Paul Menard stretches fuel to win Brickyard 400

Posted by imelda sovzky on Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paul Menard stretches fuel to win Brickyard 400
 (July 31, 2011)
INDIANAPOLIS—Years ago, as a garage rat at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Paul Menard dreamed of winning a race at the vaunted Brickyard.
 On Sunday, the dream came true. In a season full of improbable first-time winners in NASCAR’s foremost races, Menard, 30, stretched his fuel mileage and held off charging Jeff Gordon to win the Brickyard 400 at the 2.5-mile track.
 The victory was Menard’s first as a Sprint Cup driver, and it catapulted him into the conversation for a wild-card berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Gordon, who closed rapidly over the final five laps, crossed the finish line .725 seconds behind the season’s fourth first-time winner.
 “My first year here was 1989, that I can remember anyway—I think I was here when I was 3 or 4 years old, too,” said Menard, whose father, John Menard, has fielded IndyCars for a variety of drivers. “I just spent a lot of time in the garage area. I didn’t miss an Indy 500 from 1989 to 2003.
 “I was here for the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. It’s just a really special place for my family and myself.”
 Regan Smith, who notched his first career win in the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington in May, came home third, followed by Jamie McMurray, last year’s Brickyard winner. Matt Kenseth ran fifth, and Tony Stewart salvaged a sixth-place result despite a litany of problems throughout the race.
 Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.
 Smith, who counts Menard as one of his best friends, promised to attend Menard’s victory celebration, just as Menard joined Smith after the victory in Darlington.
 “He always talks about coming up here,” Smith said. “He always talks about how much he loves this place. I know if he had to highlight one race to get his first win, I’m sure he’ll tell you in a minute he couldn’t be happier.
 “It’s cool. You only get one chance to get your first win. It’s a special thing, especially when you do it here.”
 Menard joined Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and Smith as first-time winners on NASCAR’s biggest stages. Unlike Bayne, who is not running a full Cup schedule, and Smith, who is 26th in points, Menard put himself in position to claim one of the two wild-card spots available to the highest-ranking race winners in positions 11-20 in points.
 Menard improved five positions to 14th in the standings, passing polesitter David Ragan, who dropped three places to 16th after finishing 23rd Sunday. With six races left before the field for the Chase is set at Richmond, Denny Hamlin, Menard and Ragan are the only drivers in positions 11-20 with victories. Hamlin is 11th.
 Menard, in his first season with Richard Childress Racing, also is the first qualifier for the Sprint Summer Showdown, in which he and the winners of the next four Cup races will try to claim a $3 million bonus by winning Sept. 4 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The bonus will be split three ways, with $1 million each going to the driver, a fan and the driver’s designated charity.
 Gordon, who won the inaugural Cup race at Indy in 1994, said Menard perhaps can savor his first win at the Brickyard even more than he did 17 years ago.
 “Just because he’s been here so much as a kid experiencing Indy, he knows how special it is to compete here, let alone win here,” Gordon said. “So I think the feelings are probably very similar. He probably has a greater appreciation for it than I did in ’94, because while I was watching from a distance and my heroes were Indy 500 drivers, I wasn’t in the garage like he was. 
 “So he could probably appreciate it even more.”
 Notes: Ragan is the fourth driver to get his first Cup win this year. He won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on July 2. … The victory was the ninth straight at the Brickyard for Chevrolet. … Menard’s crew chief, Slugger Labbe, picked up his fifth victory and added the Brickyard trophy to his marquee win in the 2003 Daytona 500, when he was crew chief for Michael Waltrip at Dale Earnhardt Inc.
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
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Another First Time Winner at a Big Race: Paul Menard Wins the Brickyard 400

Posted by imelda sovzky

Credit: Images

Paul Menard won his first ever Sprint Cup race in a big event like Trevor Bayne(Daytona 500), Regan Smith(Darlington) and David Ragan(Daytona). But Menard had to save fuel and hold off a charging Jeff Gordon on the final turn in order to win.

The race was filled with tons of excitement, from pit road problems to bouncing off the outside wall. Kurt Busch was a victim of the wall early on in the race. He just barely touched the wall and it did damage his car just a bit. Joey Logano almost became a victim of the wall when Dale Jr got into the back left corner of Logano, but Logano was like a dirt track racer and had it practically sideways and managed to keep it off the wall.

Kasey Kahne led the first 51 laps of the race until David Reutimann hit the wall bringing out the second caution of the day. Then most of the drivers decided to pit besides Dale Earnhardt Jr. who stayed out to lead about five laps until teammate Jeff Gordon passed him.

The next caution came out on lap 95 which sent the drivers pitting. During that sequence of stops Kyle Busch was going to get four tires but after the first two tires were put on Kyle sped out of his pits and slammed into Tony Stewart. It took Stewart several stops to fix his car after that. Reports say the toe of the car was off three inches.

Kyle Busch slammed into the wall which brang out the fourth caution close to lap 114. Landon Cassill spun as he was racing for position with David Ragan, everyone went through the grass to avoid the wreck which made it for a "green" racetrack.

The final restart was on lap 127 and there were too many laps left for drivers to make it all the way so about five laps into the final green flag run of the day most teams started to pit for fuel. Tony Stewart was leading after all of the others pitted and was told he had to save about a lap but as that run went on he was told they were three to four laps short. He had no choice but to pit for fuel. Then it was a battle for the lead between Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard. Menard finally saved enough fuel to break away from McMurray but Menard was not done yet in the final three laps of the race Jeff Gordon was charging towards the lead. Menard finally came across the line to win his first Sprint Cup Race.

We have now had 14 different different winners in the 20 races this year. Next weekend we head to Pocono Raceway! as know as "The Tricky Triangle"


1. Paul Menard
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Regan Smith
Credit: Images
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Matt Kenseth
6. Tony Stewart
7. Greg Biffle
8. Mark Martin
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Kyle Busch
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Ryan Newman
13. Clint Bowyer
14. Carl Edwards
15. Brian Vickers
16. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
17. Bobby Labonte
18. Kasey Kahne
19. Jimmie Johnson
20. Landon Cassill
21. Kurt Busch
22. A.J. Allmendinger
Credit: Images
23. David Ragan
24. Martin Truex Jr.
25. Joey Logano
26. Andy Lally
27. Denny Hamlin
28. Juan Montoya
29. Casey Mears
30. Trevor Bayne
31. Dave Blaney
32. Mike Bliss
33. David Gilliland
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. Jeff Burton
36. David Reutimann
37. Michael McDowell
38. Joe Nemecheck
39. Scott Speed
40. Mike Skinner
41. Terry Labonte
42. T.J. Bell
43. Robby Gordon

Images of the event:

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Brickyard 400 Winner: Paul Menard

Posted by imelda sovzky

Race Fast Facts
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
18th Annual Brickyard 400 presented by
Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Sun, July 31, 2011 @ 04:29 PM Eastern
Race Winner: Paul Menard
Age: 30
Team : No. 27 - Nibco/Menards Chevrolet
Owner: Tom Pumpelly
Crew Chief: Richard Labbe
Paul Menard won the 18th Annual Brickyard 400 presented by, his first victory in 167 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
Menard is the first driver to win his first career race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is the fourth different first-time winner this season, the most since 2007.
This is his sixth top-10 finish in 2011.
This is his first top-10 finish in five races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Menard family has a long history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but this is the first Indy win in a Menards-sponsored car.
Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2011.
Regan Smith (third) posted his first top-10 finish in four races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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Statistical Advance: Brickyard 400

Posted by imelda sovzky

Statistical Advance: Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2011) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway going into the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records on July 31.
The drivers listed below rank among the best in key Loop Data categories, making them possible favorites in the event, the first in the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D. Any driver who wins between Indianapolis and Bristol (the next five races) will become a finalist for the Atlanta race. If one of those eligible drivers wins at Atlanta, then the driver, the driver’s charity and one lucky race fan each collect $1,000,000. Fans can enter for their shot at $1,000,000 each week at


Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
·         Two top fives, four top 10s
·         Average finish of 13.9
·         Average Running Position of 10.3, third-best
·         Driver Rating of 97.7, fifth-best
·         51 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
·         251 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.422 mph, seventh-fastest
·         788 Laps in the Top 15 (82.1%), second-most
·         140 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), seventh-most

Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Good Sam-Cheerios Chevrolet)
·         Two top fives, two top 10s
·         Average finish of 11.6
·         Average Running Position of 12.4, seventh-best
·         Driver Rating of 89.6, 13th-best
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.073 mph, 13th-fastest
·         589 Laps in the Top 15 (73.6%), 11th-most
·         120 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
·         One top five, five top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 17.5
·         Average Running Position of 12.2, fifth-best
·         Driver Rating of 95.0, seventh-best
·         35 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
·         233 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.361 mph, eighth-fastest
·         638 Laps in the Top 15 (66.5%), ninth-most
·         127 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)
·         One top five, four top 10s
·         Average finish of 13.7
·         Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best
·         Driver Rating of 94.0, eighth-best
·         17 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
·         253 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.296 mph, ninth-fastest
·         673 Laps in the Top 15 (70.1%), sixth-most
·         155 Quality Passes, third-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
·         Four wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; three poles
·         Average finish of 9.5
·         Average Running Position of 14.3, 12th-best
·         Driver Rating of 93.3, 10th-best
·         22 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
·         277 Green Flag Passes, third-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.475 mph, fifth-fastest
·         655 Laps in the Top 15 (68.2%), eighth-most
·         155 Quality Passes, third-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)
·         One win, four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 9.9
·         Average Running Position of 13.4, eighth-best
·         Driver Rating of 95.1, sixth-best
·         28 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
·         215 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
·         695 Laps in the Top 15 (72.4%), fifth-most
·         145 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
·         Three wins, three top fives, four top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 18.3
·         Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best
·         Driver Rating of 100.1, fourth-best
·         81 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
·         227 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.715 mph, second-fastest
·         611 Laps in the Top 15 (63.6%), 10th-most
·         128 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 4 Red Bull Toyota)
·         Two top fives, four top 10s
·         Average finish of 15.6
·         Average Running Position of 14.3, 13th-best
·         Driver Rating of 90.8, 12th-best
·         31 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.218 mph, 11th-fastest
·         704 Laps in the Top 15 (73.3%), fourth-most
·         130 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Crown Royal Ford)
·         Four top fives, six top 10s
·         Average finish of 15.1
·         Average Running Position of 14.0, 11th-best
·         Driver Rating of 92.7, 11th-best
·         665 Laps in the Top 15 (69.3%), seventh-most
·         112 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Mark Martin (No. 5 Quaker State/ Chevrolet)
·         Six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 13.2
·         Series-best Average Running Position of 8.6
·         Driver Rating of 105.3, third-best
·         38 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.713 mph, third-fastest
·         Series-high 814 Laps in the Top 15 (84.8%)
·         148 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
·         One top five, one top 10; one pole
·         Average finish of 21.0
·         Average Running Position of 11.5, fourth-best
·         Driver Rating of 106.4, second-best
·         Series-high 105 Fastest Laps Run
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 169.453 mph, sixth-fastest
·         481 Laps in the Top 15 (75.2%), 13th-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobile 1 Chevrolet)
·         Two wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 8.3
·         Average Running Position of 9.0, second-best
·         Series-best Driver Rating of 109.3
·         86 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
·         278 Green Flag Passes, second-most
·         Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 169.952 mph
·         788 Laps in the Top 15 (82.1%), second-most
·         Series-high 184 Quality Passes
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Biffle to Edwards: It’s time to make up your mind

Posted by imelda sovzky

Biffle to Edwards: It’s time to make up your mind
(July 30, 2011)
INDIANAPOLIS—The way Greg Biffle sees it, Carl Edwards’ protracted contract negotiations are starting to have a negative impact on the entire Roush Fenway Racing organization.
 In a candid question-and-answer session Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Biffle urged his teammate to say whether he’s staying at RFR or moving to another team next year. Persistent rumors have Edwards driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 and beyond.
 “It’s obvious that it’s coming to a head, kind of like whether we’re going to approve the debt ceiling or not,” Biffle said. “At some point, he’s going to have to say, ‘I’m not coming back.’ He’s not going to be able to wait until Homestead—we all know that. So Carl is a big boy, he’s a man, and he has to make his own decisions.
 “Eventually, he’s going to have to make a decision, and it’ll be best for everybody so we can plan for sponsorships and drivers and teams and people. There are a lot of people’s jobs on the line—if we’re going to be three teams or four teams—so the sooner the better. I understand contract negotiations take a long time and there is a lot to them, but, truly, if you know or you’ve made a decision, then it’s time to give everybody enough opportunity to make their decision on the back side of that.”
 Edwards said Friday he has not signed a contract for 2012 but did not preclude having made a decision as to where he’ll drive. “I’d rather not say,” Edwards said.
 That sort of response is likely to annoy Biffle and his compatriots at RFR. Historically, July 1 has been an unofficial deadline for announcing driver changes, given that sponsorships have to be solidified, paint schemes settled upon and die cast production ordered. At this point, the Edwards announcement is dragging into August.
 “It’s tough, but one thing I always did is when I knew what I was doing, then I said, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ ” Biffle said. “You can’t have a deal done or plan to have a deal done and not let everybody know—so that it’s fair for everyone to go make a plan on what’s next.”
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
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Study purports to equate NASCAR viewing with aggressive driving

Posted by imelda sovzky

Aggressive driving study

Study purports to equate NASCAR viewing with aggressive driving
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(July 30, 2011)
If you believe a recent study published in “The Journal of Applied Social Psychology,” you’re most likely to drive aggressively and wreck five days after watching a televised Sprint Cup race than you are at any other time.
Guy D. Vitaglione’s study, titled “Driving Under the Influence (of Mass Media): A Four-Year Examination of NASCAR and West Virginia Aggressive-Driving Accidents and Injuries,” attempts to extend the well-documented influence of mass media on behavior by associating the viewing of race telecasts with a subsequent spike in wrecks caused by aggressive driving.
Vitaglione chose West Virginia for his research under the assumption that 1) West Virginia has more NASCAR fans per capita than any other state, and 2) because West Virginia has no Sprint Cup track, fans are more likely to watch races on television. The study tracks aggressive-driving accidents from 2003 to 2006.
The research found the number of aggressive-driving accidents declined on race days and hypothesized that might be attributable to race fans staying home to watch on TV. Five days after a NASCAR race, however, the number of aggressive-driving accidents and injuries spiked significantly.
The premise is that aggressive driving in NASCAR is portrayed as something that is rewarded with trophies and money and hence is perceived as acceptable, consciously or subconsciously, by viewers of the telecasts.
“Dangerous and competitive driving behaviors are not only accepted parts of the NASCAR event, but are actively reinforced,” the study says. “As already noted, risky driving is socially reinforced with fan support and cheering. It is also associated with monetary rewards, trophies, acclaim, social status, fame, and other material and nonmaterial reinforcers.
“The cash prize for the 2006 first-place finisher of the premier event of the racing season, the Daytona 500, was $1,505,124. Even the last-place finisher of that race was awarded more than $250,000.”
What the study doesn’t provide is an adequate explanation of the five-day time lag between the viewing of a race and the increase in aggressive-driving accidents. The suggestion is that there is an “incubation period,” though the study admits that “the precise mechanism underlying it is unclear.”
Nor did the researchers interview a sampling of those involved in aggressive-driving accidents to determine whether they had actually watched a Sprint Cup race five days earlier.
It might also be worth noting that, since most NASCAR races during the time period covered took place on Sundays, the spike in accidents occurred primarily on Fridays, when motorists are most likely to be driving longer distances en masse to weekend destinations -- perhaps to a racetrack in another state.
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Reggie Bush & Happy Fun Land

Posted by imelda sovzky

Recently, I wrote a post about my chagrin Reggie Bush of the Saints being traded to the Dolphins (as well as Jeremy Shockey to the Panthers).  Now I took that post down.  I apologize for that article because I wrote it really late and I couldn't understand what point I was trying to make there.

What I'm going to say is I miss you Reggie.  Sadly he underperformed here in New Orleans and he was traded when I didn't think he would be.  Hope he does better in Miami.  That's business in sports.  So for you casual observers out there, don't just sign onto one team, company, group whatever like some sort of fanboy, appreciate the people there because they're what makes it great and it would be sad to see them go.  But at least the Saints still have Drew Brees & Sean Peyton so we're good to go.

EDIT: Reggie Bush highlights, if you hate Reggie GTFO:
Draft Day
Outruns Urlacher
Two Punt Returns
Jump From 6
Cardinals TD's

I just don't feel like talking about sports in general anymore.  Unless you're a coach or player, it's not like you have any control over it, lol.

EDIT: See the exciting conclusion to the Reggie Bush saga here!!!


Oh, so....anyway, in the past, I've been observing this trend in games that they should no longer be childish and must "grow up."  In other words, games should have convoluted backstories about sadness, death, and the psyche of the human soul: Limbo, God of War, Shadows of the Colossus (SPOILER: Your character goes through arduous torture and dies at the end), Heavy Rain (press X to Jason), Earthbound (Giygas fetus), Super Mario, and every single horror & RPG game.  Just stop it already; we play games to have fun, not to become depressed.  Oh, and don't get me started on movies & TV!

Also, to culminate to my main point, I was browsing in the Internet and turned up with some "Creepypasta" stuff.  Basically, it's this fan-made nightmare fuel-ish imagery and stories.  Like this one of BEN the kid who played Majora's Mask and drowned.  BWAHAHAHAHA!!!  I think I peed a little...oh wait, no I didn't.

Man, screw this crap.  So to counter-act these inane monstrosities, I'm going to post my own happy stuff.  Because being happy is Godly!  Why would the Good Lord invent happiness and joy if we were never meant to express it!  And no, by "happy" I don't mean "gay" or "homosexual."  Alright, let's go have some fun.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Seinfeld: Best comedy ever featuring wacky characters with no lame-o emotional/moral lessons involved!

Beach Boys: Has to be the happiest band in existence.

The Price Is Right: Greatest game show in existence ripped right out of the 70's--jump around like an idiot!!

Safety Dance: If you don't smile during this song, then you've got problems...

 My Little Pony: No way in hell I'm embedding a video of this, but at least it's not depressing!!!  I know you all out there like this.

AC/DC: Man, it's friggin AC/DC,this band kicks your ass and leaves you wanting more.

Blue's Clues: Forget about My Little Pony, I'm watchin' this.  This was MY SHOW.  BLUE SKIDOO LET'S GO TOO!!!

OutRun: Kind of obvious, but blue skies, beaches, hot babes, and Ferraris...can't go wrong with that.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Nice place in the mountains with tons of stuff to do!  Ride the three-story-tall go-karts!  Ride the cable car up in the mountains!  Go skiing.  Visit the underground airsoft gun market like you wouldn't believe!  Buy a Glock for just a dollar!  Guns are fun.

Disco: Can't stop dancin'...

YTMND:  Picture, sound, text--that's all you need for the best fad site on the Internets.

Power Wheels: Yeah, that's right--Power Wheels.  When you were a kid those were the best.  When you crank up the engine, it's even better.

This DJ Guy: Off the hizzy...

 This Website: Cause we're having more happy, clean fun than you can imagine.

That's really about it, I could edit in like twenty more things later, have fun guys.
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Keselowski Wins Forcefully at LOR

Posted by imelda sovzky on Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brad Keselowski won Saturday night’s Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway; earning his 14th career victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

In what could easily be described as the “Ricky Stenhouse Jr. show”, Stenhouse won the pole and held the race lead for most of the 200-lap event.

On lap 188, Trevor Bayne blew an engine, causing the fourth caution; and while still under the yellow flag, Justin Allgaier’s car caught fire, causing even more caution laps. After a highly controversial lineup for the restart (Keselowski was moved from fourth to second after Allgaier had to drop out), Stenhouse Jr. and Keselowski were battling for the lead when Keselowski squeezed Stenhouse Jr. to the wall and forcefully took the lead. Elliot Sadler, who was running third at the time, made contact with Stenhouse Jr. and spun out—Sadler finished 16th.

A Green White Checkered event was created, and Keselowski was able to hold on to the lead and cross the finish line first for the second time this season.

“Caught a lot of good breaks today; and, you know, that’s what it takes. We know the Ford’s have a huge advantage on everybody else right now, but everyone at Dodge/Penske Racing, we’re fighting as hard as we can to try and make up for that.” Keselowski said in Victory Lane after completing his parade laps.

A noticeable absence from tonight’s field was Travis Pastrana, who was slated to make his highly anticipated Nationwide Series debut in a car owned by both Pastrana and Michael Waltrip. Thursday night while competing in the X Games, Pastrana crashed his motorcycle as he was attempting to land a jump. It was later reported that Pastrana broke his right foot and ankle and will require surgery. As of Saturday night, Pastrana was hopeful to make his next scheduled Nationwide race at Richmond International Raceway on September 9.

The top-five in tonight’s race were Keselowski, Sthenhouse Jr., James Buescher, Aric Almirola, and Carl Edwards.

The only change in the top-five in series’ points was for the lead: Reed Sorenson and Stenhouse Jr. swapped positions, putting Stenhouse Jr. as the new points leader, four points ahead of Sorenson.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads back to Iowa Speedway next Saturday, August 6, where new points leader, Stenhouse Jr. won back in May of this year.
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David Ragan Wins Pole For Brickyard 400

Posted by imelda sovzky

Credit: Images

David Ragan won the pole for tomorrow's running of the Brickyard 400, Kasey Kahne will start second, followed by Jimmie Johnson who starts third, Kurt Busch will start fourth and teammate Brad Keselowski will start fifth. So has anyone noticed that the top four spots are taken by all four different car makes? Ragan drives a Ford, Kahne drives a Toyota, Johnson drives a Chevrolet and Kurt Busch drives a Dodge. 

Lets take a look at spots 1-10
1. David Ragan
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kurt Busch
5. Brad Keselowski
6. A.J. Allmendinger
7. Juan Montoya
8. Jeff Gordon
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Carl Edwards

A.J. Allmendinger surprises me out of this group in the top ten. A.J. has made three starts here and his best finish is tenth which came back in 2008. But last year he finished sixteenth. Allmendinger has completed all the laps and has also led four laps combined in the three races.

David Ragan is another surprise to me, but not as big as A.J. David Ragan has been on a roll this year and he always seems to be up front and his team is just getting all the right things done on pit road. David has started here(at Indy) four times and also has completed all the laps like Allmendinger. David Ragan finished 20th last year, his best finish came back in 08 when he finished fourteenth. 

Now lets take a look at the drivers who qualified 11-20

11.  Casey Mears
12. Mark Martin
13. Jeff Burton
14. Denny Hamlin
15. Paul Menard
16. Jamie McMurray
17. Bobby Labonte
18. Greg Biffle
19. Kevin Harvick
20. Joey Logoano

Take a quick look at the drivers, anyone surprise you? Well i see Casey Mears as a surprise, Mears has not raced here since 2009 and in 2009 he finished 19th. His best ever finish came back in 2005 when he finished sixth after starting 40th. 

Most of the others in this group have normal qualifying efforts, I think Jamie McMurray might be one to look out for as he looks to turn his season around and possibly Joey Logano who will be coming off a fourth place finish two weeks ago at New Hampshire.

Now lets take a look at the next group of drivers who qualified 21-30

21. Marcos Ambrose
22. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
23. Ryan Newman
24. Tony Stewart
25. Trevor Bayne
26. Clint Bowyer
27. Regan Smith
28. David Reutimann
29. Kyle Busch
30. Martin Truex Jr.

The big surprises to me are the two Stewart Haas Racing cars, after coming off a awesome weekend at New Hampshire they did not get the job done in qualifying. Just a small quick fact, when Stewart won here back in 2005 he started 22nd. 

Trevor Bayne makes his first start here and will start 25th. I was thinking that Clint Bowyer may have done a little bit better in qualifying too, Bowyers best finish at Indianapolis is fourth(twice)in 2006 and 2010. But both times he has started in the top ten. Now i'm not saying that just becuase he didnt qualify in the top ten doesnt mean he wont do good, you never know. 

Now for the final group 31-43

31. Brian Vickers
32. Landon Cassill
33. Dave Blaney
34. Scott Speed
35. Michael McDowell
36. Joe Nemecheck
37. David Gilliland
38. Mike Skinner
39. Andy Lally
40. T.J. Bell
41. Robby Gordon
42. Mike Bliss
43. Terry Labonte

Scott Speed is making his first start in 2011 and will start 34th. NOTE: Denny Hamlin will start in the back due to and engine change in a practice on Friday. 

Drivers that didnt qualify:
44. David Stremme
45. Travis Kvapil
46. Erik Darnell
47. J.J. Yeley
48. Scott Wimmer

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David Ragan wins pole for Brickyard 400

Posted by imelda sovzky

David Ragan wins pole for Brickyard 400
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(July 30, 2011)
INDIANAPOLIS—The roll continued for David Ragan on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ragan’s qualifying lap at 182.994 mph (49.182 seconds) was fast enough to win the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard 400, the 20th NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season.
The Coors Light pole award was the second of the season for Ragan, who also picked up the first Cup victory of his career earlier this month at Daytona. Ragan is 13th in the Cup standings and is in a Chase-eligible wild-card position as the only driver in positions 11-20 in the standings with a victory.
Kasey Kahne (182.927 mph) will start from the outside of the front row. Early qualifier Jimmie Johnson, who went out 17th, saw his lap at 182.801 mph stand up for third, with Kurt Busch (182.671 mph) claiming the fourth starting spot in a highly competitive time-trial session.
Brad Keselowski will take the green flag from the fifth spot, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and series points leader Carl Edwards.
“It’ll be cool to lead the pack (Sunday),” said Ragan, who is in a contract year at Roush Fenway Racing, as is his sponsor, UPS. “I knew we had a shot at the pole when we unloaded in qualifying trim on Friday. (Crew chief) Drew (Blickensderfer) made a few small adjustments, and I just tried to hit my marks and not do anything crazy.
“I knew we had a shot at a top-five or top-10 run for sure, so I just wanted to be a little conservative. I hit my marks, and everything did what it needed to do, and we wound up on top. It’s an honor to be here and to be the fastest guy at Indy.”
Kahne’s lap was .018 seconds slower than Ragan’s, and though he slipped slightly off Turn 4, Kahne didn’t think that was enough to cost him the pole.
“I slipped, but I never had to come off the gas,” Kahne said. “I just drifted up through it. I don’t think it slowed me down much. If it slowed me down anything, it wasn’t enough to get the pole—and it was that close.
“I felt like I didn’t come to the green flag quite as fast as I should have, but the rest of the lap was really good. It was just really close. The 6 (Ragan) put down a great lap.”
David Stremme, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell, J.J. Yeley and Scott Wimmer failed to qualify for the 43-car field
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Brickyard 400 Pole Winner: David Ragan

Posted by imelda sovzky

Qualifying Fast Facts
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
18th Annual Brickyard 400 presented by
Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Sat, July 30, 2011 @ 04:00 PM Eastern
Coors Light Pole Winner: David Ragan
Age: 25
Team : No. 6 - UPS/Hall Of Fame/Ned Jarrett Ford
Owner: John Henry
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
David Ragan won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual Brickyard 400 presented by with a lap of 49.182 seconds, 182.994 mph.
This is his second pole in 166 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole came at Texas in April of this season.
This is his second pole and eighth top-10 start in 2011.
This is his first pole in five races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His previous best starting position was 16th in 2008.
Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2011 and his sixth in eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his eighth in 20 races this season.
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Awesome Scud Race Magazine Article!!!

Posted by imelda sovzky

This I found on Blue Skies Daily.  I had never seen this before.  It's always good to discover new Sega racing material.  But this is extra-special--this is NEXT GENERATION Magazine, the "World's #1 computer and videogame authority," so Sega put on a good show to the entire gaming audience, not just some Sega nerds.  Oh BTW, Scud Race is also known as "Super GT" just in case you didn't know already.

"From the makers of Virtua Fighter 3 comes Super GT, the best auto-racing game of all time."

"Sega's Model 3 arcade technology boasts twin Lockheed Martin R3D/Pro-1000 custom graphics chips, each capable of rendering over 750,000 polygons per second.  Super GT pushes this hardware to the max--and refines the racing genre.  Page 60."

"Are you a psychopath?  Senator Lieberman thinks you might have a problem.  Page 8."

I won't post the rest of the pages (six in total) because I didn't scan them and I don't want to take credit for that.  Again, go to this site to see the other five pages.  If that site goes down in the future (I hope not), I got the pages saved to my computer.  I'm just going to quote important stuff that I read from it.

PAGE 1: "The race is on.  Nobody pushes the envelope as hard and as fast as Sega's AM2 coin-op division.  Led by the incomparable Yu Suzuki, the AM2 division is perhaps most famous for its Virtua Fighter series.  But experienced arcade gamers know that AM2's real strength is in its driving games.  Forget Namco, Sega AM2 is responsible for arcade racing's finest hours: Hang On, OutRun, Virtua Racing, Daytona USA--and now Super GT.  In the world of videogames, Sega AM2's racing pedigree earns it the mantle of gaming's Ferrari.

Based on the same Model 3 technology that powers the 1.5 million polygons-per-second Virtua Fighter 3, Super GT is as near to taking a real Porche (sp?) around a hairpin bend at 120 miles per hour as any civilian is likely to get.

This, truly, is state of the art."

I'm gonna tell you this.  I'M STOKED!!!  I think I've been waiting YEARS for someone (besides me) to eloquently express something as positive and uplifting as this.  I mean, holy cow.  Gaming's Ferrari?  Forget Namco?  Sega AM2 responsible for arcade racing's finest hours?  Lest you forget, this is a magazine for ALL games, not just Sega, so they really went out of their way to write this (and put it on the cover too)!

Oh, and while we're at it, we should  consider adding a Hang-On pic to the side bar over there...I didn't want to put a pic for EVERY game but we've been ignoring that AM2 classic for too long it seems...

PAGE 2: Love this quote:

"AM2 is the best arcade developer in the world, and it's current ambition is to create the definitive driving game."

Oops, don't tell that to Midway!  There's a picture of a much younger & more normal Toshihiro Nagoshi.  Even with the same team from Daytona USA, Nagoshi intended to and eventually made a completely different game. Super GT would be the first game to showcase the Model 3 board.  AM2 had an in-house rivalry with Tetsuya Misuguchi at AM Annex (Sega Rally/Touring Car).  You're right--forget about Namco, forget about Midway, forget about everyone else.  The only way to keep up with a Sega racer is with...another Sega racer.  ~*MIND BLOWN!!!*~

PAGE 3: Super GT car models consists of roughly 3,000 polygons each--three times that of Daytona USA.  Better graphics, Model 3 board is at least three times more powerful than the Model 2 board and was able to utilize Gouraud shading.  Tires are nearly round and the glass are transparent.  Sega programmers were experienced enough to cut out drawing needless geometry, hence speeding up the game.  Here's a quote:

"Toshihiro Nagoshi studied film in school, and his eye for detail has not been wasted at Sega which he describes as 'much more fun than movies.' "

Well, we already know Nagoshi was interested in film beforehand.  So maybe he has more know-how about these games than we think.  A damn shame he's working on this Binary Domain crap...

PAGE 4: Nagoshi said:

"Daytona was based on an American sport.  I wanted to make a game that would be accepted worldwide." 

Regardless, Daytona still has international appeal (played from Japan, US, UK, Brazil, Signapore, etc.) but still, the more diverse appeal of Super GT is greatly welcomed.  Later, Nagoshi went to the Ferrari factory in Modena, Italy.  Somehow, Sega's big budget granted them the license to use big-name cars.  He also said:

"I didn't want Super GT to be a circuit game because they are visually boring.  I wanted to make a game that was visually attractive.  We needed to make some course that would have character and be easily identified by the public--to avoid over-complicating things.  For example, we decided to make a course influenced by the Indiana Jones movies--something that can identified by the player, with relatively simple imagery."

I'm glad he got the colorful environment portion down.  But that's not all for this page!  He knows the basic principle of any game is to make it accessible.  He said: 

"The feeling of actually driving is very strong.  I didn't want to make a difficult racing game.  It may sound strange, but I'm very bad at playing games.  I used to spend a lot of money in arcades, just to see the end-game sequences and I know how bad players can feel if the game is too hard, too early.  So when I came to design Super GT, I tried to make a game that could be enjoyed by beginners."

Gee, I guess this is why Scud Race *ahem* Super GT has been in all of these Chuck E. Cheese's...

PAGE 5: Interesting quote from the article!

"Experienced gamers shouldn't lose out, however, if AM2's previous efforts are anything to go by.  Virtua Fighter was instantly accessible, requiring only a few moves to progress through the initial stages, but weeks of constant playing to master.  Super GT, for all its initial simplicity, will no doubt turn out to be as rich a driving experience as the original Daytona USA, which many regarded as superior to Ridge Racer thanks to its extended learning curve."

Sorry Cruis'n, FnF nubs, you're not off the hook just yet.

Now here we read about Yu Suzuki's involvement with this game from Nagoshi himself:

"When I joined Sega, Yu Suzuki had made some outstanding racing games.  He made the Virtua Fighter series a success, but he still prefers making racing games.  We are different, our ideas and views are different, but I got some advice from Yu Suzuki on the drift handling.  For Daytona, the handling was a bit heavy.  With Super GT, when you turn, the handling becomes steadily heavier, but does so smoothly.  When entering a drift, the tail will slide slowly and you'll feel the power of the engine.  He also recommended that I do some sampling on the Fuji freeway, which I did.  He's very supportive."

Su Suzuki took Nagoshi out for a drift cruise out on Fuji Circuit?  That's boss.  Well, I never really knew Suzuki's involvement from this game, but with him as a mentor (not as a member of the team), Nagoshi could do no wrong.  Didn't know Suzuki liked making racing games THAT much, a damn shame he couldn't have made more during his tenure at Sega.  Now that Suzuki has left, Nagoshi...uh, you get the picture.

Also here, it mentions multiplayer.  This I'm curious about since I really don't know if Super GT is capable of more than 4 players...  Article says something interesting about this:

"At the moment, there are only plans for two-player and four-player link-ups--such is the cost of combining such an advanced cabinet, with the expensive Model 3 board.  The code is there, however, and it would be possible to link eight cabinets, but the cost of such a system would make it a rare sight indeed in all but the major theme parks."

And while the fanfare of this game is stellar, these people have yet to play Daytona 2 which'll come out in the next year.  Mentions that Nagoshi & his team may have begun work on such a game.  Also mentions a possible Saturn port of Super GT (one which we never got).  Let me just end my with the following excerpt:

"With Super GT, the team has rasied the bar once again, stealing a march not only on its in-house peers [talking about AM Annex], but arch rivals Namco, which may find itself in the unevitable position of runner-up in the race for the next generation of driving games."


Reading this, you could only feel enthusiastic for the future.  However, after Daytona 2, the series was dropped on its head.  Then there was Crazy Taxi, OutRun 2, and F-Zero GX (if you care about Nintendo IP's) and then that's it.  Everything else they've made has nothing to do with racing or are incredibly obscure.  Sure there's more like Toshihiro Nagoshi was a film major so now he would probably prefer to make movie-based games (Yakuza, Binary Domain) rather than racing games so that's just plain sad.

I'm also surprised that I didn't see Makoto Osaki around since he appeared in all sorts of Daytona USA 2 media such as in another magazine article and the official guide book.

Please come back, Toshihiro Nagoshi, Yu Suzuki, Makoto Osaki...SAVE US FROM THIS TRAVESTY IN GAMES TODAY.  IT'S NOT TOO LATE!!!  Also, while you're at it, a new Shenmue wouldn't be too bad either...

BTW, Next Generation Magazine ran from January '95 to January '02.  So it really sucks when anything that promotes Sega goes away, what a let-down.

If somehow you find any new Sega racer-related material that I may have missed, post it in a comment and I'll surely notice it (and give you some attribution).  If I already saw it, that's ok; I'm just looking for new stuff...

See tons of personal Scud Race emulator pics here and here.
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Timothy Peters Takes Home Win #3

Posted by imelda sovzky on Friday, July 29, 2011

Credit: Images

Timothy Peters probably had no clue that he could go on and win this race after his spin around the halfway mark of the race. But that spin made him come in and get fuel and tires which were just enough to get him to the end of the race and also do a burnout.

Peters took the lead from James Buescher in the final 20 laps when he had to save fuel. Peters scored his third win of his career, first in 2011.

The race started with some action just in the first lap when three trucks were collected, those being Johanna Long, Ryan Sieg and Jason White. Austin Dillon lead the first 36 laps of the race, then some rain started to fall  which brought out the caution on lap 41.

Parker Kligerman who was a favorite to win the race tonight was in the lead after the pit stops cycled through, then James Buescher took the lead on the next caution. Buescher and Kligerman battled it out for some laps but at the same time Timothy Peters was coming back up through the pack with new tires and about 10 more laps of fuel than all the others on the track. Buescher finally broke away from the leaders and Peters finally made it to second.  Buescher was told to save fuel which made him give up the lead to the charging #17 truck of Timothy Peters.

Right before the white flag came out Todd Bodine came up on Austin Dillon who was saving fuel also. Todd Bodine was interviewed and said it was all his fault and took full blame for the incident. He thought that the #7 truck was the final truck when Dillon was still their. Bodine also said he would of never done anything like that to Dillon. They finally talked it out and hopefully everything was settled.

Austin Dillon is now only four points out of the lead for the championship after current points leader Johnny Sauter  had a tire going down and gambled hoping that rain would fall but that never happened.

Next week we go to Pocono Raceway for only the second time in Truck Series history. Elliott Sadler won the first race there last year. Tune into Speed next Saturday at 1pm/ET to watch the race.

1. Timothy Peters
2. James Buescher
3. David Starr
4. Miguel Paludo
5. Ron Hornaday Jr.
6. Matt Crafton
7. Joey Coulter
8. Cole Whitt
9. Austin Dillon
10. Ross Chastain
11. Parker Kligerman
12. Todd Bodine
13. Steve Arpin
14. Nelson Piquet Jr.
15. Clay Rogers
16. Brendan Gaughan
17. Johanna Long
18. Max Papis
19. Ricky Carmichael
20. Justin Lofton
21. Dakoda Armstrong
22. Josh Richards
23. Johnny Sauter
24. Elliott Sadler
25. Jake Crum
26. Jason White
27. Todd PEck
28. Jack Smmith
29. Ryan Sieg
30. Ricky Moxley
31. Norm Benning
32. Jennifer Jo Cobb
33. Tommy Joe Martins
34. Brad Queen
35. Shane Sieg
36. Mike Garvey

Recrod: 33 cars were running at the end of the race tonight, a new record at Lucas Oil Raceway

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