Posts Tagged ‘NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’

Fast Friday At Darlington Raceway

May 12, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR is racing close to home this Mothers’ Day weekend at the Darlington Raceway in Darlington, NC. Darlington Raceway is the “track too tough to tame” and the “Lady in Black”, as this track is shaped like an egg and very narrow. Most drivers end up with a “Darlington stripe” by the end of the race because you have to drive so close to the wall that most drivers get into the wall and get their Darlington stripe. By the end of the race, the wall is all black. At Darlington Raceway, the drivers must race the track and not each other.

The first practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Bojangles’ Southern 500 was held on Fast Friday. Kevin Harvick was the fastest in the first practice. He will be the last one out for Coors LightPole Qualifying later on Fast Friday. A. J. Allmendinger was fastest in final practice.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series also had practice for the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 race. Kurt Busch was fastest in the first practice and will go out last in qualifying. 43 cars are entered in this race, so no one will have to go home.Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. captured the Pole position with a speed of 173.546 mph and 28.336 seconds around this 1.366 mile track Denny Hamlin will start next to him on the front row for the race Friday night.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying also took place on this Fast Friday for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Sprint Cup race. Danica Patrick, who was slowest in the first practice, came out first. Kevin Harvick came out last and had a bad run. Greg Biffle captured the Pole with a speed of 180.257 mph and 27.281 seconds. Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne timed in with the same speed and will start the race in second and third. Mike Bliss, Scott Riggs, Stephen Leicht and Michael McDowell failed to make the race.

The Nationwide race was also run on Fast Friday. I will give a review later. Cole Whitt and Travis Pastrano hit the wall while qualifying and will be starting the race from the rear in back-up cars.

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

NASCAR This Weekend

May 10, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This weekend is Mothers’ Day and NASCAR will be racing close to home at the Darlington Raceway. This is a 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval track that is so hard to race, it has been given a couple of nicknames. “The Lady in black” is one of them. The track is so narrow, they drive close to the wall and Darlington Raceway seems to have a magnet to draw the cars to the wall. You aren’t racing if you don’t have your “Darlington stripe”. For most race tracks, you race 42 other drivers. At Darlington, you race the track. Darlington Raceway is also known as “the track too tough to tame”.

Back in “the day” there were two races at Darlington. One in the Spring and the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. The Southern 500 was one of the “Crown Jewels” of NASCAR. In it’s infinite wisdom, NASCAR decided to give that Labor Day weekend to California instead, as it was a better market in California. Supposedly NASCAR race fans would rather travel to California than stay close to the East coast. I guess to get more NASCAR race fans to the West coast. That didn’t work out. It turns out NASCAR race fans would rather go to Darlington Raceway, with it’s great racing and unique track.

Darlington Raceway used to be hard on the tires because the track was paved with seashells in it. It has since been repaved so that the tires last longer. Last year Regan Smith won the race by staying out on the track after the last caution and holding off Carl Edwards on old tires. That was Smith’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will race the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Saturday night so the drivers can be with their wives and Mothers on Sunday. NASCAR Nationwide Series will be racing the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Saturday night. Somehow, for this NASCAR race fan, it just isn’t the same as it was on Labor Day weekend. Vivid Seats has NASCAR tickets and tickets for most Sporting Events.

I came across a site that reviews Sports Stadiums. Thought my readers might be interested.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Aaron’s 499

May 7, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was in Alabama this weekend for the Aaron’s 499 race at the Talladega Superspeedway. Talladega Superspeedway is a massive 2.66 mile track that lends itself to high speeds with no letting off of the throttle. It also lends itself to multi-car pile-ups because they are going so fast, inches apart. NASCAR mandates a restrictor-plate on the cars to cut horsepower and therefore, speed. They race around in large packs three wide, many deep. Which lends itself to spectacular crashing. The drivers figured out that if you get a partner to push you around the track, you can outrun the pack. NASCAR race fans like their crashing, so NASCAR is doing what it can to bring back the pack racing and not have them racing two by two for very long by changing the opening in the grill so they will overheat sooner. (I have to wonder how they will be able to race in a pack if they will be overheating in the middle of the pack.)

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Saturday and 24 Jeff Gordon tried a different line around the track and captured the Pole with a speed of 191.624 mph and 49.973 seconds around the track. 22 A. J. Allmendinger will start on the front row with him. J. J. Yeley was the lone driver that did not qualify for the Aaron’s 499 race. Every six years on May 6, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins the race. This race is on May 6. Can he keep this record up? You don’t want to be leading on the last lap, as the driver pushing you will let go and beat you to the Line. There have been a lot  of first time winners at Talladega Superspeedway. Will another driver win for the first time? They are drying the track as the race is set to start. Comedian Ron White starts the engines.

So, here we go! 24 Jeff Gordon starts the race on the outside, 9 Marcos Ambrose with 39 Ryan Newman pushing gets by 24. 17 Matt Kenseth pushes 14 Tony Stewart to lead the first lap. 39 leads the outside lane. 29 Kevin Harvick is on the outside, moving forward.

The first caution comes out when 78 Regan Smith, running in a tight pack, has the engine let go. 17 and 14 come out of the pits first. 22 A. J. Allmendinger is too fast on pit road. 15 Clint Bowyer stalls the car and has to reset everything to get it going. 38 David Gilliland is caught speeding. 93 Travis Kvapil and 27 Paul Menard each led a lap before heading to pit road.

17 restarts on the outside with team mate 16 Greg Biffle right behind. They move down to lead the race. 9 pushes 14 and 14 drops behind leader 17. They are racing four wide in the pack! 48 Jimmie Johnson is leading the middle line. 9 gets stuck on top with no help. 11 Denny Hamlin pushes 55 Michael Waltrip into the lead. 11 gets out of line and finds himself in 14th place. 39 is overheating and heads for the pits. It is an oil pump, so he goes to the garage. 48 and 55 race for the lead with the two lines coming together. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pushes 48 into the lead and they both move to the inside lane. 17 takes the lead, moves up to 24 and they both go down in front of 48. 11 makes a pit stop by himself. The stop is too slow and he goes a lap down.

Others pit together to start Green Flag Pitting. 31 Jeff Burton leads a lap before pitting. 48 leads after the pitting. 48 is blowing up with another oil pump problem and heads for the garage. 88 leads the way to the delight of the fans. 17 drives under 88 to take the lead. 24 is in the middle of the pack with the water gage flashing. (Looks like trying to get rid of the tandem racing is only causing problems in the pack.)

5 Kasey Kahne takes the lead and they are back to pack racing. 17 takes the lead. 5 takes the lead back. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya takes the lead. 2 Brad Keselowski and 22 pit together to start Green Flag Pitting again. 27 leads a lap before pitting. 29 is leading after the pitting. 16 takes the lead. 51 Kurt Busch in the Ricky Bobby paint scheme takes the lead. (The crew chief announces: new leader, Ricky Bobby.) 17 takes the lead. 16 gets by 51 for second. 51 retakes the lead and moves down. 17 and 16 get by 51 for the lead. 16 gets shuffled back. 29 is on top slowing down. 31 runs out of fuel. They start another round of Green Flag Pitting. 51 is on the apron, out of fuel.

The second caution is The Big One. 47 Bobby Labonte runs out of gas with 18 leading. Everyone bunches up. 43 Aric Almirola is on the bottom and moves up into 36 Dave Blaney and 42. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets caught in it and slides down into 24 who is low to avoid the mess. 20 Joey Logano, 32 Terry Labonte, 93, 83 Landon Cassill and 99 Carl Edwards are also caught up in it. 43 was out of fuel on the apron and tried to get back up onto the track. (Are you happy now, NASCAR race fans?) 27 comes off pit road as the caution comes out to lead. 17, 9 and 51 pit before pit road is open and will have to restart dead last.

They restart with 38 laps to go. 2 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead. 17 pushes 13 Casey Mears into the lead. 11 retakes the lead. 13 leads. 11 is back in the lead. 15 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead back. 2 pushes 17 into the lead. The third caution comes out when 13 has a tire going down and wobbles in front of 9, spins and comes down the track and clips 21 Trevor Bayne. 5 manages to get by. 29 Kevin Harvick gets his lap back. 31 stays on the lead lap.

They restart with nine laps to go and 17 leading. 29 pushes 14 on the outside. The fourth caution comes out when 51 gets bumped in the corner by 2. He slides down the infield and into the wall. The caution comes out while he is sliding. He drives down pit road, going the wrong way. The B-post holding the window net on 17 is cracked.

They restart the race with four laps to go and the fifth caution comes out on the restart. 17 is on the outside with 16 right behind. 11 moves to the middle and 22 tries to block, spinning 27. 29 gets into 1 Jamie McMurray. 55 gets into 20. 15 and 55 get together. 88 gets by. 5 once again gets by, his third miss. 2 is worried about fuel and drives on the apron. 11 car is falling apart from a tire rub. 17 has fender damage.

This will be the first attempt at a Green White Checker Finish with 17 leading on the outside. 16 pushes 17 and they both go to the bottom. 18 pushes 2 on the outside past 17 and 16 who get disconnected, so aren’t close enough to each other to try to fight for the lead.

The White Flag comes out with 2 leading. 18 figures he will win, as he is pushing the leader and can pull out at the last second to win. (Like Joey did to him on Saturday.) As they come around the fourth corner, 2 turns left to break the connection and takes off, leaving 18 too far away to challenge.

2 Brad Keselowski wins the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. No one remembers who finished second. Nineteen cars were taken out in this race. So, I guess it was a great show for the fans. There were sixteen different leaders, with 17 Kenseth leading the most. 194 laps had to be raced, making it the Aaron’s 516!

2 Keselowski was followed by 18 Kyle Busch, 17 Matt Kenseth, 5 Kasey Kahne, 16 Greg Biffle, 15 Clint Bowyer, 34 David Ragan, 21 Trevor Bayne, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 31 Jeff Burton for the top ten. In Championship points, Greg Biffle remains in first place, seven points ahead of Matt Kenseth who moved up two spots after leading the most laps and finishing third. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Denny Hamlin each fall a spot to third and fourth, while Kevin Harvick climbs two spots into fifth. Martin Truex, Jr. and Tony Stewart swap sixth and seventh places. Jimmie Johnson falls two spots into eighth. Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer each move up two spots into ninth and tenth. Carl Edwards falls two spots, out of the top ten, into eleventh and Brad Keselowski moves up one place into the top twelve.

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

Fast Friday At Talladega

May 5, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR comes to the fastest track on the circuit, Talladega Superspeedway. This is a 2.66 mile track and is so fast NASCAR had to put restrictor plates on the cars to curb the horsepower! This is to keep the speeds below 200 mph. At this track, they race in packs, three wide and ten deep. Truly a sight to behold. The NASCAR drivers, however, figured out that if they double up, with one car pushing another, they can go faster around the track and maneuver better in traffic than they could in a big pack. The fans that NASCAR listened to don’t like “tandem racing” and now NASCAR made it so they couldn’t double up for long periods of time without causing engine trouble. For some reason, crashing is more exciting than RACING.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practiced for the Aaron’s 499 Sunday race on Fast Friday. The NASCAR Nationwide Series was also on hand on Fast Friday for their practice for the Aaron’s 312 race on Saturday. Rain came on Thursday, washing out those practice sessions. As a result qualifying for the Nationwide race was canceled. They will line up according to owner points for the race on Saturday, with Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. starting on the front row.

To this NASCAR race fan’s delight the ARCA race was shown on television. There were many cautions with multiple cars crashing for those NASCAR race fans who think racing is boring unless there are a number of multi-car crashes. There was even a Red Flag for cleanup. And some spectacular crashing. But the finish was great. Matt Lofton and Chad Hackenbracht led most of the laps. At the end Lofton was leading with Brandon McReynalds and Hackenbracht right behind. In the final turn Hackenbracht pushed McReynalds to the lead to win. Hackenbracht was not able to get past Lofton and had to settle for third, where he was anyway. But this NASCAR race fan found the finish quite exciting.

Saturday will see Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race with Aric Almirola rolling out last. He was fastest in both practice sessions on Fast Friday. Saturday afternoon will be the Aaron’s 312 Nationwide race.

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

 

Fast Friday In Richmond

April 28, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series are in Richmond, VA. at Richmond International Raceway. Fast Friday saw practice for the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers Sprint Cup race to be raced on Saturday night. As well as practice for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide race. Mark Martin was fastest in Sprint Cup practice and will come out last for Coors Light Pole Qualifying.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place for both Series’ on Fast Friday. Mark Martin came out last and knocked Carl Edwards off the Pole position with a speed of 128.327 mph and 21.040 seconds around this .75 mile D-shaped oval. On the Nationwide side, Kevin Harvick captured the Pole with a speed of 124.625 mph and 21.665 second around the track.

The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide race also was run on Fast Friday. Herewith a short NASCAR race review. 33 Kevin Harvick started on the Pole with 18 Denny Hamlin next to him on the front row. 18 and 33 raced for the lead, with 18 leading the first lap by inches. 33 then took over and pulled away.

The first caution came out for debris. 33 and 18 again raced for the lead at the restart with 33 sliding in front of 18. 54 Kurt Busch drove under 18 for second with a hot engine. The second caution came out when 17 J. J. Yeley blew a tire and headed straight into the wall. 54 and 33 race for the lead and 54 takes the lead. They race again for the lead and 33 takes the lead.

The third caution was for 81 Jason Bowles spinning out after contact with 23 Robert Richardson. 18 misses his pit and restarts in the rear. 23 and 7 Danica Patrick get together and 23 gets a tire rub. 2 Elliott Sadler and 3 Austin Dillon get together.

54 is catching leader 33. 31 Justin Allgaier smokes the tires getting onto pit road to start Green Flag Pitting. 88 Cole Whitt misses pit entrance. 20 Joey Logano leads, but hasn’t made his pit stop.Everyone is driving by him, so he finally pits. 18 gets by 33 for second and is catching the leader, 54. The White Flag comes out and 18 and 54 race side by side for the win. They come to the Finish Line side by side, into each other. 54 is ahead at the Line and wins the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.

This Nationwide race was all about the Sprint Cup drivers in the race. Watching it on television, the announcers barely mentioned Nationwide drivers. Kevin Harvick led the most laps. Denny Hamlin had to race through the field after missing his pit stall. And Kurt Busch wins the race for his brother and Kyle Busch Motorsports, his first win as an owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

18 Denny Hamlin finished second followed by 33 Kevin Harvick, 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 12 Sam Hornish, Jr., 2 Elliott Sadler, 36 Ryan Blaney (he was really fast all night), 43 Michale Annett, 3 Austin Dillon and 38 Kasey Kahne for the top ten.

Elliott Sadler stays in the lead in points with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. only two points behind. Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish, Jr., Michael Annett and Cole Whitt stay in third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Justin Allgaier moves up two into seventh. Tayler Malsam stays in eighth, while Trevor Bayne (who does not have sponsorship! and didn’t race) falls two positions to ninth. Mike Bliss rounds out the top ten in points.

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