Posts Tagged ‘Daytona International Speedway’

NASCAR Racing At Phoenix

March 3, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. After the wild and crazy racing at Daytona International Speedway with fire and rain, NASCAR moves west to the Phoenix International Raceway.Crews had to scramble to get to the West coast after the Daytona 500 ended early Tuesday morning.

Suspensions and penalties were handed down on the #48 car of Jimmie Johnson for confiscated c-posts before inspection in Daytona. This leaves the five time champion with negative points going into Phoenix! Hendrick will appeal and Chad Knaus, crew chief, will be at the track this weekend. Roger Penske announced he will be dropping Dodge at the end of the season when the contract is ended to move over to the Ford camp.

There were practice sessions for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Friday amidst strong winds and much dust. 60 Trevor Bayne was fastest int the first practice session, which means he will come out last for Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 race on Saturday, on the Nationwide side.

On the Cup side, 14 Tony Stewart and 55 Mark Martin were fastest in the first practice for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race and will be the last out for qualifying on Saturday. After this race last year the track was reconfigured and repaved. Kasey Kahne won the first race on this new one mile track in November, while driving the #4 Toyota. We’ll see how he does over at Hendrick in a Chevy.

For both races, 44 drivers are entered so that one driver will not make either race. The announcers are giving mixed reviews of the racing. On the one hand, they are saying it is a new track and Kasey is the only winner. While at the same time they are saying Mark Martin is always good at this track. There were several drivers hitting the wall during practice. Hopefully the racing will not be another crashfest with the shorter races at this track. As always, NASCAR tickets can be had at Vivid Seats. They have tickets to most Sporting events.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Daytona 500

February 28, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opens the season with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This is the Grand Opening to the season, the Super Bowl of NASCAR racing. It starts out with the exhibition race, the Budweiser Shootout (Kyle Busch won with many cautions and intense racing), goes on with Coors Light Pole Qualifying, securing only pole sitter Carl Edwards and second place Greg Biffle. Then comes the Gatorade Duels that determines the Line up for the Daytona 500. Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth won their races putting them in third and fourth.

NASCAR officials made changes to the cars to bring back pack racing and make it harder for the drivers to hook up together for tandem racing. This Daytona 500 was a combination of both with pack racing and short spurts of pushing one another to the lead. It was also a recipe for cautions, with nowhere to go in a pack and drivers hitting the car they are pushing on the left bumper, making them spin out.

For the first time in the 54 year history of the Daytona 500 Mother Nature ruled and the race was delayed until Monday at noon. But she wasn’t finished and it was still raining for that noon start. The Daytona 500 started around 7:30 Eastern time and finished Tuesday morning. A Prime Time race for the first time.

Many drivers have new cars this year and new sponsors. 99 Carl Edwards is on the Pole with a speed of 194.738 mph and 46.216 seconds around this massive 2.5 mile track.

So, here we go! They race side by side for the lead and 16 Greg Biffle inches ahead of 99 to lead the first lap. On the second lap 33 Elliott Sadler bumps 48 Jimmie Johnson in the left rear, sending him into the wall and other drivers. They were in the middle of the pack, so I don’t know where he thought he was going to push 48. 34 David Ragan, 21 Trevor Bayne (last years Daytona 500 winner) and 10 Danica Patrick were caught in the mess.

17 Matt Kenseth leads with 16 beside him. 78 Regan Smith takes the lead. 16 takes it back. 39 Ryan Newman has a tire going down and spins out, bringing out the second caution. 5 Kasey Kahne manages to get by. They all make pit stops. The wheel comes off 39 just after he leaves the pit stall and 22 A. J. Allmendinger, coming into his pit, hits 39.

99 pushes 27 Paul Menard into the lead, tries to take the lead, but falls back. 11 Denny Hamlin takes the lead. The first seven cars are single file, with the outside lane not going anywhere. 16 pushes 31 Jeff Burton into the lead on the outside.  11 pulls out but no one goes with him and falls back. 27 and 11 start Green Flag pitting. 14 Tony Stewart is the last one who hasn’t pitted and leads. When he tries to pit 18 Kyle Busch is in the way and he has to go around again. The third caution comes out during the commercial after all the pitting for debris. 31 is leading. 83 Landon Cassill gets back on the lead lap. 17 puts his nose past the stall line and has to back up before he can be serviced.

There will be a $200,000 award to the driver leading at half time. 17 is having water problems with the gages not working and they put new water into the car. 9 Marcos Ambrose pushes 16 into the lead. 10 is back on the track. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. takes the lead. 24 Jeff Gordon blows up in smoke and fire, bringing out the fourth caution on lap 81. He waves them by and no one gets into him. 32 Terry Labonte (in the race with a past Champion provisional) stays out to lead. 16 takes the lead.

9 pushes 32 on the left side and spins him out for the fifth caution. He makes a nice save, without hitting anything, but gets stuck in the wet grass. 16 and 9 are up front for the restart. 18 pushes 9 and then gets left behind. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pushes 5, but 88 drops 5 and he falls back. Two laps to halfway and 16 is in command. 11 pushes 56 to the front and 56 leads at half way. (He won at half way last year also.)

11 pushes 14 to the front and then takes the lead. 99 has fuel pressure issues. 15 Clint Bowyer is overheating. 14 and 20 Joey Logano are pitting, with 15 running out of fuel. The sixth caution comes out because 15 can’t make it to the pits and has to be pushed. 20 drives through pit road, while 14 completes his pit stop. Pit road is not open, but 31 pits anyway as he is running out of fuel. 39 Ryan Newman gets back onto the lead lap.

55 Mark Martin leads. 11 pushes 16 into the lead. 20 takes the lead. 17 takes the lead. The seventh caution comes out when something breaks in the 30 car of David Stremme. Pit stops are made, with 36 Dave Blaney, 83, 26 Tony Raines and 38 David Gilliland staying out. The track is being cleaned up with trucks dragging blow dryers on the top of the track. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya comes out of the pits on the bottom, like he’s supposed to with the blow dryers going. Something breaks and he goes sideways, can’t steer, and smacks into the truck with the blow dryer. There is a big explosion as 200 gallons of jet fuel and diesel fuel ignites.

The Red Flag comes out for over two hours, with 40 laps to go, to get the truck off the track and clean up all the fuel, after they put out the fire that keeps on burning. They use water blowers and Tide detergent to make sure the track is safe to drive on. The drivers all get out of their cars and the television audience gets treated to driver interviews. When clean up is completed, a bus takes a crew member from each car out to the track to help them get secured in the cars. The four that stayed out must now pit or they will not make it to the end. 18 and 99 took a tare off from the windshield during the Red Flag. You cannot work on the cars during Red Flag conditions, so they will have to restart from the rear. 13 Casey Mears is on the apron with fuel pressure issues and has to be pushed.

They restart with 34 laps to go. 17 is leading with 88 along side, 17 on top in front of 16. 29 Kevin Harvick pushes 88, but 17 and 16 get in front of them. Eight cars are single file. 20 comes up almost into 11 and 31 who are coming up on the outside. They have to separate. 14 steps out but on one goes with him. The lapped car, 13, is getting in the way and messing up the formation.

9 and 43 Aric Almirola get into 13, bringing out the eighth caution with 21 laps to go. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. tried to avoid 13 but got into 43. 43 saves it and 9 goes spinning off. 15 Clint Bowyer gets back onto the lead lap. They restart with 18 laps to go. 11 has led most of the laps. 20 has to go back to eighteenth place for not maintaining speed.

17 moves up in front of team mate, 16 at the restart. The ninth caution is the Big One in the middle of the pack with 13 laps to go. 1 Jamie McMurray cuts a tire and spins around and around into 5. Seven cars are involved. 14 and 2 get by, but not without damage. 99 has damage to repair. They restart with 7 laps to go. The tenth caution comes out with four to go. 6 turns 14. He saves it but needs tires. 18 doesn’t save it this time. 39 and 36 get caught in it.

The restart will be the first attempt at a Green White Checker Finish. If a caution comes out before the White Flag is thrown they will try it again. Three attempts can be made before it ends under caution.

17 again moves up under 16 to lead. The White Flag comes out. 17 Matt Kenseth wins his second Daytona 500. 88 Earnhardt, Jr. got by 16 Biffle for second. 99 went below the Yellow line, but it was decided he was forced down there and no penalty is assessed. He finishes eighth. 11 Hamlin finishes fourth, 31 Burton fifth, 27 Menard sixth, 29 Harvick seventh. 20 Logano finishes ninth and 55 Martin finishes tenth. Thirteen different drivers led laps, with Hamlin leading the most laps. 202 laps were run to come up with a Daytona 500 Champion.

What a Daytona 500 this has been! Fire and rain, along with starting a day and a half late and finishing on Tuesday. Matt Kenseth will go down in history as the Champion of this unique race.

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

 

Daytona 500 Postponed Again

February 27, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The 54th running of the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener, and the Super Bowl of NASCAR was postponed for the first time in NASCAR history due to Mother Nature. It rained all day Sunday and the race could not be started. It was postponed to Monday afternoon.

However, it is still raining at Daytona International Speedway. The weather service sees that the rain should stop at about three in the afternoon. At that time the jet blow dryers will dry the track and NASCAR race fans will be treated to a Daytona 500 under the lights. This probably works out better for the fans, as most would be working in the afternoon. The July 400 race is held under the lights and many find night races exciting.

Let’s hope the weather service is correct in the rain prediction and we, the NASCAR fans will be treated to the first ever Daytona 500 under the lights.

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

 

Great American Race Rained Out

February 27, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Rain at the Daytona International Speedway has delayed the running of the Daytona 500 for the first time in it’s 54 year History! After all the racing in Speed Weeks, qualifying, The Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade Duels and even NCWTS and NNS races, the most important race will have to wait until Monday to be raced.

The Great American Race was scheduled for Sunday afternoon. They did sing the National Anthem, but the drivers never did start their engines to begin the race. There was a short gap in the weather where the jet driers were on the track, but the rain just kept on coming, spoiling all the anticipation.

Race fans may or may not see the Daytona 500 on Monday, as rain is still in the forecast. However, there are lights at Daytona and hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate long enough to get the race in. Teams must prepare for the race at Phoenix International Raceway next Sunday.

I will be in front of my television all afternoon, hoping that the race will be run, all 500 miles. The fans at home were treated to non stop coverage, interviews and even the greatest moments of the Daytona 500. Hopefully it will not be another long day of other coverage and the Daytona 500 will be raced.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Drive4COPD 300

February 25, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series held their first race of the season, Drive4COPD 300 at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. 7 Danica Patrick starts the race from the pole with 60 Trevor Bayne next to her on the front row. 33 Tony Stewart is going for his fifth straight Nationwide Daytona win and his seventh Nationwide Daytona win.

Other Sprint Cup drivers in the race are 18 Denny Hamlin, 20 Joey Logano, 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in his own car, 22 Brad Keselowski, 38 Kasey Kahne and the Busch brothers. Kyle in his own 54 car and 1 Kurt. 120 laps around this 2.5 mile track will be 300 miles.

There was a combination of pack racing and tandem racing in the race. However, drivers quickly learned they had to have a partner to get to the front. 5 pushes 7 to lead from the pole. 2 Elliott Sadler pushes 60 into the lead. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. 33 into the lead. 30 James Buescher works with team mate 31 Justin Allgaier. 7 scuffs the wall. 6 Ricky Stenhouse. Jr. pushes 18 into the lead. 22 pushes team mate 12 into the lead. 87 Joe Nemechek pushes 44 Mike Bliss into the lead.

The first caution c0mes out when 81 Jason Bowles is smoking and they think fluid may be on the track. The leaders pit. 54 fixes his rattling side window. 1 and 33 lead or the restart. 19 Taylor Malsam gets back onto the lead lap. 20 pushes 33 into the lead. 87 pushes 1 into the lead. 28 J.J.Yeley is up in smoke but on the apron and out of the way.

The second caution comes out when 88 Cole Whitt bumps 7 in the corner, sending  her into the wall. 54 turns 88 in the pits when he is getting out of his pit and 88 is going into his. He could have given 88 more room, as he expects everyone else to give him room. 54 must go back in or repairs. 18 and 20 are leading at the restart.

5 pushes 1 into the lead. 01 Mike Wallace pushes brother 09 Kenny Wallace. 01 is overheating and has to let go. 11 Brian Scott smacks down into 60 and 60 gets a tire going down. 20 pushes 18. The third caution comes out when 44 has to back off the throttle for traffic ahead and gets hit from behind, and into the wall. (There have been 18 lead changes among ten drivers in the first half of the race. The front nine cars stay on the track. 1 leads. 5 takes the lead. 2 takes the lead with help from team mate, 3 Austin Dillon. 87 pushes 1, 5 pushes 38. 60, laps down, pushes 22.

The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 11 is caught between 43 Michael Annette and 31. 50 T. J.Bell gets his lap back. 60 takes the wave around to be only one lap down and in contention for the Lucky Dog. Thirteen drivers have now led the race with 25 lead changes. 12 is leading with 01. 1 and 54 are right behind. 1 takes the lead with 54 pushing when 01 and 12 let go. 2 pushes 33 into the lead. 6 pushes 18 into the lead. 3 pushes 5 into the lead. 2 pushes 33 into the lead on the inside.

39 Joey Gase is up in smoke, bringing out the fifth caution. They make pit stops with 25 laps to go. 60 Trevor Bayne is back on the lead lap. 15 Timmy Hill and 08 Casey Roderick are on the front row and 15 chooses the outside. They restart with 22 laps to go. 09 takes the lead and 15 gets shuffled back with no help. 18 takes the lead. 12 gets into the wall and the chain reaction sends 11 into the wall. 33 takes the lead.

The sixth caution comes out during the commercial, The Big One. 54 pushes 1 up the middle where there is not enough room and everyone else reacts. 31 ends up on top of 52 Reed Sorenson. (Leave it to the Busch brothers to go where there is not enough room causing those around them to crash.) There is a splitter from 09 wedged under the wall that has to be removed, bringing out the Red Flag.

The Yellow Flag comes back out with nine to go and they go back to racing with eight laps to go. They are three wide for the lead, that is, six cars: 6 and 12, 2 and 33, 54 and 1. The rest of the pack behind them have nowhere to go and 12 gets turned, spinning in front of 5. Many others are involved.

For the restart, 1 chooses the outside to be in front of 54. 33 is on the inside. 1 and 54 pull down leaving 33 boxed in. The eighth caution comes out just past the White Flag and is another Big One. 1 goes high to block two other pairs and everyone gets into everyone else. Tony will not get five in a row. (Doesn’t Kurt know by now that blocking NEVER wins the race?)

30 James Buescher gets by the mess to win the Drive4COPD 300 race under caution. He was eighth when the White Flag came out.  The win was great for Buescher, but it would have been a more exciting finish if Kurt had not blocked and the race went to the Finish Line. 2 Elliott Sadler finished second, followed by 22 Brad Keselowski, 19 Taylor Malsam, 15 Timmy Hill, 88 Cole Whitt, 33 Tony Stewart, 38 Kasey Kahne and 1 Kurt Busch. Brad, Tony, Kasey and Kurt get no championship points, as they are going for the Sprint Cup.

There was pack racing, but the drivers prove once again that having a partner makes you go faster. Despite what some fans may want, tandem racing will be in the mix, especially at the end. These drivers need to learn that blocking never wins races, but only causes wrecks.

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