Posts Tagged ‘NASCAR News’

NASCAR News And Race Review

June 5, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Kansas Speedway for the STP 400, we NASCAR race fans got treated to a stand-alone NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. The STP 300 was not over-run with Sprint Cup drivers with only four in this race. My kind of Nationwide race. Qualifying was rained out earlier on Saturday. 88 Aric Almirola was fastest in practice and starts on the pole with points leader 2 Elliott Sadler beside him. No driver starting on the front row has ever won a Nationwide race at Chicagoland!

Trevor Bayne is back in his 16 car after being ill for quite some time. He will start 31st, as he missed the race at Iowa Speedway. Danica Patrick is back in the 7 car after being away since March racing in her regular Indy Series. Justin Labonte and Casey Mears won their first race at this track. 18 is Kelly Bires. Roush-Fenway Racing has won the last three Nationwide races at three different tracks with three different drivers.

88 led the race from the pole but 60 Carl Edwards (Cup driver) and 2 Sadler quickly took over that spot. There was a competition caution on lap 26 so the crews could check the tires after the rain. 2 and 18 exchanged the lead with Cup driver 22 Brad Keselowski also leading the way. The second caution came out when 30 Mikey Kile blew up. 33 Cup driver Kevin Harvick gets frustrated when he can’t get by 31 Justin Allgaier.

There was a round of Green Flag Pitting after 22 gets a vibration and pits. 09 Kenny Wallace and 66 Steve Wallace lead during this time. The third caution comes out when 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. scrubs the wall. 33 and 60 trade the lead until 22 blows up, the fifth DNF (did not finish) of the year! 7 Danica Patrick gets back on the lead lap.

60 and 2 trade the lead for awhile. 31 closes in on leaders 60 and 2. 33 has a loose wheel and pits. 2 has a right front tire go down and pits. The top drivers are all saving fuel and still racing each other. 11 Brian Scott runs out of fuel. 31 is catching leader 60. On the last lap and in the final turn 60 runs out of fuel and 31 takes the lead. 31 runs out of fuel also, but coasts over the Finish Line. 31 Justin Allgaier wins the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway coasting over the line, out of fuel. He had to walk to get the Checker Flag and to Victory Lane. Edwards, also out of fuel finished second. Third place was 16 Trevor Bayne who saved just a little too much fuel and still had some left. 88 Almirola was fourth, 38 Jason Leffler finished fifth. Followed by 32 Reed Sorenson, 09 K. Wallace, 18 Bires, 62 Michael Annett and 7 Danica Patrick for the top ten. Sorenson takes over the points lead with Sadler finishing eleventh. Stenhouse, Jr., Allgaier and Almirola round out the top five in points.

And now some NASCAR news. At the end of the Truck race on Saturday 22 Joey Coulter fought 18 Kyle Busch for fifth place. Joey wouldn’t let Kyle by and finished fifth. Kyle didn’t like that and left a donut on the truck to show his displeasure. Owner Richard Childress had spoken to Kyle to no touch his cars after races. Kyle once again didn’t listen and there was a confrontation between Childress and Busch. This morning both headed for the NASCAR hauler for a meeting. It was determined Kyle did not violate probation and Richard will be limited on where he can go as an owner.

Also on Saturday night at Chicagoland, the ARCA Racing Series raced. 25 Josh Richardson “Kid Rocket” started from the pole and led a lot of laps. 15 Kyle Fowler also led laps. 58 Chuck Hackenbracht took the lead and blew a tire to get into the wall. The race ended with a Green, White, Checker Finish and 41 Ty Dillon winning his third race this year. He leads the points. Chris Buescher finished second. Dillon is the Grandson of Richard Childress. (Quite a busy weekend for Childress!)

Next up: the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway with 22 Kurt Busch on the pole and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya starting 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 News: Racing at Martinsville

April 2, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Coors Light Pole Qualifying was completed for theGoody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

Slowest in practice was 32 Ken Schrader, who came onto the track first. 11 Denny Hamlin came onto the track and warmed his tires and brakes for most of the warm up lap. That got him the provisional pole with a speed of 96 mph flat! 78 Regan Smith, who has the best average starting position of all Cup drivers held second place until 29 Kevin Harvick took that position from him.

1 Jamie McMurray, however took Denny off the pole position with a speed of 96.51 mph and 19.621 seconds. 39 Ryan Newman came out and had to settle for second spot. So the Goodies Fast Relief 500 will start on Sunday with McMurray and Newman on the front row.

Matrinsville Speedway is the shortest track on the circuit, as well as the oldest track. The Trophy for winning the race is a Grandfather clock! Yes, a real working Grandfather clock. Quite the Trophy. Next up: Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. I shall return!

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR News: Changing the Points System

January 25, 2011

Welcome NASCAR fans to my NASCAR blog. I am not a reporter. I am simply a NASCAR fan. And have been a fan since I saw my first race in 1996. I am not a sports fan. I don’t care to watch football or baseball. But I love watching racing. And fell in love with NASCAR with that first race. I made it a point to learn everything about NASCAR, including how points were given in a race. I never cared how they were doing points-wise during the race. But I kept up with how points were earned and the system made perfect sense to me. If I were handing out points, I would give more to the driver who won. The driver with the most points at the end of the season, wins the trophy. Some years the points are closer than others. And at the end of the year, drivers raced in and out of the top ten in points. Only the top ten in points get to go to the banquet at the end of the year.

In 2003 Matt Kenseth collected the most points and was declared the Champion despite having only one win. At the last race of the year Terry Labonte raced into the top ten and Kurt Busch fell out of the top ten. And it was exciting watching Matt stay in the top ten every race and keep the points lead. Things changed after that 2003 season. And as a relatively long time and definitely Passionate fan, I don’t think the change was good for NASCAR.

In 2004, it was no longer Winston Cup, but Nextel Cup. And later became Sprint Cup. Despite the fact that the trophy was no longer a cup. And NASCAR fans were no longer good enough. More fans needed to be NASCAR fans. Football fans needed to be NASCAR fans. (I really have no idea what Brian’s thinking was. I just interpreted what he did in my own way.) NASCAR needed to have a playoff because all other sports have a playoff. And having a playoff was the only reason anyone watched sports to begin with.

So The Chase was born. The first 26 races were the “regular” season, where drivers raced to get into the chase. The last ten races were the chase where the best driver in those ten races was crowned Champion. Even if he didn’t have the most points in the season. Even if he didn’t have the most wins. It gave the tenth place team a chance to win it all. (My feelings were to ask why crowning a champion based on ten races and giving someone else a chance to win it all would be exciting.)

The first year Kurt Busch was crowned Champion. He was the driver the previous year who fell out of the top ten in that last race of the year. He had a good ten races and was champion. I thought, what a stupid way to crown a champion! Letting a tenth place team win. The next year Tony Stewart was champion. And I thought, what a stupid way to crown a champion – letting a driver who does good in the second half of the season win. And then came Jimmie Johnson. He figured out how to do well in the last ten races. He and crew chief, Chad Knous spend the first 26 races trying things out for the ten chase races. And he has won every championship since 2006.

Now I have to ask why this would be exciting. And I can’t think of why crowning a champion based on ten races would be more exciting than crowning a champion because he was the best all year.

Apparently, other fans felt the same way. The long time fans watched that first year. And thought it was stupid. NASCAR fans don’t want NASCAR to be like other sports. We were quite happy being a unique sport. This is racing, not stick and ball, after all. Television ratings have been going down since 2005 when the chase was now the way a champion was selected. And the ratings have been going down during those last chase races. NASCAR saw the ratings going down. They saw tracks not selling out any more for races. So they tweaked the chase. That didn’t help. Year after year it got worse and worse. The long time NASCAR fans were no longer watching. And the new fans aren’t NASCAR fans.

Now they want to keep the chase, but implement a new point system. The winner gets 43 points and last place gets 1 point. To make it easier for the fans to conceive how points are given. Only, the long time fans already liked the old points system. We all knew how they were given and were comfortable with it. No one had to explain to us how it went. We made a point of finding out because we were fans.

In NASCAR’s effort to gain more fans, they have forgottenĀ  the fans that they once had. By manufacturing excitement. By deciding the last ten races needed to be more exciting than the rest of the season. By not letting the point leader actually win the championship. By making things easier for new fans, who aren’t going to stick around because NASCAR isn’t their Passion. Football fans call NASCAR the “roundy-rounds”. And I have to wonder why we need these fans watching instead of all the fans that were watching before the chase started.

My take on all this? I say put NASCAR back the way it was. It was well received the way it was. Those not in a playoff go home. Not so with NASCAR. All 43 drivers are still racing all the races. Except only 12 of them count. We are told who is in and who is out, after the Daytona 500, the first race of the year! The Daytona 500 used to be the Super Bowl of NASCAR. With the chase, I have to wonder what they are “chasing”. Certainly not to be in the Super Bowl. That was the first race.

What should NASCAR do? Get back to what NASCAR fans liked to begin with. What made the sport the best sport. Why NASCAR became so popular to begin with. Only give a lot more points for winning. That way Matt Kenseth can’t be champion with only one win. The chase is not working. It may be bringing in some fans. But it is chasing away the fans they already had. And shouldn’t those fans be more important than possible new fans? The system wasn’t broken when Brian tried to “fix” it. I say put it back so the long time fans can be Passionate again. Back to racing instead of hype. Dump the manufactured excitement and let us watch 43 drivers racing again. NASCAR is exciting. Racing has always been exciting. You can’t MAKE it so. It just is.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.