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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.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Richard Childress Fined, Put On Probation

NASCAR has fined Richard Childress $150,000 for his altercation with Kyle Busch in the garage area following the Camping World Truck Series race. He has also been placed on probation for the rest of the year. Kyle Busch will receive no penalties since he was not deemed the aggressor in this situation. Busch is already on probation for an incident with RCR driver Kevin Harvick.

Statement from NASCAR: "The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR's response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."

Statement from Childress: "First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unofficial Results of Kansas

It was almost a victory yet again for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jr Nation in a fuel mileage race, but Earnhardt was unable to catch the eventual race winner of Brad Keselowski. This is Brad Keselowski's 2nd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Interestingly, both wins included Dale Jr. finishing 2nd. There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers and 5 cautions for 22 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported to be 80,000 people.

Here are the unofficial results following Kansas:

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

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Did You Just See That?! Allgaier Wins At Chicago

It turned out to be yet another exciting fuel mileage race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. After about 20 laps of Nationwide regular Justin Allgaier chasing down Carl Edwards, Allgaier passed Edwards on the final lap when Edwards ran out of gas. Then, immediately after the pass, Allgaier ran out of gas going into turn three. From there, the two drivers coasted to the line, where Justin Allgaier won the race with absolutely no fuel in the tank. Allgaier had to walk to victory lane as his car would need assistance to get there.

Trevor Bayne finished 3rd, and Danica Patrick finished tenth. Both drivers returned to the series today after some time.

Here are the unofficial results following the Nationwide Series race at Chicago:

1. Justin Allgaier
2. Carl Edwards
3. Trevor Bayne
4. Aric Almirola
5. Jason Leffler
6. Reed Sorenson
7. Kenny Wallace
8. Kelly Bires
9. Michael Annett
10. Danica Patrick
11. Elliott Sadler
12. Steve Wallace
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
15. Timmy Hill
16. Mike Wallace
17. Brian Scott
18. Eric McClure
19. Scott Wimmer
20. Ryan Truex
21. Joe Nemechek
22. Mike Bliss
23. Derrike Cope
24. Charles Lewandoski
25. Morgan Shepherd
26. Josh Wise
27. Blake Koch
28. Kevin Lepage
29. Jeremy Clements
30. Brad Keselowski
31. Carl Long
32. Robert Richardson Jr.
33. Mikey Kile
34. Tim Andrews
35. Dennis Setzer
36. Rick Crawford
37. Matthew Carter
38. Johnny Chapman
39. Mike Harmon
40. Jeff Green
41. Chase Miller
42. Brett Rowe

Rumor: Kyle Busch and Richard Childress Get Into Altercation UPDATE 2

Rumor has it that Richard Childress initiated an altercation between himself and Kyle Busch following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas. Busch raced RCR driver Joey Coulter hard at the end of the race, where Coulter pushed Busch up the track in the final corner. Busch did not take the well and rubbed up against the RCR truck on the cool down lap. According to the rumor, Childress took it into his own hands.

Here is a statement from Jayski.com:

"From the SPEED Center Facebook page, 'multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands'"

Also, NASCAR is going to look into the possible altercation according to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp.

As of now, there are little facts and mostly rumors.

UPDATE: Marty Smith, ESPN NASCAR analyst, said on Sportscenter that Childress took off his wrist watch and put Busch in a headlock. From there, Childress supposedly just kept beating on him. Smith says that he has not found out Busch's response to the situation.

UPDATE 2: According to NASCAR president Mike Helton, NASCAR will keep Richard Childress at the track today to continue to lead the team. He will, however, have some restrictions according to Helton.

Nationwide Qualifying Rained Out, Almirola Will Start On Pole

A major rain storm washed out qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but the weather still appears to be good for the race later Saturday night. Since qualifying was canceled, the starting lineup for the Chicago race will be based off of practice speeds. Aric Almirola ran the fastest lap in practice and therefore will start on the pole. Danica Patrick, who is making her return to the Nationwide Series following the Indy 500 from last weekend, will start 16th.

Here is the unofficial lineup for the STP 300:

1. Aric Almirola
2. Elliott Sadler
3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
4. Carl Edwards
5. Mikey Kile
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Reed Sorenson
8. Brian Scott
9. Ryan Truex
10. Steve Wallace
11. Michael Annett
12. Mike Bliss
13. Justin Allgaier
14. Jason Leffler
15. Kenny Wallace
16. Danica Patrick
17. Kelly Bires
18. Kevin Harvick
19. Scott Wimmer
20. Blake Koch
21. Josh Wise
22. Mike Wallace
23. Jeremy Clements
24. Derrike Cope
25. Timmy Hill
26. Charles Lewandoski
27. Eric McClure
28. Morgan Shepherd
29. Joe Nemechek
30. Robert Richardson Jr.
31. Trevor Bayne
32. Dennis Setzer
33. Jeff Green
34. Chase Miller
35. Rick Crawford
36. Matthew Carter
37. Tim Andrews
38. Kevin Lepage
39. Brett Rowe
40. Mike Harmon
41. Carl Long
42. Johnny Chapman

Clint Bowyer Wins Hometown Truck Race

Clint Bowyer won in front of his hometown crowd at Kansas Speedway after dominating the race in the number 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. truck. Kyle Busch was not a factor at all during the race as the team made major changes to the truck. There were 15 lead changes among 10 drivers and 7 caution flags for 28 laps.

Here are the unofficial results for the race:

1 Clint Bowyer
2 Johnny Sauter
3 Todd Bodine
4 James Buescher
5 Joey Coulter
6 Kyle Busch
7 Brendan Gaughan
8 Nelson Piquet Jr.
9 Brad Sweet
10 Travis Kvapil
11 Parker Kligerman
12 Austin Dillon
13 Miguel Paludo
14 Timothy Peters
15 Cole Whitt
16 David Starr
17 Jason White
18 Matt Crafton
19 Justin Lofton
20 Justin Marks
21 Ricky Carmichael
22 Max Papis
23 Craig Goess
24 Johanna Long
25 Nick Hoffman
26 Bryan Silas
27 Jennifer Jo Cobb
28 Clay Rogers
29 Shane Sieg
30 Ron Hornaday
31 Ryan Sieg
32 J.J. Yeley
33 Norm Benning
34 Chris Jones
35 Mike Garvey
36 Scott Riggs

STP 400 Unofficial Lineup

After many weeks of struggling, Kurt Busch is on the pole for the 400 mile race at Kansas. Busch posted a lap of 174.752 mph and 30.901 seconds. Missing the race were Tony Raines and TJ Bell.

Here is the unofficial lineup for Sunday's race:

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

Friday, June 3, 2011

Unofficial Qualifying Order For STP 400

This will be the final weekend that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying order will be set by the combined practice sessions. Starting next week, the first practice session will be the determining factor in how the order is set. Remember the slowest cars go first and the fastest go last. Also, the top 35 in owner's points will not be separated from the go or go homers. They will be mixed together.

All these new rules will take place at Pocono next week. Until then, here is the unofficial qualifying order for the STP 400 at Kansas.

Qualifying will be at Noon ET tomorrow on SPEED.

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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekend Schedule: Trucks, Cup in Kansas, Nationwide in Chicago

This weekend, NASCAR's top series will move from the 600 miles of Charlotte to the 400 miles of Kansas. The Sprint Cup Series will be joined by the Camping World Truck Series as they celebrate their 400th race in history. The Nationwide Series will be racing over at Chicago with Danica Patrick making a return to stock cars after much speculation that she will be competing in NASCAR full time next season. Also, NASCAR on FOX will make the end to their season this weekend. TNT will take over next week.

Here is the unofficial schedule for the weekend:

Friday, June 3rd, 2011:

12:30 pm ET - Truck Series practice (SPEED)

1:30 pm ET - Sprint Cup Series practice (SPEED)

3 pm ET - Truck Series final practice (SPEED)

4:30 pm ET - Sprint Cup final practice (SPEED)

6 pm ET - Nationwide Series practice (No TV, but live leaderboard on NASCAR.com)

8:30 pm ET - Nationwide Series final practice (No TV, but NASCAR.com leaderboard)

Saturday, June 4th, 2011:

11 am ET - Truck Series Qualifying (SPEED)

Noon ET - Sprint Cup Qualifying (SPEED)

2 pm ET - Truck Series race (SPEED)

4:30 pm ET - Nationwide Series Qualifying (ESPN2)

8 pm ET - Nationwide Series race (ESPN)

Sunday, June 5th, 2011:

1 pm ET - Sprint Cup Series race (FOX)