Posts Tagged ‘Southern 500’

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.

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NASCAR Race Review: Southern 500

May 8, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to me NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race review is the Showtime Southern 500 held at the Darlington Raceway, the tenth race of the season. Darlington is the Lady In Black because everyone gets into her walls and leaves black stripes on her. And is the Track Too Tough To Tame. The drivers must race the track, not each other to win here. This track needs brain power and concentration to win. Five hundred miles and 367 laps is a very long time.

4 Kasey Kahne capture the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday with a speed of181.254 mph and 27.131 seconds. 39 Ryan Newman starts second. Both drivers broke the track record. 81 Scott Riggs, 71 Andy Lally and 92 Brian Keselowski failed to make the race. Darlington is the oldest paved super speedway 1.366 miles around located in the Sand Hills of South Carolina. This egg-shaped oval is a tough track to race on. The Southern 500 is the day before Mothers’ Day and the drivers’ Mothers gave the command to start the engines.

So, here we go! 4 Kahne chooses the outside line and leads from the pole with 39 right behind. 39 challenges for the lead but 4 holds him off. The first caution comes out on lap 2 for spinning 60 Mike Skinner. He had help from 66 Michael McDowell. 11 Denny Hamlin scraped the wall. 24 Jeff Gordon catches the leaders, 4 and 39. 16 Greg Biffle gets loose in front of 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 18 Kyle Busch gets by 99 Carl Edwards. 14 Tony Stewart drives under 83 Brian Vickers.  29 Kevin Harvick drives under 9 Marcos Ambrose for ninth. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 9 for tenth. 18 gets by 83 for fifth. 14 gets by 24 for third.

The second caution comes out when 46 J. J. Yeley goes up in smoke. 7 Robby Gordon gets back onto the lead lap. This is the competition caution NASCAR was going to throw to check tires because of the rain on Friday. The drivers will be able to take fuel. 32 Ken Schrader stayed out a lap to lead, then pits. 4 chooses the outside and drives around 18 to continue leading. 17 Matt Kenseth slides into 9, the tire goes down and he has to pit but the car won’t steer and he goes under the cone to get to the pits and has to come back in for a penalty. 83 and 39 race for eighth and 83 finally gets by.

The third caution comes out for 34 David Gilliland getting into the wall. He would have gotten his lap back but he was the caution. 1 Jamie McMurray takes two tires to lead. 14 has a long pit stop. 4 dives under 18 for second. 24 gets loose and 48 gets by. The fourth caution comes out on lap 83. 48 gets by 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, 42 crosses over and spins 48. Most of the lead lap stays out. 48 makes a pit stop because he flat spotted the tires after spinning.

4 takes the lead. 18 gets by 1 for second. 42 puts 83 into the wall to get by. 4 scrapes the wall (he lost focus for a second). 99 drives under 4 to take the lead. 18 gets by 4 for second. The fifth caution comes out during the commercial for debris. On pit road, 2 Brad Keselowski spins 27 Paul Menard sideways into his pit stall. He will have to back up to get out. 18 comes out of the pits first to lead. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets by 24 and then goes under 00 David Reutimann. 5 Mark Martin drives under 2. 17 gets another flat tire and starts Green Flag Pitting. 56 spins trying to get to pit road after taking the lead and looses a lap. 47 Bobby Labonte leads a lap before pitting. After it all 18 is back in the lead. 18 pits with a loose wheel and 99 takes the lead.

The sixth caution comes out on lap 222. 48 gets sideways and slides down the track but doesn’t hit anything, (Now that’s car control.) 22 Kurt Busch slides into the wall and pits. No caution. The seventh caution comes out when 6 David Ragan and 83 get together trying to be the first car a lap sown. 6 takes out the whole driver’s side panel exposing the foam underneath. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets back onto the lead lap.

The eighth caution comes out when 20 Joey Logano and 9 get together and 20 gets into the inside wall. 29 takes the lead and scoots away. 24 gets by 4 for second. 5 gets into the wall and the ninth caution comes out for his debris. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets back onto the lead lap. At the restart 4 and 29 battle for the lead and 4 is back in the lead. 99 gets by 29 for second. 24 gets into the wall, getting his “Darlington stripe”.

Green Flag Pitting starts again. 88 hits the cone coming in and will have to come in again. 14 leads. 38 Travis Kvapil gets into the wall. 14 pits and 4 is back in the lead. 4 and 99 battle for the lead and 99 takes the lead. 31 Jeff Burton goes up in smoke, bringing out the tenth caution with ten laps to go. 14, 78 Regan Smith and 2 stay out while the top five pit. They go Green with five laps to go.

The eleventh caution comes out when 18 tries to make it three wide and spins 29 and 33 Clint Bowyer. There is a Green White Checker Finish and 78 Regan Smith wins his first career race at a Crown Jewel Event with Carl Edwards right behind. There is a pit road confrontation between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick after the race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR Fan Rant

May 7, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Darlington Raceway in SC. for the Showtime Southern 500 night race, there is nothing going on during the day on Saturday. So I thought I’d post a rant. To make things perfectly clear, I fell in love with NASCAR after seeing my first race in 1996. I loved watching all those beautiful cars going so fast around the track so close to each other. And the best races were those that had few cautions. See, I like RACING. Not crashing.

Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt both have seven championships. They both beat the competition seven times and had the most points over the whole year. Richard Petty won 200 races in what is now Sprint Cup. Since then the Busch Series was born to get new faces into NASCAR. Some moved up to Cup. Others weren’t good enough and stayed to compete with each other in the “Minor Leagues”. The Series is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Craftsman Truck Series was later born and these drivers tried Cup racing but never won at the higher level. The Series is now the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and is a starting point for drivers to get National recognition.

Cup drivers would occasionally race in the minor league races, mostly to get fans to watch these races. But they didn’t enter enough races to take away too many wins from the regular drivers. Until lately. Kevin Harvick started the trend in 2006 and went for the Busch championship and won it. Followed by Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Martin Truex, Jr. was the last Busch driver to win a championship. He, like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won two of them in a row before moving on to Cup. Brad couldn’t win the championship while in the Series, as the Cup drivers were busy winning it. He moved up to Cup and raced in all the Nationwide races to win the Nationwide Title.

This year NASCAR declared all drivers had to decide on which championship they would race for. Thus not letting a Cup driver win the championship in the Minor Leagues. However, the Cup drivers are still allowed to race in all the races and win all the races. The media ask each other before each race if a Nationwide driver can win the race. And the answer is always no, “these Cup guys will be hard to beat.” It looks like the Nationwide champion will win without a single trophy!

The media loves Kyle Busch because he can beat the little guys. He goes to Nationwide and breaks all the Busch/Nationwide records. And they lump all his Minor League Victories in with his Cup victories to show how great a driver he is! Richard Petty has 200 wins. Kyle is racing in the Minor Leagues and looking to get more than 200 in all three Series. And the Media thinks this is just grand! Frank Kimmel has nine championships in ARCA. Does that make him better than Petty or Earnhardt? Kyle has one Nationwide championship. And only twenty-some wins in Cup. But he sure can beat the little guys and a handful of Cup drivers! He’s good at short races with little competition. Does this make him the best driver ever? Hardly. This NASCAR race fan is getting tired of the media shoving him down our throats in the minor leagues.

I love the Truck Series and the Truck drivers. I love the Nationwide Series and the Nationwide drivers. I have my favorites in both Series. I have my favorites in K&N Pro East and West Series’. And I love watching ARCA and those drivers. I do not watch these races to see which Cup driver will win the race. I want my favorite to win. I almost don’t want to watch the Minor League races any more. Who wants to see Cup drivers take away all the wins from the regulars? Not this fan. It’s like watching Tiger Woods playing against the amateurs and LPGA. Sure, he can beat them, but who wants to watch that? Kyle can beat the little guys, but who wants to watch that? I guess Kyle fans do. And the media.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. Thank you for listening. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR Racing At Darlington Raceway

May 6, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week NASCAR heads over to the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. Practice took place for the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race and the Royal Purple 200 NASCAR Nationwide race. Weather is in the area. That means that if Coors Light Pole Qualifying is rained out, the field will line up according to speed in practice, instead of owner points, as in the past. Rains did come and washed away the rubber as well as Nationwide qualifying. Sprint Cup drivers will start the Nationwide race up front.

The track was dried in time to have qualifying for the Southern 500 before the Royal Purple 200 race. Since they qualify from the slowest to the fastest in practice, there were many provisional pole sitters. 43 A. J. Allmendinger, 9 Marcos Ambrose, 24 Jeff Gordon. 4 Kasey Kahne set a new track record to win the pole award with a speed of 181.25 mph and 27.131 seconds. 39 Ryan Newman was fastest in practice but had to settle for second, also a new track record.

The Royal Purple 200 Nationwide race followed Cup qualifying. The race was once again all about  which Cup driver would win the race. 33 Clint Bowyer who was to start the race in second, missed the driver meeting role call and had to start the race from the rear. That was fun watching him race to the front. 2 Elliott Sadler took no tires after a caution and got to lead some laps before 18 Kyle Busch took over. Heaven forbid a Nationwide driver be allowed to win a Nationwide race. Joe Gibbs Racing has great Nationwide cars. Too bad a Nationwide driver is not behind the wheel. Tiger Woods beat the Ladies once again! Not much fun to watch.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

NASCAR Racing At Darlington

May 5, 2011

Welcome NASCAR Race fans to my NASCAR blog. The tenth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC. This track is one of the oldest on the circuit and is often called “The Lady In Black” and “The Track Too Tough To Tame”. It is a 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval, the only one like it. There isn’t much room for passing and the cars tend to get into the wall, trying to do so. Most everyone during the race gets their “Darlington stripe”.

Awhile back there used to be two races at this track. The most famous was the Southern 500 held on Labor Day weekend. For some reason NASCAR decided to take away that weekend and give it to California. That left only one race each year at this Historic, wonderful track. And no Southern 500! Fans complained and we now get to see the Southern 500 on Saturday night before Mother’s Day. (Not quite the same thing.) This race is under the lights, thus making it all more exciting(?). In my opinion it just makes for a short weekend of NASCAR racing.

Last year Jamie McMurray set a new qualifying track record of 180.37 mph. Two other drivers, Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers, also broke the track record. Kyle Busch holds the race record of 140.35 mph set 5/10/08. Jeff Gordon has the most wins of any active driver with seven. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and Greg Biffle all have two wins at Darlington. Last year Denny Hamlin won the Southern 500.

Also at Darlington Raceway this weekend will be the NASCAR Nationwide Series for their Royal Purple 300 race on Friday night. For tickets to this weekend of racing, try Vivid Seats. They have tickets for most Sporting events. I’ll be back to tell you about practice practice and qualifying.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.