#lameduckdynasty wins from the pole in Chase Race 4

Kevin Harvick and his wife Delana have been using the hash tag lame duck dynasty to mock that the 29 team are lame ducks this season. On Friday Harvick made a huge statement in Kansas at the Hollywood Casino 400, when he won his first pole since New Hampshire 2006.

The man known as “Happy” would even go on to back up that pole by leading a race high 138 laps. However, it wasn’t exactly an easy day at the office. Harvick had to battle back from being a lap down because of a caution coming out during green flag stops. Proof, that they may not be a lame duck team after all by coming back to win.

Speaking of cautions, yellow was the color of the afternoon. As a matter of fact the first lap wasn’t even completed under green as a multicar accident involving Danica Patrick and others came about turn 1. A grand total of 15, breaking the track record, caution flags flew. Many of these were single car spins that just got loose. That happened all weekend as cars were spinning from a new tire Goodyear brought. This new tire needs some work.

The Championship picture has tightened up considerably from where we were in week 2. Matt Kenseth’s lead has shrunk due to his version of a bad day at Kansas by finishing 11th. Jimmie Johnson had a good day which allowed him to tighten up things by finishing 6th. Kyle Busch, the other man in this three car break away still hates Kansas, and based on his wrecked race cars it hates him to.

The Top 5 were 1st Kevin Harvick, 2nd Kurt Busch, 3rd Jeff Gordon, 4th Joey Logano, and 5th Carl Edwards.

Chase for the Sprint Cup points:

1st Matt Kenseth maintains his point lead with 2183 points.

2nd Jimmie Johnson (-3)

3rd Kevin Harvick (-25)

4th Jeff Gordon (-32)

5th Kyle Busch (-35)

6th Greg Biffle (-44)

7th Kurt Busch (-47)

8th Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-54)

9th Clint Bowyer (-55)

10th Joey Logano (-59)

11th Carl Edwards (-60)

12th Ryan Newman (-73)

13th Kasey Kahne (-83)

Chase Race 5 will come to us from Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Bank of America 500. The race will air live at 7:30 PM on Saturday October 12th on ABC. The defending race winner is Clint Bowyer.

Kenseth wins and “Wild Thing” makes more than a little contact with Bad Brad

Austin Dillon started the Kansas 300 Lottery from the pole as he’s been doing for much of the year. It would only take 4 laps to bring out the first caution though. Hal Martin driving the 44 would get loose and smack the wall off turn 2.

Justin Allgaier would take the lead from Austin coming to the line at lap 7. Dillon and Allgaier would lead for 36 and 14 laps respectively until Regan Smith stepped up to dominate 81 laps. Matt Kenseth would take control and lead the final 36 total laps and pull off the victory at Kansas.

The first of two story of the race was Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch’s contact and Sam Hornish Jr. losing his points lead. With fourteen laps to go Brad’s Ford was seen spinning across the front end of Kyle’s Camry on the front stretch. The car finally came to a stop with the rear of the car being destroyed by the wall.

After watching two different angles, I am settled with the opinion of I’m not sure. Watching the outside view with both cars it looks like they came together and it was a racing deal. When you watch the in car camera, Kyle’s hands turn the steering wheel so the car goes right and into Brad. If you were to put a gun to my head and make me pick I’d say it was a racing deal. However, I do remember that it’s not above Kyle Busch to turn someone. No matter what he may say. 

Sam Hornish Jr. would finish on the lead lap at 17th. However, due to his position and the strength of Austin Dillon’s last two races, including a 6th place finish in this race, has left Sam to watch his lead shrink, and now fall. Regan Smith’s strong showing also has brought him back into the points picture as a potential long shot. The Nationwide series may only have four races to go. But the picture is cloudier than ever.

The Top 5 were 1st Matt Kenseth, 2nd Paul Menard, 3rd Regan Smith, 4th Kyle Busch and 5th Justin Allgaier. Austin Dillon leads by 8 points over Sam Hornish Jr., and 35 over Regan Smith.

The next race for the Nationwide series will come to us from Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Dollar General 300. The race will air at 7:30 PM on ESPN2 on Friday October 11th. The previous race winner is Joey Logano.

The Camping World Truck Series had the weekend off.

A tale of two races

Race 1: Dixon cuts into Castroneves’ points lead with victory

Takuma Sato driving for the legendary AJ Foyt would win the pole in Mr. Foyt’s Honda for Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston in Reliant Park. Sato would lead the first six laps. The race’s first full course caution would come on the race’s standing start. James Hinchcliffe’s car would stall and Ed Carpenter would hit him, destroying both cars.

Will Power and Scott Dixon would begin swopping the race back and forth as Dixon led 44 laps and Power led 40. Dixon would have the winning strategy though as he would lead the final thirteen laps to take the checkered flag.

Helio Castroneves would have shifter problems and lose nine laps to fix the problem. This shifter issue would prove to be huge as Dixon led the most laps, and won the race to cut into the points lead in a major fashion. It seems for at least one race the luck shifted (pun intended) to favor Dixon instead of Castroneves.   

The Top 5 were 1st Scott Dixon, 2nd Simona De Silvesto, 3rd Justin Wilson, 4th Simon Pagenaud, and 5th Josef Newgarden.  Scott Dixon would cut Helio’s points lead down to just 8 entering race two.  

Race 2: Castroneves breaks, Power wins, Dixon leads, and Franchitti gets hurt.

Qualifying for the second race in Houston was rained out was rained out which allowed the line up to be set by entry. This put Helio Castroneves on the pole, and Scott Dixon right beside him. After losing all but eight points in Race 1, it appeared this would be the day for Helio to rebound.

Starting first and leading 10 laps things looked good early. That was until he began billowing smoke from the rear of his car. A broken gear box would regulate Castroneves to a 23rd place finish 37 laps down. Dixon would step up to lead 29 laps and take the points lead, before giving way to a much faster Will Power. Power would lead a race high 51 laps on his way to a victory.

As big a story as the points lead changing hands, and Will Power winning is the bigger and more concerning story is the crash that ended the race. Dario Franchitti, Takuma Sato, and E.J. Viso all made contact which destroyed the cars and sent Franchitti into the fence. Flying debris went into the stands injuring around thirteen fans.

 It also sent Dario to the hospital with multiple injuries. Thankfully over the 13 reported fans, only 2 were talking to the hospital with injuries. They were listed as in non-serious condition. Today it was reported that Dario had surgery on his ankle to stabilize it.

The wreck looked all to eerie similar to the accident that took Dan Wheldon from us.

The Top 5 were 1st Will Power, 2nd Scott Dixon, 3rd James Hinchcliffe, 4th Justin Wilson, and 5th Sebastien Bourdias.

Final Points after the two races: After these two races Scott Dixon has taken the lead and is 25 points ahead of Helio Castroneves heading into the final race.

The IZOD-IndyCar series will be off next weekend. They will return on Saturday the 19th for the final race of the season to decide the championship from Auto Club Speedway. It will air at 8:00 on NBC Sports.

Vettel dominates Korea

Sebastian Vettel won the pole for the Korean Grand Prix from Yenogram on the Korean International Circuit. Now, being the race came to us at 2:00 AM I got to watch the race live. I don’t do this often. Usually the race airs around 8:00 AM and I’m a night owl. So I’m normally until ten or eleven on Sundays. So to see it live made the race much more interesting.

The thing that hasn’t changed though? Vettel led every single freaking lap.  The only exciting thing of the race was the announcers being so outraged at the lack of caution right away when Mark Webber’s car was hit and then the car burst into flame.

Thankfully, and most importantly Mark Webber was fine. He was not harmed from the impact or the fire. However, the commentary was quite entertaining. Vettel as previously said would lead every lap on his way to victory.

The Top 5 finishers were 1st Sebastian Vettel, 2nd Kimi Räikkönen 3rd Romain Grosjean, 4th Nico Hülkenberg, and 5th Lewis Hamilton. Vettel leads by 77 points over Fernando Alonso, and could clinch the title in Japa .

 Speaking of Japan, Formula One will come to us from Mie Prefecture, Japan at the Suzuka Circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix. The race will air on Saturday October 13th at 2:00 AM on NBC Sports. The defending race winner is…okay screw it you know its Vettel.

The points picture becomes more clear with two races to go in NHRA

The NHRA Mellow Yellow Drag Racing Series rolled into Maple Grove Raceway for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals. The first qualifiers were as follows Top Fuel: Morgan Lucas, Funny Car: John Force, Pro Stock: Jason Line, and Pro Stock Motorcycle: Michael Ray.

Top Fuel: Morgan Lucas’s good fortunes stopped after he won the first qualifier spot. In Round 1 he went up in smoke after starting and lost to rookie Sidnei Frigo. Frigo would fall in Round 2 to Spencer Massey. He’d get just a touch ahead before Massey would take the lead and pull away. Massey would fall next in Round 3 to last week’s winner Antron Brown. Brown met Shawn Langdon in the Final Round, and would even lead. However, Langdon would run down Brown to win the event.

Shawn Langdon now leads Doug Kalitta by 83 points.

Funny Car: The legend of John Force only grew larger as he won first qualifier. He would then defeat Jeff Arend in Round 1, Cruz Pedregon in Round 2, and Ron Capps in Round 3. He would meet Chad Head in the Final Round of the event. Head would spin the tires on his launch giving John Force his 137th career win.

John Force now has taken the lead of points from Matt Hagen and leads by 65 points.

Pro Stock: Jason Line would win the first qualifier and Round 1 of the events at Maple Grove by defeating Kenny Delco. He would continue on in Round 2 by defeating Vincent Noble, to fall to Jeg Coughlin Jr. in Round 3. Coughlin would defeat Allen Johnson on a hole shot in the Final Round.

With that win Jeg Coughlin Jr. leads Pro Stock  by 45 points over Mike Edwards.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Michael Ray would have an easy first Round 1 over no one. Due to the size of the field, Ray got a bye. He wouldn’t have one in Round 2 and wouldn’t need it as he defeated Andrew Hines. Round 3 would see him fall however, losing to Matt Smith. Matt Smith would then go on to defeat Eddie Krawiec to win the Pro Stock Motorcycle event.

Matt Smith leads Hector Arana Jr. by an amazing 125 points.

The NHRA has the next two weekends off before their final two events.

In random news:

Tony Kanaan and Chip Ganassi are officially in business in 2014 as Tony will drive for Ganassi Racing in IndyCar. The other major announcement out of this is that Ganassi is leaving Honda for Chevrolet.

James Hylton, 1966 Cup rookie called it a career after his final race at Kansas in ARCA at 79. Good gravy I hope I can still drive at 79. Hell, with the way I drive I hope I can still do it at 29.

TNT and ESPN will finish out their contracts and air the 2014 NASCAR season on their respective networks. The NASCAR fan base let out a collective “Damn” at this news.

Martin Truex Jr. still has no idea what he’s doing in 2014. And neither does his current crew chief as Chad Johnson has requested his release from Michael Waltrip Racing. He’s made it very clear he’d like to keep the current crew together. However, if MWR goes down to 2 teams, and with two children and one on the way Johnson wants time to make plans.

Richmond International Raceway is going to eliminate about 10,000 seats in hopes to make things easier along with some changes to other things.

Tony Stewart underwent a third surgery on his leg on Monday. This procedure was merely examining and closing a wound on his leg. The surgery was said to be proactive and “Smoke” is still hoping to make his return at Speed Weeks 2014.  

The 2014 Sprint Cup schedule is rumored to be released this week with some changes. These changes are said to set up 2015, which may have major changes.

Random Sports/Non Sports Thought:

I bought a cross bow. It has nothing to do whatsoever with anything on here. I just wanted you to know due to how giddy I am.

Have a question, suggestion or witty comment? Feel free to leave one below! Don’t want to do that? Then the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to interact with me is on Twitter, @tpierc07. I also am on Facebook, but that one you have to work for. Don’t do social media? Then feel free to e-mail me at tpierc07@yahoo.com!

Make sure to come back on Wednesday for my unsolicited opinion on the current racing news.

Tyler Pierce