Kasey Kahne shows his true colors in 'Breast-Gate'
by Dave Grayson The final controversy of NASCAR's 2011 racing season involves mild mannered, everybody loves him, Kasey Kahne. Making this even more amazing is the fact that the issue is indeed over breastfeeding a baby in a public location: an act that has, for too many generations to count, been widely regarded as perfectly natural and to many even beautiful. This issue stems from a December 27th visit to a super market where Kahne was caught off guard by the sight of a woman nursing her infant.
Allmendinger, new driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge What follows is a transcript from Wednesday’s Penske Racing media teleconference with AJ Allmendinger, new driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge, and Tim Cindric, Penske Racing President.
by Dave Grayson In late January of this year NASCAR officials announced a new championship points procedure based on a 43 to 1 concept. In other words the winner of a Sprint Cup race received 43 points with a one point descending deficit from second, 42 points, all the way to one point for the driver who finished 43rd. As I sat in my office last January reading this announcement I vividly recalled yelling "W-T-F". Although wild card playoff berths have been a factor in the other major American sports for many years now, I have never really cared for them.
by Cathy Elliott If the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season can be compared to a cup of coffee – sometimes warming, sometimes energizing and sometimes stomach-acid inducing – then Champion’s Week in Las Vegas is more like a triple shot of espresso. The energy level got ramped up on Day 1, and never paused for air. Las Vegas in general is a NASCAR kind of town, open to anything and everything. While other places might pride themselves on having a can-do attitude, Vegas goes one better. They not only can do it; they WILL do it.
The recent announcement from Penske Racing that said that Kurt Busch would no longer be the driver of their #22 Dodge, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, effective immediately caught many observers a little off guard. Described in an official press release as "a mutual parting of the ways", both team owner Roger Penske and driver Kurt Busch both insisted that the dissolving of their racing partnership was mutual and amicable despite reports that said Busch was fired from the team due to inappropriate behavior displayed during the final race of the season.
All Smiles As Champion’s Week Comes To A Close Tony Stewart had already shocked the racing world once this year by coming from seemingly nowhere to win the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup. He thought about doing it again Friday night to open the NASCAR awards ceremony in the grand ballroom at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. "I had an Elvis suit I was going to throw on and come out with -- but NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France thought that might be too risky at an awards ceremony," Stewart said. "Getting called to the NASCAR trailer after the season for doing something stupid didn't seem right. I thought I'd better end this all on a good note."
Award Winners At NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon Darian Grubb spoke for mere minutes at Thursday’s NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, but the words that tumbled from the champion crew chief’s mouth were a good two months in the making. Prior to October’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Grubb learned that his tenure as Tony Stewart’s crew chief would end after the season. Then, six races and three victories later, Grubb won an improbable NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Wednesday at NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas Tony Stewart’s on a roll. And that’s a good feeling when you’re in Las Vegas. Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman won Wednesday’s "This Ain’t the Newlywed Game," a riff on the television original hosted by Bob Eubanks. Stewart and Newman edged the team of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch by most accurately recalling the estimated attendance of March’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Ford driver Edwards takes losing like a man Carl Edwards did virtually everything right in the Ford 400 at Homestead in pursuit of his first Sprint Cup championship. He led 119 laps, 54 more than anyone else. He led 90 of the first 112 laps without a serious challenge. He drove a mostly flawless race. He scored a second-place race finish for the third consecutive event. Yet he fell short of the big prize by a margin so narrow that it really wasn’t a margin. Edwards and Tony Stewart tied for the championship at 2,403 points, but Stewart won the title using the first tiebreaker, race wins (five to one).
$50K the going rate for middle fingers and "F bombs"
by Dave Grayson Dependent upon the precise set of circumstances, sometimes freedom of speech isn't necessarily free. Ask NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch who just recently found out that there's a significant rise in the cost of middle fingers and "F bombs." It now appears that the going rate for this form of self expression is $50,000 according to NASCAR officials. A tip of the racing hat goes to NASCAR officials for addressing this situation. This driver's action were seriously inappropriate and the action taken by the sanctioning body was more than warranted.
Gordon and Stewart prove open wheelers can conquer NASCAR For the first time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, the championship ended in a draw. The Ford 400 also marked the first time since 1975 the eventual champion came from behind to win the championship in the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tony Stewart prevailed as a three-time series points Champion after winning five races in this year’s Chase For The Sprint Cup Series Championship. "If this doesn’t go down as one of the greatest championship battles in history, than I don’t know what will,” said Stewart. "I’ve got the best team in the business and it’s just awesome.”
by Mark J. Cipolloni It came down to the two leaders in points before the day started and it stayed that way right until the last lap. Despite an early incident that damaged the front of his car, Tony Stewart drove the wheels off his No. 14 Chevy and won the Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval Sunday night over the No. 99 Ford of Carl Edwards. The two ended in a tie for points but Stewart won the tie-breaker based on having more wins.
NASCAR Sprint Cup finale With a lap at 175.467 mph, Sprint Cup Series points leader Carl Edwards sent a message to rival Tony Stewart, one day before the two drivers will decide the series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In Saturday's tension-filled qualifying session at the 1.5-mile track, Edwards won his third Coors Light pole award of the season and the 10th of his career. He'll start 14 positions ahead of Stewart, who trails Edwards by three points entering the season finale.
Stenhouse clinches Nationwide title Polesitter Brad Keselowski may have won Saturday’s Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but Roush Fenway Racing had a better night, winning two Nationwide Series championships in one race. Keselowski held off a furious charge from series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the final lap to secure his fifth victory of the season and the 17th of his career.
At Homestead Austin Dillon withstood a strong challenge from race winner Johnny Sauter to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in Friday night’s Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR called the event with 15 laps left with Sauter in the lead and Dillon in 10th place, giving Dillon, 21, the youngest champion in series history, a six-point edge over Sauter in the final series standings. Denny Hamlin finished second in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports truck, followed by Kevin Harvick, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Joey Coulter.
Richard Childress' grandson Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon and his Danny Stockman-led Bass Pro Shops team ended their second year of full-time competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a 10th-place finish in the season finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, allowing Dillon to clinch the 2011 Driver's Championship for Bass Pro Shops and Richard Childress Racing's black No. 3 Chevrolet team. The accomplishment marks the second NCWTS championship for RCR.
by Cathy Elliott The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be presenting their final tail gate party of the year by closing out their season with Friday night's running of the Ford 200 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Surprising moments from the series' previous race at Texas set up the championship profile we will be watching Friday night. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be a part of the three day champion's weekend, at the Florida based Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Saturday's running of the Ford 300. The series' championship points standings appears to be in a lock down mode.
by Dave Grayson Despite the excitement, and potential high level of drama, associated with Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, the conclusion of the 2011 Chase For The Sprint Cup Championship will actually become a case of 1-2-3. That formula breaks down to one race, two drivers and the three points separating them as we head into championship weekend and the Ford 400.
by Dave Grayson To say that the weekend at "the new" Phoenix International Raceway was interesting would be an understatement. During that Arizona weekend we witnessed a very popular driver, in the process on concluding his tenure with his present race team, return to a NASCAR Sprint Cup victory lane. We witnessed the joy of a first time winner in the Nationwide Series and, most of all, we witnessed the creation of one of the best NASCAR championship scenarios that we've seen in years.
Stewart trails by 3 points going into finale It was Ali-Frazier in the Garden. It was Celtics-Lakers with Bird and Magic. It was NASCAR's dream. Punch and counterpunch -- the top two drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup trading shots in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Yes, Kasey Kahne won the race -- his first victory of the season and the 12th of his career -- but Edwards and Stewart dominated the action as their battle for the 2011 championship remained as close as it was at the start of the day.
It's going to snow in Phoenix It's going to snow in Phoenix. Sam Hornish Jr, who has spent his entire NASCAR career as a backmarker despite being with the good Penske Team, finally won a NASCAR race. Although it was only a Nationwide race, Hornish Jr., who left IndyCar as a star (when the talent pool was quite shallow) beat Penske teammate Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards. Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse rounded out the top-5. The big story is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. extending his points lead to an insurmountable 41 points over Elliott Sadler.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Matt Kenseth did his teammate a favor. In winning the pole of Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kenseth -- the next-to-last driver to make a qualifying attempt on Saturday -- moved Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards from eighth to ninth in the starting order. That's a boon to Chase leader Edwards, who will start on the much more manageable inside row, whereas Tony Stewart, three points behind Edwards, will start eighth, but on the outside where the grip is tenuous at best.
by Tim Wohlford So the Winter Hot Stove League has a new topic this year – “Hey, do you think that Danica can win the Daytona 500?” Honestly, some of the online blogs have started to look like ABC’s Indy 500 coverage: All Danica, all the time. First, let me get this straight – I have nothing against Danica. She’s treated me professionally when I’ve been in press conferences with her. I think she’s a genius at marketing herself, and wish her the best in the future.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series brings the drama of its 2011 Chase For The Sprint Cup Championship to the Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday for the running of the Kobalt Tools 500 (k), presented by Lowes. At issue here is the two man shootout for the title between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart who are separated by three points. All of the good natured, off track, trash talking won't mean anything once the green flag falls on Sunday. It's go time for these two drivers and the name of the game will be score more points than your rival.
by Dave Grayson Only in the state of Texas could a story about someone watching a NASCAR Sprint Cup race turn out to be bigger than a story about someone who won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. When the brake dust settled at the Texas Motor Speedway, we eventually noticed that there were significant changes in two of NASCAR's championship profiles. Oh yeah, a Sprint Cup champion wants NASCAR to set up a boxing ring after their races are over.
Edwards finishes second, but sees lead shrink to just three points Tony Stewart backed up his smack talk with a convincing victory in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the eighth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. With his fourth victory in the Chase and the 43rd of his career, Stewart put a dent in runner-up Carl Edwards' series lead, scoring maximum points (48) to trim Edwards' advantage from eight to three points with two races left in the season.
NASCAR Nearly nine months after winning the Daytona 500 in his first attempt, Trevor Bayne finally got his first victory in NASCAR’s second-tier series. Bayne powered past Roush Fenway teammate Carl Edwards after a restart on Lap 194 of 200 and held off hard-charging Denny Hamlin for the victory in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
New sponsor on pole for Sprint Cup Race Roush Fenway Racing turned in one of the most impressive qualifying performances in its 24-year history, including winning the pole to capture first, second, third and seventh in Friday's Sprint Cup qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway. Roush Fenway enters the weekend with 298 NASCAR victories and hopes to leave Texas with its 300th win in hand.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Chase For The Championship moves on to round number eight this Sunday at the Texas Motor Speedway. The winner of the AAA Texas 500 will get to observe the time honored tradition of firing those twin six shooters in victory lane. Considering the list of Chase hopefuls, and potential spoilers, on the entry list for this race, the Texas pistol packer could be just about anyone.
by Dave Grayson There was the pressure that comes with 43 cars taking the green flag on a half mile track. There was the pressure of roughly half of the 2011 Chase contenders trying to fortify their championship hopes. There was the pressure on some drivers looking for a great run in order to shore up sponsorship programs for next year. There was also pressure on some drivers looking for a good run because they're looking for rides next year. How could there not be mayhem at Martinsville?
NASCAr Sprint Cup Tony Stewart passed Jimmie Johnson on a restart with three laps left in Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway and held off Johnson’s desperate bid for the win on the final lap. The victory was Stewart’s third in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and vaulted him into second place in the standings, eight points behind leader Carl Edwards. Stewart won for the 42nd time in his career.
by Dave Grayson Any NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, still in contention for the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship, will tell you that the seven day gap between race number six and seven on the Chase schedule has been hectic. If we thought last weekend's race at the Talladega Super Speedway was a possible Chase maker or breaker, then wait until you see what these drivers are going to have to deal with this Sunday.
So, team orders made the NASCAR news this week in a very big way. It's very likely that this concept is actually nothing new and has been utilized on occasions for quite a few years. It's also very likely that advances in modern day electronic communications were the catalyst that turned these team orders into a large blip on the racing radar during the NASCAR weekend at Talladega. Between the fans listening in on the team's radio frequencies, comments made on live television and observations made on the various levels of the social networks the word quickly got out that team orders had been put into play.
by Dave Grayson To say the least the NASCAR weekend at the Talladega Super Speedway was interesting. There was a surprise two car tandem who crossed under the checkers, there were Chase contenders who wondered if their championship run was over and there were a pair of truck drivers who reminded us that sometimes old guys rule.
NASCAR Sprint Cup The Chevys Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer pulled away from the pack after the final restart with 3 laps to go and then coming to the trioval on the final lap Bowyer jerked the wheel left and got under Burton and won the drag race to the finish line to win Sunday's Talladega 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Dave Blaney was third and Brad Keselowski and Brian Vickers rounded out the top-5.
NASCAR Sprint Cup If Sunday's Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway goes the same way Saturday's qualifying session did, Rick Hendrick should have an excellent chance to pick up his 200th Sprint Cup victory. Mark Martin paced four Hendrick cars in the top-six starting spots, posting a lap of 181.367 mph (52.799 seconds) to win the pole for the sixth race in the Chase. Martin narrowly edged teammate and five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (181.360 mph) by two-thousandths of a second.
by Dave Grayson Will we see massive two car tandem racing? Will drivers use multiple radio channels to negotiate with draft partners? Will a larger restrictor plate on the engines create more single car passing? Can two cars hook up in a draft without grease on their bumpers? Will there be a big one? These are just some of the questions we will all be asking when the teams from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes the green flag for Sunday's running of the Good Sam Club 500 at the Talladega Super Speedway.
by Pete McCole Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch finished 1-2 at Charlotte and were the biggest climbers in the Chase standings after an eventful final push in the Bank of America 500. Busch led a good bit of the race but Kenseth found something over the last 30 laps and passed Busch for the lead, survived one final restart when Jimmie Johnson crashed and won by about 20 car lengths. Carl Edwards was third and continues to hold the Chase Points lead.
NASCAR Truck Series Ron Hornaday needed a big fall if he was to compete for the championship and he is making sure it happens. Coming off his 50th victory at Kentucky a couple weeks ago, Hornaday is back in Victory Lane again with an impressive victory in the Smith's 350 at Las Vegas. Hornaday held off Matt Crafton in an eight-lap sprint to the finish for Hornaday's fourth victory on the season and 51st in his career.
by Pete McCole Carl Edwards fought back from an early unlucky bounce off the wall to beat out Kyle Busch for the victory in Saturday night’s Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Edwards passed Busch on the final restart with five laps to go thanks to a push from his Roush-Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne and pulled away to a four car-length cushion that Busch was unable to overcome.
by Pete McCole Tony Stewart knocked Matt Kenseth out of the top spot to score his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole of the season in Thursday night’s qualifying session for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stewart wheeled his no. 14 Mobile 1 Chevrolet to a lap of 28.131 at 191.959 mph to capture his 13th career Coors Light Pole Award and his first ever at Charlotte Motor Speedway
by Dave Grayson There's good news for racing fans: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is bringing their 2011 Chase For The Championship to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a racing environment that has been serving up on track excitement and drama since 1960. From crashes under the checkers to sure fire winners running out of fuel a matter of feet from the checkers, fans need to be prepared for just about anything when the green flag falls on Saturday night's Bank Of America 500.
This Week in Ford Racing Bob Osborne, crew chief of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion of Carl Edwards, heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 with a one point lead in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings. The lead came after turning what could have been a crushing day at Kansas into a fifth place finish. Osborne talked to Ford Racing about several topics prior to this weekend’s race.
by Dave Grayson During the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at the Kansas Speedway we watched a driver who understands the pressure of winning a championship once again rise to the occasion. The anticipated fuel mileage outcome of the race was actually determined by extremely hot oil and the Nationwide Series event also turned up a dominant winner while presenting a new driver feud based on an old issue.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Here comes Jimmie. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson outran Kasey Kahne in a green-white-checkered to win Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway and moved to 2nd place in the Chase point standings just 1 point behind Carl Edwards.. It was Johnson's 2nd win of the season and the second race in a row that Johnson led the most laps. Brad Keselowski was third.
NASCAR Driving a No. 22 Dodge that felt as if it were on rails, Brad Keselowski dominated Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway to win his fourth Nationwide Series race of the year and the 16th of his career. The reigning series champion passed runner-up Carl Edwards with just more than 13 laps left and pulled away to win by 2.795 seconds. Elliott Sadler ran third, followed by Paul Menard and Nationwide points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NASCAR Sprint Cup in Kansas Greg Biffle edged teammate Carl Edwards for the top starting spot in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400, as Roush Fenway Racing swept the front row for the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Biffle turned a lap at 174.887 mph (30.877 seconds) to claim his second Coors Light Pole Award of the year and the eighth of his career. Edwards was a close second at 174.571 mph.
by Dave Grayson Round four of the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Chase For The Championship will be held this Sunday at the beautiful Kansas Speedway's 1.5 mile oval. The Hollywood Casino 400 could likely alter an already skin tight points profile. The cream of the crop teams, at the top of the standings, will be looking to expand on their status as championship contenders.
by Dave Grayson During the previous NASCAR weekend we watched Miles The Monster, the official concrete mascot of the Dover International Raceway, smile on some Sprint Cup Chase contenders and we watched him growl at some other Chase hopes. We watched "Concrete Carl" dominate the Nationwide Series and then come perilously close to a crash landing after the race. We also watched a hard earned milestone from one of NASCAR's best truck drivers.
Holds off Johnson and Edwards Roger Penske's team had a bad day at the Kentucky IndyCar race on Sunday but they won the Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup race with Kurt Busch bringing the No. 22 Dodge home first. Jimmie Johnson held off Carl Edwards for 2nd, both drivers dirt tracking it around the Dover high banks as a light rain mist began to hit the concrete racing surface. It was Busch's 2nd win of the year after winning earlier on the Sonoma, California road course.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Martin Truex Jr. returned to the site of his only Cup Series victory and found success again Saturday afternoon, winning the pole for Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Truex, who claimed his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the sixth of his career, will start the third race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup next to Kurt Busch, the highest qualifying driver eligible for the championship.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship rolls onto the Dover International Raceway for Sunday's running of the A A A 400 on a one mile, concrete laden, speedway known as the Monster Mile. The official mascot for this speedway is a large, angry looking, concrete monster named Miles. Over the years Miles, with his threatening red eyes, has been known to create havoc with the Sprint Cup competitors who dare to enter his domain.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's weekend in New Hampshire left us several nuggets worthy of Monday morning fan conservations in the employee break room. From deadly serious crew chiefs attempting to be cheerleaders, drivers shedding dead weight and even revelations regarding the installation of hair plugs there were plenty of comments that deserved to be repeated.
by Dave Grayson During the previous NASCAR weekend at New Hampshire we witnessed yet another race that was impacted by fuel mileage. We pondered the theory of how losing "dead weight" could lead to two, consecutive, Chase wins. We were surprised to learn that a championship crew chief is actually a lousy cheerleader and we learned the importance of punctuality on race day morning.
Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire Tony Stewart was one of two drivers to make the Chase who hadn't won in 2011. He's making up for lost time, his victory at New Hampshire his second in a row to begin the Chase. Brad Keselowski was 2nd over 7 seconds behind. Greg Biffle was 3rd. Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers rounded out the top-5. Biffle and Clint Bowyer ran out of gas on the final lap.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Race The Magic Mile gave Kyle Busch a chance to show his mastery. Busch started from the pole and dominated Saturday’s F.W. Webb 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a race in which only six Camping World Truck Series entries finished on the lead lap. Busch, who led 165 of 175 laps, crossed the finish line 3.816 seconds ahead of runner-up Austin Dillon to post his sixth win in 14 starts this season and the 30th victory of his career.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Ryan Newman won the pole for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the second race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. After a rain delay halted Friday's qualifying session, Newman, the last driver to make an attempt, posted a lap at 135.002 mph (28.213 seconds) to knock Kasey Kahne (134.763 mph), who had preceded him on the track, out of the top spot.
NASCAR Chase contender Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, currently stands 10th in the Chase, 24 points behind leader Kevin Harvick heading into this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He goes to a track that he has admittedly not run well at over the years, a place that he considers a wild card in his chances for his second Cup title. Kenseth talked about this weekend and looked at other issues over the last nine races of the year.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase begins Winless no more. Poor-mouthing Tony Stewart, who four days ago minimized his chances for a third Sprint Cup title, outlasted the field in Monday's rain-delayed Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Stewart, who started 26th, crossed the stripe 0.941 seconds ahead of hard-charging Kevin Harvick to win his first race of the season and the 40th of his career, tying him with Mark Martin for 16th on the all-time list.
NASCAR at Chicagoland A full schedule of double-duty driving didn’t hurt Brad Keselowski, who won Saturday’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in a prelude to his debut Sunday in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Keselowski won his third Nationwide race of the season and the 15th of his career, cruising to a decisive victory over Carl Edwards. Polesitter Brian Scott came home third, followed by Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. in a race that saw 10 cars finish on the lead lap.
NASCAR Srpint Cup at Chicagoland Though no championship points are awarded for qualifying, Matt Kenseth got a leg up on his competition in the Chase for the Sprint Cup during Saturday's time trials at Chicagoland Speedway. It also helped him in trying to land a sponsor for 2012. Kenseth toured the track at 183.243 mph (29.469 seconds) to edge Paul Menard (183.125 mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday's Geico 400.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kevin Harvick held off a hard charging Carl Edwards at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night to score his fourth victory of the season to tie for the series lead. The Chase is set with Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin clinching berths. Jeff Gordon ran third, followed by David Ragan and Kurt Busch. Kyle Busch, Stewart, Ryan Newman, Hamlin and Mark Martin completed the top 10.
NASCAR Kyle Busch found a way to stay out front with a car set up for short runs and pulled away during the final green-flag run to win Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Busch got the opportunity for his career-best 51st Nationwide Series victory and his eighth of the season in 19 starts when Carl Edwards, who had dominated the race, lost three spots during the final round of pit stops under caution.
NASCAR Sprint Cup With all the permutations involving berths in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, one thing is certain -- the front row starters for Saturday's Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway won't figure in the Chase battle, at least on their own accounts. Pole winner David Reutimann (127.383 mph) and second-place starter Jamie McMurray (127.334 mph) both have been eliminated from Chase contention, but they'll lead the field to the green flag in the race that will determine the final three contestants in NASCAR's 10-race playoff.
by Dave Grayson "It's a rainy night in Georgia. It's a rainy, rainy night in Georgia. Lord I think it's raining all over the world." (recorded by Brook Benton, Cotillion Records-1970. composer Tony Joe White). The lyrics of that great old R&B song certainly rang true Labor Day weekend in Hampton-Georgia when rain, associated with tropical storm Lee, made it impossible to run the NASCAR Sprint Cup's AdvoCare 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR officials couldn't even exercise the option of racing on Labor Day Monday because the weather forecast for that day was even worse including the possibility of tornadoes.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Jeff Gordon dominated much of the rain-delayed AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday and then won a duel with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for his third Sprint Cup Series win of the season. Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. The win was the 85th of Gordon's career, moving him out of a tie with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip to third all-time behind Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105).
Edwards holds off Kyle Busch for 35th Nationwide win
NASCAR Nationwide Series Polesitter Carl Edwards held off Kyle Busch during a frantic final 10 laps of Saturday night’s Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and, despite a pit-road penalty early in the race, notched his sixth Nationwide Series victory of the year and the 35th of his career. Busch, who chased Edwards to the checkered flag after passing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for second place on Lap 186 of 195, was the runner-up, 0.697 seconds behind Edwards.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kasey Kahne ripped off a lap at 186.196 mph (29.775 seconds) Saturday to win the pole for Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kahne edged Clint Bowyer (185.922 mph) to win his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the 22nd of his career. Kyle Busch (185.841 mph) will start third in Sunday's race, followed by Brian Vickers (185.772 mph), Kahne's teammate at Red Bull Racing, and Jeff Gordon.
NASCAR Truck Series Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet won Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but it wasn't the KHI truck that dominated the proceedings. Ron Hornaday Jr. stole a win with fuel-mileage strategy in the Good Sam Club 200, beating teammate-for-a day Clint Bowyer to the finish line by 1.596 seconds to win his second race of the season and the 49th of his career.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR's Sprint Cup teams are headed to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday's running of the AdvoCare 500. This is the next to the last race before NASCAR names its official line up for the 2011 Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship. That alone is going to add a lot of high speed drama to a race that will be ran on the fastest track on the Sprint Cup schedule.
by Dave Grayson A surprise resurrection of the Harvick vs. Busch feud, under strange circumstances, led to a lot of observations from the recent NASCAR visit to the Bristol Motor Speedway. Many of those observations produced some comments that deserve to be repeated.. Highlighting the string of NASCAR night races at Bristol was the Camping World Truck Series event. That's where the on track dust up between Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler turned into three days of comments that somehow involved Kevin Harvick.
by Dave Grayson During NASCAR's visit to the Bristol Motor Speedway we watched another round of "Bad Brad" looking really good. We watched new milestones in the Nationwide Series and we watched some bizarre circumstances that led to the latest round of a high profile driver feud.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Brad Keselowski took the lead late in the race after a gutsy call by his Penske pit crew at Bristol Motor Speedway, held off Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap and continues his string of fantastic finishes the past few months. Jeff Gordon who led the most laps and looked set to win was third and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson was 4th. Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-5.
His 50th win in NASCAR Nationwide Series At age 26, Kyle Busch made history in Friday night's Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. In beating Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano to the checkered flag in a near dead heat (.019 seconds), Busch won his 50th race in the Nationwide Series, breaking a tie with Mark Martin for the top spot on the career victory list. The margin of victory was the smallest for a race at Bristol since the institution of electronic timing and scoring in 1993.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Ryan Newman sped around 0.533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, billed as the world's fastest half mile, at 122.811 mph (15.624 seconds) to win the pole for Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race, the 24th NASCAR Sprint Cup event of the season. Newman edged Roush Fenway Racing drivers Carl Edwards (122.670 mph) and Matt Kenseth (122.662 mph) Friday to claim his second Coors Light pole award of the season and the 48th of his career. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon (122.576 mph) and Mark Martin (122.544 mph) will start from positions four and five, respectively.
Harvick wins at Bristol for third straight truck win
NASCAR Truck Series Kevin Harvick doesn’t make a ton of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series appearances. His competitors are probably glad. Entered in a third straight truck race for the first time in 2011, Harvick notched his third straight victory with a convincing performance in Wednesday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick, riding the momentum of wins at Pocono (Aug. 7) and last weekend at Michigan, pulled away on a final restart with 10 laps left to score a relatively comfortable win.
by Mark Scheuern Kyle Busch crosses the finish line to beat Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski at the 2-mile Michigan Speedway on Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Our Mark Scheuern was there to capture all the action in these photos.
Montreal and Michigan: Some things worth repeating
by Dave Grayson During the NASCAR weekend, at both Michigan and Montréal, we observed a bizarre bad hair moment as well as the driver frustrations of trying to make the Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship line up. From that came several comments that deserved to be repeated. Here are just a few of them. The ESPN Television cameras made quick work of presenting an angry Jerry Baxter charging towards the Steve Wallace car. We all expected to see a right hook punch being thrown at the driver. Instead Baxter decided to pull Wallace's hair. Once we all got over the surprise of this move it was actually pretty funny.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous NASCAR weekend we witnessed a powerful display of driving talent that led to the first driver to secure a starting berth in the 2011 Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship. We witnessed our favorite "Aussie" score NASCAR gold for the second time in less than a week. We witnessed a Sprint Cup regular, in a hot pick up truck, also score some NASCAR gold for the second weekend in a row and, oh yeah, a prominent NASCAR television personality may have to consume tobacco products in a rather unorthodox manner.
First to clinch berth in Sprint Cup Chase Kyle Busch becomes the first driver to secure a Chase berth with his dominating victory in the Pure Michigan 400. The win is his fourth on the season and first at Michigan." Jimmie Johnson started bad but finished strong with a 2nd place finish. Brad Keselowski continued his hot streak coming home third. Mark Martin and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-5. Kyle Busch tied his older brother, Kurt, and Ricky Rudd for 26th on the all-time list with his 23rd career Cup victory.
by Mark Scheuern The NASCAR Sprint Cup series and Truck series are racing at the 2-mile Michigan Internal Speedway this weekend. Kevin Harvick won the truck race and Greg Biffle is on pole for today's Sprint Cup race. Our Mark Scheuern was there to capture all the action in these photos.
NASCAR Five years ago, Marcos Ambrose came all the way from Tasmania. Saturday morning, he came all the way from Michigan. Then, in the afternoon, on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Ambrose came all the way from the back of the pack to finally win the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Villeneuve's teammate at Penske Racing, IndyCar Series regular and fellow Quebecois Alex Tagliani, came in second while Michael McDowell, Steve Wallace and Canadian J.R. Fitzpatrick rounded out the top five.
NASCAR Kevin Harvick drove his way around a series of late-race crashes to find Gatorade Victory Lane on Saturday during the VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Harvick became the first driver to win in all three major NASCAR series events at MIS with victories in the Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. It was also his second straight win in the Truck Series this season and 11th in his 111th series start.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle covered the two-mile oval of Michigan International Speedway in 37.83 seconds (190.345 mph) to capture the pole for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race. He will be joined on the front row by Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth, who finished runner up in the Cup race earlier this year at MIS. Ryan Newman (189.573 mph) qualified third, followed by Denny Hamlin (189.294 mph) and Mark Martin (189.190 mph).
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we observed mother nature wreak havoc with NASCAR's best laid plans and schedules at the Watkins Glen International Raceway. There was simply no way the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips At The Glen was going to see a green flag start on Sunday afternoon. What we saw instead was one Heluva Good Sprint Cup race on Monday morning. We witnessed the joy of our favorite "Aussie" after winning his first ever Cup race, we witnessed a hair raising green-white checker finish and we got treated to some rather entertaining comments from a pair of angry drivers after the race.
by Adriano Manocchia The NASCAR Sprint Cup series ran their rain delayed race in upstate, NY Monday and there was a first time winner. Marcos Ambrose finally broke through to win his first Cup race after a next to last lap pass of Brad Keselowski. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action in these photos.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Marcos Ambrose passed Brad Keselowski on the first lap of a green-white-checkered-flag finish at Watkins Glen and won Monday’s rain-delayed Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen under caution when a violent multicar wreck exploded behind him on the final circuit. Ambrose, who charged through the bus stop (inner loop) and powered past Keselowski to the inside, became the fifth first-time winner in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series this year. Keselowski was second when the yellow flag froze the field. Kyle Busch, who lost the lead on the final restart on Lap 91 of 92, came home third, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.
by Adriano Manocchia The Grand-Am series raced Saturday evening at Watkins Glen (won by Angelelli and Taylor) and before that the NASCAR Sprint Cup series qualified (Kyle Busch on pole) and the NASCAR Nationwide Series ran the Zippo 200 won by Kurt Busch. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action in over 90 photos.
NASCAR Nationwide at The Glen Many expected Kurt Busch to be competitive when he stepped in for an injured Brad Keselowski in today’s Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race but he made the most of the opportunity and punched his ticket to Gatorade Victory Lane. Kurt battled his younger brother Kyle throughout the race as the Busch brothers lead every lap of the 17th Annual Zippo 200 at The Glen, with the elder Kurt (No. 22 Ruby Tuesday/Discount Tire Dodge), taking the win ahead of Jimmie Johnson (No. 7 Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine Chevrolet).
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kyle Busch showed the road course aces at Watkins Glen International that he has developed mastery of the road courses, too. With a lap at 126.421 mph, Busch, the last driver to make a qualifying attempt in Saturday's time trials, knocked A.J. Allmendinger off the pole for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, in a session that saw 15 drivers beat Jeff Gordon's 2003 track record. Allmendinger will start second after a lap at 126.041 mph.
by Adriano Manocchia The Grand-Am series and NASCAR Sprint Cup series made their annual August trek to Watkins Glen in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. On Friday the Grand-Am cars qualified and the Cup cars practiced. Our Adriano Manocchia was there to capture all the action in over 100 photos.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will conduct its semi annual endurance contest that comes with the drivers having to make left and right turns on a road course. This endurance contest will be staged on one of the most historic and challenging road courses in the country: The Watkins Glen International Raceway, also the scene of Sunday's Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips At The Glen.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend at Pocono there were quite a few comments that deserved to be repeated. The vast majority of them came from Sprint Cup drivers Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson following their late in the race dust up that led to a finger pointing "did to-did not" conversation on pit road. An angry Kurt Busch said "if a five time champion doesn't know how to race, then forgive me. I was racing hard. I didn't know we were supposed to pull over when it came to five (laps) to go. I raced him smart, I raced him clean and he wants to come over here and bitch about it."
by Dave Grayson We've often heard the stories regarding professional athletes playing hurt and how they use a strong mental focus to overcome the high levels of pain from a physical injury. Brad Keselowski certainly proved how that theory can work. Then there were other drivers who rolled into the garage area after the race feeling the pain of a disappointing afternoon in Pocono and the impact it had on their chances of making the Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, things got pretty interesting in Iowa.
Keselowski holds off Busch brothers to win at Pocono
NASCAR Sprint Cup Brad Keselowski battled pain and fatigue at Pocono, just a few days after a major crash, and held off a charging Kyle Busch to win for the second time this season. Keselowski's teammate Kurt Busch came home third with Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman rounding out the top-5. Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Dale Jr. and Paul Menard rounded out the top-10.
NASCAR Sprint Cup A ray of sunlight, a warming race track and a little help from NASCAR's Graces of God all helped Joey Logano (who needs help with rumors he may be out of a ride next year) claim the pole for Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway. After posting a lap at 172.055 mph (52.309 seconds) during Saturday morning's time trials, Logano had to wait for 20 fellow Sprint Cup drivers to make their qualifying runs before he could claim the top spot for Sunday's race at the 2.5-mile triangular track.
by Dave Grayson The teams from the NASCAR Nationwide Series are now on the way to Newton-Iowa for Saturday night's running of the U.S. Cellular 250 at the Iowa Speedway. This beautiful seven-eighths of a mile oval, designed by Rusty Wallace and Associates, has been the scene of some outstanding racing in front of sell out crowds and the same is expected for the Nationwide Series race Saturday night. In fact, don't be too surprised if the Iowa race turns out to be one of the better events during the upcoming motorsports weekend.
by Dave Grayson The tricky triangle to the second power simply means that NASCAR's Sprint Cup teams will be making their second visit of the year to one of the most challenging tracks on their schedule: the Pocono Raceway and Sunday's running of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500. Located in Long Pond-Pennsylvania, this 2.5 mile three turn, triangular shaped, speedway can easily tax the patience of both the drivers and the crew chiefs. For the drivers, 500 miles around this track is physically demanding.
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by Dave Grayson There were some rather interesting comments heard during the NASCAR Indiana weekend relative to observations regarding a bizarre accident during the Nationwide Series held at the Lucas Oil Raceway. Some of those comments absolutely deserve to be repeated.
NASCAR Brickyard postscript - A 1st-time brick kisser
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend in Indianapolis we witnessed the emotional joy of another first time winner during the NASCAR Sprint Cup's 2011 season. We witnessed the joy of a father and son moment in victory lane and we watched the race winner's father, after 35 years of sponsoring cars at Indy events, get the opportunity to join his son for the ceremonial kissing of the bricks.
by Anthony W. Hager J.D. McDuffie was a racing man, his own man. He was a man of easy smile, a brushy mustache, and a thoroughly gnawed Tampa Nugget cigar. McDuffie maintained his independence and resourcefulness in a sport where both were destined for extinction. Along the way he earned respect from competitors who routinely defeated him on the track. He also won allegiance from fans who appreciated his struggle, silently hoping against all odds.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Years ago, as a garage rat at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Paul Menard dreamed of winning a race at the vaunted Brickyard. On Sunday, the dream came true. In a season full of improbable first-time winners in NASCAR’s foremost races, Menard, 30, stretched his fuel mileage and held off charging Jeff Gordon to win the Brickyard 400 at the 2.5-mile track. Press Conference
Ragan comes out of nowhere to win Brickyard 400 pole
NASCAR Sprint Cup The roll continued for David Ragan on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ragan's qualifying lap of 182.994 mph (49.182 seconds) was fast enough to win the pole for Sunday's Brickyard 400, the 20th Sprint Cup race of the season. The pole was the second of the season for Ragan, who also picked up his first career Cup victory at Daytona earlier this month. Kasey Kahne (182.927 mph) will start from the outside of the front row. Early qualifier Jimmie Johnson, who went out 17th, saw his lap of 182.801 mph stand up for third, with Kurt Busch (182.671 mph) claiming the fourth starting spot in a highly competitive time trial session.
NASCAR Truck Series A flat tire turned out to be one of the biggest breaks of Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters’ career. That flat tire occurred just before the halfway point in Friday night’s AAA Insurance 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway. It put him off cycle in terms of pit stops, allowed his crew to improve his truck and paved the way for Peters to take the lead with six laps to go. Once in the lead, Peters went on to get his first victory of the season and third of his career.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its annual visit to the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS, for the running of Sunday's Brickyard 400. This event launched its legendary status back in 1994 and proved that NASCAR's stock cars could indeed race on Indy's famous flat oval and put on a good show. Since that time this race has become one of the crown jewels of the Sprint Cup schedule and winning "Indy" is a highly coveted prize for the NASCAR teams.
by Dave Grayson Since 1982 the NASCAR Nationwide Series has been racing at a 0.686 mile bullring oval in Clermont-Indiana that virtually stands in the shadows of the grandstands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just down the highway. Now under the working name of the Lucas Oil Raceway, this annual short track classic has a tradition of generating some of the most exciting racing you'll ever want to see. Saturday night's 30th annual Kroger 200, benefiting the Riley Hospital For Children, is again expected to be its traditional sell out with literally millions more watching on live television.
by Dave Grayson With NASCAR's Sprint Cup teams taking the weekend off, it was an opportunity for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series to shine on their own at the Nashville Super Speedway. Over the previous weekend we watched the grandson of a NASCAR legend make a very strong showing in Music City even though his victory splat in the grass didn't quite work out. We watched a NASCAR veteran, with a very bad cold, prove why he's one of the best in the business even when he's not feeling well. Oh yeah, during one of the best NASCAR themed pre race invocations we've ever heard, a Baptist minister thanked the Lord for his "smoking hot wife."
Nationwide Race Carl Edwards did not let a penalty for speeding on pit road slow him down Saturday night, as he regained position quickly and dominated the field en route to a victory at Nashville Superspeedway in the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. After leading from Laps 59 to 82, Edwards made a yellow flag pit stop but approached his stall a bit too fast, and was forced to restart in the 14th position. However, it took him only 39 laps to regain the lead and backflip his way into victory lane.
A guitar slinging tailgate party in the Music City
by Dave Grayson Just because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is taking a weekend off doesn't mean there won't be any quality racing. The racing focal point will shine on Nashville-Tennessee: Music City USA. That's where you will find the hard charging NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This Friday night's, high intensity, tail gate party will be presented, for your viewing pleasure, by Lucas Oil.
F1 at Nurburgring The 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship now makes its way to Germany for round 10 of 19, the German Grand Prix, held this year at the twisty, undulating 3.2 mile Nürburgring on the edge of the Eifel mountains and forest range to the north of the country. The German Grand Prix is the home race for two drivers from Renault-powered teams; Lotus Renault GP’s Nick Heidfeld and Red Bull Racing-Renault’s Sebastian Vettel.
by Dave Grayson During the NASCAR weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway there were a lot of comments, reflecting a wide variety of issues, that were more than worthy of pondering and repeating. Here are just a few of them: Let's start with the one comment that pegged the speculation meter at New Hampshire. That would, of course, be the radio transmission by Kevin Harvick regarding a previously unknown conversation with NASCAR officials warning him not to hit rival Kyle Busch on the race track.
by Dave Grayson During the NASCAR weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway we witnessed a phenomenal performance from a team that was overdue for something phenomenal. We witnessed another landmark set of numbers from NASCAR's "Rowdy" one. We also learned that NASCAR's "other Rowdy one" was driving with a pair of handcuffs on.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart started 1-2 in Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and after a wild jumble of divergent strategies in the 19th Sprint Cup race of the season, that's the way they finished the race. Denny Hamlin came home third, followed by Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top-5.
Gets 100th victory, ties Mark Martin It was a day of major milestones for Kyle Busch, who tied Mark Martin for the career victory lead in the Nationwide Series with Saturday's win in the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory was Busch's sixth of the season in 15 starts and the 49th of his career, tying Martin. At the same time, Busch, 26, won for the 100th time in NASCAR's top three series combined.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart were the only drivers to top 135 mph in qualifying at New Hampshire and will start on the front row. Kurt Busch will start fourth, followed by Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski. Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top 10. Three cars – Dennis Setzer, Scott Ribbs and Tony Raines – failed to qualify for Sunday's race.
by Dave Grayson The elite of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, and it's challenging one mile oval, for Sunday's running of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. One of the post race traditions at this speedway is the presentation of a live giant lobster to the race winner. However, there's a lot more at stake here than just enjoying the world's largest lobster dinner. There are Sprint Cup Chase For the Championship implications.
by Dave Grayson By now every NASCAR fan in the country is likely well aware of the traffic and parking trauma that created a public relations nightmare during the Kentucky Speedway weekend. Needless to say there has been a lot of comments on this matter since. Some of the more interesting ones came from the social network phenomenon known as "Twitter" and "Face Book". It's only natural.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series July 9th debut at the Kentucky Speedway was greeted with much anticipation. 107,000 seats were sold out but weren't completely filled by fans because they were stuck in a lengthy, mega hour, traffic jam at a freeway exit trying to get to the track. Oh, by the way, there was racing that weekend at the Kentucky Speedway. Brad Keselowski had a good weekend and Kyle Busch had a great weekend. The actual race was getting to the track on time.
Is there a battle brewing between ISC and SMI? Roger Curtis, the president of Michigan International Speedway, is a 20-year veteran of motorsports administration. Before his time at MIS, Curtis was at Auto Club Speedway in California, Richmond International Raceway and Watkins Glen International in New York. Today he wrote this public letter criticizing Kentucky Speedway and the traffic problems it encountered for their inaugural event. It an unprofessional and damaging letter, when in fact it is like calling the kettle black after so many years of traffic nightmares at MIS.
Kyle Busch wins inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky
Holds off David Reutimann and Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch held off fast-closing David Reutimann and Jimmie Johnson in a two-lap stretch run to win Saturday night's Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway -- the inaugural Cup event at the 1.5-mile speedway. The victory was Busch's third of the season and the 22nd of his Cup career. Reutimann ran second, followed by Johnson, Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards.
by Dave Grayson Since 1875 the most prestigious racing event located in the state of Kentucky has been the annual Kentucky Derby. This spectacular race for thorough bred horses is a huge part of the state's rich history. Will we see the beginning of a new racing tradition in the state of Kentucky this Saturday night?
2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard press conference
NASCAR and Grand-Am together at indy The transcripts from the press conference and teleconference announcing the 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard are combined in this article, with the teleconference transcript following the press conference transcript. IMS celebrated the Centennial anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 and more great events to come as we look forward to the Brickyard 400 this summer and the Super Weekend in 2012 in association with the Brickyard 400.
in July 2012 The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard. It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend.
by Dave Grayson In the aftermath of the July 2nd Coke Zero 400, at the Daytona International Raceway, it was clearly evident to all that Dale Earnhardt Jr was not a happy man. Why would he be? First off, he lost sight of his Daytona dance partner, Hendrick Motorsports team mate Jimmie Johnson, following a miscommunication regarding a pit stop. Then, on the final lap of the race, he got caught up in the event's second "big one" of the evening and watched a good race car and a potential top ten finish become a wadded up race car that finished 18th.
by Dave Grayson Is Danica Patrick the "secret sauce" in a highly successful marketing concept. It recently became apparent that the answer is a resounding yes. Over the years it has been very well known that "Go Daddy.Com" has been the primary sponsor for Danica Patrick's racing career both in the Indy Racing League and her proposed transition to NASCAR. Let's face it, the fact that this very attractive race driver has been the face, and in all honesty the body, of the Internet domain company's advertising campaign has become a marketing marriage made in heaven.
First ever NASCAR Sprint cup win Less than five months later, at the site of his biggest failure, David Ragan got it right. On the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish, Ragan was out front when caution flew on the 10th lap of overtime in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, giving the driver of the No. 6 Ford his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory. Ragan got a strong push from Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth and won the race under caution.
NASCAR Nationwide race Joey Logano didn't lead Friday night's Subway Jalapeno 250 until the final half mile, but that was all the 21-year-old driver of the No. 20 Toyota needed to notch his first victory at Daytona International Speedway. As the action in Turn 4 on the final lap unfolded behind him, Logano surged into the lead and held off a charge from Jason Leffler to win his first Nationwide Series race of the season and the ninth of his career
NASCAR Sprint Cup With a lap at 182.065 mph (49.433 seconds), Martin, at 52 the fourth-oldest driver in the field, knocked the youngest, 20-year-old Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, off the pole for Saturday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Bayne (182.002 mph) will start the race on the outside of the front row, followed by Clint Bowyer (181.624 mph) and resurgent Jeff Gordon (181.583 mph), who has more wins at restrictor-plate tracks (12) than any other active driver.
by Dave Grayson After last weekend's road course adventure featuring left and right turns, and some road rage in between, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams moves on another daunting challenge: super speedway restrictor plate racing at the Daytona International Speedway. Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 already has the making of a potential barn burner in a racing environment that could turn up some genuine surprises by the time the checkers fly through the air.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend NASCAR temporarily changed its racing format and sent its Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams to road course venues. It was a long and winding road in each case. There were times when the road was bumpy, there were times when the cars spent more time moving dirt and gravel than actually driving on the road, and, oh yes, there was road rage.
by Bob Heathcote NASCAR's annual foray into Northern California wine country saw a number of cars spun off into the dirt, a few drivers hunting retribution, and one car hung up on a tire barrier as if part of a daredevil stunt gone wrong. Another day at Infineon Raceway brought another round of accusations, apologies, and oaths of revenge. Our Bob Heathcote was there to capture all the action in these 190 photos.
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Infineon Sonoma County is famous for wineries, not woodsheds, but Kurt Busch found the latter Sunday at Infineon Raceway, administering a good old-fashioned whipping to his NASCAR Sprint Cup competition in the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Busch led 76 of 110 laps and beat runner-up Jeff Gordon to the finish line by 2.685 seconds to win his first race of the season and the 23rd of his career.
Controversial Nationwide race finish Call it what you will, but the finish of Saturday’s Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series race was certainly interesting -- and drawn out. The scheduled 50-lap race on Road America’s 4.048-mile road course needed three green-white-checkered attempts to determine a winner, and even on Lap 57, it was difficult to see that Reed Sorenson had won his first race since 2007.
NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sonoma Road Course Joey Logano captured the second Sprint Cup pole of his career and the Joe Gibbs Racing driver will lead the field to green in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Logano took the top starting spot with a speed of 93.256 mph around the 1.99-mile road course. His only previous pole in 91 Cup starts came in March 2010 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray (93.223 mph) will start on the outside of the front row in Sunday’s race, the first of two road-course events this season.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be making their annual visit to Sonoma-California's wine country this Sunday for the running of the Toyota/Sav Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway. Race number 16 on the 2011 season schedule is the first of two road course events. So, who's going to drink the fancy bottle of wine presented to race winners at Infineon?
by Dave Grayson NASCAR has now issued its verdict regarding those extraordinary heavy oil pans confiscated from all three of the Toyota Camrys owned by Joe Gibbs Racing, (JGR), prior to the start of the NASCAR weekend at the Michigan International Raceway.. It turned out to be a very expensive week for Coach Gibbs. From Pocono to Michigan, a period of five days, the tab has now hit $175,000 in NASCAR issued penalties.
by Dave Grayson Apparently the answer is yes. According to multiple published reports, in a very short amount of time, it appears that Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of record of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota teams as well as the internationally famous Red Bull drink, has made the decision to leave NASCAR racing at the end of the current racing season.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched a heavily favored championship contender finally locate victory lane again not to mention finally finding the top ten in the points standings. Oh yeah, there may also be a temporary, but highly significant, rise in the cost of oil pans for Toyota Camrys in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. THUMBS-UP to Denny Hamlin for parking his FED EX/Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the victory lane of Michigan International Raceway following the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Denny Hamlin’s declaration this time last year was clear, simple and undeniable: “All we do is win.” Hamlin found his groove again Sunday winning the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 for the second consecutive year. His last three finishes in Michigan have been first, second in August and first again today when he edged Matt Kenseth by 0.281 seconds – about four car lengths.
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Michigan Kurt Busch in his No. 22 Penske Dodge streaked around Michigan International Speedway in 38.156 seconds (188.699 mph) on Saturday, to win the pole for Sunday's Heluva Good! 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the 2-mile track. Kurt Busch in his No. 22 Penske Dodge streaked around Michigan International Speedway in 38.156 seconds (188.699 mph) on Saturday, to win the pole for Sunday's Heluva Good! 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the 2-mile track.
Gordon dispels lie CART let him get away to NASCAR
Gordon was an open wheel ace and took NASCAR by storm A friend of mine, Larry Newburgh, who unfortunately isn't with us anymore, but he's the one that really came to me with the idea and said: "I know you're focused on trying to go open-wheel racing, but have you thought about NASCAR? You should at least think about it." And that was the first time that I really had and I went down south and drove a stock car at a driving school and fell in love with it. From that moment on, that's what I wanted to do. Again, when things are meant to be, they're meant to be. Jeff Gordon
by Dave Grayson During the previous NASCAR weekend, at the Pocono Raceway, we saw multiple sides, i.e.: story lines, from a famed speedway that is known as the tricky triangle because of its unique three turn shape. We watched a four time Sprint Cup champion put on a sterling performance that could very well guarantee his place in the 2011 Chase. We watched an expected Pocono race winner, and Chase contender, experience more bad luck from a bizarre tire and brake incident. We also watched the interesting saga of Childress versus Busch take new twists that ranged from monetary donations from fans to an expensive post race inspection.
Ties Waltrip and Allison for 3rd on all-time NASCAR list Jeff Gordon may be starting to feel his age, but he certainly didn’t show it in Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. “I’m just so excited to be a part of this sport,” Gordon said in victory lane, after taking the checkered flag 2.965 seconds ahead of runner-up Kurt Busch. “I’m going to be 40 this year (Aug. 4). I’m an old man now.” Statistically, the old man already is an important part of NASCAR Sprint Cup history. His victory Sunday was his second of the year, his fifth at the tricky 2.5-mile triangular track and the 84th of his career.
NASCAR Sprint Cup One day after crashing his primary car during practice, Penske Racing driver Kurt Busch raced his way to the pole for Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. Forced to go to a backup car after he made contact with the wall during the second practice session Friday, Busch nailed down his 14th career pole, and his second consecutive No. 1 starting spot, with a lap of 171.579 mph Saturday under overcast skies at the 2.5-mile track. Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing), Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports), Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Regan Smith (Furniture Row Racing) completed the top five.
Hornaday wins at Texas when Sauter is black-flagged
NASCAR Truck Series Ron Hornaday Jr. won the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400k Friday night when race leader Johnny Sauter was black-flagged for changing lanes on the night’s final restart. Sauter, who had passed Hornaday for the lead with a powerful run through Turn 4 on Lap 130, was penalized for moving from the outside lane to in front of Hornaday before crossing the start/finish line on a green-white-checkered restart on Lap 167.
This week in Ford Racing Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, was subject of the weekly NASCAR Sprint Cup teleconference in advance of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway. Biffle won at Pocono in 2010 and currently sits just five points outside the Top 10 in the latest Chase standings.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched a driver win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race by using his left foot instead of his right foot. We watched NASCAR's most popular driver not win a race because of fuel issues. We watched a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver coast under the checkers, at 50 MPH, because he was out of fuel. Oh by the way, all of this was completely overshadowed by a fist fight that very few people actually saw.
NASCAR Sprint Cup As other drivers pitted late, Brad Keselowski had enough fuel to stay out and win at Kansas. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second over 2 seconds back followed by Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon. Keselowski's Penske teammate dominated the race but was one of the drivers who had to pit late for fuel.
NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying Penske Racing's Kurt Busch claimed pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas, edging Earnhardt Ganassi's Juan Pablo Montoya. Busch's brother Kyle ended up third for Joe Gibbs Racing. His teammate Joey Logano - fastest in practice - was fifth ahead of the similar Toyota of Red Bull's Brian Vickers, putting three Japanese cars in the top five on the grid.
by Rhonda McCole NASCAR ran their annual Memorial Day weekend races at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend with Nationwide cars running on Saturday night and the Sprint Cup drivers running Sunday night. Our Rhonda McCole was there to capture all the action in these photographs.
by Dave Grayson The previous Memorial Day weekend was a time for Americans to reflect on those who have served in our country's Armed Forces in the past as well as those men and women who are defending our quality of life in the present. The weekend was also about quality motorsports. Sunday morning began with Formula One Racing's classic Grand Prix of Monaco. It was followed by the Indy Racing League's 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The high powered weekend concluded with NASCAR's annual running of the Coca Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we watched "The Closer" score another surprise win at the last minute. We watched the hearts of the Junior Nation literally get stomped on at the last minute. We watched gasoline gambles that didn't pan out at the last minute. With all of these thoughts in mind, let's begin with: THUMBS-UP to Kevin Harvick, who again lived up to his new nickname "The Closer". After watching Dale Earnhardt Jr's gas tank go dry on the final quarter lap of the Coca Cola 600, Harvick claimed his third Sprint Cup win of the year.
by Pete McCole Dale Earnhardt, Jr. came within a quarter-mile of breaking a 104-race winless drought only to see his chance for a victory slip away on the final lap, coming out on the losing end of a fuel mileage gamble in Sunday night’s Coca Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag after Earnhardt, Jr. sputtered coming through turn four, capping a wild overtime finish that saw four lead changes in the last four laps as the leaders ran out of gas one by one.
by Pete McCole Matt Kenseth continued the Roush-Fenway streak at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a victory over teammate Carl Edwards in Saturday’s Top Gear 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Kenseth passed Edwards with three laps to go to record his 26th-career Nationwide Series victory in his first start of the season - filling in for the ailing Trevor Bayne in the no. 16 Ford Fusion. Edwards held onto second, followed by Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Reed Sorenson.
by Pete McCole Brad Keselowski scored his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup pole in Thursday night’s qualifying session for Sunday’s 52nd Annual Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Taking advantage of a late qualifying spot and cooler track temperatures, Keselowski topped the speed charts at 192.089 mph in the no. 2 Miller Lite Dodge to knock off A.J. Allmendinger, earning his first pole since last September and the first Charlotte pole for Penske Racing since Ryan Newman took the top spot in May of 2007.
by Dave Grayson Remember last fall when we had all of that fun trying to unravel the mystery of where driver Kasey Kahne was going land for the 2011 season? Kahne needed a one year deal with a team while waiting to take over his new ride with Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. We had a ball trying to figure out his 2011 mystery. Now we have a new racing riddle to solve and this one is going to be very special because it involves Danica Patrick. On Tuesday we were treated with published reports that said she was moving to NASCAR full time next year and her management team, the highly reputable IMG, were finalizing all of the details.
The return of "Old Kyle" literally goes over the limit
by Dave Grayson When Kyle Busch decides to misbehave, he often does it in rather spectacular fashion. Last Tuesday's citation, for driving 128 MPH on a North Carolina public road zoned for 45 MPH is his latest example of bad behavior. Over the past several months we've watched an interesting transformation from Kyle Busch. The "Old Kyle", a brash I'll do and say what I want character, seemed to be determined to live up to his official "Rowdy" nickname. The antics of "Old Kyle" sometimes hit legendary proportions and, in some cases, were even highly entertaining.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' will present their annual endurance contest this Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Coca Cola 600 is a true test of a driver's physical stamina and mental focus. It's also a true test of their car's and engine's endurance levels. One of the better ways to forecast the finish of the Coca Cola 600 is to examine the numbers provided by the experts from the Las Vegas based "World Sports Exchange", (WSE).
by Dave Grayson THUMBS-UP to Jack "The Cat In The Hat" Roush. We have never seen the usually stoic team owner of Roush Fenway Racing smile that much. However, last weekend was a major exception. Roush celebrated in victory lane twice Saturday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first time was for winning the Sprint Showdown race, the second time was for winning the Sprint All Star race where all four of his teams finished in the top eight. Then, on Sunday morning, he flew to Iowa where he celebrated in victory lane with his NASCAR Nationwide Series teams who finished one-two at the Iowa Speedway.
by Rhonda McCole NASCAR ran their annual All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night for the Cup cars and on Friday night they ran a truck race where former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen competed in his first NASCAR event. Our Rhonda McCole was there to capture all the action in these photographs.
by Pete McCole Carl Edwards' No. 99 crew didn't win Thursday's Sprint Pit Crew Challenge—they waited until it really counted. Flawless work during mandatory four-tire pit stops before the final 10-lap shootout in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway got Edwards off pit road first, ahead of Kyle Busch. That proved decisive in Edwards' first All-Star win as he became the eighth different winner of the event in the last eight years.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch survived a wild, wreck-filled race on a wing and a prayer - and with an angel on his shoulder. Busch overcame tire problems and an early spin to rally and beat out Clint Bowyer to claim his 28thNASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch will be looking for a chance to score a million dollar payday when he starts Saturday night’s 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All Star race, and for the second time in his career – he be looking to win from the pole position. In a unique qualifying format where drivers run three laps and complete a four-tire pit stop, Busch was the 18th and final driver to take to the track and put down a lap of 119.191 seconds to knock Clint Bowyer off the top spot score the pole and a chance to win the all star event and its $1million dollar purse.
by Dave Grayson The annual NASCAR Sprint All Star race, this Saturday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, is virtually guaranteed to be filled with the excitement of hard racing and possible surprises both on and off the track. One would think that predicting possible winners for an event of this nature would be almost impossible. However, the expert number crunchers and trend observers from the "Las Vegas Insider", (LVI), have once again risen to the occasion and has presented an All Star ratings survey that appears to be rock solid.
by Dave Grayson It's that time of the year again: the annual break in the traditional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for the Sprint All Star weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. For decades the other major American sports has observed this time honored tradition of creating a special day comprised of their best athletes who passed certain eligibility criteria for the right to play in this game. In 1985 NASCAR decided it was time for them to create their very own All Star exhibition. 26 races later it has turned into one of the most exciting, no holes barred, free for all ever seen by sports fans on national television.
by Dave Grayson During the NASCAR weekend at the Dover International Speedway, the final outcome of the Sprint Cup race was determined by the number of Goodyear tires the teams used during their final pit stops. The Nationwide Series event ended with a violent crash that made the speedway's official mascot, Miles The Monster, smile and the Camping World Truck Series race was about a familiar winner and his standard practice of generating new career numbers.
by Jim Garrahan Sunday in Dover saw the rain affecting the Northeast hold off just long enough to get the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in at the Dover Monster Mile. Our Jim Garrahan was there to capture these photos for your viewing pleasure.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Matt Kenseth came late to the party -- and took home the prize. A two-tire call late in Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway put Kenseth on the front row for a restart on Lap 367 of 400, and that was all Kenseth needed to secure his second Sprint Cup victory of the season and the 20th of his career. In short order, Kenseth dispatched Mark Martin, who had stayed out on old tires, and maintained a comfortable lead to the finish, as those who had taken four tires under caution on Lap 363 could make little headway against those with inferior rubber. Kenseth led the final 32 laps.
NASCAR After a violent wreck on the final lap wiped out a handful of top contenders, Carl Edwards took the checkered flag in Saturday's 5-Hour Energy 200 Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. The wreck erupted as Edwards was racing Joey Logano after a restart on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish. Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and David Reutimann. Elliott Sadler finished sixth and took over the points lead in the series standings.
by Jim Garrahan Friday in Dover saw the sunshine of the past five days replaced by overcast skies and broken clouds. But that did not stop the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Truck drivers from running. Our Jim Garrahan was there to capture Cup and Truck practice plus plenty of photos from the garage for your viewing pleasure.
At The Monster Mile In a three-lap shootout, Kyle Busch won Friday's Lucas Oil 200 under caution when Nelson Piquet Jr. and Timothy Peters wrecked on the final lap. Busch picked up his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in five starts this season. Busch won for the second time at Dover—becoming the first repeat winner here—and for the 27th time in the series. Rookie Cole Whitt was second, followed by Matt Crafton, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick.
by Dave Grayson The elite of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be taking the concrete challenge this Sunday when 43 starters takes the green flag for the Fed Ex 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at the Dover International Speedway, aka "the Monster Mile." This one mile concrete oval may be regarded as an intermediate sized speedway, but it often displays the characteristics of short track racing. By the time this 400 mile automotive gauntlet is over, it will be interesting to see which driver gets to smile at the Monster Mile.
NASCAR justice from Darlington was well thought-out
by Dave Grayson By the time last weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' visit to Darlington-South Carolina was concluded, NASCAR officials must have felt they were standing on a very slippery slope. At the conclusion of last Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500, it was very apparent that their "have at it boys" policy had just been severely tested and we were all wondering if that policy would be altered in some way to establish crystal clear boundary lines. In turned out that NASCAR did a very good job during the process of handling the Darlington situation.
by Dave Grayson "Thunder In Carolina" is the name of a 1960 movie starring actor Rory Calhoun. The majority of the film was shot at Darlington Raceway and depicted an underdog race team trying to make it to the NASCAR limelight. The sentiment from that old movie certainly rang true last Saturday night at the conclusion of the Showtime Southern 500 when victory lane was emotionally charged by the presence of a first time winner. Unfortunately this magic moment was overshadowed by the arrival of NASCAR's latest feud after the race which came on the heels of round two of the feud that stemmed from the Richmond race the week before.
by Pete McCole This time there was no yellow line standing between Regan Smith and his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory. Smith and his crew gambled and won, using pit strategy to grab the lead and then holding off Carl Edwards in a green-white-checkered finish to score the Denver, Colorado-based Furniture Row Racing team their first victory in Saturday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Busch wins Nationwide race, trails Martin by one win
by Pete McCole Kyle Busch moved within one victory of Mark Martin on the all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series win list with his first career Nationwide Series victory in Friday night’s Royal Purple 200 at the famed Darlington Raceway. Busch led the final 23 laps after passing Elliott Sadler and beat out teammate Denny Hamlin to record his fifth Nationwide victory of the season and the 48th of his career.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Kasey Kahne won the pole for Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Touring the 1.366-mile circuit at 181.254 mph (27.131 seconds), Kahne shattered the qualifying record of 180.370 mph set last year by Jamie McMurray. The pole was Kahne's first of the season and the 21st of his Cup Series career. Ryan Newman qualified second at 180.429 mph, followed by Denny Hamlin (180.132 mph), Carl Edwards (179.980 mph) and seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon (179.829 mph).
by Dave Grayson With all proper respects to the residents of Dallas-Texas, it's always been my personal belief that the term "Big D" stands for Darlington-South Carolina the home of the "lady in black" and "the track too tough to tame": Darlington International Raceway. There are some very personal reasons for that sentiment. I was born and raised in that area of South Carolina and this race track, along with the NASCAR events that it hosted, turned out to be a big part of our family life.
by Dave Grayson Anyone connected to the executive branch of Joe Gibbs Racing, (JGR), will be happy to tell you about the rewards from participating in the NASCAR weekend at the Richmond International Raceway. If you want some good examples of the rant portion of the weekend then ask Ryan Newman or Juan Pablo Montoya. Regarding the raves from Richmond, contact Denny Hamlin. I've never seen anyone so thrilled over a second place finish.
NASCAR Sprint Cup It happens every spring. Just as surely as the azaleas bloom at Augusta National, NASCAR's best driver, Kyle Busch, celebrates his birthday with a victory at Richmond International Raceway. That has been the case for three years, at least, after Busch, who will turn 26 on Monday, won Saturday night's Crown Royal Presents 400 at the 0.75-mile track. The victory was Busch's second in the Sprint Cup Series this season and the 21st of his career.
Hometown hero makes good With a dominant car that led 199 laps Friday night, Denny Hamlin won the Bubba Burger 250 Nationwide Series race at Richmond. A day after winning his own late-model charity race at his hometown 0.75-mile short track, Hamlin covered the field in his No. 20 Toyota and picked up his first Nationwide Series victory in his second start of the season. Paul Menard finished second.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Juan Pablo Montoya has won the pole during Friday’s time trials for Saturday night’s Crown Royal 400 at Richmond to claim the seventh pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. Montoya toured the three-quarter-mile Richmond International Raceway in 20.989 seconds (128.639 mph) to earn his second pole of the season and edge Regan Smith (128.382) for the top spot in Saturday’s race.
by Dave Grayson For literally decades a well known tourism promo has been telling us that "Virginia is for lovers." However the state is also about auto racing and fans who support it. Virginia has played a pivotal role in the past, present and future of NASCAR. This is especially true of the Richmond International Raceway who will host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this Saturday night.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took their annual Easter weekend break and that provided a well deserved opportunity for the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series to shine in the national spotlight. Both series spent the previous weekend at the Nashville Super Speedway where those special Gibson guitars, custom painted by renown artist Sam Bass, were waiting for the winners.
Edwards tops Kyle Busch for Nashville Nationwide win
NASCAR Carl Edwards returned to victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2007, winning Saturday’s Nashville 300 Nationwide Series race. The victory was Edwards’ second of the season and 31st of his career—tying him for fourth all time with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Jack Ingram. Edwards had won three Nationwide races in a row in 2006-07 but went six races at Nashville without winning again. His four Nashville victories are tops among all drivers at the 1.33-mile track.
Beats Piquet Jr. for NASCAR Truck Series win Kyle Busch had to work a little harder than he expected, but he still scored a dominant victory in the Bully Hill Vineyards 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck race Friday night at Nashville Superspeedway. Ron Hornaday Jr. made things interesting, passing Busch shortly after a restart with eight laps remaining. After another caution, though, Busch returned the favor, slipping under Hornaday in Turn 3 with two laps to go to complete a pole/victory sweep for the second year in a row at Nashville.
NASCAR Sprint Cup In a wild, three-wide, six-car finish at Talladega Superspeedway, Jimmie Johnson nipped Clint Bowyer by a record-tying 0.002 seconds to win Sunday's Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race. With a push from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., Johnson surged past Bowyer about six inches from the finish line.
At Talladega Kyle Busch has won a lot of NASCAR Nationwide Series races but never at Talladega Superspeedway. That changed Saturday as Busch survived an 11-caution wreckfest that ended under caution on a second green-white-checkered finish. Busch got a huge push from teammate Joey Logano on the final lap and was out front when Mike Wallace ended up on his roof to bring out the caution. Nemechek finished third with Logano second.
In Sprint Cup Qualifying Forget all the early-season talk about the power of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines and Roush Yates Engines -- at least where Saturday's qualifying session at Talladega Superspeedway is concerned. Paced by a pole-winning effort from six-time Talladega winner Jeff Gordon, who toured the 2.66-mile track in 53.723 seconds (178.248 mph), the power of Hendrick Motorsports engines swept the top four starting spots during time trials for Sunday's Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the eighth event of the season.
by Dave Grayson The elite of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves on to the mammoth Talladega Super Speedway for Sunday's running of the Aaron's 499. Just like its super speedway cousin, at Daytona, this Alabama based super track is also a restrictor plate race. That means there's the possibility of the dreaded "big one", we can expect to see multiple lead changes based on two car drafting tandems and we could see a mid pack car charge to the front to steal the show during the final laps of the race. It's Talladega-Alabama: the land where anything can happen when you least expect it.
by Dave Grayson During the night prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup at the Texas Motor Speedway I was standing on a stage at an American Legion Post, in Ridgecrest-CA, doing my other job: co-owner of a mobile DJ and Karaoke business. When it came time for the obligatory announcements of upcoming events I reminded the audience that the Legion's NASCAR Club will be gathering on Saturday night to enjoy the Texas race.
NASCAR Matt Kenseth led 169 laps en route to a dominating victory at Texas Motor Speedway, as all four Roush Fenway Fords finished inside the top seven in Saturday night's Samsung 500. Kenseth's victory, combined with Carl Edwards' victory in the Nationwide race on Friday gave Roush Fenway a clean sweep of the weekend's action, with the organization winning both races and both poles. The victory was Kenseth’s second at Texas and the 19th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. Kenseth’s Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle came home third and fourth, respectively, with Paul Menard completing the top five.
At Texas Motor Speedway Carl Edwards started on the pole and never looked back, leading 169 of 200 laps in a dominating victory in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The win marked the first trip to victory lane for the Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series. It is Edwards' second consecutive victory in the NNS at Texas and Roush Fenway's sixth series win at the 1.5-mile track.
NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying David Ragan covered the 1.5-mile oval of Texas Motor Speedway in 28.45 seconds (189.820) to earn his first-career Sprint Cup pole and lead a strong Roush Fenway effort with three cars qualifying inside the top four and four in the top nine. Carl Edwards gave tomorrow's race an all Roush Fenway front row, qualifying second and Matt Kenseth will start outside of the second row in fourth. Greg Biffle rounded out the impressive outing, qualifying ninth.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be travelling to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for Saturday night's running of the Samsung Mobile 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas victory lane tradition calls for the winning team to don cowboy hats while the winning driver fires a pair of six shooters into the air. The big question is who's going to wear the hat and fire the guns?
by Dave Grayson Make no point about it, last weekend's action at the "paper clip," aka Martinsville Speedway. had a lot of interesting story lines. For the second time in seven days, Kevin Harvick spent a Sunday afternoon turning some seemingly ineffective laps around a race track only to surface at the end of the event to steal the show. Meanwhile the members of the Junior Nation, Dale Earnhardt Jr's fan club, practically needed oxygen because we all thought their favorite driver was finally going back to victory lane. Then there was the matter of Kyle Busch who, by his own admission, "gave away" two races at Martinsville within 24 hours.
by Pete McCole Kevin Harvick passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. with four laps to go at Martinsville to become the first repeat winner of the season as Junior's winless streak now reaches 99 races. Kyle Busch, who was leading late in the race finished 3rd right on Earnhardt's tail and just 0.7 seconds off the lead. Given a few more laps Busch probably would have demoted NASCAR's most overrated driver to third. Juan Montoya was 4th 2.3 seconds behind the leader and Jeff Gordon 5th, 3.2 seconds back.
Sauter bumps Busch aside for first win at Martinsville
by Pete McCole Johnny Sauter finally found a way to keep Kyle Busch from winning a race: by putting the bumper to him. Sauter nudged Busch aside with two laps to go to score his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory Saturday at the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway and secure the series point lead for the first time in his career. Ron Hornaday, Jr. was third followed by Kevin Harvick, who made a remarkable rally from two laps down to finish fourth. Timothy Peters rounded out the top five.
McMurray earns his first pole of '11 at Martinsville
by Pete McCole Jamie McMurray picked up his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, topping the grid on Saturdays qualifying session for Sunday’s Goody's Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. McMurray’s top speed of 96.509 mph was enough to knock Denny Hamlin off the top spot, McMurray then had to sit and wait as Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne all took their shots, but all of them coming up short to give McMurray his eighth career pole.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be returning to the fan favorite Martinsville Speedway for this Sunday's running of the Goody's Fast Relief 500. The race has all of the ingredients that makes drivers and crew chiefs crazy but, at the same time, revs the fans to a feverish frenzy. It's 43 cars on a half mile track that often produces demolition derby like incidents. It's also bragging rights regarding who gets to take Martinsville's unique trophy home. That would be that beautiful grandfather clock.
by Dave Grayson Over the previous weekend we witnessed absolute proof that the Auto Club Speedway, in southern California, is more than capable of producing a NASCAR racing weekend that leaves their fans breathless. Last weekend more than reversed some of the criticism this maligned speedway has had to endure in the past.
by Dave Grayson On late Saturday afternoon Kevin Harvick was being interviewed on the Auto Club Speedway's pit road. He had just driven his self owned Chevrolet to a third place finish in the Royal Purple 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. After leading a race high 64 laps, Harvick said "I hate to give one away. We just can't seem to get going here, (at the Auto Club Speedway), but I am pleased that we were competitive."
Harvick beats Johnson & Busch to win Auto Club 400
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Fontana Kevin Harvick, who grew up in Bakersfield—about 150 miles from Auto Club Speedway, won Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, powering his No. 29 Chevrolet to the outside of Johnson’s No. 48 Chevy through Turns 3 and 4 and beating Johnson to the finish line by 0.144 seconds.
by Dave Grayson Don't expect Hendrick Motorsports drivers, and NASCAR champions, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson to hang up their helmets in order to become movie and television stars. That's not going to happen. But they did arrive in California early last week, prior to the NASCAR weekend at the Auto Club Speedway, to take care of some show business. Gordon was busy promoting his role in the upcoming movie "Cars 2" while Johnson was in front of the cameras to film an episode of the new television show "Breaking In."
Busch uses 2-tire stop to snatch victory in Fontana
by Dave Grayson Kyle Busch drove it like he stole it over the final 13 Laps at Auto Club Speedway, because that’s exactly what happened in Saturday’s Royal Purple 300 Nationwide Series race. About the only thing he didn’t get was a grand larceny charge. Thanks to a two-tire call with 13 laps left, Busch exited the pits with a five-second lead over runner-up Carl Edwards and won a race in a No. 18 Toyota that was, at best, a third-place car.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Juan Montoya found a quick cure for his qualifying woes Friday at Auto Club Speedway. Montoya improved dramatically on his 23.5 average starting position this season in winning the Coors Light pole award for Sunday's Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup race at the 2-mile track. Turning a lap in 38.992 seconds (184.653 mph), Montoya was the only driver to break 39 seconds in time trials for the fifth race of the season. Denny Hamlin claimed the second starting spot with a lap at 184.270 mph.
The Mobile residents of NASCAR City roll into Fontana
by Dave Grayson Many of them arrived at Fontana-California early Thursday morning so they could be one of the first to pass through the infield gates of the Auto Club Speedway. Some were driving exotic recreational vehicles, easily valued at six figures plus, that are actually nicer than the homes and apartments that many of us live in. Still others arrived in the old school, tear drop shaped, campers. The type of temporary housing that requires getting out of bed very carefully to avoid a concussion. Everyone of them were thrilled to be there.
by Dave Grayson The elite of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are preparing for the long cross country trek to southern California for next Sunday's race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The question is: which one of the drivers from the 43 car staring field will earn the right to participate in the traditional ringing of the El Camino Real bell that adorns the speedway's Gatorade victory lane?
Bristol Postscript: Spring cleaning for Kyle Busch
by Dave Grayson It was another interesting weekend at the Kyle Busch, er excuse me Bristol, Motor Speedway. At the conclusion of the Jeff Byrd 500, presented by Food City, we witnessed another spring cleaning, with a large broom, in the historic speedway's victory lane in what now appears to be a yearly event. We continued to watch the performance level of the one car from Richard Childress Racing that had no real expectations to begin with and we witnessed a dramatic episode that brought the start and park concept to a whole new level.
Fifth straight win at 1/2-mile bullring The question isn't whether Kyle Busch will win at Bristol Motor Speedway -- it's whether anyone else can find a way to keep him out of Victory Lane. First off pit road after stops under caution on Lap 429, Busch held off pole-sitter Carl Edwards and defending race winner Jimmie Johnson to win his fifth consecutive race in NASCAR's top three national series at the 0.533-mile short track. Busch's victory in Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500 was his 20th in the Sprint Cup Series. Busch's victory in Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500 was his 20th in the Sprint Cup Series, his first of the season and his second consecutive at Thunder Valley. Busch capped his second weekend sweep in a row at Bristol, having won Saturday's Nationwide Series event.
NASCAR Nationwide Series So what else is new? Kyle Busch hit another milestone in Saturday’s Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Yes, he won the race. That’s almost a given in the NASCAR Nationwide Series these days. The victory was Busch’s second of the year and the 45th of his career, leaving him four behind Mark Martin (idle Saturday) for the career lead. Perhaps even more impressive was what Busch accomplished on Lap 265 of 300. In his 206th start, Busch, the 2009 series champion, led his 10,000th lap in the series. No one else is close.
Edwards, Biffle Make it an all Roush Fenway Front Row
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Bristol Carl Edwards covered the 0.533-mile oval of “Thunder Road” at Bristol in 14.989 seconds (128.014 mph) to score Roush Fenway’s third consecutive pole in 2011 and Edwards’ second pole in four races. “It’s unreal,” said Edwards. “I sure hope it keeps going. This is a lot of fun. The guys at the shop have done a great job on this Scotts EZ Seed Ford Fusion. Greg (Biffle) motivated me, as I didn’t think he would get that fast of a lap. I could not hear (crew chief) Bob (Osborne) on the radio so I thought I must be slow on the first lap and I drove my guts out on the second lap. Finally I saw the board. Just really happy, this is really cool.”
by Dave Grayson It all starts with the dropping of the green flag unleashing the fury of 43 high powered racing engines. That's 43 cars flying around a half mile concrete oval, literally inches from each other, until the 500th mile is completed. The elements of physical endurance and mental focus are sky high during this race. Drivers have to negotiate a left hand turn about every four to six seconds. They have to maintain a sharp awareness of track position while avoiding hitting the rear bumper in front of him. They have to find a way to quickly calm themselves down when they find themselves on the receiving end of a bumper hit.
At Barber and Talladega The unpublicized over/under was 80 seconds for Jamie McMurray to complete a lap of the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. Sure, the paddle shifting was a bit irregular and there was that spin/stall in a slow-speed corner. But after gaining his bearings, McMurray's lap times significantly decreased to the point where he was tempted to run flat through a few of the corners and the backstraight chicane.
by Dave Grayson While there was somewhat of a lost feeling for NASCAR racing fans over the previous weekend due to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series having the weekend off, there was some fun racing from the Camping World Truck Series at Darlington. It was also interesting to note that the truck series still felt the impact of a formidable driver/team owner despite the fact he spent the weekend in Mexico. Then another NASCAR star stepped into the world of drag racing and found out how tough a change of venue transition can get.
NASCAR Truck Series Kasey Kahne did it again. Making his first and possibly only Camping World Truck Series start of the year, Kahne cruised to a relatively comfortable win in Saturday’s Too Tough To Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway. The victory made Kahne the first driver in the truck series to win three of his first four starts. Second alongside Elliott Sadler on a restart with 53 laps to go, Kahne immediately dispatched of Sadler—who had taken two tires under the previous caution—and never trailed again.
by Dave Grayson With NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series taking the weekend off the racing spotlight will shine on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this Saturday. Anyone who has followed this exciting series since its inception in 1995 already knows they deserve this weekend of attention. The series will be racing this Saturday at the historic Darlington Raceway. The race is the Too Tough To Tame 200 at a venue nicknamed the track too tough to tame featuring drivers in race trucks that are absolutely too tough to tame. In short, the race is going to be very exciting.
by Dave Grayson During the previous weekend at Las Vegas we witnessed the continuation of Roush inspired horsepower, we loved the sight of a well loved driver's return to a Nationwide Series victory lane, we watched a huge improvement in an Indy car driver's transition to stock cars and two drivers who weren't getting along late last year really aren't getting along now. THUMBS-UP to Carl Edwards for winning Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 marking his 19th NASCAR Sprint Cup career win and his second win at Las Vegas.
It all started back in the 60s The first three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races have highlighted one of the major changes for the 2011 season as the elimination of the catch can man means there is one less crew member allowed over the wall during pit stops. As teams continue to search for ways to shave precious seconds off their stops, Ford Racing looks back at how the Wood Brothers revolutionized the modern day pit stop as part of its 110th Anniversary series on milestone moments.
Tops Stewart and Montoya in Sprint Cup race A mistake in the pits by Tony Stewart’s crew gave Carl Edwards the chance he needed to put the frustration of the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season behind him. Capitalizing on a penalty to Stewart, who dragged an air wrench from his stall under caution on Lap 155, Edwards powered his No. 99 Ford across the finish line 1.246 seconds ahead of Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Nationwide Series Hold on, Kyle Busch. In an unlikely finish Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Mark Martin stretched fuel mileage and simultaneously stretched his career wins lead in the Nationwide Series. After race leader Brad Keselowski cut a tire and hit the wall on the final lap of the Sam's Town 300, Martin cruised to the checkered flag, posting his 49th Nationwide victory. Busch, who dominated early but later fell out of the race, is second with 44 Nationwide wins.
Kobalt Tools 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway Matt Kenseth sped around Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a track-record 28.589 seconds (188.884 mph) on Friday, Kenseth knocked fellow Ford driver Marcos Ambrose off the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track. Ambrose (188.166) will start beside Kenseth on the front row. Carl Edwards (188.127), last week's pole winner at Phoenix, was third and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle (187.970) fourth, as Fords claimed the top four starting positions for the third Cup race of the season.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Morgan Shepherd has often been described as an ageless wonder. At age 69 Shepherd is now in his 44th season as a NASCAR driver and, without hesitation, still continues to criss cross the country while hauling his #89 Faith Motorsports Chevrolet to the next stop on the Nationwide Series schedule. As impressive as that is, it's also something that we expect to see each and every racing weekend. What we didn't expect was last Tuesday's news story that said Morgan Shepherd had turned crime fighter and actually helped police officers apprehend a trio of shoplifters.
by Dave Grayson During the NASCAR weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway we were prepared for a single driver to sweep all three races in the valley of the sun. Then we watched a wily veteran break the man's broom during the third and final race of the weekend. We wondered about the merits of a "big one" getting launched on a one mile track and last week's hero discovered that sometimes NASCAR racing can become a cruel mistress.
Jeff Gordon beats Kyle Busch to end winless streak
Subway Fresh Fit 500 on the 1-mile Phoenix oval Jeff Gordon didn’t just 'drive to end hunger' (his sponsor) Sunday—he drove to end a famine. Gordon hunted down race leader Kyle Busch with 8 laps to go and made the pass to win Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race by 1.137s on the 1-mile Phoenix International Speedway oval. For the first time in his career, Jeff Gordon has led the most laps at Phoenix. More important, he has ended a 66-race winless streak, which was the longest of his career.
NASCAR Nationwide race Kyle Busch held off a strong challenge from Carl Edwards in the closing laps of Saturday's Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway and collected his 44th Nationwide Series victory. Having won Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at the 1-mile track, Busch will try for a weekend sweep Sunday in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Cup Series event. Busch became the only driver to sweep races in NASCAR's top three series at the same track on the same weekend when he accomplished the feat last August at Bristol.
NASCAR Sprint Cup The last time the Sprint Cup Series came to Phoenix International Raceway, Carl Edwards won from the pole. After Saturday's Cup qualifying session at the 1-mile flat track, Edwards has a leg up on a second consecutive victory. With a lap at 137.279 mph, Edwards was the fastest of 26 drivers who broke the track record in time trials for Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500.
in Phoenix Kyle Busch won the pole for today's NASCAR Nationwide Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200 with a lap of 26.806 seconds, 134.298 mph. The lap was a new track record, breaking his teammate Joey Logano's old 2010 mark of 134.048 mph. It's Busch's 22nd career pole and it breaks a tie for seventh on the all-time list with Carl Edwards, who qualified second. Logano and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top four.
Fastest to 25th win Win the race off pit road. Win the race. After taking the lead under caution on Lap 44 of Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch led the final 107 to post his second win at the 1-mile track and his 25th in the Camping World Truck Series. Busch beat polesitter Clint Bowyer to the checkered flag by 0.291 seconds, as Bowyer tightened the margin on the final lap.
Phoenix Preview: It's time to return to regular racing
by Dave Grayson Remember last Sunday when 15.6 million television viewers, and 182,000 spectators, watched the Daytona 500 in awe stuck wonder over a form of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing we had never seen before? We all marveled at the two car drafts, the elaborate radio communications to set up driver partnerships and the changes NASCAR had to implement to keep their Sprint Cup cars under the 200 MPH zone. Forget about that for the time being. It's time to return to regular racing.
Youngest Daytona 500 winner ever On Sunday Trevor Bayne became the seventh driver to earn his first win at the Daytona 500, doing it in just his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Trevor also became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history just one day after his 20th birthday. Trevor also recorded Ford's 600th victory. Trevor had a couple of days to let this victory set in, so see what he is saying two days later.
by Dave Grayson NASCAR officially opened their 2011 season with the annual Daytona Speedweeks. By the time the checkers fell on the running of the 53d annual Daytona 500 last Sunday, that annual February effort was all about the presence of superstars. During Speedweeks at Daytona we witnessed the emergence of a new future superstar while, at the same time, we witnessed the triumphant return of a former superstar race team that we honestly thought was over and done. We also honored the memory of one of the sport's greatest superstars.
by Pete McCole 20-year old Trevor Bayne has won the Daytona 500 to become the 35th different and youngest winner ever of the Great American race. In a green-white-checkered finish Bayne held off Carl Edwards and David Gilliland to give the Wood Brothers team their first Sprint Cup win in 10 years and Ford's 600th win. They currently field the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion part-time for Trevor Bayne. It was Bayne's 2nd ever Cup race and his first Daytona 500.
Daytona Delivers Drama, Emotion, by Cathy Elliott I was listening to the ‘Tradin’ Paint’ program on SIRIUS XM 128 – the NASCAR channel – the other day when I was struck by one comment in particular. The show’s hosts, Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers, were singing the praises of Daytona International Speedway. Myers had just traveled from Charlotte to Daytona the day before, and was describing the experience of driving through the infield access tunnel. He said the hairs on the back of his neck literally stood on end as he entered, and he encouraged listeners who have never visited the legendary track to make every effort to do so. “This place will change your life,” he said.
As he watches his rookie driver Trevor Bayne work his way into a job in the Sprint Cup Series, Eddie Wood can’t help but think back to the days when he was just coming into his own as a mechanic on his family’s race team. One race that stands above the rest from Wood’s early days as a full-time mechanic was the 1976 Daytona 500, a race that is rated by many as having the most exciting finish ever in NASCAR.
by Pete McCole Tony Stewart, with the help of impressive youngster Landon Cassill, edged Clint Bowyer at the line to win the Nationwide season opener at Daytona -- his fourth consecutive February victory at the track. Bowyer ran second 0.007 seconds behind Stewart. Cassill came home third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With illegal spoiler Waltrip slingshots past Sadler for win
by Pete McCole Ten years to the day from his first victory in the Daytona 500, Michael Waltrip made a slingshot pass of Elliott Sadler at the end of a green-white-checkered-flag finish Friday night to win the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The victory in the season opener, which went three laps past its scheduled distance of 100 laps, was Waltrip’s first in the truck series.
Danica Patrick to start 4th Clint Bowyer drove his Chevy to the pole position for Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Bowyer's lap of 180.821 mph in Friday's qualifying session knocked Landon Cassill off the front starting spot, who had just knocked Danica Patrick from the provisional pole. The final qualifying order ended up Bowyer first and Cassill second, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. also squeezing in ahead of Patrick.
NASCAR With a strong push from Regan Smith, Penske Racing's Kurt Busch drove his Dodge to victory in the first of two Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Busch will lead the field to the green flag Sunday after Earnhardt drops to the rear for the start of the Daytona 500. Jeff Burton won the second Duel with Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer in second. Michael Waltrip and Brian Keselowski raced their way into the Daytona 500 with finishes of third and fifth, respectively.
by Dave Grayson The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series officially kicked off their 2011 season with the 33d annual invitational race known as the Budweiser Shootout. The 75 lap event brought some radically new changes to restrictor plate racing at Daytona. We also got introduced to some new racing terms such as "two car lockups", "teammate for a day" and even "dancing with the stars."
On 10th anniversary of his Daddy's death You could not write a better movie script if you tried. In Sunday's qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's biggest star, gave the sagging series the shot in the arm it needed by edging Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for the top starting spot in next Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500. Turning a lap in 48.364 seconds (186.089 mph), Earnhardt claimed the 10th Coors Light pole award of his career and his first at a restrictor-plate superspeedway.
by Pete McCole Sometimes it’s not who wins the race, but how they win the race that counts. Never was that more true than in the final lap of Saturday night’s the 33rd running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, as Denny Hamlin made it to the checkered flag first, only to see Kurt Busch go to victory lane after Hamlin was disqualified for making an illegal pass.
by Dave Grayson Let's face it, when it comes to available resources to get just about any job done Hendrick Motorsports, (HMS), is very hard to beat. Their five consecutive championships from Jimmie Johnson, and the Lowes #48 team, certainly proves that point. Well aware that NASCAR Sprint Cup races are often won or lost on pit road, HMS rented the Charlotte Motor Speedway last Thursday so their four teams could participate in pit stop practice under full racing conditions.
by Dave Grayson During the course of the past few days we waited in anticipation for a supposed titillating tell all interview with former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield only to discover that he had nothing to say. We were puzzled by a bizarre, million dollar, offer from an Indy Car official that doesn't seem to have any takers. We learned what the Ganassi slam is and then we marveled at the prospect of a former unemployed home developer who is now the newest NASCAR team owner.
Shepherd Survived Blizzard To Win '93 Motorcraft 500
Ford Racing Celebrates 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory The 1993 NASCAR season was off to a flying start as three different drivers had made their way to victory lane in the first three weeks. Dale Jarrett won the season-opening Daytona 500 while Rusty Wallace and Davey Allison came away with checkered flags at Rockingham and Richmond, respectively. Little did anyone know that by the time the series got to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the fourth race of the season, the real winner would be Mother Nature. The Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 was scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 14, 1993, but a blizzard made racing impossible.
by Pete McCole The 29th annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway concluded on Thursday, bringing to a close the four-day media event that covered a dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and over 30 Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series drivers as they gear up for the season-opening races at Daytona. Highlighting the final day of the tour was a visit with Roush Racing, who will return with all four fully funded Sprint Cup teams in 2011.
The winds of change were an overall welcome arrival
by Dave Grayson Over the past few days we witnessed NASCAR's willingness to address some needed changes with the vast majority of them being positive steps in the right direction. We also learned of a rather unusual pit crew platoon system that somewhat rivals the National Football League's special teams concept and it appears that there's another NASCAR baby boom in the making. An overall THUMBS-UP to NASCAR for their willingness to address and implement changes in their championship points system, for the first time since 1975, and their Chase format.
by Dave Grayson For a span of 52 races former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott has been the driver of the #21 Ford fielded by the Wood Brothers one of the most historically significant teams in the sport. However, more than a few eyebrows were raised with the recent announcement that said the Woods Brothers were placing 19 year old racing protege Trevor Bayne in their car for the 2011 season. That announcement was followed by questions regarding the racing future of the 55 year old Bill Elliott. Could he find another ride with any amount of substantial quality?
by Pete McCole The 29th annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway rolled along on Wednesday with Day Three of the four-day event, featuring visits with Richard Petty Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports. Leading off the day was a first-of-its-kind press event for the tour, as hundreds of media members visited a new Furniture Row retail store near Concord, N.C. for a press event with Furniture Row Racing.
Also adds Wid Card element to the Chase NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has added a wild card element to setting the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field and it has simplified its points system for 2011, making it easier for fans, competitors and the industry to understand. Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, made the announcements at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during NASCAR’s annual media event as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.
by Pete McCole The 29th annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway continued on Tuesday with another round of shops visits and media events as the sport prepares to enter 2011 with the season-opening Daytona 500 just 25 days away. Starting off Day Two of the four-day tour was a visit from Michael Waltrip Racing, where team owner Michael Waltrip unveiled a book written by himself and writer Ellis Henican called In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything.
by Pete McCole The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway began its 29th edition on Monday as teams, drivers, sponsors and the media geared up for the 2011 NASCAR season. Drawing some 200 journalists and media outlets from around the country and across the globe to Concord N.C., the tour features press conference and shop tours from several of the biggest names in the sport, and all of them looking ahead to the promise of a new and exciting year of racing.
by Dave Grayson A few years ago former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte was asked about his thoughts about increasing the excitement level during Cup races. Without a seconds hesitation Labonte replied "shorten the races." As I read his thoughts on this matter I quickly realized that Labonte was right with this assessment. Chopping 100 miles off of many of NASCAR's Sprint Cup races is actually a very good idea.
by Dave Grayson One would think that they should be. They certainly seem to be valuable enough and to acquire owner's points by alternative means, other than actually earning them on the race track, seems to provide some rather lucrative returns. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Steve Wallace can testify to that. Wallace will be making his official Sprint Cup Series debut in next month's Daytona 500 driving the #77 Toyota Camry fielded by Rusty Wallace Racing backed with sponsorships from Five Hour Energy Drink and Aspen Dental.
by Cathy Elliott Like NASCAR, the GRAND-AM Series opens the season with its biggest race, at the very same venue. The 49th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be held on Jan. 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway. The span of weeks between Homestead-Miami Speedway and Speedweeks at Daytona seems all too brief when it begins in November, but by the time early January arrives, the days seem to be dragging along as slowly as the director’s cut of “Braveheart.”
by Dave Grayson While the NASCAR focus should be squarely aimed at the upcoming test session at Daytona, there seems to be some other very interesting story lines this week. Michael Waltrip is on the verge of publishing a book and then plans on hitting the road as a stand up comedian. Also this week some very deserving drivers and teams received some good news regarding their 2011 plans. Then there was the matter of a bizarre lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment that actually has a stock car racing connection.
“Shirtless” Jimmy Florian Gave Ford Racing First Win
Ford one win away from 600 win milestone Ford Racing enters the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season needing only one victory to reach 600. Over the next six weeks, leading up to the Daytona 500, Ford Racing will present a weekly recap of the milestone wins and other tidbits that have helped shape the manufacturer’s history in the sport. In addition to a list of all-time winners, this week’s edition looks back at the day “Shirtless” Jimmy Florian gave the Ford Racing brand its first NASCAR checkered flag.
by Dave Grayson Over the past several days we learned that a true NASCAR legend, and Hall Of Famer, Junior Johnson is returning to the team ownership business. Meanwhile a financial investor literally stole a motorsports complex in Tennessee. Kyle Busch got married in a ceremony that was witnessed by the paparazzi and it appears we have the opportunity to smell like Carl Edwards. THUMBS-UP to the legendary Junior Johnson for opening a new race shop to support the racing effort of his 17 year son, Robert, whom he truly believes has the potential of becoming a NASCAR Sprint Cup star.
by Dave Grayson Since November there has been whisperings regarding the Las Vegas based Vision Air Racing, (VAR), and their plans to fly east and upgrade their operation to NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series. In early December there was a report that indicated VAR had purchased a race shop facility in Mooresville-North Carolina and were planning to race Toyota Tundras supplied by Kyle Busch Motorsports.
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