Monday, August 30, 2010
I know that in the NASCAR world, you have to be impartial. You have to like everyone and praise them in your writing. Well, this blog is dedicated to everything I think is wrong/weird in NASCAR.
Where to begin? I’m going to start with the most recent thing that has been aggravating me: Kyle Busch. No, I don’t have a problem with him, if anything, I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a great racecar driver and does a lot for charity, which is awesome. My problem isn’t specifically aimed towards him. I know, the point of NASCAR is to get out there and win, but I don’t think it’s fair to the drivers that only race in that series that the drivers who race in two or three series win everything.
Couple of examples, Kyle Busch sweeps Bristol, no other driver has ever swept a weekend, I wonder why? Maybe it’s because they don’t race in all three series. Another example, Trevor Bayne, driver of the MWR #99 in the Nationwide Series. That’s all he races and he has consistently good finishes. He gets the pole, but when it comes time to race, he falls back, sometimes not even being able to lead the first lap. A couple of weeks ago at Bristol, Trevor finished sixth. If you took out all of the Cup Series regulars, he would’ve won. Something you might find interesting, in the twenty-five Nationwide races this year, a full-time Cup driver has won all except one, Justin Allgaier at Bristol on March 30th. That was the last time a full Nationwide Series driver went to Victory Lane. Carl Edwards also announced recently that he will be running the RFR number 60 full-time next year in the Nationwide Series. It’s going to suck when he has to run from one track to another.
Then, you have to consider the drivers that only do well in Nationwide while racing in Cup full time. Prime examples, Joey Logano (won a Nationwide race at Kentucky, winless in Cup), Brad Keselowski (won four Nationwide races, winless in Cup) and finally, Carl Edwards (won two Nationwide races, winless in Cup).
Moving onto Kyle Busch. Out of twenty-five Nationwide races this year, he has won ten. Keep in mind he isn’t in contention to win the series championship. I honestly believe since the #18 JGR Nationwide car is so good, they should put Brad Coleman in it full-time that way they can be running for the championship. Kyle owns Kyle Busch Motorsports, a Camping World Truck Series Team. Occasionally, you will see either Kasey Kahne or Brian Ickler in it, but the majority of the time it’s Kyle, and when Kyle is in a race, he dominates, never giving Truck Series regulars like Todd Bodine, Ron Hornaday or Aric Almirola, who are Championship contenders, a chance to win.
Now, onto my favorite topic, championships, well specifically Nationwide championships. This is where it gets interesting. Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Justin Allgaier, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Steve Wallace, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano and Jason Leffler are the top ten in points. Anyone see anything wrong with that? If you took out the Cup drivers, we would have only five guys in the running for the Championship, that’s pretty sad! What I am trying to get at here is that Cup drivers should stay out of the Nationwide series after they have graduated to Cup. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to race the occasional race (example: Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin) for fun, I’m just saying they shouldn’t race every race.
I know this sounds like I am picking on every little detail, but in reality I’m not. I’m just stating the facts the way they are! Thanks for reading!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Cup cars were at Michigan International Speedway today for the two hundred lap, Carfax 400. Kasey Kahne won the pole on the two mile track, with an impressive lap time of 38.465. Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick Martin Truex, Jr. and Paul Menard were the Top Ten in Qualifying.
Poor Kasey Kahne never had a chance to lead because on the first lap, Jimmie Johnson took the first position from Kasey, since his car was loose. On lap four, Mark Martin scraped the wall, then reported that there was no real damage, just that the car was tight, but was never able to recover and finished laps down. Jimmie lead until lap 15, when Biffle took over. Lap 32, Mark Martin comes to Pit Road and Caution then came out for Kurt Busch. His motor blew up. The restart came on lap 39, and the leaders were Biffle, Johnson, Stewart, Harvick and Bowyer. The rain came on lap 60, but it was just a drizzle, so the cars stayed out under Caution, until lap 67 when they restarted. Greg Biffle led until lap 87, when Tony Stewart was able to catch him and take the lead.
Lap 100 was when the cars had to pit under green and by lap 104, the Green Flag Pit Stops had cycled through. The leaders were Stewart, Biffle, Harvick, Bowyer and Kyle Busch. Biffle was able to hold onto the lead until lap 112, when Harvick took the top spot.
Now, for the altercation everyone is talking about, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano. This happened on lap 148 when Logano got loose and clipped the back of Newman. Newman spun and went to Pit Road with no damage, just to get four new tires.
Lap 154, Jeff Gordon's left front tire went down and a Caution came out. Then another Caution on lap 167 for debris in Turn Two.
Lap 178, Denny leads with Kevin Harvick on his rear bumper, until lap 189 when Harvick took the lead and led the next 11 laps and took the Checkered Flag, followed by Hamlin, Edwards, Biffle, Kenseth, Stewart, Montoya, Truex, Sadler and Logano. This means Kevin Harvick is clinched into the 2010 Chase!
This weekend I decided to write one blog about the Nationwide and Truck races.
Starting off with the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Brad Keselowski easily got the pole, as usual. Ryan Truex, younger brother of Cup driver, Martin Truex, Jr, had impressive lap times, securing him a second place starting position. Colin Braun, Jason Leffler and Ryan Newman rounded out the Top Five in qualifying.
The whole race, Keselowski had clutch issues, he insisted it wasn’t bothering him, only when he pitted. On lap 62, Caution came out for Chase Austin, not a Nationwide Series regular; car started smoking on the backstretch and stopped at the entrance to Pit Road. Lap 67, Paul Menard leads the pack on the restart, but Keselowski took the lead away. Keselowski dominated until lap 108, after Green Flag Pit Stops cycled through. On lap 111 Steve Wallace tapped the right rear of Robert Richardson’s car and hit the wall. Lap 117, Edwards led the pack to the restart, but not for long, Keselwoski took the lead and no one else led for the rest of the race.
Keseloski led 89 of the 125 laps and took the Checkered Flag. Edwards, Busch, Allgaier, Menard, Logano, Sadler, Sorenson, Braun and Harvick rounded out the Top Ten.
Last night, the Camping World Truck Series rolled back onto the asphalt of Darlington Raceway for the Too Tough To Tame 200 (intimidating name right?). Most tracks are considered "its" but Darlington is a "she." She looks like an easy track, calm; with not a lot of banking, but the drivers beg to differ.
During both practices, Austin Dillon was the fastest truck. During qualifying, Timothy Peters had the fastest lap times and started first. Buescher, Lofton, Almirola, Hornaday, Shrader, Compton, Bodine, Dillon and Ickler were the Top Ten.
When Ken Shrader attempted to roll off Pit Road to start the race, his car stalled and his crew had to change the battery. He had to start at the back of the pack.
On lap 10, Austin Dillon got his stripe, but quickly recovered. During the race, there were nine cautions, most for debris. One was for when Ricky Carmichael spun into the wall of Turn Four, when Mario Gosselin clipped Ricky’s right rear quarter panel.
When they restarted on lap 81, Austin Dillon was leading, when everyone pitted, he only took fuel, thinking that since everyone took only tires, and he would be good because they would run out of fuel. So on lap 100, under caution, Austin came to Pit Road for tires and restarted 14th. He never went back for the lead, but he finished fifth, his tenth consecutive top ten finish this year.
On the final lap, Bodine took the Checkered Flag, making this his second consecutive win in two weeks. Timothy Peters, Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter, Austin Dillon, Matt Crafton, James Buescher, Stacy Compton, Aric Almirola and Ken Shrader were your Top Ten.
Dillon (still think he’s going to be the Rookie of the Year)
Friday, August 13, 2010
As many of you have seen, on Wednesday night, Fransisco Rodriguez, nicknamed K-Rod, assaulted his girlfriend and his girlfriend's father. K-Rod, who plays for the New York Mets, cursed out his girlfriend and when her father tried to intervene, K-Rod banged the man's head against a wall in the Stadium Hallway. He is charged with third degree assault and second degree harassment. Want to know what happened to him? He got a restraining order from his girlfriend and his girlfriend's father and he was suspended for two games. What do you think would've happened to him in NASCAR? Would they have suspended him for the rest of the season? Fined him? Deducted owners points? Or even banned him from the sport?
Here are some perfect examples of what NASCAR has done to drivers in the past when they did something wrong. In 2004, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won at Talladega. When asked what it meant to him, he replied, "It don't mean sh*t..." Junior was fined ten thousand dollars and twenty-five championship points.
Kurt Busch, he drove the Roush Racing Sharpie number 97. In 2005, on a Friday night before the race in Phoenix, he was pulled over for reckless driving (trying to avoid a car and running a stop sign). The cops smelled alcohol on his breath and was detained. He was cited for reckless driving. Quicker than you can say 'suspended' that's what he was. Jack Roush wouldn't have any of it and suspended him for the rest of the season. Kenny Wallace replaced him for the remainder of the season.
Jeremy Mayfield, name ring a bell? You probably thought he dropped off the face of the earth, unless you have already heard what I'm about to tell you. In 2009, Jeremy was arrested for Methamphetamine, or Meth, in his body. When he took the drug test, the levels of Meth were extremely high. NASCAR banned him.
Now, for one of the most controversial issues in NASCAR recently, and the main point of this blog post, Denny Hamlin. In July, Denny tweeted, "Truthfully I don't think It matters to the fans who wins the race as long as its a good "show". Even if it comes as the expense of competition." on his personal Twitter. What NASCAR was doing looking at his personal tweets is beyond me, but okay. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions, and since this was one opinion NASCAR didn't agree with, they fined him fifty thousand dollars. Little much just for an opinion, don't you think?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
When I first heard about all of the new changes NASCAR was making to the 2011 season, I was extremely confused. From changing dates, to changing teams, I couldn't keep up with all of it, so I did my research and I'm here to try to help clear it up for you guys! So I hope this helps!
Let's start off with the date/track changes. Chicagoland Speedway, the 1.5 mile oval located in Joliet, Illinois is going to be opening up the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase, replacing Auto Club Speedway. Phoenix International Raceway previously had a spring race in April. Scratch that! Now it will be held on February 27, 2011, making it the second race of the season. Moving on to Kentucky, which has never had a Cup date. Well, that's about to change too! It will be the first new track to appear on the Cup Circuit since 2001. The date for the first race is July 9, 2011.
Moving onto the teams, drivers and sponsor changes. You probably have heard that Kasey Kahne is moving from Richard Petty Racing to Red Bull Racing. All of the details are still up in the air, but he is definitely going there for the 2011 season. In 2012, Kasey will be going to Hendrick Motorsports to replace Mark Martin, in the number five. In four years, he will have driven all four manufacturers.
Richard Childress Racing will sign a fourth team for next year. Paul Menard will be driving the car, and Menards will most likely be the sponsor. That's all we know so far. Budweiser will be sponsoring Kevin Harvick and the 29 team.
Bobby Labonte is eager to start competing again full time for JTG Daugherty. He will be taking Marcos Ambros' place in the number 47.
Marcos Ambrose will take Kasey Kahne's place in the nine at Richard Petty Motorsports and will be sponsored most of the time by Stanley Tools.
As I reread this, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it clears things up a little bit! I will write another blog at the end of this season, explaining all of the final changes being made to the 2011 season. I hope this helped a little bit!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Yesterday, the Camping World Truck Series rolled into Nashville, Tennessee, also known as Music City U.S.A, for the Nashville 200! During qualifying, (which was normal again this week) Todd Bodine in the 30, set the fastest lap of 30.852. This was his first pole of the season, second at Nashville and sixth of his career. Austin Dillon, driver of the Number 3, will start on the outside of Row One.
The race was 150 laps. But before I tell you about the happy ending, I have to tell you about what happened during the race! Todd Bodine wasn't able to lead for long before Timothy Peters, in the 17, took the first position away. Bodine slid back, soon after that, Caution came out and Bodine pitted for a Right Rear tire down and restarted fifteenth. Bodine was able to regain all the spots lost, since the leaders had to pit under green. On the restarts, Austin Dillon's car was loose and he would fall back to around ninth, but the more laps he raced, the better the 3 got, and he was able to get back up to the front.
Under the caution, Mario Gosselin and Joe Aramendia got together. Gosselin was not a happy camper and threw a piece of hose at Aramendia, but he missed! At least try to have a better aim when you're trying to hit a car going 50 miles per hour! That was our entertainment for the race!
On lap 150, Bodine took the checkered flag! He had a 4.16 second lead over second place finisher, Austin Dillon, who was able to score his seventh consecutive Top Ten finish! Aric Almirola, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter, Ron Hornaday, Jr, Matt Crafton, Brian Ickler, Justin Lofton and Ken Shrader rounded out the Top Ten!
Point Standings as of Race 14 of 25:
Austin Dillon (Who will most definitely be the Rookie of the Year if he keeps up this awesome season! Sorry, had to say it!)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Last Saturday, July 31, 2010, The Camping World Truck Series made their debut at the 2.5 mile, Pocono. Not only is it a new track to the drivers, they also tried a new way of qualifying. After final practice on Friday, they took the drivers' lap times and averaged them out. They then sent out the slowest trucks first and worked their way to the fastest trucks. If that wasn't tricky enough, they sent the trucks out in twenty-five second increments.
Elliott Sadler won the pole in the Number 2. Kasey Kahne qualified second, racing the 18 for KBM, Denny Hamlin in the 15, qualifying third for Billy Ballew Motorsports, Austin Dillon qualified fourth in his Number 3 and rounding out the Top Five was Aric Almirola in the 51.
The race was crazy, Sadler was first, then it was Kahne, then it was Hamlin and then it was Bodine. It was hard to keep track of who was winning. On lap 44, Kahne had the lead, until Donny Lia and Chase Mattioli wrecked. Caution came out. Sadler lead them to the restart, and then Hornaday crashed. Sadler held off Crafton and Kahne on the restart and was able to get a good lead over Kasey Kahne.
Elliott took the Checkered Flag, five laps after the scheduled 50 laps that they were supposed to complete. Kasey Kahne finished second, Matt Crafton third, Aric Almirola fourth, Justin Lofton fifth, Mike Skinner sixth, Austin Dillon seventh, Timothy Peters eighth, Denny Hamlin ninth and Jason White tenth.