November 14, 2014 |
AFTER ALL the racing, crashing and fighting, the Chase's final four are pumping their gas pedals, ready to roll. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick are the only drivers eligible to win the championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. None has won a Sprint Cup series title. The champion doesn't have to win the Homestead race: He just has to be the highest finisher among the final four. As we pointed out 2 weeks ago, the champion could be Newman, who is winless this year and has led 17 only laps in the Chase (see accompanying box)
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.
October 1, 2012 |
DOVER, Del. - Could it really be true love between Denny Hamlin and Dover? So far, it's at least a crush. His performance Sunday will determine the fate of this relationship. Trying his best to adjust his approach toward his least-favorite track, Hamlin's reignited courtship produced fantastic results Saturday when he turned a lap of 159.299 m.p.h. to win the pole at Dover International Speedway. Hamlin has been open in his disdain for the one-mile concrete oval and knew he'd have to conquer his Dover demons to keep his driven bid for his first career Cup championship rolling along.
September 14, 2012 |
TRYING TO sort out the NASCAR Chase contenders is as difficult as picking a dozen ears of corn at a quality produce stand: almost all look good. This year's 12 Chasers are all solid contenders. Two former Chase champions, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson, are in the field. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth also are titlists, but they won before the Chase format began in 2004. Gordon and Johnson have won 31 races at Chase race tracks. Stewart is the only Chaser to win at all 10 Chase tracks.
August 26, 2012 |
BRISTOL, Tenn. - Denny Hamlin moved toward the top seed in NASCAR's championship race by using a calculated late pass to win for the first time at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin flirted with Carl Edwards for the lead late in the race, and set up the move with 39 laps remaining Saturday night. Hamlin used a slide move to get past Edwards, then held on as Edwards tried to use a cross-over move to get back in front. It didn't work for Edwards, and Hamlin drove away for his third victory of the season.
July 16, 2012 |
LOUDON, N.H. - Kasey Kahne got his second Sprint Cup win of the season. Denny Hamlin and his crew chief had trouble communicating. Kahne took the lead from Hamlin during a restart on the 240th lap of the 300-lap race at the one-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. The winner was helped by miscommunication between Hamlin, who wanted two tires changed, and crew chief Darian Grubb, who thought he wanted four. That longer pit stop left Hamlin all the way back in 13th place, but he kept passing cars until only Kahne remained in front.
February 23, 2012 |
NASCAR THRIVES on speed and story lines. Each year there's always plenty of speed. Same with story lines for the soap opera on wheels. As the Sprint Cup race teams prepare for Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500, here are some major themes: * Will Tony Stewart's memorable charge to last year's championship carry over? Stewart won five of the 10 Chase races, including the last one. He has a new crew chief, Steve Addington, previously Kyle Busch's crew chief. After guiding Stewart to last year's Sprint Cup championship, Darian Grubb is now with Denny Hamlin.
November 29, 2011 |
TONY STEWART had made a decision to fire crew chief Darian Grubb, and winning the NASCAR championship didn't change his mind. Grubb was officially replaced yesterday, 8 days after guiding Stewart to the Sprint Cup title. Steve Addington, who quit as Kurt Busch's crew chief last week, takes over immediately - and begins work as Stewart and Grubb head to Las Vegas to begin the championship celebration. Grubb was told midway through the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship that he was going to be let go at the end of the season.
November 29, 2011
Tony Stewart made a decision to fire crew chief Darian Grubb , and winning the NASCAR championship didn't change his mind. Grubb was officially replaced Monday, eight days after guiding Stewart to the Sprint Cup title. Steve Addington , who quit as Kurt Busch 's crew chief last week, takes over immediately - and begins work as Stewart and Grubb head to Las Vegas to begin the championship celebration. "I know Steve well and I know how he goes about setting up a race car," said Stewart, who worked with Addington from 2005 through 2008 during his time at Joe Gibbs Racing.
November 23, 2011
FOR THOSE who think NASCAR's greatest times were all before 1990, please tip the ol' restrictor plate to Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart . Johnson's reign ended Sunday following an unprecedented five consecutive Sprint Cup championships. Johnson's successor is Stewart. All he did was win half the 10 Chase races, including three of the last four. Stewart's victory drive at Homestead, which clinched his third Cup title, was masterful. People will remember how Stewart twice drove from the back of the field to lead the final 36 laps.