October 9, 2015 |
ONE WEEK, it's restarts. Another week, it's an angry driver shoving a racing rival. This week, it's burnouts. There's always some drama in NASCAR, particularly at Chase time. Kevin Harvick's celebratory smokescreen burnout after he dominated at Dover International Speedway last Sunday has aroused suspicions that he purposely made contact with the interior wall and blew out his tires to make the postrace job of NASCAR inspectors more difficult. Predictably, Harvick's reaction to such criticism was "Who, me?"
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.
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.
June 26, 2015 |
SOMETIMES a week off from Sprint Cup racing gives us too much time to think. At least thinking keeps me from involvement in Mrs. F's "honey-do" list. "Not now, dear, I'm focusing on, um, NASCAR. " Then I duck as a restrictor plate soars across the room. Anyway, with 11 races remaining before the 16-driver Chase field is formed, let's check who's in the Chase and who's hoping to get in. Ten drivers have at least one victory this season and are in the Chase (see list of winners in This Week's Race box)
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)
May 2, 2014
WINS, wins, wins . . . NASCAR's new emphasis on winning races is a good thing. Drivers who win during the season's first 26 Sprint Cup races will likely be in the expanded 16-driver Chase field, provided they are in the top 30 in points. Should Jeff Gordon, the current points leader, stay atop the standings but fail to collect a victory in the first 26 races, he'll still be a Chaser. He would bump the lowest-ranked driver with a win. The way Gordon is running though, expect him to be in victory lane soon.
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.
May 23, 2013
THIS WEEK'S RACE Coca-Cola 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. When: Sunday, 6 p.m. TV/Radio: Fox 29/WNPV (1440-AM) Course: 1.5-mile oval Distance: 400 laps/600 miles Forecast: partly cloudy, mid-70s Last year's winner: Kasey Kahne Last year's pole winner: Aric Almirola, 192.94 mph Track qualifying record: Greg Biffle, 193.708 mph (October 2012) Track facts: The latest NASCAR Hall of Fame class was announced yesterday: drivers Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett and Fireball Roberts, and engine builder Maurice Petty.
May 16, 2013
THIS WEEK'S RACE NASCAR Sprint Showdown and All-Star Race Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. When: Saturday, 7 p.m. TV/Radio: Speed/WNPV (1440-AM) Race course: 1.5-mile oval Race distance: For the All-Star race: four 20-lap segments, followed by a mandatory four-tire pit stop and a 10-lap segment. Race forecast: scattered thunderstorms, high 70s Last year's winner: Jimmie Johnson Track facts: The All-Star race winner will collect more than $1 million . . . Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr. are three-time All-Star winners . . . Mark Martin has the most All-Star race starts (24)
April 11, 2013
THIS WEEK'S RACE NRA 500 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. TV: FOX29 Course: 1.5-mile oval Distance: 334 laps/501 miles Forecast: partly cloudy, low 70s Last year's winner: Greg Biffle Last year's pole winner: Martin Truex Jr., 190.360 mph Track qualifying record: Brian Vickers, 196.235 mph (November 2006) Track facts: Greg Biffle passed Jimmie Johnson with 31 laps to go to win last year's race.