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Monday, August 8, 2011

Dale Earnhardt Jr. hanging on in the Chase; Joey Logano's day ruined by tire

After a reasonably good day, finishing 9th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains 10th in points, and is one of only two drivers in the top 10 without a win. If he falls out of the top 10, he’s basically out of luck, since he has no wins and wouldn’t get a wild card.

Still, he didn’t sound too concerned after the race Sunday.
“I don’t know where we’re at (in points). I haven’t seen it. I’m comfortable though, trust me,” he said with a laugh. “I’d rather be second or first or third, whatever, but I’m good with how things are working out.”

There is a good cushion between Jr. and 11th place Denny Hamlin (23 points), but one bad day can erase that, so he needs to stay on his toes, or preferably get a win, to ensure a spot and be able to run for the title this fall.

Watkins Glen will be a big test for him, and if he can get through that without much points damage he’ll be able to breathe a lot easier.

Tire ruins Logano’s day
It was also quite a week for Joey Logano. He could breathe a little easier after Carl Edwards was staying with Roush and not moving to the Gibbs team and the 20 car as rumored. Logano responded by winning the pole, leading a lot of laps and being up front when the rain came. His luck changed once the race restarted, as he ended up 26th after a cut tire forced him to pit late in the race.

Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said there was no reason to hang his head, and that kind of stuff happens some times.
"I'm going to get on a plane and go home and get up at 4:45 tomorrow morning and go to work like I do the other 355 days a
year. What can you do? We did all we could. We sat on the pole, we led a bunch of laps, we had a very respectful top-five
car. I think one of our better performances in the last two and a half years so I'm not going to hang my head and be
miserable over something on the race track. I can't control that. If it was something that we did and made a bad call it would
be different than that. Right now, we learn and the last thing I want to do is walk out of here with a bad attitude and kill the
momentum that we've had in the last six to eight weeks."

Fans Can Enter Chevy’s “Drive It Like You Won It” contest; winner will get Silverado truck and meet Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin

Win it. Drive it. And meet Team Chevy racing legends Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin at Texas Motor Speedway later this year.
Race fans can enter Chevrolet’s “Drive It Like You Won It” by registering at now through September 16, 2011. One Grand Prize Winner will receive a new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LTZ 4x4, and an expenses-paid race weekend trip for two to Texas Motor Speedway in November to meet with racing legends Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.

Roush happy to have Carl stay in the fold

As expected, Jack Roush is quite happy with Carl Edwards’ decision to stay at the Roush team, and he said Carl wanted some questions answered before deciding to stay.
“Words can’t describe how happy all of Roush Fenway is to be sitting here with Carl in this circumstance and having him agree for 2012 and beyond to extend his association with us. I consider it as a positive indication for the analysis that Carl did, a positive indication for
all of the personnel and the process that we have at Roush Fenway to build our cars, to build our engines and to organize ourselves and train our pit crew and do the rest of it. Carl’s evaluation and his questions were most exhaustive and certainly the most in-depth of any
that I’ve had in my 24 years and I’m glad we made it through that and he came to this determination. I can’t say how much I look forward to working with Carl in the foreseeable future and our Fords to make him a champion in the Cup Series and multiple championships hopefully and to win a lot of races.”

Watkins Glens International, by the numbers

-- After several events were held on the streets of Watkins Glen, a permanent facility was opened in 1956.
-- The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was in 1957, won by Buck Baker.
-- After a six-year absence, NASCAR returned to The Glen in 1964 and 1965.
-- After a 21-year absence, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to The Glen, and has run one race a year there since 1986. This weekend’s race will be the 26th running since its return in 1986.

-- There have been 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Watkins Glen International since the first race there in 1957.
-- Buck Baker won the first pole and race.
-- Tim Richmond won the first pole and race upon the series’ return in 1986.
-- There have been 16 different pole winners.
-- The race winner has started first in nine of 28 races. The last race winner to start from the pole was Kyle Busch in 2008.
-- Mark Martin leads all drivers with wins from the pole with three in a row between 1993, 1994 and 1995.
-- 18 of the 28 races at Watkins Glen have been won from a top-five starting position.
-- 20 of the 28 races at Watkins Glen have been won from a top-10 starting position.
-- The deepest in the field that a Watkins Glen race winner has started was 18th by Steve Park in 2000.
-- 17 different drivers have won races, led by Tony Stewart, with five.
-- Jeff Gordon set the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup record for road-course victories with his victory in 2001, his seventh on a road course. He has since won two more (both at Infineon Raceway), for a career total of nine.
-- Three active drivers with more than one start have an average finish in the top 10: Marcos Ambrose (2.6 in three starts), Tony Stewart (5.4 in 12 starts), Carl Edwards (8.1 in six starts), Mark Martin (8.2 in 21 starts) and AJ Allmendinger (9.3 in three starts).

Watkins Glen International Data
Race #: 22 of 36 (8-14-11)
Track Size: 2.45 miles
Race Length: 90 laps/220.5 miles

Driver Rating at Watkins Glen
Tony Stewart -- 129.6
Juan P. Montoya -- 113.5
Marcos Ambrose -- 113.5
Kyle Busch -- 102.1
Kurt Busch -- 101.9
Jimmie Johnson -- 100.0
Denny Hamlin -- 99.9
Carl Edwards -- 94.9
AJ Allmendinger -- 91.9
Kevin Harvick -- 89.6
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2010 races (6 total) at Watkins Glen.

Qualifying/Race Data
2010 pole winner: Carl Edwards
(124.432 mph, 70.882 seconds)
2010 race winner: Juan P. Montoya, (90.96 mph, 08-08-10)
Track qualifying record: Jeff Gordon (124.580 mph, 70.798 seconds, 8-8-03)
Track race record: Mark Martin (103.300 mph, 8-13-95)

NASCAR in New York
-- There have been 66 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in New York:
-- 179 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as New York.
-- There have been 14 race winners from New York

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jr. had a good car and he drove his heart out Sunday but his pit crew let him down. I think he had a lug nut problem and just about every stop he lost positions due it appeared by slow pit stops. Now I'm not claiming jr. is a Jimmy Johnson or Jeff Gordon when it comes to driving but anyone could see if not for the slow pit stops he should have easily had a top five finish or better. I have noticed for weeks that his crew seems to be slow because he seems to lose spots on just about every stop and it's not due to two tire/four tire stops either. I'm surprised that Mr. Hendrick hasn't noticed this and tried to improve his pit stops. Right now, to me the pit crew seems to be the weakest link in the team. You can't lose several spots on just about every stop and have to repass all those cars on restarts and expect to gain many positions. In my opinion his pit crew needs to improve. If you notice Kyle Busch, he is just the opposite, he usually gains spots just about every pit stop and that really helps a driver advance during the race. Mr. Hendrick needs to get this fixed and I don't think it's Jr.'s fault because he has gotten several speeding violations I believe this year while as far as I know Busch hasn't gotten any so that says that Jr. is pushing the envelope on pit road speed yet still losing spots.

August 9, 2011 at 7:18 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor little joey. a 20th place driver in a top 5 car.

August 9, 2011 at 4:42 PM 

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