Fast Friday At Talladega

May 5, 2012 by

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR comes to the fastest track on the circuit, Talladega Superspeedway. This is a 2.66 mile track and is so fast NASCAR had to put restrictor plates on the cars to curb the horsepower! This is to keep the speeds below 200 mph. At this track, they race in packs, three wide and ten deep. Truly a sight to behold. The NASCAR drivers, however, figured out that if they double up, with one car pushing another, they can go faster around the track and maneuver better in traffic than they could in a big pack. The fans that NASCAR listened to don’t like “tandem racing” and now NASCAR made it so they couldn’t double up for long periods of time without causing engine trouble. For some reason, crashing is more exciting than RACING.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practiced for the Aaron’s 499 Sunday race on Fast Friday. The NASCAR Nationwide Series was also on hand on Fast Friday for their practice for the Aaron’s 312 race on Saturday. Rain came on Thursday, washing out those practice sessions. As a result qualifying for the Nationwide race was canceled. They will line up according to owner points for the race on Saturday, with Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. starting on the front row.

To this NASCAR race fan’s delight the ARCA race was shown on television. There were many cautions with multiple cars crashing for those NASCAR race fans who think racing is boring unless there are a number of multi-car crashes. There was even a Red Flag for cleanup. And some spectacular crashing. But the finish was great. Matt Lofton and Chad Hackenbracht led most of the laps. At the end Lofton was leading with Brandon McReynalds and Hackenbracht right behind. In the final turn Hackenbracht pushed McReynalds to the lead to win. Hackenbracht was not able to get past Lofton and had to settle for third, where he was anyway. But this NASCAR race fan found the finish quite exciting.

Saturday will see Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race with Aric Almirola rolling out last. He was fastest in both practice sessions on Fast Friday. Saturday afternoon will be the Aaron’s 312 Nationwide race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.

 

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NASCAR Race Review: Capital City 400

April 29, 2012 by

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced their ninth race of the season, The Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers at the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. RIR is a beautiful .75 mile D-shaped oval track with room to race. Races at RIR are always at night. A reason some always go but also a reason some stay away. This NASCAR race fan prefers Sunday afternoon at the races so I can go to my local race track on Saturday night. And have less congestion coming out of the track after the race.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Friday late afternoon. 55 Mark Martin captured the Pole with a speed of 128.327 mph and 21.040 seconds around the track. His first Pole was at this track 30 years ago! 99 Carl Edwards starts second with a time of 21.046. That’s .006 seconds less! 18 Kyle Busch is going for his fourth consecutive Spring race win here.

So, here we go! 55 Mark Martin takes off and 29 Kevin Harvick takes second from 99 Carl Edwards. 99 gets back by 29 and takes the lead from 55. 29, 11 Denny Hamlin and 18 Kyle Busch get by 55. A competition Caution comes out on Lap 50, as there was rain earlier in the day. 93 Travis Kvapil stays out to lead before making his pit stop.

99 leads at the restart. 43 Aric Almirola gets into 24 Jeff Gordon, who gets into 51 Kurt Busch. 24 and 51 slow down as both have a tire rub. 24 pits while 51 continues. No caution. 5 Kasey Kahne gets by 55. 2 Brad Keselowski gets by 55. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drives under 9 Marcos Ambrose. 48 Jimmie Johnson drives under 9. (Ambrose has a hurt back and Trevor Bayne is on hand if there needs to be a change in driver.) 18 gets by 22 A. J. Allmendinger for fourth. 14 Tony Stewart dives under 5 for sixth. 14 gets by 18 for fourth. 48 gets by 22 for sixth.

The second caution comes out on Lap 116 for spinning 51. There is no Lucky Dog, as 51 was the first car a lap down. 99 and 11 come out of the pits first. 27 Paul Menard had a tire get away. 18 and 29 race side by side for third, letting 14 catch up to them. 18 takes third. 39 Ryan Newman gets by 17 Matt Kenseth. 14 gets by 18 for second. (The driver leading the most laps does not normally win the race.) 14 catches and passes 99 for the lead. And Green Flag Pitting begins. 88 gets blocked in his pit by 33 Stephan Leicht and has to back up to get out. 18 pits out of his stall and has to back up to be serviced. 29 leads. 36 Dave Blaney and leader 29 get together. 99 and 29 race for the lead and 99 takes the lead.

The third caution comes out for debris on Lap 227. 16 Greg Biffle stays on the lead lap and 83 Landon Cassill gets his lap back. 99 and 48 restart up front. 99 takes off. 14 gets by 48 for second, leaving 48 on top and not moving forward. 22 and 48 race side by side and 48 gets by. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya gets by 5. 14 catches leader 99 and they race side by side for the lead. 14 takes the lead. 18 and 48 get by 99. 18 and 14 race for the lead and 18 takes the lead from 14. 48 gets by 14 for second. 29 gets sideways and comes to pit road, starting another round of Green Flag Pitting. 14 leads after the pitting. 31 Jeff Burton gets into the wall. 99 misses pit road.

The fourth caution comes out when 31 gets into the wall. 48 is pitting as caution comes out and has a tire issue, trying to beat the leader to the line. The tire was rolled back instead of a crew member rolling it back. 99 has not pitted yet. 10 cars take the wave around. 18 Kyle Busch gets his lap back.

Now, the restart is what really gets downright stupid. 14 is leading, with 99 on top beside him. Carl goes back and forth on the track, as they all do to clean the tires, manages to get slightly ahead of 14 and the pylon puts him in the lead! Now, everyone knows there is no passing under caution. Carl is told he is the leader. Tony says he is the leader. Carl decides   he has the disadvantage of being on top and takes off before the restart line. 14 holds back and 99 gets the Black Flag for jumping the restart! If there was a question as to who was in the lead, the restart should have been put off for another lap to sort things out. They should have had the restart over with everyone knowing who was leading. Instead 99 was Black Flagged and sent to the rear after leading the most laps. And the race continues.

14 leads. 5 drives under 22. 5 gets by 88 for third. 48 and 22 get too close as 48 gets by. 55 gets by 22. 48 (who had to restart in the rear because of the tire issue)gets by 11 for sixth. 99 fights to stay on the lead lap but goes down a lap. 14 leading gets sideways. The fifth caution comes out for debris. (It turns out it was a water bottle and not in the racing groove, but NASCAR is determined to make racing more exciting, so they throw the caution so there will be another exciting restart.) 99 Carl Edwards gets back onto the lead lap.

The race restarts with nine laps to go. 14 spins his tires and 18 takes the lead. 88 and 14 race for second and 88 gets by. 88 has no brakes and cannot catch leader 18. 18 Kyle Busch wins the Capital City 400, his 24th career win and his fourth consecutive Spring race win at Richmond International Raceway. This is his first win this year. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finishes second, followed by 14 Tony Stewart, 11 Denny Hamlin, 5 Kasey Kahne, 48 Jimmie Johnson, 15 Clint Bowyer, 55 Mark Martin, 2 Brad Keselowski and 99 Carl Edwards for the top ten. There were six different leaders, 99 leading the most.

In Championship Points, Greg Biffle stays on top, 5 ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who moved up two spots with his second place finish. Denny Hamlin also moves up two spots into third. Matt Kenseth falls a spot to fourth. Martin Truex, Jr. falls three spots to fifth. Jimmie Johnson moves up one position to sixth while Kevin Harvick falls back a spot to seventh. Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman round out the top ten in points.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.

Fast Friday In Richmond

April 28, 2012 by

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series are in Richmond, VA. at Richmond International Raceway. Fast Friday saw practice for the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers Sprint Cup race to be raced on Saturday night. As well as practice for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide race. Mark Martin was fastest in Sprint Cup practice and will come out last for Coors Light Pole Qualifying.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place for both Series’ on Fast Friday. Mark Martin came out last and knocked Carl Edwards off the Pole position with a speed of 128.327 mph and 21.040 seconds around this .75 mile D-shaped oval. On the Nationwide side, Kevin Harvick captured the Pole with a speed of 124.625 mph and 21.665 second around the track.

The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide race also was run on Fast Friday. Herewith a short NASCAR race review. 33 Kevin Harvick started on the Pole with 18 Denny Hamlin next to him on the front row. 18 and 33 raced for the lead, with 18 leading the first lap by inches. 33 then took over and pulled away.

The first caution came out for debris. 33 and 18 again raced for the lead at the restart with 33 sliding in front of 18. 54 Kurt Busch drove under 18 for second with a hot engine. The second caution came out when 17 J. J. Yeley blew a tire and headed straight into the wall. 54 and 33 race for the lead and 54 takes the lead. They race again for the lead and 33 takes the lead.

The third caution was for 81 Jason Bowles spinning out after contact with 23 Robert Richardson. 18 misses his pit and restarts in the rear. 23 and 7 Danica Patrick get together and 23 gets a tire rub. 2 Elliott Sadler and 3 Austin Dillon get together.

54 is catching leader 33. 31 Justin Allgaier smokes the tires getting onto pit road to start Green Flag Pitting. 88 Cole Whitt misses pit entrance. 20 Joey Logano leads, but hasn’t made his pit stop.Everyone is driving by him, so he finally pits. 18 gets by 33 for second and is catching the leader, 54. The White Flag comes out and 18 and 54 race side by side for the win. They come to the Finish Line side by side, into each other. 54 is ahead at the Line and wins the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.

This Nationwide race was all about the Sprint Cup drivers in the race. Watching it on television, the announcers barely mentioned Nationwide drivers. Kevin Harvick led the most laps. Denny Hamlin had to race through the field after missing his pit stall. And Kurt Busch wins the race for his brother and Kyle Busch Motorsports, his first win as an owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

18 Denny Hamlin finished second followed by 33 Kevin Harvick, 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 12 Sam Hornish, Jr., 2 Elliott Sadler, 36 Ryan Blaney (he was really fast all night), 43 Michale Annett, 3 Austin Dillon and 38 Kasey Kahne for the top ten.

Elliott Sadler stays in the lead in points with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. only two points behind. Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish, Jr., Michael Annett and Cole Whitt stay in third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Justin Allgaier moves up two into seventh. Tayler Malsam stays in eighth, while Trevor Bayne (who does not have sponsorship! and didn’t race) falls two positions to ninth. Mike Bliss rounds out the top ten in points.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.

NASCAR Racing At Richmond

April 27, 2012 by

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week NASCAR is in Richmond, VA. at Richmond International Raceway. RIR is a .75 mile D-shaped oval track. For this NASCAR race fan, this is the perfect track. A short track with lots of room to pass and almost a complete oval. NASCAR racing here is always at night. For this NASCAR race fan, that means a short weekend.

This time NASCAR race fans were treated to racing on Thursday night. The K&N Pro Series, East were racing on Thursday night. And what a great race that was! One hundred laps, with a break at halfway. But they cannot change tires. So if you spin out or get into someone, you have to live with the tires. In the end, it was a three way race for the win. Brett Moffatt led most of the race but had to get it back in the end. And did, with Chase Elliott and his smoking tires challenging for the win.

NASCAR race fans were also treated to the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on Thursday night. Several NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers were on hand for this race. Denny had a short night, getting caught up in the first caution. The race was fun to watch, with Tony Stewart winning. Proceeds benefited the Denny Hamlin Foundation.

Fast Friday will start for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series with practice sessions and Coors Light Pole Qualifying. Sprint Cup will be racing the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for lovers on Saturday night. Nationwide will be racing the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Friday night. Vivid Seats has NASCAR tickets, as well as tickets for most Sporting events.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.

NASCAR Race Review: STP 400

April 23, 2012 by

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Kansas Speedway for the STP 400. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Saturday morning. A. J. Allmendinger captured the Pole with a speed of 175.993 mph and 30.483 seconds around this 1.5 mile D-shaped oval, his second career Pole. The track will be repaved after the race.

43 Aric Almirola is sporting the STP retro colors on his car for this race. Tim Andrews, Jeff Green and Tony Raines failed to qualify for the race. No Pole sitter has won a race this year. Joey Logano qualified third for this race, but had to change the engine, so will be starting the race last.

So, here we go! 22 A. J. Allmendinger leads from the Pole. 29 Kevin Harvick wiggles and slows everyone else up. 11 Denny Hamlin and 29 race for second. 29 keeps second. 17 Matt Kenseth and 39 Ryan Newman race for position. 51 Kurt Busch and 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. race side by side. 24 Jeff Gordon drives under 31 Jeff Burton and they almost touch. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. drives around 11 for third. 56 is closing in on the leaders, 22 and 29. 99 Carl Edwards gets by 31. 55 Mark Martin and 48 Jimmie Johnson race side by side and 55 closes the door on 48. 48 drives under 55 and this time gets by. 56 drives under 29 for second.

22 and 56 race for the lead and Green Flag Pitting begins. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. misses the entrance to pit road. 99 leads, then pits. 56 is in the lead after the pitting. 15 Clint Bowyer is slow on the track and thinks it’s the engine. 22 was out of fuel and stays in the pits to make sure it is full this time.

The first caution comes out when 15 spins trying to get to pit road. He heads for the garage. 10 David Reutimann gets back onto the lead lap.Twelve drivers stay out, while the back of the pack pit. At the restart, they are bunched up all together. 18 Kyle Busch gets into 16 Greg Biffle. 83 Landon Cassill goes to the apron as they are already three wide. 11, 2 Brad Keselowski and 48 race three wide. 11 pulls ahead and 48 gets by 2. 48 drives under 11 for fourth. 16 drives under 39. 56 is leading and pulls away. 29 and 5 Kasey Kahne race for second. 15 is out on the track racing on seven cylinders.

29 is short on fuel and starts another round of Green Flag Pitting. 5 is out of fuel. 48 leads. 48 pits and 17 Matt Kenseth leads. 43 misses his pit stall. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya leads. 48 has to take the time to get a lug nut on. After the pitting, 56 is back in the lead. 11 and 17 race for second and 17 gets by. 48 and 88 race for fourth and 48 gets by. 18 is sideways. 51 drives under 2.

The second caution comes out for debris as 1 Jamie McMurray completes his pit stop. The leaders all pit.  22 is in the pits with the hood up. 47 Bobby Labonte is having engine problems. 15 blows up and heads for the garage. 27 Paul Menard gets his lap back. At the restart 17 doesn’t get going. 18 and 29 race for position. 18 slides in front of 29. 48 gets by 11, into second. 48 catches leader 56. 56 and 48 race for the lead.

51 pits, starting another round of Green Flag Pitting. 56 and 48 pit together and 2 leads. 10 stalls on pit road. 2 misses pit road entrance. He was going too fast to turn in. 56 and 48 are up front after it all. The third caution comes out when 42 hits a strip on the track (which is why they will repave after the race) and wiggles into the wall. 48 pits while the first seven stay out.

They restart with 75 laps to go and 56 takes off. 29 gets by 18. 39 makes another pit stop. He took two tires and the car is chattering, so he comes in for four tires. 55 Mark Martin drives under 18. 24 gets by 18. 24 gets by 29. 29 and 18 race side by side but 18 cannot get by. 48 gets by 17 for third. 5 gets by 18.

Another round of Green Flag Pitting starts and 14 Tony Stewart leads. 42 leads, then pits. 12 stays out, leading while 56 and 11 race for what will be the lead when 12 pits. 39 drives by 12 to get his lap back. 12 finally  pits and 56 leads. 11 is catching 56 who does not like these last set of tires. 11 and 56 race for the lead. 11 drives under 56 for the lead. 56 dives under 11, but can’t get by.24 looses a cylinder and with 28 laps to go, he pits. 5 gets by 18. 18 gets by 99 for ninth.

56 dives to the bottom again to battle for the lead, but cannot make the pass. 11 Denny Hamlin wins the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, his second win this year and nineteenth of his career. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. led the most laps and finishes second. 48 Jimmie Johnson comes in third, followed by 17 Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, 29 Kevin Harvick, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 5 Kasey Kahne, 99 Carl Edwards and 18 Kyle Busch for the top ten. There were nine different leaders in the race.

Greg Biffle remains on top of the points by 12 over Martin Truex, Jr. who moved up two with this win. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. each fall one spot to third and fourth. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick trade fifth and sixth. Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart trade seventh and eighth. Carl Edwards moves up two spots into ninth, while Ryan Newman falls a position to tenth.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.