Who’s in the headline – A funny thing happened on the way to crowning one of the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers (or affiliate team) the 2016 Sprint Cup champion: the 2014 winner issued a statement at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick has had some strong cars this season, but the runs were derailed through a …
Who’s in the headline – While there are multiple drivers who have run well this season, the brightest spotlight of the year has been on one organization. At this point in the season, Joe Gibbs Racing has been the class of the field for a majority of the races. Between its four teams, it has 10 wins. …
Bryan Clauson, a driver who competed in USAC, IndyCar, NASCAR and much more over his career, has died. He was 27. Clauson, his family announced Monday, died Sunday night after succumbing to injuries sustained in a race at the Belleville Midget Nationals on Saturday night, Aug. 6, reports USA Today. His car struck a guard rail in …
Carl Edwards did everything he could to try and steal his second consecutive Nationwide Series crown. Qualifying on the outside pole, Edwards ran in the top five all race long and led a third of the race (66 laps). Edwards also managed to pass Kyle Busch’s vaunted No. 18 Toyota with 34 laps to go on an intermediate oval, scoring his second consecutive win and seventh of the season. But it wasn’t enough.
From the drop of the green flag, it looked like it would be a long afternoon for Hornish. Yet again, his No. 77 team was forced to start from the rear of the pack after qualifying was rained out on Friday. Then, on lap 2, the rookie was involved in a wreck with veteran Bill Elliott and subsequently penalized a lap for pitting too early following the incident. But not all was lost for the driver of the Mobil 1 Dodge, as both he and crew chief Travis Geisler would continue working on the machine until it was good enough to make its way to the front. It may have taken most of the day to reach that point, but after running outside of the top 30, Hornish made a late-race charge that resulted in a 24th-place finish, two laps off the pace. It was the rookie’s first top-25 finish since Charlotte two weeks ago.
For the first half of the race, it looked as if the Nationwide Series may have a different storyline to follow, as Kevin Harvick led 88 of the first 93 laps and appeared to be poised to score his first career series win in his own equipment. However, a lengthy pit stop to change a defective battery took Harvick out of the running, and the race became another Joe Gibbs Racing romp after that. Denny Hamlin, driving the No. 18 predominantly occupied by Kyle Busch this season, looked just like his teammate behind the wheel, leading the last 43 laps (99 total) and handily winning the 300-mile race at Kansas. Hamlin’s triumph also allowed Toyota to capture the Nationwide manufacturers’ title well over a month prior to season’s end.
For the 23rd time this season, a Sprint Cup driver proved that they had the awe-inspiring mettle to dominate NASCAR’s AAA series. For the eighth time this season, Kyle Busch proved to race fans that he is indeed deserving of a full-time ride in the Cup ranks, because he’s such a darned good Nationwide Series driver. And for the second time in the four races since Joe Gibbs Racing was “penalized” for its involvement in a cheating scandal at Michigan, its No. 18 team and their “substitute” crew chief dominated the field. Though several drivers had excellent race cars, Mike Bliss’ car took too long into a run, while Brad Keselowski had repeated issues on pit road that lost him valuable track position, allowing neither to challenge Busch, who led 157 laps.
The Nationwide Series took to a short track for the second time in three weeks and, also for the second time in three weeks, Clint Bowyer dominated the race. And nonetheless, for the second time in three weeks, Bowyer failed to score the win. Despite leading 195 of the 250 laps run, Bowyer’s car went to the loose side late in the running, allowing fellow title contender Carl Edwards to sneak by late and score his fourth Nationwide victory of the season. Bowyer finished third, after he was passed by Scott Wimmer with less than 15 laps to go.
Once the checkered flag flew, it was Denny Hamlin scoring the Winn-Dixie 250 win, his third in the Nationwide Series for 2008. Hamlin’s victory also marked the ninth of the season for JGR’s No. 20 team.
Joey Logano, after scoring his second consecutive pole award, scored his first career Nationwide Series win in convincing fashion, leading five times for 76 laps, including the final 54 of the Meijer 300.