Posts Tagged ‘Gatorade Duels’

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.


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.

Gatorade Duels To Set Lineup For Daytona 500

February 23, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race ans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts the season at Daytona International Speedway with the Daytona 500. Qualifying took place on Sunday but only secured the first two spots. 99 Carl Edwards starts from the pole position with 16 Greg Biffle  starting second. 21 Trevor Bayne, 26 Tony Raines and 30 David Stremme made the race on speed. The field will be set with the running of the Gatorade Duels.

The first race is led by pole sitter, 99 Carl Edwards, with 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. next to him on the front row. The top two finishers not already locked in will race in the Daytona 500. The first caution comes out on lap nine. 38 David Gilliland gets spun into 27 Paul Menard on the top and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya in the middle. 2 Brad Keselowski has damage. All drivers are locked into the race. When they pit, 9 Marcos Ambrose and 11 Denny Hamlin stay out to lead.   88 had too many crew members over the wall and restarts from the rear. He comes in to top off.

14 Tony Stewart leads as does 11. 11 and 9 will not make it to the end of the race on fuel. 40 Michael Waltrip its or fuel and spins coming back onto the track, bringing out the second caution, with seven laps to go. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. leads them to the pits, 31 Jeff  Burton leads them out of the pits. 9 Marcos Ambrose gets back onto the lead lap. 11 is a lap down.

The “young guns” are racing on the outside. 31 pushes 1 Jamie McMurray onto the apron. This spins 43 Aric Almirola and 10 Danica Patrick on the final lap. Patrick hits the inside wall very hard. The first Duel finishes under Yellow, with 14 Tony Stewart winning. 98 Michael McDowell and 7 Robby Gordon were the top finishers and are locked into the Daytona 500. 32 Terry Labonte makes it in with a past champion provisional.

The second Duel is led by 16 Greg Biffle with 13 Casey Mears next to him. 16 leads. 48 Jimmie Johnson pushes 17 Matt Kenseth into the lead. 18 Kyle Busch pushes 20 Joey Logano to the lead. Many cars are overheating. There is a round of Green Flag Pitting. 51 Kurt Busch is too fast and must come back in, going a lap down. 18 is having problems and is falling back.

16 leads. 48 pushes 17 to the front. 16 tries to block by coming in front of them, but they go low to take the lead. 78 Regan Smith and 48 get together. 17 Matt Kenseth wins the second Duel. 36 Dave Blaney and 87 Joe Nemecheck race their way into the Daytona 500.

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


Daytona 500 Qualifying

February 20, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has begun with festivities leading up to the Daytona 500. The Budweiser Shootout has been run with Kyle Busch beating Tony Stewart to the Line. Sunday was the Coors Light Pole Qualifying.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying is normally based on speeds in the first practice sessions at the tracks. But for the Daytona 500 qualifying session, things are a little different at Daytona International Speedway. The qualifying session only sets the first two positions and it is back to a draw as to how they will come onto the track, with those not locked in, coming out last in a group. Three cars will be locked into the Daytona 500 based on qualifying speeds. The rest will have to race their way into the Daytona 500 in the Gatorade Duels that will be raced on Thursday.

16 Greg Biffle was the fastest in both practices, while 21 Trevor Bayne was fastest of those not locked in. Qualifying is normally go or go home for those not locked in by Owner points. But this time it will be, go or have to race your way in.  The Duels will also set the line up for the Daytona 500. Qualifying sets the top two and determines the line up for the Duels.

27 Paul Menard came out first and ended up in fourteenth. He will be in the second Duel. 99 Carl Edwards came out fifth and took the pole from 13 Casey Mears. And held on to the Pole throughout the rest of qualifying with a speed of 194.738 mph and 46.216 seconds around this 2.5 mile track. Biffle couldn’t knock Edwards off the pole and had to settle for second, but he will start the Daytona 500 on the front row. Before the top 35 locked in completed their runs, 93 David Reutimann had some trash on his grill, which slowed him up. There was much wind on Sunday with trash flying all over the track. They had to clean up the track before qualifying could resume. Those getting onto the track early didn’t have as much wind.

21 Trevor Bayne, winner of last year’s Daytona 500 is 21 on Pole qualifying day and was the fastest of those not locked in, qualifying ninth. After all was said and done, Trevor, 26 Tony Raines and 30 David Stremme made their way into the Daytona 500 on speed.

In the Gatorade Duels, Edwards will lead the odd qualifiers. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will be starting second, followed by 9 Marcos Ambrose, 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne for the top five. In the second Duel, Biffle will lead 13 Casey Mears, 24 Jeff Gordon, 56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 55 Mark Martin. 32 Terry Labonte may take a past Champion provisional to get into the Daytona 500 unless he races his way in. If he does, 79 Bill Elliott will be eligible for that provisional. The top two finishers not locked in, in each race will race in the Daytona 500. If both past champions race their way in, the last position will be based on speed.

15 Clint Bowyer failed post qualifying inspection when his car failed to come back up after a certain amount of time. He will have to start in his Duel from the rear. If someone other than the top two wins their Duel, they will start the Daytona 500 in third or fourth.

I’m looking forward to the Gatorade Duels on Thursday. NASCAR made many changes to the cooling system to prevent tandem racing in the Daytona 500. However, in the end, in the Budweiser Shootout it was a tandem that went to the front and won the race. And the Shootout also proved that pack racing leads to the Big One crashes. After only 75 laps, there were only ten cars in contention for the win, three of which had no damage! Five hundred laps is a very long time to be racing in big packs, which leads to crashing. But crashing is exciting, right? (I don’t think so. I prefer racing.)

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

2012 NASCAR Racing

February 19, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR racing is back for the 2012 racing season! The season begins at the Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500.

But first there is Speed Weeks. Let me catch you up on all that has happened up to Saturday night.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is different than any other race. Because the Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR. Normally they qualify based on practice, with the slowest going out first and the fastest out last. That way there is a new Pole winner almost with every car that comes out to qualify. For the Daytona 500 qualifying will be by draw, like they used to do, with the ones not locked in going out as a group last. Qualifying will be on Sunday afternoon and will only place the top two positions. The qualifying will determine the line up for the Gatorade Duels, to be run on Thursday.

The top 35 in owner points are all automatically in the Daytona 500. Those not locked in can get in on speed during qualifying. In the Duels, the top two finishers not already locked in will get in.  Complicated, I know, but this is the Daytona 500, after all!

But first there is the exhibition race, the Budweiser Shootout. No one has won the Shootout and the Daytona 500 since Dale Jarrett did it in 2000! Dale is also the last driver to win the Daytona 500 from the Pole position. This race used to be past Budweiser Pole winners racing for big bucks. Since Coors Light took over the Pole award, it is now based on Daytona past winners. There were 25 drivers entered in the race. They held a Budweiser Shootout selection night. Each driver picked a bottle of Bud that had their starting position on it. Joey Logano this year was able to make his own selection because he is now 21 years old. Martin Truex, Jr. drew the Pole position. Juan Pablo Montoya will start last.

In the mean time, ARCA raced raced their Daytona race. Bobby Gerhart won the pole position, but his speed was disallowed because of an engine oil leak. That put Sean Carr on the pole for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. (Bobby’s #5 car has the Sponsor on his car.) There were five cautions, the last one coming out before the White Flag came out, signifying one lap to go.  It ended in a Green, White Checker Finish, with a single file restart. The leader ran out of fuel, while Gerhart made his move to the outside, getting by those running out of fuel, and racing to the Finish Line. I like ARCA because these guys are racing instead of trying to get into each other for position. There were 24 drivers who had never been at Daytona in the race! Gerhart had to start in 42nd and raced his way to the win. This was his eighth Daytona win! (Go Bobby!) And he led only that last lap.

After the ARCA race, we fans were treated to the Budweiser Shootout. NASCAR made changes to the cars so they couldn’t race two by two. Apparently the fans like pack racing better than 2×2 racing and NASCAR listened to these fans. There will be no communication between drivers, so the one pushing doesn’t know what is going on, as he can’t see beyond the car he is pushing. There was a big crash in practice when Kurt Busch made a sudden move that Tony Stewart couldn’t know about and Tony turned Kurt. Sometimes I think we go to these restrictor-plate races just to see the big crashes.

The Budweiser Shootout is 75 laps in two segments. They race 25 laps and then there is a break where they can work on their cars. Then the final 50 laps. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. starts from the Pole. After 25 laps and one caution where 34 David Ragan got into the left rear corner of 27 Paul Menard to spin him, 1 Jamie McMurray comes away the winner of the first segment. Nineteen cars are on the lead lap.

16 Greg Biffle won both practice sessions. 1 pushing team mate 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, made their way around traffic up to the front. 42 gets stuck in the middle and 1 leads. 24 Jeff Gordon was very strong. After ten leaders and nineteen lead changes, fifteen cars are on the lead lap, with fourteen laps to go.

24 leads. 16 pushes 18 Kyle Busch to the lead and 18 drops in front of 24. 14 Tony Stewart goes to the outside and drops in front of 18 to lead. 24 bumps 18, he gets squirrelly, which makes 24 go up the track into other cars where he hits the wall and barrel rolls down the track, coming to a stop on is roof! 18 slides down where no one is and manages to not crash into anything.

At the restart 14 is leading. 9 Marcos Ambrose takes the lead with help from 2 Brad Keselowski. 18 pushes 14 into the lead, then lets go to beat 14 to the Line. Kyle Busch wins the Budweiser Shootout. We are  all told how great a driver Kyle is, even though when others crashed, they ran into others, whereas when Kyle tried to crash there was no one there to crash into, so he didn’t.

Sunday afternoon will be the Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500. Remember, only the Pole sitter and second place will be locked into those positions. The rest of the field will have to race their way for positions in the Gatorade Duels on Thursday. Two races, led by the pole sitter in the first race and led by second place in the second. No matter what happens in the Duels, the Pole sitter and second place remain in first and second. The Daytona 500 will be next Sunday. As always, if you need NASCAR tickets, Vivid Seats has tickets to major sports.

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