NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Sunday June 17, 2007
The Key Moment - Martin Truex, Jr. was closing fast on Carl Edwards in the waning stages of the race but slapped the wall in his charge towards the front. Edwards drove on to an uncontested victory.
In a Nutshell - What it lacked in drama, the race made up for in brevity.
Dramatic Moment - When Jeff Green and Ryan Newman had their little run in while laps down shortly after a restart, it ruined the day for some fast cars and almost ruined the day for others.
As is typical at Michigan, there was some good racing for a few laps after the restarts, but the racing soon petered out all together to a parade with cars separated by several second intervals.
What They'll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
What's everyone going to be talking about? The Earnhardt / Hendrick deal, of course: the whys, the ifs, the whens, the whats, and everything else right down to the most minute detail. Make no bones about it, this is Dale Junior's world…the rest of us just live here.
Things we can all do without immediately: any more grave analysis on the potential economic impact of souvenir sales of Dale Junior changing his car number, in-car interviews with drivers on pace laps, and that weird new Wendy's commercial with folks kicking trees in the woods being cajoled by a schizophrenic in a red wig.
Well, things have heated up another notch in the great war between AT&T and NASCAR. NASCAR is now suing the phone folks for one hundred million (100,000,000!) dollars claiming that AT&T's defiance of their wishes has undermined their control of stock car racing. Looks like NASCAR is trying to build a war chest to pay off the folks in Kentucky when they lose that suit next year or buy the track if they win. You know what? The exorbitant amount of the lawsuit may be bigger news on Wall Street Monday than last Wednesday's announcement that Junior is going to drive for Rick Hendrick.
What was Chad Knaus thinking? There was no way Jimmie Johnson and the 48 car was going to make 51 laps on a tank of gas. All I can think is that Knaus was gambling there'd be a quick caution period after that final stop and everyone would pit again.
Did it seem every time there was an on-track pass for the lead TNT was away in commercial?
A race run on a Sunday afternoon without rain and ending around five? What a concept! Of course, you've heard the jokes about dear old dad receiving yet another lame tie for Father's Day rather than a quad, power tools, or a Beermeister. Michigan offered race fans a tie on Sunday afternoon.
OK, Newman, you're running up front again. It's time to start acting like you belong there.
When Stephen Leicht won at Kentucky Saturday night, it was the first Busch series victory for a regular in that season since either Paul Menard at Milwaukee last year or David Gilliland at Kentucky last year. (Menard ran just seven Cup races in 2006.) That doesn't speak well to the future health of the series, which has becomeâ€¦.wellâ€¦Cup Leicht.
You've got to imagine Bud execs were dismayed to hear Dale Junior say "he could care less" who his sponsor is next year on the pre-race program. That's the thing about having to talk constantly. Eventually, you'll say something that you wish you could take back.
Are there any current NASCAR team owners whose operations aren't up for sale to outside partners right now? Both Robert Yates and Ray Evernham are said to be close to sales agreements.
Hopefully, young drivers coming up through the ranks are keeping a close eye on the trials and tribulations of 22-year-old Kyle Busch. It should be instructive to them that even if they possess unquestionable talent and win a few races, if they make a pain in the ass of themselves long enough they're going to get sent packing.
F1 rookie phenom Lewis Hamilton scored his second straight victory at Indianapolis on Sunday, which turns up the heat on NASCAR as far as diversity goes, says none less an expert than Humpy Wheeler. Look for rumors that Hamilton will replace Casey Mears in the No. 25 car or at least try to qualify a Dodge at the Brickyard to surface soon. Meanwhile, I think the diversity challenge will truly be met when fans and media alike comment only on a talented young driver's incredible success without taking note of the hue of his skin. Right now, there’s some snidely note going around that anyone could win a McLaren-Mercedes. I'm sure F1 fans would point out the same appears to be the case for drivers in Hendrick Chevys. The downhill spiral of stock car racing towards F1 levels of excitement (or lack thereof) continues at an alarming pace. Oddly enough, the FIA is ready to implement dramatic and controversial changes to their cars to spice up the action next year too. Do they call it the Car of MaÃ±ana?
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Once again the (newly remanned) No. 11 team pit crew threw away a potential victory for their driver Denny Hamlin. Of course, Hamlin's ill-tempered battle with an equally enraged Clint Bowyer on track didn't help his day any, either.
J.J. Yeley clearly had high hopes after winning the pole on Friday. But on the first lap of the race he fell from first to sixth, and it was all downhill from there. Yeley finished 28th.
Ryan Newman was running third when he cut down a tire. The tire's carcass wrapped itself around the rear end housing and Newman lost three laps in the pits to get it fixed.
Greg Biffle's car was just flat awful all weekend.
Matt Kenseth got caught up in a wreck not of his own making well before he started his regular late race surge to the Top 10.
Brian Vickers has trouble qualifying for races, but once he makes the show, he does pretty well. He seemed poised to score another Top 10 finish when he got caught up in the ugliness that that precipitated the day's third caution flag.
The "Seven Come Fore Eleven" Award For Fine Fortune
Carl Edwards‘ chances at a win seemed torpedoed below the water line when he got caught speeding exiting pit road and sent to the end of the longest line. Somehow, Edwards fought his way back to the lead and a long overdue win.
Martin Truex's team decided to go with two tires on the first stop and it was clearly a mistake. Thus, he was mired in the pack after the next stop and got caught up in the Newman / Green incident, a wreck that could easily have ended his day. But in a bravado performance, the No. 1 team came all the way back, and he still escaped Michigan with a second place finish.
Tony Stewart had to overcome a lot of adversity this weekend. He qualified poorly. He wrecked in the final moments of practice and tweaked up his Chevy. He made little forward progress early in the race. Yet, he leaves Michigan with a third place finish.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be the Charlie Brown of equalized tires this season, but Sunday, a cut down tire may have saved his race. Earnhardt was dropping rapidly through the field and running at a greatly reduced pace with a flat right rear when the big wreck erupted ahead of him.
The way his season has gone, a Top 10 finish had to feel like a victory for Michael Waltrip. How far has Waltrip fallen from grace? The perennial most interviewed driver in the sport didn't even get a post-race interview despite a notable achievement.
While it wasn't commented upon, either, Bill Elliott drove the Wood Brothers' Ford to a solid eleventh place finish. Of course, both Elliott and the Woods have won a ton of races at Michigan, but a strong run was still a shot to the arm for this struggling team.
Carl Edwards coach driver Tom Giacchi finally gets to shave off the beard he swore he would wear until Edwards won a Cup race again. Some folks look good in beards; take Jerry Garcia and Bruce Springsteen, for example. Tom wasn't one of them. Some sites report that Giacchi has even had problems with parasites in his beard. More information than I needed, thanks.
Ford scored their second victory in fifteen races. Chevy’s drivers have won the other thirteen victories, while Dodge and Toyota are still trying to put points on the board.
Two Roush Fenway Fords managed Top 10 finishes, joined by seven Chevys and a lone Toyota. The top finishing Dodge was Reed Sorenson in 23rd.
As widely reported, the win was Carl Edward's first in 52 races. But it was his third Top 5 in the last six races, which accounts for his entire output in 2007.
Martin Truex has finished first, second, and third in the last three races. You have to imagine the folks at DEI are giving out huge sighs of relief.
Tony Stewart enjoyed his best finish since Phoenix.
Casey Mears scored his third Top 5 finish in the last four races. Winning a race does tremendous things for a young driver's confidence and a team's morale…as does not getting replaced by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Kyle Busch had his best finish since Richmond, back when he had a job for next year lined up.
Kevin Harvick scored his first Top 10 since Richmond, while Jamie McMurray scored his first Top 10 since Talladega.
Michael Waltrip managed his first Top 10 finish since Michigan in June of 2005. Bill Elliott had his best finish since Michigan in August of 2005. Paul Menard had his best finish since Atlanta early last year.
Denny Hamlin failed to finish on the lead lap for the first time since Atlanta.
David Reutimann had easily the best finish of his young Cup career with a 15th place run. Oddly enough, his second best finish came in his very first Cup start.
Paul Menard in twelfth was the top finishing rookie, although Reutimann (mentioned above) wasn't far behind.
Matt Kenseth failed to finish a Cup race for the first time since Martinsville last spring, ending a streak that saw him complete every lap of every race this season entering Sunday’s race.
What's the Points?
Jeff Gordon maintains the points lead and is now 264 points ahead of second place Denny Hamlin. Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson each advance a spot to second and third, while Matt Kenseth falls two spots to fourth. Jeff Burton maintains fifth.
Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart swap back sixth and seventh with Edwards having the advantage this week. Harvick and Bowyer swap eighth and ninth with Harvick now ahead of Bowyer. Martin Truex moves up a spot to gain a coveted seat in the Top 10 while Kyle Busch drops a spot to eleventh. Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has already overcome his 100 point penalty to regain the twelfth place position that currently has him in the Chase. Mark Martin falls to thirteenth, which is still pretty good considering he sat out three races.
Other notable drivers making strides forward include Casey Mears (up four spots to nineteenth), Michael Waltrip (up five spots to a still miserable 51st), and Robby Gordon, up a pair of spots to 29th and heading to his best track on the circuit after a credible run at Michigan.
Drivers losing sight of the head of the pack include Ryan Newman (down two spots to fifteenth), Juan Pablo Montoya (down another two spots to 23rd), and Tony Raines (down two spots to 27th.)
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) We'll give this one two cans of lukewarm generic stuff with an extra half can thrown in for the fact Mother Nature finally didn't rain on our parade and our Pops.
Next Up - Prepare yourself for the unseemly site of stock cars slithering around a road course, many with hired guns at the wheel. After that, it's on to New Hampshire, the restrictor plate madness at Daytona, then Chicagolandâ€¦.I mean, wow. I sure hope TNT didn't pay too much for one of the most tedious stretches of the season.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
hey Matt..uh…Jeff Green wishes to argue with you as to the driver of the #66 car
You happened to catch the article when we were posting it live, and a draft version showed up in error. Matt’s final edited version has Jeff Green in it and has indeed been fixed – thanks for pointing out the error and reading FS!
I always enjoy your insight, Matt, however I must disagree with you assessment of the next stretch of races. I really look forward to seeing the 3400 pound monsters on the road courses. Maybe the (Not Too Far From) Chicago race is a downer, but the other tracks are an attraction for their uniqueness, if nothing else.