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 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 2, 2013 |
John Force has known triumph and tragedy on the track, but now the drag-racing legend is having to battle back from a financial 1-2 punch. Two of Force's biggest sponsors, Ford and Castrol motor oil, recently announced separately that they plan to pull their support after the 2014 season, a major setback for his four-car team based in Yorba Linda. Both companies, in so many words, said they were looking for better returns on their marketing spending than they could earn where Force competes, in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s premier Mello Yello Series.
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 28, 2013 |
Kyle Larson is about to achieve his goal of becoming a driver in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series. The 21-year-old racing prodigy from Elk Grove, Calif., will join Jamie McMurray next year on the two-car team of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, persons familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly said Wednesday. Larson is expected to step into the No. 42 Chevrolet and replace veteran Juan Pablo Montoya. The team this month declined to re-sign Montoya, 37, a former Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula One driver who found little success in NASCAR.
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 20, 2013 |
When he watches a NASCAR race on television, Greg Scott feels his heart sink if smoke suddenly billows from the cars of Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin or some other Toyota drivers. The smoke usually means one of Toyota's engines blew up from the enormous stress placed on the power plants. "I take it hard," Scott says. "I don't feel good at all. " That's because Scott helps build the motors at Toyota's engine plant in Costa Mesa. But when his drivers win "it's exhilarating," said Scott, a 16-year veteran of Toyota Racing Development.
August 14, 2013 |
It was a stunning moment when open-wheel racing star Juan Pablo Montoya announced in 2006 that he was moving to NASCAR stock-car racing. Here was a celebrated Colombian who had won the Indianapolis 500 and several races in the international Formula One series. including the Monaco Grand Prix, ready to bang fenders at tracks in Bristol, Tenn., and Darlington, S.C., among other NASCAR stops. "Historic" was the way NASCAR President Mike Helton put Montoya's desire to compete in the most popular form of U.S. motor racing.