September 18, 2015 |
ANOTHER SEPTEMBER, another Chase. The 10-race format is designed to maintain interest in NASCAR while the NFL and college football seasons and baseball playoffs are heating up. For openers, the first Chase race dives into the Chicago market Sunday, where it will compete for attention with the revived Cubs and the always popular Bears. Then the Chase caravan moves on to New Hampshire and Dover, Del. The final Chase race again will be in Homestead, Fla., on Nov. 22. As usual, there are strong contenders from the heavyweight-class teams: Joe Gibbs Racing has four teams in the Chase, Hendrick Motorsports qualified three, and Penske Racing has two. There are also first-time Chasers Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard.
June 5, 2015 |
DALE EARNHARDT JR. started making the journey to Pocono Raceway as a youngster when his father Dale Sr. was winning races. Fifteen years ago, Earnhardt Jr. began racing at the Tricky Triangle track. Two runner-up finishes and a couple of thirds were his best performances at Pocono. Suddenly, last year everything clicked for Earnhardt. He swept both Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, in the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 (1 p.m., Fox Sports 1), he'll try to become only the third driver to threepeat at Pocono.
November 21, 2014 |
KEVIN HARVICK lived up to his "Closer" nickname in style to win his first Sprint Cup series championship. Harvick impressively swept the last two Chase races. He had to win at Phoenix to reach the final four. Then the 38-year-old Californian seized the opportunity in the final laps at Homestead, Fla., Sunday, and now he's a champion. "It's an incredible feeling of accomplishment," Harvick said Wednesday on a conference call. "I'm a guy that dreamed about being a race-car driver and winning a Cup championship.
November 22, 2013
WITH JIMMIE Johnson celebrating his sixth Sprint Cup championship in the last 8 years, the question many observers and I have is: Why aren't other top teams challenging his dominance? Matt Kenseth mounted a serious threat this year, winning a series-high seven races and leading the Chase after five races. Then Johnson seized the lead and won by 19 points over Kenseth. As a Cup crew chief with Greg Biffle and several others, Hatboro, Pa., native Greg Erwin had as good an opportunity as anyone outside Hendrick Motorsports to see what makes Johnson's No. 48 team click.
November 8, 2013 |
LATE IN SUNDAY'S Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, I concluded "this is not entertaining. " It also wasn't racing, if you define racing as two or more race cars competing for the lead. Jimmie Johnson dominated the Texas race, leading 225 of 334 laps, including the last 34. His sixth victory of the year, combined with Matt Kenseth's fourth-place finished, gives Johnson a seven-point lead with two races remaining in the Chase. Johnson is closing in on his sixth Cup series title.
October 17, 2012 |
DALE EARNHARDT JR. visited a noted concussion specialist in Pittsburgh on Tuesday as part of the planned rehabilitation program to get NASCAR's most popular driver back in a car. Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that Earnhardt met with Dr. Micky Collins, the clinical and executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Collins is one of the leading experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of athletes who have suffered concussions. He and Dr. Mark Lovell developed the ImPACT test now used by many professional sports leagues, including the NFL, to assess concussions and determine when an injured athlete can safely return to play.
March 11, 2012 |
LAS VEGAS - Defending Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the final 54 laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday for his first victory of the season. Stenhouse had a strong car all day and dominated the end of the 200-mile race, pulling away from Mark Martin on a pair restarts on the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the desert. Martin, who had won four of his previous six Nationwide starts at Las Vegas, finished second in his first Nationwide race for Joe Gibbs Racing. Polesitter Elliott Sadler rallied to finish third after a lengthy midrace pit stop to fix a vibration.
January 8, 2008 |
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. adventure begins soon. After racing as the lead driver for Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company founded by his late father, Junior begins his career with the Hendrick Motorsports force, where he joins two-time defending Cup series champion Jimmie John-son, four-time titlist Jeff Gordon and Casey Mears. We won't know until a few races into the Sprint (formerly Nextel) Cup series how Junior is adjusting. With DEI, Junior won 17 races in nine seasons. However, he carried a 62-race winless streak when he left DEI. With Hendrick, he'll be expected to start winning again.
November 30, 2007 |
The venue may have changed, but the dominance by Hendrick Motorsports has not. Less than two weeks after giving Rick Hendrick his seventh NASCAR Nextel Cup owner's championship in South Florida, Jimmie Johnson joined teammate Jeff Gordon yesterday in collecting nearly $1 million in sponsor bonuses at Cipriani, a Manhattan hot spot that hosted the National Motorsports Press Association's annual Myers Brothers media luncheon. Along with the checks came a variety of trophies in all shapes, sizes and materials - from solid crystal to a 24-karat 1/12-scale model of Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet.
November 16, 2007 |
Rick Hendrick calls it "the milk and cookies" story. At the end of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season, Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus were "fussing," as Hendrick described it yesterday. Johnson was a contender for the '05 Chase title, but wound up fifth. "I called them up to my office," Hendrick said yesterday during a Chase news conference. "I had a gallon of milk and some cookies. I said, 'If you're going to act like kids, we're going to take a break and have milk and cookies.