iRacing Executive Vice President and Executive Producer Steve Myers knew you couldn’t have a return to a legendary track without a certain legendary car. Jon Wood didn’t think it would be possible to field his family’s legendary Wood Brothers entry. But when all was said and done… he’ll be the one driving it. This Saturday, …
Ron Hornaday Jr. took the checkered flag 0.958 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch to win the Chevy Silverado 350K Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornaday earned his way back onto the lead lap, took the top spot on lap 108 and never looked back. Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine and rookie Colin Braun rounded out the top five.
As the Craftsman Truck Series rolls into Martinsville Speedway for the final short-track race of the season, there are some new faces on the entry list. Mike Skinner’s son Dustin Skinner is just one of those drivers; he’ll follow in the footsteps of his father and his older brother, Jamie Skinner, who also made their debuts at the Virginia short track.
While Rookie of the Year candidate Regan Smith was avoiding disasters on the track, his veteran crew chief Doug Richert was atop the pit box devising ways to help the car turn through the corners better. His plans took awhile to develop but they worked; losing just one more lap on the day, Smith emerged from the evening with a 21st-place finish, his second consecutive top rookie performance. More importantly, the team has managed to continue momentum and build a cushion over the 35th position in owner points.
Did You Notice? That at Talladega, the No. 21 Ford driven by Jon Wood had to pull in the garage after just one lap in order to fix radical adjustments made in qualifying to get the car in the show. Now, I know it looks like I pick on the Wood Brothers every week, but it’s hard to ignore them when they continue to make major mistakes. There were seven other cars who qualified on time for this race, and none of them had to spend nine laps in the garage area to fix their cars within the first five laps.
The Sprint Cup Series was idle this week while the Nationwide Series teams went to Mexico City. Given the huge cost of the trip, should it be the other way around? Is it time for the Cup Series to have a race out of the country?
Did You Notice? That in the closing laps of the race in Mexico City, with Scott Pruett’s bumper hanging by a thread, NASCAR refused to throw the black flag on the No. 40? Is it just me, or wasn’t that pretty dangerous? Sure, it’s not Pruett’s fault the bumper got loose; it was because someone else laid the chrome horn. But in virtually any other situation – say, at Bristol – that car would have been on pit road within five laps. As far as I’m concerned, that thing could have fallen off, someone else could have run it over, and that person’s day would have been ruined through no fault of their own. It sucked for Pruett, but he should have been forced to pit.
1. No Way, Daddy-0h! – The legendary Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford did not qualify for the UAW-Dodge 400 on speed last Friday. Instead, their chances hit a wall — literally — when Johnny Sauter wrecked the car coming out of turn 2. The single-car team, outside the Top 35 in owner points, has now failed to make the starting lineup for two of the first three NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Jon Wood, who is the grandson of legendary Wood Brothers Racing founder Glen Wood and the son of Wood Brothers Racing co-Owner Eddie Wood, had been scheduled to take the wheel at Las Vegas, but backed out at the last minute, stating that he “wasn’t ready.”
In a race that offered multiple wrecks, wicked weather, hot tempers, and an unusual finish, simply surviving the Lifelock 400 must have seemed like a victory for many participants… especially the rookies. On Sunday, David Ragan simply did just that, overcoming obstacles better than any of his other freshmen counterparts. After starting 18th, the No. 6 Ford Fusion struggled for the first 100-lap segment of the race, falling as low as 30th at one point. However, crew chief Jimmy Fennig and the AAA crew figured out what the car needed to turn Ragan’s race around, all while using pit strategy to boost the team into the top 10 just before a two-hour rain delay on lap 148. Following that red flag period, Ragan narrowly avoided a multi-car wreck on the backstretch to keep himself in contention, quietly soldiering on to a 16th-place finish by race’s end.
If you don’t think those drivers fighting to get – or remain – inside the Top 35 in car owner points are feeling any pressure with eight races remaining… think again. Kyle Petty’s obvious frustration towards Denny Hamlin following a lap 204 crash was without a doubt the expression of a disappointed driver trying hard to hold his spot in the field… not only for now, but ultimately for the first five races of 2008. The accident that ended Petty’s day drops the No. 45 team to just one point away from the 35th and final guaranteed starting position, leaving them more vulnerable than they’ve been in quite sometime.
Travis Kvapil took the checkered flag ahead of Johnny Benson to win the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night. Kvapil outran Benson and Jon Wood, who finished third, in a couple of great side-by-side battles during the final six laps to score his fourth win of the season and ninth of his career. Terry Cook and Erik Darnell rounded out the top five.
With a number of inexperienced rookies coming into the Cup series next year, should there be a higher standard set by NASCAR before a driver is allowed to race in Nextel Cup? Two very inexperienced rookies took out some big contenders Sunday.