August 31, 2009

Harvick re-confirmed in No. 29

With rumors still swirling around the garage and in the media about Kevin Harvick's desire to leave RCR, Richard Childress issued another statement saying both the driver and sponsor will be back in 2009.

Our View Unless results improve, however, the alliance will continue to be an uneasy one. NASCAR is known for quick turnarounds in momentum, however.

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Labonte may yet return to Yates in 2010

Yates Racing is still in negotiation with Ask.com to sponsor Bobby Labonte for 2010 and it is likely that their relationship with Roush-Fenway Racing will not comtinue next year, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View Not sure how that effects Erik Darnell for 2010, so fantasy owners will need to stay tuned for further details.

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Darnell to race No. 96

Erik Darnell will race seven of the last 12 races in the No. 96 Ford beginning this weekend at Atlanta, according to a press release from Yates Racing. Bobby Labonte will fill the seat for the other five races. He also is scheduled to race at New Hampshire, Kansas, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

Our View The young gun is the first official rookie to toss his hat into next year's ring, but this might also have other implications. It has been rumored that Roush Racing and Yates have been talking about making the smaller entity a satellite team and this could be the first step toward securing a ride for Jamie McMurray in 2010 as well.

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August 30, 2009

Keselowski / Papis will not exchange Christmas cards

It doesn't appear that Max Papis and Brad Keselowski will be exchanging Christmas cards this year after the No. 88 spun Papis' No. 01 late in the Montreal road race. For Papis' view, check out the tweets @MaxPapis.

Our View This budding rivalty is probably not going to be very impactful unless Papis gets a full-season ride next year.

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Edwards wins a wild one in Montreal

Marcos Ambrose dominated the NAPA Auto Parts 200 and ran a near-perfect race, but on the final lap, with pressure from behind, he jumped the final curve and lost the lead in the final 200 yards to Carl Edwards.

Our View This is why you never leave the track until the end.

Further drama was provided by NASCAR's decision to run the final segment of the race with rain tires in wet conditions, which caused a series of spins and off-road excursions in the race for the checkers.

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F1: Raikkonen wins Belgian GP

Kimi Raikkonen became the sixth different winner in the last six races, according to Formula1.com. This snapped a 25-race winless streak and was Ferrari's first win of the season.

Our View After Jenson Button won six of the first seven races, it is wonderful to see this kind of parity.

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August 29, 2009

IRL: Briscoe wins Chicagoland nail biter

Ryan Briscoe narrowly edged Scott Dixon in a chase for the checkers to win the Peak Antifreeze 300. The margin of victory was slight; in fact, this was the fourth closest race in IRL history. Last year's edition of this race boasted the second closest victory and now Chicagoland has three of the top four margins.

Our View After winning the pole and posting consistently fast practice speeds, we told fantasy players to make him the anchor of their roster, and the Penske pilot proved us correct.

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N'Wide: Ambrose on Montreal pole

Marcos Ambrose posted the fastest lap in qualification under wet conditions and will lead the field to green on Sunday.

Our View Ambrose led a contingent of road racers at the top of the grid including Ron Fellows in third, Boris Said in fourth and Jacques Villeneuve in sixth, but the surprise of the session had to be Carl Edwards. After crashing on the warm-up lap for the Gran Am race earlier today, he posted the second fastest time.

The qualification session was marred by rain, however, so some of the faster drivers in practice like Max Papis and Patrick Carpentier will have to come from the back of the pack. That won't hurt them, however, and fantasy owners should load up on road ringers.

Complete Results

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N'Wide to run COT in four races in 2010

The Nationwide Series will debut their version of the Car of Tomorrow (COT) in four races next year, beginning at Daytona International Speedway, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View The Cup version of the car has laid such a huge egg with fans that it is surprising they will indeed roll out a similar car in the Nationwide Series. So far as competition is concerned, however, the spec body style has tightened the field, which makes fantasy owners' task ever more challenging.

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Grand Am: Gaughan second at Montreal

Brendan Gaughan and Andy Lally finished second in the GT division of the Rolex Grand Am series and carried the banner for the NASCAR contingent.

Our View Now Gaughan will switch gears and race in the Nationwide Series on Sunday. This improves his odds in the heavier cars, but with so many road racing veterans in the field, he might still be considered only as filler.

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Yeley injured in sprint car race

J.J. Yeley suffered three broken vertebrae in an American Sprint Car Series Bandits race at Lakeside Speedway Saturday night after flipping his car in turn one, according to AutoRacingDaily.com.

Our View The flip did not appear to be severe, but with several incidents in the race, it blurred into the background. Running short track races keep the drivers sharp, but they also run the risk of injuries such as this.

Complete Results

Grand Am: Edwards crashes at Montreal

Before the Grand Am race even started, Carl Edwards crashed his Doran Daytona Prototype in wet conditions and destroyed the car.

Our View Edwards was scheduled to run this companion race with the Nationwide Series along with Marcos Ambrose, but the conditions proved too much for the oval stock car racer.

Nationwide newsbreakers

N'Wide: Papis leads Montreal's first practice

Road racing ace Max Papis led the first practice session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a lap of 85.632 mph under mostly wet conditions.

Our View The list was headed by road racing specialists. Including Papis, Patrick Carpentier posted the third fastest lap, NASCAR Canada driver Andrew Ranger was fourth fastest and Michael McDowell was fifth.

Complete Results

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F1: Fisichella wins Spa pole

Giancarlo Fisichella shocked the Formula 1 field by winning the pole for the Belgian Grand Prix in the Force India entry.

Our View As surprising as this is, Fisichella should not be on your roster. His best finish so far in 2009 was ninth in the Monaco Grand Prix.

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IRL: Briscoe wins Chicagoland pole

Ryan Briscoe proved that his fast speed in practice was no fluke. He posted the fastest speed in time trials as well with a lap of 215.364 and will lead the field to green Saturday night.

Our View Briscoe should anchor your fantasy lineup this week. Helio Castroneves will start on the outside of the front row and he was also quick all day Friday.

Lineup

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August 28, 2009

IRL: Briscoe tops Happy Hour

After posting the second fastest time in the first practice session for the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300, Ryan Briscoe jumped to the top of the charts with a lap of 217.553.

Our View The other fast drivers from that session failed to back up their morning speeds. Helio Castroneves was only 12th fastest and Danica Patrick was 15th fastest. The leader of the first session, Scott Dixon was fourth fastest in Happy Hour, but that gives the edge to Briscoe nonetheless.

Complete Results

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IRL: Dixon tops Chicagoland practice 1

Scott Dixon posted the fastest time in Friday's practice for the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway with a lap of 217.460.

Our View Ryan Briscoe was second fastest and Helio Castroneves came in third, but fantasy owners might be particularly interested in the fourt-place driver. After struggling on the road courses, it appears that Danica Patrick is back in top form with a lap of 216.284.

Complete Speeds

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August 24, 2009

Post-race inspection is completed

Post-race inspection is completed for the Sharpie 500 and all is clear.

August 22, 2009

Ky Busch wins Bristol

Kyle Busch held off a hungry Mark Martin and won the Sharpie 500. It was his third victory on this track in his last six starts and completes a sweep of the season.

Our View Busch was our favorite to win in both the Yahoo! preview and on the cheat sheets at NASCAR.com/Rotowire. We also predicted Brian Vickers would win last week at Michigan and that Tony Stewart would take the checkers at Watkins Glen International.

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IRL Practice crash

Will Powers, Nelson Philippe and E.J. Viso all sustained damage in a practice crash at Infineon Raceway. Philippe first spun and then was collected by the other two drivers. Powers and Philippe were hospitalized after the crash, according to IndyCar.com.

Our View On the heels of the vicious Cup crash at Watkins Glen International a few weeks back, this underscores the danger of road courses.

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Bristol pit stalls

Jayski has published the pit stall selections for the Bristol race.

Our View There are really only four good stalls at either end of the front and back pits. Pole sitter Mark Martin took the final pit stall before turn one, Greg Biffle has the final stall before turn three while Matt Kenseth and Scott Speed have the first stalls entering the pits. However, Clint Bowyer also is in a nice position; he is in pit stall four with the start and park Dave Blaney immediately ahead of him.

For a complete list of the stalls, visit Jayski.com.

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August 21, 2009

Yahoo! Qualification Story – Bristol

Bristol is one of the tracks on which qualification is critical; 35 percent of the races there have been won by a driver who started on the front row. Who are this week's favorites? Find out in the Yahoo! qualification .pdf story.

Martin wins another pole at Bristol

With a scary fast lap, Mark Martin earned his fifth pole of the season and will lead the field to green on Saturday night. Martin also won pole this spring at Bristol en route to a sixth-place finish.

Our View Martin and Brian Vickers have become the rocketmen of 2009. Martin's five poles is surpassed only by Vickers' six and no other driver has more than two. David Reutimann won poles at Texas and Dover.

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Haters Beware

At the beginning of the year, I stumbled across a Yahoo! league named the "I Hate Dan Beaver" league, sponsored by Black Flagged Online. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I joined them – not from a sense of self-loathing, since it was after all the "I Hate Dan Beaver" league – but as a way to silence the critics.

One by one, the members of this league have been vanquished. I currently sit second in their standings, only 59 points behind the leader. In all my years as an expert at Yahoo! Games, I have never failed to improve from here till the end of the year, so let's just say I'm not overly worried about being in second…

Are the folks at Black Flagged Online worried? Check out "Leave It To Beaver or Beaver? Damn!" and judge for yourself.

August 19, 2009

More options for Keselowski

When Tony Stewart reported he was not interested in Brad Keselowski, it appeared that driver's options were dwindling. Now it appears there may be more in the offing, according to Jayski.com. Keselowski was seen entering the Penske shops this week and further speculation surrounds the expansion of Furniture Row Racing.

Our View One way or the other, expect to see Keselowski in a Cup car in 2010. And Stewart-Haas has proven that satellite teams can be incredibly strong.

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August 17, 2009

Vickers wins Michigan

Brian Vickers won Michigan by running hard in the closing laps, which caused Jimmie Johnson to run short of fuel for the second time in two races there.

Our View Vickers was our dark horse to win, and he proved us correct.

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August 16, 2009

August 15, 2009

N'Wide: Hometown hero Keselowski wins Michigan

Brad Keselowski lurked behind Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch and swept around the outside when Vickers got loose on the final lap and slowed both his and Busch's momentum.

Our View This is what fans love about Michigan. A three-wide battle on the last lap for the victory is worth the price of admission.

All three of these racers will be in contention for top-10s on Sunday. Well… maybe a top-15 for Keselowski.

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Michigan pit stall selections

Jayski has posted the pit stall selections.

Our View As expected, pole winner Brian Vickers has chosen the final pit stall before the end of pit road. Other drivers with openings in front of them are Mark Martin, Juan Montoya, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson.

For the complete list, visit Jayski.

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Chassis selection for Michigan

Micah Roberts has posted the chassis selections on his Blog. Tony Stewart will race the same car in which he finished fourth at Chicagoland a few weeks back.

Our View Jimmie Johnson is also racing his Chicagoland car since both of these tracks a relatively flat and fast.

For a complete list, check out the right hand navigation bar at NASCAR Notes.

Martin fastest in Michigan HH

Mark Martin posted the fastest single lap in Michigan's Happy Hour with a speed of 181.717 mph. Pole sitter Brian Vickers was second fastest with a speed of 181.621.

Our View This is significant because Martin is on the outside of the front row. Vickers and Martin underscored their Friday speed and should be considered threats on Sunday.

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Update: Allmendinger not going to backup

The No. 44 team has decided not to roll out a backup car for the Carfax 400. A.J. Allmendinger likes this car and does not want to give up his 13th-place spot on the grid.

Our View That's the good news, but Allmendinger is not going to get very much track time, which will hamper him during the opening segments of the race.

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Mears quickest in Michigan Practice 2

Casey Mears posted the quickest average speed in Michigan's first Saturday session with a speed of 179.764 during five laps.

Our View Don't get overly excited about that position, however. Since he only ran five laps, there was not much opportunity for his speed to fall off.

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Vickers fastest in Michigan practice 2

After sweeping the poles in Cup and Nationwide competition, Brian Vickers posted the fastest single lap in Michigan's first practice session on Saturday. His top speed was 184.909.

Our View He will need some good luck to go along with his speed, but Vickers is certainly positioning himself to be one of the top dark horses this week.

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Allmendinger scrapes wall in Michigan practice 2

A.J. Allmendinger scraped the wall at the 20 minute mark of the first practice session on Saturday.

Our View The damage might be enough to cause him to roll out a backup car and drop to the back of the pack. The right rear quarter panel was pushed back deeper than the tire, which suggests he may have suspension damage.

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N'Wide: Vickers sweeps Michigan poles

Brian Vickers swept the pole at Michigan, taking the top spot in both the Cup and Nationwide Series. This is a feat that has not been accomplished since Kurt Busch did it in 2006 at Watkins Glen International.

Our View Vickers may just be the new "Rocketman." This was his sixth pole of the season, his third consecutive pole at Michigan (dating back to last fall), and his third straight pole on two-mile tracks (he also won at Auto Club Speedway this spring.

After winning his two poles on two-mile tracks this year, he's swept the top 10.

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Crashed Video

Remember: Danger lurks around every corner.

August 14, 2009

Yahoo! Qualification Story – Michigan

Does qualification matter at Michigan? The answer is both yes and no, which you find in this week's Yahoo! qualification .pdf story.

NASCAR Raines going home from Michigan

When two cars withdrew from the entry list earlier this week, that meant only one driver would head to the house early. That driver is Tony Raines, with a speed of 181.484 mph.

Our View This is a start and park operation, however, so it has no impact on fantasy players whatsoever.

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Vickers wins Michigan pole

Brian Vickers picked up his sixth pole of the season with a speed of 187.242 mph.

Our View He also won the pole in Michigan's first race and at Auto Club Speedway—giving him a sweep of the two-mile tracks so far.

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Logano notably fast in Michigan practice 1

Joey Logano was notably fast in the first practice session at Michigan – posting the second fastest time of 187.169.

Our View That is good news for the rookie, who needs a strong qualification effort in order to run strong start to finish, but it is even better news for Ryan Newman. The No. 39 has a margin of nearly two miles per hour over the rest of the field.

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Newman fastest in Michigan practice 1

Ryan Newman posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Carfax 400 with a speed of 189.155 mph.

Our View Newman is in a little bit of a slump with an average finish of 18.0 in his last eight attempts. He needs a boost to get his rhythm back and a pole would fit that criteria.

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Kahne blows at Michigan

Kasey Kahne blew an engine early in the first practice session. He will need to change the powerplant and go to the back of the pack for the start of the Carfax 400.

Our View Qualification is important at Michigan, but considering how wide this track is, a fast car can get to the front.

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Crashed Video

Just a little something to get your heart pumping this morning.

August 13, 2009

Crashed Video

Remember folks: always wear your seatbelts

August 11, 2009

Yahoo! Michigan Preview

The road course race at Watkins Glen is in the rear view mirror and it's time to make a run to the Chase. Who will get off to a good start this week? Check out this week's Yahoo! Preview (.pdf).

August 10, 2009

Stewart smokes 'em at the Glen

Tony Stewart continues to dominate the road courses. At Watkins Glen International, he has won four of the last six races and finished second in the other two events, which gives him a six-year average finish of 1.33 in that span.

Our View That was also his 10th consecutive top-10 of the season, during which he's averaged a finish of 3.6. He remains a place-and-hold driver until further notice.

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August 9, 2009

NASCAR veteran Schrader to take on USMTS Modifieds at Humboldt, Caney

CANEY, Kan. (Aug. 8) – NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will strap on his helmet and compete in his own high-powered dirt Modified when the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour invades the Humboldt Speedway on Friday, Aug. 14, and the Caney Valley Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 15.

With the top dirt Modified drivers in the nation on hand at the two events, the competitors will have some added incentive to find victory lane while fans will have a chance to see one of the biggest names in auto racing history show his skills on the quarter-mile clay oval.

While Schrader, formerly of Fenton, Mo., is best known for circling America's superspeedways with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he is a highly-regarded prolific dirt track racer with a pedigree. He won't be looking for show up points ... he'll be looking to win.

Schrader will be making his 28th and 29th career starts with the United States Modified Touring Series at Humboldt and Caney. He has six top-5 finishes and eleven top-10s with a career-best finish of third (twice in 2008).

The events will be the fourth and fifth events of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship — an 18-race, season-ending campaign that will culminate with the crowning of the 2009 USMTS National Champion.

The pair of $3,000-to-win shows will be the final two of a five-day swing to kick off the ’Hunt.’

On Friday, gates open at 6:00, hot laps begin at 7:30 and the green flag waves to start the first heat race at 8:00. Race fans can pick up $2-off discount coupons on Friday at the Casey's General Store locations in Chanute and Iola.

The Humboldt Speedway is a 1/4-mile semi-banked clay oval located near Humboldt, Kan., on US 169 at the Humboldt Exit, then 0.1 mile west, then 0.5 mile south, then 0.9 mile east. For more information call 620-431-2470 (office) or 620-473-3694 (track) or visit http://www.humboldtspeedway.com/. B-Mods and Factory Stocks will also be running.

On Saturday, grandstand gates open at 5:00, hot laps are at 7:30 and racing starts at 8:00. Also on the evening's schedule of events will be Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Turf Cars. Race fans can pick up $2-off discount coupons on Saturday at the Casey's General Store locations in Caney, Coffeyville and Independence. Check out http://www.caseys.com/ to learn more or to find the location nearest you.

The Caney Valley Speedway is a 1/4-mile semi-banked clay oval located near Caney, Kan., 0.8 mile west of the junction of US 75 and US 166 on CR 1600. For more information call 620-330-0485 or visit http://www.caneyvalleyspeedway.net/ on the World Wide Web.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit http://www.usmts.com/ online for the latest news and information from the USMTS.

From a USMTS Press Release

IRL: Dixon runs away from Mid Ohio field

Scott Dixon ran and hid from the competition at Mid Ohio and won the Honda Indy 200 by nearly 30 seconds over Ryan Briscoe.

Our View Last week, the push to pass technology helped make the Kentucky oval race exciting, but it couldn't help this week since Dixon had such a dominant car.

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Rain postpones Watkins Glen

Rain has postponed the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen until Monday, noon eastern on ESPN.

Our View This will be the second Monday race in a row. Oh well.

Road Kill

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August 8, 2009

Nationwide officials take a holiday

Perhaps the Nationwide officials left the track early on Saturday to beat the traffic.

Late in the Zippo 200, Robby Gordon tried to run Joey Logano into the inside of the frontstretch wall. No harm, no foul, but when they went into turn one, Gordon turned into Logano's No. 20 car. Gordon came out on the short end of that contact by cutting his tire and NASCAR did nothing about that contact. O.k., perhaps they felt he had penalized himself for his own stupidity.

Apparently he lost a lap while repairing the car that he himself had destroyed. Back on track, Gordon reportedly ran into Logano again and NASCAR did not take action. That wasn't on camera, so we only have Logano's word for it—so it’s hard to fault NASCAR completely.

Immediately on the restart—under green—Gordon rammed Logano in the bus stop chicane and made a pass on the No. 20. Again, NASCAR did not take action.

In the next turn, he allowed Logano to get to his outside so he could run him off course in precisely the same spot in which Jason Leffler had such a scary accident in Friday's practice. No only did NASCAR fail to take action again (during the fourth incident), but they gave Gordon a "Free Pass" for the incident he had caused—despite the fact that they have a rule stating a car that is involved in the caution cannot benefit from it.

One has to wonder who was officiating this race—if anyone.

Standing outside the infield care center, Logano told reporters "you can't fix stupid; it's for life." He was speaking about Gordon, but the same comment could apply to whoever was calling this race in the tower.

N'Wide: Ambrose wins Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose made a bold move on Kyle Busch late in the Zippo 200 and won at Watkins Glen.

Our View Ambrose was clearly the better driver, but Busch was able to hold him at bay for quite a few laps. It was reminiscent of the Infineon Cup race and what Kasey Kahne did to Tony Stewart.

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Watkins Glen pit stalls

Jayski has posted the pit stall selections from the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen.

Our View There are only two stalls with openings in front of them, but this is a long pit road, so the others are not bad. Jimmie Johnson selected the last pit leaving pit road and David Stremme has pit No. 38 at the end of an "island" of six stalls at pit entry.

Road Kill

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Said spins in Watkins Glen practice 2

At the 15 minute mark of the Saturday morning practice session, Boris Said wheel-hopped off the course in turn 10. He got stranded in the pea gravel.

Our View Even the best drivers can push too hard. There is no visible damage, but the team will need to look closely at the car to see if the suspension is damaged.

Road Kill

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N'Wide: Harvick wins Watkins Glen pole

Kevin Harvick is the surprise winner of the pole for the Nationwide Watkins Glen Zippo 200 with a lap of 121.998 mph. He and Marcos Ambrose beat the old track record.

Our View Harvick chased down and passed Greg Biffle during his qualification session in the unique format used on Nationwide road courses. That had to slow him down a little, and he still set fast time. That is impressive.

On the other hand, Ambrose did not take as many laps and he might have been able to better his time. The race should be competitive.

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IRL: Patrick is too big for USF1

The American owned and run US Formula 1 team has several drivers on their radar screen, but Danica Patrick is not one of them, according to AutoRacingDaily.com.

Our View A lot of people are saying to us ‘are you interested in Danica Patrick?’ and my reply is in some respects, Danica is too big for us now,” US F1 boss Peter Windsor said.

Patrick is certainly a hot commodity, but she needs to announce where she will run next year or risk getting distracted by all this noise.

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August 7, 2009

Jeff Purvis to visit Mountain Raceway Park

CARTERSVILLE, GA – National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame inductee and former NASCAR star Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, TN will be the special guest of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series when they visit Mountain Raceway Park in Maryville, TN on Saturday night, August 15 for Round 15 of the National Tour with a 50-lap $3,000-to-win race.

Purvis will meet and greet the Mountain Raceway Park race fans with a special autograph and photo session from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night, August 15. There will also be Jeff Purvis collectables available during the session. Purvis raced at the track several times during the 1980s when the track was known as Smoky Mountain Speedway.

During the 1980s, Purvis was one of dirt late model racing’s brightest stars winning the prestigious World 100 race at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH three times, along with two NDRA National Championships and the 1986 Southern All-Star Dirt Late Model National Championship.

Purvis turned to the asphalt racing surfaces in the 1990s, winning the All-American 400 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway a record three times and a pair of ARCA Daytona International Speedway wins. Purvis also began a NASCAR career that yielded four wins on the Nationwide Tour.

In 1999, Purvis had a desire to return to dirt track racing and that began a working relationship and a long-lasting friendship with the Founder and Director of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, Mike Vaughn. It was Vaughn who provided Purvis a car to race at the 1999 Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Late Model Series season opener in Brunswick, GA, his first dirt track race in ten years.

Purvis still had his NASCAR career going, but dirt track racing still brought Purvis national notoriety. In 2001 on the first ballot, Purvis was inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame.

A life-threatening crash in 2002 during a NASCAR race at Nazareth, PA all but ended Purvis’ NASCAR career. After a three-year recovery from a broken neck, Purvis and Vaughn ended up together again with a new and innovative motorsports project.

GM Performance Parts had developed a new and affordable “Crate” engine for dirt late models that was built and sealed at the factory to prohibit any expensive modifications. Purvis and Vaughn liked the idea and Purvis encouraged Vaughn to start a new series in 2005 that has become the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series.

Purvis returned to dirt late model racing full-time in 2005 with the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series and finished sixth in the National point standings. Purvis was once a title contender in 2006, but another crash landed him in the hospital for a second time with a life-threatening neck fracture.

The difference between this crash and the 2002 crash were the difference between day and night, and brought an eye opening outlook on life for Purvis. He was by himself strapped in a race car in the 2002 crash. In 2006, he was traveling to a race at Talladega Short Track in the race team’s hauler with his family when it blew a front tire, crashed and burned to the ground.

While his family and crew members did not suffer life-threatening injuries, Purvis was injured while he was trying to pull his son Clay out of the bunk over the top of the cab during the crash. During his fight for life at Vanderbilt Hospital for the second time in his life, Purvis decided he needed to concentrate more on providing for his family.

After he was released from the hospital, Purvis returned home to Clarksville, TN to recover from his injuries and tend to his successful business, Queen City Metals. He has not raced since the 2006 highway accident.

“Jeff Purvis has always been my hero in racing, and it has been an honor to have him drive my race car and to compete in my series,” Vaughn said. “I know Jeff is looking forward to coming to Mountain Raceway Park on August 15 because he still has a lot of fans and friends in East Tennessee. A lot of the drivers in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series today miss competing with Jeff because they were able to learn so much just being on the same track with him.”

The NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS National Tour will be making its second appearance of the 2009 season at Mountain Raceway Park. Derrick Rainey of Powder Springs, GA won the first race at MRP on July 18, an event that many in attendance said it was one the best races they had ever seen at the historic 4/10-mile clay oval with abundant two and three-wide racing.
For more information about Mountain Raceway Park call 865-856-8989, or visit the track web site at www.mountainraceway.net. For more information about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com.

From an NESmith Press Release

NASCAR Keselowski's options dwindling

Brad Keselowski's options are dwindling, according to AutoRacingSport.com. If he wants to race fulltime in 2010, his best option is for James Finch elevate the the No. 09 with support from Hendrick Motorsports.

Our View There could be worse scenarios. This pairing has already won once in 2009 at Talladega SuperSpeedway.

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Heluva Good! Dips at the Glen Lineup with Avg. Start / Fin

In a topsy turvey qualification session for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, Jimmie Johnson won the pole and Jeff Gordon was forced to settle for 31st; Tony Stewart is mid-pack in 13th and another traditionally strong road racer Robby Gordon is even further back in 22nd. The race is going to be characterized by comers and goers.

Kurt Busch posted the fastest time in Friday's practice and he backed that up with the second fastest lap in time trials, while a pair of strong road racers fills up row two. Denny Hamlin isn't the first name that comes to mind on the road courses, but he's never finished outside the top 10 at the Glen in three starts.

Marcos Ambrose simply hopes he can hold onto his spot in fourth after he crashed in practice at Infineon this June and went to the back in a backup car. Still, he climbed from dead last for the second consecutive road course race and finished third for the second consecutive time.

Lineup

StartDriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
1Jimmie Johnson13.147.297
2Kurt Busch21.3811.258
3Denny Hamlin6.677.333
4Marcos Ambrose3.0043.001
5David Stremme21.0025.001
6Ryan Newman16.299.867
7Greg Biffle28.6715.176
8Kyle Busch12.509.504
9Boris Said21.7524.508
10Juan Montoya21.5021.502
11Casey Mears21.3318.676
12Kasey Kahne18.6013.805
13Tony Stewart5.705.5010
14Paul Menard26.4035.405
15Andy Lally


16Max Papis43.0042.001
17Patrick Carpentier21.0039.502
18A J Allmendinger11.0037.001
19Elliott Sadler20.0022.9010
20Brian Vickers22.6023.205
21Kevin Harvick11.259.508
22Robby Gordon10.6020.5010
23Martin Truex Jr13.0021.673
24Jamie McMurray16.8319.176
25David Reutimann33.0028.001
26Scott Speed


27Bobby Labonte18.4418.1316
28Mark Martin6.958.1119
29Reed Sorenson23.6731.333
30Jeff Burton21.0019.4715
31Jeff Gordon13.446.9416
32Dale Earnhardt Jr20.7812.679
33Carl Edwards10.2510.004
34John Andretti19.0019.339
35Joey Logano


36Sam Hornish Jr32.0034.001
37Ron Fellows25.2724.0911
38Clint Bowyer17.6712.333
39P J Jones24.5031.888
40David Ragan31.0018.002
41Dave Blaney31.1127.789
42Matt Kenseth16.2214.569
43Tony Ave31.0042.001
DNQJoe Nemechek21.8721.5315
DNQDavid Gilliland36.5028.002
DNQBrian Simo39.0042.502

Road Kill

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Yahoo! Qualification Story – Watkins Glen

For only the second time in the last five years, NASCAR got qualification in at Watkins Glen. We had a lot to say in this six-page .pdf, so check it out.

Johnson earns Watkins Glen pole

Jimmie Johnson will start on the pole for the second time at Watkins Glen International, but this time, he earned it on speed. He also started first in 2004 when qualification was rained out.

Our View Unfortunately, good track position did not work in his favor that day; he blew an engine and finished 40th.

Road Kill

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IRL considering Baltimore race in 2011

The Indy Racing League is in discussion with a local partnership to bring a street race to the Inner Harbor section of Baltimore, according to AutoRacingDaily.com.

Our View What started as a primarily oval series is increasing their emphasis on street and permanent road courses. Fantasy owners will want to make certain to keep their oval and road rosters separate.

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F1: Ecclestone expect to return to Montreal

Despite the fact that no agreement is signed, Bernie Ecclestone expects the Formula 1 Series to return to Montreal in 2010, according to Auto Racing Daily.

Our View With the US Grand Prix off the schedule as well, North American fans have not had anything to look forward to. Let's hope they can come to an agreement.

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NASCAR N'Wide: Bliss out of No. 1

Mike Bliss is out of the No. 1 James Finch ride, according to televised reports by Speed TV. Ryan Newman will run the car this week at Watkins Glen.

Our View Bliss has been one of the best Nationwide Regulars all season, but he's suffered a series of bad luck in the last few weeks. Team chemistry is a fragile thing.

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Ku Busch wins Watkins Glen practice 1

Kurt Busch posted the fastest single circuit in the first practice session for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen with a 124.362 mph lap.

Our View This is a bit of a surprise, but it shouldn't be. Busch always qualifies well at the Glen when time trials are run. He won the pole there in 2006, but slipped to 19th in the race.

Road Kill

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Said in for T Labonte

Road racing specialist Boris Said will take the wheel from Terry Labonte this week in the No. 08 John Carter entry.

Our View Labonte was listed as the driver of record so that his past champion's provisional would lock the team into the show in case qualification was rained out. Now that it's sunny at the track, they will put the more experienced Said in the ride. This sounds like some fast and loose interpretation of NASCAR's past champion's provisional rule.

Road Kill

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Bowyer crashes at Watkins Glen

Moments after Patrick Carpentier crashed in Watkins Glen, Clint Bowyer went into the pea gravel in the final combination of turns.

Our View The damage is probably not very great, but they are going to have to go over the car with a fine tooth comb to get all the gravel out of the nooks and crannies.

Road Kill

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Carpentier crashes at Watkins Glen

Minutes after a lengthy cleanup for Joe Nemechek's blown engine, Patrick Carpentier had his own trouble. He crashed the No. 55 and will roll out a backup car.

Our View At least Carpentier is already locked in the show and he will get two practices on Saturday. It's too soon to make a firm prediction about his chances during the race.

Road Kill

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Nemechek blows in Glen practice 1

Joe Nemechek blew an engine at the eight minute mark of the first practice session and will have to swap powerplants before qualification.

Our View This is a serious blow to his chances for making the show. Three cars will go home this afternoon after qualification is complete.

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NASCAR to meet with R Gordon, Stremme

NASCAR plans to meet with Robby Gordon and David Stremme at Watkins Glen International to make certain there are no lingering effects from their confrontation last week, according to @BobPockrass.

Our View Gordon has a lot more to lose this week than Stremme and as the more emotional of the two drivers, he is probably going to be the key. Don't look for anger to spill over this week.

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Road Kill

Each year when the road courses roll around on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, hopeful owners trot out road ringers—specialists who spent the majority of their careers turning both left and right in sports cars or open wheel cars—and for a while, these drivers were great bargains for fantasy players.

Now, the question is: are these drivers still and good value?

And the answer is a qualified "maybe."

Some exceedingly good road racers have made their way into the regular ranks of NASCAR's elite with Juan Montoya and Marcos Ambrose getting stronger by the week on oval courses. They join the likes of Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon to give owners a small pool of drivers guaranteed to run up front, and with those racers dominating the top five along with some other solid but lesser considered drivers such as Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson capable of running in the top 10 each road race, the impact of the road ringers is minimized.

In the Watkins Glen media center on Friday, Ambrose made that same point and with back-to-back third-place finishes after starting dead last in his last two road course starts, he knows what he's talking about.

In fact, among the drivers entered this week, only Ron Fellows has earned a top-10 in Cup competition on the road courses in the last eight races. We italicize the word entered, because the No. 08 John Carter team this week intends to swap Boris Said for the officially entered Terry Labonte unless rain cancels qualification—in that case, they will use Labonte's past champion's provisional to quite frankly steal a position on the grid.

However, the qualified "maybe" means these road ringers might be a good value under the right circumstances. This June, Patrick Carpentier climbed into the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 and nearly broke into the top 10 with an 11th-place finish. Max Papis is attempting to make several oval races this year, but for the moment he also should be considered a ringer and he finished 12th in that same race.

In fact, if not for the frenetic nature of the closing laps of the Toyota / SaveMart 350k when a myriad of cautions turned the end of the race into a slugfest, both drivers were inside the top 10 late in the going. Double-file restarts shuffled the field considerably and these two racers lost a bit of ground at the end.

Top-15s can make the road ringers a good value because in most salary cap games they are cheap enough to stretch your budget. In check box games with a maximum number of allocations allowed for each driver, a top-15 can also make them an acceptable proposition in order to save an allocation for one of your marquee drivers in a future race.

But, if a top-15 is the best they can hope for, and if they miss the mark by a little bit, then you are staring at a top-20 result instead, which is far less attractive.
Moreover, only Carpentier is in equipment that is regularly run on the Cup schedule. Papis' No. 13 proved to be strong at Infineon, but is otherwise largely untested. Fellows will drive the No. 09 James Finch entry, which already has a victory under its belt on the wild card Talladega SuperSpeedway this year. These three drivers represent your best chance to score points this week, but the safe money says to pick only one.

Top-15s by road ringers, last five years

RaceDriverFinish
2005 Watkins GlenBoris Said3
2008 Watkins GlenRon Fellows4
2005 Watkins GlenScott Pruett4
2006 Watkins GlenScott Pruett6
2005 InfineonRon Fellows8
2007 InfineonBoris Said9
2006 InfineonBoris Said9
2005 InfineonBrian Simo10
2009 InfineonPatrick Carpentier11
2009 InfineonMax Papis12
2007 InfineonP.J. Jones12
2008 Watkins GlenRon Fellows13
2008 Watkins GlenBoris Said14
2007 InfineonRon Fellows15

August 3, 2009

Hamlin wins Pocono

Denny Hamlin and Juan Montoya pulled away from the field in the final run to the checkers, but at the end it was the No. 11 taking the checkers.

Our View The flat track master is back, proving that when he stays out of trouble, he can be nearly perfect.

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August 1, 2009

IRL: Briscoe wins thriller over Carpenter

Ryan Briscoe won the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in a photo finish over Ed Carpenter.

Our View Briscoe won by 0.0162 of a second to notch his second win of the season in the No. 6 Penske car.

Complete Results

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Trucks: Hornaday wins 5th consecutive

Ron Hornaday Jr. won his fifth consecutive race in the Camping World Truck Series with a dominating performance in the Toyota Tundra 200.

Our View This was the first time ever that this has been done in the Truck series and the first time its happened in any of NASCAR's top divisions during the Modern Era. The last time a driver won five in a row was Richard Petty in 1971. Bobby Allison also won five in a row that season.

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N'Wide: Keselowski wins furious battle with Ky Busch

Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch put on a furious battle in the closing laps of the Iowa Nationwide race and in the end, it was the Nationwide Regular over the Claim Jumper. This was Keselowski's fourth victory at this level.

Our View Busch won the Camping World East/West race there earlier this year, but the Nationwide competition was a little stouter.

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IRL: Beatriz fastest in Kentucky Lights practice

Ana Beatriz was the fastest driver in Indy Lights practice at Kentucky Speedway according to a tweet from @IndyCarPR. Her top speed was 193.165 mph.

Our View If NASCAR wants to poach a female driver from Indy, Beatriz would be a better bet than Danica Patrick. This lady is fast and probably wouldn't mind spending a season or two in Nationwide competition as she develops; just some food for thought.

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Pocono pit stall selection

Jayski.com has posted the pit stall selections and as expected Tony Stewart chose the final pit before the end of pit road.

Our View Even though his crash will cause him to drop to the back of the pack, he gets to keep his pit selection. Jeff Gordon—who inherits the inside of the front row—has the second best pit stall with one of only three openings in front of him.

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F1: Concorde agreement signed

It appears the Formula 1 crisis is finally over. Max Mosley and the Formula 1 Team Association have signed an agreement that will extend into 2012, according to SpeedTV.com.

Our View A breakaway league would have been devastating for Formula 1 style racing—the same as it was for the Indy Racing League and CART—so this is good news for fantasy players.

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Bowyer wins Pocono Happy Hour

Clint Bowyer posted only the seventh fastest single lap in Pocono's Happy Hour, but he was the quickest overall with a speed of 163.007 during 16 laps.

Our View Especially on a long track like Pocono, races are run in the long run. Bowyer could be a surprise top-10 driver this week.

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Johnson fastest in both Saturday Pocono practices

Jimmie Johnson posted the fastest lap in both Pocono practices. He went 167.292 in the morning session and was 165.795 in Happy Hour under slicker conditions.

Our View Better still, he was the quickest in the combined sessions in terms of average speeds. His mean time was 163.281 during 44 laps.

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Stewart has Darlington backup

The backup car Tony Stewart will start this week is the same one that finished eighth at Auto Club Speedway and third at Darlington Raceway, according to @NASCAR_Says.

Our View In June, this team pretty much proved they only have fast cars, so fantasy owners should be overly concerned about his starting position.

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Stewart crashes in Pocono practice 2

In his first laps of practice in the morning session at Pocono, Tony Stewart got loose off turn three and slammed the wall. He will have to roll out a backup car.

Our View Amazingly, he also wrecked in the first race at Pocono this year. That race was also set by points when qualification was canceled and after going to the back of the pack, he won the race.

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