With overnight temperatures in the 40s and the race time temperature in the mid 60s, Saturday’s weather wasn’t anything like what the teams had encountered in practice or qualifying. That left crew chiefs up and down pit road scrambling, looking for the proper setup to handle the new conditions. At the drop of the green, Greg Biffle led the pack into turn one, but Brian Vickers had the lead by the time the field got back around to the start/finish line. Matt Kenseth started 12th and was in the top five within five laps of the start of the race. Denny Hamlin moved to the front quickly, followed by Kenseth. They traded the lead of the race in the middle stages of the race, but after the final pit stop it was all Hamlin. Hamlin marched away from the field over the closing laps and had a nearly five-second lead by the time the checkered flag fell.
The series heads to Michigan this weekend for the second of the series’ two visits on the year – and hopefully, your fantasy team is scorching like the late summer heat. Just four races remain until the end of the regular season, and just like the excitement surrounding the Chase, the battle in many leagues is at a fever pitch. Are you in Kurt Busch’s shoes, holding on to a tenuous lead while others battle to knock you down from a spot in the money? Or are you like Dale Earnhardt Jr., a driver in need of some solid finishes – and more importantly, luck – to work your way back into contention?
This past weekend, qualifying for Sunday’s Centurion at the Glen was rained out on Friday, forcing several part-time teams to load their cars back onto their transporters without any type of opportunity to make the race. With the amount of money and effort the teams that battling for the last eight spots in the starting field have put forth just to get to the track, such a haphazard solution hardly seemed fair. Just ask part-time competitor and fan phenomenon Boris Said about the issue.
Kevin Harvick won his fifth race of the season Sunday, continuing a streak of four wins in his last five Busch Series starts by crossing the line first at Watkins Glen. Harvick played an aggressive fuel strategy and was able to stretch his fuel mileage over the last 43 laps of the race, using caution flags to stretch his tank and outlast other competitors. Harvick briefly came under pressure late in the race from Kurt Busch, but Busch’s brakes faded over the last 10 laps and he wasn’t able to mount a late-race charge, making it smooth sailing for the driver of the No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet.
The tight confines of O’Reilly Raceway Park made for an exciting short track shootout for the Busch Series on Saturday night. Aric Almirola ran away with the race early, leading 87 of the first 100 laps, but as the second half of the race unfolded, it was another Busch regular who found his way to Victory Lane. After Almirola faded with problems on pit road, Jason Leffler was able to run down and pass Greg Biffle with three laps to go, bringing Toyota their first ever victory in the Busch Series. Up until the final stages, Biffle had dominated the race’s second half, but Leffler’s team decided to put on tires with 50 laps to go, and the fresh rubber ultimately paid off in a mad dash back to the front for the No. 38.
When it comes to who’s a fan favorite in Nextel Cup, there’s no question Dale Earnhardt Jr. has always carried the biggest legion of followers to each track the series visits. The winner of the Most Popular Driver contest for four years running, he dominates every vote about the sport that ever seems to take …
This past weekend, one of the biggest driver/sponsor divorces in recent memory became public knowledge: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Anheuser-Busch, specifically Budweiser, will end a nine-year marriage following the conclusion of the 2007 season.
Buschwhacking Cup regulars dominated the USG Durock 300, leading all but four laps of the race and taking nine of the top-10 finishing positions.
Saturday night was an encapsulation of so many things that are good and bad about NASCAR teammates. Some drivers helped their teammates succeed, some ended their teammate’s night, and some just couldn’t get out of each other’s way. With the driver movement that is already set to take place at the end of the year, …
Kyle Busch made a mockery of the Winn-Dixie 250, leading most of the way after the competition caution on lap 20 (65 out of 102 laps total) to score his first Busch Series win of the season.