The Pro All Star Series expanded into the South in 2006, and the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway quickly became one of the crown jewels on their schedule. Mike Rowe, the legendary Super Late Model racer from New England was the winner of the inaugural event in 2006. Kyle Grissom, the 2012 PASS …
You saw it with your own eyes on Sunday: the block, the brawl, the bad blood, and the bleeped-out tirade afterward. Now, a few days later, the dust has settled after a wild finish at Fontana—Fontana!—and the heart of the matter becomes clear: it began, on Sunday, with a block.
Really, what went down in California was a perfect storm of two separate incidents at the center of which was one Joey Logano. Logano threw the block in question, and then went on to race Denny Hamlin as hard as two drivers can race for the win-an incident which ended with Hamlin in the hospital with a broken back.
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It’s been a fairly busy start to the 2013 racing season for me. As I’m sure you know, I was involved in a pretty exciting and crazy finish to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona. I was getting pushed from behind to the finish line and when the cars in front of me started wrecking, there wasn’t much I could do. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and then when I was hit behind the final time, my car went airborne into the fence. It was a scary wreck, primarily because of the debris getting into the stands. We never want to see any of our fans get injured and I’m glad that everyone who was injured seems to be getting better. From my seat in the wreck, it certainly hurt but these cars are so safe and we’re so protected it didn’t hurt near as much as several of my sprint car wrecks. It’s a testament to my Turner Scott Motorsports team for all the hard work they put into these cars to make me safe, and I was able to walk away and live to race another day.
It seems like only yesterday, we were yearning for the racing season to start again. The offseason had dragged on for a long time and we were ready to hear the roar of the engines once more. Now, we have upon us our first off week. No Trucks. No Nationwide. No Cup. That’s probably a good thing, considering that it gives us all a chance to catch our breaths after Fontana.
Still, though, this break seems a little too soon — and too wide-ranging. Couldn’t we at least get an exhibition race? A Saturday shootout? Something? Anything? Come on, NASCAR, at least give us engines _somewhere_ on Easter weekend!
_NASCAR’s season is only five races old. The new generation car has had mixed reviews but already provided one of the most exciting races we’ve seen in years. As the season heads into its first off week on the schedule, the annual Easter break, Frontstretch spoke to Kevin “Bono” Manion about the car’s progress and other mechanical storylines for 2013. Manion is the crew chief for Jamie McMurray, a longtime fixture in the garage area who first worked with Martin Truex, Jr. on the Cup level._
_Manion touches on last weekend’s race, the track at Fontana and the new car. He also speaks to the new engine alliance Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has with Hendrick Motorsports and his plans for the off week._
Denny Hamlin’s Sprint Cup season will be officially interrupted. After an evaluation by Dr. Jerry Petty, in North Carolina Tuesday Joe Gibbs Racing announced Hamlin will be on the sidelines for at least six weeks with an L1 compression fracture of his back. While the driver won’t require surgery, the risks involved with racing with …
Sources have told the Frontstretch Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that’s preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday AM is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. That Cup announcement has been put on hold due to Hamlin’s injury; ironically, Sadler’s expected fill-in role will serve as an extended audition.
*New season, fresh start! What are your thoughts on some of the rule changes for this season that give the teams more leeway on strategy and try to take mileage runs off the table? (starting on any amount of fuel, making it anything goes with tires during qualifying, changing race distances)*
Toni Montgomery, Senior Editor: I like it but I wonder how it’s going to play out. Are teams going to go on their own strategies or do you go with the herd?
Huston Ladner, Senior Writer: Anything that encourages more in-race strategizing is welcomed. It gives teams all kinds of opportunities to give different ideas a chance.
Joe Gibbs is a genius.
When working out a contract extension with Kyle Busch in the offseason, Gibbs added in a small wrinkle that didn’t receive much press at the time. It said that if Busch was going to race in the Nationwide Series, he was going to do it in Joe Gibbs Racing equipment.