Posts Tagged ‘Nationwide drivers’

NASCAR Race Review: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200

May 12, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series raced their ninth race of the season, VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC. Friday night. Qualifying was earlier on Fast Friday, with Nationwide driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on the Pole with a speed of 173.546 mph and 28.336 seconds around this 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval. Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin, in the Sport Clips car, starts next to him on the front row. The guys in the booth all pick their favorite Sprint Cup driver to win the race, even though this is a Nationwide race. There are many drivers here at Darlington Raceway for the first time at this track “too tough to tame”. 88 Cole Whitt and 99 Travis Pastrano crashed into the wall during qualifying and will start the race from the rear in backup cars.

6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. starts the race on the inside and moves past 18 Denny Hamlin to lead from the Pole. On Lap 2 the first caution comes out. 36 Ryan Blaney gets going too fast and slides up into the wall, and sends 51 Jeremy Clements sideways. Others get together behind them.

6 again restarts on the inside and moves up in front of 18. 38 Kasey Kahne and 31 Justin Allgaier race side by side and 38 gets by. 33 Brendan Gaughan and 22 Brad Keselowski race side by side and 22 gets by. 11 Brian Scott drives under 31. 22 drives under 31. 2 Elliott Sadler gets by 3 Austin Dillon for fourth. 18 challenges for the lead and 6 lets him by. 20 Joey Logano drives under 2 for fourth.

The second caution comes out when 01 Mike Wallace blows a tire in front of 6 and heads for the wall with much sparks. 31 makes a pit stop with the hood up. 18 and 20 come out of the pits first and they race for the lead at the restart. 20 takes the lead. 18 drives under 20 to take the lead.

The third caution comes out when 50 T. J. Bell was trying to get between 39 Josh Richards and 31. 39 wouldn’t let him in and 50 hits the outside wall, down the track and into the inside wall. 99 Travis Pastrano gets back onto the lead lap.

At the restart, 18 and 20 race each other for the lead and 54 Kurt Busch drives under them to take the lead. After a few laps 18 takes the lead back. 6 gets by 20 for third. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. lets team mate 22 by for sixth. 6 gets by 54 for second. 6 gets sideways into a lapped car and 54 gets by. 22 and 6 start Green Flag Pitting. 18 pits and 54 leads. 54 pits and 20 leads. 20 pits and 33 leads. 33 pits and 31 leads. 18 takes the lead driving between a lap car and 31. 22 gets by 3. 2 is overheating.

20 drives under 54 for second as 54 has a tire going down. 54 smacks into the wall, bringing out the fourth caution. 2 takes two tires to lead the race. 20 drives under 18 for second. 08 Matt Frahm is smoking and heads for the garage. 18 and 20 race for second and 18 gets by.

18 challenges 2 for the lead as the fifth caution comes out with ten laps to go when 33 gets into the wall. 41 Timmy Hill gets his lap back. 2 restarts on the inside again as they restart with five laps to go. The sixth caution comes out at the restart. 20 in third, instead of pushing 2 to lead, turns left sending 2 across 18 into the wall. (Once again the Sprint Cup drivers take out the Nationwide championship contenders trying to win a Nationwide race.)

18 was leading at the last loop and is declared the leader, even though 20 took the lead when he crashed 2 out. 99 Travis Pastrano is again the Lucky Dog. This will be a Green White Checker Finish. 22 pushes 20 into the lead and he holds off 18 for the win. 20 Joey Logano wins the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, his second straight Nationwide victory. (Logano takes Elliot Sadler’s trophy. What a great Nationwide driver Joey is!)

So, Sprint Cup drivers finish the Nationwide race in the first three spots, with Logano winning, Hamlin second and Keselowski third. Sam Hornish, Jr. finished fourth, followed by Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Brian Scott, (Sprint Cup driver) Kurt Busch, James Buescher and Cole Whitt for the top ten.

Logano’s taking Elliott Sadler out puts him 23 points behind Championship points leader, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Hopefully other Sprint Cup drivers will not take him out and he can make up points in races to come.) Austin Dillon remains in third, Sam Hornish, Jr. remains in fourth, Cole Whitt stays in fifth, Michael Annette stays in sixth and Justin Allgaier remains in seventh. Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek and Danica Patrick each move up a spot for the top ten, as Tayler Malsam falls three spots into eleventh.

And now my commentary. This race only had 43 cars entered. Five of them were Sprint Cup drivers. They say NASCAR race fans only watch Nationwide races if Sprint Cup drivers are in the race. This NASCAR race fan says fans do not come to Nationwide races instead of Sprint Cup races to see the Sprint Cup drivers. The fans that are there for the Nationwide race are fans that are there for the weekend and get to see the Sprint Cup drivers the following day. The Nationwide race should be about Nationwide drivers going for their Championship. Not about which Sprint Cup driver will win the Nationwide race. Nor about which Sprint Cup driver will take out Nationwide drivers to win these Nationwide races. Granted, it would not have been a full race this time without them, but I fail to understand why they have to take out Nationwide Championship contenders to win Nationwide races. Perhaps the Sprint Cup drivers should start these Nationwide races from the rear of the field, instead of taking over the Nationwide races. Joey Logano took out Elliott Sadler to win the Nationwide race. Sadler was leading the race. Had he gone on to win, he would be leading the points. Instead, Logano wins the race and Sadler falls way behind. Perhaps Logano should drop down to Nationwide so he can win races and Championships. I suppose Sprint Cup drivers liven up the Minor League races, but they should not be allowed to take out drivers racing for Championship points to win Minor League races. Have them start from the rear so we can watch these Pros race their way to the front. It’s no fun watching Sprint Cup drivers start out front, lead most of the laps and win these Minor League races. Especially if they take out championship points contenders to do so. Let them take each other out in Sprint Cup, not in the Minor Leagues.This NASCAR race fan would much rather see Nationwide drivers in these races. Perhaps Nationwide owners should find Nationwide drivers to drive their Nationwide cars, not Sprint Cup drivers.

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

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NASCAR Race Review: Ford EcoBoost 300

March 17, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is at the Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend for the Ford EcoBoost 300. Practice was held on Friday with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. being the fastest. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place Saturday morning with Derrike Cope, the slowest in practice coming out first. He and Morgan Shepherd failed to make the race. Joey Logano captured the pole with a speed of 124.210 mph and 15.448 seconds around this fast half mile track. Trevor Bayne starts second.

So far this year, there has been three races. Nationwide drivers have won all three races. (Or, as ESPN commentator Allen Bestwick says, non-Cup drivers.) It sure is fun watching the Nationwide drivers winning the Nationwide races.

This track is so small, it has two pit lanes. During caution, they all come in off Turn 4. If there is pitting while the race is Green, the drivers may go in off turn 2 if their pit is down that lane. There were three timing spots on each side to catch those speeding on pit lane. They had to add more of these so drivers could no longer pass cars before the next timing spot.

So, here we go! 18 Joey Logano leads from the Pole position. 11 Brian Scott drives around 54 Kyle Busch. 3 Austin Dillon drives around 31 Justin Allgaier. 22 Brad Keselowski gets loose. 3 and 38 Kasey Kahne race side by side and 3 drives under 38. 2 Elliott Sadler bumps the slower car 39 Joey Gase. Lapped cars are getting in the way of the leaders. 54 gets by 33 Kevin Harvick for fifth. 22 forces 01 Mike Wallace to get by. 54 drives under 60 Trevor Bayne for second. 33 drives through the middle of two lapped cars. 54 takes the lead in traffic.

The first caution comes out when 39 Joey Gase gets into the wall. 30 James Buescher gets back onto the lead lap. 18 and 54 are out of the pits first. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. hits a crew member of the 08 Kyle Fowler team as he is trying to get out of his pit stall. 18 leads. 2 gets by 54 who is stuck on the bottom. 33 and 60 get by 54. 41 Blake Koch is smoking. 22 finally gets by 31. 54 makes a pit stop with a loose wheel. He goes a lap and a half down. 60 and 33 race for third and 60 drives under 33. 31 and 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. race for position and 28 Kevin Lepage stays on top to give them room to race. 6 gets by.

The second caution comes out during the commercial. 12 spins around all by himself. 54 stays out and takes the wave around. 60 leads. The third caution comes out when 50 T. J. Bell gets around and into the wall. 31 gets stuck on the bottom. 6 gets by 31 or second. 31, 22 and 33 get by 2 who is stuck on the bottom. 31 and 22 race or position, 31 gets too high and 22 gets by. 18 and 2 get by 31. 11 heads to the garage with clutch and temperature problems.

6 takes the lead from 60. The fourth caution comes  out during the commercial. 54 looses the brake duct hose and gets into the wall. 60 takes left side tires. 33 is caught speeding. 2 stays out with 38 to restart in front. 31, 20 Ryan Truex and 60 are three wide. 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 18 race for position, 18 gets by and 5 makes the cross-over, but can’t get by. 20 and 60 race side by side. 31 and 6 get together and 6 gets by. 33 and 20 race side by side.

2 Elliott Sadler wins the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, his second win this year. The Nationwide drivers are winning all the Nationwide races this year! This NASCAR fan loves it. 38 Kasey Kahne finishes second, followed by 22 Brad Keselowski, 18 Joey Logano, 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 31 Justin Allgaier, 60 Trevor Bayne, 33 Kevin Harvick and 20 Ryan Truex for the top ten. Sadler remains the points leader. Stenhouse moves up a spot into second, Bayne moves up a spot into third. Dillon falls two spots into fourth. Cole Whitt remains in fifth. Hornish remains in sixth, Taylor Malsam remains in seventh. Michael Annette remains in eighth. Allgaier remains in ninth. Mike Bliss moves up our spots into the top ten.

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

Sprint Cup Driver Wins Nationwide Race

September 9, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series raced the Virginia 529 Collage Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on Friday night. This was going to be a NASCAR race review of the Nationwide race, but there was not much Nationwide racing going on. I won’t be taping this one on Thursday. And I may find other things to do besides watching the rerun.

Sprint Cup drivers qualified for the first three positions and they led all the laps. Except for when 51 Jeremy Clements stayed out after a caution and led a lap before pitting himself before the restart. There were six cautions, two of which were a Sprint Cup driver taking out two different Nationwide drivers. 7 Danica Patrick did spin out 22 Brad Keselowski, the pole sitter, when he didn’t give her much room.

It was an exciting finish (?) when one Sprint Cup driver outran another one and 18 Kyle Busch won the Virginia 529 Collage Savings 250 over 60 Carl Edwards. This makes Kyle the best Cup driver ever to race in the Busch/Nationwide Series. Wow! 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished third, followed by 20 Ryan Truex, 09 Kenny Wallace, 2 Elliott Sadler, 88 Aric  Almirola, 32 Reed Sorenson,  31 Justin Allgaier and 87 Joe Nemechek. Stenhouse keeps the lead in points, followed by Sadler, Sorenson, Almirola, Allgaier, Jason Leffler, Kenny Wallace and Steve Wallace.  Michael Annett and Brian Scott trade ninth and tenth place.

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

NASCAR Racing At Richmond

April 30, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The ninth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 presented by Crown Royal at Richmond International Raceway. Each year Crown Royal honors our Service men by naming the race after them. Last year it was Heath Calhoun.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Friday with 42 Juan Pablo Montoya knocking 78 Regan Smith off the pole position with a speed of 128.639 mph and 20.989 seconds. Montoya was the only driver to break into 20 seconds. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was fastest in practice and came out last but didn’t match his practice speed. Montoya and Smith will start on the front row in the race Saturday night. Forty-four cars entered the race and 92 Brian Keselowski was the lone driver to not make the race. (You know how I feel about this. I can’t think of a single reason why only one would need to go home when the last row is not full.)

Friday night the NASCAR Nationwide Series raced in the Bubba Burger 250 with Sprint Cup driver 20 Denny Hamlin winning the race. Once again a Sprint Cup driver won the Nationwide race. Pole sitter 60 Carl Edwards (another Sprint Cup driver) dominated the beginning of the race until he ran out of fuel. He had to pit under Green and stalled the car coming out of the pits. They serviced the car out of the pits by spraying the carburator to get it going again before pushing the car back into the stall. He ended up five laps down.

Perhaps it would have been a better race if the Sprint Cup drivers started from the rear, instead of having them trying to dominate the whole race. It might have been fun watching Carl race up through the field to end up out front. Denny started further back and dominated. I just wish one of these Nationwide drivers could win a Nationwide race.  And I wish the announcers would spend more time talking about the Nationwide drivers instead of telling us how great the Cup drivers are. 31 Justin Allgaier now leads the Championship Points. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. tried to keep up with Denny and ended up running out of fuel and dropping in points from leading down to sixth.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR Racing: Nationwide At Bristol

March 19, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Saturday morning the NASCAR Nationwide Series qualified for the EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. As you’ll recall, qualifying position is no longer a random draw. It is now based on practice speeds. The slowest come out first with the fastest cars on the track last, followed by those not locked in by owner points in the same order. This makes for many pole sitters, as well as the fastest having to wait until all entries have been out to qualify.

24 Kevin Lepage withdrew from qualifying, making it 44 entries. So, one car will have to go home. Tires were an issue at Bristol this weekend with the tires wearing out on the right side too fast and not putting rubber down onto the track. Nationwide will qualify on old tires and start the race on the old tire. There will be a competition caution on lap 25 where everyone will get the new tire.

I have to say qualifying was hard to follow, watching it on SPEED TV. They were busy doing interviews instead of telling us who was on the track and how they did. And they showed their speed, but only momentarily. I had to follow it up with live qualifying on NASCAR.com. so I had all the drivers and all their names.

22 Brad Keselowski (last years champion) was on the provisional pole until 60 Carl Edwards came out. 38 Kasey Kahne came up second. 16 Trevor Bayne sat on the pole until 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. knocked him off. 31 Justin Allgaier, the defending champion of this race, qualified third of those who are locked into the race.

03 Chris Lawson crashed in his qualifying effort and will not race later today. Sprint Cup drivers 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 20 Joey Logano and 33 Kevin Harvick were unable to knock Ricky off the pole. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will sit on the pole for the EZ Seed 300 this afternoon with a speed of 126.07 mph and 15.220 seconds. 30 Jason Leffler will start on the front row with him. And I have to say, it’s nice to see Nationwide drivers starting the Nationwide race in front. I’ll be back after the race.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Jeff Byrd 500 took place after Nationwide qualifying.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.