Harvick: Winner, Fighter, and Future Cup Champion

Posted by imelda sovzky on Tuesday, May 31, 2011



After a last-lap pass during Saturdays Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Kevin Harvick, won his third race of the 2011 season. While it’s not surprising that Harvick now has more wins than any other driver this season, what is surprising is that he has done so by leading only a total of nine laps.

Harvick, who always seems to find a way to be in contention at the end, is quickly being dubbed as “The Closer.” During this year’s race at Auto Club Speedway, Harvick passed five-time Sprint Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson, in the last turn of the last lap for the win. The following week at Martinsville, Harvick passed NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., during the final laps to earn his second win of the season and 16th of his career.These late-race passes for the win have certainly created an abundance of excitement this year, much to the delight of NASCAR fans.

Since coming into NASCAR’s premiere series in 2001 as the replacement for the late Dale Earnhardt, Harvick has accumulated 17 career victories with several marquee wins among them.

In just his third Sprint Cup start, Harvick beat former Sprint Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon at Atlanta by an amazing margin of .006 seconds. This victory meant as much to the fans of Dale Earnhardt as it did to Harvick. In an impressive show of respect, Harvick
saluted his predecessor by displaying three fingers outside the cockpit of the newly-formed No. 29 car while laying down a massive burnout. Harvick went on to finish ninth in points that year; an accomplishment in itself, but even more so because he raced in only 35 of the 36 races (Harvick also earned Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2001).

In 2003, Harvick won the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, becoming the first driver to win from the pole position.

In 2007, Harvick edged out Mark Martin to win the Daytona 500. The win was somewhat controversial as NASCAR came under fire for not throwing a caution flag during the final lap while a huge wreck occurred behind the leaders. Oddly enough, Harvick’s most recent win this year at Darlington has caused the same debate regarding whether or not NASCAR should have brought out the caution flag during the last lap.


While his wins and finishes have unquestionably garnered several headlines, Harvick’s off-track drama has attracted just as much, if not more, attention.

At the Southern 500 this year at Darlington Raceway, a late-race incident involving Harvick and Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Kyle Busch, carried over from the track to the pits after the race. Their scuffle began when Busch pulled up behind Harvick on pit road. Harvick climbed out of his racecar, walked back to Busch’s car and took a swing at the still-strapped-in Busch. Almost immediately as the punch flew, Busch drove into the back of Harvick’s car, pushing the un-manned Chevy into the inside of pit road’s retaining wall. In the end, NASCAR put both drivers on probation through June 15 and were each fined $25,000.

Harvick’s off-track incidents are surely nothing new. Back in 2003, and once again at Darlington Raceway, Harvick got into in altercation with veteran driver, Ricky Rudd. The pair argued heatedly; and at one point, Harvick allegedly through his HANS device at Rudd.

At Bristol Motor Speedway in 2002, Harvick leaped over the top of Greg Biffle’s car to begin a finger pointing and shoving match that was all caught on national television.

The list goes on-and-on regarding disputes with Harvick and other drivers with most of them showing Harvick as the arguable “winner.” However, there was one matter where Harvick was bested: The verbal spat between Harvick and Home Depot driver, Joey Logano in 2010. Logano told reporters in a now infamous quote, “ It’s probably not (Harvick’s) fault. His wife wears the firesuit in the family and tells him what to do, so it’s probably not his fault.”

Over the past five seasons, Harvick has made the Chase four times with his career-best finish of third last year; and he currently sits in second place, just 36 points behind current leader, Carl Edwards.

As history has shown, Kevin Harvick is a proven winner; a proven defender of what he thinks is right, and a proven threat for the championship.
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Memorial Day: A Sad Day But We Will Persevere

Posted by imelda sovzky on Monday, May 30, 2011

And a Happy Memorial Day to you all.  But let me say this first--I know that it must suck in a lot of Americans' lives right now.  Well, you have the ailing economy, that's a given.  Then you had these devastating tornadoes in Alabama & Missouri, flooding in Louisiana and wildfires in Texas.  I lucked out cause I didn't lose anything.  I wasn't in the flood zone.  I didn't lose anything valuable in Hurricane Katrina.

EDIT: If you don't know, here's footage of tornadoes in Alabama and in Missouri.

If there's one good story out of this tornado business, it's that a puppy from Alabama survived two broken legs and crawled home after he survived direct contact with a tornado--see here.  I think animals are more resilient than we give credit for.

Like I said before, it's just hard to watch the news or surf the internet without being bombarded with thousands of negative and/or confusing news pieces that just serve to make my normal everyday life more tumultuous.

I know that video games are practically useless in the broad spectrum of things, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to talk about happy games that lift your spirits.  That's the very least I could do.

Please pray for the friends and families of victims in these natural disasters.  Donate and reach out if you can.  I personally don't know anyone affected by these disasters but maybe you do.

And not to diminish the work that our brave soldiers have done, this is Memorial Day so to have men & women risk death so that you can get up, play video games, and go about your daily business deserves tremendous praise.  Some men die and that is the business of war.  I only wish that I could shake their hands beyond the grave.

Here's to the United States of America who, through all the garbage we have to put up with, is still hanging in there.



November 19, 1863: Abraham Lincoln was to give a "few appropriate remarks" at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where 172,000 American soldiers perished.  This was in memorial of men from the North and the South.  His speech followed a two-hour dialogue by one of the greatest orators of the time, Edward Everett.  Lincoln's speech, in contrast, only lasted a few minutes:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 

Lincoln thought the speech was a failure, but Everett wrote Lincoln the following day, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

Abraham Lincoln.
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The Cool Down Lap: Indy and Charlotte followed the same basic script

Posted by imelda sovzky

The Cool Down Lap: Indy and Charlotte followed the same basic script
 
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
 
(May 30, 2011)
 
This just in: The Indianapolis 500 is suing the Coca-Cola 600 for copyright infringement.
 Seldom have two races—run on the same day, no less—followed the same basic script as closely as these two marquee events did on Sunday.
 First, and most obvious, both races were decided in the final corner, with the presumed winner failing to make it to the finish line under full power. At Indy, rookie JR Hildebrand made a rookie mistake when he went high in Turn 4 to overtake a back marker. Hildebrand lost control in the marbles—tire debris in the high groove—and slammed the wall. His crippled car slid across the finish line in second place.
 At Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of fuel as he rolled through Turn 4 on the second lap of a green-white-checkered-flag finish. Fans were on their feet in the grandstands, screaming and waving as Earnhardt took the white flag signaling one lap to go. Within a half-mile of ending a 104-race winless streak, Earnhardt felt his engine sputter.
 He rolled across the stripe in seventh place, after Kevin Harvick sped by to take the checkered flag.
 Both events were fuel-mileage races, and both featured the darlings of their respective disciplines—Danica Patrick and Earnhardt—leading but short on fuel in the late going. Patrick led 10 laps before Bertrand Baguette passed her on Lap 189 of 200. Subsequently, she brought her car to pit road for fuel and finished 10th.
 Earnhardt had enough fuel for 602 miles, but not for 603. The green-white-checkered-flag finish added two laps to the scheduled 400 and produced the longest race in NASCAR history.
 At Indianapolis and Charlotte, a car sporting National Guard colors came within an eyelash visiting victory lane on Memorial Day weekend. Hildebrand and Earnhardt were driving cars with primary sponsorship from the National Guard.
 Given the attention paid to the armed forces at both racetracks—including a full-blown “invasion” of the tri-oval by camouflage-clad soldiers at Charlotte—perhaps U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) should rethink her efforts to bar the military from marketing itself through motorsports sponsorships.
 No yellow …
 As soon as NASCAR failed to throw a caution for a stack-up in Turn 1 on the first lap of the green-white-checkered, there was dissenting opinion among the media. Jeff Burton slid out of control toward the infield, but there was no yellow.
Historically, though, NASCAR has been reluctant to pull the trigger on cautions with two laps left in a race, particularly in a restart situation where the field is grouped in one area of the track. The hope is that the event can be decided under green if the corner clears before the cars return.
 That’s what happened Sunday. Burton regained control and drove away, leaving the track clear by the time Earnhardt took the white flag. Conspiracy theorists have to answer why, If NASCAR were so intent on stacking the deck in Earnhardt’s favor, why didn’t the sanctioning body simply throw the yellow as soon as Earnhardt took the white?
 That would have frozen the field and given Earnhardt the chance to nurse his car around to the checkers under caution.
 … but plenty of blue
 Blue language, that is, from crew chief Chad Knaus, who dropped an F-bomb on national TV after Fox cut to his team radio. When Jimmie Johnson’s engine blew with four laps left, the first words out of Knaus’ mouth were “Are you (expletive) kidding me?”
 In a Twitter posting Monday morning, Johnson said, “If @nascar does fine Knaus, I will pay it for him.”
Though NASCAR has fined competitors for swearing in broadcast interviews, chatter on team radios has been exempt, even if the offensive language makes it to the airwaves. The bottom line is that Johnson won’t have to lighten his wallet to help his crew chief.
 
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Kevin Harvick Wins The Coca-Cola 600

Posted by imelda sovzky


Kevin Harvick took home the win. But he didn’t know that hewas going to win till he came around turn four. That’s when he saw Dale Jr.slowing down because he ran out of fuel. Everything happened so fast. It waslike a replay of the INDY 500 all over again. The first place car could see thefinish line but came up short by either crashing or in Dale Jr’s way, runningout of fuel. Now after seeing what happened in the INDY 500 I said the firstplace car would end up running out of fuel and the second or third place carwould end up winning. Turns out I was right.

Now  back up about twoor three laps. Most of the front runners are low on fuel and can’t make it, somost of them come in for fuel and they go to the back. Now we have the top twocars Kasey Kahne and Dale Jr who have not pit and are on the edge of runningout. So when the green flag waves Kasey Kahne’s car runs dry which jams up thewhole field. That causes Carl Edwards to slam into the back of Jeff Burtonwhich sent Burton around towards the inside of the track right where TonyStewart almost got caught up in it. Carl Edwards got some damage on the back ofhis car. Denny Hamlin also ran out of fuel when he came out of turn four justlike Dale Jr. did.

Kyle Busch brought out two cautions. One time he wentthrough the grass but ended up saving it. And the second time he went around hehit the back end which sent him to the garage for a little while. Denny Hamlinhad some problem with his engine early in the race and said it didn’t soundright. So they replaced the carburetor and that fixed the problem on his car.Joey Logano ended near the top when he crossed the finish line.

Carl Edwards was up front at the start of the race but didn’thave the smoothest transition into the night. Greg Biffle was up top at the endbut had to stop for fuel. And David Ragan was at the top when the checkeredwaved. Ragan was the top finisher for Roush Fenway Racing. Matt Kenseth had tostop for fuel within the final laps, but he ended up leading 103 laps.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr ended up finishing in 11thconsidering it was his cup debut I think he did really well. He brushed thewall three times but somehow ended up with minimal damage. Mark Martin, DavidGilliland and Ryan Newman were involved in a crash which basically ended theirnight. Ryan Newman was able to go back out on the track but he didn’t have afront end. All drivers were taken to the infield care center and were alright. ReganSmith was kind of quiet last night. He hung back there all night just stayingout of trouble but ended up finishing 8th.


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Harvick wins 600

Posted by imelda sovzky

Harvick wins 600 when Earnhardt runs out of gas
 
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
 
(May 29, 2011)
 
CONCORD, N.C—You didn’t have to open a Superman comic to find Bizarro World—Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway had all the strangeness a fan of cosmic weirdness could hope to find.
 
Kevin Harvick, a driver who wasn’t a factor for 600 miles, won the race when Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas a half-mile from the finish line after the event went to overtime for the first time in its history.
 
And despite the victory, Harvick still can’t stand racing at Charlotte.
 
“Even though we won, I’m still miserable,” Harvick said after the race. “In about 30 minutes, I’ll be happy, when we drive out of that tunnel and leave the month of May behind.”
 
Earnhardt ran out of gas in sight of the checkered flag, breaking the hearts of fans who were certain until the last moment that Earnhardt was about to break a 104-race drought.
 
Instead, the dry spell reached 105 when Earnhardt coasted across the finish line in seventh place.
 
“Today we were lucky,” Harvick said. “I told them at the beginning of this thing that we haven’t fixed this thing in two weeks, there’s no way we’re going to fix it today. Nothing against this racetrack—I just don’t like racing here. It just doesn’t feel right. … I griped and griped and griped all freaking day long about how terrible it was. I just have a bad attitude here, so hopefully this helps.”
 
Earnhardt said he would have been lucky, too, if he had won the race.
 
“We weren’t supposed to win tonight,” Earnhardt said. “We played our hand, and those other guys came in (for fuel). I tried to save a ton of gas, but I know I didn’t save enough. I tried to save as much as I could. I’m disappointed we didn’t win. I know all our fans were disappointed to come so close.
 
“We were a top-five car. This was our Vegas car, and it’s really, really good, so we’ll keep taking it to racetracks and running good. We were so fast at the start of the race, and once the sun went down we kind of went back. We ran good tonight. I’m proud. I’m proud of my guys, and I’m proud of the car we unloaded.”
 
David Ragan posted a solid runner-up finish, but most of the rest of the top 10 was a ragtag mob of underachievers, at least on this night.
 
Joey Logano went down a lap during a long, early green-flag run but made it to the finish line in third place after using two free passes to get back on the lead lap.
 
Darlington winner Regan Smith also used a “lucky dog” to regain the lead lap and came home eighth during the major reshuffle that occurred before and during the green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race to 402 laps and 603 miles, the longest event in NASCAR history.
 
Denny Hamlin finished 10th after his crew changed the carburetor on the No. 11 Toyota under caution on Lap 299—without losing a lap. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., at one point two laps down in his Cup debut, came home 11th after taking full advantage on NASCAR’s wave-around rule, which allows drivers to make up a lap under caution if they’re willing to forgo a pit stop.
 
Hamlin, at least, had a fast car at the end of the race, but the cars that excelled early and racked up laps were nowhere near Harvick when he took the checkered flag. Matt Kenseth, who led a race-high 103 laps, finished 14th after stopping for fuel on Lap 393. Carl Edwards, who led 61 laps, couldn’t extricate himself from race traffic in the late going and ran 16th.
 
Notes: Harvick climbed to second in the Cup standings, 36 points behind Edwards. ... A blown engine dropped five-time champion Jimmie Johnson to 28th at the finish. He lost one spot to third in the standings and is 37 points behind Edwards.
 
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TWO CATASTROPHIC RACE FAILS IN ONE DAY

Posted by imelda sovzky on Sunday, May 29, 2011

EDITED THIS ARTICLE A FEW TIMES TODAY.

I'm gonna play SPOILER here so if you haven't seen what happened in these two races, just watch the video and don't read what happened below.  I saw both of these things happen live.

Today's Indy 500:
EDIT: Old video got taken down, here's another one: EDIT: HAD TO UPLOAD THIS FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!  STOP TAKING DOWN VIDEOS, YOUTUBE!!!



... 

SPOILER.  Rookie JR Hildebrand is leading in the last lap by a few seconds.  He comes down Turn 4 trying to pass a slow car hugging the inside.  This screws up his racing line as he smashes into the outside wall.  Dan Wheldon zips by as the feeble National Guard car scrambles to the finish line with only two tires.  He finishes second.


I also love at the end after JD crosses the finish line when he runs into the wall again (see 1:01)...he was probably thinking, "F*** it; I just blew the race and totaled the car so take out my frustration on that wall over there."

Today's Coca-Cola 600:



...

SPOILER.  Dale Jr. (yes, that's right DALE EARNHARDT, JUNIOR) takes advantage of some skittish traffic after a green flag restart with two laps to go.  He gains an insurmountable just one lap to go.  On the final turn his car starts to run out of gas!!!  Kevin Harvick zips by for the win as Dale putters across the finish line in seventh.

"Well, back to iRacing and Wrangler Jeans ads."
 
Postrace radio chatter: "Be proud man. Another good run." Dale Jr. "Im real happy to be with you guys. We're gonna get us one."

 TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THIS

You're almost out of time!

*buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz* Timer runs out.

You placed 7th.  GAME OVER!!!

I really wanted Junior to win one, it must suck man.  Same thing for rookie JR Hildebrand.


OH THAT NEEDLE BROKE OFF BABY!!


The Price Is Right Fail

Or May I Suggest Pressing This In Dire Situations?

Well, that's why you run the entire race, not just 99% of it.  That's why you play the game, that's why there's no gimmes on the PGA Tour, etc...  You can crown the "winner's" ass all you want, but wait until the checkered flag first.
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Indianapolis 500 Day: Talking About Cars With Big Spoilers

Posted by imelda sovzky

Today is the One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 race (despite the fact this is the 95th race).  Anyway, it's a pretty big deal because it's part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, also including the Monaco GP and the 24 Hour LeMans.  No Daytona 500 because no one likes NASCAR (except for rednecks).

Some funny observations from this race.  You see there's a golf course around and inside the track with go-karts around so...there's people golfing during the race?  They are also playing that Go-Daddy "naked commercial shoot" again, recycled from the Superbowl three months ago...  Then some guy popped a tire so he just cruised into the pits and they just swapped it out.  Very nice.

EDIT: Oh, forgot this one part--a guy enters the pit.  Guys change four tires.  He drives off and a second later his rear left tire just pops off into the air.  Pit crew forgot to screw in the nuts.  Car's still driving with just three wheels, AMAZING!

But there's two stupid things going on.  One, this is the fifth race of the IndyCar season when you'd think it was the first...because they advertised the heck out of this race like they did with the Daytona 500 which is the first race of that season.  Second, it's the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix?  What the hell--I missed that???  Why???

But anyway, there's an Indy 500 Sega Model2 arcade racer released in 1995.  Now this game is nowhere near as popular as the rest of the Sega racer lineup, but it's a rugged little racer--one that certainly deserves more credit.  It has a 0% chance of receiving a sequel which is actually kind of sad.



Alright, so let's talk about more than just IndyCar...there's also Formula 1 which is basically the European version of IndyCar.  Now I'll tell you about this old game I used to play for the PC--Microprose Formula 1 Grand Prix--also known as World Circuit.  This game was released in 1992 and it was actually pretty sweet at the time.  EDIT: No, it wasn't just sweet, it was THE SHIZNIT at the time and still is today.



And then there's Virtua Racing.  The original arcade version also came out in 1992, but this is the PS2 version, part of the Sega Classics Collection.  This game's pretty good--it has six tracks and cars and is arguably the only decent game on the whole disc.  There's no telling if this is supposed to be Formula 1, IndyCar, CART, who cares...Sega racers know no bounds.



------------

And finally, my opinions on Formula 1 and IndyCar...(I know nothing about CART other than that it merged with IndyCar in 2008).  Well, racing is racing so I like them all.  IndyCar can get boring because the loops.  Formula 1 has all technical courses, some legends like Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka while IndyCar has a couple of street courses.  Anyway, I presume Indy cars have slightly higher top speeds but who knows...they're all the same to me.  If you want to learn more about IndyCar & Formula 1, you can check out this site.

But there's something about Formula 1 that's strange.  For the last couple of F1 seasons I've checked out, there's no American drivers or tracks.  I'm not sure if it's because they have a hate-on for America...I certainly hope not.  Maybe it's because we're a bunch of rednecks who watch NASCAR...gimme a break.  At least IndyCar is kind enough to have races in Brazil, Japan, and Canada as well as a diverse crowd of drivers.  But there have been drivers who have won in F1 and IndyCar so there can't be that big of a difference between the two after all.  No, please don't take this as "I hate F1," cause I don't.

Either way, NASCAR is more popular than the two and that's a fact.  There's many more races in the NASCAR season than in the other two.  Maybe that's where all the good American drivers are--driving stock cars.  Love it or hate it, that's the way it is.  And don't give me that "NASCAR takes no skill" nonsense because Tony Stewart won three IndyCar races before his NASCAR career so you can win at both of them.  They hardly play IndyCar or F1 on TV (in America) so that's the breaks.  Check out Versus and Speed channel.

One of my favorite things about Formula 1 is The Chain music...it's awesome.  One of my most favorite songs of all time.



I could talk more about F1 but I'm done, that's it for now.  I also watched some World Rally Championship in Italy (on HD Theater) and there's the Coca-Cola 600 later, so good day for racing!!
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Matt Kenseth Top of the Charts in the Top Gear 300

Posted by imelda sovzky on Saturday, May 28, 2011



Matt Kenseth drove the Roush-Fenway Racing #16 Ford to the checkered flag today in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Todays win marks the 26th Nationwide win for Kenseth in 248 starts. The win is also the first time the #16 team has been to Victory Lane since Kenseth drove it at Darlington in 2009. Kenseth was subbing for Trevor Bayne who remains on the sidelines due to an undiagnosed medical condition. In fact, Kenseth didn’t even learn that he was going to be this week’s substitute until earlier this week (Bayne is slated to make his Nationwide return next week in Chicago).

Kenseth started the race in the third position behind RFR teammates Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (pole-sitter) and Carl Edwards. For the first half of the race, Stenhouse Jr., Edwards, Kenseth, and Kyle Busch all led laps; and, for a while, it appeared that Busch had the car to beat. However, around halfway, Kenseth passed Busch with Edwards in tow. After a round of green flag pit stops cycled through, Kenseth regained the lead with 54 laps to go which began the showdown between Kenseth and Edwards that would dominate the rest of the race.

Almost immediately after the green flag stops, the caution came out for the fifth time on lap 148 for debris. Kenseth and others opted to come back in for tires and fuel, while Edwards and others stayed out—this, in my opinion, turned out to be the race-winning call for Kenseth’s team. At the restart, Edwards started first and Kenseth fifth. Right away, Kenseth took it three-wide and rocketed back up to the front. On his quest to the front, Kenseth made even passing Busch look easy. Passing Edwards was a different story. The two cars were not only identical in paint schemes (both, along with Stenhouse Jr., were all sponsored by Fastenall for this race), but both were running almost identical lap times. With the combination of Edwards trying to save fuel and Kenseth on slightly fresher tires, it was Kenseth who took the lead with three to go and held off Edwards for the win.

After the race when he was asked about the battle with Edwards, Kenseth said, “It was intense. Once I cleared Carl there, I waved to him, like ok, we got him. And then he passed me back, and I felt pretty stupid. So, I’m like if I don’t pass him back here, I’m going to feel real dumb. We had new tires, and I could see him fading a little bit at the end of the race. We were able to take advantage of that.”

In his Nationwide Series debut, Kimi Raikkonen finished 27th; but that finishing spot was not indicative to how he ran—Raikkonen stayed competitive and on the lead lap for most of the race. During green flag pit stops around lap 140, Raikkonen had to serve a pass-through penalty for speeding on his initial exit from pit road. His woes continued when he drove over a piece of Jeremy Clements’ splitter that was on the track, and he was forced to come back to pit road once again.

Pole-sitter, Stenhouse Jr., finished fourth and moved to second in points; just one point behind leader Elliot Sadler who finished tenth.

Busch finished third and failed, at least for this week, in his race to tie Mark Martin for most career Nationwide Series wins. The record is 49 wins; and the question isn’t if Busch will tie and surpass the record, but when.


Unofficial Results
1 Matt Kenseth
2 Carl Edwards
3 Kyle Busch
4 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5 Reed Sorenson
6 Brad Keselowski
7 Steve Wallace
8 Brian Scott
9 Aric Almirola
10 Elliott Sadler
11 Joey Logano
12 Sam Hornish Jr.
13 Justin Allgaier
14 Michael Annett
15 Cole Whitt
16 Kevin Harvick
17 Josh Wise
18 Mike Bliss
19 Danny Efland
20 Kenny Wallace
21 Jason Leffler
22 Kasey Kahne
23 Timmy Hill
24 Morgan Shepherd
25 Mike Wallace
26 Jeremy Clements
27 Kimi Raikkonen
28 Eric McClure
29 Joe Nemechek
30 Derrike Cope
31 Jennifer Jo Cobb
32 Dennis Setzer
33 Kevin Lepage
34 Blake Koch
35 Jeffrey Earnhardt
36 Robert Richardson Jr.
37 John Jackson
38 Tim Andrews
39 Carl Long
40 Mike Harmon
41 David Green
42 Kelly Bires
43 Jeff Green


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DEJA VU FOR MCMURRAY?

Posted by imelda sovzky

DEJA VU FOR MCMURRAY?

CONCORD, N.C. -- Is it deja vu for Jamie McMurray?

The driver of the No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet sees some striking parallels between his own career and that of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who will make his first Sprint Cup start in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Donnie Wingo, crew chief for the No. 21, was McMurray’s crew chief during his first stint with owner Chip Ganassi, but the association between Wingo and McMurray didn’t start until 2003.

McMurray, of course, won his first Cup race at Charlotte (Oct. 13, 2002) in his second start in the series, subbing for injured Sterling Marlin. Stenhouse is racing at Charlotte in place of Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, sidelined by a mysterious illness. Bayne, whose symptoms have subsided, will return to the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford at Michigan in mid-June.

Stenhouse was oblivious to the similarities—and the prospect of winning Sunday’s race—until McMurray brought it up.

“We’re not thinking that at all,” Stenhouse said.

“He’s lying,” quipped McMurray. “I told Donnie, ‘You got Ricky at a really good time. He’s like me back in 2002.’”

McMurray was impressed with Stenhouse’s performance in Cup practice—and in his ninth-place effort at qualifying on Thursday night.

“He jumped in the No. 21 car and in the first two or three laps was up to speed,” McMurray said. “He’s a really good driver and a really good kid. He’ll be tough on Sunday.”

Stenhouse, 23, will have to be tough enough to run 600 miles in NASCAR’s longest race, and he’s taking the challenge seriously.

“I’ve been going to bed early all week and making sure I’ve eaten well and drinking a lot of water,” Stenhouse said. “Our trainer at the shop—he’s done a great job making me work out every week, and hopefully it’ll pay off.”

WHO IS THAT GUY?

CONCORD, N.C. -- At one point during Nationwide Series practice Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards found himself trailing the No. 87 Toyota.

Edwards radioed to his crew chief and asked, “Who’s in the 87?”

The driver was 2007 Formula one champion Kimi Raikkonen, preparing for his Nationwide Series debut on Saturday. Edwards could see that the handling of the car was loose to the extreme, and he was impressed with the way Raikkonen hustled it around the 1.5-mile track.

“They need to take about 500 pounds of right-rear spring out of that thing,” Edwards said after the session. “He (was) loose, and he was driving the wheels off it. I was just surprised. I didn’t know who was in that car.

“I had no clue, and then I saw that Perky Jerky (Raikkonen’s sponsor) on there, and I thought it might be him, but he definitely has some car control -- that’s for sure. That’s not lip service. That was pretty amazing. I might have seen smoke off the right-rear.”

DRIVERS PITCH IN TO HELP AFTER TORNADOES

CONCORD, N.C. -- Team owner Michael Waltrip will hit the ground running when he arrives in Kansas City next week, but it won’t be at the racetrack.

Waltrip, MWR drivers Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann and JTG/Daugherty driver Bobby Labonte, along with their crew members, are hosting collections at two locations in the Kansas City area for victims of the recent deadly tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo.

Reutimann and Labonte will appear at the Aaron’s store in Shawnee, Kan. from 6-8 p.m. CT. Truex will follow the same schedule at the Bass Pro Shops location in Olathe.

Waltrip will shuttle between the two locations, starting out in Shawnee at 6 p.m. and arriving at Olathe at 7:15 p.m. Fans will be able to take photos and collect autographs from the drivers and crew members in return for donations of canned foods, blankets, and toiletry items, which MWR will transport to Joplin on Friday.

“Everyone has seen the devastation on television, and we wanted to help those people who are suffering right now,” Waltrip said. “We’re racing in the area this weekend at Kansas Speedway and we just wanted to do something that gives back to this community and the people that mean so much to MWR and NASCAR. … We’ll have some fun while we collect items the people in Joplin really need.”

Items collected will be delivered to the Convoy of Hope location that funnels relief efforts to Joplin. Reutimann is sporting the Convoy of Hope logo on his No. 00 Toyota this weekend. Jamie McMurray, who grew up in Joplin, has the Convoy of Hope logo on his No. 1 Chevrolet, as he, sponsor Bass Pro Shops and his fellow drivers work to raise awareness of Convoy of Hope’s relief efforts.

“My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster in my hometown of Joplin,” McMurray said. “I’m thrilled that we have been able to come together and partner with Convoy of Hope and Bass Pro Shops this weekend.

“Hopefully, we can raise some awareness for a great organization that has been on the ground since the first minute to offer assistance in the community. I hope that all NASCAR fans that are able to offer support will consider a donation to Convoy of Hope.”
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Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins pole at Charlotte

Posted by imelda sovzky

Last weeks winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. beat Kevin Harvick for the pole for the race later today. Kevin Harvick will start next to Stenhouse, followed by Kenseth who starts third, Kyle Busch will start fourth and concrete Carl Edwards will start fifth. Kimi Raikkonen who made his debut last weekend in the trucks will start 22nd in Joe Nemecheck's #87 Toyota.

here is the lineup


POS
DRIVER
1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2
Kevin Harvick
3
Matt Kenseth
4
Kyle Busch
5
Carl Edwards
6
Reed Sorenson
7
Sam Hornish Jr.
8
Aric Almirola
9
Kasey Kahne
10
Elliott Sadler
11
Joey Logano
12
Brian Scott
13
Brad Keselowski
14
Cole Whitt
15
Justin Allgaier
16
Steve Wallace
17
Jason Leffler
18
Michael Annett
19
Joe Nemechek
20
Josh Wise
21
Kenny Wallace
22
Kimi Raikkonen
23
Jeremy Clements
24
Mike Wallace
25
Mike Bliss
26
Tim Andrews
27
Blake Koch*
28
Kelly Bires
29
Jeffrey Earnhardt
30
Kevin Lepage
31
John Jackson
32
Derrike Cope
33
Timmy Hill*
34
Eric McClure
35
Jeff Green
36
Dennis Setzer
37
Carl Long
38
Mike Harmon
39
Danny Efland
40
Jennifer Jo Cobb*
41
Morgan Shepherd
42
Robert Richardson Jr.+
43
David Green
DID NOT QUALIFY
44
Chase Miller
45
Charles Lewandoski*
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