June 12, 2015 |
WHEN YOUR RACING rivals are happy for you, a racer knows he's respected. After Martin Truex Jr. won at Pocono Sunday, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. expressed how happy they were for Truex and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, who appears healthy after dealing with ovarian cancer. Later, fans wrote emails and called radio stations with similar sentiments. "I'm still answering emails and text messages with congratulations, so that's been awesome," Truex said yesterday on a conference call.
June 9, 2015 |
LONG POND - Before the May 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover, Del., Martin Truex Jr. guaranteed his team would win a race this year. It didn't take long for Truex's prediction to come true. Truex led 97 of the 160 laps, including 66 of the last 67, yesterday to win the Axalta "We Paints Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway. Following his third career Cup series victory, Truex performed the traditional burnout on the Pocono frontstretch in his black No. 78 Chevrolet. Then he climbed out of the car and pumped his arms as the crowd cheered.
May 8, 2015 |
KEVIN HARVICK attracted more attention than is usual for a reigning Sprint Cup champion prior to last Sunday's Talladega race. Harvick suggested the Cup series schedule should be shaken up. Asked how he thought NASCAR can grow its fan base, Harvick replied that his understanding is last season's final three races (Texas, Phoenix and Homestead) were sold out. Then he said, "If you want to talk about growing the sport, I believe that some venues need one race. The schedule needs to be mixed up. People like things that change.
March 27, 2015
KEVIN HARVICK'S nickname is "The Closer" for his ability to seize leads near the end of races and win. Brad Keselowski could be "Closer II" (or maybe "Kloser II") following his victory Sunday in California. The California race report will read Keselowski led only the final lap. Actually, he paced only a little more than half the final lap, but all anyone cares about is which driver takes the checkered flag. A win is a win. Until Keselowski surged to the front, it appeared the winner would be either Kurt Busch or Kevin Harvick.
February 20, 2015 |
AFTER THIS season's final race in November, Jeff Gordon will ride off into the sunset. He announced last month that this will be his final season as a Sprint Cup Series racer. Gordon doesn't want a "Farewell to Jeff" theme this season, but after you've won 92 races, third most all-time, farewell tributes are in order. Securing the pole position for Sunday's Daytona 500 is a terrific start. "The pole for the Daytona 500, I know, is a big deal," Gordon said. "I'm approaching it the same way. It's business as usual.
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 6, 2014
WATCHING the postrace "festivities" after Sunday's Texas race, I thought a hockey-style bench-clearing brawl had erupted. I kept expecting to see Dave Schultz and Bob Kelly. As soon as Jeff Gordon parked his race car next to Brad Keselowski's car, I expected some action. When Gordon confronted Keselowski with edgy crew members and others in the vicinity, I was convinced something would happen. It did. After Gordon confronted Keselowski, the brawl began. Serious punches were thrown with the two drivers suffering facial cuts.
September 19, 2014 |
ONE RACE into the Chase and we already have a defining term: the "Keselowski Pass. " This is not a scenic place out West. Kevin Harvick and rookie Kyle Larson were dueling for the lead late in the Chase opener Sunday. When Harvick drove low on the track at Chicagoland Speedway and Larson went high, Keselowski darted between them with 16 laps remaining. The classic maneuver had the crowd roaring. "I just saw a hole and I went for it," Keselowski said. "The 4 [Harvick] and the 42 [Larson]
August 8, 2014 |
SOMETIMES WE tend to focus on what's wrong with NASCAR, so when a positive occasion occurs it deserves attention. Those who saw the end of last Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway will never forget it. It was one of the best finishes ever at Pocono. The way Dale Earnhardt Jr. held off Kevin Harvick in the closing laps was riveting. Rarely on television can the roaring crowd be heard over the noisy race cars, but Junior Nation was at full throttle. The way Earnhardt drove his No. 88 Chevrolet with Harvick stalking him in his No. 4 Chevy illustrated just how talented Junior is. One reason fans like Earnhardt is his enthusiasm for racing.
May 16, 2014 |
ARE WE getting closer to a Danica Patrick victory lane celebreation? Patrick recorded her best finish in 57 Sprint Cup starts Saturday night with a seventh place at Kansas Speedway. During the previous Cup race at Talladega, Patrick led twice early for six laps. "Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 [Jimmie Johnson] on a restart," Patrick said after the race. "That was probably my most rewarding thing. I say that with all the respect in the world.