Thunder Valley, Bad Calls, Green Peace, and more!
Kenseth locks into the chase, and takes the lead in the win column.
Denny Hamlin would try and salvage a horrible season by taking the first starting spot for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol. However, his night wouldn’t end was well as it started. Denny would lead the first 22 laps until he relinquished the lead to the 78 of Kurt Busch. The first caution came out on lap 40 when the 51 of Ryan Truex blew a left front tire and put his car in the wall.
The lead would change hands multiple times, with the two drivers dominating the majority of the race Carl Edwards led 119 and but, would finish 39th after a broken valve spring in the engine. A red flag lasting about four minutes came out on lap 446 due to a multi car accident between Denny Hamlin which regulated him to a 28th place finish that also included many chase contenders.
Once the race returned green, Matt Kenseth who was the second driver to dominate, would lead to the checkered, barely beating Kasey Kahne. Matt led a race high149 laps to win his fifth race of the season. Kyle Busch’s bid at the sweep would fall short as he would start last however, he would persevere after dealing with a bad handling car and an accident to finish 11th. Jimmie Johnson would see his points lead shrink even further down to just 18 points after being involved in an accident.
The Top 5 were 1st Matt Kenseth, 2nd Kasey Kahne, 3rd Juan Pablo Montoya, 4th Brian Vickers and 5th Joey Logano.
Drivers with * next to their names are locked into the chase.
1st Jimmie Johnson*, 2nd Clint Bowyer* 3rd Carl Edwards, 4th Kevin Harvick, 5th Kyle Busch, 6th Matt Kenseth*, 7th Dale Earnhardt Jr., 8th Kasey Kahne, 9th Greg Biffle, 10th Joey Logano are the current top ten in points. . If the Chase started today the drivers in the Wild Card positions would be Martin Truex Jr., and Ryan Newman.
The Sprint Cup Series roars in to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Advocare 500 on Sunday, September 1st at 7:30 PM on ESPN. The defending race winner is Denny Hamlin.
Rowdy’s dominate Friday Night in Thunder Valley.
Kyle Busch’s attempt at the Bristol three-sweep would net him a pole award for the Food City 250. The first of four cautions came on lap 65 for a piece of debris in turn 2. Kyle led all of the first 106 laps uninterrupted. He only relinquished the lead to Kyle Larson due to pit stop strategy, where Busch came out forth.
Larson would lead for 22 laps, until Busch retook the lead from the rookie and to the finish. Busch would lead an astonishing 228 of 250 laps to get his second victory of the weekend, and his fifteenth at Bristol in all three series.
The Top 5 were 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Brad Keselowski, 3rd Austin Dillon, 4th Justin Allgairer and 5th Kyle Larson. Sam Hornish Jr., narrowly kept his points lead as he now leads Austin Dillon by only 5 points.
The next race for the Nationwide series is from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race will air at 7:30 PM on ESPN 2 on Saturday August 31st. The previous race winner is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Tires help Busch hold off Peters in Thunder Valley. Chase Elliot would lead the field to the start of the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The seventeen year old won the pole and would lead the first 62 laps until finally Timothy Peters and Kyle Busch would pass the young man. The first of five cautions was for the 45 of Nate Montieth spinning out.
The second caution brought the trucks to pit road, where Kyle got a speeding penalty and had to go to the back of the field. Peters would check out on the field from there leading 115 straight laps and putting all but 12 trucks a lap down. A caution would reset the order and put thirteen tucks on the lead lap.
Only three trucks would stay off pit road during that caution, and it would prove costly. The 77 of German Quiroga Jr., out of gas before the flag flew, the 88 of Matt Crafton would stall and couldn’t go and would cause a spin for Brad Keselowski who did pit. Timothy Peters who at this point, had led 125 laps would fall to the fresher tires briefly.
Due to Brad’s spin the fifth and final caution came out. Peters would use a great truck to fight back and actually get to second. However, he wouldn’t have enough for Kyle Busch as they came to the line and Peters spun out to finish second to Kyle. I want to make it clear that Kyle did not spin Peters, as Peters initiated contact between the trucks.
The Top 5 were 1st Kyle Busch, 2nd Timothy Peters, 3rd Ryan Blaney, 4th Johnny Sauter and 5th was pole sitter Chase Elliot. For the second straight week Matt Crafton saw his points margin shrink ever so slightly. He now holds a 49 point lead over Jeb Burton. The next race is September 1st at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the Chveorlet Silverado 250 at 2:00 pm on Fox Sports 1. This is the inaugural race for the series at this track.
A “Bit of a dick move” costs Scott Dixon at Sonoma.
The Ganassi resurgence would continue to start the race day at Sonoma as Dario Franchitti would win the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. The first of many full course yellow came on the first lap as Charlie Kimball; the most recent IZOD Indy race winner had some sort of electronics issue, as he came to a complete stop on the race track.
Dario would lead the first 17 laps until he pitted under the race’s third caution, while Ryan Hunter-Reay stayed on the track. Hunter-Reay would have to pit, which gave the lead to Justin Wilson, who was quickly over taken by Scott Dixon on lap 35. Scott would lead the race for the majority of this point foreword until 69. Pitting under caution Scott Dixon accidentally clipped a crewmember of Will Power’s team. IZOD IndyCar officials penalized Dixon for this making him serve a pit road penalty.
The announcers, the twelve people I was watching the race with, the Target Team, and I disagreed whole heartedly. It turned the lead over to Will Power ironically enough. Power would go onto the lead the final laps for the win.
“You can clearly see him walk towards us on purpose. Bit of a dick move.” IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield said after he felt it was a good call and he could live with it. And I can live with this statement I’m making now. Beaux Barfield is an idiot. Where does IndyCar find these race directors?!
The Top Five were 1st Will Power 2nd Justin Wilson, 3rd Dario Franchitti, 4th Marco Andretti, and 5th Simon Pagenaud. Helio Castroneves would have a lead of 39 as the final count as Scott Dixon. Next weekend IZOD IndyCar will come to us from the streets of Baltimore Maryland in the Grand Prix of Baltimore at 2:00 PM, Sunday September 1st on NBC Sports. The defending race winner is Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Vettel won again….please tell me you saw that coming…
Formula 1 roared into Belgium for the Shell Belgian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton would win the first starting position for the event, and wouldn’t lead the first lap as Sebastian Vettel would take the lead after a huge run early in the lap going into the fifth turn. Vettel would dominate the race and would only lose the lead during pit stops and then quickly reclaim it. For the most part it was a very clean race and a dominating win by Team Red Bull….Imagine that….. The Top 5 were 1st Sebastian Vettel, 2nd Fernando Alonso, 3rd Lewis Hamilton, 4th Nico Rosberg, and 5th Mark Webber. Vettel’s points lead is now up to 46 over second place Fernando Alonso. F-1 has next weekend off.
The NHRA Mellow Yellow Drag Racing Series had the weekend off. They will return next weekend from Lucas Oil Raceway for the NHRA U.S. Nationals. The previous winners at this race were as follows. Top Fuel saw Tony Schumacher win; Funny Car had Mike Neff, Pro Stock with Dave Connolly and Pro Stock Motorcycles with Andrew Hines. They will be racing on Monday, not Sunday, but Monday at 12:00 pm, September 2nd on ESPN 2.
In Random News:
It is official that Kurt Busch is joining Stewart-Haas racing with Haas Automation as the sponsor. Jayski is reporting that SHR is trying to obtain the #00 from NASCAR. I think this is the recipe for the perfect storm. This will go one of two ways; Kurt Busch is going to win his second championship in the next three years. Or this is going to blow up horribly and Busch will be released before the end of his contract. I do not see it ending any other way.
It’s either going to be pure gold, or pure monkey crap. Here is why I feel this way; Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart have had an extremely volatile history. Kurt’s little brother Kyle and Kevin Harvick are not going to be exchanging Christmas cards……ever. Can I be wrong? Sure we all can be wrong. No one is right all the time. But I know the stories of Kurt Busch getting decked by Stewart in ’08 Speed Weeks. And as far as Kyle and Kevin, well all that needs to be said is Darlington 2011.
Rodney Childress is officially out, as of right now from Michael Waltrip Racing. Childress, who was rumored to be going to Stewart-Haas Racing to crew chief from Kevin Harvick, confirmed it during Bristol Weekend. In response MWR has placed Scott Miller’s executive vice president of competition in charge of the 55.
Lee Spencer, of Fox Sports used the words released, which to me means he is out for good. However, in a report three hours later by ESPN’s David Newton that he was not released from his contract. Instead he’s been benched, thus he cannot begin working on Kevin Harvick’s car next season. So according to Newton’s report he’s being paid to sit at home and do nothing……How do I become a crew chief again?
Denny Hamlin is still having back issues, and I’m going to be writing about this the Wednesday after the chase is officially set.
Apparently Green Peace made a helluva an effort to raise all kinds of Cain at the Shell Belgian Grand Prix during the F1 event. Various banners, sky divers, and even people showing up during the podium celebration to protest Shell. Many banners said “Arctic Oil? Shell No!” It should be noted that Sebastian Vettel had no idea what the Green Peace protesters were during, he was too busy celebrating his win in two weeks.
ESPN and TNT are trying to negotiate a deal where they back out of their t.v contracts with NASCAR, to turn over the races to FOX and NBC. The deal has a ton of hurdles, but I’m excited to see this happen.
Random Sports/Non Sports thought:
I finished off, and edited this article while listening to Dirty Mo Radio. I highly recommend this for any Dale Jr. fan. Highly entertaining podcast from Mike Davis and Taylor Zarzour, that’s amazingly honest on right and wrong calls made by the 88 team. And it’s hysterical, so that helps.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
I’ll be back on Wednesday with my unsolicited opinion about the IZOD-IndyCar call and why that may have just given more than the Sonoma victory to Penske Racing.