Robby Gordon struck a spectator while attempting to pass eventual event winner Apdaly Lopez during Monday’s Baja 500. The 46-year-old driver made contact with the fan’s legs as he attempted to run out of the truck’s path. Gordon, who continued on, appeared to be in the middle of the racing lane at the time. No report …
David Ragan and Regan Smith have the opportunities of a lifetime: longer-term rides as substitutes in the Sprint Cup Series. Now, that’s certainly true of Ragan, who will fill in for Kyle Busch in the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing for several races until Busch’s recovers from his Daytona injury. Meanwhile, Smith has been …
Race One – A caution froze the field on the final lap of the race as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was trying to mount a challenge on Tony Stewart for the win. Race Two – Greg Biffle dominated the race but swept up on the final lap thinking he’d hook up with teammate Matt Kenseth to seal the deal. Instead, Kenseth dove down into the lower lane Biffle had opened for him, towing Jimmie Johnson in his wake to take the lead and the win.
On the first green-white-checker restart, Kyle Busch overdrove turn 1, was unable to keep his car in the preferred groove on exit, and opened the door for Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose to slip by. That left the two of them to settle the win amongst themselves; through the bus stop, Ambrose pounced, making the pass and riding off into the sunset for his first career Cup win.
Matt Kenseth took two tires and Mark Martin stayed out while leaders Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer all took four during pit stops under caution on lap 364 after Juan Pablo Montoya backed into the turn 4 wall. Hey, being on probation and unable to hit other drivers, he needed to hit something.
Trevor Bayne got a great jump on the final restart and Bobby Labonte offered a vital assist, pushing the No. 21 car before Bayne blocked Carl Edwards coming to the stripe and pulled the upset.
Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin squared off in a three-lap shootout at the end of the race that had the fans at home and in the stands on their feet.
With crunch time fast approaching for the Chase, a quiet fourth-place run was just what the doctor ordered for Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 team. Bowyer moves into the last Chase spot for now, making car owner Richard Childress the only owner to have each one of his teams in the top dozen. That’s a huge turnaround for an organization that missed the Chase entirely not quite a year ago.
ESPN’s David Newton reported Wednesday that Brian Vickers will be out of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota for at least three months, with Casey Mears resuming driving duties again this weekend in the All-Star Race. Mears’s status beyond Charlotte has yet to be determined, but a strong showing at the site of his lone …
Today, we grade the drivers from AJ Allmendinger to Brian Vickers, the top 40 in the Sprint Cup standings to date. Tomorrow, we’ll hand out the overall team grades in our Frontstretch Newsletter to finish off this four-part series. As with yesterday, this remains a dual effort between myself and site editor Tom Bowles, giving me a second opinion on which drivers passed or failed. Let us know whether you agree and disagree in the comments section below!
Last week, the “Lady in Black” brought the Bubble Battle to a boil when Front Row Motorsports teammates Kevin Conway and David Gilliland, back in their old rides from Fontana, both crashed out of the 500-mile marathon. Still, Conway remained on the bubble with his nearest combatants tantalizingly-close in the rankings. Gilliland, 22 points away from a guaranteed starting spot, was left to contend with the No. 26 of David Stremme, suddenly just 105 points behind him.