October 23, 2015 |
JOEY LOGANO vs. Matt Kenseth - the first major conflict in this year's Chase. With only five more Chase races remaining, there's bound to be more heavyweight heat generated among drivers and crews. The major question I have about Sunday's Kansas race is: Did Logano have to spin out Kenseth to pick up his fifth win of the season, or could Logano have passed Kenseth cleanly? Entering the Kansas race, Kenseth had collected the most wins this season (five). Logano had won four. Logano knew that if he could prevent Kenseth from winning the race, he would force Kenseth into a must-win situation Sunday in the CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega.
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.
September 11, 2015 |
WE SUSPECT several Sprint Cup series drivers are not sleeping well this week, since Saturday night's race at Richmond will determine the 16-driver field for the Chase, which begins Sept. 20 at Chicagoland Speedway. Drivers facing days and nights of stress include Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon. They are 16th through 20th and all are winless this season. If any of them win at Richmond, they'll be in the Chase. If a driver who already has a victory this year wins again Saturday, Clint Bowyer - in 15th place and also winless - needs only to finish 28th or better to hold a Chase spot.
August 2, 2015 |
WHEN A RACER has achieved the prominence Jeff Gordon has in NASCAR, he wants his career to end on a high note. With 92 career Sprint Cup Series victories (third all-time), Gordon fervently wants to be part of this year's Chase in his final racing season. Gordon is relatively safe at 11th in points, but needs a victory in the next six races before the Chase begins to guarantee his inclusion in the 10-race elimination tournament. The good news for Gordon is, Pocono and the five other pre-Chase race tracks have been productive places for him. He has won the most Cup races at Pocono (six)
July 31, 2015 |
KYLE BUSCH has won three consecutive Sprint Cup races. In four of the last five races, Busch has parked his No. 18 Toyota in victory lane. This is an astounding streak under normal conditions. It's even more amazing, given that Busch missed the season's first 11 events, while recuperating from injuries suffered in a crash at Daytona in February. Busch is tied with Jimmie Johnson for most wins this season (four each). Johnson has run all 20 Cup races, while Busch has been in only nine.
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)
May 22, 2015 |
ONCE AGAIN, it's time for The Greatest Day in Sports: the Indianapolis 500 Sunday afternoon followed by the Coca-Cola 600 at night . . . 1,100 miles of racin' . . . For race fans, this is the real Super Sunday. The 99th Indy 500 is scheduled for noon (6ABC). The Coca-Cola 600 will be on Fox 29 at 6 p.m. For Formula One fans, the day begins with the Monaco Grand Prix (7:30 a.m., NBC10). The 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway marks Kyle Busch's return to Sprint Cup racing following his recuperation from injuries suffered in a crash Feb. 21 in an Xfinity series race at Daytona.
May 15, 2015 |
DOVER, Del. - It's possible this year's Sprint Cup champion will have missed the first 11 races of the season. What? Are my eyes glazing over as the room fills with fumes? NASCAR yesterday declared Kyle Busch will be eligible for the championship if he wins a race before the Chase and is in the top 30 in points. Busch was sidelined for the first 11 races while recuperating from injuries suffered in a crash at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 21 in an Xfinity Series race. He is returning for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
April 17, 2015 |
KYLE BUSCH feels fortunate, very fortunate. In his first media availability yesterday following his crash at Daytona Feb. 21, Busch said the results of the crash "could've been a lot worse. " Busch is recuperating from a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a broken left foot. He sat in an elevated chair on a stage at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, N.C. His right leg bent normally. He no longer uses a walker and he is doing squats during his daily gym workouts.
April 10, 2015 |
WHEN KYLE BUSCH suffered a broken leg and foot in the XFINITY Series race at Daytona last month, Joe Gibbs Racing needed an experienced driver to fill in for Busch. Enter David Ragan, super sub. Ragan, 29, won only one Sprint Cup race driving for Roush Fenway Racing from 2006 to 2011, the summer race at Daytona in 2011. His other victory was at Talladega 2 years ago driving for Front Row Motorsports. Ragan is on loan to JGR from Front Row, a modestly funded two-car Ford team. "This as an opportunity to help a team in need," Ragan said yesterday from Richmond, Va., where his No. 18 Toyota team was testing.