Clint’s big night ruined by ‘Happy’ domination and Gordon’s win

The first night race at Kansas was almost in a way being set for Clint Bowyer to win. His sponsor, 5-Hour Energy was the race sponsor calling it the 5-Hour Energy 400 Benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation. His mother was waving the green flag to start the race and FOX made a point of doing a piece on him explaining his upbringing and rise to Sprint Cup from his dirt racing days in Kansas.

Bowyer delivered with a spin…just he did it on lap 48 by getting loose going down the backstretch. While the race may have been tailored for Clint, it was an old teammate that led the way.  Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Hass Racing as whole came to play at Kansas Speedway.

Harvick would break the track record in qualifying and all four SHR cars would start in the top 10. Harvick would lead 119 of the 267 lap event and dominate the race. Then around the midway point, things went sideways. Teams got on very different fuel strategies from the leaders, Harvick and the man who was second to him for much of the race, Gordon got caught in the back. To add to this craziness at one point the lights went out on the back stretch.

However, through it all Gordon and Harvick would work their way back to the front of the pack and lead 9 laps. With a rapidly closing Harvick and lapped traffic in front of him, Gordon managed to holds on to get his first win of the season and 89th of his career. This leaves many to wonder if this win was the breakthrough needed to gain multiple wins for Gordon.

I’d also like to point out the irony where a race that seemed to be fated to won by Clint Bowyer was won by Jeff Gordon. Just let that sink in. Another thing worth pointing out is drivers who needed a good run and finally got it. Kasey Kahne has had his typical early season struggles and finally broke through in a top five. Also Danica Patrick raced in the top 10 the entire night and finished a career high 7th.

The Top 5 were: 1st Jeff Gordon, 2nd Kevin Harvick, 3rd Kasey Kahne, 4th Joey Logano, and 5th Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Drivers who have won and are all but guaranteed a spot in the 2014 Chase: Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano both have two wins. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselwoski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon all have one win a piece. We are up to 9 different race winners in 11 races this season.

We’re heading into points off weekend but the Cup cars are on the track for the All Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway!

On Friday night drivers without a win last season or this season will get a chance to race their way into the All Star Race by use of the Sprint Showdown! The Sprint Showdown will air on Friday, May 16th at 7:00 PM on Fox Sports 1. The top two finishing drivers along with the winner of the Sprint Fan vote will move Sprint All-Star Race. Last year two drivers who moved on were Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fan vote winner was Danica Patrick.

The top two finishers, any driver with a win this season or last AND the fan vote winner will all be in the race for the Sprint All-Star Race from Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will air at 9:00 PM on Saturday, May 17th at 9:00 PM on Fox Sports 1. The defending race winner is Jimmie Johnson.

Nationwide

The Nationwide series returns this weekend from Iowa Speedway for the Get to know Newton 250 presented by Sherman Williams. The race will air Sunday, May 18th at 2:00 PM on ESPN. The defending race winner is Trevor Bayne.

Vettel returns to..errr…Kyle returns to form and wins Truck race

Kyle Busch showed up to Kansas Speedway and dominated the SFP 250. Winning the pole and leading a race high 104 laps is the norm for Kyle. What’s the norm for the Camping World Truck Series are points leaders getting things totally screwed up for them. Timothy Peters came in as point leader and was caught up in a first lap wreck with Spencer Gallagher, German Quiroga Jr., and Ron Hornaday.

The Top 5 were: 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Matt Crafton, 3rd Joey Logano, 4th Austin Dillon, and 5th Tayler Malsam.

Matt Crafton now leads Timothy Peters by 8 points.

The next race is the North Carolina Educational Lottery 200 from Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will air on Friday, May 16th right after the Sprint Showdown and is tentatively scheduled to start at 8:30 on Fox Sports 1.

Pagenaud wins first Grand prix of Indianapolis

The Grand Prix of Indianapolis was the first event of its kind at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They used a revamped road course from the F-1 days and included going in the opposite direction down the front stretch. The event’s pole would be won by Sebastian Saavedra and a standing start would be use.

This all sounded good in theory until the green flag waved and Saavedra didn’t go. The car stalled as he tried to take off and cars whizzed around him. Unfortunately, contact would come and all hell would break loose because of it. Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin would be involved and have their cars retired due to this. Thankfully everyone walked away from this safe and the race continued on.

The race would be known from the start to be a fuel mileage run. It was going to be if there’d be enough cautions and various other things to make this a two stop race. Rookie Jack Hawksworth would lead race high 31 laps and quickly became the sentimental favorite to win.

However, that wouldn’t be the case as Simon Pagenaud would be able to stretch it the best as he would take the checkered flag, his first of the season.

The Top 5 were: 1st Simon Pagenaud, 2nd Ryan Hunter-Reay, 3rd Helio Castroneves, 4th Sebastian Bourdais, and 5th Charlie Kimball.

Will Power now leads Ryan Hunter-Reay by 1 point and Simon Pagenaud by 5 points.  

The Verizon IndyCar season will not race next weekend. However, qualifying for the Indy 500 will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Random Sports/Non Sports thought:

My work is finally getting to the point where things are slowing down as always this time of year. Looks like I’ll be getting things back to normal and should be getting back to two columns a week here in the next few weeks.

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!

Tyler Pierce