July 11, 2009

Martin goes from outhouse to penthouse at Chicagoland

Mark Martin entered the night outside the top 12 in points, but after dominating the LifeLock.com 400, he would currently be seeded first if the playoffs should start next week. Now that is a turnaround.

Our View: Of course, the Chase does not start next week. Martin needs to keep his consistency and strength for another few weeks if he wants to have a shot at the championship.

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IRL: Honda Toronto Indy lineup, with avg. finish

In an odd qualification session, the top six drivers all raced for different teams and the heavy hitters Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske placed only one of their drivers at the front of the grid. Of course, Dario Franchitti made the most of that by going out to set an early lap to beat. No one could and he will lead the field to green. This is the IRL's first race at Toronto's Exhibition Place street course, but Franchitti has six previous starts there in the CART series and he's always started up front.

Results, with average finish

StartDriverCART Avg. FinCART Avg. StartCART Attempts
1Dario Franchitti18.173.506
2Will Power4.009.502
3Graham Rahal11.0015.001
4Justin Wilson5.002.754
5Alex Tagliani6.888.638
6Mike Conway

7Robert Doornbos6.0012.001
8Scott Dixon5.009.502
9Raphael Matos

10Helio Castroneves18.009.504
11Ryan Briscoe

12Ryan Hunter-Reay8.3312.673
13Mario Moraes

14Tomas Scheckter

15Paul Tracy7.206.7315
16E J Viso

17Marco Andretti

18Danica Patrick

19Ed Carpenter

20Tony Kanaan16.507.004
21Dan Wheldon

22Hideki Mutoh

23Richard Antinucci

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F1: German GP lineup, with avg. finish

Mark Webber earned his first Formula 1 pole and will sit at the head of the field to start the German Grand Prix.

The dominant racers of the year aren't far behind, however. Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button start second and third.

One other qualification of note was Lewis Hamilton. After a couple of weeks of poor time trials, he finally advanced into the final session of knockout qualification and will start fifth. This week, he said the team was fixing their problems. It appears he may just have been right.

Results, with average finish

StartDriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
1Mark Webber11.8312.176
2Rubens Barrichello5.387.7713
3Jenson Button10.5011.508
4Sebastian Vettel

5Lewis Hamilton9.0010.001
6Heikki Kovalainen8.007.001
7Adrian Sutil19.0021.001
8Felipe Massa6.808.805
9Kimi Raikkonen11.434.007
10Nelson Piquet Jr

11Nick Heidfeld10.2510.388
12Fernando Alonso4.507.336
13Kazuki Nakajima

14Jarno Trulli12.307.2010
15Nico Rosberg13.5016.502
16Robert Kubica7.005.001
17Sebastian Buemi

18Giancarlo Fisichella11.0011.4212
19Timo Glock

20Sebastian Bourdais

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IRL: Franchitti takes Toronto pole

Dario Franchitti will lead the field to green on Sunday on the street course in Toronto.

Our View: That will be his third pole in the last five races this season and in both previous events, he finished in the top five with a best of second at Richmond.

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N'Wide: Dollar General 300 results, with avg. finish

You get the feeling that Joey Logano was playing with the field. In the first half of the race, he ran away from the field until NASCAR threw one of their legendary "debris" cautions—even though we never saw the debris. Kyle Busch beat him out of the pits and for a while it appeared the teenager would have some competition, but as the race started to wind down, the No. 20 charged to the front once more. Even on old tires in a 10-lap shootout versus nine other drivers on the lead lap with either two or four new tires, Logano not only held his advantage, he stretched it.

Busch held on for second, which was the fourth time this season that Joe Gibbs Racing finished 1-2. Logano has won three of these at Nashville, Kentucky and now Chicagoland, with Busch winning last week at New Hampshire. For the record, Roush Racing has also finished 1-2 on one occasion at Vegas, with Greg Biffle beating Carl Edwards to the line. In that race, Todd Braun finished third and fourth with Brian Vickers and Jason Leffler taking those spots respectively. Notably, those two drivers finished in the same position Friday night at Chicagoland.

Results, with average finish

FinishStartDriverLapsLaps LedStatusAvg Fin
13Joey Logano20096Running1.00
26Kyle Busch200
32Brian Vickers2002Running10.25
412Jason Leffler200
510Kevin Harvick200
61Carl Edwards20017Running9.60
717Greg Biffle2001Running19.63
813David Reutimann200
915Mike Bliss2001Running15.75
109Justin Allgaier200
1116Jeff Burton200
128Trevor Bayne199
1325Brendan Gaughan199
1411Paul Menard198
1526Scott Wimmer198
1621Steve Wallace198
1718Michael Annett198
1814Brad Keselowski197
1935Jason Keller197
2030Scott Lagasse Jr197
2122John Wes Townley197
224Ryan Newman1975Running23.50
2334Tony Raines196
2424Joe Nemechek196
2539Michael McDowell196
2629Shelby Howard196
2737Kenny Wallace196
2841Robert Richardson195
2923Danny O'Quinn Jr194
3027Dennis Setzer194
3138Eric McClure194
3240Matt Carter189
3342Mike Harmon185
345David Ragan107
3543Jeremy Clements92
3636Derrike Cope24
Start and Park36.33
3731Casey Atwood19
Start and Park23.00
3833Mike Wallace19
Start and Park22.00
3932Kevin Lepage15
Start and Park27.17
407Kelly Bires8
Start and Park25.33
4119Terry Cook6
Start and Park41.00
4220Kertus Davis2
Start and Park39.33
4328Mark Green1
Start and Park32.00
Johnny Chapman0
Did Not Qualify37.00
J C Stout0
Did Not Qualify
Stanton Barrett0
Did Not Qualify29.20
Kevin Hamlin0
Did Not Qualify
Morgan Shepherd0
Did Not Qualify42.00
Brian Keselowski0
Did Not Qualify

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