Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dover International Speedway: Everything you need to know

— The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969.
— The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on July 6, 1969.
— The first two races at Dover were 300 miles. The race length was changed to 500 miles in 1971.
— The track surface was changed to concrete in 1995.
— The race length was changed to 400 miles beginning with the second race in 1997.
— The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002.

— There have been 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover International Speedway since the track opened in 1969.
— There was one race in 1969 and 1970. There has been two-a-year since 1971.
— Richard Petty won the track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
— There have been 35 different pole winners, led by David Pearson (six).
— David Pearson won the first pole in July 1969.
— Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers, each with four poles.
— 33 different drivers have posted victories led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, each with seven.
— Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers, with six victories.
— Hendrick Motorsports has a series-high 13 wins.
— 51 races at Dover have been won from a top-five starting position; 18 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
— 13 drivers have won from the pole. The last to do so was Jimmie Johnson, in the 2010 September race.
— The furthest back in the field a race winner started was 37th, by Kyle Petty in 1995.
— Several active drivers had their first start at Dover: David Ragan (finished 42nd in 2006), Kurt Busch (18th in 2000), Matt Kenseth (sixth in 1998) and Bobby Labonte (34th in 1991).
— In addition, Matt Kenseth (2002) and Michael Waltrip (1991) earned their first pole at Dover. Martin Truex Jr. won his first race there (2007).
— Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover International Speedway winner: Kyle Busch (06/01/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 30 days).
— Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover International Speedway winner: Harry Gant (05/31/1992 – 52 years, 4 months, 21 days).

Dover International Speedway Data
Race #: 13 of 36 (06-03-12)
Track Size: 1 mile
Race Length: 400 miles
— Banking/Turns: 24 degrees
— Banking/Frontstretch: 9 degrees
— Banking/Backstretch: 9 degrees
— Frontstretch: 1,076 feet
— Backstretch: 1,076 feet

Driver Rating at Dover
Jimmie Johnson........................ 118.6
Matt Kenseth............................. 110.0
Carl Edwards............................ 106.5
Greg Biffle................................ 105.4
Kyle Busch............................... 102.6
Kurt Busch.................................. 97.8
Mark Martin................................. 96.1
Ryan Newman............................. 91.1
Jeff Burton................................. 90.0
Jeff Gordon................................ 89.2
Clint Bowyer............................... 88.1
Martin Truex Jr............................ 88.1
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (14 total) at Dover.

Qualifying/Race Data
2011 pole winner: None due to weather
2011 race winner: Matt Kenseth, (125.578 mph, 05-15-11)
Track qualifying record: Jeremy Mayfield (161.522 mph, 22.288 seconds, 06-04-04)
Track race record: Mark Martin (132.719 mph, 09-21-97)

NASCAR in Delaware
— There have been 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Delaware, all at Dover International Speedway.
— Eight drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Delaware, though none have posted victories.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Danica Patrick give her side of the story in ESPN the magazine's "Women in Sports" issue -- WITH VIDEO

Think Danica Patrick needs more media exposure? (I'm guessing your answer is a no).

Well, ESPN is making it happen, as she is on the cover of their Women in Sports edition of ESPN the magazine. (I could go off on how so many other female athletes have accomplished a lot more than she has in their sports; but I know that's not the only factor in choosing a cover girl)

In this video teaser on the ESPN website, "ESPN the Magazine's Stevland Wilson sits down with Danica Patrick to discuss her transition to NASCAR, her fatigue with the "woman driver" storyline and why she does those risque ads."

Love her or hate her (and seriously, these 6 lap down finishes aren't gaining her any fans), here she is telling her side of the story:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix — Everything you need to know

Planning to attend this upcoming weekend's Grand Prix in Detroit?
Here's everything you need to know.


The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix returns to the Motor City for the first time in four years June 1-3, 2012. The event will feature the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the Firestone Indy Lights Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. The weekend collectively is referred to as the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Friday-Sunday – June 1-3, 2012

The Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit

2.1 miles/14 turns

Sunday, June 3, 2012 – Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by (IZOD IndyCar Series)
Live national television coverage: ABC (Time – 3:30 p.m. ET)
Live national radio coverage: IMS Radio Network and Sirius satellite XM Radio Channel 94
Saturday, June 2, 2012 – Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers (GRAND-AM Rolex Series)
Live national television coverage: SPEED (Time – 5:00 p.m. ET)
Live national radio coverage: MRN Radio Network and Sirius satellite XM Radio Channel 90
Saturday, June 2 and Sunday June 3, 2012 – Cadillac V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers (Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series)
Tape-delayed television broadcast: NBC Sports Network, July 7 from 5-7 p.m. ET
Saturday, June 2, 2012 – Firestone Indy Lights Series race
Tape-delayed television broadcast: NBC Sports Network, June 7 at 5 p.m. ET

Below is the basic schedule of events for the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. A more detailed schedule is posted at
Friday, June 1
IZOD IndyCar Series practice, GRAND-AM Rolex Series practice and qualifying, Pirelli World Challenge Series practice, Firestone Indy Lights Series practice
Saturday, June 2
IZOD IndyCar Series practice and qualifying, GRAND-AM Rolex Series practice and race, Pirelli World Challenge Series qualifying and race #1, Firestone Indy Lights Series qualifying and race. IZOD IndyCar Series, GRAND-AM Rolex Series and Pirelli World Challenge Series driver autograph sessions
Sunday, June 3
IZOD IndyCar Series driver autograph session, IZOD IndyCar Series warm-up and race, Pirelli World Challenge Series race #2.

Great tickets are still available for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. To view information on ticket plans and to purchase tickets, go to Tickets may also be purchased by calling 866-464-PRIX (7749) or visit the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix office in the GM Renaissance Center, 300 Renaissance Center Drive, Suite 2311, Detroit, Mich.

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix attendees are required to use the round-trip Cooper Standard Shuttle Service that runs continuously from convenient locations in Downtown Detroit. Grand Prix parking is NOT available on Belle Isle. There is also ADA and Windsor Shuttle bus service provided. New this year, a Ferry service is also available to Belle Isle from the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. For complete transportation information and pricing, visit

Since the Grand Prix returned to Belle Isle in 2007, event organizers have made over $6 million in lasting improvements to Belle Isle:
— Installing over 150,000 square feet of new concrete for road improvements and other modifications for more exciting competition
— Repairing damaged lighting and drainage systems
— Renovation of Scott Fountain and the Belle Isle Casino
— Installing over 460,000 square feet of concrete for paddock area and fan interaction to provide a cleaner and more comfortable race experience
— Installing new pedestrian bridges and playscapes
— Removing old pilings and docks from the Detroit Boat Club
— New concrete areas also used by park visitors for parking and community events and activities year round

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has received tremendous support from both the local and national corporate community. Over 45 companies have committed to support the Grand Prix as it returns to Detroit for the first time in four years and 40 premiere hospitality chalets have been sold out for the event

Both the 2007 and 2008 Grand Prix events generated over $52 million in estimated economic impact for the Metro Detroit region Over 100,000 people attended the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix events in both 2007 and 2008

Visit the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Facebook,
Follow the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Twitter, or @detroitgp. The official event hashtag is #detroitgp

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Joe Gibbs may be just the man to get Kurt Busch's head on straight

When I first heard the story that Kurt Busch could potentially end up behind the wheel of a fourth Joe Gibbs car next year, I kind of had two thoughts about it.

Thought #1: What is he, crazy? He's already got to deal with Kyle, not he'd have Kurt? That would be too much drama to handle.

But then, I though more about it, and I had Thought #2: If anyone can get Kurt's head out of his rear and on top of his head and thinking straight again, it's Joe Gibbs.

I mean, look at his track record. For someone as Christian and holy as he is, Coach has had to deal with a lot of misfits over the years, and usually they ended up at least semi-reformed.

He had to deal with Tony Stewart for many, many years. In the early years, Tony was a terror, fighting with media and fellow drivers on the regular. But after a while, Tony calmed down, and while he remained snarky, most of his really bad behavior went by the wayside.

And then there's Kyle Busch. Sure Kyle still has his moments now and again, most notably the over-the-top Truck race take-out of Ron Hornaday last year, but even he seems to be maturing now under the guidance of Coach Gibbs.

Denny Hamlin has had his moments too, though not to the level of Kyle, but he's starting to mellow too and get his focus back on winning a championship and away from the drama like he had with Brad Keselowski a few years back.

So while I would say most other teams would have a time dealing with a hothead like Kurt, if there's anyone who can deal with him it's Coach Gibbs. The brother dynamic adds a whole new dynamic, but as long as Gibbs gives them competitive cars and they're running well, I don't see any harm coming from it and both Busches could do well. It might even increase the intensity of the competition between them and make them both run better.

So could this actually happen or is it all hype?
Gibbs said this week that if sponsorship is found for a fourth team, the elder Busch wouldn't be ruled out as a driver.

"We love Kurt, mainly because of Kyle and Kyle has got a strong feeling for him," Gibbs said following the unveiling of Toyota's 2013 Sprint Cup car. "Kurt's kind of going through a process with everything he has got going right now. Everybody throws everything out there. We do have a fourth car possibility at some point. But we haven't seen that yet (come to fruition)."

If it did work out, it would fit with Busch's situation, as he is driving for James Finch's team this year and has no plans for 2013. By running well for brother Kyle in the Nationwide series this year, he's showing people like Gibbs what they want to see when considering a driver to hire. He's easily the most talented free agent on the market right now, emotional issues aside.

Kyle said he would like to see the move happen.
"He could really helps us and lead us in the right direction," Kyle Busch said. "I'd love to have him over here. It would be great for Joe Gibbs Racing and for us to work together and to be able to make better racecars, faster racecars."

Do I think it will happen? Probably not. Finding sponsorship for a new Cup car isn't easy.
But, if Gibbs does end up expanding for 2013, KuBu is probably the man, and that make his storyline much more interesting next year as he tries to return to a championship-worthy season and get a second title. I would actually like to see it happen, just to see if he would scream at Coach Gibbs like he did at Roger Penske over the radio. Or who knows, maybe a move to a top team like this could mellow Kurt out? Miracles do happen.

Anyway, that's my take; And I bet that if an expansion at Gibbs is coming, we'll know about it before season end. You don't do a big change like that over the short offseason. For Kurt's sake, I hope it happens, because otherwise he'll be stuck either with Finch again or in another subpar car, and no amount of driver talent can fully make up for a team that's not up to speed with the big boys.

Bonus drama
Joey Logano's contract is up for renewal at Gibbs this year. My guess is they resign him. The kid is only 21 and has a huge upside. He hasn't exactly been "sliced bread", but he is without a doubt talented and is doing better this year. To let him go would just be silly on the part of Gibbs.

Still, Gibbs may be giving Logano some motivation to improve with comments like this: "(There's) been an improvement but he's still not where our other two cars are."

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

NASCAR's new All-Star race format was a bust, encourages lazy driving

Before I get into my whole lecture on this weak new All-Star format, let me just say that I don’t blame the driver and team that won for doing what they did.

They were just following the smart strategy, and anyone who won the first segment would have done the same thing.

I also recognize that Jimmie Johnson most likely did have the best car on the track all night.

One big problem – the new format – four segments of 20 laps then the four winners get in line up front to pit before a final 10-lap penalty – encourages laziness.

Jimmie ran hard the first 20 laps, secured his position among those front four in the process – and then spent 60 laps doing nothing but hang in the back. So in essence, he only really raced for 30 out of the 90 laps in the All-Star race.

That’s weak with a capital W. Again, I know it’s not Jimmie’s fault that this is the format. But NACAR better not return with this format next year or fans will be very upset. I can understand guys hanging in the back at a long race at Talladega, but for this to happen in the All-Star race, which is supposed to be the most white-knuckled, give it your all race, is just disgusting.

Jimmie, bless his heart, gave a weak reply when asked about the strategy, trying to hint he actually did race all day:
“No, we were trying. We were working on our car. I was making sure I could get a couple good laps in and find the balance of the car. We were in heavy conversation about small adjustments, what we could do preparing for that final segment. nce we get through that and I catch the back, it was time to ride. That's no fun. My mind is running, Is the track changing. These guys are racing, are they getting stronger. I had to believe in the system. I really think whoever won that first segment would have done the same thing. It's just what you do when you can control the race like that. We took great advantage of it.,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus said something after the race that encapsulated how bad the new format was:
“he biggest thing you have to do in any event is you have to limit your risk. That's what we needed to do. We were fortunate, like Jimmie said, that he was able to get out there that first segment and attack and get the win. From that point on, all you want to do is maintain and make sure you're there at the end. That's what we wanted to do,” Knaus said.

Sorry Chad, but in an All-Star race, I don’t want drivers “limiting their risk”. I want them racing hard every lap. If they don’t have to, there’s a critical flaw in the entire concept of the race.
I’m sure I’m not alone, and you can bet there wil be changes next year if NASCAR listens to its fans at all. I don’t have the magic pill will the perfect recipe for a great All-Star race, but I know one thing – this type of competition-reducing format has got to go.

Kenseth restart woes give race to Jimmie

Continuing with the All-Star race theme, I recognize that I saw some great side-by-side racing among the drivers during the first four segments – in that sense it was a success. But the end turned into a snoozefest when Matt Kenseth couldn’t get going, and held up cars behind him in the process. This let Jimmie get far out front and say bye-bye.

“My restarts seemed to always look bad, but here especially, for some reason, that bottom lane would really restart hard and the outside would always spin. I was on the inside every other time and that outside pole guy would go two or three cars back,” Kenseth said. “I knew it was coming, but I honestly didn’t know what else to do. I thought I got in the gas early. Jimmie did the right thing. There was oil dry there, so he ran me up in the oil dry and I just couldn’t get any traction. I just couldn’t get going and then by the time I got in line I was fourth and with 10 laps you’re pretty much done.”

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Strong All-Star weekend leaves Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans with high hopes for a 600 win; Darrell Wallace Jr. has strong Nationwide debut

NEWTON, IA - MAY 19: Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, walks alongside his car in pit lane prior to qualifying for the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 on May 19, 2012 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR)


It sounds repetitive lately, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. really is showing up on track lately and is due for a win soon in a points race. This Saturday, he won the Sprint Showdown to transfer to the All-Star race, allowing someone else – Bobby Labonte – to get the fan vote into the race. Then once in, he ran strong all race and made it all the way to fifth place by the time the checkered was out.

Now that Hendrick is back to his winning ways, there’s a strong possibility that he’ll win again next week in the 600 – and if he’s as strong as he was Saturday in the All-Star race, Dale Jr. could be getting Hendrick that next victory.
In years past, that type of thought might have been wishful thinking on the part of Jr. fans. This year, it’s legit and based on performance. He’s doing as well as any of his teammates, or better.

Jr. said the same car would return next Sunday.

“Yeah, I think we showed what we are capable of doing here next weekend. We are probably going to bring the same car. We have a couple of ideas on how to make the car even faster, especially for qualifying that I hope will work out. I am real pleased with our effort. These races are little sprints and you really depend on the team to put the car out on the line ready to go, ready to take off. I had a lot of fun.”

Strong Nationwide debut for Darrell Wallace Jr.

Give a guy solid equipment, and if he’s talented enough he’ll give you results

That’s what happened Sunday at Iowa when young driver Darrell Wallace Jr. got behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide car for the first time.

He came home in the top 10, and barely got mentioned throughout the broadcast.

Times like this are when I can see how the constant talk about one driver who hasn’t really accomplished anything – ahem, Danica, ahem – could get annoying to fans. Darrell Wallace – in addition to having the perfect name for NASCAR, has driven his way into the ride via his solid runs in lower feeder series. He wasn’t a media phenomenon, just a strong driver looking for a ride. Gibbs is smart to give him an opportunity to shine, and I look forward to seeing him race more in the future.

Of course, this is just one race, and Darrell Wallace Jr. might be running laps down in future races he runs for Gibbs, but I doubt it.

He’s the real deal, has a bright future in the top levels of NASCAR, and I’m glad he got a chance to show what he can do on the big stage.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Michael Andretti moving from Indycar to NASCAR? Now that would be interesting

Most NASCAR rumors are pretty well within the range of things that normally happen in the sport -- drivers swap teams, crew chiefs getting fired, etc.

But the latest rumor, which is being reported by, is a bit more interesting.
Sources tell them that Dodge is trying to get Michael Andretti to bring his race team over to NASCAR from Indycar, as they try to find decent teams to run their equipment next year now that Penske will no longer field Dodges. Andretti currently fields three full-time teams in the IndyCar Series with drivers Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.

This is interestng on a couple levels. First of all, the Andretti name is synonymous with Indycar. If he is thinking about leaving the series, that means Indycar is in deep doo-doo. And really, it is. I don't pay much attention to it anymore, and haven't for some years now, and I'm thinking most of the motorsports world is with me on that one. There is no doubt that with the right drivers, he could definitely be more successful as a team owner in the NASCAR world than he currently is in Indycar. And if he did move away from open wheel, it would be a devastating blow to the Indycar series, which is already pretty much off most people's radar -- even big-time racing fans.

Another way that this is interesting is because of the rumored drivers Andretti could tap to drive his cars if he makes the move. One is Ryan Newman, a former Dodge driver and current teammate to Tony Stewart. I don't think this will happen, but it would be a good hire if they could lure him.

And the other driver being considered, according to sources -- that's right, Kurt Busch. Mr. Personality. Wow is all I can say to that.

Like I said, this could get interesting. And I actually hope it happens. I'd love to see what Andretti could do.

FYI: Other teams that might field Dodges next year are Richard Petty Motorsports, which would be smart to make the move since they're pretty terrible this year for the most part, and Furniture Row Racing -- who also isn't seeing the front of the field too much.

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Kurt Busch's meltdowns -- all captured in one awesome video ... Check it out

Here's another trip into the mind of Kurt Busch -- which is definitely a scary place.

YoutTube user "RockyTopRacing" has taken the time to put together a pretty awesome and well-made 74 minute video (called "Kurt Busch -- Rageaholic") -- yes you read that length right -- and the hour plus combines all of his meltdowns over the years and lets you know this latest outburst was not unique for KuBu. He seriously needs to calm down.

Be happy, man, you're a millionaire. Life is good. No need to get all aggro because your car is not perfect.

Honestly, I'm not sure whether to laugh or just shake my head when I watch this. Mostly, I just feel bad for all the team members that had to deal with his nonsense over the years.

Parental discretion is advised.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WITH VIDEO -- All-Star memories: 1998-Jeff Gordon passed by Mark Martin on last lap when he runs out of gas

Let’s just get it out there.
I love the NASCAR All-Star race, or as I’ll always call it in my heart -- The Winston.
That’s what it was called when I first started watching this sport, and I saw some great neck and neck racing and exciting finishes back in that era -- and that trend has continued to this day.

There were a lot of great all-star races over the years, but my all-time favorite is a no-brainer.
It was 1998.
With just a couple laps to go, Jeff Gordon was leading the race by a mile and there was no way anyone was going to catch him. This was during his dominant period and a lot of folks wanted him to lose ... It was the Anybody but Gordon era for most fans, who were sick of him winning damn near every week. Seriously, he was pretty awesome back then; to the point of extreme annoyance.
I was in the ABG camp at the time, and was about getting ready to drown my sorrows after yet another Gordon win when something magical happened -- Gordon ran out of gas; on the last lap, in The Winston -- the biggest nightime showcase in the sport, with the possible exception of the Coke 600. Doesn’t get more dramatic than that.
Being a big Mark Martin fan at the time, I was doubly happy -- the evil Gordon was foiled for once, and a likable guy like Martin won it, making tons of new fans in the process.
This is but one memory; there are many others in the event’s long history, from the “Pass in the Grass” to the more recent clash between the Busch brothers, but I do know one thing for sure.
We’re going to see an exciting race this Saturday night in the All-Star race.
It’s a night filled with dramatic entrances, a great qualifying race that adds some fresh blood to the big race, and some hardcore racing to the checkered flag; No points to worry about, so everyone lays it on the line.
It’s one of the best traditions in NASCAR, and I enjoy it just as much as I did back then -- though with a few less beers than I had in 1998.

Several drivers making debuts in all-star race
Trevor Bayne won at Daytona in 2011, but he didn’t get to race in the all-star race due to being ill. Now he’ll get his shot, and I wish him luck. Maybe a win could propel him to a better sponsorship situation. It’s too bad to see a young talent like him out of a ride some weeks due to sponsorship woes
Other first-time drivers this all-star race are Paul Menard, who won the Brickyard 400 in 2011, and Marcos Ambrose, who won at Watkins Glen.

Roush notes
— Greg Biffle leads the Roush championship hunt with a two-point lead in the Sprint Cup standings over Matt Kenseth who is second followed by Carl Edwards in 10th.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. extended his lead the Nationwide point standings to 23 points.
— The Roush team this welcomed Fifth Third Bank as a primary sponsor on the No. 17 of Matt Kenseth. The Fifth Third Bank Ford will run four races this season starting this weekend at the All-Star race.
— Roush has won four times in the All-Star race, with the first win coming via Mark Martin in 1998. Matt Kenseth won in 2004, Martin in 2005 and Carl Edwards in 2011. Jeff Burton won the All-Star Showdown, racing his way into the All-Star Challenge in 2003 and David Ragan repeated the feat in 2011.
— All-Star weekend brought one of the most successful performances in the Roush team’s history last season, with Roush Fenway winning both the All-Star Challenge and Showdown and the NNS race at Iowa the next day.

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NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; Everything you need to know

Charlotte Motor Speedway Data
— Track Size: 1.5 miles
— Banking Turns: 24 degrees
— Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
— Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
— Frontstretch: 1,980 feet
— Backstretch: 1,500 feet

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race:
— There have been 27 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races.
— The first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was in 1985.
— 26 have been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1986, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and won by Bill Elliott. That season was also the first year for what is now known as the Sprint Showdown.
— 86 drivers have run in at least one all-star race.
— There have been 19 different winners of the all-star race.
— Mark Martin has participated in 22 races, more than any other driver.
— The race has featured a field that ranged from 10 drivers in 1986 to 27 in 2002.
— Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) are the only three-time winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
— There have been eight different winners in the last eight NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races.
— Davey Allison (1991 and 1992), Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999), Mark Martin (1998 and 2005) and Jimmie Johnson (2003 and 2006) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the all-star races. Allison is the only driver to ever win consecutive all-star events.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win the all-star race in their rookie season.
— Jeff Gordon is the youngest winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at 23 years, 9 months and 18 days (1995). Mark Martin is the oldest at 46 years, 4 months and 12 days (2005).
— In two starts Joey Logano leads the series with an average finish of 5.5 in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; followed by Matt Kenseth with a 6.5 average finish in 11 appearances and Tony Stewart with a 7.1 average finish in 13 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race appearances.
— The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has been won from the pole position four times; the first three came in consecutive years: Dale Earnhardt (1990) and Davey Allison (1991 and 1992). Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole in 2010.
— The deepest in the field an all-star race winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002.
— Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won six all-star races: Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson (two) and Terry Labonte (one).
— Five drivers have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001) and Jimmie Johnson (2006).
— The record for lead changes in a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race is 10 in 2004. The most different leaders is nine in 2002.

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Wins List
Year Driver
1985 Darrell Waltrip
1986 Bill Elliott
1987 Dale Earnhardt
1988 Terry Labonte
1989 Rusty Wallace
1990 Dale Earnhardt
1991 Davey Allison
1992 Davey Allison
1993 Dale Earnhardt
1994 Geoff Bodine
1995 Jeff Gordon
1996 Michael Waltrip
1997 Jeff Gordon
1998 Mark Martin
1999 Terry Labonte
2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2001 Jeff Gordon
2002 Ryan Newman
2003 Jimmie Johnson
2004 Matt Kenseth
2005 Mark Martin
2006 Jimmie Johnson
2007 Kevin Harvick
2008 Kasey Kahne
2009 Tony Stewart
2010 Kurt Busch
2011 Carl Edwards

2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Entry List
Marcos Ambrose
Trevor Bayne
Greg Biffle
Clint Bowyer
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
Carl Edwards
Jeff Gordon
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth
Brad Keselowski
Mark Martin
Paul Menard
Ryan Newman
David Ragan
Regan Smith
Tony Stewart
Fan Vote Winner
Winner Sprint Showdown
Second Place Sprint Showdown

Top 12 Driver Rating at Charlotte
List consists of drivers with more than one NASCAR Sprint All-Star race start
Jimmie Johnson........................ 108.9
Kyle Busch............................... 106.8
Matt Kenseth.............................. 94.0
Carl Edwards.............................. 89.6
Mark Martin................................. 86.1
Kurt Busch.................................. 85.2
Jeff Gordon................................ 85.1
Tony Stewart............................... 83.9
Greg Biffle.................................. 82.7
Ryan Newman............................. 81.9
Joey Logano.............................. 80.5

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here's audio proof from Darlington that Kurt Busch has a screw loose

OK all you Kurt Busch lovers.
Defend this, I dare you.

The man is nuts. Certifiable. Combined with his previous rants, I have no concept of how anyone would want to hire this guy. He's seriously unstable.

That is all.
Enjoy the lunacy in this video.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jack Roush is smart to want longtime team leader Matt Kenseth to remain on Roush squad

Jack Roush is a smart man.

So the news that he is working to extend Matt Kenseth’s contract is not surprising.

Roush said Monday that Kenseth can stay with the team as long as he wants, a wise move.
"Matt Kenseth is a cornerstone of Roush Fenway and he'll be part of it as long as I am, as long as he wants to be,'' Roush said. "He certainly has a place here as long as I'm able to stay at the head of it.''

I’ve watched Kenseth race since his early days in the Busch Series, and loved his exciting battles for races and titles with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in that series. Though he came out on the losing end of those titles -- with Jr. claiming both titles -- it was clear back in the late 1990s that he had a bright future. (And in the Cup realm, Kenseth has outshined Dale Jr. without a doubt)

Kenseth has changed the sport, literally. After he won the title by a large margin in 2003 despite not winning a bunch of races, they tried to spice things up -- that change was called the Chase, and without Kenseth’s 2003 run it may not have happened.

To this day, after nearly 15 years with the Roush organization, he remains a team leader. Carl Edwards may get more headlines, but Kenseth is the one who will sneak his way up front and battle for wins almost as often as the more precocious Edwards. He is often down on himself, but the results are usually there. He is as solid a driver in terms of consistently running well as you’ll find on the grid each week.

So it’s no surprise that Jack Roush wants to keep Kenseth around as long as he wants to be with the team.
Jack likes to win, and Matt knows how to do it. It’s a no brainer. Another title is possible this year, and more in the future. There’s no reason to give up that kind of potential, and I think both sides know that’s the case.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Latest tirade shows Kurt Busch still unstable, deserves to lose his ride again

So much for Kurt Busch turning over a new leaf.
After his tirades on and off track led to his dismissal from Penske Racing last year, Kurt Busch promised to be nice this year. I don’t think that’s working out so well, as he has a little run-in with Ryan Newman after the race Saturday.

The incident came about when Busch did a burnout through Newman's pit box. This was on the heels of Busch wrecking and taking out Newman in the process. The little temper tantrum Busch threw (a common trend with him) angered Newman’s crew, and a confrontation ensued.
Busch was screaming obscenities on the radio for the last few laps (again, something he was supposed to have put in the past).

Newman was pretty harsh on Busch, rightfully so.
" It's easy to see and it's easy to say that Kurt blew a fuse again. I'm not sure why he did it and tried to run over our guys and NASCAR officials. And nobody is. I think the chemical imbalance speaks for itself. Kurt drilled me in pit lane and said that he was taking his helmet off and he didn't see where he was going, which I'm pretty sure there were 42 other guys that are taking their helmets off and doing whatever for the last 10 years and that's the first time that's happened to me. Circumstances I think are that he lied and was so frustrated that he doesn't know how to deal with his anger.
Asked whether he worried about what Kurt would do as a driver, Newman said: "Everybody has for the last 10 years. He's proven that. When you can't keep a job, it's pretty obvious."

My advice to James Finch, owner of the 51 team. Ditch Kurt Busch.

The man is unstable.

Sure he’s a decent driver, but dealing with a lunatic is never fun, even if the team has had some decent runs with Kurt.

If this nonsense keeps up, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kurt is out of a ride before the year is over. And I’m not sure who would be crazy enough to pick him up if that happens.

Lady in black not impressing Busch

The lady in black has long been hard on cars, and some drivers are expressing their frustration with the track and its lack of grip. One of those drivers is Kyle Busch.

Speaking about restarts at Darlington, Kyle Busch said:

"They're terrible now. The track doesn't have any grip -- we have big rear springs and we have no tire grip. All you do is spin the tires and I tried to give (Tony) Stewart a little bit of room because he was low on fuel pressure so I wouldn't run over him in case his car shut out. I gave him too much room and kind of hurt myself a little bit. Probably gave the 11 (Denny Hamlin) a spot. Glad I didn't give another one away to the 56 (Martin Truex Jr.), but we were able to come home fourth. I thought if the race would have went green without the last caution there that we probably would have ended up second."

Busch also weighed in on Hendrick Motorsports’ 200 Cup win milestone, to which he had a small contribution before moving on to Joe Gibbs Racing.

"It's definitely special. Congratulations to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports -- Rick (Hendrick) especially and Linda(Hendrick) and everybody who has worked so hard and been there so long through the thick and thin. Especially through some of the tragedies that have been over there. This one is a special one for them and I'm sure they'll celebrate. I was a part of a few, but at least I was a part of a few," Busch said.

Logano on the upswing in 2012

Joey Logano came into Cup with the nickname “sliced bread”, but he hasn’t exactly lived to it in his first few years.

So far in 2012, though, he’s doing pretty well, and rattling off solid-enough finishes to leave him in 15th in points and in contention to make the Chase. His cars are fast and he’s finishing stronger than he has in the past, so the potential is there for him to finally live up to the hype that has surrounded him since he was a teenager.

At Darlington, he said he is happy with his season, but isn’t done improving.

"We're still working. We've still got work to do. We took off good in the beginning of the year and we've lost a lot of speed

lately and then I'm glad I got some speed back in our race car here. It's exciting to have a fast car again -- that helped a lot."

McClure recovering from wreck
If you saw Eric McClure’s scary crash last week at Talladega, you no doubt wondered if he would race again after such a devastating hit.

The good news: He’s recovering and is on his way back. He spoke about his injuries and his plans to return to the sport this weekend.

"There was a lot of speculation about what the injuries were. The

largest thing we battled was the internal bruising, which is still quite painful, and the concussion. As far as getting back in

the race car, we're following the process that NASCAR has in place -- it's a very thorough process and a very good process. We're consulting with the doctors on that. Once they feel that I'm cleared to get back in the race car and that I'm ready to get back in the car, then I look forward to doing that. We're definitely preparing the best we can to do that as soon as possible."

McClure revealed that he has four daughters, all age 5 or younger, and that was perhaps the hardest part of the whole thing – how they reacted.

"I have four daughters and the oldest one is five. I was able to see them Saturday night and I'd be lying if I said it didn't affect our oldest daughter just a little bit. Fortunately, they didn't see the accident. They were at the track, but they did not see it live. I think there was a lot of unknowns in the interim right after that. Fortunately, my wife is a nurse so she's had experience with things like this, obviously not with us. I hate for them to go through anything like that, but I will keep most of it private, but there were times with the family when things died down at the hospital that made me understand how loved I was by them and made me very thankful that I had a family like that. This week, it's been good. Our three-year-old, she's tried to doctor me several times -- brought the little stethoscopes in and told me she was going to make my heart better and

try to rub the bruises away and things like that. It was really sweet and I think they are doing okay with it. I've really enjoyed our time together this week."

He said he never questioned whether to return to the sport, despite what he experienced.

" I love to race. Sometimes I question how good I am at it sometimes. Never had a doubt that I wanted to do it again. Obviously, when you're in a situation like that and things are happening fast and you've just been through something like that, you're a human being and thousands of things run through your head. As far as questioning my desire to do this, I

don't. I look forward to going through the process that NASCAR has laid out, getting the right clearance when it's time to come back and at this point, when they do that, I look forward to doing it and racing again and trying to get better."

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