Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Menard Takes His Sponsor Elsewhere, DEI Left to Look For New Sponsors

The slow, inevitable trickle continues.

Paul Menard has up and taken his sponsor, Menards and headed over the Yates Racing beginning in the 2009 season.

With Menards going with Paul, the Army expected to head to Tony Stewart's team, that leaves DEI with Bass Pro Shops with Martin Truex Jr.. The once mighty DEI garage, who could pad their sponsors coffers with appearances of their ex-driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is now finding themselves scrambling to find themselves more sponsors.

As it is, Almirola has no sponsor yet for the No. 8 car either.

Not looking so good, not giving Jr 51%, huh?

Well, let's see what happens and how many cars they really will be fielding in 2009!

To be fair to DEI, I'm not sure if this would not have happened anyway. Other shops are struggling with sponsorship issues too in this silly-season of economic down turns.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Chase Points After Kansas

Jimmie Johnson has solidified his place in the lead of the standings with his performance at Kansas Speedway.

It puts him 10 points in front of his wall smacking competitor, Carl Edwards.
20 points behind Carl (30 behind Jimmie) is fellow Roush Racing driver, Greg Biffle.
Then 121 points behind Jimmie is Jeff Burton.

The oddity, or surprise to everyone is the position that Kyle Busch finds himself, 311 points behind Jimmie Johnson, after so many mechanical woes.

Next week can make or break his attempt at the Cup. Talladega can be a crap shoot and it's the wild card in the chase, much like Kyle's bad luck.

For the complete standings, check out NASCAR. (Or my widget off the right and down a bit.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jimmie Johnson Barely Wins the Camping World RV 400

by Bruce E. Simmons :

Woes before It even Starts At Kansas

Jeff Gordon starts the race very sick and a back up driver sits in the wings, waiting.
Jeff Burton stays on pit road when everyone else pulls off due to a bad tach that the crew fixes. Burton heads to the back of the pack. That's from 37th to 42nd.

Race Start:
Jimmie Johnson leads the pack to the green flag. Clint Bowyer in the No. 07 Chevy gets black flagged for passing on the start before the start / finish line.

Lap 17: Matt Kenseth in the No. 17 Ford takes the lead from Jimmy Johnson while Bowyer is still on the lead lap, barely in front of the leader.

Lap 27: It's reported that Kyle Busch's engine is failing. Seems too early, but when Juan Pablo Montoya and Sam Hornish passed him, I started to believe it.
Lap 42: Martin Truex Jr. takes the lead from Kenseth.
Lap 44 top 10: 1, 17, 83, 48, 19, 5, 24, 8, 84 21

Lap 50 starts green flag pit stops.
Brian Vickers parks it almost sideways as he comes across the nose of the 99 car and slows the 20 car trying to exit their pits. Valuable time lost.
Waltrip stayed out and led a lap before pitting. The beleagured No. 18 does the same.
21 and 77 cars too fast on pit road.

Lap 71 sees Jimmie Johnson take his lead back from Truex Jr..

lap 75: Caution for debris off the No. 12 Dodge of Ryan Newman repainting the outside wall. Kyle Busch is saying that his car is coming back to him as if whatever the problem was got "burned away".
Loose tire on pit road. No one hits it, but Dave Blaney slams into the No. 31 car, and bounces into the No 99 car.

Lap 80 restart: 5, 1, 24, 48, 19.
Lap 94 caution for Kyle Petty spinning ... all by himself. Scott Riggs drive shaft came apart.
The No. 18 car is back on the lead lap.

Lap 99 restart and the top 10 leading them to the green flag:
5, 8, 31, 19, 48, 16, 24, 1, 88 & 9.
Mears (5) did not pit. 8 & 31, two tires only.
Lap 117 caution for Joey Logano adding his car colors to the wall in his HOF No. 96 car.
20 car to the back of the pack for speeding.

Lap 122 restart: 1, 28, 07, 16, 31
Lap 123 caution - Kenseth wants to see who's behind him and spins it through the corner of turns 1 & 2.

Lap 126 restart: 1, 48, 07, 16 & 24
Lap 130 caution for Tony Stewart mowing the infield with his No. 20 Home Depot lawn mower. Tony, there are cheaper ways to mow the grass. He bounced off the No 83 car of Vickers. (the 20 and 83 have been having pit issues today.)

lap 134 restart: 1, 48, 16, 07, 24
Lap 150 top 10: 48, 1, 16, 99, 24, 88, 31, 29, 07, 6, 5, 26, 19, 11, 17 (So I can't count!)
92 laps to go, green flag pit stops start. stop, start... commence..
75 to go: 99, 48, 16, 1 & 24. Stewart makes costly stop to repair his splitter.
Caution with 49 to go as Travis Kvapil adds his distinctive paint scheme to the wall.

Restart with 45 to go: 48, 99, 24, 31 & 16
Caution, 42 to go: The NO. 6 car bumps the No. 55 car and he dances down the front stretch in a slide.

Restart 38 to go: 48, 99, 24, 31, 16
Truex has issues and pits. Broken shifter.
I think we just heard the radio communication of the No. 1 car and I heard "It's F*d up...". Not sure... volume wasn't quite loud enough with a truck going by outside.

22 to go: It's 48 and 99 out front, followed by the sick boy in the No. 24 car.
12 to go: Waltrip LF tire evacuates from the car, but all the debris is on the inside line of the track... mostly. NASCAR keeps it green.
10 to go: 48, 99, 24, 16, 17

with 2 to go: The No. 99 Ford reels in the No. 48 Chevy to within 2 car lengths.

In the last lap headed into turn 3, Carl Edwards passes Jimmie Johnson as if he's standing still, but hits the turn too fast and slides up into the wall, leaving the Office Depot colors on the wall and Jimmie goes back inside him and takes the win by a few car lengths!!

Now that was fun to watch!

The top 10 finishers:
Jimmie Johnson,
Carl Edwards,
Greg Biffle,
Jeff Gordon,
M Kenseth,
K. Harvick,
J. Burton,
D. Ragan,
A.J. Allmendinger,
E. Sadler.

Carl Edwards says
"... in the video game, you can hit the wall and still win!! It didn't work out quite like the video game."
Before you smack down on it, I know which "game" he's talking about and all the physics in this "game" which is called more a simulation than a game is dead on.

With that said, LOL... I kind of expected more from Carl than employing simulation tactics!

Interview of Kyle Busch:
Reporter: "What are you feeling right now?
Shrub-bub: "I think it's pretty self explanatory out there." Wah!!

Actually, despite picking on him, I don't blame him for the short draw of the luck he's got going, I understand his take... today.

For the complete results, see Cup Series Results

Is Kansas Kyle Petty's Last Race?

Huh? I had heard a rumorish type statement that the NASCAR Cup event at Kansas could be Kyle Petty's last race.

Patty Petty (The wife. Why is it the wife that sometimes the one that spills the beans?) said in an interview on Friday, the 26th of September that Kyle wants to be in a good race car ... and that "this is probably his last race in that car", while she also added that Petty Enterprises is looking for a younger driver and that Kyle is looking for another ride, but there's not a lot out there since everyone is looking for younger drivers.

On Saturday the 27th, Robby Loomis said back when Kyle started doing TV a few years back, Petty Enterprises started looking to the future for his replacement. Chad McCumbee will be running five more races this year, Terry Labonte will be driving at Talladega and Kyle is scheulded to run at Phoenix. He also added they're looking to have Kyle drive a few races next year and he's not out at Petty Enterprises, all barring how McCumbee does.

So this is not Kyle's last race, but if all goes according to plan with Petty Enterprises and their new owners, then Kyle has two races left. If McCumbee doesn't pan out in the Cup series, it seems that Kyle is plan B for the shop. That must not feel that great.

Source for info: Claire B Lang, Dialed In, XM Radio blog. Thanks for the insight Claire!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Passes Away

RIP Paul Newman.
Our condolences to his family & friends.

Thanks Paul.

For the
the racing and the

For more, see ScreenRant.com

Kansas: Montoya HAD The Pole, But...

After expressing his  satisfaction with the improvement his team has shown in recent weeks in getting his No. 42 Dodge to the front of the pack for the pole position for Sunday's raced in Kansas, Juan Pablo Montoya's car was disqualified and moved to the back of the pack after post-qualifying inspection.

Montoya was sent to the back of the pack for his rear shock absorbers having too high of a gas pressure set above the 75 lbs psi limit.  DoH!

With that being said, the 2nd place gang buster was put up in the pole position and has the advantage of clean air for the start of the race... that makes Jimmie Johnson a happy man!

The front 10 for the Camping World RV 400, as it stands now, barring any more inspection woes are:

1.     Jimmie Johnson
2.     Mark Martin
3.     Matt Kenseth
4.     Elliott Sadler
5.     Martin Truex Jr.
6.     Paul Menard
7.     Bill Elliott
8.     Kasey Kahne
9.     Brian Vickers
10.   Casey Mears
Rest of the Lineup


Friday, September 26, 2008

Will The Truck Series Stay Afloat With Camping Gear???

According to ESPN, NASCAR is in negotiations with Camping World to become the title sponsor for the Truck Series, as Craftsman Tools will be on the way out at the end of this year.

If they do take over as the title sponsor, Kevin Harvick was reported to say that they will still be his sponsor on his truck in 2009.  (Better look for a new one for 2010 just in case Kevin!)


Now, let's hope that NASCAR doesn't screw this one up.

What I mean by that is when Busch backed out and let their contract expire over in the Busch (Now called the Nationwide) series when NASCAR tried to squeeze more $$ from them for the sponsorship.  After some wheeling, dealing and redealing, Nationwide finally got the bid, but it was at around the same price level that Busch was paying for before their contract fizzled.  It seemed that NASCAR may have wanted too much for most company's taste.  Or in my eyes, they could have kept Busch in the picture if they hadn't of squeezed.  (I'm going purely off of memory here, so anyone else feels like backing me up or correcting me, please step in.)

Allmendinger, Is He Tight in Turn 2?

I think it's a shame that A.J. Allmendinger has to be at the butt end of Red Bull's iffy NASCAR Cup effort and is instead, opting for Scott Speed to replace him. Of course, it's conjecture that Scott Speed is replacing A.J., but since they've pulled A.J. from testing and Red Bull is all over the untested Speed, I'm thinking they needed to give it another year easy, but yet no, they toss out this open wheeler, Allmendinger.

Rumors are swirling about the now available A.J.. I like him, he's pretty funny to listen to, if you've ever caught any of his Sirius Satellite NASCAR Ch. 128 interviews. But where's he headed?

Do you think AJ Allmendinger (Dinger to his buddies) will replace Sorenson at Ganassi or does Ganassi have anyone else in mind? I didn't want to ponder this with myself, so as always, I asked Charlie Turner of On Pit Row to toss in his 2 cents too!

: I'm hoping A.J. gets a good chance to prove himself. I'd hate to see him go somewhere mediocre just because he wants to stay in NASCAR. That just doesn't work. Look at HOF Racing. They dumped Yeley, but in all likely-hood, it's the garage, not the driver. Considering Logano ended up 3 laps down in Loudon in one of their cars. Am I dodging my own question? Yes. If Ganassi is Allmendingers best opportunity, maybe he can do something with it. If not, I'm very on the fence as to where else, if anyone, he could end up at. Charlie?

Charlie Turner: Allmendinger has done enough in the Red Bull no. 84 to show that he deserves more of an opportunity in the Cup series than he's had. He would be a quality replacement for Ganassi in the no. 41. The plus side of moving to Ganassi for A J is that Chip and his teams have experience with converting - and attempting to convert - ex-road racers to Cup cars. The success has been mixed. But it looks to me like Ganassi is a black hole for stock car talent though. I think he'll end up there. But my expectations are low.

Bruce: I couldn't have said it better. Oh, wait, I didn't.

Charlie asked me my thoughts on the qustion: Is Kyle Busch choking? Check it out over on his site at On Pit Row.

(Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Weather For Kansas

For once, we aren't going to be put off by any rain, at least according to Weather.com.

They're predicting highs in the 80's, no precipitation! Finally. Let's get a decent race weekend in this time around and see how the Cup Contenders fare this weekend!

NASCAR TV Schedule for Sept 27-28 2008

Sprint Cup - Kansas - 1 p.m. ET Sun. | ABC
Nationwide Series - Kansas - 3 p.m. ET Sat. | ESPN2

See ya'all at the "track".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Keselowski Gets A 2-Shot Cup Tryout

Brad Keselowski is going have a chance to take a shot at 2 Cup event before the year is out, with Hendrick Motorsports giving him that shot.

He'll be given the wheel of the No. 25 car at Lowe's next month and at Texas in November.

In case you're wondering about the math NOT adding up to 4, it's new math!!

Actually NASCAR rules do permit a team to enter a fifth car in events if:
A: It's a rookie,
B: It's within the limit of 7 races allowed for that rookie.

Right now Brad has 2 wins, 10 top-fives and 16 top-10s in the Nationwide series in a team that is owned by JR Motorsports and Rick Hendrick.

Go Brad... Let's see how you tackle those uber-powerful Cup cars.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Drug Testing Mandated In NASCAR

After much discussion over the last year, and possibly revved up by Ron Hornaday's latest admission of his experience, NASCAR has announced plans to institute a drug testing policy starting in 2009.

For some reason, despite some outspoken drivers asking for drug testing (Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick), it took until 2009 for NASCAR to recognize that it's just not that safe for drivers to be hyped up or doped out while navigating lefts and rights ...  (OK, mostly lefts) at 200 mph.

NASCAR has had a 20-year relationship with AEGIS Sciences Corporation, and AEGIS will be conducting the preseason and random in-season drug tests.

All drivers will be tested prior to the 2009 season with team owners required to verify that all their licensed crew members have been tested by an accredited lab.  The momentum of drug testing will start at the Daytona Speedweeks where all drivers will be tested who attend.  From there, it's a randomness of needle love drug tests that will start.

The random test will be administered to 12 to 14 people a weekend, most weekends, and on average, 2 drivers per series will be tagged for testing, then the rest of the test subjects will come from over-the-wall crewmen and officials.

It will be a learning experience though.  Right now, NASCAR does not have a list of banned substances, but will be evolving it with time, as people start to fail their tests from cough and cold medicines and mouth washes, and what not.  OK, I'm being silly with the mouth wash thing.

It will be interesting to see when the false positives hit, who's affected, who's not.

In the meeting that was held last weekend with all the drivers and team owners it was brought up that the IRL does a full physical on it's drivers and I think that would be a great idea to further elevate the safety factor of the competition field.  To be honest, though it hasn't happened in recent, or ever memory, it would suck for a pack of cars to be taken out because of a heart condition or an after affect of a concussion.  Licensed pilots are required to take annual physicals, why not NASCAR drivers?  (Of course, since half the drivers are pilots, I guess this takes care of some of them.)

At least this way, no one can pull another Aaron Fike and be high on heroin during a race weekend.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dover: Camping RV 400, as it goes

Jeff Gordon pulls away and leads the start lap, with Denny Hamlin falling in behind him and on lap 2, Kurt Busch gets planted in the wall from David Gilliland washing up the corner and into the No 2 Dodge.

On lap 12, Carpentier spins the No. 10 car and Carl Edwards taps him a bit. The team doesn't think there's any damage of note and we can't see anything of note, though in the replay, Edwards Office Depot hood looks like it flexed up more than I would like, but I'm not in the car.

Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart are pitting during this 2nd caution.

Lap 30: 24, 26, 17, 8, 11, 44, 18 & 88 cars are up front.

McMurray's Ford is lit up and took the lead on lap 31 and is plowing ahead with a pretty strong steed, no matter what line, low or high that he's in.

Lap 64 sees Joe Nemechek lose a right front tire and end up repainting the outside wall and many drivers are reported being grumbly about their cars.

After the pit stops, 17 24 8 11 26. The 11 car busted for speeding. Doh!

The lap 70 restart: 17, 24, 8, 26, 99, 44, 48, 07, 31 & 16 lead them across the start line.


Lap 114: 17, 26, 8, 99, 24, 44, 16, 48, 07 & 18.

Lap 143 sees the RR tire blowing out on the No. 88 car. Dale Earnhardt Jr. stays off the wall. Some serious piston ring smoke is coming out of the No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch.

It seems lady luck as clocked out on Kyle.

Lap 149 restart shows 17, 99, 8, 24 & 16 leading the pack.

Sigh, Lap 157 yellow for the NO. 84 car up into the wall.

Lap 161 restart: 17, 99, 8, 24 & 16 cars lead them to the green.

Lap 163 caution: The No 7 and 26 cars get together and slap the outside wall. It looks like while Robby Gordon had been racing the lead lap cars, he got caught up holding off Jamie and went loose, taking Jamie into the outside wall.

Sam Hornish in the 77 car is in the wall, lap 171.

Wow, this is starting to feel like Indianapolis, but during the caution, Kyle Busch is pushed to the garage. The big question: Does he dash off and avoid camera face time? Or is there a reporter out there daring enough to get in his face and incur his wrathful vengeance against lady luck? The lime-green and black clad driver walks straight to the hauler past the ESPN reporter, despite her effort to catch is ear.

Did I mention this is only the 2nd time this year I've worn my No. 18 hat during a race day? Can you guess when was the first time I wore it?

Lap 179 green flag restart: 17, 99, 8, 16, 07, 29, 48, 31, 1 and the 12 cars lead the pack to the green. 12 car?? Did I just say that? Yep... not a typo. Go Ryan!

Lap 186: Sam Hornish in the No. 77 spins again. Now it's a heavy sigh!

Yes, there was a restart, but I'm waiting for lap 200 for a mid race lineup recap!

Lap 200:
48, 12 22 24 42 84 44 11 38 99 43 17 16 8 & 29.
(Can you tell some folk stayed out during the last caution, gambling that there will be another quick yellow?)

Kyle talks to the reporters... Something broke in the engine. Any hopes to win the Cup "It doesn't matter" he says. Wow, every sponsors dream spokesman. Kyle says that getting out there to only gather laps and get in every else's way is a waste. Interstate Batteries are filling out the chapter 11 papers now.

With 177 to go, oil being reported on windows.

So far, no yellow and Jimmie JOhnson is looking to pit soon.

Ryan Newman pits. With 160 to go, Johnson pits. Now, they go from hoping for yellow to hoping for no yellow.

156 to go: Hamlin off the pace with a flat tire. No caution. He got it to the pits.

Oh no, Hamlin in the garage. Rear end issues. It's possible this is what drivers were worried about earlier on the fluids on their windows.

After everyone has cycled through the green flag pit stops, a yellow has come out for debris with 109 laps to go. The pit gambles paid of for some of those guys.

The cream has risen to the top folks.

Restart: 48, 99, 16, 17, 8, 22, 24, 29, 44 & 07 cars lead the pack to the last 100 laps of the race.

64 laps to go: 99, 8, 16, 17 & 48 cars are at the front of the pack.

50 to go: Montoya hits the wall... RF tire.

Restart with 45 to go: 99, 8, 16, 17 & 48 cars lead the pack to the green.

24 to go: 99, 16, 17, 8 & 48 cars up front. 99, 16 and 17 swapping spots as they battle nose to tail. 99 took two tires on the last stop. Oops.

10 to go: 17, 16 & 99... with 16 taking the lead with 9 to go.

5 to go: 16, 17, 99, 8, 48

Greg Biffle goes on to win at Dover, his 2nd win in a row.

The top 15 across the line:

16 Greg Biffle,
17 Matt Kenseth,
99 Carl Edwards,
8 Mark Martin,
48 Jimmie Johnson,
29 Kevin Harvick,
24 Jeff Gordon,
07 Clint Bowyer,
31 Jeff Burton,
55 Mike Waltrip (Not a typo),
20 Tony Stewart,
22 Dave Blaney,
12 Ryan Newman,
43 Bobby Labonte,
5 Casey Mears

Friday, September 19, 2008

Are 12 Cup Chasers Too Tight in Turn 2?

This is a short supposition on my part, based somewhat on fact-less observations over the past year of how NASCAR is handling the Chase for the Cup. (That's tech speak for I'm going to rant off the handle and I'm dragging Charlie Turner of On Pit Row into the fray with me.)

When the Chase started in 2004, we had it set to the top 10 drivers from a 43 man field who would move on to the battle with each other within their own points structure. IE: Giving them a massive bonus over the rest of the field so no one else could catch them. This eliminated just about anyone else from competing for the championship, even if all 10 drivers crashed out the remainder of the races. And that first year, it was pretty exciting to see Kurt Busch win the championship by 8 points, even after fortuitously losing a wheel at the head of pit road.

We then had a 35 point spread behind Tony Stewart with Edwards and Biffle tied for 2nd in points in 2005.

2006, Johnson had a bigger point spread (56) in front of Kenseth, Hamlin, Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.. In 2007, Johnson extended that win margin to 77 points over Jeff Gordon, but then had a massive 357 point advantage over 3rd place finisher, Clint Bowyer. (So much for tight point races)

Then when Tony Stewart failed to make the 10 man field in '06, we now have the top 12 drivers competing for the championship? Hmm.

Additionally, despite the fact that this is probably one of the easiest programming stints in the world of web programming, when I went to NASCAR's website to look this information up, no matter what year you look at, they're treating the standings across the years as if there was a always a 12 man field chasing the cup. I'm sure it's not their intent, but it sure could be confusing to the new fan.

So now that I'm done ranting all over the board, my real question is:

If they insist on limiting the year end competition to top performing drivers, are 12 drivers too many?

Bruce says yes. Heck. I thought 10 were too many, but strangely, when Tony Stewart did not make the chase and ended up 11th, the next year included 12 drivers. The timing seemed ... interesting indeed.

With 10 drivers, that incorporated over 23% of a 43 driver field. With 12 drivers, we now see almost 28% of the 43 driver field in the chase.

At this point, I think they should just start eliminating drivers at the Daytona 500! Who ever comes in 43rd is automatically eliminated from the chase, and weed down, one race at a time. OK, I know, not realistic, but it sure would be interesting right from the get go!! And then we can play wild cards in the points standings with 11 races to go!.

Go crazy Charlie! I gave lots of different directions to go with this one!!!

Charlie Turner: I have no problem with twelve being the number. Before it was twelve, it was ten plus any driver within 400 points of the regular season points leader. Nobody ever came close. I think that this, combined with not only Stewart, but Jeff Gordon and Junior, not making the "playoffs" forced NASCAR's hand into increasing the number on drivers "in". I actually think that twelve is about right. There wasn't a driver that didn't make it this year that you could say "hurt" the sport by not making it. The real excitement of the whole deal is the Race to the Chase. Another way to qualify, on some wild-card basis wouldn't be bad either. Thirteen would be an interesting number. Fan vote? Ugliest girlfriend vote? How about the top finishing single car team is in regardless of where they actually finish in the standings?


With that said, Charlie pondered: If the rumors turn out to be true, and Gillette-Evernham Motorsports buys Bill Davis Racing and becomes a Toyota team, is it a good thing for NASCAR and the sport?

See what we have to say over On Pit Row.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Truck Penalties Handed Out For the NH Skirmish

While at Loudon, a Hockey game broke out at the end of the Truck Series race!  It was fun to see some lively emotional reactions from NASCAR personnel. 

But of course, for every action, there is definitely a NASCAR sanctioning body reaction and penalties and fines have been handed out for the melee.

I have to tell ya, I have never seen penalties highlighted in a chart.  Heck, you might as well start using a flow chart at this rate.

It can start at the green flag, point to the checkered flag, then watch it branch out like a mutated family tree while the fight breaks out.

The fines, suspensions and probations are many...  so just sayin', it's almost funny, but for some, a fairly serious endeavor where they now have to play nice the rest of the season.

Check out the mess at NASCAR.

NASCAR TV: 9-20 to 21-08

TV Times for the upcoming weekend:

The Nationwide Series is at Dover: 3 p.m. ET Sat. on ESPN2
The Truck Series is at Las Vegas. 9 p.m. ET Sat. on SPEED
The Cup Series is at Dover 1 p.m. ET Sun. on ABC

See you at the "track".

Penske Looking To The Future - Again?

Penske Racing signed up Justin Allgaier for a few Nationwide Series events in 2008 and '09.

Allgaier hails from the ARCA Re/Max series and beyond that, he also has five national quarter midget championships and over 100 feature wins under his belt.

So now I wonder out-loud:  Is this the newest back up driver to stand in the wings for when the No. 12 car doesn't perform up to expectations ... again?  Just wondering.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Standings Shuffle After Loudon

Big changes for a few drivers in the standings today after the Sylvania 300 at Loudon.

Kyle Busch dropped to 8th, 74 points behind the leader, losing all his bonus win points advantage pretty quickly today after all his bad luck.

Greg Biffle moved up 6 spots to 3rd, 30 points behind the leader(s) after winning the race.

Leaders? Yep: Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards are tied for first in the standings for the moment while Matt Kenseth, after having a wreck, sits in 12th, 177 points behind the lead spots.

As it stands:
Carl Edwards,
Jimmie Johnson,
Greg Biffle,
Jeff Burton,
Denny Hamlin,
Tony Stewart,
Kyle Busch,
Clint Bowyer,
Kevin Harvick,
Jeff Gordon,
Matt Kenseth

Standings on NASCAR.

Meanwhile, Kasey Kahne retains 13th.

See the race my recap.

Sylvania 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire

Qualifying having been rained out, today's rain has subsided for now, and the field has been set by driver points.

Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards leads the field to the green flag start of the Sylvania 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire and by lap 5, Ewards takes the lead from Busch and pulls away.

Lap 10: 99, 07, 20, 18, 88, 24, 48, 31, 16 & 11

Lap 20: There's thought that Kyle Busch's car has issues... possible sway bar broken as the car rolls pretty badly. The LF is lifting way up in the corners compared to the other cars... dropping back spots every lap. While we're looking at this, the No. 20 Toyota moves into 2nd. The 18 team is waiting for the competition yellow at lap 35.

HOF racing car No. 96 with Joey Lagano was almost put a lap down just before the lap 35 competition yellow. Kyle Busch is 26th. The No. 18 car came into the pits while closed. They need the time to work on it. They change tires and he's away to do a circuit before getting more work done.

Lap 41 restart: 99, 20, 48 11 2

Kyle Busch will be down 2 laps due to a 1 lap penalty for running a lap and passing cars.. I think they said. The sway bar bolt was broken but he is still having problems.

Lap 55: 99, 48, 20, 2 & 11.

Lap 75: 48, 20, 2, 99, 88, 11, 07, 16, 31 & 9 lead the pack. The 18 car is 43rd, 2 laps down.

Lap 82: The 26, 6 and 18 cars have been in a wreck.

The 18 car spins coming out of turn 2, then the 6 and 26 got together and the 26 slid into the back of the 18 car.

Lap 89 restart: 48, 88, 99, 16 & 2 lead the field

Lap 110: 88, 48, 2, 16 & 11 lead the pack.

Lap 155: 88, 48, 16, 11, 2, 31, 99, 24, 07, 29 lead the pack as green flag pits start.

Lap 160: Tony Stewart speeding on pit road, drive through penalty.

Robby Gordon keeps pitting at an odd angle that blocks Jeff Gordon's exit from his pit that is right behind him.

Lap 214 Debris caution.

Lap 220 (80 to go) restart: 48, 11, 16, 99, 31, 88, 29 & 2 cars lead them to the green.

Is this the last pit stop for the day or setting us up for a gas mileage race?

The 78 car gets tapped by Regan Smith and wrecks on the front stretch. This puts Tony Stewart back on the lead lap in 21st place after his pit road speeding penalty!

Denny Hamlin is the ONLY one to pit. Tony Stewart pits for gas as he gets his lap back.

Restart with 73 to go: 48, 16, 99, 31 88.

Big wreck before the lap complets. Many cars collected.

The No. 77 goes below the limit line and makes it 5 wide... he slides up into the No. 45 car which then gets turned loose, hits 17 and they collect the 96, 38, 83 and 5 cars. The track is red flagged to get clean up done.

Observation: Joey Logano is 39th, 3 laps down. This answers the question if HOF has good equipment or not.

Restart with 66 to go: 48, 16, 99, 31 & 88.

The 88 is racing the 31 hard... down inside of the 31... they be rubbin' a bit but for the moment, the 31 car pulls away from him.

Kyle Busch is 36th now!

52 to go: Johnson held off Biffle and pulled away. 48, 16, 99, 31 & 88.
Stewart is up to 12th.

Caution with 35 to go: A.J. Allmendinger smacks the outside wall in the front stretch after coming up on the No. 00 car.

Restart with 30 to go: 48, 16, 99, 31 & 88 lead the pack.

At that last pit stop, a few folk pitted, including Tony Stewart.

Caution with 20 to go: No 6 car spins, launched by the No. 55 car. The racing was getting pretty intense throughout the field.

The 07 pits, he was having issues so nothing lost here.

Restart - 18 to go: 48, 16, 99 and big crash in turn 2 as the 7 and the 10 get together.

Restart - 13 to go: 48, 16, 99, 31 & 88. Should I go out on a limb and guess who's going to win this one?

Biffle gets under Johnson and takes the lead with 11 to go.

It looks like Biffle was saving something!

5 to go: 16, 48 & 99

3 to go: 16 & 48. Biffle cannot make a mistake. Johnson is a few car lengths back, but he ins't going anywhere.

Today, there was no bad luck for Greg Biffle as he wins the Sylvania 300.
He was followed across the line by
Jimmie Johnson(48), Carl Edwards(99), Jeff Burton(31), Dale Earnhardt Jr.(88),
Kurt Busch(2), Martin Truex Jr.(1), Tony Stewart(20), Denny Hamlin(11) and
Kevin Harvick(29) rounded out the top 10 finishers.

Congratulations to Greg Biffle, who held back, saving gas until those last 10 laps!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hornaday WIns The NASCAR Truck Melee

While Ron Hornaday Jr. overcame the adversity of the week regarding his health situations, he went on the win the Camping World 200 at Loudon.

He led Johnny Benson, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell and Rick Crawform across the start / finish line.

The fight for the win was the small event as the bigger event was the fight that erupted in the pits between David Starr and Todd Bodine's crew.


David Starr was the star of 3 different yellow flags, all for the same reason: Getting in on the low line and having his truck push up into the outside line, spinning the other truck. At least he's consistent.

The last driver this happened to was Todd Bodine with 7 laps to go. Bodine's crew came out to "chat" with Starr, and according to SPEED, they said Bodine's crew pulled Starr out of his truck, though I can't actually imagine that happening, and the replay included shows what looks like Starr getting out himself...

Todd Bodine stepped away from it all watched. He eventually got together with David Starr and they chatted. Bodine said he likes Starr, and he's a great guy, but when he gets a good truck, he doesn't know when to not push it. We saw that in the 3 cautions he caused. Todd Bodine conducted himself incredibly well. Kudos.

In the end, Starr was summoned to the principals office, or the NASCAR hauler.

Additional info over at NASCAR.com

Check out the NASCAR Videos below (Opens in new window)

Pit Crew "Chat"

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sigh - Qaulifying Canceled

Well, it is New Hampshire.

Qualifying was canceled due to rain and the grid has been set by the point standings.

This puts Kyle on the pole and Carl on the outside of the front row!

According to weather.com, 60% chance of showers for Sunday. Chance of showers. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.

nascar splash screen and garage cams.
Weather.com Loudon Link

Hornaday Not Penalized

NASCAR will not penalize Ron Hornaday for his admitted use of testosterone and human growth hormones.

NASCAR's medical experts said that the prescription Hornaday used did not enhance his performance or impede judgment.

The use was brought about by a health issue that Ron was having, but has since had it properly diagnosed.

This will be a tough weekend for Ron.  He's going to have to deal with reporters questions constantly and if he wins the NH race, you know it's probably going to come up.  Hopefully, once this weekend comes and goes, the media will let it go at that.


David Ragan Can Now Deliver the Mail!

It's being reported that UPS has signed up to sponsor David Ragan in the No. 6 Ford Fusion of Roush Fenway Racing.

David will be sporting the big brown colors starting in the 2009 season.  At the moment, UPS is a Michael Waltrip Racing sponsor.

So?  When will David drive the truck?  Come on.  You know he has to, right?


Rev' Jim Talks About the End of the Regular 2008 Season

Over on Rev' Jim's RantsnRaves, RevJim talks about the 2008 season so far, pre Cup Chase.

He touches on how the 2008 season ended with a great shootout.  Dodge's great start to the year...
Franchitti, Silly Season, wrap up to some rumors, the Allstate 400 (and the excitement of the 200 mini-dashes we saw), the No. 24 team and a few other details.

He put some good work into the post.  It's a nice read, you should go check it out as a decent recap of the season up until now!

2008 regular season had its share of excitement and disappointment


Is The Truck Series Tight in Turn 2?

No, not tight! Way loose apparently!!

I've been hearing this, that and the other thing about the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series so I thought I'd not only toss out my opinion, but ask Charlie Turner over on On Pit Row his take. I'm glad I did because we've got some interesting material here! Chime in if you're inclined. No sign ups required.

What is Up With the Truck Series? Is it's existence at the televised national level in jeopardy?
Bruce: Craftsman is headed out of there after being the series sponsor since 1995. No one is lined up to slide into their spot. Rumors abound about the possibility of Dodge pulling out of the Truck series, and after all is said and done, will it just be called the Truck series next year? Will it be around after next year? At least at the national exposure it's been accustomed to getting? I just don't know. From a business stand point, though this just may be some of the funnest racing NASCAR has, is it still worth it to the marketers? I hate to say it, but I'm thinking no.

Charlie: I spoke with someone on Tuesday night who I believe knows what's going on. He thinks the truck series is a goner. Not only is Sears-Craftsman gone, but a near deal with Lowes-Kobalt brand for the title sponsorship was mis-handled and they backed away. Now it looks as if Ford and Chevy will pull out as well. NASCAR may move to consolidate the strongest of the truck and Nationwide teams into the Nationwide Series, to better be able to weather the increased investments that will be needed with the new NNS version of the CoT. The loss of the trucks opens dates for NASCAR's new baby, the Grand Am Series too.

Wow ... awesome insight Charlie.. thanks.


Of course Charlie didn't let me slide and tossed out a pretty good question my way:

Did Jack Roush sell out Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray, by raiding their teams of talent, in order to help entice Biffle and Edwards to re-sign?

You can check out our conversation over at On Pit Row.

As always, thanks for coming by everyone!

Stewart and Zippadelli Are Buddy Buddy Once Again

Or not.

After the end of the Richmond race, Tony Stewart jut vomited blame all over Zipadelli and the crew of the No. 20 Toyota when he was pulling into the pits. His finger of blame was pointed straight at the team.

Yet TV replays don't seem to show any untoward lack of speed by his pit crew and he was snug tight 2nd coming out of the pits. His crew did a great job, Johnson's did a superb job.

What I saw at the end of that race was the 48 car running the high line, using less tire on the outside, and having the momentum of engine RPM to hold off Stewart.

Stewart on the other hand, had a superbly handing car through the low line, having tons of power to do it with (No magnets there I guess!) but getting beat by the momentum Johnson carried out of the corners. It was a fun match to watch.

After so many laps of running the inside line and using up his tires just a hair more than Johnson on every lap, there was nothing left of him. (One needs to turn the wheel just a tad more to maintain a lower line than the guy on the outside line.)

To me, the superior tactic won out in the long run and Tony maybe should have waited, followed Johnson for a period of time in that outside groove, biding his time until the last few laps and tried to take the line from Johnson. But no... instead, we call the wah-ambulance from inside the No. 20 seat and do what Tony does best. Rant and rave in his usual indignant form that says it should have been me, me, me.

Tony has said this in the past, and he's reiterated it in a press conference earlier this week: "You show me a guy who doesn't get frustrated once in a while and I'll show you a guy I can beat nine weeks out of 10 every year for the rest of my life.".

All the while, with Tony moving on to his own team next year, Zippadelli is staying with JGR so he can crew chief for Joey Logano. A smart move in my opinion. But one has to wonder if both are seeing the horizon and the end of their very long marriage.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Logano Starts At New Hampshire

If he qualifies (OK, now I'm being a comedian), Joey Logano will be making his NASCAR Cup debut at New Hampshire this weekend.

Here's where I get confused... He's racing for Hall of Fame, with The Home Depot on his hood.

Yea, there's a ton of faith in the driver when a major sponsor follows him! And you know he's in, no fears there.


Hornaday Used Testosterone

Ron Hornaday Jr. has admitted to using testosterone for a period of 13 months prior to the substance being put on NASCAR's banned list.

Hornaday said he received the drug in shipments from December 2004 to January 2006. On top of this, the substance came from an anti-aging center that is in the middle of a few other drug scandals with the NFL and MLB.

When he was first questioned on the issue, he said the stuff was for his wife, but then changed his tune and said it was used to treat a medical condition, that later, turned out to be a hyper-active thyroid.

Having never informed NASCAR of this use, they are going to be 'chatting' with him prior to the NH race. Oh man, I would hate to be in his squirming shoes.

As we all know, NASCAR does not have any mandatory drug testing policy, though a few drivers have called for it. I always wondered why the drivers would call for something that didn't seem needed, unless they knew things we didn't and were sending a message, or tired of the cheating from someone else's angle.

I can see someone using drugs to compete in this sport. Driving those cars is no picnic.
  • I can't imagine sitting in 110+ degree heat for 3+ hours.
  • I can't imagine losing 5-12 pounds in 3-4 hours, all of it sweat.
  • I can't imagine driving a car with no power steering and still be accurate in controlling it for 3-4 hours.
I ain't no slouch, and I've driven a cup car at speed and it was tiresome after just 10 laps. The G-forces were ridiculous in the corners and maneuvering this cars takes an incredible mix strength and stamina.

These guys make it look easy, but they have the conditioning. It is because of this that I completely understand the call for drug testing.

I've been a fan of Ron Hornaday Jr. since that big yellow car back at Saugus Speedway in Saugus CA, and you guys who know him, know what I'm talking about. At first I never liked the guy and how he drove... sneaky, dirty, fendery... (Fendery: Using one's fenders to make room) But then one day there was a terrible accident during a race, and that big 'ol yellow car screamed to a stop and Ron got out to go help the driver . He didn't even take the caution flag. It was since that moment that I was a fan of his.

Am I disappointed? I think so. Will I recover? Yep. How will Ron fare in the publics eyes after this stint? That's a good question. You have to know Ron to be able to forgive him, much like one tend to forgive friends for one or two transgressions before giving up on them entirely.


September 11th, Please, Remember

Take a moment and take pause from your busy day.
Remember those whom we lost on that tragic day in 2001.

The selfless heroes who charged into the carnage to help people,
The terrified victims in the towers who didn't know what, or why.
The selfless search and rescue folk who had to endure being the first one's to find what they found in the ensuing days.

The week afterwards, I was in the region.
The airports were empty.
Newspaper racks with old, irrelevant news from the 10th of September.
For the first time in my life I saw focused unity.
Flags everywhere.
Condolences everywhere.
And no matter where I went, someone, somewhere, had known someone involved.
I lost friends on the planes, so I wasn't alone.

So please, take a moment and remember everyone who was lost or involved.

And the next time you grumble about airport security, take a moment, and remember.

Is it an inconvenience to try and prevent similar mourning yet again?

Just a moment is all I ask.

This Weekend's New Hampshire TV Schedule

The Nationwide Series takes a break until the 20th when they show up at Dover, so we've got two shows to look after this weekend coming from NASCAR:

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Loudon | 2:30 p.m. Sat. | SPEED
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Loudon | 1 p.m. ET Sun. | ABC


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Field for the Sprint Cup Series Race Cup Chase

After Richmond, the field is set for the Chase for the Cup.

Here's a quick, terse list of who we have to follow for the last 10 races of the 2008 season:

No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 99 Ford of Carl Edwards, Roush Racing
No. 48 Chevy of Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports
No. 88 Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports
No. 07 Chevy of Clint Bowyer, Richard Childress Racing
No. 11 Toyota of Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 31 Chevy of Jeff Burton, Richard Childress Racing
No. 20 Toyota of Tony Stewart, Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle, Roush Racing
No. 24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports
No. 29 Chevy of Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing
No. 17 Ford of Matt Kenseth, Roush Racing

Basically, here's some observations from the Chase:
-We've got three a manufacturer fight for the championship. It's Chevy vs Ford vs Toyota.
-Apparent obvious no-show of a Dodge in the field.
-The only Toyota representation is from Joe Gibbs Racing.
-The four teams with 3 cars each, are (In no particular order)
Joe Gibbs Racing,
Roush Racing,
Hendrick Motorsports &
Richard Childress Racing (3 teams)

So who do we think is gonna pull off the seasonal win? We'll know in 10 races, but I'd love to hear some opinions.

Amy says Jimmie has nice hair, but go Carl! (A fervent fan who communicates often with me)

Chevy Rock and Roll 400 From Richmond - Jimmie Johnson Wins

The field is led to the green flag by Kyle Busch who got a strong start and takes the lead.

Lap 19: 18, 29, 88, 48, 24, 20, 99, 11, 31 & 17

There's a lap 35 competition yellow scheduled, but as we approach the 35th lap, Harvick caught Ky Busch and by lap 30, Harvick got on the outside of Busch and took the lead. Harvick is running a line around everyone else.

The 29 car is lapping cars and the 88 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr is on his bumper as the competition yellow comes out.

Lap 43 restart: 24, 29, 88, 11, 99, 20, 17, 18, 07 & 44. 2 laps later the 29 car took the lead back.

Lap 80: 11, 88, 29, 20, 07, 18, 24, 31, 48 & 6

Hamlin takes the lead forcing Harvick to go low, and Earnhardt takes advantage and passes Harvick and lets Hamlin know he's there with a bump thud going into turn 3. Hamlin rubs up into Jr going into the front stretch.

The telecast reported that NASCAR came over the radio to remind them to take it easy. Jeeze... quit playing big brother and let them race Helton or who ever is watch dogging the very same field you said you'd let police themselves.

Jr. did finally take the lead by the 88th lap. (He had it before that, but I thought it cool to report that the 88 car is leading on lap 88.)

Edwards had to pit with a RR tire going flat previous to this, so he's off the lead lap right now.

Lap 97: Johnny Sauter loses a RF tire. CAUTION is out.

Lap 102 restart: restart sees Dale Jr. lead Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and the rest of the pack to the green then the No 55 Toyota of Michael Waltrip got turned around on the restart by the No. 12 Dodge of Ryan Newman aaand we are back under caution!

Lap 109 restart: 88, 11, 29, 18, 17, 07, 20, 6, 31 & 48 cars lead the pack.

Bubble spotters: 11 (2nd), 07 (6th), 6 (8th), 24 (12th), 9 (26th). It's not looking good so far for the No. 9 Dodge of Kasey Kahne.

Lap 116 Caution for the No. 16 of Biffle hitting the wall... well, he slid it sideways up into the wall, tapping the RR corner of the car. The rest of the car seems fine.

Lap 120 (??)t: Kenseth and Ragan get together and slide up into the wall. Big for the two chasing the Cup Bubble. (??: I was distracted by my snacks!!!)

Ragan just lost it and slid up into the wall while Kenseth, though not near him, started sliding up into the wall with him. It looks like they both slipped on something. Kenseth echoed the premise of oil on the track. The No. 6 car does not look good, the 17 car looks worse.

This spot, going into turn 1, has taken it's toll on the Roush garage. It's the same spot Biffle spun out on.

Lap 128 restart: 88, 29, 11, 18, 07, 20, 48, 31, 24 & 1

Lap 135 sees Harvick take the lead back from Dale Jr.

Lap 160: Hitting the wall has not agreed with the No. 6 Ford of David Ragan or the No.17 of Matt Kenseth. The 17 is 32nd, the no. 6 is 33rd. Meanwhile, Kasey Kahne is running 18th.

Lap 163 Caution: The No. 42 and 19 cars spin... not together. The 42 got up into the wall, the No 19 has a flat RF tire.

Ragan just went a lap down and is the lucky dog. He's probably not feeling that lucky right now.

Kenseth isn't locked into the Chase, but for him to get booted out Kasey Kahne has to lead a lap and do really really well.

Lap 170 Restart: 88, 29, 18, 11 & 48 cars lead the pack. The No. 17 car is getting black flagged for loose sheet metal. (He stayed out and led a lap under caution.)

Lap 200 halfway mark:
18, 88, 11, 29, 20, 48, 07, 31, 24, 12, 2, 5, 16, 8 & 1 are the top 15 cars in the field.

As the field gets past the 1/2 way mark, the No 1 and 77 cars get together and spin away in a fine synchronized spinning demonstration.

Lap 209 restart: 18, 88, 20, 48 & 29 cars lead the pack to the green.

Lap 212 CAUTION: Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Busch get into each other and that sends Busch hard into the wall, HARD!!

Oh shades of last years race! LOL.... It did just look like hard racing as Jr was below Busch and Kyle came down on the 88 car and got himself spun out. Jr just converted a bunch of Shrub hatin' fans!!!

Is it coincidental that it was caution number 8? Or that the lap numbes added up, 2+1+2 equals 5. All the numbers add up to both drivers old car numbers! Freaky!! Sometimes I like destiny.

Now, does the Shrub come out to get even, or to keep the car going on the track? The back end looked pretty bad.

Lap 217 restart: 88, 20, 48, 29 & 11 cars lead the pack, and we see the 18 car get back onto the track as the cars take the green flag.

Lap 226 Caution with another flat RF for Sadler in the No. 19 Dodge.

Lap 233 restart: 88, 20, 48, 29 & 07. TV is reporting a vibration from the No. 88 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 236 Stewart takes the lead and Johnson follows suit and Jr goes to third.

Lap 242 Caution for Kyle Busch has a spin with the help of Elliot Sadler. Busch's day is not very optimal.

Lap 246 restart: 44, 8, 1, 55 & 00 lead the pack to the green. When many pitted, 14 cars stayed on the track. Check it out, Michael Waltrip Racing cars are all in the top 5! (OK, am I being mean?)

I was going to do a lap 250 rundown, but the pitting strategies of the 14 cars messed it up! As it stands,

44, 8, 1, 00, 55, 01, 41, 6, 43 & 11. That's a unique looking top 10.

Check this out: Cup Bubble Drivers on Lap 279 sees Ragan in 14th and Bowyer in 25th. The 17 ca is running 39th.

Lap 297 Cuation with the No 83 Toyota hitting the wall from a RF tire of Vickers. This is going to bring the field back together and it probably isn't going to look good for Reutimann in the No. 44 car.

Lap 305 Restart: 44, 20, 31, 88, 8, 1, 48, 11, 5 & 00

Caution With 86 to go: 21, 99 and 43 cars do the fender dance as the 43 car gets loose and his sideways slide collects the 21 and 99 cars with him. Nothing serious for damage. This yellow will put Kyle Busch back on the lead lap.

Restart with 80 laps to go: 44, 20, 88, 8 & 48.

Some replays showed Bowyer and Ragan playing hard. Bowyer rubbed up into the LR of Ragan, then Bowyer bumps a car up and out of the way. That car slides up into the No. 6 car of Ragan, forcing him back several spots. Clint! What are you doing? Oh yea, fighting for that 12th spot! Never mind!

With 53 to go, Stewart threatens Reutimann for the lead and with 52 to go, Stewart takes the lead. Johnson tries to follow suit.

With 50 to go: 20, 44, 48, 88, 8, 31, 11, 1, 29 & 5. There's some good racing going on here today.

Caution for the No. 66 car of Scott Riggs.

Restart with 37 to go: 1, 48, 20, 88, 31, 16, 44, 11, 2 & 8

Johnson goes for the lead and has it with 33 to go, followed by Stewart, putting that one car behind them.

Caution with the 15 car hitting the wall with 31 to go.

Restart with 26 to go: 48, 20, 88, 1 & 31

15 to go: 48, 20, 88, 11 & 31

10 to go: 20, 48, 11, 88 & 8

Great race between Stewart and Johnson. I think Stewart needs to get on the outside of Johnson, otherwise Johnson will have the momentum every time off of turn 4.

5 to go: 48 leads the 20. I think Stewart used up his tires fighting from the inside line.

3 to go: 48 leads the 20. Johnson is pulling away slowly.

The excitemet is done as Johnson is pulling away, inch by inch.

1 to go: 48 car clear by one.

At the Start finish line it's
48(Jimmie Johnson)
20(Tony Stewart)
11(Denny Hamlin)
88(Dale Earnhardt Jr.)
8(Mark Martin)
31(Jeff Burton)
29(Kevin Harvick)
24(Jeff Gordon)
44(David Reutimann)
2(Kurt Busch)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Richmond International Raceway Is Closed Until Sunday

NASCAR has closed Richmond International Raceway due to concerns from Tropical Storm Hanna.

They are rescheduling the Cup race to 1 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.

So it looks like we have Friday and Saturday nights for other things gang!

Read the rest of the article over at NASCAR

NASCAR Rescinds Probations

Wow, when will wonders cease? It's only one small deed, but everything starts with one small deed.

Remember the gas pedal / magnet debacle a bit ago with the Gibbs Nationwide cars, No 18 and 20?

NASCAR came down hard on everyone involved. When Gibbs appealed, they only appealed the probations of their drivers, Tony Stewart and Joey Logano.

It seems that the appeal was a well placed appeal and NASCAR has rescinded the probations of both drivers.

Good for them.



Gibbs Penalties Dished Out

The JGR Gas Pedal Magnet Craziness Continues

Magnets On The Pedals At JGR

And We Have A Crew Chief!

Stewart-Haas Racing has hired on Darian Grubb for a multi-year effort to be the crew chief for the No. 14 Chevy that will be driven by Tony Stewart in 2009.

Grubb hails from the Hendricks shop where he's worked his way up the ladder, even to the point of subbing for Chad when he was otherwise detained from participating in events during one of his suspension penalties.  (Did he have more than one or am I hallucinating?)

So Where did Grubb come from?

He graduated from Floyd County High School in 1993.
Attended Virginia Tech.
Earned a mechanical engineering degree.
Hired in to Volvo Trucks as a design engineer in 1998.
1998: USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, he guided Jeff Agnew to ' rookie of the year title and season champion.
Joined Petty Enterprises in 2000.
2003:  He joined Hendrick Motorsports as engineer for the No. 48 team
Promoted to lead engineer for the Nos. 24 and 48 teams in 2005.
2006:  Became Hendrick Motorsports' lead race engineer.
Now, we can add:  2009 Crew Chief for Stewart Haas and the No. 14 team.


1997 Dale Earnhardt Hood For Auction

Want a piece of a Daytona 500 raced car? How about a piece of a car that Dale Earnhardt drove? What about a piece of the car that Dale Earnhardt wrecked?

If you've done the math, you know I'm talking about the black Monte Carlo that Dale Earnhardt drove in the 1997 Daytona 500. The one he got back in and finished the race in when he realized the wheels were still on it!

After the race, the hood of the car was signed by Childress & McReynolds. The hood stayed in RCR until it ended up in the private collection Charles Ross, who's amassed a great deal of Earndardt stuff. Wha? Someone has more Sr. stuff than I do?

Now Ross is auctioning off the hood along with the rest of his 'stuff' from his collection.

He's using Go Motor Bids to do it and they will be auctioning off his collection, a piece at a time.

At the moment, the auction is up to $5750, but it's still got a week to go. I bet it gets up there a little bit more than that before this is all over.

Go check it out over at GoMotorBids and have some fun!

Image from GoMotorBids home page.

The 12 Car Gets Yet A New Driver

After a few years under the No 12 Penske banner, Ryan Newman is moving out of the car at the end of the year. After much speculation, Penske Racing finally decided upon it's driver for the 2009 and hired David Stremme to drive the No 12 car in '09.

Additionally, Alltell has just signed/ renewed a multiyear deal with Penske.

This is awesome for Stremme. After getting the boot from Ganassi racing due to sponsorship woes, he took a ride with Rusty Wallace racing in the Nationwide series and a job as a test driver for Penske racing.

David held out from some other Cup offers, looking for the right ride. For him, he's got it.

But the question in my mind is, will Penske Racing give the No. 12 car the focus it's been due for some time now? No one is ever gotten that car off the points ground, and it just seems to be on the back burner under the Penske roof while the No 2 car has the star or star potential. Is it a fluke or intentional hyper-focus?

Let's see what David can do.


Related posts
Keselowski Turns Down the No. 12
Stremme to the No. 12 Rumors


Tight in Turn Two: So Who's Gonna Make the Chase?

Here we are: Looking at Richmond for the determination of who's getting into the chase and who's not.

Richmond racing is fun enough, but the added complexity of that chase bubble makes it even more interesting to watch and analyze.

With that said, I have to wonder who will get in the Chase. And will Kyle be able to keep it together to win the Cup?

Being I don't like talking to myself... it makes me look funny, I thought I'd drag Charlie Turner of On Pit Row into the conversation and see what he thinks too!

Bruce: If we go on just plain old performance, I think Kasey Kahne can get himself back up into the chase field and Clint Bowyer will be on the outside looking in, right alongside David Ragan. Heck, they way Jeff Gordon's year is going, I would not be surprised to see him fall out of the top 12. (And then NASCAR can make it the top 14 next year!!)

But lady luck seems to have it's own idea of who she's looking at and with it being Richmond, dare I say David Ragan just might squeak in?

Positions 6th to 14th are all looking at each other. Kasey Kahne and David Ragan are going to spend the entirety of the race wondering who is going to break so they can surpass them into the chase.

In the end, it doesn't matter. Everyone will be chasing Kyle, Carl and Jimmie for the Cup.

Charlie from On Pit Row: Just a hunch, but I think Ragan will get in and Bowyer will slide out of the playoffs. Maybe Clint is distracted by his Nationwide Series championship battle. I don't know but I'll take the Roush-Fenway car over the RCR car there.

As for your champ - Jimmy Johnson makes it three in a row. Too much experience and he stomped everyone at these tracks in 2007. He'll win four races in the Chase.

Bruce: I don't normally blind side Charlie with a rebuttal, but I must say: I can't take another Jimmy Johnson Championship!!

I collect diecasts, and I have all but one diecast of NASCAR champions, all the way back to year one. I've already got two Number 48's in my display case... I want a different car this year!!!


Of course, Charlie asked me what I thought about the following:

Many, if not most, Dale Earnhardt Jr fans seem to be disappointed in Junior's season so far in 2008. Are they justified?

Check out what we had to say.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Franchitti to Indy Series

After a bit of a bumpy ride in NASCAR, Dario Franchitti is headed back to the IndyCar Series, racing for Chip Ganassi Racing.

It's good for Dario to get back behind the wheel of a car.

This came about when Dan Wheldon left Chip Ganassi Racing.

Initially, some theorists were focused on a statement Wheldon had made some time ago about pondering a career in NASCAR and it seemed a valid thought, but shortly after he parted ways with Ganassi, Wheldon signed a multiyear agreement with Panther Racing.

Good luck Dario. We'll miss Ashley Judd!!


NASCAR TV Schedule for Sept 5-6 2008

Hi all,

It's time to plot your TV couch time with NASCAR racing:


NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Gateway | 2 p.m. ET Sat. | SPEED
NASCAR Nationwide Series Richmond | 7:30 p.m. ET Fri. | ESPN2 (7PM Sunday)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Richmond | 7 p.m. ET Sat. | ABC (1PM Sunday)

Enjoy and see you at the races!

Standings and Chase Bubble Headed Into Richmond

Well, this is it. The last chance for a few folk to get their behinds in gear and get into the chase.

At least they'll be able to say they were in the chase, behind Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards!

With that said, take a look at the spread of points around 12th spot. No one from 6th on back can make any mistakes this weekend if they want to keep their spot where they're at.

Where as those guys in 13th and 14th need, David Ragan and Kasey Kahne both need to win the race and let luck lay where it may. As they say, do the Jeremy Mayfield.

The most obvious question: Can Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin keep it together to stay in the chase, for what it's worth?

1 -- Kyle Busch 3755 Leader 766
2 -- Carl Edwards 3547 -208 558
3 1 Jimmie Johnson 3386 -369 397
4 -1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3323 -432 334
5 -- Jeff Burton 3234 -521 245
6 1 Greg Biffle 3159 -596 170
7 1 Kevin Harvick 3132 -623 143
8 -2 Tony Stewart 3110 -645 121
9 1 Matt Kenseth 3081 -674 92
10 -1 Jeff Gordon 3074 -681 85
11 -- Denny Hamlin 3065 -690 76
12 -- Clint Bowyer 2989 -766 0
13 -- David Ragan 2972 -783 -17
14 -- Kasey Kahne 2941 -814 -48
15 1 Brian Vickers 2799 -956 -190
16 -1 Ryan Newman 2789 -966 -200
17 -- Martin Truex Jr. 2698 -1057 -291
18 -- Jamie McMurray 2583 -1172 -406
19 -- Kurt Busch 2488 -1267 -501
20 -- Elliott Sadler 2425 -1330 -564