June 6, 2009

IRL: Patrick narrowly misses top five

Danica Patrick missed extending her top-five streak to six consecutive, but she didn't miss by much. The No. 7 car finished sixth.

Our View: Patrick could be one of the best values in the game at the moment.

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R Gordon wins? or disqualified from Baja?

Robby Gordon may have been disqualified from his winning run in the Baja 500, according to a rumor by @FantasyOffRoad.

Our View: Now that would be a shame to miss Pocono practice and go all that distance – only to get dq'd. Let's hope this one isn't true.

IRL: Castroneves beats Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe dominated the Bombardier Learjet 550k, but he couldn't quite beat Helio Castroneves to the line when the checkers waved.

Our View: This is Castroneves third Texas victory; he also won in 2004 and 2006; last year, he finished second, which tells fantasy owners he has found the setup on this fast 1.5-mile track.

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Stewart leads early, finishes sixth in the Dream

Tony Stewart started from the pole for Saturday night's Dream at Eldora. He led for a while and had a spirited battle with Scott Bloomquist before fading to sixth at the checkers—but that is more than respectable in a field of more than 100 cars (including heats).

Our View: Stewart won his heat and earned the respect of the late model crowd.

N'Wide: Busch dominates and wins Nashville

Kyle Busch finally won a race he dominated. He led 173 of 225 laps at Nashville in the Federated Auto Parts 300 before pulling into victory lane.

Our View: Love him or hate him (and after smashing the Gibson guitar in victory lane, the haters are predominant), he has the potential to earn a lot of fantasy points.

More Nationwide Newsbreakers

Ku Busch on double-file restarts


"I think that everybody in the garage area, drivers, owners, crew members are in favor of double-file re-starts. I think that we’ve seen its positive results in the Camping World West Series and Camping World East Series. We saw that result in the (Sprint) All-Star race where you have guys double-file and it produces great re-starts. The concept came from everybody aboard. The fans ultimately can receive the benefit of saying that they were the ones in charge (contributed to NASCAR’s rule change) because we want to make the right decisions to create more excitement for them to watch. Where do we draw the line? I think the line has to be drawn where everybody has to agree on it and I don’t think a 500-mile race would be appropriate if we threw a caution with 20 laps to go just to bunch the field up for more excitement at the end (of the race). I think pit strategy always comes into play. I think Dover was a really exciting race even though it didn’t have a mandatory caution at the end of the race. What it did was create an element for some guys who were on two tires, some were on four (tires), some even stayed out. We’re going to see that mix even more so in this day in age when it’s so difficult to pass.
That strategy, when it comes into play, if we had a mandatory caution with 20 (laps) to go would really throw it (strategy) out the window. It’s tough to draw the line. We’re in an entertainment business, a racing business; I would like to beat the next guy by three laps if I could. That doesn’t happen this day and age. We have close, competitive racing. We rarely see a guy win a race by more than a second and that’s the competition we want to see on the track."

From a Dodge Press Release

Tony Stewart on double-file restarts
Kasey Kahne on double-file restarts

Ku Busch on Pocono points


"I think it’s irrelevant on where you are in points and who you’re re-starting next too. You always have to keep track of who is starting next to you. At a track like (Pocono) this weekend, with all the points’ runners running up front this weekend, a track like Michigan next week, you’ll have surprises from guys who are running 18th to 25th in points, like a guy such as Montoya, he’s very fast at those tracks. Then when we go to the road courses, we’re going to have our hands full with different guys running up front. You’re going to have those double-file re-starts, we’ve never had double-file re-starts at road courses, and we’ve always been single-file lines. So this weekend will be great to work the bugs out of the new system. Michigan will be another test because we’ll see more guys get a lap down at Michigan than we will at Pocono. And then, when we get to the road course, I don’t think we’ll see anybody a lap down. We’ll see them side-by-side for re-starts and that’s going to be very exciting, but it could be frustrating at times."

From a Dodge Press Release

Owens has strong top-10 finish at Pocono

Female driver Alli Owens had a strong 10th-place finish at Pocono Raceway.

Our View: This is her second top-10 in the ARCA series. She finished sixth at Talladega SuperSpeedway earlier this year and nearly cracked the top 10 on one other occasion on the tough old Rockingham Speedway. NASCAR's diversity is not terribly great in terms of women drivers, but they are on the horizon.

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Logano wins Pocono ARCA race

Joey Logano made the most of his part time ride in the ARCA series at Pocono. We figure it's ok to post this notice since both ARCARacing.com and SpeedTV.com spoiled their own race.

Our View: This was Logano's fourth start in ARCA. He's now won twice and finished second twice.

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N'Wide: Nashville lineup, with avg. start/fin

Kyle Busch stole the show by earning the pole for the Federated Auto Parts 300, but the driver in second made the most noise. In only his second Nationwide career start and hailing from just up the road in Knoxville, Tenn. Trevor Bayne held off the remainder of the competitors in a Michael Waltrip Toyota and will start from the outside pole.

They call this an opportunity race for a reason. Busch and sixth-place qualifier Carl Edwards are the only two Cup regulars in the show and that allowed some unfamiliar names to grace the top of the charts. Michael McDowell (third), Brad Coleman (fourth) and Scott Lagasse Jr. (fifth) rounded out the top five.

Look for some new faces at the front of the pack when the checkers wave as well.

Lineup, with average start/finish

StartDriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
1Kyle Busch17.439.638
2Trevor Bayne
3Michael McDowell15.003.002
4Brad Coleman26.5016.805
5Scott Lagasse Jr10.0021.502
6Carl Edwards4.136.569
7Brendan Gaughan17.0010.502
8Mike Bliss13.2011.4511
9Stephen Leicht16.009.605
10Brad Keselowski17.2018.176
11Jason Keller14.5313.3816
12Jason Leffler15.5615.2010
13Sean Caisse
14John Wes Townley18.0016.002
15Cale Gale23.0016.336
16Steve Wallace15.2915.258
17Willie Allen33.0027.502
18Kevin Conway31.0019.502
19Ricky Stenhouse Jr23.0012.002
20Mark Green27.5028.449
21Bobby Hamilton Jr14.3610.0012
22Burney Lamar12.5018.005
23Johnny Chapman39.6732.504
24Justin Allgaier29.0016.502
25Brian Keselowski41.0029.002
26Kertus Davis35.2528.339
27Erik Darnell
28Kenny Wallace15.3318.9213
29Robert Richardson32.0037.754
30Eric McClure31.5734.888
31Michael Annett19.0022.002
32Kelly Bires8.0017.405
33Scott Wimmer10.5016.9111
34Casey Atwood16.3323.504
35Shelby Howard14.0035.002
36Brad Baker22.8329.717
37Brandon Whitt30.0039.002
38Marc Davis
39Kevin Lepage25.2028.176
40Tony Raines20.2521.339
41Mike Harmon37.5038.899
42Danny O'Quinn Jr21.6023.176
43Morgan Shepherd36.0038.007
DNQDaryl Harr

DNQJustin Hobgood41.0032.001

More Nationwide Newsbreakers

N'Wide: Busch on Nashville pole

Kyle Busch made the long commute to Nashville Superspeedway in time to qualify his own car for the Federated Auto Parts 300. It was worthwhile, he won the pole with a speed of 161.044 mph.

Our View: Busch only has two top-10s on this track in Nationwide competition, but his latest attempt ended in a result of second after starting fourth in the Pepsi 300 earlier this year.

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CW East: R Truex wins Watkins Glen

From a NASCAR Press Release

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 6, 2009) – NASCAR Camping World Series East rookie Ryan Truex passed race leader Patrick Long between Turns 10 and 11 on the last lap and took the checkered flag in the Tioga Downs Casino 125 Saturday at Watkins Glen International.

Truex (No. 00 NAPA Toyota), who was making just his fifth career start in the series for Michael Waltrip Racing, ran in the top three throughout the day and got position on Long (No. 03 AASCO Motorsports Chevrolet) coming out of Turn 10 on the last lap of a green-white-checker finish. Truex held his position as Long went off the course and Truex came out of Turn 11 with a clear vision of the finish line and earned the victory.

Long settled for a fourth-place finish. Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino Chevrolet) finished as the runner-up and rookie Brett Moffitt (No. 44 Castle Packs Power Chevrolet) was third.

Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Matt DiBenedetto, Steve Park, Eddie MacDonald, Alex Kennedy, Brian Wong and Jonathon Smith.

Truex’s win marked the fifth different driver in as many races to win in 2009. Truex is the third member of his family to win in the series along with his father, Martin Sr., and his older brother, Martin Jr.

With his third-place effort, Moffitt overtook Jody Lavender for the series points lead. Lavender finished 14th on Saturday.

The sixth race of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series East season is slated for Friday, June 25 with the Heluva Good! Summer 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

Tioga Downs Casino 125 at The Glen Unofficial Results
At Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, NY
Lap length: 2.45 miles
(Start position in parentheses)

1. (6) Ryan Truex, Mayetta, N.J., Toyota, 54 laps, 62.056 mph, $12,425.
2. (3) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 54, $7,100.
3. (4) Brett Moffitt, Grimes, Iowa, Chevrolet, 54, $5,800.
4. (5) Patrick Long, Oak Park, Calif., Chevrolet, 54, $4,800.
5. (1) Matt DiBenedetto, Grass Valley, Calif., Toyota, 54, $5,000.
6. (7) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet, 54, $3,000.
7. (11) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 54, $2,800.
8. (8) Alex Kennedy, Aztec, N.M., Chevrolet, 54, $3,150.
9. (14) Brian Wong, Newport Beach, Calif., Toyota, 54, $1,900.
10. (12) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 54, $2,360.
11. (13) Dustin Delaney, Mayfield, N.Y., Chevrolet, 54, $2,330.
12. (10) Jason Holehouse, Toronto, Ontario, Toyota, 54, $1,800.
13. (17) Sonny Whelen, Old Saybrook, Conn., Chevrolet, 54, $1,775.
14. (16) Jody Lavender, Hartsville, S.C., Ford, 53, $2,250.
15. (20) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 49, $1,725.
16. (9) Eric Curran, Springfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 48, engine, $1,700.
17. (19) Matt Kurzejewski, Mansfield, Pa., Dodge, 39, accident, $2,185.
18. (18) Jason Patison, Corona, Calif., Chevrolet, 35, transmission, $2,170.
19. (15) Ryan Duff, Hazard, KY., Chevrolet, 20, engine, $2,160.
20. (2) Antonio Perez, Guadalajara, Mexico, Dodge, 13, engine, $2,150.
21. (21) Tiffany Daniels, Smithfield, Va., Dodge, 5, engine, $1,640.
Race Statistics
Time of Race: 2 hours 7 minutes 55 seconds
Margin of Victory: .239 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: M. DiBenedetto (118.773 mph, 74.259 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 20 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M. DiBenedetto 1-15; E. Curran 16-21; P. Long 22-53; R. Truex 54.
Standings: 1. B. Moffitt, 764; 2. J. Lavender, 746; 3. M. Kobyluck, 727; 4. E. MacDonald, 723; 5. R. Truex, 697; 6. D. Delaney, 660; 7. S. Park, 650; 8. A. Kennedy, 628; 9. J. Patison, 602; 10. R. Duff, 596.

More Camping World East Newsbreakers

Stewart 24th fastest in time trials for the Dream

With the Prelude to the Dream washed out, Tony Stewart is making it up to fans by trying to race his way into the Dream itself. On Friday night, he had the 24th fastest Late Model dirt car in time trials with a lap of 16.089 on the half-mile Eldora Speedway.

"Kid Rocket" Josh Richards posted the fastest lap of 15.655.

Our View: To further put this in perspective, 109 Dirt Late Models took time and another seven cars are signed in to run the heats.

Stewart happy with backup

According to a Tweet from @BobPockrass, Tony Stewart was in a good mood following practice and says his backup car is better than his primary.

Our View: His speeds on the chart certainly confirm that and Pocono is a track on which a driver can come from the back. Its long straights allow drivers with horsepower to pass before entering the corners.

Hamlin fastest in Pocono Happy Hour

Denny Hamlin posted the fastest single lap in Pocono Happy Hour with a speed of 165.317 mph. His average speed of 162.817 was second best.

Our View: Perhaps we should call Hamlin and Ryan Newman co-winners of this session. Newman was quickest and second fastest in Happy Hour and these two drivers could be the class of the field on Sunday.

Newman wins Pocono Happy Hour

Ryan Newman posted the quickest time in Happy Hour, with a speed of 163.000 mph during 21 laps. His fastest lap of 165.213 was second best on that grid.

Our View: Newman is the hottest driver on the circuit for the moment and if he was not on your lineup already, he should be now.

Logano in Pocono ARCA race

Joey Logano will do double duty this week at Pocono. He will take to the track from the outside of the second row Saturday afternoon.

Our View: This track is tricky to learn and even though the cars are significantly different, Logano needs the seat time. This can only help him during the Cup race.

More ARCA Newsbreakers

Vickers spins in Pocono HH

Immediately after the field went to green in Happy Hour at Pocono, Brian Vickers looped his car in the tunnel turn.

Our View: Unlike Tony Stewart in the first session, however, Vickers more or less kept his car on the pavement and did not do much damage. He is not expected to roll out a backup.

Johnson wins Sat. a.m. practice

No matter how you measured it, Jimmie Johnson won Saturday practice with a top speed of 167.607 and an average speed of 164.872 during 11 laps.

Our View: Johnson's recent record at Pocono has been spotty, but this confirms our suspicion that he will be the driver to beat on Sunday.

Stewart spins in Pocono P1

At the 34 minute mark in the first practice session, Tony Stewart spun without making wall contact.

While he may have avoided the wall, he tore the front splitter off his car. Stewart will probably roll out a backup car and that will cause him to give up the pole, but with the two practice session back-to-back, he's going to lose a lot of track time.

Last week's contact between Biffle and Edwards "just racing"

The contact between Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle last week at Dover late in the Autism Speaks 400 was just a racing deal, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View: As the author of this points out, however, the two do seem to run into one another a lot. Rivalries between teammates are often more intense because these guys are also fighting for internal resources. At Pocono, there is plenty of room to race, so don't look for any contact this week.

F1: Turkish GP Lineup, with avg. start/fin

For the second time in 2009, Sebastian Vettel wrestled the pole from Jenson Button, and just like the site of his previous pole the Chinese Grand Prix, he took the top spot after Button won the honor in back-to-back weeks. This is Vettel's first time to start near the lead in Turkey, however. His two previous attempts there have started 18th and 14th and ended 19th and 17th respectively.

Button and teammate Rubens Barrichello continue to make a mockery of the sport by starting second and third. There is absolutely no reason to think they are going to finish anywhere but at the front.

Lineup, with average start/finish

StartDriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
1Sebastian Vettel18.0016.002
2Jenson Button8.2513.254
3Rubens Barrichello12.2514.504
4Mark Webber14.758.504
5Jarno Trulli10.258.504
6Kimi Raikkonen6.753.754
7Felipe Massa5.502.754
8Fernando Alonso3.254.254
9Nico Rosberg11.0011.003
10Robert Kubica8.006.003
11Nick Heidfeld10.256.504
12Kazuki Nakajima19.0016.001
13Timo Glock13.0015.001
14Heikki Kovalainen9.004.502
15Adrian Sutil18.5019.002
16Lewis Hamilton3.502.502
17Nelson Piquet Jr15.0017.001
18Sebastian Buemi

19Giancarlo Fisichella9.759.004
20Sebastian Bourdais18.0018.001

Gordon about his back pain


“I think this track is probably one of the easier tracks. You get a lot of resting period on those long straightaways. About the only place that it might be an issue will be under braking getting into turn one. I had to do a test at Road Atlanta this week – that was one of the real tests and I was surprised that we got through it pretty good. Especially after the wreck last Friday during qualifying. I was pretty sore from that. I think the road courses and Martinsville, Bristol – those are the toughest tracks on it. This one should be pretty easy.”


“Right now I’m feeling pretty good. It’s always nice to have an extra day of rest – kind of got that today. I know there’s a lot of people that this didn’t work out so well for. For us, it worked out well – we got an extra day of rest, got a great starting position, great pit stall and now we can go focus for the race on Sunday. We’ll get out there tomorrow with the car in race conditions.”


“Surgery really hasn’t been an option looking at my condition and the options of surgery is really too invasive. I don’t necessarily think it’s necessary. I might do another treatment of what I did a couple weeks ago. We have to wait four to six weeks. They say the second treatment you usually have a lot better results than the first one. I really haven’t seen any big effects from the first one so I wasn’t really thrilled about doing a second one. Anytime they talk about sticking needles in your back it’s not something I’m looking forward to. It wasn’t so bad though and I’m certainly willing to give it a shot so we’ll do that when the time’s right and it fits in the schedule. Until then, my focus is on the training and just stretching. It’s strengthening the area, my whole core area and that’s been great for me in a lot of ways because it’s got me in better physical shape. From a cardio standpoint especially, when I’m in the car everything feels better. I don’t feel as hot in the car, I don’t feel as winded and it’s just dealing with the spasms – just the muscles getting really tight and causing some pain there. Other than that, we’re getting through it.”

From a GM Press Release

Stewart on Indy tire test


“I can’t tell you what is going to happen when we go back. I can tell you the other day we ran a full fuel run on a set of tires and didn’t have a problem with it. I was pleasantly surprised. I know Ryan (Newman) had went and done the first two or three tire tests there and they hadn’t made it that far. The other day, and I don’t know if it was because it was right after the Indy 500 or what and if there was still rubber down from that, but the tire wear was great. There was cording early in the session but no more than what we’ve always seen in the past there. It didn’t take long at all with four cars running to get it to where you could run 20 to 25 laps pretty easily and by the end of the day you could run a full fuel run. If the conditions stay like they are now I’m confident they’ve got a tire that we’re not going to have to worry about. Obviously there is a lot of time and a lot of weather that is going to come in between now and then and I don’t know how that is going to affect everything. If we had to race this weekend I could promise you that we would have a tire that could make it the whole way.”

From a GM Press Release

Kvapil to practice for Robby Gordon

Travis Kvapil will shake down Robby Gordon's car in Saturday's practice sessions, while the off-road racer is competing in the Baja 500, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View: Gordon has done this several times before without any major issues. The No. 7 could be a solid mid-pack contender and could fit your roster in order to extend your salary cap.