Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
One of the great story lines in the 2009 season has been the ability of the Darian Grubb-led #14 Old Spice/Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing team to battle back from adversity and turn it into a top 10 or better finish. That, and a bunch of driving ability, is why Mr. Stewart is presently leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup points. Not having to roll out backups, jack in the track setup and otherwise stress out whether the setup was right goes a long way for Grubb and "Smoke's" crew, and bodes well for Stewart improving his 18th place starting position.
Blue Funk for the Blue Oval Gang--Bill Elliott has the best starting position of all the Ford Fusions entered in today's contest. "Awesome Bill", a 7 time winner here in the Irish Hills, starts 9th. Next closest is Greg Biffle, starting 17th.
Back-benchers: Kyle Busch starts 39th. After his dust-up with Brian Vickers in Saturday's Nationwide Race, "Shrubby" will make things entertaining, no doubt.
Ram Tough Beer Wagon Battle: Kurt Busch in the Miller Lite Dodge starts 6th for Roger Penske; Kasey Kahne hopes the 10th place Budweiser Dodge will run faster than the beloved Clydesdales.
More later; Tweets as events dictate; and definitely a last snapshot of the CARFAX 400 Sprint Cup winner from the Joe Dowdall Media Center, before the wrecking ball strikes on Tuesday.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
- Achieved career victory number 20 in the IndyCar Series, breaking a tie with Sam Hornish, Jr. at 19
- Won his 4th race of the 2009 season
- Retakes the series point lead, 460 to 457 over challenger Ryan Briscoe (finished 2nd, 6th time he's done that in 2009 for Roger Penske)
- Reminds us that he has a figurative and literal "Target" on his back for Briscoe and his teammate, Dario Franchitti as the defending series champion and point leader. In 13 races this season, the points lead has changed 12 times.
Some Attaboys: Ryan Hunter-Reay gets a 4th place finish for owner AJ Foyt. Hideki Mutoh upholds the Andretti-Green Racing honor with a 5th place finish. The "Thrill from West Hill", Paul Tracy, gets a top 10 (7th) subbing for Mario Moraes. Justin Wilson for another stellar road course performance leading early, but burping out of contention with a late race pit stop with lower than low fuel, finishing 13th.
We'll rejoin you from Michigan International Speedway next week with blogging and Tweeting, and radio next weekend with "Race-Talk".
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
- 2010 Indy Car Schedule and the ratio of 9 road/street to 8 oval races--"History's gonna repeat itself, so I don't know who's making them (decisions), but they will find that that was not the proper decision."
- On A NASCAR Sprint Cup Race here in 2010--"Months ago, I really thought we'd be able to run a (Sprint) Cup race here next year. That is a disappointment."
- Naming Rights for Charlotte (Lowe's) Motor Speedway--"We'll be working toward something else. Asked if the 9-million dollar figure for those naming rights was accurate, he said that he had heard the figure. He said that that was a "Marcus Smith" (son, President of the Speedway) decision, and that he would get with Marcus on that issue (said that with tongue firmly planted in cheek and a Brutonesque smile.)
- Weepers at Kentucky Speedway--"We will not change the configuration." In one of our Tweets, we quoted Smith as saying his crew would install a system that would solve the "seepage" problem.
You will hear more comments from Smith on our "Race-Talk" program next weekend.
Now time to find out about the Meijer Indy 300.
- Where does this rain drain to? Yes, the rain will follow the slope of the banking, but what about the rain elsewhere that has been finding the weepers?
- When would the race be rescheduled? Not much leeway on schedule.
- What about practice with the new rules envelope?
One thing--Versus has shown flexibility in working with the series to televise events--sure any rescheduling will not pose a problem.
We are on hold here at Kentucky Speedway.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Mark Martin and the pole winning Chevy Impala SS outside "Gasoline Alley" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was briefing reporters before sliding into the garage to supervise final preparations for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
Ryan Newman won the final happy hour and a half practice with the fastest speed of 176.706 miles an hour. Martin clocked in 5th in the final on-track activity before today's race.
Last year, there was a tension convention around the Goodyear corner of Gasoline Alley. This morning, Greg Stucker, Goodyear's NASCAR Tire marketing director, was most relaxed--unlike last year, the Pocono tires are en route to Long Pond, PA and not 4790 W 16th St, 46224.
Until the first few laps are run, the tires will still be a factor in most minds. Once that first run is made--that storyline goes away.
The two oldsters (Martin and 2002 Brickyard Winner Bill Elliott, who starts 4th) with a legitimate shot to win is another storyline. Juan Pablo Montoya (2000 Indianapolis 500 winner) starts 2nd, and could make Brickyard history as the first and only driver to win both the 500 and the 400--yet another storyline.
The Hoosier Connection--Ryan Newman, David Stremme, some guy named Jeff Gordon (the event's only four time winner) and the current Sprint Cup Series point leader--Columbus Indiana's Tony Stewart is strong.
The weather looks OK for a complete 160 lap race. Weather Underground calls for a 20 per cent chance of showers--a look at the radar shows spotty green well away from the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road.
We'll blog you a photo of the winner and Tweet on Twitter (twitter.com/MSRnet) throughout the race.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
A familiar picture in the American LeMans Series this year, with Adrian Fernandez (left) the LMP2 fastest qualifier, and Simon Pagenaud (right) the LMP1 fast qualifier and overall polesitter for the Northeast Grand Prix tomorrow at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. Pagenaud lapped the mile and a half natural road course at 114.965 miles an hour. Both drivers are in Acura prototypes; Fernandez, the Lowe's Acura ARX-01B; Pagenaud, the XM/Panasonic deFerran Motorsports Acura ARX 02a. Both Pagenaud and deFerran suggest that the much slower GT3 Challenge cars will pose some issues for the much faster prototypes. Pagenaud also says drivers must exercise good judgement when overtaking that traffic, and sometimes suppress the normal racing instincts to bunt and move traffic out of the way--not easy to do on this very tight road course.
ALMS point leaders David Brabham and Scott Sharp (the home team, Patron Highcroft Racing based in nearby Danbury) will start the race second in their Acura LMP1 prototype.
The next fastest LMP1 car was the Corsa Zytek Hybrid Prototype, driven by Johnny Mowlem and Stefan Johansson. With the wiring harness problems solved, the history making hybrid will start from the outside of the third row in 6th.
National Weather Service forecasts call for some big-time thundershowers later this evening and rain through tomorrow morning.
We'll rejoin you tomorrow from Lakeville, CT.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
- Would NASCAR have been so quick to release details of a passed test?
- Is Mayfield's stepmother (see Jenna Fryer's article)a reliable source?
- Could there have been some collusion to make sure any test of Mayfield would be positive--since that was what NASCAR has been saying about Mayfield since the Mullen injunction on July 1, and the second test followed the protocols of the first test?
- Were there any indications of aberrant behavior when Mayfield drove for Carl Haas, Roger Penske and Ray Evernham?
- Is this Mayfield's flameout, and exit from the scene? Reports suggest the team is all but done in name only--and that Mayfield and his wife want to sell the cars.
- Who can you believe, and who do you believe?
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Target Chip Ganassi Team is on a major roll, with Scott Dixon winning his 3rd of 2009 and 19th of his IndyCar driving career by taking the checker over Dario Franchitti at Richmond International Raceway. Graham Rahal finished a career best 3rd on the ovals (to go with his 2008 St.Petersburg street course win). The 19th win by Dixon ties the record set by Sam Hornish.
All three drivers mentioned that the passing was not as easy and as plentiful as it has been here in past years, with point leader Franchitti apologizing to fans in Victory Lane on the podium. In the post race briefing, Franchitti said the cars were very difficult to drive and that what looked easy to the untrained eye was anything but. There were an unusually low three lead changes between Dixon, Franchitti and Hideki Mutoh (who finished 4th).
Team Penske had a not so good night, with first Ryan Briscoe and then Helio Castroneves crashing out of the event. They hold on to 3rd and 4th in points, respectively.
We'll have more on this week's Race-Talk with both Dixon and Franchitti as they get ready for racing ("only twisted") on the historic and let it all hang out Watkins Glen International natural road course in Schuyler County, New York.
In 2008--Tony Kanaan reached this first, after 300 laps (225 miles) of full contact, slice and dice, on like Donkey Kong IndyCar racing. TK has not had the start he and team owner Michael Andretti would like--so a repeat of last year's result would get that squad jumpstarted.
Polesitter Dario Franchitti says fans here at Richmond and watching on Versus will see some moments when cars try to pass one another. That task becomes easier as a second groove of Firestone Firehawk racing rubber is laid down, over what the Hoosier-shod USAC Silver Crown cars will deposit during their own race which is the preliminary event leading up to tonight's SunTrust Indy Challenge.
This race marks the second of four IndyCar races in as many weeks. The winner here carries a lot of momentum into the road course portion next weekend at Watkins Glen International.
We'll Tweet on Twitter with updates and maybe a shot on Twitpic, and post up after the post qualifying session. Oops!-- meant to type post race news conference with the winning driver and newsmakers.
Friday, June 26, 2009
"Contrast at Richmond"
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
"Jeg, Tony Pedregon & Larry Dixon and the Catchfence Today's Winners at Englishtown"
Defending Pro Stock Champ Jeg Coughlin, Jr after his win over Mike Edwards at the NHRA Full Throttle US Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Jeg is two for two weeks in final rounds going into the break this weekend.
Tony Pedregon is also two for two weeks in Funny Car final wins--Tony took home the Wally by defeating Ashley Force Hood in the finals for the second consecutive week, and now sits atop those points going into the break.
Larry Dixon won his fifth Top Fuel title here when point leader Antron Brown redlighted in the final round. Dixon notches another win for the Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing squad...Dixon now is 4th in Top Fuel points going into the break.
The big winner of the weekend is the catch fencing system the Napp family (track operators) installed after last year's fatal accident involving Scott Kalitta. The system consists of a sand trap, two sets of catch netting and a barrel system designed to soak up impact. The system was tested twice in a row in the Alcohol Funny Car class--first by former Olympic cycling Gold Medalist Marty Nothstein, whose dragster suffered a parachute malfunction and found the first net. Nothstein was gnashing his teeth when he emerged from the car--but was OK.
The top end crew took a half hour to reset the system--good thing there, since on the next run, the Alcohol Funny Car of Alexis DeJoria suffered a parachute failure, and contacted both sets of catch nets. DeJoria was unhurt but miffed, since her car was fast enough to have won her drag race. De Joria's car bent the nose 90 degrees. Better that than bending the driver.
The best comment was from the New Jersey State Police Auto Racing Safety Unit. The officers "couldn't have been happier" after their investigation of what happened when they saw how the net and sand trap worked. In New Jersey, the State Police is empowered to enforce safety regulations at all auto racing events in the Garden State. That unit has a more grim mission when not at the track--it investigates fatal accidents in NJ.
Dixon said "you can thank Scott Kalitta for that (the improved catch fencing system at the top end).
We're not at a race track until late June at Richmond--we'll be busy with a web site redesign and administrative tasks that need attention. If something blows up in F1 or something major happens with the Mayfield fiasco, or other auto racing major news, we'll post here, and Tweet on Twitter.