Posts Tagged ‘Watkins Glen International’

NASCAR Race Review: Ford 400 Season Finale

December 1, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes to an end with the Season Finale Ford 400 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coming into the race, two drivers can win the Sprint Cup Championship. Carl Edwards is three points ahead of Tony Stewart. Tony has already won four of the final ten races. Carl has not finished worse than eleventh in the nine races in the chase for the Sprint Cup. Carl is leading Tony by the three points given to him for winning in Las Vegas earlier in the season. Who ever wins this race will be crowned champion.

99 Carl Edwards holds the advantage by qualifying on the Pole with a speed of 175.467 mph and 30.775 seconds around this 1.5 mile track. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. starts next to him on the front row. Scott Speed, Reed Sorenson, Mike Skinner, Scott Riggs and Grant Enfinger failed to make the race. (J. J. Yeley reports he is stuck in traffic on the way to the track and hopes he will make it to the driver’s meeting.)

This was quite a year for NASCAR racing. There were eighteen different winners, five of which were first time winners. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500, Regan Smith won at Darlington Speedway, Paul Menard won the Brickyard 400, David Ragan won the 400 race at Daytona and Marcos Ambrose won at Watkins Glen International. They will all get to race in the Sprint All Star race next year. No Owner/driver has won a Championship since Alan Kulwicki did it in 1992. Tony can do this by winning in his Stewart/ Haas #14 car.

So, here we go! 14, starting fifteenth, makes it three wide for position. 99 leads the first lap from the pole with 56 right behind. 22 Kurt Busch is smoking and slow on the track with transmission issues on Lap 3. He heads for the garage. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., racing on the high line, gets by 48 Jimmie Johnson. 2 Brad Keselowski and 24 Jeff Gordon get around 17 Matt Kenseth. 88 gets around 17 for fifth.

The first caution comes out on lap 14 for rain. Some part from 22 hit Stewart’s front end and he has to make repairs to the grill. He restarts in fortieth place. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya is caught speeding. The rain is only a few sprinkles and they restart on lap 22. 88 and 56 race for second. 56 is on top where 88 likes to be and can’t get by. 39 Ryan Newman and 48 race for fourth with 24. 24 gets by 48. It’s hard to pass on the bottom of the track, but 24 tries again and gets by 39.

The second caution comes out during the commercial for spinning 35 Dave Blaney. 99 tire changer slips, giving him a long pit stop. 14 makes more repairs to the grill after making his way into the top fifteen.  42 stays out to lead. 2 takes the lead, with 29 Kevin Harvick in second as 42 falls back. 29 and 99 race for second. 21 Trevor Bayne slips in front of 14. 48 and 83 Brian Vickers race for position. 14 drives under 31 Jeff Burton. 99 gets by 29 for second. 29 bumps 99.

2 and 99 race for the lead and 99 takes the lead. 14 gets by 18 Kyle Busch for fourteenth. (The drivers are moving over when Tony gets to them.) 9 Marcos Ambrose is on seven cylinders. 29 and 48 race for eighth. Green Flag Pitting begins on lap 76. 24, 17 and 48 lead before pitting.

The third caution comes out after Green Flag Pitting is complete when 6 David Ragan blows up. 9 also heads for the garage. 13 Casey Mears gets back onto the lead lap. 4 Kasey Kahne makes lengthly adjustments. They restart on lap 88 with 99 and 24 up front. 88 and 17 race for position with 39 right behind. 17 gets by 88, 39 drives under 88. 48 drives under 88. 17 gets by 2. 14 drives under 88 as 88 gets loose. 14 drives under 39 for seventh. 48 makes a pit stop from fifth and the hood goes up.

The fourth caution comes out on lap 108, again for rain. (There is a rainbow across the track.) The blow driers come out, but there is too much rain and the Red Flag comes out. 14 is up to fifth. When the Yellow Flag comes back out, they can continue working on 48. The jet driers dry off pit road so they can get underway. 48 is back on the track after fixing the carburetor. 16 Greg Biffle stays out to lead, then pits. 47 Bobby Labonte was teh Lucky Dog recipient. 29 takes two tires to lead and restarts on the inside. 14 dives under 99 and 24 into second. 29, 56 and 99 are three wide. 42 scrapes the wall. 24 and 14 race for the lead and 24 lets 14 by to take the lead. 88 and 18 race for seventh. 14 is flying! 99 drives under 24 for second. 21 gets into the wall, bringing out the fifth caution.

29 and 39 are first out of the pits. 14 had lug nut trouble. 14 makes it four wide! 39 and 56 race side by side for second and 56 drives under 39 to get by.14 drives around 24. The sixth caution comes out for spinning 48. He had taken the wave around, but now has four flat tires. 34 David Gilliland gets into 48 as he starts to spin. They restart on lap 147 and are three wide for the lead. 56 takes the lead. 14 makes it four wide to get by three others. 14 drives under 56 to take the lead.

The seventh caution comes out when 51 Landon Cassill tries to get around 1 Jamie McMurray but doesn’t clear and goes off spinning. 21 blows a tire and spins. 84 Cole Whitt has nowhere to go and gets caught up in the accident. Pit road is closed until they can clean up the track so the drivers don’t get debris on their new tires when they get back onto the track. 14 had trouble with a lug nut getting stuck in the socket and changed only two tires. 31 and 88 stay out to lead. They quickly lose the lead. 14 drives under 88 for fifth. 14 drives under 31 for fourth. 99 and 56 race for second. 99 drives under 56 into second. 17 and 99 race for the lead and 99 takes the lead.

14 gets by 56 into third. 31 and 4 race for fifth. 14 drives under 17 for second. 99 almost gets into the wall. 33 Clint Bowyer and 43 A. J. Allmendinger nearly collide. 31 pits. 16 is down a cylinder and heads for the garage. (The third Ford with engine trouble.) Green Flag Pitting starts.

4 gets by 56 into fourth. 99 pits and 14 takes the lead. 99 gets by 14 to unlap himself. 14 stretches his fuel so he will only have to make one more stop. Those with fresh tires get by to get back onto the lead lap. 14 finally pits and 5 Mark Martin takes the lead. 99 takes the lead.

The eighth caution comes out for rain. The leaders pit but 18, 2, 43 and 1 stay out but will not have enough fuel to make it to the end. The jet driers blow dry the track while the cars are on the track. 43 pits. 00 David Reutimann gets back onto the lead lap.

They restart with 37 laps to go. 14, 18 and 2 race for the lead. 14 takes the lead. 2 and 99 race for second and 99 clears. 2 makes a pit stop. 14, leading and 99 in second come on lap traffic. They both get by. The Flag man waves for lap traffic to let the leaders by. 14 is about a second ahead of 99 and not about to be caught.

14 Tony Stewart wins the Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in the most exciting race this race fan has ever seen! This was his fifth win in the last ten races of the year. He now becomes one of very few drivers with three or more championships. And he is the only driver to have a Winston Cup, a Nextel Cup and a Sprint Cup! Carl Edwards did what he had to do by leading the most laps. Tony’s winning the race gave both drivers the same amount of points, 2403, but as with any tie, the win goes to the driver with the most wins. Tony Stewart won all five in the last ten races! What a wonderful, exciting race for the grand finale. Tony passed 55 cars to win the race! Tony becomes the first owner/driver to win the Championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992! And his team is only three years old. Truly remarkable. He now has bookends to Jimmie Johnson’s five in a row, as he was the last driver to win the Championship whose name is not Jimmie Johnson. A tie! How about that? That has never happened before. It was a race between the two contenders and they finished first and second. It starts to rain in Victory Lane!

Truex finished third with Kenseth, Gordon, Bowyer, Kahne, Harvick, Hamlin and Burton finishing in the top ten. There were twelve different leaders. Stewart and Edwards finished the points in a tie with 2403 points each. Harvick ended up in third place, like he did last year. Kenseth moved up two spots into fourth. Keselowski fell a spot into fifth. Johnson lost a spot to sixth, his worst finishing position since he began racing in Cup. Earnhardt, Jr. remained in seventh. Gordon moved up three spots into eighth, while Hamlin moved up into ninth. Newman fell a spot, but still finishes in the top ten to get on the stage for the banquet. Kurt Busch fell three spots and joins his brother Kyle as the final ones of the chase who will not be on stage in Las Vegas.

I will be back to recap the NASCAR season. This race was the best of all Grand Finale’s.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips At The Glen

August 15, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tried to race the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips @ The Glen on Sunday, but rain washed it out before the command to start the engines. Instead, they raced Monday Morning at Watkins Glen International. I got to see the race on ESPN. I was  going to make the headline of who won, but thought it would be more fun to give the review and have the racing action unfold, instead of announcing the winner.

18 Kyle Busch qualified on the Pole with a speed of 126.421 mph and 69.767 seconds around this 2.45 mile road course. 43 A. J. Allmendinger starts next to him on the front row. 9 Marcos Ambrose won at Watkins Glen the last three years in the Nationwide Series and declares on Friday he will win on Sunday. But can he do it on Monday? He was fastest in final practice. 14 Tony Stewart is looking for his sixth victory at this track. 24 Jeff Gordon is looking for his tenth win on a road course. 11 Denny Hamlin crashed while qualifying and will start in the rear. 13 Casey Mears changed the engine. 66 Michael McDowell missed the driver’s meeting. Both will start from the rear. 38 Terry Labonte got in on a past champion provisional and starts last. Dave Blaney, Brian Simo and p. J. Jones failed to make the race.

So, here we go! 43 gets by 18 for the lead at the start of the race. 18 bumps 9 when he takes second away. 51 Boris Said gets into the inner loop too hard and spins. 13 Mears passes before the line and must come to the pits for a pass-through. 22 Kurt Busch spins out trying to make a pass at the inner loop and 43 puts him a lap down. 29 Kevin Harvick comes in for fuel. 37 Scott Speed spins. 22 bumps 43 to stay on the lead lap and sends 43 spinning through the grass. 9 takes the lead. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya leads when 9 pits. 18 leads, then pits. 48 Jimmie Johnson leads, then pits.

The track is very foggy, but so far, so good. 11 locks the brakes trying to stay off 16 Greg Biffle and 9 gets by both of them. 16 runs out of fuel and is stalled on the track, bringing out the first caution. 6 David Ragan and 5 Mark Martin are headed to the pits when gets by  the caution comes out, closing pit road. 5 heads back onto the track, but 6 runs out of fuel on pit road. 36 Ron Fellows gets back onto the lead lap. 22 comes back in for repairs. 14 has a long pit stop. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 31 Jeff Burton make it to pit road as the caution comes out, before pit road closes.

00 David Reutimann gets knocked off course and spins. 9 pits and 42 leads. 42 pits and 24 leads. 48 makes a pit stop from fourth. 18 takes the lead. 2 Brad Keselowski gets by 24 for second. The second caution comes out when 22 has a tire going down and crashes into the tire barrier. (Kurt won the Nationwide race on Saturday but will not sweep Watkins Glen.) 51 Boris Said gets is lap back. 14 drives inside 56 Martin Truex, Jr. 48 drives around 47 Bobby Labonte. 24 gets by 47. 2 takes the lead from 18. (Remember, he is driving with a broken ankle and hurt.)

17 Matt Kenseth runs out of fuel and team mate 16 pushes him to pit road. 33 Clint Bowyer leads when When the race resumes 9 gets around 56 for third. 48 gets by 14 for sixth. 9 gets by 2 for second and closes in on leader 18 with eight laps to go. 27 Paul Menard blows a tire, bringing out the fourth caution for debris with four laps to go. 27 gets a fire under the car! In the pits, 5 enters his pit with the jack man too close and the jack man jumps with the jack onto the car.

This will be a Green, White Checker Finish. 9 spins the tires. 18 bobbles. 2 takes the lead. 9 takes the lead on the last lap and as the leaders head for the Finish Line, two different incidents happen. 1 has nowhere to go but into 6. 6 gets into the tire barrier, across the track and into 00 who flies back across the track and into the fence. 14 gets off track into the grass, collecting others. All this is happening as the leaders are approaching the finish and I’m screaming for them to stop the race. They finally do, and it takes awhile to figure out the finishing order of those back there.

9 Marcos Ambrose wins his first Sprint Cup race, the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. (If his name was Kyle Busch, this would be his fourth NASCAR win, all four coming at the same track.) Thirty-one cars were still on the lead lap at the finish. There were eight drives who led laps. 18 led the most laps. There are now fifteen different race winners in 2011! Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, A. J. Allmendinger, Jeff Burton and Jimmie Johnson for the top ten.

Kyle Busch moves up two spots in the points to take the points lead, while Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson each move down a position. Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth move up while Kurt Busch falls two spots to sixth. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman stay seventh and eighth, while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Stewart swap ninth and tenth in points.

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


Kurt Busch: Pole to Checkers

August 13, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Saturday afternoon the NASCAR Nationwide Series raced the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Qualifying was earlier with 22 Kurt Busch capturing the Pole and brother 18 Kyle with him on the Front Row. The brothers were the only drivers to lead any laps. Kyle got into the grass and had to pit so he wouldn’t overheat. This left him with not enough fuel to make it to the end of the race.

There were only two cautions in this race. The first was when the 14 of Eric McClure blew up. The second was for 14 and 39 Casey Roderick spun into each other and were hooked together. A lot of drivers left pit road with the gas can still in the car. Jimmie Johnson was one of these. He had to race up the field from thirty-sixth and finished second. The second caution made for a Green, White Checker Finish. 60 Carl Edwards spun the tires on the restart allowing 7 Johnson to get by 18 for second.

The top seven finishers did not receive championship points. Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Paul Menard, the top six are all Sprint Cup drivers. Ron Fellows only races in road courses, so does not get any points. 88 Aric Almirola, 16 Trevor Bayne and 2 Elliot Sadler rounded out the top ten. In points, the top eight stayed the same. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. remains the points leader, followed by Reed Rorenson, Elliott Sadler, Aric Almirola, Justin Allgaier, Jason Leffler, Kenny Wallace  and Steve Wallace. Brian Scott and Michael Annett traded ninth and tenth.

Kyle didn’t win his 50th Nationwide race, staying even with Mark Martin at 49 wins in the Series. When he wins that 50th race he will be the best Cup driver ever in the Nationwide Series. So, what did these Cup drivers learn  for the Cup race on Sunday? That it will be much harder to win against the Sprint Cup drivers than it was to beat the Nationwide drivers.

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


NASCAR Pole Qualifying

August 13, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place Saturday morning at Watkins Glen International for both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. First was the Nationwide drivers with the European style of qualifying for the Zippo 200. They came out slowest to fastest as always, but in this style, they came out in groups of six. They raced for about five minutes and took the best lap. The brothers Busch will start the race from the Front Row with 22 Kurt, filling in for team mate Brad Keselowski, on the Pole with a speed of 123.241 mph and 71.567 seconds around the 2.45 mile road course. That’s one minute, 11.567 seconds. Brother Kyle in the 18 car starts second. Chase Miller, Brian Keselowski, Tomy Drissi, Brian Simo and Tim Andrews failed to qualify for the race starting right now!

On the Cup side, they qualified the regular way, each running one lap. Sixteen drivers broke the old track record! 11 Denny Hamlin tried too hard and spun out. He will start the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips At The Glen from the rear. Bobby Labonte, Regan Smith, Jimmie Johnson and Marcos Ambrose all spent time on the Pole position. A. J. Allmendinger knocked team mate Ambrose off the Pole. But fastest in practice and coming out last, Kyle Busch captured the Pole with a speed of 126.421 mph and 69.767 seconds around the track. That’s one minute, 9.767 seconds. P. J. Jones, Brian Simo and Dave Blaney will not race on Sunday.

I have to go watch the Nationwide race. I shall return.

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

NASCAR Racing At Watkins Glen

August 13, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This weekend NASCAR will be road racing at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY. This is the second road course on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. This road course is 2.45 miles long and they made improvements to the track. There are no large sand traps to get stuck in. And there used to be eleven turns, but they slimmed it down to seven(!). Not that they took out some turns, but they are not counting the esses as turns, but as one of the turns.

Steve Park won his first race here in 2000 and I was there to witness it. In the last seven races here, Tony has won four times. He has five wins altogether. Jeff Gordon has nine road course wins. Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2010 and Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have also won here recently. Marcos Ambrose was fastest in the final practice and broke the track record. Let’s see if he can get his first win here. Kyle Busch was fastest in the first practice and will come out last when they qualify later on Saturday morning. A Ford has not won at this track since Geoff Bodine won in 1996! Maybe it is time for a Ford to win. Carl Edwards, the points leader is hoping so. They will race the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips At The Glen on Sunday.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is also at The Glen for the Zippo 200. Kyle Busch is trying to break Mark Martin’s 49 wins in the Series. He will then be the best Cup driver to race in the Minor Leagues. Qualifying for the Nationwide drivers will be European style. That is, they will come out in groups and race around the course for five minutes, taking their best lap time. As always, slowest in practice will be on track first. This is taking place Saturday morning as i write this. Gotta go!

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