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.
August 23, 2013 |
THREE RACES to go before the Daring Dozen field is set for the Chase, and surely a handful of drivers still hoping to qualify for the 10-race tournament are experiencing angst. Right now, Kasey Kahne (11th in points, two wins) and Martin Truex Jr. (12th, one win) hold the two wild cards. Of the drivers 13th through 17th, only Joey Logano (13th) and Ryan Newman (15th) have wins, one apiece. Jeff Gordon is 14th, Jamie McMurray 16th and Paul Menard 17th. Tony Stewart, 18th in points with one win, is out of contention since his broken leg will sideline him for the season.
July 12, 2013
Camping World RV Sales 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. When: Sunday, 1 p.m. TV/Radio: TNT/WNPV (1440-AM) Course: 1.058-mile oval Distance: 301 laps/318.458 miles Forecast: partly cloudy, low 80s Last year's winner: Kasey Kahne Last year's pole: Kyle Busch, 133.417 mph Track qualifying record: Ryan Newman, 135.232 mph (July 2011) Track facts: NASCAR declined to penalize any of the 31 drivers whose cars failed inspection last week at Daytona.
July 5, 2013
Pocono IndyCar 400 Pocono Raceway Long Pond, Pa. When: Sunday, noon TV/Radio: 6ABC/WNPV (1440-AM) Course: 2.5-mile tri-oval Distance: 160 laps/400 miles Forecast: isolated thunderstorms, mid-80s Track qualifying record: Emerson Fittipaldi, 211.715 mph (August 1989) Track facts: Sunday's race will be the first IndyCar race at Pocono since 1989 . . . Andretti Autosport drivers James Hinchcliffe (three wins this year) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (two) lead the series . . . Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves holds a nine-point lead over Hunter-Reay in the standings.