May 23, 2009

Rain suspends HH practice

Moments after Robby Gordon slapped the wall in Happy Hour, rain started to fall, which suspended practice. This will probably be it for the night.

Our View: Drivers knew this was coming and spent most of the first session testing things they would have tested in Happy Hour, so the net effect will not be very great.

R Gordon hits wall in HH

Robby Gordon slapped the wall at the five minute mark of Happy Hour and dropped debris on the track. He porbably won't need a backup car.

Our View: The urgency of practice is picking up with rain just outside the track.

N'Wide: Edwards on Lowe's pole

Carl Edwards posted a lap of 183.175 mph to sit on the Nationwide Carquest Auto Parts 300 pole. His closest rival in the points, Kyle Busch qualified second, but will have to drop to the back of the pack Saturday night because of an engine change.

Our View: Starting up front in a 300-mile race is very important, so Edwards has to be considered a threat. Busch cannot be discounted, however, since that kid can work traffic better than almost any other driver in the field.

Rain does not affect Kahne

In response to a question of whether Kasey Kahne approached the first practice session differently because of potential rain canceling Happy Hour, he replied “not really. We just tried to get as many laps in as we could. Hopefully we can get the last session in because the conditions will be very similar to what we should have for tomorrow night’s race. We have a pretty good Budweiser Dodge Charger and we need to keep wrenching on some things to make it as good as we can.”

Our View: Kahne has been able to run strong at Lowe's even when he's struggled elsewhere, which makes him a very interesting sleeper.

Hamlin posts fastest lap in Sat a.m. practice

Denny Hamlin posted the single fastest lap in Friday morning's practice with a speed of 184.338 mph.

Our View: That's all well and good, but his average speed of 179.385 mph during 27 laps was only seventh best on that grid.

F1: Vettel has lightest car

Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth for the Monaco Grand Prix with the lightest car on the grid. With the driver weight and fuel load, his car is nearly 10.5ks lighter than anyone else. The complete list can be found at

Our View: If not for the fact that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were in front of him, Vettel might be able to scoot to the lead, but they are going to be hard to pass. Once in the lead, they have more fuel on board to give them a chance to employ alternate strategy.

Newman wins Sat a.m. practice

Ryan Newman posted the quickest average speeds in practice one, with a speed of 180.180 mph during 17 laps.

Our View: With regards to the talking heads at Fox – one fast lap does not win either practice or a race.

Sorenson slaps wall, McMurray eats donut

Reed Sorenson and Jamie McMurray got together at the seven minute mark in the first practice session, which put a donut on the No. 26 and slammed the No. 43 into the wall.

Our View: McMurray was faster, but discretion dictates a little give and take. That is the same kind of impatience that has made him a risky proposition on a weekly basis during the race.

Practice begins amidst sprinkles

The first race-trim practice session for the Coca-Cola 600 is underway with rain sprinkling the track.

Our View: Actually, this may replicate Sunday night's conditions fairly well. The track is cooler than it otherwise would be and the heavy air mimics dew,

F1: Monaco GP Lineup

Jenson button continues to be the hottest driver on the Formula 1 circuit. Despite an average starting position of nearly 12th in seven attempts, he put down a blistering fast lap of one minute, 14.902 seconds and will roll off from the pole. That is critical to success on the tight, twisty Monaco road course.

Kimi Raikkonen is in the second position in a Ferrari.

Button is not the only Brawn driver at the front of the field. This new organization has topped the Unified Power Rankings in recent weeks, and teammate Rubens Barrichello starts third.

Lewis Hamilton's struggles continue. He crashed barely four laps into qualification and will have to roll off the grid deep in the field in 16th. He will be lucky to earn a single championship point and should not be considered a good bet to win.


StartDriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
1Jenson Button11.1411.717
2Kimi Raikkonen10.256.258
3Rubens Barrichello8.818.9416
4Sebastian Vettel5.0019.001
5Felipe Massa7.1710.836
6Nico Rosberg15.676.333
7Heikki Kovalainen10.509.502
8Mark Webber10.2010.205
9Fernando Alonso6.575.717
10Kazuki Nakajima7.0013.001
11Sebastian Buemi

12Nelson Piquet Jr17.0017.001
13Giancarlo Fisichella9.699.3813
14Sebastian Bourdais20.0016.001
15Adrian Sutil17.5018.502
16Lewis Hamilton1.502.502
17Nick Heidfeld9.4413.569
18Robert Kubica3.506.502
19Jarno Trulli11.257.5012
20Timo Glock12.0010.001

F1: Ecclestone to Ferrari "quit and I'll sue"

In the latest barrage in the war of words, Bernie Ecclestone has told Ferrari that if they carry through with their intention to leave F next year, FIA would sue for breach of contract, according to

Our View: Ferrari has become too accustomed to getting their way in motorsports, but fair is fair, If they have a contract, they should be expected to honor it.