewinding the 2010 racing season and taking a second look at all of the fun, and in some cases exasperation, we had during the previous year. Recapping the entire season's highlights is a daunting enough challenge. I soon discovered that the task of picking just one story was almost impossible. Let's face it, NASCAR racing fans were treated to a very exciting 2010 season. There is a huge list that would easily qualify for favorite story of the year.
by Dave Grayson Over the past few days we learned of two drivers and one team owner who received awards they absolutely deserved. Then there was the matter of another driver who spent much of this month dealing with legal and business issues he absolutely does not deserve. THUMBS-UP to our reigning, and five time, NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson who continues to collect post season accolades.
by Dave Grayson The fact that NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Scott Speed will not be returning to the Red Bull Racing, (RBR), #82 Toyota next year is no real surprise. Frankly, we've been expecting that announcement since last summer. But the driver's Wednesday morning announcement that said he was suing RBR did come as a surprise. What's even more surprising is the fact that the announcement of the potential suit came via "Twitter" so the driver could keep his followers up to speed.
IndyCar and NASCAR Series Below is the transcript of Tuesdayâ€™s Penske Racing Media Teleconference featuring Penske drivers Kurt Busch and Helio Castroneves, along with John McQueen of the Auto Club, discussing todayâ€™s announcement that the Auto Club of Southern California (AAA) will sponsor the No. 22 car in the NASCAR Cup Series and the No. 3 car in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
by Dave Grayson Last week NASCAR spent the better part of four days celebrating their 2010 season in the city that never sleeps: Las Vegas. From Sprint Cup victory style burnouts on the Las Vegas Strip to the pomp and circumstance of crowning a five time champion it was a very busy week for the elite in NASCAR. Even the harshest critics of sports dynasties has to concede to a THUMBS-UP for Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus, team owner Rick Hendrick and the entire #48 Lowes team.
Ganassi has year he'll never forget Before 2010, only horses could claim the Triple Crown. Then, Pittsburghâ€™s Chip Ganassi came along and added horsepower to the distinction. Ganassi became the first car owner to win the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year and only the second owner to win both in a career. Then he added a win at the Brickyard 400 -- a NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This article summarizes all the awards heaped upon Chip in 2010. He clearly beat his main rival, and friend, Roger Penske this year, and that is saying a lot.
Hamlin says Johnson best NASCAR driver ever Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are proof enough that practice truly does make perfect. Their demeanor the entire week was one of cool calm, mirroring their machine-like professionalism at the race track. Denny Hamlin, who finished second in points to Johnson said, "Obviously it was a privilege to get to race the best of all time in my opinion -- and to have a shot to beat him."
For Helio Castroneves and Kurt Busch Tonight Shell Oil Company (Shell) and Penske Corporation unveiled their 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar Series car line-up along with important driver details for the 2011 season. Officials from both companies met with members of the media at the Penske-Wynn Ferrari dealership at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., to unveil both the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge and the No. 3 Shell V-PowerÂ®-Pennzoil Ultraâ„¢ Dallara/Honda.
by Dave Grayson During the gap between the conclusion of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and the beginning of champion's week in Las Vegas we thought there might be a shortage of interesting story lines. Surely time off for Thanksgiving dinner with families would have curtailed any and all NASCAR activity. That didn't turn out to be the case. Over the past several days we watched a king reclaim his kingdom. We welcomed a new member to the NASCAR nation from a racing team that seemed to have a lot of babies this year and we even got to see Danica Patrick fuel the fantasy of Homer Simpson.
by Dave Grayson Monday morning's announcement that said "King" Richard Petty has successfully put together an investment team to take control of the NASCAR Sprint Cup team that bears his name left us all stunned. It was only this time last week that we were wondering if Richard Petty Motorsports, (RPM), was going to make it to the race track when the green flag fell on the start of the 2011 season next February.
Will Kyle Busch's single digit ruin his fantastic season?
by Dave Grayson It's that time of the year again. The NASCAR themed media will be rewinding the clock to present us the highlights of the recently concluded 2010 season. This year's trip down memory lane will be unusually long because all three of NASCAR's national touring series were loaded with memorable moments. Certainly one of them, guaranteed to make the top ten listing, will be Kyle Busch's one finger salute to a NASCAR official while parked on pit road at the Texas Motor Speedway. This single digit act cost the controversial driver $25,000 in fines and a probation period.
by Dave Grayson Last Tuesday's announcement from Hendrick Motorsports, (HMS), regarding crew chief changes and team locations caught us all off guard. First off, kudos to team owner Rick Hendrick for finding a way to keep such a major move a secret. In this day and age of instant information, combined with side of mouth comments from anonymous sources, it's not easy keeping anything connected to NASCAR a secret. There may be a variety of reasons for last Tuesday's personnel announcements from Hendrick Motorsports. But please don't try to tell me it's "not a Dale Earnhardt Jr move."
by Dave Grayson There was no question that the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship weekend was going to be loaded with story lines before and after Sunday's running of the Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Fortunately for race fans the level of entertainment exceeded any and all anticipations. By the time the weekend was over we witnessed the saga of "Jimmie five time," "Carl two time" and we learned the true meaning of an old racing term that says "to win a championship you must first lose one."
by Cathy Elliott NASCAR history was made on Sunday, We crowned the first, and possibly the last, champion to win five consecutive series titles. But in the end, it really didnâ€™t matter which one. Harvick, Hamlin, Johnson and their fellow drivers have given us a season full of whisker-close finishes, flying cars, name-calling, finger-pointing of all varieties, Jeff Gordon in a boxing match, and the closest Chase ever. Regardless of who took home the title, the fans were the real winners.
As Edwards wins Homestead Finale Richard Petty never did it. Dale Earnhardt Sr. never did it, Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, none of them did it. Jimmie Johnson did it. He came from behind in points going into the season finale to finish 2nd to Carl Edwards at Homestead Miami Speedway on Sunday but it was enough to clinch a record 5th straight NASCAR Sprint Cup title. Kevin Harvick finished third on Sunday.
NASCAR Kyle Busch pulled away from Kevin Harvick during a 23-lap run to the finish to win Saturdayâ€™s Ford 300 Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick ran second, followed by 2010 series champion Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne. With his 13th victory in 29 starts this season, Busch extended his single-season win record. The victory was his 43rd in the Nationwide Series, leaving him five behind all-time leader Mark Martin.
NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Homestead Kasey Kahne will start on the pole at Homestead for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, with Jimmie Johnson, 2nd in points, rolling off sixth. Kevin Harvick will start 28th, with points leader Denny Hamlin starting way back in 37th, putting him at a distinct disadvantage. Johnson turned a lap of 176.482 mph and will start sixth Sunday. Harvick qualified 28th and Hamlin was 38th. Hamlin won at Homestead from the 38th starting spot a year ago.
by Brian France A transcript of the remarks of Brian France, the NASCAR chairman and CEO, and the question-and-answer session that followed at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010:
BRIAN FRANCE Obviously we are very excited about coming down to the last race with a tight battle. Some observations I did want to share with you, and I've been doing this a long time, and our family has been doing this a long time.
NASCAR Miami Preview: 3 drivers, 267 laps, one trophy
by Dave Grayson The drama of the Chase will hit its zenith point this Sunday afternoon with the running of the Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Three drivers will battle it out for 267 laps for NASCAR's grand prize: the 2010 Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship trophy. With only 46 points separating the Chase contenders, there is a ton of pre race anticipation that says the Ford 400 could turn into a winner take all shoot out to the checkers.
by Dave Grayson One of the biggest questions in NASCAR racing these days is the financial solvency and outright future of Richard Petty Motorsports, (RPM). At this juncture it's actually not certain if the team will see the green flag at Daytona when the 2011 season gets underway next February. The strange saga of RPM majority team owner George Gillett's finances has encompassed three years of twists and turns that has involved a National Hockey League team, a British football team, a company that managed ski resorts and even business dealings with a Saudi Arabian prince.
by Dave Grayson During the previous NASCAR weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway we watched Sunoco Race Fuels create a new level of drama in the Chase standings. We watched a driver redeem himself by sweeping the Phoenix victory lane and then swinging a very large hammer. We also shared a very emotional moment with "The Onion." THUMBS-UP for the state of the Chase. The Sprint Cup Series left Phoenix with the closest championship numbers in the Chase history heading into the final race of the year. Denny Hamlin's points lead was shortened to 15 points over Jimmie Johnson while Kevin Harvick also picked up points on Hamlin and is 46 points from the top.
Hamlin 12th after dominating, points race tightens After dominating the Nationwide race at Phoenix on Saturday, Carl Edwards won for the first time in 70 Sprint Cup races at Phoenix on Sunday. A late pit for fuel cost Denny Hamlin a win and gives hope to Jimmie Johnson (now just 15 points back) and Kevin Harvick with just one race to go next weekend in Homestead. Johnson is shooting for his 5th straight title and he is already playing mind games with Hamlin who has never been the point leader going into the season finale.
NASCAR at Phoenix Carl Edwards continued his dominant weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, winning Saturday's Wypall 200 Nationwide Series race in a cakewalk over runner-up Kevin Harvick. On Friday, Edwards paced the Sprint Cup practice session and won the pole for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 Cup race. On Saturday, Edwards posted the fastest speed in both Cup practice sessions. The only thing Edwards didn't win was the Nationwide pole.
NASCAR Truck Series in Phoenix Clint Bowyer didn't lose his touch during a three-year hiatus from NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series. Driving Kevin Harvick's No. 2 Chevrolet, Bowyer won Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway in his first start in the series since Oct. 20, 2007 at Martinsville. Todd Bodine also had reason to celebrate. With a 12th-place finish at Phoenix, Bodine wrapped up his second truck series championship.
NASCAR Sprint Cup in Phoenix Carl Edwards won his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, and A.J. Allmendinger put his car on the front row despite the adversity facing Richard Petty Motorsports. In contrast, the only three drivers with realistic chances to win the Chase -- Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick -- all had lackluster qualifying efforts in time trials for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 and must come through the field to stake their claims to the series championship.
NASCAR Phoenix Nationwide and Truck Series preview
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be a major part of the big racing weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway with Saturday's running of the Wypall 200. The series' championship is of course all ready resolved but there are some issues regarding the Owner's Championship and of course there is always the bragging rights that comes with saying you were number one in the valley of the sun.
by Dave Grayson Monday's announcement from Hendrick Motorsports that said their #24 and #48 teams were swapping pit crews for the final two races of the year really wasn't that surprising. For Jimmie Johnson, and his Chad Knaus led #48 team, it's bottom line time. It's all about taking care of business in order to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship.
by Dave Grayson We seen this act too many times in the past. Kyle Busch on a tirade. We've been told in the past that he's a very passionate driver who finds race day adversity, such as finishing second, unacceptable. He attracts attention like a moth drawn to a flame. There are even some members of the NASCAR media who regard him as job security because he's always good for a story line. But what we witnessed from this driver, during the NASCAR weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway, was an act that was taken too far.
by Dave Grayson During the previous NASCAR weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway we watched a driver back up his personal prediction. We learned how races, and possibly championships, are won and lost in the pits. We learned that sometimes freedom of speech is necessarily free. We saw a new version of "have at it boys" and then discovered that sometimes race drivers fight like girls.
Sprint Cup Chase There's a new leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase as Denny Hamlin has completed the season sweep at Texas to take the points lead from Jimmie Johnson, who finished ninth. Matt Kenseth was 2nd and Mark Martin, Joey Logano and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-5. Hamlinâ€™s victory in Sundayâ€™s AAA Texas 500 wasnâ€™t a knockout blow to Jimmie Johnsonâ€™s title hopes, but it did deliver a stinging message to the four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.
NASCAR Carl Edwards thwarted race runner-up Kyle Buschâ€™s bid to win his record sixth consecutive Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, but Edwardsâ€™ victory in Saturdayâ€™s Oâ€™Reilly Auto Parts Challenge wasnâ€™t enough to prevent third-place finisher Brad Keselowski from clinching the series championship. Keeping Busch behind him during a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race five laps past its scheduled distance of 200 laps, Edwards, the 2007 Nationwide champion, won for the third time this season and the 28th time in his career
NASCAR Kyle Busch blew past Todd Bodine on a restart on Lap 127 and held off Johnny Sauter over the final 20 laps to win Friday nightâ€™s WinStar World Casino 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Bodine chose the outside lane for the final restart, but Busch cleared Bodineâ€™s No. 30 Toyota through Turns 1 and 2 and held the lead the rest of the way.
NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying Everything happens in NASCAR for a reason, or is it just by the grace of God? Elliott Sadler has won his first Sprint Cup pole in more than four years with a dominating run in Texas. Sadler zipped around the high-banked 1 1/2-mile track at 195.397 mph Friday, nearly 2 mph better than front-row partner Greg Biffle. Fords will start 1-2-3. Sadler's Cup future is uncertain after Richard Petty Motorsports switched his primary sponsor to Marcos Ambrose for next year.
by Dave Grayson What a very interesting Talladega weekend for NASCAR Sprint Cup owner/driver Robby Gordon. First he hosted a press conference announcing his participation in a newly created energy drink company and then found himself searching for his personal, new company, truck that was apparently towed out of a speedway private parking lot.
by Cathy Elliott 'Ordinary' people, when dealing with a health situation that could potentially end their careers, might be tempted to simply give up. They might say, "Well, it was a good run, but it's over," and not even try to maneuver the long and difficult road to recovery. But race-car drivers are not ordinary people. And Brian Vickers is no ordinary race-car driver. Like most drivers, he began racing as a kid, and his part-time fun eventually evolved into his full-time job, one at which he has excelled.
by Dave Grayson During the previous weekend we witnessed a 500 mile race at the Talladega Super Speedway that had 87 lead changes in 188 laps. We watched a beleaguered Chase team rise to the top of the charts and find victory lane again. We learned the true value of computerized scoring loops. We watched the Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship standings turn into a NASCAR dream come true and we were treated to a tailgate party that was simply awesome.
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Talladega It took replays and scoring loops to determine Clint Bowyer had beaten RCR teammate Kevin Harvick after A.J. Allmendinger flipped following the white flag, ending the race on the final lap. The victory is Bowyer's second in the Chase, but he was stripped of 150 points when his car was found to be out of tolerance after the first victory at New Hampshire. Juan Montoya was third, right on Bowyer's bumper.
NASCAR Truck race Kyle Busch surged past Aric Almirola a fraction of a second before the two drivers reached the finish line to win Saturdayâ€™s Mountain Dew 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The victory was Buschâ€™s sixth in 13 starts in the series this year, his second at Talladega and the 22nd of his career, but it left Almirola feeling robbed, after Busch appeared to cross the yellow out-of-bounds line between the apron and the racing surface while making the winning pass.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Where were those 201mph laps that the two Toyota cars (Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch) turned in Friday practice when it counted? Maybe they were running Nitrous Oxide to get some free publicity. In Saturday qualifying they both were nowhere and Juan Montoya put his Chip Ganassi Chevy on pole for the Amp Energy 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega. His speed was just 184.640 mph, way off the 201 mph lap on Friday. Clint Bowyer will start 2nd, also in a Chevy. Kurt Busch Joe Nemechek and Jeff Burton round out the top-5.
by Dave Grayson It's both appropriate and interesting that the next round of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship is being held at the Talladega Super Speedway on Halloween day. When the checkers fall on Sunday's Amp Energy Juice 500, it's going to be interesting to see which team got tricked and which one got a treat. Can you imagine a ghost flying into the garage stall occupied by Jimmie Johnson's #48 team and saying "Chad, may I borrow a screwdriver?"
by Dave Grayson During the previous weekend at the Martinsville Speedway we witnessed a Chase contender back up his game plan, another Chase contender wanted to kiss one teammate and smack another team mate, we witnessed a rowdy moment between two Chase contenders and former champions and we were overjoyed to see the return of two of NASCAR's most popular drivers. By the time the Tums Fast Relief 500 was over a lot of drivers and team members needed some Tums to settle their stomachs.
by Pete McCole Just when Jimmie Johnson thought he was going to run away with the points lead and a solid bid on a fifth-straight NASCAR Sprint Cup series title, hometown favorite Denny Hamlin was there to rain on his parade. Hamlin passed Kevin Harvick with 29 laps to go to post his third consecutive Martinsville Speedway win in Sundayâ€™s TUMS Fast Relief 500, cutting Johnsonâ€™s points lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings to just six points.
Hornaday Breaks Long Martinsville Speedway Dry Spell
NASCAR Truck Series Before Saturday Ron Hornaday was 0 and 16 at Martinsville Speedway, but he ended that streak with a win in the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The win couldnâ€™t have come at a better time. For the first time, Martinsville Speedway awarded one of its signature grandfather clock winnerâ€™s trophies to the truck series winner. In the past, the clocks had gone only to Sunday winners.
Hamlin leads Toyota 1-2 in Martinsville qualifying
NASCAR Sprint Cup Denny Hamlin has won the pole for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. While Hamlin was scoring the number one starting position for Sundayâ€™s sixth race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, point leader Jimmie Johnson was able to only turn the 19th quickest time of the afternoon. Marcos Ambrose qualified second for his fifth top-10 start of 2010 and his first in four races at Martinsville. Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top five. Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, David Reutimann, Jamie McMurray and David Ragan completed the first 10 qualifiers.
by Brian Mackey I find it interesting that when NASCARâ€™s current decline in popularity is reported, including the recent announcement of the Daytona 500 Experience closure, it is reported as due to the economy or other element. The television coverage is not often included among the rationale despite a current ratings downdraft. The content of a NASCAR televised event is subject to the debate, but not the television distribution capability itself.
by Dave Grayson Round six of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship will be taking a very interesting turn this Sunday when it presents another round of short track racing at the Martinsville Speedway. Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 could turn out to be a clash of the titans. The drivers first and second in the standings have personal stats from this race track that are nothing short of amazing. Adding to the weekend drama are the details of an unexpected, but not necessarily surprising, major driver change.
NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series Martinsville Preview
by Dave Grayson For the first time in nearly a month, NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series returns to action on the very venue that made the series famous to begin with: a short track. Saturday's Kroger 200 at the Martinsville Speedway is expected to be a lively NASCAR style tailgate party when 36 full sized racing trucks line up on this famous speedway's half mile, paper clip shaped, oval.
by Dave Grayson The memories of carefree moments from my youth is exactly what I received from last week's announcement regarding the 2010 class of NASCAR's Hall Of Fame. While everyone else was debating the merits of the five names on this year's list, I was lost in my own private little world of family memories, our South Carolina home and how NASCAR racing played a role in our lives.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched another exciting episode of the comeback of the year. We saw another example of why a championship team may actually have a golden horseshoe inside of their anatomy. We also learned how to adjust a tachometer while driving a race car at a high rate of speed. THUMBS-UP to Jamie McMurray for winning Saturday night's Bank Of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
by Rhonda McCole Jamie McMurray got another big win in his biggest season, adding another Charlotte victory to his career tally. Kyle Busch was second and Jimmie Johnson third. Our Rhonda McCole was there both Friday and Saturday to capture these photos from the nationwide race and the Sprint Cup race.
by Pete McCole Out of the running for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Jamie McMurray happily played the role of the spoiler Saturday night, beating out a field of championship contenders to score his third victory of the season in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. McMurray passed Busch on the final restart with 21 laps to go and quickly pulled away to win.
Nationwide Series New rubber. Old rubber. It didnâ€™t matter to Brad Keselowski, who ran the final 56 laps of Friday nightâ€™s Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on his last set of tires. Track position, however, proved far more important at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Keselowski picked up his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win at the 1.5-mile track, his fifth victory of the season and the 11th of his career.
by Pete McCole Jeff Gordon stole the spotlight away from his teammate and points leader Jimmie Johnson on Thursday with a superb come-from-behind qualifying effort that earned him his for pole of the season for Saturdayâ€™s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Rallying for a poor showing in the earlier practice sessions, Gordon paced the 1.5-mile quad oval in 28.192 seconds at 191.544 mph to knock Paul Menard from the top spot and hung on for his 69th career Sprint Cup pole.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's 2010 Chase For The Sprint Cup Championship will officially hit the half way point Saturday night when the green flag falls on the Bank Of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. By the time this race is over, there should a sharper focus on the Chase picture and we will know which teams are serious championship contenders, which teams are still in contention but need to charge a little harder and we should know which teams can start focusing on the 2011 season. In other words, the Bank of America could likely turn out to be deal maker or a deal breaker for the Chase teams.
7th in NASCAR Chase and fading Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, stands in seventh place in the latest Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings going into Saturdayâ€™s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Edwards is 162 points out of first-place with six races to go and talked about how he can get back into the hunt for a championship, Jimmie Johnsonâ€™s reign on the sport, and how he has matured as a driver over the years during this weekâ€™s NASCAR teleconference.
by Dave Grayson During the course of the previous NASCAR weekend at the Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana-California, we watched "Smoke" elevate his championship status and we watched the status of other championship efforts go up in smoke. We watched another milestone from the Joe Gibbs Racing Series-er excuse me Nationwide Series, and, oh yeah, Danica was there. THUMBS-UP to Tony Stewart and his #14 Stewart-Haas team for winning Sunday's Pepsi Max 400.. "Smoke" clearly proved that his focus on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship is firmly intact.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Fontana Tony Stewart still needs help to catch NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson, but he jump-started his climb back into contention for the series championship Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. Stewart beat resilient Clint Bowyer to the finish line by 0.466 seconds In Sundayâ€™s Pepsi Max 400 to win his first race at the 2-mile track, his second of the year and the 39th of his career.
In Fontana, California Kyle Buschâ€™s pit crew may well deserve the credit for winning Saturdayâ€™s CampingWorld.com 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway. To Kevin Harvick, on the other hand, there was little doubt that his pit crew lost it. Strong on short runs but no match for Harvick on longer ones, Busch rallied from a pit-road speeding penalty to beat NASCAR Nationwide points leader Brad Keselowski to the finish line by 1.034 seconds.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet earned his second Coors Light Pole Award of the year at Auto Club Speedway. McMurray streaked around the 2-mile track in 38.859 seconds (185.285 mph) to win his fourth pole of the season and the seventh of his career. Elliott Sadler (184.407 mph) claimed the second starting position for Sunday's Pepsi Max 400. Third-place qualifier Matt Kenseth (184.096 mph) was the only Chase driver in the top five. McMurray's teammate, Juan Montoya (184.068 mph) claimed the fourth spot on the grid, followed Kasey Kahne (183.964 mph).
NASCAR Sprint Cup NASCAR's championship race tightened considerably Sunday at Kansas Speedway, where Greg Biffle won to keep his title hopes alive and Jimmie Johnson returned to the top of the Sprint Cup Series leaderboard. Johnson, the four-time defending series champion, took a mediocre car and drove it to a second-place finish behind Biffle, proving why he is the 4-time champion and going for his 5th straight title.
Near his sponsor Budweiser's headquarters Kasey Kahne put his Budweiser Ford on pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Transparently, the headquartersâ€™ of Budweiser is in nearby St. Louis and they are sure to have a lot of guests at the race so having the Budweiser car on pole is the perfect scenario. Paul Menard will start 2nd making it an all-Ford front row. Kahne turned a lap at 174.644 mph in his Ford during Friday's qualifying session. Richard Petty Motorsports teammate Paul Menard's lap was 174.469.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we saw the #48 team return to Chase form. We watched the Richard Childress Racing soap opera develop another bizarre plot twist. We watched the continuous transformation of NASCAR's Nationwide Series becoming the "Busch" Series again and we watched the future of a famous family race team develop in the truck series.
by Jim Garrahan Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team showed its 25th last week at New Hampshire was more of an exception than the rule with an impressive victory at the Monster Mile. Moments after beating Jeff Burton to the checkered flag by a convincing 2.637 seconds on the 1-mile concrete oval, Johnson stirred up a cloud of smoke with a burnout on the Monster Mile's asphalt apron near the entrance to the garage. As the drivers he beat rolled through the gate to the garage area, they had to pass through Johnson's smoky celebration. It wasn't exactly a case of "eat my dust," but it was close.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jimmie Johnson bounced back from his disappointing finish in last week's Chase for the Sprint Cop opening race at New Hampshire with a win in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Johnson scored his sixth win of the 2010 season from the pole and moved to within 35 points of Sprint Cup Series point leader Denny Hamlin. Jeff Burton, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.
As Danica Patrick brings up the rear The inevitable â€” Kyle Buschâ€™s single-season record 11th Nationwide Series winâ€”finally happened Saturday at Dover International Speedway. Busch led 192 of 200 laps at the Monster Mile to win the Dover 200 and claim his 11th win of the season, breaking a record he shared with Sam Ard. The victory was Buschâ€™s 41st in the series, his 30th in a Toyota since moving to Joe Gibbs Racing to start the 2008 season and his 81st in NASCARâ€™s top three series combined.
by Pete McCole NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer and his team owner Richard Childress came out swinging on Friday amid allegations of cheating from fellow competitors in the wake of the 150-penalty and other fines handed down after Bowyerâ€™s care was deemed illegal by NASCAR on Wednesday. Bowyer was first to respond in a press conference held at Dover Intâ€™l Speedway, as teams geared up for Sundayâ€™s AAA 400 â€“ the second race in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jimmie Johnson bested A.J. Allmendinger with a lap of 155.736 mph to win the pole at Dover for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400. A.J. Allmendinger put his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford outside the front row. Martin Truex Jr. was third with series point leader Denny Hamlin and Juan Pablo Montoya rounding out the top five. Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Carl Edwards completed the first 10 qualifiers.
by Dave Grayson Round two of NASCAR's 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship moves on to the Dover International Raceway this Sunday. This one mile concrete oval is governed by a large concrete mascot, with bright red eyes, known as Miles the Monster. Like its racing mascot, this track is known for aggressive behavior. The one mile oval has all of the short track characteristics of a half mile counterpart. Drivers have to pass carefully and if they take too long with the process race traffic behind them will quickly pull up on their bumpers. It's also a track that is physically and mentally demanding on the drivers as well as a good source for road rage. Add the element of the Chase into the mix and the AAA 400 has all the makings of a highly entertaining Sunday afternoon.
by Pete McCole Clint Bowyerâ€™s title hopes went from flying high to crashing to the ground with a thud on Wednesday after he was docked 150 points for violation found on his race car following his win in Sundayâ€™s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Measurements taken on Bowyerâ€™s Chevrolet Impala were found to be â€œout of toleranceâ€, according to NASCAR, who issued penalties to Bowyer and his Richard Childress Racing no. 33 team.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched a very happy race driver very carefully hold up a giant lobster in victory lane at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship officially began and we were amazed when the guy who should have been eating that lobster ran out of gas. One of the largest motorsports fan clubs in the country found their smile again and NASCAR's favorite "rowdy" driver spent Saturday doing what he does best: winning.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Race The picture told the story. Clint Bowyerâ€™s No. 33 Chevrolet spun in a cloud of smoke as Bowyer celebrated Sundayâ€™s victory in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In the same frame, Tony Stewartâ€™s No. 14 Chevy coasted slowly across the finish line, out of fuel and out of the running for a race win that had seemed a distinct possibility barely more than a lap earlier.
NASCAR Truck Series Race Kyle Busch raced to his fifth Truck victory of the season and 80th overall NASCAR win, passing James Buescher on the final restart Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch and Kevin Harvick battled for the lead most of the day and it appeared one of them would drive away with the victory. Buescher, though, dipped below both of them with 10 laps left to take the lead.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Brad Keselowski earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole turning a lap of 133.572 mph to grand the top spot for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Keselowski was one of six non-Chase competitors to crack the top ten in Friday's session to set the field for Sundayâ€™s championship season kick-off at the one-mile track. Keselowski broke Juan Montoya's year-old qualifying record with a lap of 133.572 mph Friday to earn the top starting spot Sunday.
by Cathy Elliott After many months of speculating, the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has finally arrived, and it is time to choose which horse to back. This is a no-brainer for fans of the 12 drivers in the Chase field, but those who find their favorites on the outside looking in have some serious grey-matter work to do. Do you pick another guy from "your" driver's team to root for over the next 10 weeks? Do you settle on one of the frontrunners in hopes of winning the office pool, bragging rights, or both?
NASCAR Sprint Cup Denny Hamlin outdueled his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to win the Air Guard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond. Jimmie Johnson came home third for Hendricks Motorsports. Hamlin will go into the Chase as the top seed after scoring his series-leading sixth victory of the season Saturday night. Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer round out the 12-driver field for the Cup Series championship.
NASCAR at Richmond Polesitter Kevin Harvick held off Nationwide Series points leader Brad Keselowski during a 40-lap run to the finish to win Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. In the first race at Richmond and third overall with NASCAR's new Nationwide car, Harvick crossed the finish line 0.256 seconds ahead of Keselowski.
NASCAR Sprint Cuo Carl Edwards will start from the top spot in Saturday's Air Guard 400 at Richmond Raceway, the final race before the Chase begins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With a lap at 127.762 mph (21.133 seconds), Edwards edged Juan Montoya (127.455 mph) in winning his first pole at the 0.75-mile short track.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched Tony Stewart "smoke" up Atlanta-Georgia following Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. In Nationwide Series action we watched a popular driver, crew chief and team owner return to victory lane. Meanwhile in the truck brigade an "onion" returned to victory lane only to get attacked by a "rowdy Busch." THUMBS-UP to Tony Stewart for an outstanding driving performance while winning Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta. "Smoke" led this race eight times, for a race high 176 laps, and returned to victory lane for the first time since the Kansas race last October.
by Pete McCole Tony Stewart saved his best restart for last to beat out Carl Edwards to end a 31-race winless drought with a victory in Sunday nightâ€™s Emory Healthcare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart pulled away from Edwards on the final restart with 19 laps to go and was never threatened as he sailed to his first victory since winning at Kansas Speedway last October.
by Dave Grayson The hunt for team sponsors for the Hendrick Motorsports racing stable hit a high and low point last Saturday in Atlanta. First off Rick Hendrick announced that Quaker State Motor Oil was returning as an associate sponsor on all four of his Chevrolet teams and would be the primary sponsor for Mark Martin's #5 team during four races next year. On the down side Hendrick announced that Jeff Gordon will not be shopping at Wal-Mart next year.
For NASCAR Nationwide Series Win Jamie McMurray held off Kyle Busch and stopped Busch one spot short of a historic win Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Driving JR Motorsportsâ€™ No. 88 Chevrolet, McMurray asserted his superiority over the final 40 of 195 laps to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at the 1.54-mile racetrack. The victory, the eighth of McMurrayâ€™s NASCAR Nationwide career, was his first since November 2004 at Darlington.
by Pete McCole Denny Hamlin bested Ryan Newman to claim his first Coors Light Pole award of the season in Saturday nightâ€™s qualifying session for the Emory Healthcare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hamlinâ€™s lap of 187.380 mph in the no. 11 SportsClips Toyota Camry was enough to top Newman - a seven-time Atlanta pole winner - and earn his eighth career pole and his first since last Octoberâ€™s race at Auto Club Speedway.
NASCAR Truck Series Todd Bodine clearly isnâ€™t â€œpoints racing.â€ The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader gambled on fuel mileage Friday night and won the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Bodine last stopped for fuel on Lap 92 of the 150-lap race and ran the final 55 laps under green on the same tank of gas.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will again be given a well deserved opportunity to take center stage during a standalone event at the beautiful but challenging Kentucky Speedway. Friday night's Built Ford Tough 225 is going to feature 36 race trucks running door to door on a 1.5 mile, multiple groove, oval that easily allows two, even three, wide racing. Fans can expect to see action very similar to last week's race at the Chicagoland Speedway and Chicago was a very good race.
by Dave Grayson With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series taking the weekend off, the Nationwide Series was provided a much deserved opportunity to take center stage over the previous weekend. What a stage it was. The Series ventured north of the border to stage an exciting event in Montreal-Canada on the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. 77 circuits later around the 2.7 mile, 14 turn, road course a very popular winner stood in victory lane.
NASCAR Nationwide Series At long last, road-course ace Boris Said is a winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Said won Sundayâ€™s NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve whenâ€”with the two strongest cars out of contentionâ€”the always unpredictable event ended with Said beating Max Papis in a drag race to the finish line.
Like taking candy from a baby Kyle Busch withstood two late challenges for the lead from Todd Bodine and hung on to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in overtime Friday night. It was Busch's second straight truck win at Chicagoland, his fourth series victory of the season and 20th of his career. And it comes in the wake of his remarkable three-race weekend sweep at Bristol.
by Dave Grayson During the Bristol Motor Speedway's Festival Of Speed we witnessed a young driver create NASCAR history that had him literally sweeping victory lane. We were entertained by another episode from "Bad Brad" who once again found himself the unwanted center of attention. We also witnessed another free fall by a four time NASCAR champion that has us all wondering what's going on.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch etched his name into the NASCAR record books on Saturday night with an historic three-race sweep, becoming the first driver ever to win in all three of the sportâ€™s top series in a single weekend, capping off the trifecta with a dominating victory in the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch took the lead from David Reutimann with 72 laps to and was never challenged through the remaining laps.
by Pete McCole In his quest for a history-making three-race sweep, Kyle Busch proved that nothing is going to stand in his way â€“ not a last-place start, not fuel mileage, not even Brad Keselowski. Busch moved one step closer to becoming the first driver to win a race in all three of NASCARâ€™s top series is a single weekend with a victory in Friday nightâ€™s wild finish to the Food City 250 Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Fresh off of his worst-to-first performance in Wednesday nightâ€™s Camping World Truck Series event, Busch took out Keselowski with 32 laps to go to claim his record-tying 10th win the season.
NASCAR A slumping Jimmie Johnson got just what the doctor ordered by winning the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Irwin Tools 500 race in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson turned a lap of 123.475 mph to earn his 24th career Sprint Cup pole and the first on 2010. Carl Edwards recorded the second-best lap of the session with a speed of 122.937 mph. Joey Logano, Tony Stewart and David Reutimann rounded out the top five.
by Rhonda McCole The NASCAR Truck series race won by Kyle Busch and a Modified Stock Car Race ran this week on the 1/2-half mile Bristol Bullring and our Rhonda McCole was there to capture all the happenings in these photos.
by Dave Grayson Mark my words, it has all of the makings of a Saturday night showdown when 43 teams from NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series takes the green flag for the Irwin Tools 500. Anytime you place that many cars on a half mile track there is bound to be some sort of driver road rage that frequently becomes motorized mayhem. It's not a question of will it happen. It more a question of when will it happen and how many times will we see it. The Irwin Tools 500 is going to be more than worth staying home on a Saturday night to watch.
Kyle Busch makes quick work of Bristol truck field
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch didnâ€™t make it easy on himself in his quest to win his third straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, but he still found a way to win, taking the checkered flag in the Oâ€™Reilly 200. Busch went from worst to first after starting at the tail end of the field and then rolled the dice on a short pit stop, stretching his fuel to lead the final 116 laps - including three laps of overtime - to post his third 19th career truck series victory.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched a driver announce it was vacation time after clinching his berth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship following the Michigan race. We also watched a Nationwide Series driver defend his home turf. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, "The Onion" tamed the lady in black and, oh yeah, Danica paid us a visit and, more importantly, so did "The Cat In The Hat".
by Rhonda McCole Good fortune smiled on Todd Bodine once again in Saturday night's Camping World Truck Series Too Tough to Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway. The series leader by 174 points coming into the race, Bodine cruised to his second straight win and third this season in the first truck race at Darlington since 2004. Our Rhonda McCole was there to capture all the actions in these photos.
NASCAR Sprint Cup When you have a comfortable points lead, you can afford to gamble. Thatâ€™s what Kevin Harvick didâ€”successfullyâ€”in Sundayâ€™s Carfax 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Staying out on old tires under the final caution of the race, Harvick tracked down Denny Hamlin on Lap 190 of 200 and pulled away to beat Hamlin to the finish line by 1.731 seconds. Harvick extended his series lead to 293 points over Jeff Gordon and became the first driver to clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
by Pete McCole When it comes to racing at a track called â€œToo Tough To Tameâ€, experience makes all the difference. Todd Bodine drew on everything heâ€™d learned in 38 career starts at Darlington Raceway and rolled home to his second straight victory in Saturdayâ€™s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series â€œToo Tough To Tameâ€ 200 by just 1/2 second over polesitter Timothy Peters. Ron Hornaday finished third, followed by Johnny Sauter and Dillon.
by Pete McCole Timothy Peters topped the field for Saturday nightâ€™s Too Tough To Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes their first to the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval after a six-year absence. Petersâ€™ lap of 170.845 mph was enough to hold off James Buescher for the pole, putting his Toyota Tundra at the head of the field for the second time this season and the third of his six-year Truck Series career.
Danica Patrick lapped 4 times With the hope it will help sell more tickets for Sunday's Sprint Cup race, the current NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader and Rochester Hills, Mich., native Brad Keselowski won the CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday in dominating fashion. He grabbed the lead on a late-race restart with only eight laps to go, then pulled away to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.
NASCAR Star Danica Patrick 33rd Brad Keselowski has this new car figured out. Keselowski claimed the pole Saturday for the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway, the second pole for Keselowski in the two races with the new Nationwide Series car. Keselowski, a Michigan native, earned his fifth pole of the season. Ryan Truex will start second in only his second career Nationwide start.
As his boss Jack Roush returns to track Kasey Kahne turned the fastest lap in Friday's qualifying session to earn the top spot for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson will start outside the front row with Clint Bowyer, last week's Watkins Glen winner Juan Pablo Montoya and Greg Biffle rounding out the top five. Matt Kenseth, series point leader Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr., Paul Menard and Jeff Burton completed the first ten qualifiers.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Nationwide Series will join their Sprint Cup counterparts to play a major role in the racing weekend at the Michigan International Raceway. The race will mark the second appearance of the series' new C.O.T-Car Of Tomorrow. Saturday's Carfax 250 is expected to provide a lot of action with a field filled with series veterans, wide eyed future veterans as well as the traditional array of Sprint Cup double duty drivers. Oh yeah, Danica's back with the series.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series will be making their second appearance of the year at the Irish Hills of Michigan for Sunday's running of the Carfax 400. They will be racing in the heart of car country. The Michigan International Raceway is located just down the freeway from Detroit, the home of America's big three automakers. and that means the major auto executives will be on hand to cheer their cars on. That's one of the many factors that makes a race at Michigan so very special. For the racing teams there are major bragging rights on the line. Everyone wants to win for their auto maker who plays such an important role in their racing program.
'Tis the season to be silly - Kahne gets a new beverage
by Dave Grayson So, we finally have an answer to the Kasey Kahne Riddle. He's Red Bull Racing and Toyota bound for 2011. At the end of the season Kahne will trade his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and all the Budweiser he can drink, for a shiny new Toyota and a can of that tasty Red Bull Energy Drink the stuff that gives you wings.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched a highly regarded NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor return to victory lane at the Watkins Glen International Raceway . We watched champagne in victory lane accelerate the healing process between the winning driver and crew chief and we watched the winning team owner collect another trifecta this time during the same weekend. We watched our favorite "Aussie" tame a road course for the third year in a row and we discovered that "the Onion" now needs guitar lessons.
Scenes from Saturday's Nationwide race at The Glen.
by Adriano Manocchia Australian Marcos Ambrose won the NASCAR Nationwide race on Saturday at Watkins Glen in commanding fashion. The Australian could be leaving NASCAR and going back to Australia next year unless he finds a ride for 2011. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action in these photos.
by Adriano Manocchia Juan Montoya gave Chip Ganassi his third win of the weekend Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. Our Adriano Manocchia was there for Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race to capture all the action in these 100 photos.
His 2nd NASCAR Sprint Cup win Juan Montoya outran Marcos Ambrose to win the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday and gave car owner a double win as his driver Dario Franchitti won the IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio. Montoya, who started third, pulled away on a late restart from Ambrose, his biggest challenger all day, and beat Kurt Busch by 4.7 seconds in the 90-lap race around the 11-turn, 2.45-mile layout.
Just in time to save his ride With rumors this week that Marcos Ambrose could be out of money and a ride next year and headed back to Australia, but in NASCAR good things happen to those who need it. Though his future is uncertain, with his announced departure from JTG/Daugherty Racing for parts -- or team -- unknown, Ambrose drove immaculately Saturday afternoon in picking up his third consecutive Nationwide Series victory at Watkins Glen International, winning the Zippo 200 from the pole.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Carl Edwards has won the pole for Sunday's Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Edwards turned a lap of 124.432 mph in 70.882 seconds on Saturday to easily outdistance Jamie McMurray's lap of 123.814 mph in 71.236 secs. It's the first road-course pole in Cup competition for Edwards and just a few ticks off Jeff Gordon's 2003 track record of 124.58 mph in 70.7979 secs.
by Adriano Manocchia In the 80-minute Happy Hour, Greg Biffle backed up his earlier performance when ran 15 laps and his best, in 71.09 seconds at an average speed of 124.065 mph, was the best lap of the day. Juan Montoya had the second-best single lap and the best average lap time, 71.75 seconds. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action in over 100 photos. Part 2
by Adriano Manocchia In the 80-minute Happy Hour, Greg Biffle backed up his earlier performance when ran 15 laps and his best, in 71.09 seconds at an average speed of 124.065 mph, was the best lap of the day. Juan Montoya had the second-best single lap and the best average lap time, 71.75 seconds. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action in over 100 photos. Part 1
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's elite from their Sprint Cup Series will be in New York this weekend for their annual visit to the historic Watkins Glen International Raceway for Sunday's running of the Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips At the Glen. For the second time this year drivers will be turning left and right on a challenging road course that is expected to produce some exciting moments and likely another exciting finish that we have been treated to many times this season.
by Dave Grayson Just mention the name Shaquille O'Neal, aka "Shaq", to literally anyone and they will know who he is. For many years Shaq has been one of the most dynamic and beloved athletes in the National Basketball Association. Last year Shaq decided to star in a reality show that would take his competitive nature, and sense of humor, to different levels and different athletic venues. That show, "Shaq VS", became an instant hit for the ABC television network. Season two of "Shaq VS" garnered a lot of attention because Shaq decided it was time for him to visit the world of NASCAR racing.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be taking their tailgate party on the road to Music City USA for 200 miles of concrete oval racing at the Nashville Super Speedway this Saturday night. Awaiting the winner, at the conclusion of the Nashville 200, will be one of the most unique trophies in all of racing. It's a beautiful custom painted Gibson guitar worthy of the reputation of Music City USA.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR silly season: it's a phenomenally fun annual event where we find ourselves examining clues while trying to solve the mystery surrounding drivers who may be changing teams and sponsors. We've had our fair share of silly season fun over the years but the concept hit a fever pitch last spring with the stunning announcement that said NASCAR Sprint Cup star driver Kasey Kahne was going to join Hendrick Motorsports. Wait a minute. How can this be a silly season issue? It all seemed to be signed, sealed and delivered.
by Jim Garrahan The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday was rain delayed at the start and then suffered two red-flag periods for a total of 50 minutes to clean up a couple of nasty accidents. In the end Greg Biffle came home the winner. Our Jim Garrahan was there to capture all the action in over 100 photos.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend at the Pocono Raceway we watched a Sprint Cup driver and a major automobile manufacturer make a return to victory lane. That created a huge dose of good medicine for the winning team owner who watched the race from his hospital bed. We also witnessed the highs and lows of a very popular driver return to victory lane on Saturday only to find himself in the middle of one of the worst wrecks we've seen in quite some time the following day.
As team owner Jack Roush recovers in a hospital Greg Biffle gave car owner Jack Roush the best get-well present he could. Biffle checked out following the restart late at Pocono. He took two tires on the restart and held off the field to give Ford its first win of the season and the first win for the new Ford engine. Tony Stewart was 2nd and Carl Edwards 3rd. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-5.
by Jim Garrahan With a lap at 171.393 mph (52.511 seconds) Friday, Tony Stewart claimed the pole for Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at the 2.5-mile triangular track. He edged Juan Montoya (171.096 mph, 52.602 seconds) for the top starting spot. Our Jim Garrahan was there to capture all the action in these photos.
NASCAR Sprint Cup With news that he is need of new sponsors for next year, Tony Stewart, who has been nowhere all year, miraculously won the pole today for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway and got some much needed PR to help land a new sponsor. Stewart won the pole by posting a fast lap of 171.393 mph in qualifying for his 12th career pole and second in 2010. Juan Pablo Montoya rebounded recorded the second fastest lap at 171.096 mph. Denny Hamlin qualified third.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be returning to the mammoth track known as "the tricky triangle': aka the Pocono Raceway. Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 will again have the Sprint Cup drivers taking on the challenge of this raceway's three sweeping turns along with the track's traditional impact on engines and transmissions. The Pocono Raceway is a frequent source of frustration for crew chiefs. There's simply no way they can come up with a handling set up on their cars that will accommodate all three of turns on the triangle shaped track.
To sell them their fuel injection technology McLaren's Ron Dennis discussed fuel injection, NASCAR and the future of F1 in America during a wide-ranging, 45-minute interview with reporters Saturday. Since stepping away from F1's competition, Dennis has focused on his other businesses. One of them is McLaren Electronics, which is bidding to become a supplier when NASCAR approves fuel injection for its Sprint Cup Series.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Nationwide Series will journey to the state of Iowa for a stand alone event that could very well turn out to be a viewer's choice when it comes to televised racing this weekend. Saturday's U.S. Cellular 250, presented by John Deere and Northland Oil, is already being touted as an event that is expected to be loaded with excitement on this beautiful seven-eighths of a mile speedway located in Newton-Iowa.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend all three of NASCAR's national touring series were racing in the state of Indiana. The weekend featured many inspiring moments. We watched a popular team owner, and his winning driver, achieve an extremely difficult milestone. We watched two drivers prove that they really can get along if the right motivation is in place. We heard from a NASCAR veteran who dispelled comments that said his championship run is over. We also heard inspiring announcements that updated NASCAR's latest baby boom.
Q&A with NASCAR boss Brian France says he expects â€œsome pretty impactful changesâ€ to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, but did not say whether those changes included a possible Cup date for Kentucky Speedway or which of the 22 current Cup tracks might shift dates. There is also talk of moving the Brickyard 400 date, which Sunday saw almost as many empty seats as filled ones.
Ganassi wins Daytona, Indy 500 and Brickyard in same year Taking two tires with less than 30 to go was the move of the race as Jamie McMurray became the third driver in history to win Daytona and Indy in the same year. In doing so he made car owner Chip Ganassi the first to win the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. Points leader Kevin Harvick held off Greg Biffle to take 2nd followed by Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton to give Chevrolet 5 of the top 6 positions.
by Gary Shook Driving for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Jamie McMurray, in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, raced to victory during NASCARâ€™s biggest race of the summer, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The victory also gave team owner Chip Ganassi a rare trifecta: He's the only car owner to win the Daytona 500, The Brickyard and the Indianapolis 500 in the same season. "I need oxygen!" the jubilant car owner said from pit road. Meanwhile F1's Ron Dennis (right) was on hand to take in all the action. Our Gary Shook was there to capture all the action.
8th Nationwide Series win for Busch This time, there was no controversial finish. For the second NASCAR Nationwide Series race in a row, Carl Edwards went side-by-side for the lead on the final lap. But Saturday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park, Kyle Busch held Edwards off to win the Kroger 200 at the 0.686-mile track. Last week at Gateway International Raceway, Edwards dumped Brad Keselowski coming to the checkered flag, triggering a multicar accident and forcing NASCAR to penalize both drivers.
Chevrolets sweep top 6, 9 of top-10 Former Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Montoya has won the pole position for Sunday's Brickyard 400 with a lap of 182.278 mph. Jimmie Johnson will start alongside Montoya after posting a lap of 182.142 in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet. Mark Martin will start third in the No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet after a lap of 181.803. McMurray qualified fourth in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet at 181.748.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Juan Pablo Montoya's quest for revenge at the race that left him disappointed in 2009 got off to a good start Friday, July 23, as he dominated the speed chart in both practice sessions for the 2010 Brickyard 400. Montoya drove the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Target Chevrolet to a top lap of 179.756 mph in the second session, only two-tenths of a mile per hour faster than his teammate, Jamie McMurray, who turned a lap of 179.526 in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet.
by Gary Shook Practice began today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. Gary Shook captured these captioned photographs of the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. Former Indy 500 winner Juan Montoya turned the fastest lap in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Brickyard Preview: It's brick kissing time in Indy
by Dave Grayson This Sunday the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will make its annual visit to hallowed ground that has played such a huge role in the history of American motorsports: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's the one time that you will see all drivers and members of Sprint Cup teams prostrate themselves and kiss the bricks on the frontstretch following the conclusion of Sunday's Brickyard 400.
by Dave Grayson We all watched the conclusion of Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the Gateway International Raceway. We all shook our heads in wonder and anger after watching Carl Edwards turn season long rival Brad Keselowski just a few feet from the checkered flag. We were apprehensive as we watched Keselowski's Dodge bounce off both front stretch walls and then slide into the path of oncoming traffic.
by Dave Grayson With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series taking the weekend off, the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series had an opportunity to take center stage at the Gateway International Raceway last Saturday. What actually landed in the center of that stage late Saturday night was the return of "Crazy" Carl Edwards and "Bad" Brad Keselowski
Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 Chip Ganassi is the owner of teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, IZOD IndyCar Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. This year Chip became the first owner to win the Daytona 500, with Jamie McMurray driving, and the Indianapolis 500, with Dario Franchitti driving, in the same year. He will attempt to become the first team owner to win the Triple Crown of American racing in one, or any, year by capturing the Brickyard 400 on July 25 at IMS.
NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series The feud between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowskiâ€”dormant since Atlanta in Marchâ€”erupted like an angry volcano at Gateway International Raceway. In a drag race to the finish line, Edwards sent Keselowski hard into the outside wall on the way to winning Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 Nationwide Series race. On a blistering hot day that left fourth-place finisher Todd Bodine lying on the tile floor of the media center with ice packs on his chest, Kevin Harvick beat the heat and trounced the rest of the field to win Saturday afternoon's blackout-delayed CampingWorld.com 200.
by Dave Grayson During the previous NASCAR weekend we witnessed a genuine feel good moment from the Chicagoland Speedway victory lane. Then, the following day, we got treated to yet another emotionally charged feel good moment from the Iowa Speedway. We were also shocked to learn that one of the most beloved drivers in the Sprint Cup Series needs driving lessons from an up and coming driver who needs to learn R-E-S-P-E-C-T !
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series David Reutimann scored his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win Saturday night when he drove to victory lane in the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Reutimann went faster when the track cooled off at Chicago, zooming past Jeff Gordon then pulling away from Carl Edwards.
NASCAR Nationwide Kyle Busch beat Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano in a green-white-checkered-flag finish to win Friday nightâ€™s Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Busch got a break when series points leader Brad Keselowski ran out of fuel on the final caution lap before the last green-flag run, which began with a restart on Lap 202. Keselowskiâ€™s misfortune allowed Busch to move to the front of the outside line, beside his teammate.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jamie McMurray gave his sponsor, McDonalds, the pole in the backyard of their headquarters after he took the top spot in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. McMurray tuned a fast lap of 183.542 mph. Jimmie Johnson qualified second. Two-time Chicago winner Tony Stewart qualified third with Greg Biffle and Sam Hornish Jr. rounding out the top five.
by Dave Grayson It will be Friday night lights time for the NASCAR Nationwide Series when they take on the challenge of the Chicagoland Speedway's 1.5 mile oval for the running of the Dollar General 300, powered by Coca Cola. There are multiple story lines worthy of examination connected to this event. But the pertinent ones actually do not involve this weekend. They are about what may be coming in the future for the series.
by Rhonda McCole GRAND-Am, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup was in action at Daytona International Speedway this weekend and our Rhonda McCole captured all the action in these 85 photographs. Don't miss all the crashes.
by Dave Grayson During the Fourth of July weekend at the Daytona International Raceway we watched a lackluster Sprint Cup race turn into a late race free for all that made Kevin Harvick the hero of the zero. We watched an emotionally charged Dale Earnhardt Jr pay tribute to his father only to follow that up with bizarre comments regarding his beard and beer drinking schedule. We also watched.......
NASCAR Coke 400 Sprint Cup race It was a wild one Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway â€“ so wild you had to wonder whether there were going to be any cars running at the finish. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings leader Kevin Harvick won the last race on the trackâ€™s current pavement after running up front all night. He managed to dodge the on-track fireworks that littered the Coke Zero 400 from start to finish..
Earnhardt drives No.3 Chevy to emotional Daytona win
NASCAR scores another PR coup Driving the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet in honor of his late father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke a NASCAR Nationwide Series drought of almost four years in winning Friday night's Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. In a race that saw the debut of NASCAR's new Nationwide Series car, Earnhardt held off runner-up Joey Logano and third-place finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance of 100 laps.
Several NASCAR Sprint Cup races ago driver Kevin Harvick was asked about Jimmie Johnson winning three of the first five races of the 2010 season. Harvick replied, "that 48 team must have a golden horseshoe up their butts". Then, all of a sudden, Johnson and company became the focus of NASCAR conspiracy theorists who said the magic was gone because the team fell to seventh in the points and hadn't seen victory lane in ten races. Now, after winning the past two races aided by questionable decisions by his competitors, it appears that the golden horseshoe has been returned to its original upright position.
NASCAr Sprint Cup One of these days, people will stop doubting Jimmie Johnson. The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion can lose a race, or two, and folks automatically write him off as a contender. Sunday, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson played second fiddle, as he sometimes does, for most of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 before putting a payback bump-and-run on Kurt Busch.
Danica Patrick gets lapped 5 times Kyle Busch became the first NASCAR Nationwide repeat winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway en route to the win in the New England 200 Saturday. The victory for Busch was the 36th of his career and it put him into a tie for second on the all-time list with Kevin Harvick. Brad Keselowski, who led 64 laps from the pole, maintained his series points lead with a second-place finish. Carl Edwards finished third and now trails Keselowski by 247 points in the standings.
Montoya earns first pole of season at New Hampshire
NASCAR Sprint Cup Juan Montoya turned a lap of 132.337 mph and has won the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Kasey Kahne was second and Kurt Busch third in Friday's qualifying. Montoya won his first pole of the season after taking two last season. He set a track record at New Hampshire last September to win the pole. Mark Martin was fourth and Ryan Newman fifth for Sunday's race.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be taking on the flat track challenge of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Saturday's New England 200. A long standing winner's is at stake in this race and, oh yeah, Danica is going to be there. The Nationwide Series has a very unique record at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The series has raced there 23 times and has sent 23 different winners to victory lane. That a record that stands tall in all three of NASCAR's national touring series.
Will drivers put Gordon in wall this weekend in Loudon?
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Sprint Cup teams will be in New England this weekend. Race number 17 on their 2010 schedule is Sunday's Lenox Tools 301 on the flat track, one mile, oval known as the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Last weekend Jeff Gordon had managed to anger drivers Martin Truex Jr, Elliot Sadler, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and Kurt Busch. All of these drivers claim that Gordon's aggressiveness damaged their cars and ruined what was going to be solid top ten finishes in the race and all are looking for revenge against Gordon this weekend in Loudon.
Nationwide Series Return An Interview with: DANICA PATRICK
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. We're pleased to be joined today by special guest Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 7 GoDaddy.Com Chevrolet for Junior Motorsports. Danica is back with NASCAR after a four-month absence coinciding with the start of the IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Jimmie Johnson isn't scheduled to celebrate his 35th birthday until September 17th. However he received an early birthday present last Sunday at the Infineon Raceway after Marcos Ambrose decided to turn himself off. Then we watched Johnson's team mate, Jeff Gordon, turn a Chevrolet Impala into a weapon of mass destruction. Adding to the general confusion from last Sunday's race is the fact that basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal has challenged Dale Earnhardt Jr to a stock car race. With those thoughts in mind let's begin...
Inherits lead from Ambrose A NASCAR ruling cost Marcos Ambrose his first career Sprint Cup Series victory Sunday when he stalled his car under a late caution at Infineon Raceway and was forced to forfeit his lead to Jimmie Johnson. Johnson went on to win his first career Cup road-course race and ended a 10-week victory drought for the four-time defending series champion. Ambrose, who led 35 laps, had to settle for sixth after coughing up yet another chance at a victory.
by Mark Scheuern After Thursday's first NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at Road America, Carl Edwards poked fun at himself for how bad he was on the 4.048-mile road course, even though he was the fifth-fastest driver. But Edwards proved to be a quick study, as he dominated the Bucyrus 200 on Saturday to win the first Nationwide Series race at Road America.
Before CART-size crowd from the 70s After Thursday's first NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at Road America, Edwards poked fun at himself for how bad he was on the 4.048-mile road course, even though he was the fifth fastest driver. But Edwards proved to be a quick study, as he dominated the Bucyrus 200 to win the first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America.
by Mark Scheuern Former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve led the final Nationwide Series practice Friday at Road America. Villeneuve, driving the No. 32 for Braun Racing, turned a lap of 106.773 mph on the 4.048-mile course, which will host the Bucyrus 200 on Saturday afternoon. See all the Friday action photos by our Mark Scheuern.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Last year's winner at Infineon Raceway, Kasey Kahne, picked right up where he left off on Friday afternoon. Kahne edged Jimmie Johnson for the pole for Sunday's first road course race of the season, the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Kahne grabbed the pole with a lap of 93.893 mph. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon to rounded out the top five qualifiers.
NASCAR Infineon Preview - Time for right turns too
by Dave Grayson It's going to be a major change of pace for the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams this Sunday during the running of the Toyota/SAV MART 350. The traditional left hand turns from the oval tracks will be replaced by left and right hand turns on a 1.99 mile road course. The Sprint Cup teams will be making their annual journey to the wine country of northern California to the Infineon Raceway.
Over the previous weekend we watched a young driver and a team show us why they are serious championship contenders. We openly wondered about the merits of two Red Bulls charging into each other on the race track. We openly wondered about the conspiracy theorists who denied the presence of a piece of debris despite reports of it causing damage to a race car. Then we marveled over a young driver, in the midst of a miserable week, who redeemed himself by setting a new NASCAR record. With those thoughts in mind, let's begin...
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Denny Hamlin sucked the drama right out of Sundayâ€™s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedwayâ€”because his car was so vastly superior to the 42 others in the field. â€œAll we do is win, babyâ€”two in a row,â€ Hamlin radioed to his crew just before crossing the finish line 1.246 seconds ahead of Kasey Kahne, the only other driver who could stay in the same zip code with Hamlin. â€œI canâ€™t tell you how good this car is, man.â€
NASCAR Nationwide Series Joey Logano remained perfect in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Kentucky Speedway, winning the Meijer 300 from the pole on Saturday night. Logano had lost the lead on two restarts late in the race but was able to power back to the top spot each time.
by Dave Grayson On June 8th copies of a rather bizarre memo made its way up and down the hallway of the Detroit based headquarters of General Motors. That memo was addressed to GM employees and urged them to use the term "Chevrolet" instead of "Chevy." The memo further stated that GM headquarters wanted to promote "the consistency of the brand, which was the nation's best selling line of cars and trucks for more than half a century after World War II."
NASCAR Truck Race Out of nowhere, with two others ready to decide the outcome, Aric Almirola decided to make it a three-way affair and all but stole the VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kurt Busch is on the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Busch posted an average speed of 189.984 mph around the 2-mile oval during Friday's qualifying. Jamie McMurray will start second and Jimmie Johnson will start third in the 400-mile race. Michael Waltrip, Johnny Sauter and Kevin Conway failed to qualify for the 43-car field.
FR9 Engine Jack Roush, who comes to Michigan International Speedway this weekend tied with the Wood Brothers for the most NASCAR Cup owner wins at the track with 11, was subject of the weekly NASCAR teleconference. The Michigan native and resident brings three of his four teams to MIS in the top-12 of the latest Sprint Cup points standings. Plus, all of his teams â€“ and five others in the Ford camp â€“ will be running the new FR9 engine this weekend.. Roush talked about all those issues and more with members of the media.
Sunday's Sprint Cup event at the Pocono Raceway began with a lengthy rain delay. But even the mood of mother nature paled in comparison to the storm that came at the end of the race. We watched the development of NASCAR's latest driver feud. We watched a driver's father try to launch a pit road melee and then listened to his son verbally attack a competitor's wife. We watched two team mates launch a Pocono big one in the middle of a green-white-checker finish. Oh yes, Denny Hamlin had a very good day in Pennsylvania. With those thoughts in mind, let's begin
NASCAR Sprint Cup Denny Hamlin beat Kyle Busch on a green-white-checkered restart and held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate to win the Gillett Fusion PowerGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway Sunday. The race ended with a huge crash that launched Kasey Kahne's car off the ground and collected several drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle and others. Kahne ran through the grass after being blocked by AJ Allmendinger, causing Kahne to lose control of his car and spin back across the track.
NASCAR truck race in Texas Friday night Todd Bodine drove away from four-time and reigning series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. and Timothy Peters on a green-white-checkered flag restart to notch his sixth career victory on TMS' 1.5-mile oval, and third in the summer event here. Bodine snapped a 24-race winless streak dating to June 5, 2009. Johnny Sauter finished second, followed by rookie polesitter Austin Dillon, former series champion Mike Skinner and super-sub Ken Schrader.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kyle Busch won the pole for his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup career start in Sunday's Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway with a lap speed of 169.485. The pole is Busch's seventh of his career and marks the first time he's won a pole at the 2.5-mile triangular track. Clint Bowyer will join him on the front row. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin round out the top five qualifiers.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be transporting their high energy tailgate party to the massive Texas Motor Speedway Friday night with the running of the WinStar World Casino 400. The series will be sharing the weekend with the Indy Racing League which is not that unusual. This marketing strategy has been known to work plenty of times in the past.
Rookie Dillon Takes Pole For WinStar World Casino 400k
NASCAR Truck Series at TMS Rookie Austin Dillon, grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner Richard Childress, captured the pole position for the WinStar World Casino 400k with a lap of 178.654 miles per hour during Thursdayâ€™s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway. Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards Chevrolet) qualified second with a lap of 178.477 mph to give Chevrolet a sweep of the front row.
by Pete McCole Kurt Busch took his million dollar payday from his last weekâ€™s all star race victory, let it ride, and cashed in with his first career Charlotte Motor Speedway victory in Sunday nightâ€™s Coca Cola 600. In a familiar sight, it was cars owned by famed Indianapolis 500 veterans Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi duking it out for a Sprint Cup victory just hours after the two owners battled for supremacy in the Indianapolis 500.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch and his Toyota held off the Dodge of Brad Keselowski to win Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch did not pit for fresh tires during the next to last caution but still had enough to win his 6th race in 14 tries on the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval, tying Mark Martin's record for most wins. Joey Logano was third, Justin Allgaier 4th and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-5.
Ryan Newman will take the green flag in Sundayâ€™s 51st running of the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a very familiar place â€“ starting in the pole position. Newman pulled off a lap of 187.546 mph in the no. 39 ARMY Chevrolet to knock Martin Truex, Jr. off the top spot to notch his 46th career Sprint Cup pole, moving him up to tenth â€“ tied with recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Junior Johnson â€“ on the all-time pole winners list.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be enjoying their second consecutive week at home. Many of the teams are located in Moorseville-North Carolina, as well as other small communities, just down the freeway from their next stop on the Sprint Cup schedule: the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's the home of the annual Coca Cola 600 NASCAR's longest race of the season.
During the annual NASCAR Sprint All Star Challenge weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway we witnessed the return of "Bad Kyle" who took his act to brand new heights. We found out just how good Joe Gibbs' diplomatic skills really are. We watched the older Busch brother win a million dollars despite the problems that also sent him into an early race tirade. Finally there seems to be a bonafide lug nut mystery to resolve. With all of those thoughts in mind let's begin...
NASCAR Hall of Fame inducts league's heavy hitters
by Pete McCole NASCAR Founder Bill France, Sr. was among the first inaugural class to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday as the sport enshrined itâ€™s first five members into the newly opened facility in Charlotte, N.C. Also inducted were Franceâ€™s son, Bill France, Jr., seven-time champions Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and driver and championship-winning car owner Junior Johnson.
by Pete McCole Kurt Busch took advantage of a pair of Joe Gibbs Racing teammates misfortunes to nurse his battered racecar to a $1million dollar payday with a victory in Saturday nightâ€™s 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After starting on the pole, Busch won the opening segment of the 100-lap event and bounced his â€œblue deuceâ€ off the wall twice in the third segment, but was able get past Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch to take the lead and then hold off Martin Truex, Jr. over the final lap to win his first all star event in his ninth start.
NASCAR Truck Series Polesitter Kyle Busch survived a scrape with the wall and held off Todd Bodine in a two-lap dash to the finish to win Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch, who owns the No. 18 Toyota he drove to victory, crossed the finish line 0.228 seconds ahead of Bodine.
by Pete McCole NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brian Vickers will miss the rest of the 2010 season as he continues treatments for blood clots that required him to be hospitalized last week. At a press conference on Friday, Vickers, accompanied by his physician Dr. Steven Limentani and Team Red Bull general manager Jay Frye, announced he will sit out the remaining races this season at the advice of his doctors, who are treating him with blood thinning medication that make it dangerous for him to be behind the wheel of a stock car.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's version of all star night takes place this Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The annual 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup All Star Challenge will feature 21 drivers running a total of 100 laps all vying for a giant cardboard check that reads "pay to the order of-one million dollars." There will of course be the usual jockeying for position on the track during the event's four segments.
During the NASCAR weekend at the Dover International Speedway we learned that the "new Kyle" can dominate a race as easily as the "old Kyle" except it's nicer. We learned that even the best in the business can too fast for their on good. From the same driver we learned that it's not a good idea to ram another car, prior to a restart, when a live television camera is watching.
Kyle Busch took the lead with a gutsy inside move on Jimmie Johnson and never looked back to take his second win of the weekend and the infamous Monster Mile of Dover, celebrating with his now trademark smoking-tire bow. Busch just missed a tripleheader sweep on the 1-mile concrete track. He was in position to win the Truck Series race on Friday but ran out of gas at the end. He easily won Saturday's Nationwide race.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Kyle Buschâ€™s dominant victory in Saturdayâ€™s NASCAR Nationwide Series Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway was punctuated by a late-race dust-up between Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer â€“ one that sent Bowyer to the garage and the NASCAR Nationwide Series hauler.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Martin Truex Jr.'s only Cup Series win came at the Monster Mile and will look for No. 2 when he rolls off first Sunday afternoon thanks to a qualifying lap of 157.315 mph. Martin Truex Jr.'s only Cup Series win came at the Monster Mile and will look for No. 2 when he rolls off first Sunday afternoon thanks to a qualifying lap of 157.315 mph. Kasey Kahne will start 2nd in his Ford.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are in Delaware this weekend for Sunday's running of the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey. This is 400 challenging laps around a one mile all concrete oval known as "The Monster Mile." While there is room on the track for double wide, and sometimes even three wide, racing this particular facility also displays the characteristics of short track racing. The track will push the driver's patience to the breaking point, the crew chiefs will be frayed over handling set ups versus concrete and the fans will be frequently jumping to their feet during what traditionally is a very good race.
by Dave Grayson The Nationwide Series will be a major part of the NASCAR weekend at the Dover International Speedway when the green flag falls on Saturday's Helluva Good 200. The one mile concrete oval, known as "The Monster Mile", is wide enough to allow side by side racing and sometimes even three wide racing if there's enough rubber at the top of the track. It's also known for taxing a driver's patience.
by Pete McCole NASCAR ushered in another milestone in the sanctioning bodyâ€™s long storied history on Tuesday with the grand opening of the $195-million NASCAR Hall Of Fame in Charlotte, NC. More than five years in the making, largest motorsports organization in the country has a Hall of Fame to call their own, one they hope rivals any of the four major sports in North America.
During the previous weekend at Darlington Raceway we found out that Denny Hamlin is a lot tougher than we first believed. We also found out that Hamlin knows how to sweep with a very large broom. We also witnessed four time champion Jeff Gordon asking for a snake bite kit again and we're also wondering if four time champion Jimmie Johnson's horseshoe is painted gold instead of plated with gold. With those thoughts in mind let's begin...
by Pete McCole Denny Hamlin took advantage of critical miscues by Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton to post his third NASCAR Sprint cup victory of the season and complete the weekend sweep in Saturday nightâ€™s Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Bum knee and all, Hamlin led the final 24 laps to beat out pole winner Jamie McMurray to become the first driver since Mark Martin in 1993 to complete the weekend sweep at Darlington. Kurt Busch finished third, followed by Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya.
NASCAR Nationwide Race Denny Hamlin pulled away from Kyle Busch on the final restart with six laps to go to win at Darlington and post his 10th career Nationwide victory, and first in 2010. Staying out on old tires while other contenders came to the pits under caution on Lap 123, Hamlin held off teammate Kyle Busch, who also stayed out, to win Friday night's Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway. Hamlin led the final 63 of 147 laps in winning his 10th race in the Nationwide Series in his second start of the year.
by Pete McCole Jamie McMurray won the pole with a track-record lap of 180.370 mph at Darlington Raceway Friday. McMurray toured the 1.366-mile speedway in 27.264 seconds to edge seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon (180.323 mph) for the top starting spot in Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500. Brian Vickers qualified third at 179.987 mph, David Reutimann fourth at 179.252 mph and Mark Martin fifth at 179.148 mph.
by Dave Grayson The lady in black. The track too tough to tame. The grand daddy of them all. The Darlington stripe. Those are just a few of the buzz phrases you'll be hearing a lot of Saturday night when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes their annual stop at the historic Darlington Raceway for the running of the Showtime Southern 500.
Over the previous weekend we watched Kyle Busch steal a NASCAR Sprint Cup win from Jeff Gordon. We watch Bad Brad Keselowski steal a Richmond NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Greg Biffle. Meanwhile in Kansas we watched Johnny Sauter win the NASCAR Camping World Series Truck race that featured synchronized spinning in the final laps of the event. With those thoughts in mind let's begin...
NASCAR Truck Series What simply had to be the two best saves of the Camping World Truck Series season occurred at exactly the same time and within inches of each other Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. When the two trucks involved finally got pointed back in the proper direction, it was the one driven by Johnny Sauter that had the lead and would go on to win the Oâ€™Reilly Auto Parts 250. The other truck involved, that of Ron Hornaday Jr., finished second but left its driver buzzing like a radio with a bad tube.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Polesitter Kyle Busch surged past Jeff Gordon on a restart with five laps left in Saturday night's Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway to break a 21-race winless drought in the Cup Series. The victory was Busch's 17th in the series. Gordon came home second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards. Juan Montoya, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose and Jimmie Johnson completed the top 10.
Nationwide and Sprint Cup Qualifying Kyle Busch scored a double pole position at Richmond Friday. With a lap at 21.247 seconds, Busch won the pole for Saturday's Crown Royal 400 race at the 0.75-mile short track -- less than three hours after putting his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the pole for Friday night's Bubba Burger 250 Nationwide Series race. Busch edged fellow Toyota driver David Reutimann (for the top starting spot in the 10th race of the Cup season. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, filled the 2nd row.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Sprint Cup teams will be doing another round of Saturday night racing this weekend at Virginia's Richmond International Raceway aka "the short track that thinks it's a super speedway." If you thought you witnessed the definition of the term "contact sport" last Sunday at Talladega, wait until you see 43 full sized stock cars on a three quarter mile oval Saturday night. There's a very famous marketing slogan that says "Virginia is for lovers." That slogan may not necessarily apply by the time this race is over.
Harvick gives McMurray a sporting stock-car nudge Last Sunday we witnessed a NASCAR double header that can only be considered as true Talladega classics. Both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series events, held on the same day due to inclement weather, had fans on their feet at the track and fans jumping up down in their living rooms at their homes.
Jamie McMurray seems to be able to end up at the front lately in restrictor-plate races, no matter where he starts or sits during the race. He appeared to drop to the back with teammate Juan "White Gloves" Montoya in a strategic move to avoid any possible pileup in the early laps, then stuck with his teammate and steadily worked his way back to the front. But his well-laid plan was thwarted by Kevin Harvick who squeaked by at the line to win the Aarons 499 at Talladega.
Nationwide and Sprint Cup to run Sunday The threat of approaching severe weather forced officials from NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway to cancel Saturday's schedule, including Sprint Cup qualifying and the Aaron's 312, setting up the possibility of 800 miles of racing in a Sunday doubleheader. While the lineup for the Aaron's 449 will be set by the NASCAR rule book, the Nationwide Series race will now be run Sunday afternoon, immediately following the conclusion of the Cup race.
A Debate He Would've Enjoyed Chances are that if Bill France Jr. was still around, he wouldnâ€™t approve of himself being one of the five inaugural inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. â€œHe would probably have said to pick a driver or an owner instead of him,â€ said NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter, a long-time confidant and employee of France. But thatâ€™s not to imply Bill Jr. â€“ who passed away in 2007 after 35 years of leadership in his sport â€“ wouldnâ€™t have been proud. After all, he will be inducted alongside his father and NASCAR founder, the late â€œBig Billâ€ France.
by Cathy Elliott In keeping with the global climate changes weâ€™ve been experiencing of late, Silly Season has come early this year. For as long as I've been a fan of NASCAR, I have believed the term "Silly Season" was actually coined by our sport. The name has typically been used to describe roughly the second half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, when teams and sponsors and even auto manufacturers begin the process of realigning themselves for the following year.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR spent the previous weekend in the state of Texas where everything there is bigger. That includes the rain which kept the race teams there until late Monday evening. There was also Texas sized drama during the course of running two major NASCAR events on the same day. A young driver proved he had Texas sized heart that allowed him overcome the pain of an injury to win the race. We saw a happy team owner smiling underneath a cowboy hat because his organization had a Texas sized weekend.
NASCAR Sprint Cup race Denny Hamlin might have had a hard time climbing in his race car because of his bum knee but he certainly had no problem climbing from 29th starting position to Victory Lane. Hamlin, who had knee surgery recently, held off a hard-charging Jimmie Johnson to win Mondayâ€™s Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. A big crowd, in excess of 100,000, braved two days of steady rain and hung around for a race that delivered what Texas is known for â€“ extraordinary things.
First pole for Tony in 5 Years Last week in Phoenix, Ryan Newman put Stewart-Haas Racing in the spotlight with his victory. On Friday in Texas, Tony Stewart kept his company atop the Cup leaderboard by winning the pole for Sunday's race -- his first Cup pole since 2005. Sam Hornish Jr. posted the 2nd fastest time followed by Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne.
by Dave Grayson I look forward to NASCAR's annual silly season each and every year. The process generally starts in late May to early June and turns into a mega month challenge while trying to figure out who's switching driver seats, who will be sitting on top of a new pit box and what sponsor logo is going to pay for all of that movement. Tuesday's major announcement, presented to us by ESPN.Com, regarding driver Kasey Kahne and Hendrick Motorsports frankly caught us all off guard.
by Dave Grayson When it comes to the concept of reality television programs "Extreme Make Over: Home Edition", aired on Sunday nights on the ABC Network, seems to stand out. That's because of the positive emotional impacts it has on the people the show deals with each week. That was certainly the case when four time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon made an appearance on this program this past Sunday night. On the program as a celebrity guest, Gordon visited the Suggs family of Loris-South Carolina and helped the show's team build them a badly needed new home.
by Dave Grayson For many years now I've been saying that the difference between auto racing and the other major American sports is the fact that the element of foregone conclusion does not exist in racing. For example if a team, in the other major sports, has a big lead in the waning moments of the event then it becomes a foregone conclusion that they are going to win the game. That simply doesn't apply in racing.
NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix Ryan Newman took advantage of a late race caution and a two tire pit stop to take Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman took the lead out of Turn 1 with two laps to go, held off a late charge by Jeff Gordon and earned a trip to Victory Lane at PIR.
Does it in spectacular style Surging to the front after a restart with eight laps left in Friday night's Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch overcame a potentially devastating penalty with 50 laps left to post his second Nationwide Series win of the year and the 32nd of his career, third most all-time. Busch restarted 10th on Lap 193 of 200 at the 1-mile track. By Lap 195 he had gained second position, and on Lap 196 he passed eventual third-place finisher Brad Keselowski for the lead.
NASCAR AJ Allmendinger scored the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Pole position of his career with a fast lap time of 134.675 mph at Phoenix International Raceway for Saturday nightâ€™s Subway Fresh Fit 600. The qualifying effort is the best of AJâ€™s young NASCAR career to date, and continues the momentum for AJ in his first season driving the famed No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports.
by Dave Grayson The elite from NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series moves to the valley of the sun this weekend and the first Saturday night race on the schedule. The teams will take on the always challenging Phoenix International Raceway, and its one mile flat track oval, for the running of the Subway Fresh Fit 600 km. We've heard and read a lot, over the past two months, about how reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus have literally crept into the heads of their competitors with their highly consistent performance levels.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had the weekend off and that provided an opportunity for NASCAR's Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series to shine on their own in music city at the Nashville Super Speedway. When the two events had concluded two custom guitars were handed to the winners but the majesty of those moments were overshadowed by yet another case of on track retaliation.
by Dave Grayson If there was a reason to assign theme music to the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at the Martinsville Speedway you could have played the Carpenter's "Rainy Days and Mondays Always Bring Me Down" on Sunday. Then 24 hours later, following that spectacular race finish, The Mamas and The Papas' "Monday Monday Can't Trust That Day" would have been appropriate. In the case of race winner Denny Hamlin you could have used Humble Pie's "I Don't Need No Doctor."
Rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race With An extra day at Martinsville Speedway was well-worth the wait for Denny Hamlin. Hamlin blasted from fourth to first on the final two laps Monday afternoon to capture the rain-delayed Goodyâ€™s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. It was his second consecutive victory on the half-mile oval and helped ease the pain of pending knee surgery. The Virginia native gave up the lead with less than 10 laps to go Monday when he pitted for tires. He blasted from ninth to the lead in just four laps.
by Pete McCole NASCARâ€™s latest tweak to the Car of Tomorrow design got a thumbs up from drivers and crew chiefs this week as NASCAR begins to transition from the rear wing to a more conventional spoiler on the Car of Tomorrow chassis. Nearly 50 of the top teams concluded a shakedown of the new rear spoiler in a two-day testing session at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which wrapped up on Wednesday.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous NASCAR weekend we watched our reigning champion pad his already impressive racing stats, we watched the rise of a future NASCAR star and we discovered that drivers really can coincide with each other on the track if enough observers are carefully watching every move that they make. THUMBS-UP to Jimmie Johnson for a stellar performance last Sunday at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
by Pete McCole Despite four-straight Sprint Cup Championships, a Daytona 500 victory and an All-Star race win, there was still one victory that has eluded Jimmie Johnson his entire career â€“ a victory at Bristol Motor Speedway. On Sunday, Johnson scratched off two more milestones in his bid for a fifth-straight NASCAR Sprint Cup title with a win in Sundayâ€™s Food City 500 to score his first victory at the famed half-mile track as well as notching his 50th career Sprint Cup win.
NASCAR Nationwide Series race It wasn't a hauler chat with NASCAR that kept Brad Keselowski from knocking Justin Allgaier out of the way in the closing laps of Saturday's Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Instead, Keselowski, the polesitter, took one for the companyâ€”Penske Racingâ€”as Allgaier, his teammate, led all 27 laps of the final green-flag run to notch his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Joey Logano turned a lap of 124.630 mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Toyota Friday afternoon to win his first career Sprint Cup pole and earn the top spot for Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch will start outside the front row in the Penske Racing Miller Lite Dodge. Dave Blaney, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.
by Dave Grayson Fresh from a weekend off, the elite from NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series returns to work this Sunday at Thunder Valley: the Bristol Motor Speedway. It's what used to be known as NASCAR's semi annual demolition derby where 43 full sized stock cars lined up on a half mile track and everyone occupying the speedway's 160,000 seats knew full well what was coming.
by Dave Grayson The pre race ceremony, prior to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol, includes an introduction to what will likely become a new musical tradition. The Sprint Cup drivers, who will comprise the 43 car starting field, will be introduced to the fans backed with musical selections they themselves selected. Taking a look at the recently published song selections of the drivers it's clear that the tunes represent the taste of today's NASCAR young guns.
by Dave Grayson I've now had a couple of days to digest all of the story angles and opinions that came in the aftermath of the Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski controversy following Sunday's Atlanta race that had Keselowski's Dodge taking off like an airplane. I found myself remembering a wise old saying from yesteryear: "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."
by Pete McCole NASCARâ€™s new doctrine of letting the drivers police their own actions on the track took a big step backwards on Sunday, as Carl Edwards took the policy to the extreme in an apparent act of retribution against Brad Keselowski in the closing laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Edwards, running nearly 150 laps down to the leaders, hooked the rear bumper of Keselowskiâ€™s car and sent him sailing roof-first into the frontstretch wall.
by Dave Grayson WHAT'S-UP with Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards and that lack of judgment during the Atlanta race? Edwards had every reason to be upset with fellow driver Brad Keselowski. Early race contact by Keselowski sent Edwards' Ford up into the wall which in turn collected Joey Logano. The incident completely destroyed any chances Edwards and Logano had of having a good run. Worse yet, suppose the car flew into the grandstands and killed scores of people. So much for NASCAR telling its drivers to have had it this year.
by Pete McCole Kurt Busch had one of the best cars all day and his Penske Dodge and it wasn't any different at the finish as he was able to hold off Matt Kenseth's Roush Ford for two green-white-checkered finishes in to Kobalt 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Juan Montoya came home third and Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard rounded out the top-5.
by Pete McCole Kevin Harvick claimed his seventh career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory with a dominating victory in Saturdayâ€™s E-Z-Go 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Driving for his own Kevin Harvick, Inc. team in a Chevrolet Silverado sponsored by the race sponsor, Harvick led two times for 100 laps â€“ including the final 56 - to beat out Kyle Busch for his third consecutive NCWTS victory dating back to the end of the 2009 season.
by Pete McCole Dale Earnhardt Jr. notched his first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole since 2008 with a record setting pace in Friday nightâ€™s qualifying session for Sundayâ€™s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Earnhardt posted a top speed of 192.761 mph in the no. 88 Amp Chevrolet, clocking the fastest qualifying speed ever for a Sprint Cup car in the Car of Tomorrow era
by Dave Grayson After three weeks off, since their season opener at Daytona, America's favorite tail gate party returns to action. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be riding the fast lane at the Atlanta Motor Speedway this Saturday with the running of the E-Z-Go 200. When it comes to a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta, never make the mistake of overlooking the presence of Kyle Busch who will making his second start of the 2010 season for his new Toyota team: Kyle Busch Motorsports.
by Dave Grayson During the course of the previous NASCAR weekend in Las Vegas we learned a valuable lesson regarding two tires versus four tires and we learned what is required to make Kevin "Happy" Harvick happy again. Did you hear that unusual sound that followed the conclusion of the Shelby American 400? It was an rather odd sound associated with someone walking. It sounded something like "walk walk-whoomp, walk walk-whoomp." It turned out to be the sound of Jeff Gordon's crew chief, Steve Letarte, kicking himself in the butt all the way to the team's car hauler.
NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas Defending champion Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus have done it again. After his Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon dominated the race with Johnson running 2nd for most of it, after the final pitstop and caution flag, Johnson hunted down Gordon, passed him with ease and pulled away to an easy win in the Shelby American, his 2nd in a row as he goes for his 5th straight title. Kevin Harvick also passed Gordon in the final 5 laps to grab 2nd and make it a Chevy 1-2-3-4.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying To help sell race tickets on Sunday, Las Vegas native Kurt Busch won the pole for Sunday's Shelby American Cup Series race with a track-record speed of 188.719 mph. Busch hopes to follow his brother and defending race winner Kyle Busch to Victory Lane. Turning a lap in 28.614 seconds, Busch edged Jeff Gordon (188.646 mph) for the top starting spot in the third race of the season. Ryan Newman (188.180 mph) qualified third.
by Dave Grayson The elite of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are making their annual trek to Las Vegas for the running of Sunday's Shelby American named in honor the iconic custom car builder Carroll Shelby. Over the past few weeks we heard a lot about the physical and financial hardships regarding NASCAR's annual western swing, Fontana-California last week and Las Vegas seven days later. But you really don't seem to hear the drivers complaining that much about having to spend a few days in Sin City: the entertainment capital of the world.
by Dave Grayson During the course of the previous weekend we saw proof that the Auto Club Speedway can produce some good racing despite long standing criticisms to the contrary. We watched a championship team prove that they are both lucky and good and we watched another team return to their proper status. We even got treated to a "Spiderman" move on pit road. THUMB's-UP for the NASCAR weekend at the Auto Club Speedway and the quality racing in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. Three, and even in some cases four, wide racing was seen all weekend long.
by Dave Grayson Jimmie Johnson and his Chad Knaus led #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team put on another stellar performance at the Auto Club Speedway and won their series leading fifth Sprint Cup race in Fontana-California. Johnson led the race eight times for a total of 101 laps. Kyle Busch muscled his way around Greg Biffle on the final lap to win the February 20th Stater Brothers 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana-California. The win followed a highly charged green white checker finish that gave Joe Gibbs Racing their fifth, consecutive, Nationwide Series win at the California track.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series In front of a sparse California crowd, Californians Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick battled all race long with Johnson prevailing by about 1 second over Harvick to win the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, California in front of California fans. Harvick held off his RCR teammate Jeff Burton and Mark Martin made it a 1-2-3-4 Chevy sweep. It was Johnson's 5th win at Auto Club Speedway and his 48th career Sprint Cup win.
by Kathy Elliott Some dreams are so big, and seem so unattainable, that even the dreamer doesnâ€™t believe they can ever come true. Just ask 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray. After the race, McMurray talked about the experience of seeing the checkered flag in front of him ... and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., one of the best superspeedway racers in NASCAR, coming up behind him. Fast. â€œTo be honest, I was like, â€˜Crap,â€™â€ he said. â€œThis guy has won a lot of races here; he has incredible history here. I hope this isnâ€™t his turn to win the Daytona 500.
NASCAR Nationwide race With a last-lap pass of Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch stole a win in the Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway -- a victory that came at the expense of the race's dominant driver, Busch's teammate, Joey Logano. Busch finished 0.051 seconds ahead of Biffle, who sent Logano -- then the leader -- up the track after the restart for a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance of 150 laps.
Teammate Montoya will start 2nd Jamie McMurray stayed hot Friday in California after winning the Daytona 500 by going out and taking the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway (ACS). McMurray posted a lap of 183.744 mph for his first pole at ACS and the fourth of career. He will be joined on the front row by his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. It marks the first time the team has claimed both front row starting positions.
by Dave Grayson The elite teams from the NASCAR Nationwide Series are in California for Saturdays running of the Stater Brothers 300 at the Auto Club Speedway. Like their Sprint Cup counterparts, also in California this weekend, the diverse racing environment from last week's season opener at Daytona has Nationwide Series teams thinking that the official racing season will start in Fontana-California. By the time the Stater Brothers 300 concludes the teams will have a much clearer picture of what they need to do to improve their competitive levels for the remainder of the season.
by Dave Grayson It's that time of the year again. Time for yours truly to take a mini vacation to Fontana-California for the big NASCAR weekend at the Auto Club Speedway. Despite the fact that the race track is a short two hour drive from my southern California home, I'll be camping in a motel from Friday to Monday morning taking in the sights and sounds of the Auto Club 500. I have a tendency to get extremely excited over these semi annual trips to Fontana. I almost turn into a little kid whose parents just told him "we're going to Disney Land."
by Dave Grayson Over the course of the previous weekend we were treated to a spectacular finish from Sunday's Daytona 500 and members of the "Junior Nation" are smiling again. It was also an educational weekend because we learned how to fix a pot hole. THUMBS-UP to that spectacular finish to the great American race and the emotionally charged moments we observed in victory lane afterwards. Jamie McMurray drove his heart out to win the Daytona 500 and that superior effort truly is worthy of the accolades he has received.
by Pete McCole In the longest race in Daytona 500 history, it seemed only appropriate that one of the biggest long shots broke through to claim his first Daytona 500 victory. Jamie McMurray survived potholes, two red flags and a wild double-overtime session to win the 52nd running of the â€œGreat American Raceâ€, getting a push from former teammate Greg Biffle and holding off Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to notch his fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory Sunday at Daytona Intâ€™l Speedway.
by Pete McCole Timothy Peters passed race leader Todd Bodine on the final lap to notch his second career victory and deny Bodine a third straight season-opening victory in a wild opening event for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Daytona Intâ€™l Speedway. Running second behind Bodine coming down the backstretch, Peters pulled to the high side of Bodine, got a push from Jason White and then dived under Bodine.
Tony Stewart stole the spotlight from Danica Patrick on Saturday doing what Danica couldnâ€™t â€“ staying out in front and dodging the carnage to win the crash-filled season-opening event for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona Intâ€™l Speedway for the second year in a row. Driving a Chevrolet owned by fellow Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick, Stewart held the lead for the final 25 laps.
Over the past few days we witnessed the latest round of Danica mania, we saw an early glimpse of 2010 excitement during the Budweiser Shoot Out and apparently there's a baby boom going on within Hendrick Motorsports. With those thoughts in mind, let's begin this week with Thumbs-up for Danica Patrick's official stock car debut in last Saturday's ARCA Series season opener at Daytona. Her sixth place finish in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 garnered a lot of favorable observations and the driver herself exited her car exhilarated after the race...
Tony Stewart looked strong and crafty as he laid back a bit and picked his spots, as the lead cycled among several drivers.
Then he got a good push and setup Kasey Kahne for the outside pass. But Kahne must have been watching Jimmie Johnson in the first race, because he kept the low line and took the win in a finish nearly as close as race number one.
Jimmie Johnson took a very loose backup car to a photo finish win in the opening Gatorade Duel.
The first of the two Gatorade Duel races that determine the final grid for the Daytona 500 on Sunday was played fairly safe by all. With a mound of wrecked cars in practice yesterday, and even Jimmie Johnson having to take a grid penalty for going to a backup car, it looked like fairly conservative and clean racing today.
In 1967 Andretti made the NASCAR crowd swallow crow
This week in Ford Racing Ford Racing great Mario Andretti won the Daytona 500 in 1967 in a Ford when his nephew, John, was only four years old. When the green flag falls on Sundayâ€™s annual â€œGreat American Race,â€ John will be in the field driving the No. 34 Window World Cares Ford Fusion, as part of a three-Fusion effort from Front Row Motorsports. John spoke about the 500 and a common bond he and his uncle share.
by Pete McCole Kevin Harvick started off his 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season the same way he started it in 2009 â€“ in the winnerâ€™s circle at the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Intâ€™l Speedway. Fighting the flu and driving a backup car that he hadnâ€™t turned a lap in until Saturday nightâ€™s race, Harvick passed Greg Biffle on the second lap of a green-white-checker overtime session just moments before Biffle got sideways in turn three to touch off a eight-car melee with two laps to go.
Danica comes home 6th in stock car debut Bobby Gerhart, wheeling the No. 5 Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevrolet, captured a record sixth Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 under the lights at historic Daytona International Speedway Saturday night, part of a racing tripleheader at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Gerhartâ€™s team gambled on fuel, took advantage of caution laps, and led the final 51 laps of the race.
Mark Martin wins pole, Earnhardt 2nd Hendrick Motorsports teammates Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have secured the front row for next week's Daytona 500. Martin, the only driver to top 191 mph during qualifying Saturday, earned the first pole of his career for the Sprint Cup Series' season-opening race. Earnhardt will start second, trying to rebound from the worst season in his Cup career.
by Dave Grayson During the last week we learned that teams from all three of NASCAR's national touring series will be looking at a temporary pay cut. A Sprint Cup operation that struggled to make races last year now has a guaranteed start in the Daytona 500 thanks to a new technical alliance and three teams are waiting to hear if their sponsorship programs are going to disappear at the last minute.
by Dave Grayson THUMBS-UP to Sarah Palin for recently being named as a VIP guest at this year's Daytona 500. A speedway press release said she would not be playing an official role in the race and that leads to a THUMBS-UP to comedian Jay Leno who said "in other words her role at Daytona is very similar to her Vice Presidential campaign." Mrs. Palin is not a Mayor, she resigned as the Governor of Alaska and she's certainly not a Senator. In fact, she's no longer personally involved with politics and recently accepted a new television job with Fox News. It appears that the Daytona International Raceway has issued official VIP credentials to a member of "DA MEE-DEE-AH."
by Pete McCole The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway drew to a close on Thursday, culminating with a visit to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. NASCAR Chairman Brian France was on hand along with NASCAR President Mike Helton to address the media and announce several changes and initiatives the sanctioning body will be undertaking in the coming year.
Crown Royal and Drunk Driving: Interesting teammates
by Scott Morris
Crown Royal recently announced their sponsorship of the Michael Shank Racing car number 60 Ford-Riley to be driven by John Pew and Ozz Negri for the GrandAm Road Racing Championship. Of course, that doesnâ€™t sound like shocking newsâ€¦until you realize that a convicted drunk driver is also a Michael Shank team driver.
by Pete McCole Day Three of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway brought to tour to headquarters of one of the most successful teams of the 2009 season, Hendrick Motorsports. Team owner Rick Hendrick welcomed the media to their sprawling facility just a few miles from Charlotte Motor Speedway, joined by Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, 2009 championship runner-up Mark Martin and defending four-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson.
by Dave Grayson On any given weekend during a NASCAR racing season you'll find him wondering all over a speedway garage area with the stoic expression of a thinking man on his face. During television media interviews it's easy to tell that he's carefully listening to each and every word of a question and then chooses each and every word carefully while formulating a response. This is the nature of Jack "The Cat In The Hat" Roush, the founder of Roush Fenway Racing, (RFR), and one of the most successful NASCAR team owners in the business.
by Pete McCole The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway continued on Tuesday with Day Two of the four-day short, featuring visits with Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Racing, Wood Brothers Racing and Roush Racing. The 2009 season proved to be one of frustration for Richard Childress Racing, as the team was shut out of victory lane for the first time since 2004, with all four of the teams entries missing the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
by Pete McCole Journalists from across the country and around the world descended on Concord, N.C. on Monday for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway, kicking off four days of media events in preparation for the 2010 NASCAR racing season. Stewart-Haas Racing led off the first day of the tour at the Embassy Suites hotel in Concord, which once again served as headquarters for the tour.
Drivers conduct 1st test with new spoiler at Texas
NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Brian Vickers became the first drivers to conduct an on-track test with a new aluminum spoiler package that could be implemented for the 2010 season during Tuesday's Goodyear Tire test at Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR has not determined the specific dimensions as yet for the spoiler, but the one that was being used as a baseline at Tuesday's session was 64.5 inches wide and four inches in height with no contour in the design.
by Dave Grayson Over the past few days we have been tantalized by NASCAR with a very exciting, but still pending, announcement that the winds of change may be in the air. It also now appears that two dates on the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will be making some changes. Meanwhile Jeff Gordon spent last week building a house in South Carolina but declined to give Tiger Woods driving tips. One particular change specifically calls for replacing the car's current rear wing with the traditional spoiler that was used in the past.
by Dave Grayson Over the past few days we observed the true spirit of the NASCAR Nation, we welcomed three new members to the Nation, and NASCAR's most popular driver hosted an amazing 60 minute party. THUMBS-UP to Front Row Motorsports, FRM, whose NASCAR Sprint Cup efforts appears to be headed in the right direction for the upcoming 2010 season. Former Sprint Cup driver Travis Kvapil will be returning to the series to drive the #34 Ford which is a manufacturer switch from last year's Chevrolets. FRM also named Steven Lane as the new crew chief for the team.
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