June 20, 2009

N'Wide: Edwards wins at Milwaukee

Carl Edwards has had a dismal year in 2009, but you wouldn't know that by how he race Saturday night. He ran away from the field in the final segment to earn his first win of the season.

Our View: You had to know that Edwards wouldn't be kept down forever. He should relish it, because Sunday is going to be a challenge on the road course.

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IRL: Beatriz wins Iowa Indy Lights race

Ana Beatriz blasted into the lead on the final lap as another female driver Pippa Mann ended up on her lid. Beatriz navigated the crash and is now the first two-time female winner.

Our View: Perhaps Jack Roush should be talking to her about making the switch to NASCAR; she wouldn't have any issues paying her dues in Nationwide.

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ARCA: Kligerman wins Mansfield

Parker Kligerman led most of the Tim Richmond Memorial 200, but don't let that fool you. For most of the second half of the event, Joey Coulter was on his back bumper.

Our View: With three laps to go a caution waved, which made Kligerman's job even tougher. By then, Coulter's tires were gone and he had to fight off a furious charge from Chris Buescher.

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CW West: Logano finishes 17th

After leading from lap 26 through 63, Joey Logano finished only 17th in the Camping World West finish. He was spun on the final lap in the turn 11 hairpin by Patrick Long.

Our View: His finish at this level is not nearly as important as the experience he gained. Logano was also strong in this event last year before blowing an engine and he's got a lot of promise as a road racer.

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IRL: Iowa lineup with avg. start/finish

It was a tough day at Iowa Speedway as persistent weepers in the track canceled qualification. The Indy Racing League did their dead-level best to get the session in the books, but could never send more than two cars out without stopping the action. That forced them to set the lineup by owner points, which places Helio Castroneves on the pole. That is familiar territory; in two previous starts on this track, he's started second on average, but doesn't have nearly as good a record in race trim. In two races at Iowa, he's finished eighth and 14th.

Scott Dixon starts second and he would seem to be a much better value. In his two starts, he's started on the pole in both events. He's swept the top-10 on this track, but the greater recommendation is that he swept the top five on the IRL's short tracks last year with a fourth in Iowa and a third at Richmond.

The best value this week, however, is Dario Franchitti. In his last two short track races, he swept victory lane at Iowa and Richmond in 2007. He rolls off the grid fourth.

Lineup with avg. start/finish

StartDriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
1Helio Castroneves11.002.002
2Ryan Briscoe7.005.001
3Scott Dixon7.001.002
4Dario Franchitti1.003.001
5Danica Patrick9.508.502
6Dan Wheldon6.006.002
7Tony Kanaan17.005.502
8Marco Andretti2.5010.002
9Graham Rahal10.0016.001
10Justin Wilson12.0020.001
11Hideki Mutoh2.007.001
12Raphael Matos

13Ed Carpenter14.507.002
14Robert Doornbos

15Mario Moraes19.0024.001
16Tomas Scheckter19.0014.001
17Ryan Hunter-Reay8.0014.001
18E J Viso13.0013.001
19Mike Conway

20Jaques Lazier

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ARCA: Lofton on Mansfield pole

Justin Lofton will lead the ARCA field to green for the Tim Richmond Memorial 200, according to ARCARacing.com.

Our View: In his last short track race at Toledo this season, he finished second at Toledo after starting second.

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N'Wide: Darnell on Milwaukee pole

Erik Darnell has captured the pole for the Nationwide race in Milwaukee. Brad Coleman is on the outside pole.

Our View: Last year, he qualified Carl Edwards's car 11th for this race, but he'll get a chance to race this week in the No. 6. In five previous Nationwide starts, he has one top-five, two top-10s and four top-15s.

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IRL: Iowa qualification canceled, Castroneves on pole

According to live timing and scoring at IndyCar.com, qualification has been canceled and the field will be set by owner points. That places Helio Castroneves on the pole.

Our View: Castroneves finished only 14th in this race last year, but he should still be considered a strong threat because he finished second on the other short track of Richmond International Raceway.

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CW West: Long penalized, Bowles wins Infineon

Strike that. Patrick Long has been penalized by NASCAR for intentionally spinning Joey Logano, which has given the victory to Jason Bowles.

Our View: Long lost the lead of the Camping World East race in the next to last turn after contact by Ryan Truex—and he vowed "what goes around, comes around." Unfortunately, he seems to have lost sight of the fact that Logano wasn't Truex.

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CW West: Long wins, Logano spins

Road racing specialist Patrick Long won the Camping World West race at Infineon on the final lap after Joey Logano spun from the lead, according to a tweet from @NASCARHomeTrack.

Our View: As disappointing as that is for the teenage Cup rookie, he got a chance to battle a great road racer and earned a ton of experience. He's not recommended for Sunday's Cup race, but he could get a solid finish nonetheless.

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Infineon pit stall selections

Jayski.com has posted the pit stall selections for the Infineon Toyota / SaveMart 350k.

Our View: Brian Vickers took the 23rd slot instead of the first. This pit has an opening in front of it and should allow him to have a little more momentum at pit out. Outside pole sitter Kyle Busch has pit No. 11—also with an opening in front—and Marcos Ambrose has pit stall No. 1.

Casual contact between Ambrose/Johnson at Infineon

Apparently there was casual contact between Marcos Ambrose and Jimmie Johnson during Happy Hour, according to a tweet from @BobPockcrass.

Our View: Ambrose was on track for only two laps. It's hard to imagine that he found trouble in that short a period. According to that same tweet, Johnson's car had minimal damage.

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Said to be pitted by Wood Bros.

The Wood Bros. team will pit Boris Said's No 08 John Carter Ford this week, according to Jayski.com.

Our View: Said will roll off the grid from a top-10 spot, but his practice times were not overly strong. The Wood Bros. will do a great job in the pits, but currently we favor Ron Fellows and Patrick Carpentier among the road course ringers.

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Trucks: Hornaday wins 41st Truck race

Ron Hornaday held off Dennis Setzer and Brian Scott at the Milwaukee Mile following a caution with less than 10 laps remaining.

Our View: This was a birthday present for Hornaday and he has a chance to get an even bigger win. He will be running in the Nationwide Series race later on Saturday in equally strong Kevin Harvick, Inc. equipment.

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R Gordon wins Infineon Happy Hour

Robby Gordon posted the quickest time in Infineon Happy Hour, with a speed of 91.684 during 13 laps.

Our View Gordon was not very fast in the morning session and he struggled in qualification, but it's great to see him finally find some speed. A top-10 is possible for the No. 7.

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Allmendinger posts single fast lap in Infineon Happy Hour

A.J. Allmendinger posted the single fastest lap in Happy Hour for the Toyota / SaveMart 350k at Infineon Raceway.

Our View Allmendinger has a lot of road racing experience in the Indy Racing League and Indy Lights, but unfortunately his average speed during this session was only mid-pack. You will find much better values at his level.

Gilliland gets road course backup

Fantasy owners who heard David Gilliland say the team did not have a road course backup will be glad to know that he is going to borrow a backup from Martin Truex Jr., according to a tweet from @BobPockrass.

Our View: That is great news. If he had to use his speedway backup a possible top-15 was a long shot. Now he should be regarded as fair value with a top-15 potential.

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N'Wide: Coleman fastest in final Milwaukee practice

Brad Coleman posted the fastest single lap in the final practice session at Milwaukee, according to a tweet from @NASCAR_NNS.

Our View: Coleman is in the No. 20 normally driven by Joey Logano, so he has the horses to run with the leaders all day. As a part time driver, he will be a good value in Nationwide games as well—which makes him a double threat.

Practice Times

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IRL: Dixon tops first practice at Iowa

Scott Dixon posted the fastest lap in Iowa's first practice session, according to a tweet from @IndyCarPR.

Our View: In his last three races on IRL short tracks, Dixon has swept the top five. He finished fourth at Iowa and third at Richmond last year, so he definitely deserves a spot on your roster.

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Fellows wins Infineon Saturday a.m. practice

Marcos Ambrose posted the quickest average speed in the Saturday morning practice session, but he blew an engine midway through and will be forced to change his engine. Ron Fellows—in the No. 09 of James Finch—was the next quickest driver with a speed of 91.784 during six laps, so we'll credit him with leading this session.

Our View: Fellows has the skills and this team has already won on a specialty track at Talladega SuperSpeedway with Brad Keselowski at the wheel. Fellows should be considered one of the favorite road ringers and he could finish in the top 10.

Ambrose blows engine in Infineon practice 2

Marcos Ambrose blew an engine about halfway through the Saturday morning practice session and he will be forced to change the powerplant and give up his third-place spot on the grid.

Our View: At Watkins Glen last year, Ambrose climbed from 43rd to third, so he should still be considered a good value. However, his odds of winning have taken a huge hit.

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N'Wide: Allgaier crashes in Milwaukee practice

Justin Allgaier has crashed hard in practice at the Milwaukee Mile and will be forced to roll out a backup car, according to a tweet from @NASCAR_NNS.

Our View: Allgaier was in fast equipment and his backup is likely to be just as strong, but as is nearly always the case in these situations, his odds have slipped slightly.

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Gilliland, Andretti crash at pit out

David Gilliland rammed into the back of John Andretti at the end of pit road. It appeared that Andretti was waiting for a hole in traffic and Gilliland was not expecting him to be so slow.

Our View: Gilliland has heavy damage and will almost certainly have to roll out a backup car. He was starting near the back anyway, but this still hurts his chances to finish in the top-10. A top-15 is still possible, however.

Dark Horse Report: Sadler best at Infineon

Elliott Sadler is not the first driver who pops into fantasy owners' heads at Infineon Raceway, but in terms of average finishes, this is his best track. He boasts an average of 15.8 in 10 attempts.

Our View: Three of his last five races on this track resulted in top-10s, but his last two efforts were only 14th and 19th. Not bad, but he will only fit the last slot on your roster.

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