Kurt Busch holds off Martinsville master Johnson

Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin would start on the front row at 1 and 2 respectively. Denny Hamlin, frustrated after last week’s events and rumors (more on that later) would call his shot to win the STP 500 from Martinsville Speedway. Kyle would finish 14th and Hamlin 19th.

The race would be dominated by Martinsville Master Jimmie Johnson who led a whopping 296 laps. While under caution and on pit road, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselwoski would make major contact that would destroy the 2 car of Brad. Brad’s anger didn’t allow him to see it as a pit road accident as he felt Busch was being careless and trying to speed around the accident.

After getting his car repaired enough and with no front end, Brad would go on a mission to make Kurt Busch’s day miserable. He would not succeed though as the older Busch brother would dial his car in just right and lead a total of 23 laps and capitalizing on a rare Johnson error due to worn tires. Busch, who was known to have a large distaste for Martinsville would claim the grandfather clock in his first win for Stewart-Haas Racing and breaking his 83 race winless streak. He would also become the sixth different race winner in 2014.

The Top 5 were: 1st Kurt Busch, 2nd Jimmie Johnson, 3rd Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4th Joey Logano, and 5th Marcos Ambrose.  

The next race is the Duck Commander 500 from Texas Motor Speedway at 3:00 PM, Sunday April 6, on FOX. The defending race winner is Kyle Busch.

Winners who are all but guaranteed a spot in Chase so far in 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch.

Nationwide

The Nationwide Series had the weekend last week. They will be back on the track this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300. The race will air on Friday, April 4th at 8:30 PM on ESPN2. The defending race winner is Kyle Busch.

Crafton holds on in wild Martinsville race

Darrell Wallace Jr. would return to the track where he made history last season. He would look to pick up where he left off as he would win the pole in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Darrell would lead a total of 34 laps and would be battling at the end of the race for the win.

The race would be dominated by Johnny Sauter, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Timothy Peters for the majority of the event leading a combined 172 laps between the three. Towards the end of race, Matt Crafton would step up to lead 47 laps all together including the final six. He would battle Timothy Peters and Darrell Wallace Jr. separately to hold on and win his first grandfather clock.

After the race Timothy Peters who got sent to the back from a bump from Wallace Jr. was battling with teammate German Quiroga. Peters was unhappy with being run up the track and slammed his truck into the rear of Quiroga, destroying both trucks. That should be a fun team meeting!

The Top 5 were: 1st Matt Crafton, 2nd Darrell Wallace Jr., 3rd Ben Kennedy, 4th Johnny Sauter and 5th Ryan Blaney.

The next race for the Camping World Truck series is not until May.

Will Power’s way to win (See what I did there)

Takuma Sato won the pole for the very first event of the season for the newly renamed Verizon IndyCar series. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg also saw the pole sitter lead the first 26 laps before finishing 7th.

The race was dominated by Penske Racing’s Will Power however, as Will would lead a total of 74 laps of the 110 lap event.  Now look, it wouldn’t be IndyCar without a little controversy! And there was thanks to race winner, Will Power’s restart at the end of the race.

With 28 laps to go, Power slowed and bunched the field and the cars up to speed behind him had to come to a screeching halt. Many of them couldn’t an accident left Marco Andretti and Jack Hawksworth with wrecked race cars and Andretti limping way holding his wrist. This was Will’s fourth win in six races if you go back to last year.

The Top 5 were: 1st Will Power, 2nd Ryan Hunter-Reay, 3rd Helio Castroneves, 4th Scott Dixon, and 5th Simon Pagenaud.

Verizon IndyCar is off next weekend.

In Random News:

Condolences to Johnson/Janway family, Petty Family, and Waltrip Family

Jordon Jor-El Janway, brother-in-law of Jimmie Johnson tragically passed away at the age of 27 in a ski-diving accident. His identity was made public today.

Lynda Petty, the wife of Richard Petty passed away last week at the age of 72. Many cars carried a stick in honor of Mrs. Petty during race weekend.

Bob Waltrip, brother of Michael and Darrel Waltrip also passed on last Sunday during the Auto Club Race weekend. Honoring his memory was also on display on the race cars for Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend.

If you are a spiritual person, I ask you keep the Johnson/Janway, Petty and Waltrip families in your thoughts.

Denny’s eye mystery

Rumors apparently ran rampant about why Denny Hamlin really took off at the Auto Club 400. Rumors have been laid to rest as it was announced that Denny had a piece of metal stuck in his eye. It led to his vision problems at it began to rust. The NASCAR media and garage had run the gamete on different things than that. It’s not nice to start rumors kids.

Harvick gives thanks to firefighters

Kevin Harvick had the firefighters whom saved his home on November 27 come to Martinsville Speedway as his guests. While the home sustained significant damage, the firefighters were able to save the home as a whole. They served as honorary crew members. Good for Happy. Firefighters, police officers and other public servants don’t get enough recognition for their good deeds as most people just brush it off as being their job. Nice to see someone not feel that way.

Dale Jr. and Graham Rahal to swop rides?

Graham Rahal has made it known he wants to swop rides with Dale Earnhardt Jr. This came on due to their shared sponsorship of National Guard. Dale Jr., while interested was hesitant due to the fact that Graham drives for Honda and Dale Jr. is a devote Chevy driver. Chevy U.S. VP of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports are said to be open to the idea. To get the ball rolling, they need an official request from Earnhardt and have not received one at this time.

Stewart a lifetime member now of Code 3 Associates

Tony Stewart on Friday was given lifetime membership to Code 3 Associates, a company that helps rescue animals in disaster areas and with relief for them. Code 3 has been a sponsor of SHR for the last two seasons.

T2: Rainy Day or T2: The Titan has evolved

Okay, that horrible title for this beside the point is there is a new version of the Air Titan. Named Air Titan 2.0, this variation can be pulled by a Toyota Tundra and is more compacted than its predecessor.  They can also deploy up to 21 one of these things at the larger tracks….This is how it starts…Skynet is taking over…I’m telling you now!

Shawna Robinson diagnosed with breast cancer

Shawna Robinson, the first woman to win a pole in the Nationwide series has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She will be beginning five to six month of chemotherapy and then have a necessary surgery. Shawna has a Facebook account if you want to wish her well in what will hopefully be her triumphant battle with breast cancer.

NASCAR baby boom continues

Matt Kenseth and his wife Katie welcomed their third daughter and Matt’s fourth child into the world last Tuesday. The healthy bundle of joy is named Clara Mae.

NASCAR fans are awesome

NASCAR fans have helped fund, yes fund a Sprint Cup car for driver Josh Wise in the 98. Using Dogecoin they put together the needed $55,000 for the car. Give ‘em hell at ‘Dega Josh! And for the fans who donated, you are what makes his sport great.

Penske going into Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame

“The Captain” Roger Penske will be inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday. The Hall of Fame Gala will be held in partnership with Speedway Children’s Charities for Texas. Penske deserves to be in ANY Hall of Fame for Motorsports. A fine, fine man and a helluva representative for Motorsport Racing.

Random Sports/Non Sports thought:

I just finished watching the How I Met Your Mother finale….Wow. That is all I’ll say. And yes, I feel it’s a good wow.

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