Full weekend recap including the first Chase race and news!
Chicagoland is the leading candidate for the WTF race of Chase 2013.
The Geico 400 saw Joey Logano on the pole. Joey would lead up until the first caution which was a competition caution at lap 30. See here’s the thing with this race, it was delayed at first due to a cold front bringing rain here in the Mid-West. The week prior here in Southwest Michigan to the Chicago area it’d been in the 90s.
Then this cold front hit and dropped all the temps to the 60s. Well, that cold front brought with it a bunch of rain. And on lap 109 the clouds again opened up at Chicagoland Speedway and then stayed open. So what does a NASCAR writer/driver/team do during rain delay? Watch football of course!
That is until football goes on rain delays like Tampa and New Orleans, and San Francisco and Seattle. Those only lasted for an hour though, so nothing compared to the five hours, ten minutes, and twenty-one second Red Flag. Once the race restarted, engines broke left and right! Joey Logano, Cole Witt, Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all had major issues with engines. This was attributed to the engines being so cold, than running such a high RPM.
Once the race got going, Matt Kenseth stepped up as the dominate driver with JGR teammate Kyle Busch. Matt led 89 laps on his way to his sixth race win of the season. This season at six is the most wins Matt has collected a career high six wins in one season. Doing it with a brand new team and a crew chief that many thought wasn’t as good as expected is impressive. A odd little fact is the last two years, the driver that won the Championship won the first race of the season. Was I wrong and this is the year of the 20?
The Top 5 were 1st Matt Kenseth, 2nd Kyle Busch, 3rd Kevin Harvick, 4th Kurt Busch, and 5th Jimmie Johnson.
After the first of ten Chase Races here’s where things stand.
1st Matt Kenseth leads the field by 2063 points.
2nd Kyle Busch (-8 points)
3rd Jimmie Johnson (-11 points)
4th Kevin Harvick (-15 points)
5th Carl Edwards (-23 points)
6th Kurt Busch (-23 points)
7th Jeff Gordon (-24 points)
8th Ryan Newman (-28 points)
9th Clint Bowyer (-28 points)
10th Kasey Kahne (-31 points)
11th Greg Biffle (-31 points)
12th Joey Logano (-52 points)
13th Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-53 Points)
The second race for the Chase is The Sylvania 300 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway at 2:00 PM and will air on ESPN, Sunday September 22nd. The defending race winner is Denny Hamlin.
Kyle Busch is the Nationwide version of Sebastian Vettel.
Kyle Busch dominated the Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola from Chicagoland Speedway. How dominate? He won the pole, and led race high 195 laps of 200. The first of six cautions came from Joe Nemechek stalling in turn 3.
I know this isn’t much of a recap, but there isn’t much to recap. Kyle Busch led. A lot. And won. Beyond Kyle’s dominance there’s not anything to really discuss about this race.
The Top 5 were 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Joey Logano, 3rd Sam Hornish Jr., 4th Austin Dillon, and 5th Dale Earnhardt Jr. making a rare Nationwide appearance. Sam Hornish Jr. now holds a 17 point lead over Austin Dillon.
On Saturday September 21st the Nationwide series will bring us the Kentucky 300 from Kentucky Speedway. The race will air at 7:30 PM on ESPNEWS. The defending race winner is Austin Dillon.
Busch holds off Keselowski in Chicago
The EnjoyIllionois.com 225 pole was won by Jeb Burton. The weirdness started though when Abraham Lincoln gave the command to fire engines. Yes, you read that right. No, that is not a typo. Abraham Lincoln gave the command to fire the engines. The first caution was Bryan Silas spinning on the back stretch on his own.
Jeb Burton would lead 42 laps until Brad Keselowski would take the lead from there. Issues would regulate Jeb to a 9th place finish. Brad however, would go on to split dominating the race with Kyle Busch with Brad leading 50 laps to Kyle’s 52. However, Kyle’s last lap would be the one that counted as he would get the win for his team. This was easily one of the top five truck races of the year. The Top 5 were 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Brad Keselowski, 3rd Ryan Blaney, 4th Matt Crafton, and 5th Ty Dillon. Matt Crafton would add points back to his lead as he extended it to 41 over James Buescher. The Camping World Truck Series is off next weekend.
IZOD-IndyCar again is off until October 5th.
Formula One had the weekend off. They will return next week from Marina Bay, Singapore for the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. The defending race winner is…you guessed it Sebastian Vettel. The race will air at 8:00 AM on NBC Sports on Sunday September 22nd.
First Qualifier pays dividends for Lucas, not so much for others.
Carlyle Tools Carolina National Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first race in The Countdown in the NHRA to determine their champions. First place qualifiers from their respective series are as follows, Top Fuel: Morgan Lucas, Funny Car: Cruz Pedregon, Pro Stock: Jason Line, and Pro Stock Motorcycle: Matt Smith.
Morgan Lucas would use the momentum of that first qualifier to lead him over Terry McMillen in Round One, Brandon Bernstein in Round Two, and Doug Kalitta in Round 3. The final round saw Lucas square off with Spencer Massey who qualified in seventh with Lucas coming out on top for the weekend by beating Massey by around fourteen feet.
Cruz Pedregon would use momentum as well to go over Bob Gilberston in Round 1, but would fall to Robert Hight in Round 2. Hight with momentum from his win in Indianapolis would defeat teammate Courtney Force in Round 3 to meet Matt Hagan in the final round. Hight would win the final round and move up to third in Funny Car standings.
Jason Line would continue first qualifiers winning their first round as he beat Warren Johnson. He then would defeat V. Gaines in Round 2 and Eric Enders-Stevens in Round 3. Line would meet Jeg Coughlin in the finals, and would lose on a hole shot to Coughlin.
Matt Smith would complete first qualifiers, winning first rounds by beating Jim Underdahl. However, Smith would fall to Andrew Hines in his second round. Hines would defeat LE Tonglet in Round 3, and Hector Arana in the final round.
Spencer Massey would take the lead in Top Fuel by 24 points over Shawn Langdon. In Fuel Car Matt Hagan pulled away by 82 points over Ron Capps. Pro Stock saw Mike Edwards leave with a 10 point lead over Jeg Coughlin. And finally Hector Arana Jr., leads Matt Smith by 33 points. The next race is the AAA Texas NHRA Tall Face Race Nationals will be on Sunday, September 22nd at 8:30 PM and will air on ESPN2 The defending race winners are as follows: Top Fuel is Antron Brown, Funny Car with Bob Tasca III, Pro Stock with Allen Johnson and Pro Stock Motorcycle with Michael Ray.
In random news:
NASCAR told the teams on Saturday in a private meeting to give 100%. That the goal was to finish as high as possible and not manipulate the outcome of races, as to give the fans the best show possible. Does anyone else find this as stupid as I do?
NASCAR on Sunday then changed the restart rules. Basically everything is the same, except now the second place car can beat the first place car to the line. As long as they don’t jump the gun and let the leader start the race then all is good.
Juan Pablo Montoya is leaving NASCAR and is joining the 2 team in IndyCar with Penske Racing. Scott Dixon was quoted as saying: “So this is how they’ll screw me next year?” Okay, maybe he didn’t say that….but you know he thought it…..
The rain delay may or may not have been sped up if we could have seen an appearance of the reclusive Air Titan. So why did we not? The tracks have to pay for Air Titan’s appearance, and many tracks did not feel the desire to do such. The price at Chicagoland was around $50,000.
Forbes did a list of sports richest owners. James France, the unknown France, brother to Bill France Jr and Uncle to Brian France, whom is vice chairmen and executive vice president of NASCAR is worth $2 million. Oh wait, I read that wrong it’s $2 billion……….Wait, wait, wait, wait, you mean to tell me a France has been valued at $2 billion and they couldn’t get that damn Air Titan to Joliet, Illinois?!....I’m one more news item away from switching to Water Polo.
Random Sports/Non Sports Thought:
Some weeks, I really hate Mondays.
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Make sure to come back on Wednesday for my unsolicited opinion on what? I’m not sure yet. But you come back now, ya hear?