Posts Tagged ‘Coca Cola 600’

NASCAR 2011 Year In Review

December 29, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. 36 points races and some non-points races for 2011 has come to an end. There were 18 different winners this year, five of them were first time winners.

The very first race, the Daytona 500, was quite a surprise. The drivers all raced two by two! They found out that they could go faster if they paired up, instead of driving in a big pack. This gave the fans many lead changes. However many fans liked the pack racing, rather than the couple racing. In any event, when it came down to the final restart, 6 David Ragan had been leading with 21 Trevor Bayne pushing.They found themselves side by side for the restart. The plan was for 6 to go down in front of 21 and continue onto the win. NASCAR has a rule that you may not change lanes on a restart until after you cross the Start/Finish Line. 6 moved over in front of 21 too soon and was Black Flagged and moved to the rear. This put Bayne, a Rookie, in the lead and he went on to win the Daytona 500! In only his third Cup start. He was driving for the Woods Brothers, who have been in NASCAR since almost forever. The Cinderella story of the year.

Next came the Subway Fresh Fit 500(K) race at Phoenix International Raceway. 24 Jeff Gordon won his first race of 2011 and his 83rd career win. Then on to Las Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400, where Carl Edwards won his 19th career win. Next up was Bristol, Tn. for the Jeff Byrd 500 and Kyle Busch’s 20th win in Sprint Cup. At Auto Club Speedway and the Auto Club 500, Kevin Harvick managed to come up from behind to lead the last lap and win his 15th race. He followed that up with a win the following week at Martinsville in the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. In the Saturday night race at Texas, the Samsung Mobil 500, Matt Kenseth captured his first win of the season.

Next was another restrictor-plate race at Talladega, with the drivers pairing up once again in the Aaron’s 499 . The finish was wonderful with three drivers inches away from each other at the finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pushed Jimmie Johnson to the win on the bottom of the track while two other pairs raced for the win. Jr. finished fourth. In Richmond, Matthew and Daniel Hanson, Military people were honored in the 400 lap race, with Kyle Busch winning his second race of the year. Next up was the Southern 500 at Darlington. The Lady in Black was not too tough for Regan Smith to tame and he won his first Sprint Cup race.

Next up was Dover, the race I always attend, the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks where Matt Kenseth won his second race of the year. In Charlotte, for the longest race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600, Kevin Harvick won his third race, getting it done, once again, in the closing laps. The media dubbed him “the Closer”. On to Kansas, for the STP 400 where Brad fKeselowski wins his second career race and the first of 2011. Jeff Gordon wins his 84th career race at Pocono, tying him for third all time in wins with Bobby Allison and Darryl Waltrip in the -Hour Energy 500. Denny Hamlin wins his first race this year in Michigan in the Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 race after winning 8 last year, the most in 2010. Kurt Busch wins the road race at Infineon in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, his first win of the year.

Back to Daytona and “tandem racing, Matt Kenseth pushes David Ragan to the win, his first career Sprint Cup win. The inaugural race at Kentucky was much of a disaster, with many fans unable to get to the track for it’s first Cup race. Kentucky was host to Camping World Trucks and Nationwide races and Kyle Busch wins the Quaker State 400 with all his experience in the Minor Leagues, his third win. Then onto New Hampshire for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 where Ryan Newman wins from starting on the pole. Paul Menard wins his first Cup race at Indianapolis in the Brickyard 400. Back to Pocono, Brad Keselowski breaks his ankle while testing at Road America and wins the Good Sam’s RV Insurance 500! On to Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose wins the road course race, his first Sprint Cup win. Back to Michigan and the Pure Michigan 400, Kyle Busch wins his fourth of the year.

In the Irwin Tools Night Race 500 at Bristol, Brad wins again with his broken ankle, making him in contention for the Wild Card to get into the chase. In Atlanta, Jeff Gordon wins the Advo Care 500, giving him third place overall in wins by himself. Back to Richmond for the final race to set the chase, Kevin Harvick wins his fourth race in the Wonderful Pistachios 400. This puts him tied with Kyle Busch in first place heading into the chase.

Tony Stewart, winless in the regular season, wins the first two races in the chase, the Geico 400 in Chicago, the new addition to the chase, and the Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire. Kurt Busch wins the AAA 400 at Dover. Kansas gets a second race this year and Jimmie Johnson wins only his second race of the year in the Hollywood Casino 400. Matt Kenseth wins the Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte, the only night race in the chase. More couples racing at Talladega in the Good Sam’s Club 500, with Clint Bowyer pushing Jeff Burton and then leaving him to win the race. Tony Stewart wins the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville, rain shortened. He backed up the win with another win in the AAA Texas 500, his fourth win in the chase. Kasey Kahne finally gets a win while racing for Red Bull before going to Hendrick in 2012, the Kobalt Tools 500(K) in Phoenix. As they head to the final race in Homestead-Miami, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart are tied for the lead in points. Tony wins the Ford 400 after many times being forced to the rear. The two end up tied in points with Carl finishing second and Tony wins the championship with his five chase wins. He won five out of ten races!

While Tony was busy winning in the chase, the Busch brothers were busy having meltdowns. Kyle, thinking he should be the only Truck driver allowed to win in the Camping World Truck Series, ran championship contender, Ron Hornaday, up the track and into the wall during the caution where Ron got loose and got into Kyle. The both could have gone to pit road for repairs and both could have been in contention by the end of the race to win, but Kyle decided payback was the answer. He was parked for the rest of that race and the Nationwide and Cup races at Texas. It is my opinion that he always melts down by the end of the year, but this was worse than most years. Meanwhile, his brother Kurt was annoyed at everyone and everything in the final race in Homestead after transmission trouble early in the race, gave the finger to the car that held the First Lady and swore at the media while they were attempting to interview him. Kurt was fired. Kyle sat out the races in Texas and M&M’s pulled their sponsorship for the last two races. I have heard the NFL players have meltdowns as well. Read more here.

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

NASCAR Race Review: The Coca Cola 600

May 30, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The twelfth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Coca Cola 600 held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The longest race of the year is 400 laps around this 1.5 mile track for 600 miles. The race starts in daylight and continues on into the night and is a real test of endurance. Held on Memorial Day Weekend, many cars have paint schemes to honor our Armed Forces. The #1 car of Jamie McMurray honors his home town of Joplin, MO that was hit heavily by tornadoes.

Sitting on the pole is 2 Brad Keselowski with a speed of 192.089 mph and 28.112 seconds. 43 A. J. Allmendinger starts next to him on the front row. 2 leads from the pole. 21 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., filling in for Trevor Bayne, scrapes the wall. 11 Denny Hamlin drives under 00 David Reutimann for fifth. 60 Mike Skinner hits the wall in his back-up car and heads for the garage. 99 Carl Edwards takes the lead. 43 and 2 battle for second and 43 takes it. 16 Greg Biffle is having cool box issues. (He will be mighty hot in that car if the problem is not solved.)

31 Jeff Burton gets by 2 for third. Green Flag Pitting starts on lap 43. 16 is caught speeding. 43 leads after all the pitting. 99 takes the lead. 17 Matt Kenseth has a vibration. The first caution is for debris. 31 takes two tires to lead the way. 47 Bobby Labonte is too fast exiting. 11 drives under 99 for second and then takes the lead. Two tires didn’t work very well and 31 falls back.

The second caution comes out during the commercial when 47 gets sideways. 16 Greg Biffle gets back onto the lead lap. 17 takes the lead and runs away. 00 is extremely tight and makes a pit stop, starting another round of Green Flag Pitting. 17 is back in the lead after the pitting. 22 Kurt Busch has a loose right rear tire, pits and goes almost two laps down.

The third caution comes out on lap 172 for a beverage can on the track. 78 Regan Smith gets his lap back. 9 Marcos Ambrose leads and 1 takes the lead away. 1 and 17 battle side by side for the lead and 17 takes it. 1 blows up and the fourth caution comes out on lap 182. 16 pits before pit road is open to fix his cooling issues. 33 Clint Bowyer has the hood up to make a camber adjustment. 09 Landon Cassill and 13 Casey Mears get together at the restart and the fifth caution comes out for 13 leaving debris on the track. 20 Joey Logano gets his lap back.

9 and 17 battle for the lead and 17 runs away again. 29 Kevin Harvick starts another round of Green Flag Pitting. 11 leads when 17 pits. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. leads. 78 missed a lug nut and has to come back in. 16 leads. 14 Tony Stewart leads. The sixth caution comes out when 32 Mike Bliss runs out of fuel and gets stuck on the track. 22 is leading, having not pitted yet. Fifteen drivers get waved around. 16 gets his lap back.

The seventh caution comes out for spinning 27 Paul Menard. 83 Brian Vickers and 56 Martin Truex, Jr. get together and 56 gets turned. 34 David Gilliland gets back onto the lead lap. 18 Kyle Busch takes the lead. 9 starts another round of Green Flag Pitting with 124 laps to go. 17 leads. 4 Kasey Kahne leads, then pits. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya leads. The eighth caution comes out before the pitting is complete for 34 with 24 Jeff Gordon leading and 5 Mark Martin and 20 still on the track. 99 Carl Edwards gets back onto the lead lap.

The ninth caution comes out when 95 David Starr is going too slow and 4 bumps him into the wall. 18 leads and 17 gets by 9 for second. 48 Jimmie Johnson and 88 race side by side for position. The tenth caution comes out when 09 slides into the grass, gets airborne and smashes the front end into the grass. 11 comes in to replace the carburetor. The Green Flag comes out with 99 laps to go.

The eleventh caution comes out when 5 and 34 get together into the wall and 39 Ryan Newman has nowhere to go, getting his right side on top of 34. 5 and 34 are stuck together! 24 and 4 stay out, 99 makes it three wide. 20 gets loose and brushes the wall. 21 gets into the wall for the third time. The twelfth caution comes out when 18 gets sideways through the grass. 4 stays out to lead. 29 is second. 29 and 4 battle for the lead. 88 slides in front of 16 for third. 9 makes a pit stop with a bad vibration.

The thirteenth caution comes out for spinning 18. This time he takes himself out. (He’s such a great wheel man, don’t you think?) 9 Ambrose gets his lap back. 48 leaves his pit with an adjustment wrench still attached and has to come back in. 13 led a lap before pitting. 9 is caught speeding. 24 and 16 battle for the lead and 16 takes the lead. 4 drives around 24 for second. 6 David Ragan catches and passes 24 for third. 88 gets by 24 for fourth. 11 gets by 24 for fifth. 17 drives around 24 for sixth. (And FOX shows commercials side by side with racing.) 17 finally gets by 11 for fifth and then by 6 for fourth. 4 catches leader 16. 17 has to pit for a splash of fuel with seven laps to go.

The fourteenth caution comes out when 48 blows the engine. 17 Kenseth gets back onto the lead lap. The restart is the first attempt at a Green, White Checker finish. 16 pits for fuel. There is much mayhem at the restart with 31 spinning. But they go on and there is no caution. 88 takes the lead. On the final turn 88 runs out of fuel and 29 Kevin Harvick wins the Coca Cola 600! Another “where did he come from?” finish, his third this year. There were thirty-eight lead changes among eighteen different drivers. In this case it was the Coca Cola 603, going two extra laps. Harvick moves up three spots in points to second.

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


NASCAR News: Charlotte Motor Speedway

May 27, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600, the longest race of the season. Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne is pretty much healthy again, but they are keeping him sidelined again for this weekend to make sure he will be 100% for the rest of the season. In the #21 car this race will be NASCAR Nationwide driver and team mate, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. who won the Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway. Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth will drive his #16 Nationwide car for the Top Gear 300 Nationwide race.

Red Bull had the fans enter photos in a “get your face in a race” contest and these thousands of photos are on the Red Bull cars of 4 Kasey Kahne and 83 Brian Vickers. The photos are very small to fit thousands of them and makes the cars look like camo! Pretty cool.

Thursday held much activity at the track with practice for both Series’. Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Coca Cola 600 also took place. Qualifying is the slowest of the top 35 in owner points qualifying first. 31 Jeff Burton was fastest in practice and came out last. Those not in the top 35 in owner points then came out slowest to fastest in practice. (I think NASCAR should look into this since they changed the order coming onto the track. Fastest is fastest and slowest is slowest, after all. They no longer need two qualifying sessions.)

There were many provisional pole sitters as a result. 2 Brad Keselowski captured the pole with a speed of 192.09 mph and 28.112 seconds. Starting next to him on the front row is 43 A. J. Allmendinger. 71 Andy Lally caused much excitement when he spun out on his second lap and made a great save barely touching the wall! He will not be racing in the Coca Cola 600, however. He and 81 Scott Riggs, 50 T. J. Bell, 37 Tony Raines and 77 Scott Wimmer all failed to qualify for the race.

Nationwide qualifying will be on Saturday, as will be their race. Nothing seems to be happening on the track on Friday. I’ll try to keep you updated.

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

NASCAR News And A Fan Rant

May 26, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog.The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600, the longest race of the year. Also in Charlotte is the NASCAR Nationwide Series for their Top Gear 300 race. Jason Leffler right now is fastest in practice. Probably the Cup drivers aren’t really trying yet. Certainly they are faster than Nationwide drivers.

In the news this week, Sprint Cup driver, Kyle Busch was caught speeding just outside of Charlotte. What’s the big deal about a race car driver speeding? Well, he was caught doing 128 mph on a two lane rural area in the middle of the afternoon. With a school on that street. The speed limit in that area is 45 mph. Can you imagine if you or I were going that fast on that kind of a street? They’d throw us in jail and take away our license. But Kyle is the media darling and they think it was just a child hood mistake. He’s sorry he was going that fast.

And NASCAR is letting him race in both races this weekend. The whole thing is being swept under the carpet because he is just a kid and made a mistake. Kyle is 26 years old. Kids are still in school. He is not a kid, although he sure acts like one. The media loves him because he gets into races in the top three NASCAR Series’ and beats the Truck drivers who never did anything in Cup. And the Rookies. And a few other Cup drivers. He’s touted as being able to get into anything and win.

My take? He can beat the little guys. Big deal. Any Cup driver can do that. I’m tired of hearing how great he is because he can beat everyone in the Minor Leagues. He’s an idiot and drives like one. No respect for anyone or anything. Is that what NASCAR needs? NASCAR to me is RACING. Wonderful, beautiful racing. Not idiots ramming into each other to win races.You move up to the Big Leagues, you start acting like a man. And don’t insist on beating the little guys to prove how great a driver you are. Kyle is not above the law because he can drive a race car. But the media thinks he should be. He said he was sorry. He’ll never do it again. Good enough for him to keep on racing. And we fans get to watch him and hear the media sing his praises. He is, after all, the best ever Nationwide driver. Oh, wait. He is a Sprint Cup driver. Perhaps the media should pick another driver to praise. Someone with Cup championships. If Kyle can win in anything he gets into, personally, I’d like to see how he does in one of the “start and park” cars. Put him in great equipment and he wins. I’d like to see how he does in not great equipment. Keep in mind, Kyle had a season high in Sprint Cup of eight wins. In 2008. Didn’t come close before or since. A better indication of being a great driver would be winning in the top Series. The Sprint Cup Series. Jimmie Johnson has proven you don’t have to drive like an idiot to win races and Championships. He has more than 50 wins and five Championships in a row. He beats the Big Boys, not the ones who never made it big in Cup.

Thank you for listening. Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR Racing: Charlotte Motor Speedway

May 30, 2010

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The Memorial Day weekend takes place in NASCAR’s home town of Charlotte, NC. Coors Light pole qualifying took place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Thursday. 39 Ryan Newman starts on the pole with a speed of 187.546 2 Kurt Busch, winner of the $Million last week in the All-Star race, is on the front row with Ryan. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 9 Kasey Kahne also had speeds in the 187’s. There were two practice sessions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday.

Saturday also saw qualifying and racing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. 60 Carl Edwards and 99 Trevor Bayne shared the front row. There were two quick cautions within ten laps. The first was when 7, Rookie Steve Arpin found himself in the middle of a three wide situation, got loose and spun out. The second happened at the restart. 11 Rookie Brian Scott broke the transmission and didn’t get going, which caused a big pile up.

22 Brad Keselowski led laps with 38 Kasey Kahne also fast. 18 Kyle Busch wasn’t able to get by in the early part of the race. Kyle made a long (16.3 sec.) Green Flag pit stop and then was caught speeding off pit road. But everyone else completed their Green Flag Pit stops and he got back on the lead lap. 38, the leader couldn’t catch him to put him back a lap down. The caution came out for debris and tightened the field back up.

20 Joey Logano led laps, 2 Greg Biffle also led laps. The fourth caution came out when 99 got into the wall, tried to get to pit road, didn’t slow down enough and spun. 62 Brendan Gaughan hit the wall and had to pit because of all the smoke and CO in the car. 99 got into the wall again. 16 Brian Ickler and 66 Steve Wallace got together when 16 got loose. 43 Rookie Scott Lagasse, Jr. got into the wall and took 99 with him.

Sprint Cup drivers Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski finished first and second. Nationwide regulars, 12 Justin Allgaier finished fourth, 10 Jason Leffler seventh and 32 Reed Sorenson eighth. The rest of the top eleven were Cup regulars.

The Indy 500 takes place on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Helio Castroneves on the pole. He is going for his fourth Indy 500 win.

Also on Sunday is the longest race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, the Coca Cola 600. That race starts in the daylight and ends at night. So, race fans will have a full day of racing for the Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy! I’ll be back to give you the race review of the Coca Cola 600, the thirteenth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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