June 3, 2009

Prelude to the Dream postponed

It looks like Jeff Gordon isn't the only driver who'll miss the Prelude to the Dream tonight. It has been postponed until September 9th due to persistent rain.

Flat tracks, three-year avg. fin

With its three dissimilar corners, Pocono Raceway is one of the most unique tracks on the circuit, but that doesn't mean that it is without comparatives.

Flat tracks require a distinctive set of skills. Drivers have to show patience entering the corners and be prepared to drive like a maniac from the center outward. To help make this week's decision on who to start at Pocono, fantasy owners will find a ton of inspiration from NASCAR's four other flat tracks of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway.

The proof of how well these tracks compare to one another can be found in a driver's consistency. Last year, one racer swept the top 10 in the nine races held on those tracks and two others failed to finish that well only a single time. Jimmie Johnson was the perfect driver; in his nine attempts, he won four times—once each at Indy and Martinsville, plus a season sweep at Phoenix—and in those races, he averaged a result of 3.1. The No. 48 team carried that momentum forward and won this spring at Martinsville before finishing fourth at Phoenix.

Denny Hamlin was nearly perfect. He finished in the top 10 in all but one flat track race last year, and that exception came because of a miscalculation in the pits. On an alternate pit strategy, he got stranded 23rd in Pocono's fall race, or else he would most likely have been challenging the leaders when the checkers waved. Fantasy owners will be interested in knowing that Hamlin's three-year average finish on this track type is 6.3 compared to Johnson's 7.6 during that same span.

Carl Edwards is the final driver to nearly sweep the top 10. He finished 17th in the first New Hampshire race, but was perfect otherwise. Better still, after that single bobble, he swept the top five in the last five flat track events. This streak was highlighted by a victory in the fall Pocono race, which makes him a driver to watch closely this weekend. Unfortunately, he's been a little more uneven this season and finished 26th at Martinsville earlier in the spring.

Flat track average finish, last three years

DriverAvg FinishAttempts
Denny Hamlin6.3027
Jimmie Johnson7.5927
Jeff Gordon9.3027
Mark Martin9.7818
Tony Stewart10.4127
Jeff Burton11.5627
Kevin Harvick12.1527
Carl Edwards13.2227
Matt Kenseth14.6727
Dale Earnhardt Jr15.7427
Martin Truex Jr16.5227
Clint Bowyer16.9327
Greg Biffle17.0027
Kurt Busch17.1527
Kyle Busch17.6727
Ryan Newman18.0427
Kasey Kahne20.1527
Juan Montoya20.8020
Bobby Labonte21.2227
Casey Mears21.2627
Jamie McMurray22.3327
David Ragan22.3321
Marcos Ambrose22.605
Reed Sorenson24.9327
David Stremme25.2818
Brian Vickers25.5627
Elliott Sadler27.4827
David Reutimann27.9520
Paul Menard28.2421
Joey Logano28.333
Regan Smith28.4613
Sterling Marlin28.6414
Dave Blaney28.9627
David Gilliland29.4823
Patrick Carpentier29.577
Robby Gordon30.6527
Sam Hornish Jr31.0714
A J Allmendinger31.8318
Joe Nemechek32.8526
Michael Waltrip33.5826
Scott Speed35.754
John Andretti42.229
Derrike Cope47.007

Hylton to make his 700th start

In this week's ARCA race at Pocono, James Hylton will make his 700th major league stock car start, according to the Associated Press.

Our View: That is dedication. At 74 years of age, this racer still wants to compete—and if he leaves his left turn blinker on, well there's always another one coming up at Pocono.

Gordon withdraws from Prelude

Jeff Gordon has withdrawn from the Prelude to the Dream because of back pain, according to ThatsRacin.com. Marcos Ambrose will drive his car.

Our View: This is described a precautionary measure so that he does not further injure his back; he should still be fine for the Pocono 500.

Logano, Said to race CW West Infineon

Joey Logano and Boris Said are on the entry list for the Camping World West Bennett Lane Winery 200 at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20, according to a NASCAR Press Release.

Our View: Said is trying to keep his exposure high among NASCAR owners. Logano needs all the seat time he can get on the road courses. Unfortunately, Said may not have a ride for the Infineon Cup race, and Logano has yet to prove himself in these cars so neither carries a recommendation.

Mayfield case moved to federal court

Jeremy Mayfield's appeal of his drug suspension case will be moved to federal curt, according to NASCAR.com.

Our View: Sympathies lie with Mayfield, so long as he is innocent as he claims. But if not, NASCAR needs to have the ability to police their sport in a responsible way.

Joey Logano, Boris Said among early entries for Infineon.

Big Field Expected For NASCAR Camping World Series West Event At Sonoma

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 3, 2009) – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Logano and noted road-racing veteran Boris Said are among the early entries for the Bennett Lane Winery 200 Presented by Supercuts at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20.

The annual NASCAR Camping World Series West race is a companion event as part of the big NASCAR weekend with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the road course in Sonoma, Calif.
Logano will be pulling double-duty for Joe Gibbs Racing, competing in both events. The Middleton, Conn., driver became the youngest winner in the NASCAR Camping World Series West with a victory in his series debut in the second race of the 2007 season at the age of 16 years and 10 months. Logano competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series West event at Infineon Raceway two years ago, but was sidelined by engine trouble.

Said will be driving a special silver and black DenBeste Motorsports entry honoring the career of Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler. Said of Carlsbad, Calif., raced in the NASCAR Camping World Series West event at Sonoma in 2006 and again in 2007, when he finished third. He has a win at Infineon Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1998 and four top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Last year’s NASCAR Camping World Series West race at Sonoma, which attracted a record field of 41 cars, featured a thrilling three-way battle for the win in the closing laps. Jason Bowles held on for the win, with Eric Holmes and Jim Inglebright close behind.