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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Please follow the following link to the new home of Trackside With Travis.


Allen Bestwick Replaces Marty Reid As Play By Play Announcer For Sprint Cup Series

Allen Bestwick, who has had a long history of calling NASCAR races, will finally return to the play by play booth for the Sprint Cup Series on ESPN. Allen Bestwick, who has had the support of many fans that wanted him back in the booth, will replace Marty Reid, who covered the Sprint Cup Series for ESPN last season. Reid will continue as a play by play announcer for the Indycar Series as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series events.

Allen Bestwick will work with Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett, who both remain analysts in the booth.

As for NASCAR Countdown, ESPN's pre-race show, Nicole Briscoe will be in the hosting role, as Bestwick used to host the countdown show. Rusty Wallace and Brad Daughtery will continue their roles in the ESPN Pit Studio.

"We are blessed with a talented and versatile group of NASCAR commentators," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president of production. "We believe this arrangement best plays to our individual and collective strengths.”

ESPN picks up the rest of the NASCAR season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31st.

Quote from Scenedaily.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Juan Pablo Montoya Gets New Crew Chief

Official Earnhardt Ganassi Press Release:

CONCORD, NC (July 19, 2011) – Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today they have made a crew chief change on the No. 42 Target Chevrolet driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Effective immediately, Jim Pohlman, who has been with the organization since 2006 in numerous roles, was named interim crew chief of the No. 42 team.

“We are pleased to have someone of Jim’s caliber to be able to place into this role on the No. 42 team. Jim has been with us a number of years and I have confidence in his abilities to move the team forward,” said Team Owner Chip Ganassi.

The No. 42 team is currently 17th in the point standings, 59 points out of the 10th position.

RaceBuddy and Television Numbers For TNT Summer Series

By Official Turner Sports Release:

TNT saw overall growth in total viewers, ratings and households with its just concluded six-race NASCAR Summer Series coverage of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series with 5,125,000 total viewers (up +3%, 4,990,000 in 2010), 3.1 U.S. HH rating (up +3% vs. 3.0 U.S. HH rating in 2010) and 3,615,000 households (up +3%, 3,495,000 in 2010).

NASCAR.com’s TNT RaceBuddy complemented the television coverage with an average of 886,000 weekly video streams during the six-race Summer Series. Overall, video streams on RaceBuddy were up 143% from last year and delivered 5,319,000 total video streams this year. RaceBuddy had record-breaking viewership during TNT’s first race of the 2011 Summer Series in Pocono with 1,146,000 video streams and proceeded to have the second (Daytona, 1,020,000) and third-highest (Kentucky, 928,000) video stream totals in its history during this year’s Summer Series.

Other highlights from the 2011 TNT NASCAR Summer Series Coverage:

-The Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola from Daytona International Speedway was the highest-rated and most-watched cable program for the week (3.4 U.S. HH rating, June 27-July 3, 2011).

-NASCAR.com’s TNT RaceBuddy total page views were up 21% vs. last year for its coverage during the 2011 NASCAR Summer Series.

-RaceBuddy also experienced more than a 17% growth in daily uniques and total visits on TNT RaceBuddy were up +24% compared to last year.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ryan Newman Wins At New Hampshire

Stewart Haas Racing was able to sweep the front row for both qualifying and the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as Ryan Newman took the checkers while teammate and boss Tony Stewart finished second.

Joe Gibbs Racing finished third and fourth, with Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano respectively. Jimmie Johnson finished 5th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in the teens, making it another bad race for the 88 team, and also tightening the Chase battle for the drivers behind him in points. Earnhardt is now 9th in points following New Hampshire.

Unofficially, there were 21 lead changes among 14 drivers plus 10 cautions for 44 yellow flag laps. The attendance was 95,000 people, up from last year.

Here are the unofficial results of New Hampshire:

1. Ryan Newman
2. Tony Stewart
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Joey Logano
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Bobby Labonte
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Marcos Ambrose
10. Kurt Busch
11. Jeff Gordon
12. A.J. Allmendinger
13. Carl Edwards
14. David Ragan
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
16. Jeff Burton
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Greg Biffle
19. David Reutimann
20. Matt Kenseth
21. Kevin Harvick
22. Mark Martin
23. J.J. Yeley
24. Paul Menard
25. David Gilliland
26. Landon Cassill
27. Scott Wimmer
28. Andy Lally
29. Dave Blaney
30. Juan Montoya
31. Jamie McMurray
32. Mike Bliss
33. Regan Smith
34. Brian Vickers
35. Brad Keselowski
36. Kyle Busch
37. David Stremme
38. Casey Mears
39. Erik Darnell
40. Michael McDowell
41. Joe Nemechek
42. Mike Skinner
43. Jeff Green

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Matt Crafton Holds Off Austin Dillon To Win Truck Race At Iowa

Matt Crafton was able to hold off a hard charging Austin Dillon late in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa to take the checkered flag. The win marks Crafton's second career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

One major storyline of the event was the injury of Justin Marks, who hit the wall hard, causing a red flag. Marks was taken to the hospital, where he will stay overnight for observation. Reports say he is doing okay.

Unofficially, there were 6 lead changes among 5 drivers and 6 caution flags for 32 laps.

The following are the unofficial results of the Truck Series race at Iowa:

1. Matt Crafton
2. Austin Dillon
3. David Mayhew
4. Johnny Sauter
5. Joey Coulter
6. Cole Whitt
7. James Buescher
8. Nelson Piquet Jr.
9. David Starr
10. Todd Bodine
11. Timothy Peters
12. Justin Lofton
13. Steve Arpin
14. Brian Ickler
15. Miguel Paludo
16. Brendan Gaughan
17. Clay Rogers
18. Ryan Sieg
19. Ron Hornaday
20. Max Papis
21. Dakoda Armstrong
22. Parker Kligerman
23. Jamie Dick
24. Caleb Roark
25. Jason White
26. Norm Benning
27. Ricky Carmichael
28. Justin Marks
29. Jack Smith
30. Mike Garvey
31. Todd Peck
32. Greg Seevers

Unofficial Nationwide Series Results From New Hampshire

Kyle Busch made NASCAR history in New Hampshire by winning the 200 lap event in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. With the win, Busch has tied Mark Martin for first on the all time win list for the Nationwide Series with 49 wins. Also, Busch achieved another milestone for his career, winning his 100th NASCAR race total.

Kevin Harvick finished 2nd and Kasey Kahne finished third. The top Nationwide Series regular of the day was Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who finished 4th.

There were 9 cautions for 48 laps along with 9 lead changes among 7 leaders unofficially.

The attendance was estimated to be 42,000 people.

The following are the unofficial results for the race:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kasey Kahne
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5. Aric Almirola
6. Kenny Wallace
7. Michael Annett
8. Brad Keselowski
9. Steve Wallace
10. Justin Allgaier
11. Joe Nemechek
12. Elliott Sadler
13. Trevor Bayne
14. Mike Bliss
15. Reed Sorenson
16. Mikey Kile
17. Brian Scott
18. Blake Koch
19. Jeremy Clements
20. Eric McClure
21. Morgan Shepherd
22. Charles Lewandoski
23. Timmy Hill
24. Kevin Lepage
25. Angela Cope
26. Matt Frahm
27. Mike Wallace
28. Andrew Ranger
29. Joey Logano
30. Jason Leffler
31. Derrike Cope
32. Dennis Setzer
33. David Green
34. Carl Edwards
35. Jennifer Jo Cobb
36. Carl Long
37. Mike Harmon
38. Johnny Chapman
39. Chase Miller
40. Danny Efland
41. Tim Andrews
42. Scott Wimmer

Pet Peeves: Common NASCAR Misunderstandings

As many NASCAR fans are well aware of, not everyone in the world is familiar with the sport of NASCAR. In fact, there are always common misunderstandings about NASCAR that are used everyday.

So, Trackside With Travis has organized some of the top 5 biggest misunderstandings that many people (fans of the sport or not) have about NASCAR. Here's the list:

5. How people say Hendrick Motorsports

Folks, it is Hendrick. Not Hendricks. Not Hendrix. H-E-N-D-R-I-C-K. Why do people even say Hendricks? Nobody else makes that mistake with other teams, right? Do people think Rick is related to Jimi Hendrix? The world may never know.


Alright, they drive racecars, not NASCARS. NASCAR is the league, not the vehicle they drive. Enough said.

3. Fixed Racing

Every once in a while, people will pull the "oh, that race was fixed!" card. For example, remember last year when Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Nationwide Series race in the three car? Yeah, the haters really hated on that one. Listen, regardless of how the race finishes, NASCAR does not fix these races. They can't even keep a secret fine a secret, so what makes people think they can keep this a secret with all the drivers and crews and keep the media from talking?

Now, are there some calls that are kind of suspicious? Oh yeah, but that is just sports in general.

2. Rednecks

Golden Tate, a second-year receiver for the Seattle Seahawks pulled the redneck card after getting abuse from NASCAR fans on Twitter after he made the comment that NASCAR drivers are not athletes. Hey everyone, it is the 21st Century now, all the races are on TV all over the world. It sounds pretty international to me, unless everyone who watches it are just rednecks. Golden Tate? Could you please clear that up for us? Thanks. Anyway, this redneck thing is getting old.

1. Drivers not athletes?

What a surprise! It's back to Golden Tate! I have been responding to this discussion that NASCAR drivers are not athletes for years and I have had many explanations of this, but Brad Keselowski put it in a good way on his Twitter account.

"sitting in a 140 degree rollercoaster For 4 hours, lifting 30lbs weight while leg pressing 150lbs. while knowing if u mess up, u could die."

Yeah, that just about sums it up.

Friday, July 15, 2011

For Gamers: NASCAR The Game 2011 Update

Image taken from NASCAR The Game Official Website

Many people hoped and believed that a new NASCAR game would be able to save or help NASCAR tremendously in gaining a younger audience and a younger fan base.

This year, to kick off the 2011 season, the mega gaming company of Activision along with a European company called Eutechnyx released the newest NASCAR video game - NASCAR The Game 2011.

What started out to be something that brought much hope and excitement to many NASCAR fans that were gamers (it had been years since a previous NASCAR video game was produced) turned to be a disappointment rather quickly.

The games, generally speaking for the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, were filled with major bugs and glitches, not to mention very little depth in the career mode and a weak NASCAR experience.

Fans were very displeased, especially since the wait for the new game was quite a long one. However, the developers from Eutechnyx quickly began listening to fan feedback, working on an update called a "patch" for the game. It seemed this would only take a few weeks to produce, but as time progressed, it turned into a very long wait for customers. The major PlayStation hacking saga put a huge delay on much of the process to improve the game for the PlayStation customers, plus there seemed to be little progress made to the XBOX 360 game as well.

Fans became very hostile very quickly towards the developers on Twitter and on the official game forum website as time continued to go without little change. The developers knew they messed up, but continued to stress the fact that these issues would be solved eventually, and that patience would be necessary.

Now, as the the wait heads into the end of July, progress is beginning to be seen. The XBOX 360 update has now been completed and tested, and is just waiting for the final approval for the owner of XBOX, Microsoft. The release of this patch to the public will be in only a few days time, and yet another update is expected immediately after, which will contain all the 2011 cars and paint schemes (the game started with the 2010 data).

The PlayStation 3 updates are still in the final stages of testing, but are expected to be submitted for final approval a week following the XBOX 360 updates, which would also be any day from now.

Regardless of the major attempts to improve the 2011 NASCAR video game, many still say the game will not be very authentic to what NASCAR is. While this may be the case, developers are already working on the 2012 game, and vow to not make the mistakes they made this year, which ultimately destroyed the fan attraction towards it.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Lineup For New Hampshire

Ryan Newman has won the pole position for Sunday's race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman's lap time of 28.165 seconds is a new track record for the Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire.

Starting beside Newman will be his teammate and boss, Tony Stewart. David Reutimann will start the 300 mile race in the third position, while Kurt Busch will start fourth.

Missing the race will be Tony Raines, Scott Riggs, and Dennis Setzer.

The following is the unofficial starting lineup for Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at the "Magic Mile:"

1. Ryan Newman
2. Tony Stewart
3. David Reutimann
4. Kurt Busch
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Jeff Burton
7. Jeff Gordon
8. Juan Montoya
9. Paul Menard
10. Kasey Kahne
11. Regan Smith
12. Clint Bowyer
13. Martin Truex Jr.
14. Denny Hamlin
15. Carl Edwards
16. Joey Logano
17. A.J. Allmendinger
18. Kevin Harvick
19. Kyle Busch
20. Greg Biffle
21. Brian Vickers
22. Marcos Ambrose
23. Bobby Labonte
24. Mark Martin
25. Jamie McMurray
26. David Ragan
27. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
28. Jimmie Johnson
29. David Stremme
30. Matt Kenseth
31. Casey Mears
32. Landon Cassill
33. Michael McDowell
34. David Gilliland
35. Joe Nemechek
36. Jeff Green
37. Dave Blaney
38. J.J. Yeley
39. Mike Skinner
40. Erik Darnell
41. Mike Bliss
42. Andy Lally*
43. Scott Wimmer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

NASCAR CEO Brian France Issues Statement Concerning Kentucky

NASCAR has now released a statement about the major issues with traffic that made thousands of fans miss the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

The following is a statement from NASCAR CEO, Brian France, about the problem that occurred on Saturday night:

“While NASCAR was thrilled by the incredible response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Kentucky, we also are extremely disappointed by the traffic problems and inconveniences endured by fans who wanted to be part of our races at Kentucky Speedway. NASCAR will be in close communications with Kentucky Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. to see that they work to resolve the issues. This situation cannot happen again.”

At this time, Kentucky Speedway has not issued any official apologies to the fans, but has said in multiple statements they will work to solve this issue for the future.

Kentucky Speedway Makes Another Statement About Traffic Issues

The following is the original statement made by the Kentucky Speedway concerning the traffic issues for the inaugural Quaker State 400:

We've had an overwhelming response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400. We know we had challenges related to traffic. We're already planning improvements and looking forward to a much better situation for next year's event.

Now, track officials have added more to their original statement concerning the many fans who were displeased about the traffic situations on Saturday night, as well as the fans who did not make it in time to view the race.

The following is the new statement by Kentucky Speedway:

“Kentucky Speedway regrets the traffic conditions surrounding the Quaker State 400. We’re committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to assure that this never happens again. The details of these improvements will be announced over time as they are formulated.

We also recognize the traffic problems resulted in some fans not being able to attend the Quaker State 400. We are gathering information on this and will announce a policy for these affected fans within seven days.

Our Quaker State 400 ticket holders are invited to share their experiences with us through fans@kentuckyspeedway.com. We thank all our fans for giving the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series such a great welcome to our venue.”

Weekend Schedule: New Hampshire and Iowa

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series will head from the tough traffic in Kentucky to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend for races on the mile long racetrack. The Camping World Truck Series will also be racing this weekend, but not at New Hampshire. The series will stop by the Iowa Speedway for their next race of the season.

This weekend also marks the final Sprint Cup Series race of the year on TNT. ESPN will take over the coverage following this weekend's event for the remainder of the season.

Here is the tentative schedule for this weekend's on track activities:

Friday, July 15, 2011:

10:30 a.m. ET - Nationwide Series practice (No TV)

11:30 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (SPEED)

1:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series final practice (SPEED)

3 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Qualifying (SPEED)

5:30 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series practice (No TV)

7:30 p.m. ET - Truck Series final practice (No TV)

Saturday, July 16, 2011:

9:30 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (SPEED)

10:30 a.m. ET - Nationwide Series Qualifying (SPEED)

11:45 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series final practice (SPEED)

2:35 p.m. ET - Truck Series Qualifying (No TV)

3:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series Race (ESPN)

8 p.m. ET - Truck Series race (SPEED)

Sunday, July 17, 2011:

1 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Race (TNT)

Kentucky Issues May Just Have Ruined That Race Forever


It was the inaugural race at Kentucky Speedway - what many fans, drivers and NASCAR personalities such as Darrell Waltrip were very much looking forward to. Excitement was in the air all weekend long, as NASCAR's three top series would take to the track. Everyone seemed to be a winner this weekend, as the local economy flourished because of the event.

Little did anyone know that a major problem would occur, one that would even overshadow the race.

It started early Saturday morning, about eight or nine hours before the race, where reports began to pop up on the Internet, mostly Twitter, were it was made clear traffic was an issue. Even that early before a race, traffic was backed up for miles and miles, with major concerns. There was still however, plenty of time to get to the track.

Soon it became later in the day, and the problem seemed to become more severe. Even drivers, such as Denny Hamlin, were concerned that they wouldn't be able to beat the traffic getting into the racetrack. Hamlin joked that he was going to start in the back anyway, so it was okay if he missed the drivers meeting. Fans however, were not in a joking mood.

Later, it became minutes until the green flag, stands were looking empty, people still in the roads, and Bruton Smith the owner of the speedway, continued to bash the roads nearby.

Smith had made it clear that he is pressuring the governor of Kentucky to allow him better roads and an airport to help the flow of traffic. He joked during the weekend that he hoped everyone would be out of the track area on Tuesday. Perhaps, he wasn't kidding.

When the race eventually did begin, the stands looked fairly healthy, but anyone could easily tell there were some empty seats.

As the race progressed, news came up stating that around 20,000 people missed the race that night. Even worse, there was another report that some people were turned away because of the lack of space.

Not only that, fans hated the race with a burning passion. Racing was less than exciting, and many fans were just mad that there was yet another mile and a half track on the schedule.

Yes, the first race at Kentucky was a terrible way to bring in the next era for the SMI track, but perhaps the real issues are down the road. The speedway may not ever be able to recover.

Look at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after the tire debacle a few years ago - they have never been able to bounce back. Seats have been so empty it makes the Sprint Cup race look like a Truck race as far as seating goes. Even a place with such racing history is having ticket sale issues all because of one bad race.

The same may happen to the Kentucky Speedway. There is a good chance it will forever be a track with not so good crowds and little fan appreciation. It may just take itself right off the schedule.

Whether it does or not, that is yet to be seen. We will all have to wait until next year to discover if this will hurt this race. One this is for certain: it certainly didn't help.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kyle Busch Wins The First Ever Kentucky Sprint Cup Race

Kyle Busch took home the checkered flag on Saturday night for the inaugural Quaker State 400, making himself a two time winner during the NASCAR Kentucky weekend, after he scored the win for the Camping World Truck Series race on Thursday.

Busch dominated much of the race, while Brad Keselowski was also a strong factor, leading many laps. However, it was Jimmie Johnson and David Reutimann who Busch had to hold off in the final restart of the race, with only a few laps remaining. Reutimann was able to get by Johnson off of turn four on the final lap to take second place.

Kyle Busch also has taken the lead in the points standings. This is the third different points leader in three weeks. Kevin Harvick took the lead from Carl Edwards last weekend.

There were 20 lead changes among 12 drivers as well as 6 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps unofficially. The attendance was expected to be around 110,000 people as it was also sold out, but tough traffic situations may have left some fans missing the race.

The following are unofficial results for the Quaker State 400:

1. Kyle Busch
2. David Reutimann
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Ryan Newman
5. Carl Edwards
6. Matt Kenseth
7. Brad Keselowski
8. David Ragan
9. Kurt Busch
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Jeff Gordon
12. Tony Stewart
13. Kasey Kahne
14. Joey Logano
15. Juan Montoya
16. Kevin Harvick
17. Regan Smith
18. Martin Truex Jr.
19. Jeff Burton
20. Marcos Ambrose
21. Greg Biffle
22. Mark Martin
23. Landon Cassill
24. Paul Menard
25. Casey Mears
26. Bobby Labonte
27. Brian Vickers
28. A.J. Allmendinger
29. Travis Kvapil
30. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
31. David Gilliland
32. Andy Lally
33. Dave Blaney
34. Mike Bliss
35. Clint Bowyer
36. Jamie McMurray
37. Scott Wimmer
38. Tony Raines
39. Joe Nemechek
40. J.J. Yeley
41. Michael McDowell
42. Scott Riggs
43. Mike Skinner

Friday, July 8, 2011

Unofficial Nationwide Series Results From Kentucky

It turned out to be yet another fuel mileage race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series during the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. It also became another event in which a Sprint Cup Series star captured the win, taking the win away from the Nationwide Series regulars.

It was Brad Keselowski, recovering from a rough start to the 2011 Nationwide Series season, who took the win after saving fuel and holding off a hard charging Kevin Harvick, who had a pit miscue in the final few laps. Harvick was told to pit, and as he was slowing down, Harvick's crew chief told him to stay out at the last second, costing him valuable time. The 33 team of Kevin Harvick was able to finish with enough fuel, despite the problem.

Kyle Busch finished third, and therefore will be unable to sweep the weekend among all of NASCAR's three top series. Kasey Kahne finished 4th in the 1st of two races for the pairing of himself and JR Motorsports. His next race with the team will be next weekend at New Hampshire. The top Nationwide regular of the night was Elliott Sadler, who started on the pole and finished 5th.

There were 5 cautions for 24 laps and 8 lead changes among 6 leaders during the race unofficially.

The following are the unofficial results following the Nationwide Series race from the Kentucky Speedway:

1. Brad Keselowski
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kyle Busch
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Elliott Sadler
6. Kenny Wallace
7. Michael Annett
8. Carl Edwards
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10. Joey Logano
11. Trevor Bayne
12. Joe Nemechek
13. Jason Leffler
14. Mark Martin
15. Brian Scott
16. Mike Wallace
17. Reed Sorenson
18. David Reutimann
19. Justin Allgaier
20. Aric Almirola
21. Steve Wallace
22. Blake Koch
23. David Stremme
24. Mike Bliss
25. Derrike Cope
26. Timmy Hill
27. Eric McClure
28. Charles Lewandoski
29. Kevin Lepage
30. Jamie Dick
31. Jeremy Clements
32. Jennifer Jo Cobb
33. Robert Richardson Jr.
34. Morgan Shepherd
35. Will Kimmel III
36. Scott Riggs
37. Jeff Green
38. Tim Andrews
39. Johnny Chapman
40. Mike Harmon
41. Chase Miller
42. John Jackson
43. Dennis Setzer

Qualifying Rains Out, Kyle Busch On The Pole

An attempt at Sprint Cup Series qualifying was made at Kentucky Speedway Friday, as some cars worked their way onto the speedway for an attempt at the pole, however, rain stopped all the drivers from making an attempt. Therefore, qualifying was canceled, causing the lineup for Saturday night's race to be set by the only practice session on Friday. Thus, Kyle Busch will start on the pole, since he was the fastest in the practice session. Among the highlights of the drivers missing the show, Michael Waltrip, who planned to honor his brother Darrell Waltrip with a special paint scheme, will be unable to race although his car was fast enough, due to the rules.

Also missing the race are David Stremme, T.J. Bell, David Starr, and Robby Gordon.

Here is the unofficial lineup for the race on Saturday:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Juan Montoya
3. Kurt Busch
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Carl Edwards
8. David Ragan
9. Tony Stewart
10. Paul Menard
11. Marcos Ambrose
12. Regan Smith
13. Matt Kenseth
14. Jeff Gordon
15. Joey Logano
16. Martin Truex Jr.
17. David Reutimann
18. Ryan Newman
19. Kevin Harvick
20. Clint Bowyer
21. Greg Biffle
22. Jeff Burton
23. A.J. Allmendinger
24. Bobby Labonte
25. Casey Mears
26. Denny Hamlin
27. Brian Vickers
28. Mark Martin
29. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
30. Landon Cassill
31. Joe Nemechek
32. Dave Blaney
33. Mike Skinner
34. Jamie McMurray
35. David Gilliland
36. J.J. Yeley
37. Travis Kvapil
38. Michael McDowell
39. Andy Lally
40. Scott Riggs
41. Tony Raines
42. Mike Bliss
43. Scott Wimmer

Unofficial Nationwide Series Lineup For Kentucky

Elliott Sadler has claimed the pole for the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 173.734 miles per hour and a time of 31.082 seconds. Carl Edwards will join him on the outside front row. Kyle Busch, who is trying to achieve the weekend sweep, crashed his car in the qualifying session and therefore will race a back up car in Friday night's race.

Missing the race will be Danny Efland and Carl Long.

The following is the unofficial lineup for the Feed the Children 300 race:

1. Elliott Sadler
2. Carl Edwards
3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
4. Joey Logano
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Brian Scott
8. Justin Allgaier
9. Steve Wallace
10. Trevor Bayne
11. Reed Sorenson
12. Mark Martin
13. Joe Nemechek
14. Jason Leffler
15. Will Kimmel III
16. Mike Bliss
17. Mike Wallace
18. Kasey Kahne
19. Kenny Wallace
20. Aric Almirola
21. Michael Annett
22. Derrike Cope
23. David Stremme
24. John Jackson
25. Jeff Green
26. David Reutimann
27. Blake Koch
28. Scott Riggs
29. Jennifer Jo Cobb
30. Morgan Shepherd
31. Dennis Setzer
32. Eric McClure
33. Chase Miller
34. Timmy Hill
35. Kevin Lepage
36. Tim Andrews
37. Johnny Chapman
38. Jamie Dick
39. Charles Lewandoski
40. Robert Richardson Jr.
41. Kyle Busch
42. Jeremy Clements
43. Mike Harmon

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Unofficial Camping World Truck Series Results From Kentucky

Kyle Busch is one step closer to earning the weekend sweep of all of NASCAR's three top series at Kentucky Speedway. Busch, who did not have the truck to beat during Thursday night's Camping World Truck Series race, was able to steal the victory through other drivers' misfortune. Johnny Sauter, a strong competitor to Busch, broke and axle, while another strong competitor for Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, had his hood fly up during the final laps. Busch was able to hold off others on a final restart.

This is Busch's 98th NASCAR win total, as he tries to sweep the inaugural weekend of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky.

Here are the unofficial results following the race at Kentucky:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Parker Kligerman
3. Brendan Gaughan
4. Todd Bodine
5. Jason White
6. Elliott Sadler
7. Joey Coulter
8. David Starr
9. James Buescher
10. Travis Kvapil
11. Max Papis
12. Steve Arpin
13. Ricky Carmichael
14. Austin Dillon
15. Justin Lofton
16. Timothy Peters
17. Clay Rogers
18. Jack Smith
19. Ryan Sieg
20. Charles Vest
21. Miguel Paludo
22. Nelson Piquet Jr.
23. Johnny Chapman
24. Johnny Sauter
25. Shane Sieg
26. Cole Whitt
27. Ron Hornaday
28. John King
29. Josh Richards
30. Jennifer Jo Cobb
31. Norm Benning
32. Matt Crafton
33. Chris Fontaine
34. Mike Garvey
35. Justin Marks
36. Johanna Long

Voting under way for Truck and Nationwide Series most popular driver

By Official Release:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- For the fourth consecutive year, fans can vote online for the 2011 Most Popular Driver in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series (Twitter hashtags: #NNSMPD, #NCWTSMPD).

Voting begins July 7 and runs through Nov. 17, prior to the season-ending race for both national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend.

This year, fans have dedicated sites on NASCAR.COM to vote. For the Nationwide Series, fans can go to www.NASCAR.com/nnsmpd and to www.NASSCAR.com/ncwtsmpd for the Camping World Truck Series. Fans may vote once per day leading up to the Nov. 17 deadline.

To be eligible to receive votes, drivers must have selected either the Nationwide Series or Camping World Truck Series to receive 2011 driver championship points. Additionally, drivers must have attempted at least half of each series' races this season.

The winners will be announced at the 2011 Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series Awards Banquet. The combined post-season gala will again take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Monday, Nov. 21.

With eligibility tied to their selected series for points, a new Most Popular Driver will be crowned in both series this year. Brad Keselowski, the 2010 Nationwide Series champion, earned a record-setting third consecutive series Most Popular Driver award via fan vote following last season. Kenny Wallace also has three Most Popular Driver awards in the Nationwide Series, though not consecutively. Narain Karthikeyan captured the most votes in the Camping World Truck Series to earn that series' Most Popular Driver honor in 2010.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

TNT To Enhance Audio Coverage This Weekend

This weekend marks the inaugural race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway, and also marks the second to last race of the year for TNT. TNT comes off of a weekend of their traditional wide open coverage, in which they were unable to keep all green flag laps commercial free, unlike the past few years. However, there was still only one commercial break that interrupted green flag coverage last weekend. This weekend, they are trying something new - adding microphones all around the speedway to enhance the audio for the fans.

The following is a statement from Turner Sports:

"TNT’s coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing continues on Saturday, July 9 live from Kentucky Speedway for the track’s first-ever Sprint Cup Series race. The network’s exclusive prime time coverage of the race will be a special audio-enhanced telecast with 40 additional special effects microphones placed in multiple positions around the track, including pit road, the front and backstretches and the turns, to boost the listening experience for NASCAR viewers. On average, TNT uses approximately 50 microphones for their race coverage on a track this size. The network also will utilize increased audio from in-car communication between the drivers and race crews and will continue to mic-up select crew chiefs and their teams through Inside Trax which will provide fans with inside access to the sounds and strategy of racing."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kentucky Tentative NASCAR Schedule:

This is it. After all those years of wondering when Kentucky would ever get to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, they will finally be able to do that with a sold out crowd.

The top series of NASCAR will be joined by the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series, which have all been at the speedway before, unlike the Sprint Cup Series.

The Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday night, meaning there will be much activity during the week days at Kentucky. In fact, vehicles hit the track on Wednesday, although there is no live TV coverage of those events.

Here is the tentative weekend (or mid week, if you would like to call it that) schedule for the NASCAR weekend at Kentucky:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011:

4 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series practice (No TV)

6 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series practice(No TV)

Thursday, July 7, 2011:

10 a.m. ET - Truck Series final practice (No TV)

11:05 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (No TV)

3 p.m. ET - Truck Series Qualifying (Will air on SPEED at 6 p.m. ET)

4 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (No TV)

6:10 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series practice (No TV)

8 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series race (SPEED)

Friday, July 8, 2011:

9 a.m. ET - Nationwide Series final practice (No TV)

11:30 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (SPEED)

1:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series final practice (SPEED)

3:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series Qualifying (SPEED)

5 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Qualifying (SPEED0

7:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series Race (ESPN)

Saturday, July 9, 2011:

7:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Race (TNT)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Opinion: Regardless of how good the plate racing actually is, NASCAR needs to make a decision soon

With the NASCAR season of 2010 being the year of "Boys, have at it," it is safe to say that the year of 2011 has been the year of the two car draft.

The two car draft, which started at Daytona International Speedway to start the 2011 season, turned to be a very controversial form of racing after three points paying restrictor plate races of the season. Teams now work together no matter what (for the most part) making similar pit calls, using the same spotter, and working on the same radio in a race. It is if two cars equals one team, but yet only one of the pair gets credit for the win in victory lane.

When it started, most people did not have any solid opinions of this foreign type of racing, especially since nobody actually knew what was going on and what the impact of this racing was.

Now, half way through the 2011 season, more people have made their opinions of it, saying it is either good, exciting racing, or saying it isn't real racing at all, and that the big packs of cars in the past were better shows at Daytona and Talladega. Some, are still on the fence about it.

Star drivers have also spoken out about the new type of racing in the recent weeks. Some, like Tony Stewart, say it is what it is, others like Ryan Newman, prefer this racing more than the old style, and drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., have made their displeasure clear to the media.

Regardless of how exciting the racing is or which form is better, NASCAR needs to make a decision soon. By the time Speedweeks hits NASCAR again in 2012, NASCAR needs to be clear on which way they want the sport to go. NASCAR, using feedback from drivers and fans, needs to discover if this form really fits into the style in which NASCAR holds. Does this racing fit with what NASCAR was and is? All these questions and concerns remain controversial, but yet unanswered. It is now time for the sanctioning body to find the answers to them, so NASCAR Nation can move forward.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

David Ragan Gets Redemption At Daytona

David Ragan was able to get redemption following the penalty received in the Daytona 500 earlier this year by winning the Coke Zero 400. Ragan, who is in his final contract year with sponsor UPS, took the checkered flag after getting a push from teammate Matt Kenseth on the 2nd attempt at a green white checkered. On the last lap, there were two major crashes, and during the first green white checkered, there was the largest crash of the night, which all contained major players in the race.

Unofficially, here were 57 lead changes among 25 drivers plus 6 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendance was listed to be 115,000, which is the same as last year's Daytona July race.

Here are the unofficial results of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Raceway:

1. David Ragan
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Joey Logano
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Kyle Busch
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Paul Menard
9. Juan Montoya
10. A.J. Allmendinger
11. Tony Stewart
12. Brian Vickers
13. Denny Hamlin
14. Kurt Busch
15. Brad Keselowski
16. David Gilliland
17. Marcos Ambrose
18. Greg Biffle
19. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20. Jimmie Johnson
21. Jeff Burton
22. Jamie McMurray
23. Ryan Newman
24. Regan Smith
25. David Reutimann
26. Landon Cassill
27. Andy Lally
28. Terry Labonte
29. Travis Kvapil
30. Joe Nemechek
31. Bobby Labonte
32. Casey Mears
33. Mark Martin
34. Robby Gordon
35. Martin Truex Jr.
36. Clint Bowyer
37. Carl Edwards
38. Geoff Bodine
39. Dave Blaney
40. Mike Skinner
41. Trevor Bayne
42. Michael McDowell
43. Kevin Conway

Friday, July 1, 2011

Joey Logano Comes Out of Nowhere To Win Nationwide Series Race At Daytona

It was a crazy race at Daytona International Speedway as usual for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as the two car drafts dominated the race during Friday night's Subway Jalapeno 250. During the event, the four Kevin Harvick Inc. cars, along with the JR Motorsports cars of Aric Almirola and Danica Patrick seemed to be the ones to beat. However, it turned out to be a Joe Gibbs Racing car that made it out on top to take the checkers after a crazy last few laps - and no, it wasn't Kyle Busch. Joey Logano held of a hard charging Kyle Busch and an even bigger hard charger of Jason Leffler in the final lap of the event to take the win.

There was also a major crash through the tri-oval on the last lap behind the leaders, which included three KHI cars(the other car of Clint Bowyer was already destroyed) and the two JR Motorsports cars - all of which were threats for the win. Mike Wallace was also involved in the accident, along with Steven Wallace.

Unofficially, there were 36 lead changes among 13 drivers and 6 caution flags for 23 laps.

Here are the unofficial results following a crazy race at Daytona:

1. Joey Logano
2. Jason Leffler
3. Reed Sorenson
4. Kyle Busch
5. Justin Allgaier
6. Michael Annett
7. Kenny Wallace
8. Elliott Sadler
9. Aric Almirola
10. Danica Patrick
11. Steve Wallace
12. Brian Scott
13. Tony Stewart
14. Carl Edwards
15. Mike Wallace
16. Jamie McMurray
17. Brad Keselowski
18. Kevin Harvick
19. Jeffrey Earnhardt
20. Mike Bliss
21. Tim George Jr.
22. Trevor Bayne
23. Timmy Hill
24. Josh Wise
25. Kevin Conway
26. Joe Nemechek
27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
28. Blake Koch
29. Derrike Cope
30. Danny Efland
31. Robert Richardson Jr.
32. Jeremy Clements
33. Kevin Lepage
34. Clint Bowyer
35. Dennis Setzer
36. Jennifer Jo Cobb
37. Eric McClure
38. Morgan Shepherd
39. Ricky Carmichael
40. Charles Lewandoski
41. Mike Harmon
42. Carl Long
43. Jeff Green

Mark Martin Takes The Pole For The Coke Zero 400

Yet another Hendrick Motorsports car has taken the pole position in qualifying at a restrictor plate race. Mark Martin, with a speed of 182.065 miles per hour and a time 49.433 seconds, will lead the field to the green flag on Saturday night, with Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne starting beside him.

Tony Raines and J.J. Yeley fialed to make the race.

Here is the unofficial lineup for the Coke Zero 400:

1. Mark Martin
2. Trevor Bayne
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Jeff Gordon
5. David Ragan
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. Andy Lally
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. A.J. Allmendinger
10. Paul Menard
11. Ryan Newman
12. Jeff Burton
13. Kasey Kahne
14. Carl Edwards
15. Marcos Ambrose
16. Matt Kenseth
17. Greg Biffle
18. Jamie McMurray
19. Tony Stewart
20. Brian Vickers
21. Landon Cassill
22. Kevin Conway
23. David Reutimann
24. Bobby Labonte
25. Kurt Busch
26. Brad Keselowski
27. Travis Kvapil
28. Regan Smith
29. Mike Skinner
30. Juan Montoya
31. Kevin Harvick
32. Casey Mears
33. Michael McDowell
34. Martin Truex Jr.
35. Geoff Bodine
36. Denny Hamlin
37. Joe Nemechek
38 Joey Logano
39. Kyle Busch
40. David Gilliland
41. Dave Blaney
42. Terry Labonte
43. Mike Bliss

Nationwide Series Unofficial Lineup At Daytona

Kevin Harvick Inc. has shown their strength multiple times in the past at restrictor plate racetracks, and Friday at Daytona International Speedway was no different. All four teams that KHI brought to Daytona for this weekend's race have taken the top four spots. Team owner Kevin Harvick is credited with the pole.

Chase Miller failed to make the race.

Here is the unofficial lineup for Friday night's race at Daytona International Speedway:

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Tony Stewart
3. Elliott Sadler
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Trevor Bayne
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Danica Patrick
8. Carl Edwards
9. Reed Sorenson
10. Justin Allgaier
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
13. Aric Almirola
14. Kyle Busch
15. Jason Leffler
16. Tim George Jr.
17. Brian Scott
18. Joey Logano
19. Kenny Wallace
20. Steve Wallace
21. Ricky Carmichael
22. Mike Wallace
23. Michael Annett
24. Joe Nemechek
25. Kevin Conway
26. Timmy Hill
27. Robert Richardson Jr.
28. Jeffrey Earnhardt
29. Jeff Green
30. Mike Harmon
31. Blake Koch
32. Carl Long
33. Mike Bliss
34. Jennifer Jo Cobb
35. Danny Efland
36. Morgan Shepherd
37. Josh Wise
38. Jeremy Clements
39. Eric McClure
40. Charles Lewandoski
41. Derrike Cope
42. Kevin Lepage
43. Dennis Setzer

Tony Stewart Doesn't Back Down About Blocking Statements, Says He Will Retaliate Even If It Costs Him The Chase

Following last weekend's Sprint Cup Series race, Tony Stewart was very clear about blocking. After wrecking Brian Vickers when he blocked Stewart, Vickers wrecked the 14 car back, ruining Stewart's day. Following the race, Stewart said that he had enough of it, and he would even wreck his own teammate and the car he owns - the 39 of Ryan Newman - if he was ever blocked by him.

At Daytona International Speedway this weekend, Stewart has not changed his statement one bit.

“I’ve drawn my line in the sand and the next guy that blocks me is also going to suffer the same fate and it doesn’t matter who it is.’’

In fact, Stewart says he will continue to wreck others who block him, no matter what the risk, even if it costs him a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“I’ll make sure when I do it next time that the guy doesn’t have the opportunity to come back and wreck me," Stewart said. “It might (impact his chance to make the Chase). I’m going to stay the course on it. I’m just to the point where I’m fed up with the ways some of these guys are racing each other. If we miss the Chase because of it, so be it. It’s not what the team is going to want to hear, it’s not what our sponsors are going to want to hear, but so be it. There’s 42 guys out there and they know how I race and what I expect. I don’t race them that way, I don’t block guys. I’m not going to block guys, but if they block me, they will suffer the consequences of it.’’

Stewart also made it clear that someone needs to draw the line and that as long as others don't block him, he doesn't really care how people race each other.

“I just think that you’ve got to have somebody that is going to draw a line in the sand somewhere and say this is what we expect. I don’t care if they want to race each other that way, that’s fine. They can race everybody else in the field that way, but I don’t race guys that way."

Tony Stewart also said that many other drivers agreed with him, and that he wasn't surprised one bit that they did.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Danica Patrick Talks Future, Possible Godaddy Sale

Photo From JR Motorsports

Danica Patrick spoke with members of the media on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway after returning to NASCAR following a few weeks racing over in Indycar.

When asked about her future along with the timetable for her decision of whether or not she will run Indycar or NASCAR in 2012, she didn't say anything new.

"Obviously I'm racing in NASCAR and I've not made anyone wonder whether I like it," she said. "But other than that, as I've said from the beginning of the year, these things are complicated and they take time.

"Whether I'm coming here or not has yet to be signed, sealed and delivered. And I might not be. Only time will tell, and that timeline on my time of things...I'm really not sure."

Even though she didn't seem to know much about the situation currently, she did point out that it was still her decision to make.

"It comes down to my gut and my desire and where I feel like I'll be the happiest and where I feel like I'll be able to have the most success," she said. "And then after that, my team explores the options. But it always starts with where I want to be."

When asked about the possible sale of Godaddy.com, Danica's long time sponsor, she also had very little answers for that topic.

"I don't know," she said. "It might not change anything; it might change everything. I'm not really sure."

She also mentioned that she did speak with Bob Parsons from Godaddy.com earlier in the year about a possible Godaddy.com sale, and according to Danica, Parsons shot down the rumors of the sale at that time. However, recently, rumors about the sale of Godaddy.com have increased rapidly, saying that the company was, or would be sold for anywhere between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.

This weekend marks Danica's third NASCAR race at Daytona. This is currently her most raced track in NASCAR.

Coke Zero 400 Unofficial Qualifying Order

The Sprint Cup Series stars will qualify on Friday afternoon to set the field for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona International Speedway. As usual, the qualifying order is determined by practice speeds, therefore Marcos Ambrose will go out to qualify last, as he was the fastest in the one and only practice session for the Sprint Cup Series.

Qualifying will take place Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, and will be shown a SPEED channel. For more of the weekend schedule, click here.

Here is the unofficial order that the Sprint Cup Series will qualify in:

1. Joe Nemechek
2. Dave Blaney
3. Michael McDowell
4. Tony Raines
5. Geoff Bodine
6. Robby Gordon
7. Kevin Conway
8. Travis Kvapil
9. Landon Cassill
10. Mike Skinner
11. Andy Lally
12. Trevor Bayne
13. J.J. Yeley
14. Casey Mears
15. Brian Vickers
16. Kasey Kahne
17. Bobby Labonte
18. Terry Labonte
19. Regan Smith
20. Martin Truex Jr.
21. David Reutimann
22. Jamie McMurray
23. Juan Montoya
24. Greg Biffle
25. Carl Edwards
26. Jimmie Johnson
27. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
28. Joey Logano
29. Kyle Busch
30. David Ragan
31. Matt Kenseth
32. Ryan Newman
33. Denny Hamlin
34. Tony Stewart
35. David Gilliland
36. Paul Menard
37. Kevin Harvick
38. Jeff Burton
39. Clint Bowyer
40. Mark Martin
41. Jeff Gordon
42. Brad Keselowski
43. Kurt Busch
44. A.J. Allmendinger
45. Marcos Ambrose

Marcos Ambrose Tops Only Sprint Cup Series Practice At Daytona

The Sprint Cup Series, similar to the Nationwide Series, had only one practice session on Thursday due to the rain that dominated the day at Daytona International Speedway. However, unlike the Nationwide Series, the session was fairly clean, with no major incidents on the racetrack.

As expected, teams used the two car drafting to make their way around the speedway. It seemed that everyone knew who they would be working with for Saturday night's race. Teammates, such as Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr., plus Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick worked together, similar to the Talladega spring race.

Here are the unofficial results of the practice session:

1. Marcos Ambrose
2. A.J. Allmendinger
3. Kurt Busch
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Mark Martin
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Jeff Burton
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Paul Menard
11. David Gilliland
12. Tony Stewart
13. Denny Hamlin
14. Ryan Newman
15. Matt Kenseth
16. David Ragan
17. Joey Logano
18. Kyle Busch
19. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20. Jimmie Johnson
21. Greg Biffle
22. Carl Edwards
23. Juan Montoya
24. Jamie McMurray
25. David Reutimann
26. Martin Truex Jr.
27. Regan Smith
28. Terry Labonte
29. Bobby Labonte
30. Brian Vickers
31. Kasey Kahne
32. Casey Mears
33. J.J. Yeley
34. Trevor Bayne
35. Andy Lally
36. Mike Skinner
37. Landon Cassill
38. Travis Kvapil
39. Kevin Conway
40. Robby Gordon
42. Tony Raines
43. Michael McDowell
44. Dave Blaney
45. Joe Nemechek

Joey Logano Fastest In Only Nationwide Series Practice At Daytona

Rain washed out most of the day at Daytona International Speedway, causing the scheduled amount of practice time for the Nationwide Series to be cut down to one practice session, instead of two.

That one practice seassion was quite eventful for many teams, including Danica Patrick, who brushed the wall. Brian Scott, Michael Annett, Elliott Sadler and Clint Bowyer were some of the other drivers involved in incidents during the session.

Here are the unofficial results of the first and final practice session for the teams:

1. Joey Logano
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Reed Sorenson
4. Jason Leffler
5. Elliott Sadler
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Trevor Bayne
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
9. Tony Stewart
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Carl Edwards
12. Kyle Busch
13. Danica Patrick
14. Aric Almirola
15. Kenny Wallace
16. Steve Wallace
17. Ricky Carmichael
18. Kevin Conway
19. Joe Nemechek
20. Mike Wallace
21. Tim George Jr.
22. Timmy Hill
23. Robert Richardson Jr.
24. Josh Wise
25. Jeremy Clements
26. Jamie McMurray
27. Justin Allgaier
28. Blake Koch
29. Jennifer Jo Cobb
30. Eric McClure
31. Chase Miller
32. Derrike Cope
33. Mike Harmon
34. Carl Long
35. Morgan Shepherd
36. Jeff Green
37. Mike Bliss
38. Danny Efland
39. Jeffrey Earnhardt
40. Tim Andrews
41. Kevin Lepage
42. Charles Lewandoski
43. Dennis Setzer
44. Brian Scott - Did not complete a lap
45. Michael Annett - Did not complete a lap

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paige Duke Out of Miss Sprint Cup Role

Over the years, Miss Sprint Cup (there have been multiple Miss Sprint Cups at once) has been seen on television, the Internet and at the track interacting with the fans. Recently, Sprint has announced the departure of one of their representatives, Paige Duke. There was no reason given in the statement that was made available to Miss Sprint Cup fans. Paige Duke has become a very well known, respected figure in the garage area. There is no word on what is next for Paige.

Here is the statement given by the Miss Sprint Cup Facebook page:

"Hey fans, Paige Duke is no longer with the Miss Sprint Cup team. We wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors. Thank you for your continued support of the Miss Sprint Cup program as we continue to bring you closer to the NASCAR action each and every week."

Michael Waltrip To Honor Brother Darrell at Kentucky

From Official Michael Waltrip Racing Release:

CORNELIUS, N.C. - Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip has enjoyed many special races in his career, but few will be as meaningful to the Owensboro, Ky. native as the July 9 inaugural NASCAR Sprint race at Kentucky Speedway.

With the support of long-time sponsor Aaron’s Inc., Michael will celebrate the election of his brother Darrell to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. He’ll race an orange and white paint scheme similar to the Terminal Transport car Darrell drove to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Nashville Speedway in 1975. Michael’s Kentucky paint scheme also includes a photo of the Nashville victory lane celebration on each of the car’s rear quarter panels and a picture of “DW” on the hood also taken at Nashville.

WALTRIP ON KENTUCKY PAINT SCHEME: “What a great photo! And, I was there! Seeing it still makes me smile. This was when all the winning started and led Darrell to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. What a happy group we were. So many people who helped him are in it, including my grandparents. I had never seen a man so happy. I have always idolized my brother and because of him racing is all I ever wanted to do. It is truly special for our family that I will be able to honor him by driving this paint scheme at the first Sprint Cup race in our home state of Kentucky.”

MICHAEL ON DW: “I know Darrell, and I know his story. I know how he started. He was about 12 years old driving by a go kart race in a parking lot in Owensboro, Kentucky . He was just mesmerized. It was all he could think about. He somehow talked my dad into buying a go-kart. He said he would mow yards to pay for the go-kart. My dad bought that story and then bought Darrell the go-kart. I don't think many yards got mowed, but that was the start to the road that led Darrell to where he is today, the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

“I guess this means more to me than maybe it does a lot of people, because I know the road that he traveled to get to the Hall of Fame. I’m so happy for him. We all have role models especially as kids, and sometimes those role models let us down. Darrell has always been my role model and my hero ever since I was a little boy, and he’s never let me down. To me, he has been in the Hall of Fame for a long time. I told him that being a future Hall of Famer makes him sound younger, now it’s official he is a Hall of Famer. At least he is still young at heart.”

Weekend Schedule: Get ready for some two car drafting

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to their third restrictor plate race of the season at the historic Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400. The Sprint Cup Series will be joined by the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which races their final plate race of the season. The Camping World Truck Series has the weekend off yet again, but will hit hte track next weekend for the Kentucky triple header.

This weekend, TNT will use the momentum of the high RaceBuddy and television ratings to bring the tradition of "Wide Open Coverage," which features the plan of no full screen commercials on green flag laps. The past few seasons, TNT has been successful with this format, showing all green flag laps. During cautions, local, full screen commercials tend to be shown.

On track activity starts on Thursday this weekend since it is a night race.

Here is the tentative weekend schedule:

Thursday, June 30, 2011:

2:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series practice (SPEED)

4 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (SPEED)

5:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series final practice (ESPN2)

6:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series final practice (SPEED)

Friday, June 1, 2011:

2 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series Qualifying (ESPN2)

4 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Qualifying (SPEED)

7:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series race (ESPN)

Saturday, June 2, 2011:

7:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series race (TNT)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crown Royal Plans On Leaving Roush Fenway Racing

Official statement from Crown Royal:

In evaluation of our NASCAR programming and after much consideration, we have made the decision to make a strategic shift to focus our resources against our annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" program which awards race naming rights to an adult fan. The Your Name Here program has provided NASCAR fans with an experience that is unrivaled in sports and in recent years has shed light on some of the remarkable military servicemen and servicewomen who proudly serve our country. We look forward to elevating this program as well as continuing our presence in the sport through an experience that our fans have grown to love. The specific details regarding how we will honor these heroes at next year's entitlement will be announced at a later date.
In shifting our strategy, we will end our sponsorships with Roush Fenway Racing and NASCAR upon the conclusion of the 2011 season. We have developed strong relationships with the people at both organizations - they have not only been fantastic business partners, but have also become our friends. We thank them for working with us throughout the years to showcase the importance of our social responsibility initiatives. We look forward to a strong finish to the 2011 season and like the many fans we've gained along the way, we'll never stop rooting for the #17 car on its way to Victory Lane.

RaceBuddy, TNT Infineon Coverage Up In Viewership

According to a TNT press release, both the television coverage and the NASCAR.com Racebuddy coverage of the Infineon race was up in viewership from last season.

The television coverage of the event was up 17% with nearly 5.2 million viewers. TNT's NASCAR Summer Series has now been averaging 5.1 million viewers this season, up 7% of the total 2010 season coverage.

Racebuddy was up in streams with 848,000 video streams total during the race. This is up an incredible 211% from last year and up 16% from last weekend's race at Michigan. This is currently the second most viewed Racebuddy experience in history.

This weekend, TNT will go wide open with their coverage, showing all green flag racing with split screen style commercials.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Opinion: Carl Edwards' decision to stay out of the Nationwide Series race at Road America was a good one for not only the Series, but also himself

Carl Edwards seemed to be the only big name driver to chose to run both the Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon in California and the Nationwide Series race at Road America in Wisconsin. Many wondered why, especially since Edwards is unable to race for the Nationwide Series championship after NASCAR's rule change in the off season, Edwards would even think about running both.

His Sprint Cup team needed his undivided attention if they were going to get a good finish out of a road course race - a type of race Edwards has proven to be difficult for himself in the Sprint Cup Series.

On Friday, Edwards made a big decision. With the permission of his Nationwide Series sponsor, Fastenal, Edwards was able to pull himself out of the Nationwide Series race at Road America - the one in which he was the defending champion of after the inaugural race in 2010.

At the time, many fans and Nationwide Series regulars breathed a sigh of relief - it seemed that both Nationwide fans and drivers could enjoy a race that is actually consisted of developmental drivers, even if there were some road course specialists entered. After all, that is what the Nationwide Series is all about.

In reality, this was only one of another big plus - but this time it wasn't just for other people, it was for Edwards himself.

The driver of the 99 car was struggling to get a hold of his machine during Friday's opening practice at the Sprint Cup venue. With the competition so tight in today's Cup series, it was evident that the team would need all weekend to work on it. Therefore, the team's engineers needed Carl Edwards close by - somewhere where they could get him for his help and feedback.

With this move made by Edwards and Roush Renway racing, the points leading team was able to accomplish that and much more.

After running a plethora of laps in the Saturday practice sessions for the Cup Series, the team was able to improve their car much more, and even throughout the race.

The end result was quite surprising to many; Edwards finished third, ahead of tough road course competitors such as Juan Pablo Montoya and Marcos Ambrose. And while many people hate to hear, "It was a good points day," it was just that. Since it wasn't a typical type of a NASCAR Sprint Cup event, that good points day is crucial for a team like Edwards'.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of this move is not for the Nationwide Series, or just a good points day, but is actually down the road into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The team proved something this past weekend - that they are truly a team to beat, no matter where they are. Yes, Jimmie Johnson will most likely be the strongest team to beat - they have been for the past five years - but Johnson may have his strongest competitor yet - Carl Edwards.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Has Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s season turned the corner for the worse?

The 88 team pushes the broken HMS car into the garage after a rough day at Infineon. Picture from Jeff Gluck, SBNation.com

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is told by crew chief Steve Letarte to bring it down pit road as Earnhardt's engine erupts into flames resulting from a broken radiator. For the second weekend in a row, something, or someone has caused them to have a poor finish as the Chase nears. At Infineon this past weekend, it wasn't just a poor finish, it was terrible - not even a top 40 - 41st to be exact.

With NASCAR's new points system, every point counts tremendously, so finishing low in the running order is far worse than it has been in years past. What was once a top three team in points, faultered to 7th place in the standings after a race at Earnhardt's obvious hated track.

With this being only his second DNF of the season, Earnhardt Jr., along with his new revived team, have been solid to say the least. Scoring 3 top 5's and 8 top 10's has made Jr. say this has been one of his most consistent years of his career - if not the most consistent, even without a win yet.

However, the summer months have proven to be deadly to NASCAR's most popular driver, with a string of tracks that are not the best for him.

Many who are critical of him say that June would be a crucial month for him, and while he had started strong in the early month of June - the highlight of that being Pocono, a track where Earnhardt has had little success - trouble two weeks in a row have put him closer to falling out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

While he still has quite a gap, this new points system has proven many times this year that no one is safe, and that every point can be considered to make or break a team's season.

Luckily for the 88 team, Daytona - a very strong track for Dale Earnhardt Jr. - is up next on the schedule, but even an Earnhardt is not safe from the unpredictability of a restrictor plate race. Earnhardt himself isn't looking forward to it all that much.

"I'm not looking forward to going to Daytona, not with the way the (two-car) drafting is there," he said. "But we'll just have to see if we can get lucky out there. What's after Daytona? I'll be glad to go there."

After Daytona, no matter the result, Earnhardt and his team must perform. With teams climbing their way up the standings after a rough start to the 2011 season, they must not only be on offense, but deffense as well.

Are they truly in trouble? Perhaps not, but one thing is for certain: 3rd in points is more conforting than 7th.

Robby Gordon Says He Will Pay Logano Back

Joey Logano made contact with Robby Gordon in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon, and Robby Gordon plans on paying him back because of it.

"He took me out," Gordon said, according to SB Nation's Jeff Gluck. "I passed him clean, and I guess he didn't think it was clean. I guess I need to pull a Richard Childress on him, just not at the racetrack."

Logano reacted to Gordon's statement.

"He drives like a moron every week," Logano said. "We were a lot faster than him. I got outside of him one corner and he knocked in my fender, all that s*** there. So I had enough of it. I'm not going to get pushed around; I don't care."

"It's not a big deal to me. My car is fine. We finished sixth. I think that's the smallest story you could possibly find out here."

Max Papis, who was with Logano to assist him with his road course racing technique, also agreed what Gordon did was wrong.

"There is no time to block people in NASCAR," Papis said. "And Robby should know better than that, I think."

Joey Logano, the polesitter for the Sprint Cup race, finished 6th, while Robby Gordon finished 18th, unable to recover from the incident.

Unofficial Sprint Cup Series Points Following Infineon

Top 30:

1. Carl Edwards --
2. Kevin Harvick -25
3. Jimmie Johnson -33
4. Kurt Busch -34
5. Kyle Busch -37
6. Matt Kenseth -52
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -65
8. Clint Bowyer -77
9. Jeff Gordon -93
10. Ryan Newman -98
11. Denny Hamlin -110
12. Tony Stewart -113
13. Greg Biffle -127
14. Mark Martin -130
15. A.J. Allmendinger -140
16. Juan Montoya -141
17. Paul Menard -144
18. Martin Truex Jr. -161
19. Kasey Kahne -162
20. David Ragan -163
21. Marcos Ambrose -165
22. Brad Keselowski -175
23. Joey Logano -175
24. Jeff Burton -205
25. David Reutimann -212
26. Brian Vickers -217
27. Jamie McMurray -218
28. Regan Smith -222
29. Bobby Labonte -241
30. David Gilliland -286

2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Unofficial Results

It was Kurt Busch who would master the art of turning both left and right at Infineon Raceway to take the checkered flag - his first Sprint Cup win of the 2011 season. Jeff Gordon finished second, while Carl Edwards was the surprise third place finisher.

It was a crazy day filled with contact, payback, and some unhappy faces in the garage area. Incidents between Joey Logano and Robby Gordon, along with Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers, were just a few of the story lines. There were 13 lead changes among 9 drivers and there were 5 cautions for 17 yellow flag laps.

Here are the unofficial results from Infineon:

1. Kurt Busch
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Carl Edwards
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Marcos Ambrose
6. Joey Logano
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Kyle Busch
12. David Gilliland
13. A.J. Allmendinger
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Jamie McMurray
16. Regan Smith
17. Paul Menard
18. Robby Gordon
19. Mark Martin
20. Kasey Kahne
21. Jeff Burton
22. Juan Montoya
23. Greg Biffle
24. David Reutimann
25. Ryan Newman
26. Andy Pilgrim
27. Chris Cook
28. Boris Said
29. David Ragan
30. Michael McDowell
31. Dave Blaney
32. Terry Labonte
33. Brian Simo
34. Casey Mears
35. Andy Lally
36. Brian Vickers
37. Denny Hamlin
38. Bobby Labonte
39. Tony Stewart
40. Joe Nemechek
41. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
42. Mike Skinner
43. P.J. Jones

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carl Edwards Removes Himself From Nationwide Series Race At Road America

Instead of traveling far distances between the Sprint Cup Series track of Infineon Raceway in California and the Nationwide Series track of Road America in Wisconsin, Carl Edwards has chosen to only focus on the Sprint Cup Series race this weekend.

The decision comes very late in the week - Friday to be exact - following the first practices of the weekend for both of NASCAR's top two series.

Since NASCAR does not score Nationwide Series points for the Sprint Cup Series regulars, there has been much discussion of whether it is truly worth it for Sprint Cup drivers to run the full Nationwide schedule.

Billy Johnson, who was scheduled to practice the car for Edwards in the first place, will be the driver of the number 60 car for Saturday's Nationwide race. Johnson was first fastest in the opening practice for the Nationwide Series this weekend.

"I think Billy will do a great job," said Edwards. "In the end, this puts us in the best position with both teams to perform well, so I'm grateful to be able to make the change and I feel like we are doing the right thing. I think this shows you just how much our sponsors and our team are able to work together and change things on the fly," Edwards stated. "The original plan was for me to miss all of practice in our Sprint Cup car in Sonoma on Saturday, but literally as we finished practice today we found out that Billy Johnson was P1 in the Fastenal Ford Mustang at Road America. We also felt like as a team that we needed more practice on the Cup side, so I called the (President and) CEO of Fastenal - Will Oberton - and without any hesitation, he said do what you need to do to have the best result and we are behind you 100 percent. It just shows that Fastenal is truly behind our whole Roush Fenway team, and we have a great relationship to be able to make this change."

This will be the first Nationwide race without Edwards since June 12, 2005 at Nashville, according to Sporting News.

Quotes from Roush Fenway Racing

Joey Logano Wins Pole For Sonoma

Joey Logano has won the pole for the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350 with an average speed of 93.25 miles per hour and a time of 76.821 seconds. Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard qualified second and third. The favorite for this road course race, Marcos Ambrose, qualified eighth. Tony Ave failed to make the race on time.

Here is the unofficial lineup for Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway:

1. Joey Logano
2. Jamie McMurray
3. Paul Menard
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Ryan Newman
6. Kasey Kahne
7. A.J. Allmendinger
8. Marcos Ambrose
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Brian Vickers
11. Kurt Busch
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Jeff Gordon
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Brad Keselowski
16. Mark Martin
17. Juan Montoya
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19. Kyle Busch
20. Tony Stewart
21. Bobby Labonte
22. Greg Biffle
23. Carl Edwards
24. Regan Smith
25. Jeff Burton
26. Kevin Harvick
27. Casey Mears
28. Robby Gordon
29. David Gilliland
30. Boris Said
31. Joe Nemechek
32. David Reutimann
33. Matt Kenseth
34. David Ragan
35. P.J. Jones
36. Dave Blaney
37. Mike Skinner
38. David Mayhew
39. Terry Labonte
40. Brian Simo
41. Andy Lally
42. Chris Cook
43. Andy Pilgrim

NASCAR Changes Pit Road, Caution Speed For Road Courses

NASCAR has announced this weekend that the caution speeds for all four road courses on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series circuit will be increased by five miles per hour.

The change comes from elevation changes on these specific tracks. As a result of the elevation changes, the cars would overheat under the caution flag, thus creating this rule change.

Caution speed this weekend at Sonoma and Road America will be 45 miles per hour. Pit road speed is 40 miles per hour at Sonoma and will be 35 miles per hour at Road America

NASCAR has also increased the pit road speed of the two Sprint Cup Series road courses - Watkins Glen and Infineon.

While this may not seem like much, these road course events tend to turn into fuel mileage races. In that case, five miles per hour faster on a yellow flag can drastically change the fuel mileage game, therefore having a great impact on strategy, and possible the outcome race.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Weekend Schedule: Time to go left and right

While the Camping World Truck Series has the weekend off, the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series head to two different road courses as the summer stretch continues.

The Sprint Cup Series will be in the California area to take on the Infineon Raceway, while the Nationwide Series will be in Wisconsin to race at Road America.

Here is the tentative weekend schedule:

Friday, June 23, 2011:

1 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series practice (No TV)

3 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (No TV)

4:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series final practice (SPEED)

6:40 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Qualifying (Will be on SPEED at 11 p.m. ET)

Saturday, June 25, 2011:

12:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (Will air on SPEED at 2:30 p.m. ET)

1:45 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup final practice (Will air on SPEED at 3:30 p.m. ET)

3:05 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series Qualifying (No TV)

5:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series race (ESPN)

Sunday, June 26, 2011:

3 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series race (TNT)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NASCAR Official Release: Gibbs Team Penalties Announced

Official Statement from NASCAR:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 21, 2011) – NASCAR announced today that the No. 11, No. 18 and No. 20 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during opening day inspection June 17 at Michigan International Speedway.

All three of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

As a result, the three crew chiefs – Mike Ford (No. 11 car), Dave Rogers (No. 18 car) and Greg Zipadelli (No. 20 car) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, all three car chiefs – Chris Gillin (No. 11 car), Wesley Sherrill (No. 18 car) and Jason Shapiro (No. 20 car) along with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jimmy Makar have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Rumor: Zippy Back With Tony Stewart? Update: FALSE

Jayski.com has learned that Greg Zipadelli, former Tony Stewart crew chief and current Joey Logano crew chief, may be headed to Stewart Hass Racing in the future, to reunite with driver Tony Stewart.

Darian Grubb, the current crew chief for Stewart, would be expected to fill the place of Bobby Hutchens, who was the former director of competition until he was released from the team earlier this year.

There was no word on the status of Logano's next crew chief or when this might happen.


From Sports Illustrated:

There was a published report this week that Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's long-time crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing, might move to Stewart-Haas and Stewart's crew chief, Darian Grubb, would become the team's director of competition. "I laughed when I saw that," Stewart said. "It's not the first time I've read something that's not true."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Unofficial Michigan Sprint Cup Results

Denny Hamlin was able to hold off the win from a hard charging Matt Kenseth at Michigan International Raceway and take his first checkered flag of the season. He was not a dominate force however - he captured the lead through pit road late in the race. His team is able to rebound after much controversy following the team's oil pan being unapproved by NASCAR earlier in the weekend.

There were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers and 5 cautions for 18 yellow flag laps. The attendance was listed to be 88,000 people.

Here are the unofficial results following the race:

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Kyle Busch
4. Paul Menard
5. Carl Edwards
6. Ryan Newman
7. Tony Stewart
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Mark Martin
10. Brian Vickers
11. Kurt Busch
12. Landon Cassill
13. A.J. Allmendinger
14. Kevin Harvick
15. Greg Biffle
16. Trevor Bayne
17. Jeff Gordon
18. Joey Logano
19. Jamie McMurray
20. David Ragan
21. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
22. Bobby Labonte
23. Marcos Ambrose
24. Jeff Burton
25. Brad Keselowski
26. Martin Truex Jr.
27. Jimmie Johnson
28. Kasey Kahne
29. David Gilliland
30. Juan Montoya
31. Travis Kvapil
32. Mike Bliss
33. Regan Smith
34. Dave Blaney
35. David Reutimann
36. Andy Lally
37. Robby Gordon
38. Casey Mears
39. J.J. Yeley
40. Joe Nemechek
41. David Stremme
42. Scott Riggs
43. Michael McDowell

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Carl Edwards Wins Nationwide Race At Michigan

It was a great day of racing for Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Michigan, as three out of the top five finishers represented the manufacturer. Carl Edwards, who took the checkered flag in first, passed teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. late in the race and never looked back.

There were 3 cautions for 14 laps plus 14 lead changes during the race.

Here are the unofficial results from Michigan:

1. Carl Edwards
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
3. Kyle Busch
4. Paul Menard
5. Trevor Bayne
6. Joey Logano
7. Mark Martin
8. Elliott Sadler
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Jason Leffler
11. Reed Sorenson
12. David Stremme
13. Justin Allgaier
14. Steve Wallace
15. Aric Almirola
16. Josh Wise
17. Brian Scott
18. David Reutimann
19. Michael Annett
20. Kenny Wallace
21. Joe Nemechek
22. Mike Wallace
23. Mike Bliss
24. Sam Hornish Jr.
25. Blake Koch
26. Jeremy Clements
27. Timmy Hill
28. Derrike Cope
29. Eric McClure
30. Charles Lewandoski
31. Robert Richardson Jr.
32. Jennifer Jo Cobb
33. Danny Efland
34. Morgan Shepherd
35. Carl Long
36. Matthew Carter
37. Scott Riggs
38. Andy Ponstein
39. J.J. Yeley
40. Tim Andrews
41. Jeff Green
42. Tony Raines
43. Dennis Setzer

Michigan Sprint Cup Series Unofficial Lineup

Kurt Busch has yet again won the pole position for Penske Racing this season, keeping the streak of poles for the organization alive. Busch put down a lap of 188.699 mph and 38.156 seconds. Tony Raines, Brian Keselowski and Mike Skinner did not qualify.

Here is the unofficial lineup for the race:

1. Kurt Busch
2. David Reutimann
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Brian Vickers
5. Regan Smith
6. Tony Stewart
7. Greg Biffle
8. Kasey Kahne
9. Paul Menard
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Martin Truex Jr.
12. Landon Cassill
13. Ryan Newman
14. Jamie McMurray
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
16. Bobby Labonte
17. Trevor Bayne
18. Marcos Ambrose
19. Mark Martin
20. David Ragan
21. Jimmie Johnson
22. Kevin Harvick
23. Carl Edwards
24. Kyle Busch
25. Juan Montoya
26. A.J. Allmendinger
27. Clint Bowyer
28. Travis Kvapil
29. Joe Nemechek
30. Joey Logano
31. Jeff Gordon
32. David Stremme
33. Jeff Burton
34. J.J. Yeley
35. Mike Bliss
36. Andy Lally
37. Robby Gordon
38. Michael McDowell
39. Casey Mears
40. David Gilliland
41. Brad Keselowski
42. Dave Blaney
43. Scott Riggs

Michigan Unofficial Qualifying Order

Qualifying will take place at 1:00 p.m. ET on SPEED. Here is the order in which the Sprint Cup cars will take the track:

1. Brian Keselowski
2. Mike Bliss
3. Michael McDowell
4. Tony Raines
5. Dave Blaney
6. Mike Skinner
7. Joe Nemechek
8. Travis Kvapil
9 Andy Lally
10. Scott Riggs
11. Bobby Labonte
12. Robby Gordon
13. David Stremme
14. J.J. Yeley
15. David Gilliland
16. Ryan Newman
17. Casey Mears
18. Jeff Gordon
19. Martin Truex Jr.
20. Brian Vickers
21. Jeff Burton
22. Tony Stewart
23. Landon Cassill
24. Jamie McMurray
25. Marcos Ambrose
26. Carl Edwards
27 Kyle Busch
28. Denny Hamlin
29. Joey Logano
30. Greg Biffle
31. Brad Keselowski
32. Paul Menard
33. Jimmie Johnson
34. Clint Bowyer
35. Mark Martin
36. Juan Montoya
37. Trevor Bayne
38. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
39. Matt Kenseth
40. Regan Smith
41. Kurt Busch
42. Kasey Kahne
43. David Reutimann
44. Kevin Harvick
45. A.J. Allmendinger
46. David Ragan

Friday, June 17, 2011

Edwards To The 20 Car?

With Carl Edwards' contract expiring this season with Roush Fenway Racing, there has been much curiosity about whether or not Edwards will stay where he is.

According to a report by Jayski.com, Carl Edwards "is being courted" to take over the number 20 Home Depot car next season. Whether Logano will continue to race at Gibbs with a fourth Gibbs car is not known.

As of now, all of this is purely speculation, however Jayski.com is a well known website with good credibility.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Weekend Schedule: On To Michigan

This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series teams will head to Michigan International Speedway for TNT's second NASCAR race of the season. Joining them will be the Nationwide Series, following a weekend off while the Sprint Cup teams were in Pocono last weekend. The Camping World Truck Series has the weekend off.

Here is the unofficial schedule for the weekend:

Friday, June 17th, 2011:

11:30 a.m. ET - Nationwide Series practice (SPEED)

12:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (SPEED)

2 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series final practice (SPEED)

3:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series final practice (SPEED)

Saturday, June 18th, 2011:

11 a.m. ET - Nationwide Series Qualifying (ESPN2)

1 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Qualifying (SPEED)

3:30 p.m. ET - Nationwide Series race (ABC)

Sunday, June 19th, 2011:

1 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series race (TNT, also RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com is a great way to get extra racing content)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

TNT Sets Record With 1.1 Million Streams For RaceBuddy

As the push for more online coverage of NASCAR grows, TNT yet again rolls out NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy application. This year, RaceBuddy has 10 camera angles, in car audio, a drag and drop interactive camera, and a live chat room for TNT's NASCAR races.

The fans responded well with a record setting number of streams for RaceBuddy, 1.1 million streams, up 187% from last year, according to an email received by Trackside With Travis from Turner Sports' Tom Caraccioli.

Other RaceBuddy stats from Pocono include:

*RaceBuddy Player Page Views +24%, (238,000 vs. 192,000 in 2010)
*Total RaceBuddy Visits +52%, (152,000 vs. 100,000 in 2010)
*RaceBuddy Unique Users +45%, (120,000 vs. 82,000 in 2010)
*7.2 million total minutes streamed

Opinion: Adding Nationwide race to Indy a good call, but taking a race away from Lucas Oil Raceway is not

Within the last day or two, there have been rumors about Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR considering the possibility of adding a Grand-Am Rolex Series road course race and a NASCAR Nationwide Series race to the 2012 Brickyard 400 NASCAR weekend.

Currently, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the only one of NASCAR's three top series to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the season. However, a recent decline in ticket sales have track officials worried, creating opportunities to change that.

Their solution to the problem appears to be giving fans more value for their tickets - three races in one weekend, instead of one.

"If you're trying to figure out how to spend dollars in the summer, it helps make this event more attractive," Doug Boles, the director of public relations at IMS said. "You can camp and stay in one location and see two or three events."

This idea is a great idea to give more to the race fans, especially since NASCAR's Indy weekend usually consists of very little track activity at all during the weekend. In fact, most of the track activity is down the road at the short track of Lucas Oil Raceway (previously ORP), where the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series teams race.

However, Lucas Oil Raceway is exactly where the problem begins. The short track provides great racing, as most short tracks do, and puts on a great show every time for both the Trucks and Nationwide series. Taking away a Nationwide race from the Speedway would be disappointment.

NASCAR is already in an era where many people feel NASCAR is getting away from their roots of short track racing, heading to more "cookie cutter racetracks." While they may not necessarily be those "cookie cutters" a short track race does put on a great show.

Perhaps it is time to place a race at Lucas Oil Raceway somewhere else on the Nationwide schedule. NASCAR would most likely have to take a race away somewhere else, but that certainly can be done - many tracks have two dates anyway.

NASCAR could go even a step further by moving the Camping World Truck Series race somewhere else on the schedule with the Nationwide Series. This would allow for the developmental series to rid itself of more Sprint Cup drivers, and would allow Indy to be the only place in the area for a NASCAR event during the weekend. This would (hopefully) help the ticket sales at IMS quite well.

As of now, adding a Nationwide race to IMS is all speculation and nothing is official. However, if done right, there can be two great NASCAR weekends in the Indy area at different times during the season - all with good crowds.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kyle Busch's Team Penalized For Post Race Infraction

Kyle Busch and owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized six driver and owner points respectively as a result of the number 18 car being too low following post race inspection from Pocono.

This was in violation of sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (body height requirements) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.

Crew Chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000 from the incident, as well.

Statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: "We brought the #18 car back to our race shop and have identified the problem which caused us to measure low during the post-race inspection process in Pocono yesterday afternoon. We have made NASCAR aware of our findings and we accept the penalty they have issued today."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Unofficial Results of 5 Hour Energy 500

Denny Hamlin had the car to beat during the 500 mile race at Pocono, but simply did not have the luck to back it up. Hamlin had a flat tire causing a loss of track position and the loss of brakes later on. It turned out that Jeff Gordon would be the winner of the Pocono race. Gordon scored his second win of the year, increasing his chances of making the Chase, whether it be by making the top ten or qualifying in the wild card spot.

There were 18 lead changes among 10 drivers and 4 cautions for 14 yellow flag laps.

Here are the unofficial results of the race:

1. Jeff Gordon
2. Kurt Busch
3. Kyle Busch
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. Juan Montoya
8. Matt Kenseth
9. Ryan Newman
10. Martin Truex Jr.
11. Joey Logano
12. Kasey Kahne
13. David Reutimann
14. Paul Menard
15. Regan Smith
16. Clint Bowyer
17. David Ragan
18. Mark Martin
19. Denny Hamlin
20. Jeff Burton
21. Tony Stewart
22. Brian Vickers
23. Brad Keselowski
24. Landon Cassill
25. A.J. Allmendinger
26. Dave Blaney
27. Greg Biffle
28. Bobby Labonte
29. David Gilliland
30. Casey Mears
31. Mike Bliss
32. Andy Lally
33. Jamie McMurray
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. Sam Hornish Jr.
36. Tony Raines
37. Carl Edwards
38. Scott Wimmer
39. T.J. Bell
40. Joe Nemechek
41. Michael McDowell
42. J.J. Yeley
43. Scott Riggs

Saturday, June 11, 2011

5 Hour Energy 500 Unofficial Lineup

For the second week in a row, Kurt Busch and the number 22 team were able to capture the pole position following trouble in practice. Busch cashed his car in Friday's practice and went to a back up car, but was able to post a lap of 171.579 mph and 52.454 seconds. Busch will not have to start in the rear of the field since he changed cars before qualifying and not after it. Mike Skinner did not qualify after wrecking his car in his qualifying lap.

Here is the unofficial lineup for Sunday's race:

1. Kurt Busch
2. Paul Menard
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Regan Smith
6. Carl Edwards
7. Marcos Ambrose
8. Ryan Newman
9. David Reutimann
10. Mark Martin
11. David Ragan
12. Clint Bowyer
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Jimmie Johnson
15. Tony Stewart
16. Juan Montoya
17. Kasey Kahne
18. Bobby Labonte
19. Joey Logano
20. Brad Keselowski
21. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
22. J.J. Yeley
23. Brian Vickers
24. Andy Lally*
25. Landon Cassill
26. Sam Hornish Jr.
27. Matt Kenseth
28. A.J. Allmendinger
29. Joe Nemechek
30. David Gilliland
31. Martin Truex Jr.
32. Kevin Harvick
33. Jeff Burton
34. Kyle Busch
35. Casey Mears
36. Michael McDowell
37. Greg Biffle
38. Tony Raines
39. Scott Riggs
40. Dave Blaney
41. Mike Bliss
42. Scott Wimmer
43. T.J. Bell

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pocono Qualifying Order

This weekend marks the beginning of NASCAR's new qualifying procedure that mixes the top 35 teams and the go or go home teams for the Sprint Cup Series. As usual, the slower cars go first, while the faster cars go at the end. However, the speeds for the order are only determined by the first practice, instead of all of them combined.

Here is the unofficial qualifying order for Saturday's qualifying session:

1 Scott Wimmer
2 T.J. Bell
3 Mike Bliss
4 Tony Raines
5 Andy Lally
6 Mike Skinner
7 Scott Riggs
8 Landon Cassill
9 Casey Mears
10 Bobby Labonte
11 Joe Nemechek
12 Dave Blaney
13 J.J. Yeley
14 Sam Hornish Jr.
15 Clint Bowyer
16 David Gilliland
17 Regan Smith
18 Michael McDowell
19 Martin Truex Jr.
20 David Reutimann
21 Jamie McMurray
22 Marcos Ambrose
23 Brian Vickers
24 Kevin Harvick
25 A.J. Allmendinger
26 Matt Kenseth
27 Kasey Kahne
28 Joey Logano
29 David Ragan
30 Mark Martin
31 Kyle Busch
32 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
33 Jeff Burton
34 Greg Biffle
35 Denny Hamlin
36 Jeff Gordon
37 Juan Montoya
38 Brad Keselowski
39 Ryan Newman
40 Kurt Busch
41 Tony Stewart
42 Jimmie Johnson
43 Paul Menard
44 Carl Edwards

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Weekend Schedule: Trucks In Texas, Cup In Pocono

The Sprint Cup Series season is half way to the Chase as TNT's NASCAR Summer Series takes over the season coverage. This weekend, the Cup series is in Pocono, while the Camping World Truck Series is in Texas. The Nationwide Series has the week off.

Here is the unofficial schedule for the weekend. NOTE: The only truck series activity that is scheduled to be on TV is the race. The practices and qualifying has already taken place and was not televised to begin with.

Friday, June 10th, 2011:

12:30 pm ET - Sprint Cup practice (SPEED)

3:30 ET - Sprint Cup final practice (SPEED)

9 pm ET - Camping World Truck Series race (SPEED)

Saturday, June 11th, 2011:

11 am ET - Sprint Cup Qualifying (TV's coverage to begin at 11:30 ET on SPEED)

Sunday, June 12th, 2011:

1 pm ET - Sprint Cup Series race (TNT)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Farmers Insurance To Sponsor Kahne in 2012

Hendrick Motorsports Official Release:

CONCORD, N.C. – Beginning in 2012, Farmers Insurance will be the majority sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolets fielded by Hendrick Motorsports and driven by 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner Kasey Kahne.

Covering the 2012, 2013 and 2014 racing seasons, the agreement secures primary paint schemes for Farmers Insurance in 22 Sprint Cup Series events annually and prominent brand placement in all non-primary races. A new No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet car design will be unveiled at a later date.

“Kasey Kahne is a very talented driver and a class act,” said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. “He will represent Farmers well, and we are all so proud to have him driving what will be a successful partnership, both on and off the racetrack.”

In April, Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance joined Hendrick Motorsports as a five-race primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolets for 2011, debuting with a special paint scheme at the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Farmers Insurance also is an associate-level sponsor of the No. 5 team this season.

“It’s extremely positive when a company of this caliber sees the value of NASCAR and immediately wants to do more,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Farmers will have an excellent spokesperson in Kasey, and we’re committed to putting him in a position to win races and championships. Our organization is proud to extend this partnership, and we look forward to a very bright future with everyone at Farmers.”

In addition to his 11 race wins, Kahne has earned 21 pole positions, 51 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s in Sprint Cup competition. Currently in the midst of his eighth full-time season at NASCAR’s elite level, the Enumclaw, Wash., native will join Hendrick Motorsports following the 2011 campaign.

“I’ve had a chance to meet the Farmers people, and they’re doing some exciting new things from a marketing standpoint,” said Kahne, 31, who is signed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. “I’m looking forward to being a part of their team and helping grow the Farmers brand. To have this kind of support, and to have it come together so early, is such a boost for all of us.”

In addition to the Hendrick Motorsports relationship, the professional sports properties of Farmers Insurance include naming rights to the planned professional football stadium in Los Angeles, the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the ATP World Tour Farmers Classic held on the campus of UCLA.