January 31, 2010

Logano Captures Second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Victory

IRWINDALE, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2010) – Joey Logano got his second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown trophy and Sergio Pena nearly made a historic debut on the national stage.

Logano, 19, held off the 16-year-old Pena and two-time race winner Matt Kobyluck for the victory in the 225-lap race Saturday before a sold-out crowd at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

It was Pena's first career race in NASCAR's top developmental series and it came in the non-points, postseason event, which has earned the moniker the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing."

Logano made his mark by winning as a 17-year-old rookie in the 2007 edition; Pena, who only has one year of Late Model racing on his resume, nearly out-did that.

Logano and Pena waged a race-long battle for the lead from drop of the green. For most of the race it was the Pena in heated pursuit of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Pena was able to grab the lead on several occasions. Logano, however, got the best of two late-race restarts to pull away for the victory.

Kobyluck got by Pena briefly on Lap 218, and by the time Pena got back to second four laps later he didn't have enough time to track Logano back down.

It's been a whirlwind weekend for the Winchester, Va., native.

Pena, driving for Revolution Racing and Drive For Diversity, beat out three teammates Thursday in a race-off for a chance to qualify for the Showdown. He easily did that, earning the pole in Friday's qualifying.

The win was a vindication – of sorts – for Logano, who crossed the line first in last year’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, but was penalized to last place for aggressive driving on the last lap.

Logano led three times for a race-high 171 laps while Pena led three times for 54 laps.

Following Logano, Pena and Kobyluck across the line was Matt DiBenedetto and Andrew Myers. Eric Holmes, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Paulie Harraka and Steve Park rounded out the top 10.

Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Jason Bowles finished 11th while K&N Pro Series East 2009 titlist Ryan Truex was relegated to 26th after a late-race accident.


Unofficial Results


At Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

Irwindale, CA

Lap length: 0.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Joey Logano, Middletown, Conn., Toyota, 225 laps, 54.253 mph, $31,000.

2. (1) Sergio Pena, Winchester, Va., Chevrolet, 225, $23,000.

3. (14) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 225, $22,550.

4. (11) Matt DiBenedetto, Grass Valley, Calif., Toyota, 225, $20,000.

5. (13) Andrew Myers, Newport Beach, Calif., Toyota, 225, $13,000.

6. (4) Eric Holmes, Escalon, Calif., Toyota, 225, $11,550.

7. (24) David Mayhew, Atascadero, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $10,000.

8. (17) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 225, $14,500.

9. (16) Paulie Harraka, Wayne, N.J., Toyota, 225, $9,850.

10. (23) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet, 225, $13,750.

11. (10) Jason Bowles, Ontario, Calif., Ford, 225, $8,500.

12. (22) Jim Inglebright, Fairfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $8,250.

13. (6) Jeff Barkshire, Auburn, Wash., Dodge, 225, $6,500.

14. (36) Nick Joanides, Woodland Hills, Calif., Ford, 225, $10,250.

15. (26) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Quebec, Chevrolet, 225, $12,000.

16. (3) Greg Pursley, Newhall, Calif., Ford, 225, $6,800.

17. (30) Jason Patison, Corona, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $11,700.

18. (39) Troy Ermish, Fremont, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $6,600.

19. (38) Kyle Kelley, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $7,550.

20. (40) Justin Philpott, Tracy, Calif., Toyota, 225, $6,500.

21. (20) Brennan Newberry, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $5,400.

22. (29) Jack Sellers, Sacramento, Calif., Chevrolet, 225, $6,300.

23. (35) Michael Self, Park City, Utah, Chevrolet, 214, accident, $6,250.

24. (37) Candace Muzny, Oklahoma City, Okla., Chevrolet, 208, suspension, $6,200.

25. (34) Daryl Harr, Edmonton AB, Chevrolet, 207, $6,150.

26. (9) Ryan Truex, Mayetta, N.J., Toyota, 205, accident, $11,100.

27. (19) Jamie Dick, Albuquerque, N.M., Chevrolet, 204, accident, $6,100.

28. (8) Josh Combs, Sacramento, Calif., Ford, 200, $5,100.

29. (27) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 195, rear end, $11,100.

30. (28) Moses Smith, Tempe, Ariz., Toyota, 186, accident, $6,100.

31. (33) Jonathon Gomez, Twin Falls, Idaho, Chevrolet, 185, accident, $6,100.

32. (12) Auggie Vidovich, Lakeside, Calif., Chevrolet, 177, accident, $5,000.

33. (31) Derek Ramstrom, W Boylston, Mass., Chevrolet, 144, accident, $11,000.

34. (18) Brett Thompson, Jerome, Idaho, Chevrolet, 144, accident, $6,000.

35. (21) Blake Koch, West Palm Beach, Fla., Chevrolet, 144, accident, $6,000.

36. (15) Brian Johnson, Jr., Machensey Park, Ill., Chevrolet, 144, oil leak, $5,000.

37. (5) Sean Caisse, Pelham, N.H., Chevrolet, 128, drive shaft, $5,000.

38. (7) David Gilliland, Riverside, Calif., Toyota, 99, electrical, $5,000.

39. (25) George Brunnhoelzl, III, W Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet, 93, accident, $11,000.

40. (32) Johnathan Hale, Rio Linda, Calif., Chevrolet, 39, rear end, $6,000.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 2 hours 4 minutes 25 seconds

Margin of Victory: .584 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: S.Pena (97.879 mph, 18.39 seconds)

Caution Flags: 15 for 72 laps.

Lead Changes: 5 among 2 drivers.

Lap Leaders: S. Pena 1; J. Logano 2-105; S. Pena 106-133; J. Logano 134-177; S. Pena


January 28, 2010

Nationwide: Patrick schedule announced

JR Motorsports has announced Danica Patrick's 12-race Nationwide schedule. She has not yet been approved to run at Daytona in that series but could still be entered if she performs well in the ARCA Daytona event. Her first scheduled race will be at Auto Club Speedway on 2/20/2010 followed immediately by the event at Las Vegas the following week. Then she will take a break to concentrate on her IndyCar responsibilities and return to stock car competition at New Hampshire in June.

The remainder of her schedule includes Chicagoland, Michigan, Dover, the fall Auto Club race, Charlotte, Gateway, Texas, Phoenix (her hometown) and Homestead.

Our View The majority of these events are held on unrestricted, intermediate speedways, which gives her a chance to focus on the skill set requited to go fast on that track type.

Patrick's transition to the heavy stockers will be a challenging one, but with JR Motorsports equipment at her disposal, she could be a better value than many anticipate.

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F1: USF1 announces first driver in lineup

Argentine Jose Marie Lopez has been named as the first driver in the USF1 lineup for 2010, according to ESPN.com.

Our View Eventually, the team wants to hire American drivers and give them an opportunity to race, but until then they are creating opportunities nonetheless: Lopez has logged 6,000 test miles with Renault.

Lopez will become the 24th Argentine in Formula 1and the first since Gaston Mazzacane ran in April 2001.

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F1: Schumacher ready for return

Michael Schumacher feels "great emotion" while preparing for his return to Formula 1, according to ESPN.com. He will return in a Mercedes in 2010 to end a three-year retirement.

Our View Don't expect Schumacher to have any rust after three years, however; he will be one of the strongest drivers in F1 fantasy racing.

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Trucks: Piquet to warm-up in South America and South Africa

Nelson Piquet Jr. will get a little stock car experience in the next few days before heading to the United States to debut in the Craftsman Truck Series, according to ESPN.com.

Our View Piquet will run at Brazil's Interlagos in a 1,000 endurance race and then head to South Africa to compete in the American Speed Association's Transcontinental Series Free State 500 on the paved Phakisa Freeway Circuit oval. Several top short track racers will be in attendance, so he will have some strong competition.

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IRL: George shuts down team

Tony George continues to distance himself from the league he created and that recently ousted him as its president. According to ESPN.com, he is shutting down his IRL race team, Vision Racing.

Our View In a league that has never had stunning car counts to begin with, it is unfortunate to lose any team. Last year, however, George's driver Ed Carpenter was hardly a fixture on anyone's race league.

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Several NASCAR drivers highlight Rolex 24 entry list

Six active NASCAR drivers will add some stock car spice to this weekend's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona DP roster. Max Papis will be in Chip Ganassi's No. 01 car, DEI teammates Juan Montoya and Jamie McMurray will also team up in the Ganassi No. 02, A.J. Allmendinger will run the No. 6 Michael Shanks entry, Paul Menard is in the No. 90 Porsche Coyote and Jimmie Johnson will team with Alex Gurney and Jimmy Vasser in Wayne Taylor's No. 99.

Our View While this has no direct correlation to NASCAR races at Daytona or even on the road courses—since the Daytona Prototypes are distinct from the stock cars—track time is always helpful.

Complete Daytona Prototype entry list
Complete Grand Touring entry list

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Montoya, McMurray test at Walt Disney World

Juan Montoya and Jamie McMurray tested at Walt Disney World Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to NASCAR.com. No times were released.

Our View This gives these two drivers a chance to work on their chemistry and determine if they like the same things in cars. Whether that is the case, simply testing should make them better teammates.

They will also get a chance to race together in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

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January 19, 2010

Gilliland to drive for BAM

According to @bobpockrass: David Gilliland will drive No. 49 BAM car at Daytona 500.

January 17, 2010

Newman gets new spotter

Ryan Newman will have a new spotter in 2010, according to FoxSports.com. Jimmy Kitchens moves over from the No. 07 RCR team that recently closed and will replace Greg Newman.

Our View It's always hard to go from a familiar voice to a new one, but Kitchens has enough experience to make the transition smooth.

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January 15, 2010

Dan Beaver's Twitter League

Come and play the Yahoo! fantasy racing game with me.

I have always been skeptical about social media until last April when I started using Twitter. I had been providing fantasy racing newsbreakers for NASCAR.com and Fanball.com for several years and I was originally looking for another way to get those to my readers. As I became more involved with Twitter, however, I found out this is a great way to interact.

So – this year, I decided to set up my own user-created league in the Yahoo! fantasy game. It is open to anyone who wants to join me, but user-created leagues are limited to 50 players, so sign up quickly just in case there is an overwhelming response.

Signing up is simple and free. Simply log onto Yahoo! Sports and navigate to the fantasy racing page (http://racing.fantasysports.yahoo.com/auto). Click on the “join a group” button and follow the instructions.

The league name is: DanBeaversTwitterLeague
Group ID: 4035
Password: twitter

The more the merrier, so feel free to invite any of your friends who want to join in. If we max the group out this year (50 players), we will probably make it an unlimited group next year and maybe get Yahoo! to promote the game a little heavier on the front page—and that means even more bragging rights to the winner.

This year, we will continue to make fantasy racing newsbreakers available via my Twitter account: @FantasyRace, so if you haven't already done so, take a minute to follow me. If you turn on the device updates, you will get the information on your cell phone (standard text rates apply) and you will have the information as soon as I post it on my Blog.

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January 13, 2010

So far, so good for Truex

Martin Truex Jr. got his first laps in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 56 in a Goodyear tire test at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He posted the third fastest lap of 184.744 behind Mark Martin (185.182) and Carl Edwards (185.102).

Our View Speeds from tire tests can be misleading since they are working on whatever the manufacturer directs, but if the team is happy, that means chemistry is being built—and that can only improve his value to fantasy players.

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N'Wide: McDowell to McDonald Motorsports

Michael McDowell will pilot Randy McDonald's No. 81 Nationwide Series Dodge in 2010, according to a Press Release by the team. This team will run full time.

Our View McDonald Motorsports has improved slightly in recent seasons. With McDonald behind the wheel, however, this could be a breakout year.

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Auto Club fall race shortened

Along with the news that the Phoenix spring race will be lengthened, it was announced the fall Auto Club race will be shortened by 100 miles. The new name of the race will be the Pepsi Max 400, according to Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Not all of the news is good, it turns out.

Our View The net effect is that NASCAR fans lost 37 miles of competition, but hopefully the California race will be more entertaining as the middle stages of this race can get a little strung out. This brings this race in line with both Michigan events, so those events will be even better comparatives.

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Phoenix spring race lengthened

The Subway Fresh Fit 500k will become the Subway Fresh Fit 600k this year this spring, adding 63 miles to its distance, according to the Arizona Republic. This will be the longest Cup race in Phoenix's history.

Our View The added distance was made possible by NASCAR moving the start of races up to create a uniform time. In the long run, this will benefit fantasy owners as it gives short, flat track drivers more time to get to the front. Previously, this race was essentially a sprint.

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January 12, 2010

Piquet Jr. coming to NASCAR

It appears that Nelson Piquet Jr.s Craftsman Truck Series tests have gone as planned. The former F1 driver announced via the Associated Press that he is headed to NASCAR, although no team has yet been announced.

Our View NASCAR is becoming popular with former F1 drivers thanks to Juan Montoya; their ultimate success has yet to be determined.

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New team headed to Cup with No. 26 points

There is a new team headed to NASCAR, according to Jayski.com. Vermont businessman Bill Jenkins has purchased equipment and the No. 26 owner points from Roush-Fenway Racing.

Our View That guarantees they will start the first five races of the season. So far a driver and crew has not yet been named, but there are still several quality racers looking for a ride.

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Sadler to deliver pizza

Elliott Sadler will become the fastest pizza delivery guy in six races next year with sponsorship from Hunt Brothers Pizza, according to Jayski.com.

Our View Last year, this sponsor was on A.J. Allmendinger's car for several races. Richard Petty Motorsports still has some real estate remaining for their four cars, so every little bit helps put together a competitive season.

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