Tony Lumbis

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patience and Perseverance Pay Off for Speed at Bristol

In Friday’s Driver Diary, Scott Speed gave the Frontstretch faithful a little insight into how he would perform this weekend when he wrote that he that believed he had a car better than what the team brought to Bristol earlier in 2009. Well, it may have not looked that way early on, but this driver and team ran the half-mile exactly the way they should have and were rewarded in the end. Speed did not overdrive the car and kept his nose clean while providing effective feedback to his crew chief. That’s exactly what he did at this track back in the spring where he finished in the 28th position. What was the difference that led to a better result this time around? Experience. It’s been a rough year so far, but Team Red Bull has to feel good about how their driver is growing, especially as they hit the homestretch. I certainly thought that last week’s uncharacteristically horrendous run for Marcos Ambrose would kill most of the momentum the team gained from their runner-up finish at The Glen. Turns out I was wrong.

Read More »

Scott Speed Driver Diary: Victory Junction Visit and a Little Brother Update

We’re coming off of a big weekend here at Team Red Bull. Brian’s win is great for the organization and really puts us on the map. Although to tell you the truth, it doesn’t affect the No. 82 guys as much. We already know that we have fast equipment and when things go right, we can ride in the front. I’m sure it will motivate everyone a little more to some point. But when you race week in and week out, you immediately start thinking about the next weekend.

Read More »

Rookie Joey Logano’s Inadvertent Pit Call Leads to a Top 10 Finish

It was a day where Joey Logano reminded us that he was still a rookie and then demonstrated how much he has grown as a driver by recovering from it. After running in the top 15 for most of the race, miscommunication put the driver in the precarious position of being up front, but having to pit off sequence.

Read More »

Yellow Tail and Lambrusco Pace the Rookie Field at NASCAR’s Wine and Cheese Event

*Max Papis:* *Start: 16th; Finish: 8th* *Summary:* When Max Papis qualified in the 16th position on Friday, it set a career best for the Italian road racing specialist. However, the extraordinary weekend would not stop there for the GEICO team. When the race finally began, Papis progressed forward from the drop of the green flag and by the time the event reached the one-third mark, the No. 13 Camry was in the top 10.

Read More »

Rookie Scott Speed Finds His Lucky Charms In The Pocono Mountains

*Scott Speed:* *Start: 37th; Finish: 23rd* *Summary:* It became apparent in the first quarter of the Pennsylvania 500 that Scott Speed was going to have a good day when he progressed forward from his 37th qualifying position instead of falling back as has been the case several times this year. The No. 82 broke into the top 30 by lap 50 and would remain there for most of the race, even as they struggled with handling problems. Speed and company remained on the lead lap and when the caution flew on lap 165 for debris, crew chief Jimmy Elledge made the call to keep his driver out on the track while most of the leaders pitted. The strategy gave Speed excellent track position as he restarted on the front row. However, his Red Bull Camry just wasn’t fast enough to battle with the leaders, and he quickly dropped out of the top 10.

Read More »

No Primary Engine? No Problem for Joey Logano at Indy

*Joey Logano:* *Start: 18th; Finish: 12th* *Summary:* The Allstate 400 qualifying order will credit Joey Logano with a top 20 starting position but in reality, the rookie was forced to take the green flag from the tail end of the field following an engine change earlier in the weekend. After jokingly stating the only direction he could go from there was forward, Logano came through on his promise by gaining 16 positions by lap 13.

Read More »

Scott Speed Driver Diary: Getting Hitched, Danica, and Racing With Kyle in Cars and on Dolphins!

First off, I have to say that things are going quite well in my first week of marriage. Amanda and I tied the knot over the off-weekend and everything worked out well. The weather was good, which was important because it was an outside ceremony. We’ll have to wait a little bit for our honeymoon though, which will be the next off-weekend in August. We’ll be going to the Caribbean so I’m looking forward to that.

Read More »

MC2 Energy Drink Race Schedule Announcement for the No. 14 Ford Fusion with Rookie Female Driver at the Miami Homestead Nationwide Race

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 Ronald Serota, Director of Racing Operations announces that the team will field a female driver in its NASCAR Nationwide Series ™ (NNS) run at the Miami-Homestead track later this year. In addition, the team expects to run the No. 14 Ford Fusion in three additional races …

Read More »

2009 Rookie Midseason Grades: Who’s Better, Keselowski, Logano, or… Ambrose?

The Sprint Cup Series marked the season’s halfway point with an "off week" shortly thereafter, which gives Professor Lumbis a chance to take a breath and evaluate this year’s crop of rookies. It certainly has been an odd season for the 2009 freshman class, as we’ve seen wins, DNQs, "bubble trouble," and even outside Chase contenders emerge from this group. But the one thing that has been absent from this year’s performances across the board is consistency. It seems like it has either been feast or famine for the Rookie of the Year candidates, a habit that's not uncommon for first-timers but one they'll be looking to break entering the second half. With that said, it's time to delve into the differences between each of these wheelmen and give out their report cards. I evaluated each driver carrying a yellow stripe on their back bumper, then assigned each of them a mid-term grade based on their progress to date...

Read More »

“Rookies” Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose Take Advantage of a Late Race Shootout – Chicago Style

*Joey Logano:* *Start: 24th; Finish: 18th* *Summary:* Joey Logano started the Lifelock.com 400 with hopes of completing the weekend sweep after pulling off a surprise victory on old tires the night before in the Nationwide race. His quest to go two-for-two certainly got off to a slow start, however, due to a very loose handling race car for the first portion of this week's event.

Read More »