Posts Tagged ‘Food City 500’

NASCAR Race Fan Commentary

April 19, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. In 1996 I was introduced to NASCAR racing. I thought going so fast around a track and passing each other was the most beautiful thing in the world. I fell in love with it, the first race I saw. And it has become a passion of mine. I watch all the racing that is televised. Even the replays during the week. I Love to watch RACING.

The Samsung Mobile 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway featured 234 consecutive Green laps of racing. No crashing for cautions to tighten them up. Just pure RACING for 234 laps. Some NASCAR race fans decided this was a boring race! How can all that racing be boring, I have to ask. However, the majority (?) of fans want to see crashing and cautions. And a race is boring if all they do is race around the track!

Everyone praises Dale Earnhardt as a great driver. Because he had seven championships and many, many wins. And rightly so. He did have that many wins and championships. But their praise is mostly about how he got all those wins. By “rattling their chain”. By crashing others out of the way. By intimidating others to move out of the way before he could put them into the wall. Me, I prefer to watch racing. Catching and passing. The fans back then weren’t all Earnhardt fans. Bill Elliott was the most popular driver over and over. Elliott raced clean. He raced you and passed you without having to move you out of the way. My personal favorite was the other Dale, Dale Jarrett. Also a clean driver. The “Dale and Dale shows” were fun to watch. One Dale did not knock the other out of the way, but raced each other. Was that boring? I hope not.

Bristol Motor Speedway used to be a one groove track. If you got caught on top, everyone raced past you. They would move you out of the way to get by, most of the time bringing out a caution. Seems like the more cautions, the better the racing. For the Food City 500 this year, there were few cautions and much racing. Because with the reconfiguration of the track, there is now room to race and pass without bringing out a caution. The majority (?) of fans spoke up and the owner, Bruton Smith, is talking about “fixing” the track so there is more ramming into each other and crashing. So, I have to ask, is NASCAR about racing or about crashing? Do the fans go to Bristol to see the crashing or the racing?

The Camping World Trucks came back to Rockingham Speedway this past weekend. And what a wonderful race that was! Not much crashing, but a lot of racing. While the media was excited to be back at The Rock, and the fans came out to watch and the drivers all want to drive at Rockingham, it will not be on the Sprint Cup circuit. No entertainment value. NASCAR has become WRE (World Racing Entertainment). It isn’t about racing, but about entertainment. Racing is boring!

This week NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be at the 1.5 mile D-shaped oval of Kansas Speedway. Will it be another boring (?) race like the one at Texas? Or will they crash into each other to bring out cautions and make things more exciting and entertaining? I guess we shall see. Perhaps if the media talked about NASCAR racing as being exciting racing instead of spectacular crashing, maybe racing each other for position and passing would become more exciting. Greg Biffle racing Jimmie Johnson for the win was exciting. Kyle Busch smashing into others is not my kind of excitement.

I will be back for Fast Friday. For practice at Kansas Speedway. For NASCAR tickets, go to Vivid Seats. They have tickets to most Sporting events.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Food City 500

March 19, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced the Food City 500 in Thunder Valley, the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. This was the fourth race of the season. So far there have been three different race winners. Bristol Motor Speedway is the Fastest Half Mile in the world, a .533 mile track. Bristol Motor Speedway was reconfigured to give it a second groove to make for more racing for position. Some NASCAR fans prefer the old shoving out of the way for position. This NASCAR race fan prefers the side by side racing with less shoving and caution laps.

Sunday morning, there was rain at the track, washing all the rubber off the track. But that stopped, the track was dried and the race is good to go. There will be a competition caution around lap 50 so the teams can see how the tires are. Should there be a caution before that, they will not be allowed to fuel the cars.

Pre-race ceremonies included driver introductions with each driver picking a song and introducing himself. Watching the race at home, we got to see only a handful of the drivers and their songs.

45 cars were entered in the race. 7 Robby Gordon had engine issues, was unable to start the car and withdrew from the race. Rookie 37 Timmy Hill was the lone driver who did not make the race. 16 Greg Biffle captured the Pole with a speed of 125.215 mph and 15.324 seconds around this short track. 22 A. J. Allmendinger sits next to him on the front row. Biffle finished third in the three previous races this year. No pole sitter has won this race since Rusty Wallace did it many years ago.

So, here we go! 16 Biffle chooses the outside and pulls ahead to lead. 24 Jeff Gordon and 22 race for second with 39 Ryan Newman right behind. 78 Regan Smith, 99 Carl Edwards, 2 Brad Keselowski and 43 Aric Almirola race for position. 22 drives under 24 for second. 24 and 39 race for third.

The first caution comes out during the commercial. 78, 5 Kasey Kahne and 2 were racing for position. 5 and 78 got together, 5 spins, 2 and 78 get away with some damage. 99 runs into 5, collecting 18 Kyle Busch, 9 Marcos Ambrose and 29 Kevin Harvick. 5 had thought he cleared 78, 78 got into 5 to start the mess. (Clearly, it was too soon for no give and take.) This will be the competition caution. 22 stays out to lead. Seven drivers do not make a pit stop.

They restart on lap 46. 31 Jeff Burton gets by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 17 Matt Kenseth, 33 Brendan Gaughan and 43 race for position with 27 Paul Menard and 39 joining them. 14 Tony Stewart races side by side with 51 Kurt Busch. 55 Brian Vickers and team mate 56 Martin Truex, Jr. race for position. 55 takes the lead in traffic, on the bottom of the track when 22 is high behind a car about to be lapped.

The second caution comes out when 32 Ken Schrader had a tire going down and hits the wall hard. 36 Dave Blaney gets his lap back. 55 leads. 22 and 31 race for second with 24 right behind. 22 stays in second. 9 and 18 are back in the race after repairs, many laps down. 22, 24 and 2 race for position 2 takes the spot, 24 gets by 22. 22, 88 and 31 race for position. 17 gets by 88 for fourth. 1 Jamie McMurray drives under 22 for tenth. (22 is very loose and loosing spots.) 5 is back on the track.

2 catches leader 55. 14 moves 43 out of the way. 24 drives between two lapped cars. 15 Clint Bowyer drives under 48 Jimmie Johnson for seventh. 2 takes the lead. 24 and 55 race for second. 22 is way too loose and pits. 24 catches leader 2. 17 gets by 55 for third. 17 gets by 24 for second. 17 takes the lead as 2 pits to start Green Flag Pitting. When 55 finally makes his pit stop, 2 is back in the lead. 11 Denny Hamlin has a loose wheel and has to pit again. 31 gets by 24 for third. 99 is back on the track. 55 drives around 88.

17 catches leader 2, trying to lap 14. The third caution comes out when 30 David Stremme blows a right front tire and hits the wall. 14 Tony Stewart gets his lap back. 29 stays on the lead lap. 11 takes the wave around. 2 chooses the inside and 17 and 2 battle for the lead, touching each other. 17 takes the lead on the outside. 15 and 31 race for position with 24. 15 gets the spot. 24 and 88 race for fifth.

The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 24 and 88 were racing side by side and get together. 24 cuts a tire and spins into the wall. They restart with 130 laps to go. 17 chooses the outside. The first eight cars stay out. 17 and 2 race for the lead. 48 and 16 race for seventh. 31 gets by 15. 17 leads but cannot pull away. 31 and 15 race each other again. 17 and 2 race for the lead. 2 takes the lead. 15 gets by 31 for third. 2 gets a little too high and thinks he has a flat tire. 48 and 16 race side by side and 16 finally takes the spot. 56 drives around 31 for sixth.

FOX has side by side commercials with racing during the second half of the race. As we go to the side by side commercial, the fifth caution comes out. FOX stays in this format. 14 and 33 get together. 88 makes a pit stop and is caught speeding. Ten cars are on the lead lap.

2 Brad Keselowski holds off 17 Matt Kenseth to win the Food City 500 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. This is his second win at this track in a row. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. finishes third, followed by 15 Clint Bowyer, 55 Brian Vickers, 31 Jeff Burton, 1 Jamie McMurray, 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, 48 Jimmie Johnson and 27 Paul Menard for the top ten finishers. 29 Kevin Harvick overcomes the early caution to finish eleventh, 39 Ryan Newman comes in twelfth, pole sitter, 16 Greg Biffle finishes thirteenth, 14 Tony Stewart finishes fourteenth and 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finishes fifteenth after his speeding penalty. There were seven different leaders. Keselowski led the most laps.

Greg Biffle stays on top in points, nine ahead of Kevin Harvick. Matt Kenseth moves up two spots into third. Martin Truex, Jr. moves up four spots into fourth while Denny Hamlin falls two spots into fifth. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. falls two spots to sixth. Tony Stewart remains in seventh. Clint Bowyer moves up six positions to eighth. Joey Logano remains in ninth. Paul Menard moves up a spot into the top ten. Jeff Burton moves up four spots into eleventh. Ryan Newman moves up a spot into twelfth while Brad Keselowski moves up eight spots into thirteenth. Carl Edwards falls eight spots after the early crash into fourteenth. Kyle Busch falls three spots into fifteenth. Mark Martin, running only a partial schedule, was not in the race and falls six spots into sixteenth. Jimmie Johnson moves up another six positions into seventeenth. Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray each move up six positions into eighteenth and nineteenth. Regan Smith falls one position for the top twenty in points.

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


NASCAR Racing At Bristol

March 16, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR is at the Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend for the fourth race of the season. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be racing the Food City 500 race on Sunday, while the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be on track for the Ford EcoBoost 300 race on Saturday. Three races have been run in both Series’ and they each have three different winners!

Bristol Motor Speedway is the fastest half mile in the world, as they like to say. It is a concrete track with high banks. Thunder Valley has seating all the way around the track. If you go to the track, the roar of the engines in the infield is well worth the price of a ticket.

Nationwide had their first practice session first on Friday. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in his #5 car was fastest, with 2 Elliot Sadler, 11 Brian Scott, 18 Joey Logano and 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. the top five.

Next up was Sprint Cup practice. 7 Robby Gordon never was able to get his car started and withdrew his entry. That left 23 Scott Riggs as the slowest in practice and he will lead Coors Light Pole Qualifying. 99 Carl Edwards was fastest and will be the final driver in qualifying.

There was another practice session for Nationwide, with 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. being the fastest. They will qualify and race the Ford EcoBoost 300 race on Saturday.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place Friday afternoon for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race. 37 Rookie Timmy Hill is the lone driver that did not make the race. 16 Greg Biffle captured the Pole position with a speed of 125.215 mph and 15.324 seconds around this .533 mile track. 22 A. J. Allmendinger almost knocked Greg off with a time of 15.325. That is .001 difference!

The rest of the top ten is 39 Ryan Newman, 24 Jeff Gordon, 2 Brad Keselowski, 78 Regan Smith, 43 Aric Almirola, 99 Carl Edwards, 20 Joey Logano and 5 Kasey Kahne.

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

NASCAR Racing At Bristol

March 18, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Last week we saw the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Darlington Raceway. Kasey Kahne, the lone Sprint Cup driver in the field won the Too Tough To Tame 200 in the KBM #18 Truck. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series are racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN.

BMS is a .533 mile concrete bull ring. It used to be that the track was narrow with only one groove to race in. But it was repaved a few years ago and now there is room to race without having to push another driver out of the way to get by. There is veriable banking in the corners (and the track is mostly corners) so there is now side by side racing.

Kyle Busch won the first race here in the new car they now race in. (He commented that the new car “sucked” after winning.) Ryan Newman holds the qualifying record for the track at 128.709 mph set 3/21/03. Last year Jimmie Johnson won his 50th race here and his first at this track. (In August last year Kyle Busch won a tripple-header here, winning the Camping World Truck race, the Nationwide race and the Sprint Cup race all in the same weekend. This was his fourth win here.) Other past winners are Jeff Gordon (5), Kurt Busch (5), Matt Kenseth (2), Mark Martin (2), Carl Edwards (2), Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton.

Normally this race is the Food City 500 but this year Food City decided to honor Jeff Byrd, who died last year. He was the President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. For tickets, see Vivid Seats. There will be practice on Friday as well as Sprint Cup qualifying. Saturday will be Nationwide qualifying and the EZ Seed 300 race. Sunday the Sprint Cup Series will race in the Jeff Byrd 500. I shall return with more news later.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR Race review: Bristol, Week 5

March 21, 2010

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series  race is at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. #20 Joey Logano captured the Coors Light Pole award with a speed of  124.63. #2 Kurt Busch will start on the front row with him. 66 Dave Blaney qualified third, but will not race the entire race, and so chooses to start from the rear so the rest of them can race. 26 today is David Stremme, hoping to get some points for Boris Said, to keep him in the top 35 in points. 90 Casey Mears and 46 Terry Cook both made it into the race for the first time this year. 71 Bobby Labonte used his past Champion provisional to get in. 36 Mike Bliss and 13 Max Papis failed to qualify.

The SAFER barrier was extended out of turns 2 and 4, making  Thunder Valley a little narrower coming off the turns. However, there is still room for racing side by side. This .533 mile concrete oval is the “World’s fastest half mile”. 46 Terry Cook was late to the driver meeting and will start from the rear. This will be the last race with the wing on the car. The cars are going back to the traditional spoiler.

So, here we go! 20 Logano chooses to start the race on the inside. 2 Kurt Busch gets a good start from the top to lead the first lap. 20 leads the second lap. 2 leads the third lap. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 20 for second. 48 and 2 battle for the lead. 48 takes the lead. 24 Jeff Gordon gets by 20 for third. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 38 David Gilliland battle for position, with 88 getting by. 29 Kevin Harvick makes it three wide between 18 Kyle Busch and 26 Stremme to get by both of them.

48 gets stuck trying to lap 71 Labonte and 2 takes the lead. 71 still won’t let 48 get by. The first caution comes out when 66 Blaney has a flat tire and can’t get to the pits. 34 Travis Kvapil gets the free pass to get back onto the lead lap. 12 Brad Keselowski stays out to lead. 55 Michael Waltrip, 26 and 09 Aric Almirola also stay out, but 55 and 09 pit next time around. 12 chooses the outside for the restart. 48 takes the lead. 26 falls way back. 24 gets by 12 for second. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 17 Matt Kenseth battle for ninth, with 56 getting by.

The second caution comes out during the commercial. 33 Clint Bowyer blows the engine and gets into the wall, taking 55 with him. 7 Robby Gordon gets the free pass and back onto the lead lap. They restart on lap 63. 00 David Reutimann gets by 14 Tony Stewart for sixth. 2 and 24 battle side by side for second. 00 gets by 16 Greg Biffle and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, into fourth. 2 finally gets around 24. 20 is tight and is falling off the pace, holding everyone up. 00 catches 24, in third. 00 and 24 battle for third, with 00 getting by. 16 and 24 battle for fourth in traffic. 20 gets a flat tire,  heads for the pits, and goes three laps down. Under Green drivers may pit from where their pit is, while under caution everyone comes in the same place and go all the way around. Joey went all the way around and lost those laps. 2 takes the lead in traffic. 00 gets by 48 for second. 00 in second, drops a cylinder and pits.

The third caution comes out when 11 Denny Hamlin cuts a tire and gets into the wall. 19 Elliott Sadler is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back. 2 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 16 takes the lead. 48 gets by 2 for second. The fourth caution comes out for rain drops. 78 Regan Smith gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. 47 Marcos Ambrose is caught speeding and has to go to the rear.

16 chooses the outside. 5 Mark Martin goes around 2 for fourth. 1 Jamie McMurray and 98 Paul Menard battle, with 1 getting by. 24 and 12 battle for sixth, with 12 taking the position. 24 and 1 battle for seventh and 1 gets by. 56 gets by 24. 42 takes second from 48. 5 gets by 48 for third. 42 and 16 battle for the lead. 98 gets by 24 for tenth. 42 takes the lead. 24 falls back to seventeenth. 12 and 48 battle for sixth. 16 takes the lead back. 47 catches 2, in fourth. 47 takes fourth from 2 in traffic.

The fifth caution comes out when 9 Kasey Khane blows a tire. He manages not to get into the wall. 11 Denny Hamlin gets the free pass, back onto the lead lap. 42 chooses the outside. 2 gets by 16 for second. 9 has a vibration and bounces off the wall. 16 takes the lead from 42. 16 and 2 battle for the lead side by side. 48 and 12 battle for fifth, with 48 getting by. 31 Jeff Burton, 12 and 88 battle for sixth. 12 keeps the spot. 5 drives under 42 for third. 9 goes behind the wall and they look under the hood. 2 takes the lead. 12 and 83 Brian Vickers battle for ninth, with 83 getting by. 24 gets by 12. 34 Travis Kvapil gets a flat tire and pits.

The sixth caution comes out when 18 Kyle Busch gets into the wall. 34 Travis Kvapil is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 2 chooses the outside for the restart. 5 can’t get by 2 for the lead. 42 and 88 battle for seventh, with 88 taking the position. 31 and 1 battle for fifth, with 1 getting by. 42 and 24 battle for ninth and 24 can’t get by. 88 gets by 31 for sixth. 39 Ryan Newman scraped the wall.

The seventh caution comes out on lap 323 when 78 gets into the wall. 19 and 78 got together,  and 78 blew a tire. 11 Denny Hamlin gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. 88 is too fast entering the pits. (How can that be, when it’s a caution and he didn’t get by the car in front of him?) 2 chooses the outside. 12 and 99 battle with 29 right behind them. 16 blocks 5 and clips him into the wall, causing the eighth caution. 16 moves 5 into the wall, 24 slides to avoid 5 and thirteen cars are involved when 5 tries to pit while going to fast. They have to repair the SAFER barrier where 5 his the wall.

2 chooses the outside for the restart. 39, 99 and 88 battle for tenth. 17 and 31 battle for fifth, with 14 coming on them. 31 finally gets by 17. 14 and 17 battle, but 14 can’t get by. 31 and 16 battle for fourth. The ninth caution comes out during the commercial for rain again. 12, 24, 19 and 42 stay out. They restart with 90 to go. 12 and 2 battle for the lead and 2 takes the lead. 48 and 12 battle for second, with 48 getting by. 16 and 24 battle. 88 gets by 19 for thirteenth. 1 and 12 battle for third. 99 gets by 24 for ninth. 1 finally gets by 12. 16 and 12 battle for fourth. 16 finally gets by. 77 drops a cylinder and heads for the garage. 99 and 12 battle for seventh, with 99 taking the spot. 82 Scott Speed blows a tire and gets into the wall. 20 gets into the wall.

The tenth caution comes out for debris with 18 laps to go. 39 Ryan Newman is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 16, 17, 99 and 14 take two tires and come out before 2 and 48, who took four. They go Green with ten laps to go. 14 takes the lead. 48 gets by 16 for second. 48 takes the lead.

And Jimmie Johnson wins the Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time in 17 tries. 2 Kurt Busch led the most laps. There were thirteen different drivers in the race. And ten caution flags.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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