October 17, 2014 |
IS THE POSTRACE craziness at Charlotte over yet? "Bad" Brad Keselowski slams his car into Matt Kenseth's after Saturday night's race . . . Keselowski tries to spin Denny Hamlin's car . . . Tony Stewart backs his car into Keselowski's . . . the mild-mannered Kenseth jumps Keselowski where the team haulers are parked. There were so many incidents, maybe I missed one. Afterward, Hamlin said Keselowski "is acting like a dumb ass instead of a champion. " The outbursts attracted attention from many media outlets that normally ignore NASCAR.
September 30, 2014 |
DOVER, Del. - Give a NASCAR "Attaboys!" to the Daring Dozen, the 12 Chasers who move on to the Contender Round. Following Jeff Gordon's victory yesterday in the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, the 12 are Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. Their points are all reset at 3,000 prior to the next three races. Give a pat on the back and "good try, y'all" to the four who are eliminated from title contention: Kurt Busch, A.J. Allmendinger, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola.
September 26, 2014 |
ROBIN PEMBERTON has been NASCAR's vice president of competition and racing development for 10 years. It's a stressful job that includes handling complaints and disciplining drivers and race teams. Prior to moving into his VP position, Pemberton was a Cup series crew chief for Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Kyle Petty. So Pemberton always will be empathetic toward crew chiefs for the stress they endure, particularly during the Chase. Prior to races crew chiefs probably make hundreds of decisions regarding their teams.
September 12, 2014 |
SINCE THE CHASE was launched in 2004, only four drivers have won championships: Jimmie Johnson, six; Tony Stewart, two; Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski, one each. I'm sensing there will be a new champion this year: how's that for a tease? No peeking toward the end for my choice. If this year's first 26 pre-Chase races mean anything, the Chase winner will be one of the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers or one of Penske Racing's duo. Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne carry the Hendrick banner; Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano power Penske.
June 10, 2014 |
LONG POND, Pa. - Brad Keselowski led the most laps by far in yesterday's Pocono 400. Then, with five laps remaining in the 160-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Keselowski suddenly backed off the pace between Turns 1 and 2, allowing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to lead. Keselowski was hoping to clear the paper off the grill of his red No. 2 Ford by drafting Earnhardt, then surge back in front. It didn't happen. Earnhardt kept his No. 88 Chevrolet ahead of Keselowski and gained his first Pocono Raceway victory in 29 starts.
April 11, 2014 |
FOR THOSE of us eagerly awaiting an influx of young racing talent in NASCAR to stimulate interest, it appears our wish is coming true. Thank you, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott and others. Larson, 21, finished second in the California Sprint Cup race March 23 after winning the Nationwide Series race the day before. He finished fifth at Texas in Monday's rain-delayed Cup race. Dillon, 23, is 12th in points with an average finish of 15.2 in the season's first seven races.
March 28, 2014 |
FIVE RACES into the new NASCAR Sprint Cup season and, to use a popular term, here's what is trending: For openers, there are five different race winners: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. That's good for the series. Last year, five different drivers also won the first five races: Jimmie Johnson, Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. In the 10-year history of the Chase, there have not been six different winners beginning a season.
February 21, 2014
A NEW YEAR means fresh story lines for NASCAR. This racing series has more story lines than "Downton Abbey," except these drivers don't wear tuxedos to dinner. They probably wear firesuits decorated with sponsors' logos. Here are a few major themes: * Jimmie Johnson is seeking his record-tying seventh Sprint Cup series championships. After winning a record five consecutive titles from 2006 through '10, Johnson yielded the throne to Tony Stewart in 2011 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.
November 15, 2013
BRACE YOURSELVES, racin' fans, for another Jimmie Johnson reign. Johnson carries a substantial, 28-point lead over Matt Kenseth into the Sprint Cup season finale Sunday in Homestead, Fla. All Johnson has to do to gain his sixth title is finish 23rd or better. He should be able to do that while sipping an energy drink and driving with one hand on the steering wheel. Another championship is a nightmare for those in the Anybody But Jimmie Johnson Club. It's understandable why some fans dislike Johnson as a racer: He wins too often.
October 11, 2013 |
FOUR RACES into the Chase is enough time to get a sense of which drivers are title contenders and which are not. Put the 10th through 13th place drivers in the fuhgeddaboudit file: Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne. Longshots (sixth through ninth) are Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer. Which leaves the top five. Matt Kenseth's lead has been shaved from 14 points, after two races, to only three ahead of Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, the five-time Cup titlist, hasn't won the Chase the past 2 years.