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.
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.
April 24, 2015 |
NASCAR FANS looking for the next wave of stars already know about Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott. Logano, 24, Larson, 22, and Dillon, 24, are established in the Sprint Cup series. Elliott, 19, is third in Xfinity series in points and will race in the Cup series next season after Jeff Gordon retires. He also will drive the No. 25 Chevrolet in Saturday night's Cup race at Richmond. Another young racer, Brett Moffitt, 22, is taking advantage of his opportunity of replacing Brian Vickers, who is dealing with a recurrence of his blood-clotting issues.
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.
March 20, 2015 |
FOUR RACES into the Sprint Cup season and Tony Stewart's best finish is 30th. What? Are we talking about Tony "Smoke" Stewart, a three-time Cup series champion, one of the most skilled race-car drivers in the world finishing races back in the pack with also-rans? Regrettably, we are. Meanwhile, his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick is winning races (two) and extending his remarkable streak of top-two finishes to seven in a row over two seasons. (The last driver with seven consecutive top-two finishes was Richard Petty, in 1975.)
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.
September 25, 2014 |
THE INTERNATIONAL golf insanity begins Friday, known as the Ryder Cup, despite its lack of affiliation with any truck rental company. Its namesake, who began as a discount seed distributor, would be delighted to see that the competition has outgrown its charter; that is, to promote golf intercontinentally. He also likely would be alarmed to see how little the essence of the competition has changed since its charter was fulfilled. Samuel Ryder got his name on the Cup because he was a major sponsor of the competitions, which, generally, were money-losers in the "BT" (Before Tiger)
August 22, 2014 |
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - Unlike several Sprint Cup drivers who are desperate for a win to guarantee themselves a place in the Chase, Jeff Gordon is simply racing for a high seeding in the Chase. Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have three wins each this season. "We feel like our Chase has somewhat begun," Gordon said yesterday before an appearance at the Rehoboth Beach bandstand for a Q & A with fans to promote the Sept. 28 Cup race at Dover International Speedway.
August 1, 2014 |
POCONO RACEWAY is a pivotal venue in Dale Jarrett's racing career. Jarrett, now an ESPN racing analyst, won three times at Pocono. His latest victory was in 2002, but his first, in 1995, stands out for him. "That was a crucial time in my career," Jarrett said yesterday in a telephone interview. "I signed to drive the [No.] 28 car for Robert Yates after Ernie Irvan was injured the year before. It was a 1-year deal. "Things had not gone well up to that point. Then we won at Pocono and ran well at Indy [third place]
July 18, 2014 |
AS THE Sprint Cup series pauses for its midsummer break, a few thoughts are in order: * Six drivers have won 14 of the season's first 19 races. I don't know whether this is good for the series or not. Multiple-race winners proves these drivers and teams have their acts together and will be serious contenders in the Chase. But more winners, such as first-timer Aric Almirola at Daytona this month, are good for the series. With race wins basically determining the 16-driver field for the Chase, there are 11 winners so far. Non-winners such as Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart are likely to win before the Chase begins Sept.