September 8, 2013 |
NASCAR will celebrate a different champion this year, perhaps a driver who hasn't won the Sprint Cup in a while. Someone like Jimmie Johnson. For all the hand-wringing in NASCAR Nation about how often Johnson wins, and how that makes the Cup series boring at times, in some ways the five-time champion has not been the series' preeminent driver this year. Yes, the Californian opens NASCAR's 10-race Chase for the Cup title playoff this week with four victories this year - including the Daytona 500 - and it's true he led the Cup point standings for most of the season.
September 7, 2013 |
Carl Edwards won the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday and finished as the Sprint Cup Series regular-season points leader as NASCAR heads into its 10-race Chase, starting Sept. 15 at Chicagoland. Edwards' victory was almost a footnote as the 400-lap race settled the final five spots in the 12-driver Chase. Two of those Chase berths were settled with no mystery, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle solidified comparatively safe positions among the top 10 automatic qualifiers.
September 6, 2013 |
Jeff Gordon will try to race his way into NASCAR's playoffs from the pole position. The four-time series champion turned a track-record qualifying lap of 130.599 mph at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Friday to win his 73rd career pole position, and his first this season. His lap pushed Kurt Busch to the outside of the front row, increasing the tension once the green flag drops Saturday night for the 400-lap race. Busch is 10th in points, and the top 10 after Saturday night's race earn automatic berths in the 10-race playoffs to finish the season.
September 3, 2013 |
With one race left until NASCAR's Chase for the Cup playoff starts, seven drivers so far are guaranteed to be part of the 10-race championship hunt. Five spots remain open in the 12-driver Chase, and several drivers - including reigning champion Brad Keselowski and four-time champion Jeff Gordon - are among those who still have a shot at earning a Chase berth. It will all be decided Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, a 0.75-mile oval that serves as the stepping stone to the first Chase race the following weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. "I've said all along that I think [the Chase field]
September 1, 2013 |
HAMPTON, Ga. - In a feisty and long night Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch won the AdvoCare 500. The next-to-last race before the Chase field is set greatly ratcheted up the pressure - and the stakes - for drivers on the bubble. It set up a wild night in Richmond, Va., come Saturday, with five spots open for the postseason Chase for the Championship. Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards are locked in, and Kasey Kahne will take one of the two guaranteed two wild-card slots by virtue of his two victories.
August 30, 2013 |
Team owner Chip Ganassi confirmed Friday that 21-year-old Kyle Larson will take over driving the No. 42 Chevrolet next year in NASCAR's top-tier Sprint Cup Series. Ganassi and Larson, of Elk Grove, Calif., made the announcement together at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of the next Sprint Cup race on Sunday. "He's a unique talent," Ganassi said of Larson, who will replace veteran Juan Pablo Montoya in the car next season. "Kyle was our first choice, we did not offer deals to any other drivers.
August 26, 2013 |
Looking back at the weekend in motor racing -- including the NASCAR race in Bristol and Formula One's Belgian Grand Prix -- five things come to mind: 1. Jeff Gordon's Chase hopes are in big trouble . . . With only two races left before NASCAR's 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup title playoff starts, the four-time champion needs to make something happen. Gordon finished seventh Saturday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway but he's 13th in points without a win this season.
August 5, 2013 |
1. The battle to get into NASCAR's Chase for the Cup remains as tight as ever. Twelve drivers qualify for the 10-race playoff: the top 10 in points after 26 races along with two wild-card drivers who have the most wins among those 11th to 20th in points. With five races left until the Chase starts, only 15 points separate Tony Stewart in 11th place, Brad Keselowski (12th), Kurt Busch (13th) and Martin Truex Jr. (14th). But only Stewart and Truex have wins so far this season. 2. Look for the "race to the Chase" get even tighter this weekend.