September 25, 2015 |
KEVIN HARVICK-Jimmie Johnson, Round 1. Only one race into the Chase and already we have Harvick shoving Johnson following Sunday's event at Chicagoland Speedway. Imagine what the scene will be after Chase race No. 2 at New Hampshire, when the bottom four in points are one race away from elimination as championship contenders. Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup series champion, plummeted to last place among the 16 Chasers before Clint Bowyer's just-announced penalty dropped him into that spot.
September 4, 2015 |
THE ANNUAL Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway is always a highlight, because the South Carolina racetrack drips with history the way thick, tasty sauce clings to quality barbecue. Darlington was NASCAR's first superspeedway. Harold Brasington, a former racer, built the egg-shaped, 1.366-mile track on a former cotton and peanut field in his hometown. The raceway was the first paved superspeedway (longer than a mile). The track is egg-shaped, because Brasington promised the farmer he bought the land from he would not disturb the farmer's minnow pond on the property's western end. We are not making this up!
July 31, 2015 |
TWENTY RACES into Kevin Harvick's first season as a defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and things are going as smoothly as a happy child gliding down a water slide. Harvick has two wins, eight runner-up finishes and four other top-fives in the No. 4 Chevrolet. He leads the Sprint Cup standings; No. 2 Joey Logano is 69 points behind. Harvick was thisclose to winning his second Cup race at Indianapolis Sunday, but struggled on the next-to-last restart and finished third. "I don't ever get down after a day like Indy," Harvick told the Daily News earlier this week.
September 5, 2014 |
SATURDAY NIGHT racing at Richmond with two spots in the Chase open: Drivers, start sweating. Fourteen drivers are in the Chase: the 13 winners and Matt Kenseth, the highest-ranking driver without a victory. Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle, both winless, are next in points. If Newman doesn't win, he only has to finish 18th or better; or finish 19th and with at least one lap led; or 20th and the most laps led. If there is a repeat winner (or if Kenseth or Newman wins), Biffle is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 22nd or better; or 23rd with at least one lap led; or 24th and the most laps led. If there is a new winner that is not Kenseth or Newman, Biffle needs to outscore Newman by 19 points and stay ahead of Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson.
August 29, 2014
TWO RACES remain to complete the 16-driver Chase field. Atlanta and Richmond usually provide intense racing, so we're taking a wild guess here that the winless drivers seeking Chase berths will be racing with gritted teeth and wide eyes the next two races. There are 12 race winners this year, leaving four Chase spots to be filled. If none of the winless drivers collect their first victory, the Chase vacancies will be determined by points after Richmond. Entering Sunday night's race at Atlanta, here are the winless leaders, with points positions in parentheses: (5)
July 18, 2014 |
AS THE Sprint Cup series pauses for its midsummer break, a few thoughts are in order: * Six drivers have won 14 of the season's first 19 races. I don't know whether this is good for the series or not. Multiple-race winners proves these drivers and teams have their acts together and will be serious contenders in the Chase. But more winners, such as first-timer Aric Almirola at Daytona this month, are good for the series. With race wins basically determining the 16-driver field for the Chase, there are 11 winners so far. Non-winners such as Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart are likely to win before the Chase begins Sept.
June 3, 2014 |
DOVER, Del. - Kyle Busch's quest for a Dover weekend racing sweep ended on lap 125 yesterday when contact with Clint Bowyer's car sent Busch's car into the Turn 1 wall. Busch, the second fastest qualifier for yesterday's 400-lap race, led the first 81 laps. He was running third when the incident occurred. Under the caution flag an angry Busch appeared to be pursuing Bowyer - probably to retaliate - before crew chief Dave Rogers convinced him to back off. "Be smart here Kyle," he said.
October 25, 2013 |
JIMMIE JOHNSON and Martinsville Speedway go together like pumpkins and Halloween, or autumn and fallen leaves. Johnson has the most wins (eight) among active Sprint Cup series drivers at Martinsville. He has won seven of the last 14 races at the historic south-central Virginia track. The five-time Cup champion dominated this year's spring race at the paper-clip-shaped short track, leading 346 of the 500 laps, including the last 138. Clint Bowyer was runner-up; Jeff Gordon was third.
September 12, 2013 |
NASCAR is frequently criticized for apparent nit-picking when its inspectors find a race car's part that is off by the thickness of a newspaper page. However, when NASCAR investigated what happened at Richmond Saturday night in the final race before the Chase begins, the sanctioning organization did the right things. Almost. With its integrity at stake, NASCAR fined Michael Waltrip Racing $300,000 for manipulating the race outcome. It's the largest fine in NASCAR history. Martin Truex Jr., an MWR driver who benefited from teammate Clint Bowyer's caution-causing spin with seven laps remaining, was booted from the Chase after being docked 50 points.
September 11, 2013 |
AUTO RACING Ryan Newman is replacing Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship as part of NASCAR'S penalties against Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the outcome of Saturday night's race in Richmond, Va. Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000, and general manager Ty Norris was suspended indefinitely Monday night. Truex, Clint Bowyer , and Brian Vickers were docked 50 points each, but Bowyer's deduction does not affect his position in the Chase, which begins Sunday in Chicago.