Race winner for the Auto Club 400 is Kyle Busch, getting his 200th win in all series. I’m glad that he got it over with because frankly I am tired of hearing about it and I honestly think Kyle was tired of hearing about it. I don’t understand why they take this magical 200 wins in all series number and put all this emphasis on it. It would be like taking Tony Stewart and tabulating all of his dirt car wins into his cup wins and putting that number out there. And don’t even get me started about comparing him to Richard Petty. Richard Petty and Kyle Busch aren’t contemporaries. How many you raced in a season and what you raced are different. It would be like comparing my SAT scores to the SAT scores of someone of the same age taking them today. The test has dramatically changed since I took the SATs so it wouldn’t be a fair comparison, just like NASCAR’s premier series has changed over the years. (more…)
Kyle Busch may not have gotten the sweep he was hoping for at his home track in Las Vegas, but he put on a clinic in Phoenix. I miss going to the Phoenix race- I love it, but it is just too much vacation time for me to take enough to get through the Vegas race and the Phoenix race since they moved to a “west coast swing” schedule several years ago. I love the Phoenix area, and even when I am not at the track, I end up having fun in Scottsdale.
Ryan Blaney captured the pole with Chase Elliott hot on his heels and completing the second row.
However, Kyle Busch stole the show at ISM speedway, leading a good chunk of the race in the middle, and then again at the end when it counted most.
One thing about this configuration of ISM is the weird way the drivers cut corners through what use to be the infield. I will be honest; I don’t like it as much as I did the previous configuration of the one-mile track.
I was impressed to see Jimmie Johnson in the top ten- a solid run for a team that seems to have been struggling so far this year. It is a new crew chief for Johnson so I wonder if part of that isn’t the issue. The team is still learning to gel together. I hope for him that the team gets a win soon. Of course, I love the Ally bank paint scheme- mostly because purple is my favorite color and I think there needs to be more purple cars. Ha!
Also impressive was Clint Bowyer’s run. He was solidly in the top 5 most of the race.
What I find ironic is that the two drivers who scuffled during qualifying, Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell, both did kind of poorly during the race itself. It almost made the scuffle inconsequential.
Next week we are off to Fontana.
Vegas is a sentimental track for me- because it is the first track where I saw a NASCAR race in person. It scrolled through my history here on BadGroove and found the very first Racecation report I made- I had so much to say I had broken it up into three parts: My First NASCAR Race Part 1, Part 2: Qualifying Day, and Part 3: Race Day. I don’t believe I have missed a Vegas race since then. My first NASCAR race was not the beginning of my love of NASCAR; I had loved racing (NASCAR, IndyCar, and NHRA) since I was about six or seven. (more…)
This will be the first time since NASCAR’s Championship Week Celebration was in Vegas that I will not be attending. There is a personal reason I am not attending, but even without that I had not planned to attend this year but instead going to Disneyland this year (postponed Disneyland too for that personal reason). Mostly because it seems that After The Lap which was always my favorite part of the weekend- has turned more into a concert and less of a driver Q&A. Based on what I see from the schedule of events there aren’t many events for Champions week where all the drivers are together- which kind of bums me out. This year, After The Lap, starts much later, is located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and according to everything is scheduled to run a full three hours. I have also heard that the fees on tickets for the event now cost more then the tickets to the event- so there is that. This part disappoints me greatly. Don’t let me disuade you from going. After The Lap is held at The Cosmo on Wednesday Nov 29th at 8:00 PM: Tickets for After The Lap.
There are improvements to the week long festivities especially over recent years when it was quite obvious to this fan that SPRINT’s support of the series was waning. Last year’s event was minimum and paltry. One of my favorite new events that is part of the champion festivities is that the championship drivers are having scheduled autograph sessions which I think is a great idea. However- you can only attend one of the autograph sessions (although if you a stealthy pair of fans you could have one fan sign up for two tickets to one session and the other friend sign up for another session) so you are limited to the four drivers in the session you sign up for. A majority of these sessions have already reached their cap for this year unfortunately but there are a few sessions with tickets left so I wouldn’t wait much longer to sign up for one- at Driver Autograph Sessions (best I can tell these are free but you need tickets).
Dale Jr Fans will be especially treated to an event just to celebrate him (I assume that he won Most Popular Driver again). There appear to be tickets left for this event but be warned- these tickets appear to range in price from $188 to over $400 a ticket (YOWZER) tickets to appear to come with a drink voucher (Still YOWZER). This will be held at the Cosmo on Tuesday Nov 28th. Dale Jr Appreci88tion Event.
There are some other free events- including a the victory lap and fan headquarters at THE PARK (which is located outside of New York, New York)…but if you are going to champion’s week be prepared to shell out some dough to see your favorite drivers (unless you happen to be lucky enough to bump into them in their hotel). For more information on NASCAR Champion’s Week in Vegas visit: Champion’s Week at NASCAR.COM
It seemed like forever since I have watched a race? Why? Because first we had the Easter break with no racing and then first race back from Easter was Bristol which was delayed until Monday. Well we are coming up on enrollment deadlines at work so it wasn’t possible for me to be able to sit in my office and pay attention to the race as it happened. I knew I would find out who won (Jimmie) and I heard that the racing was really good at Bristol- which made me jealous that I decided to forgo DVR’ing it. Why would I do that? Well there are a couple of reasons. I knew I would know who the winner was before I could get home and watch it (and indeed I did) so I would have already known the outcome. Plus- honestly I didn’t think I would feel like coming home and watching a race. Too bad because I heard from more than one source that the racing at the track was excellent.
There was so much terrible weather across the United States I was grateful that they were able to race on Sunday at Richmond. I was jonesing for some racing action and I honestly think I got it. When I am talking about racing action- I am talking about side-by-side racing for position. It seems to me that NASCAR was right after all with this segment racing and it really shines on the short tracks. It seems to put a sense of urgency in the racing that seems to make it so that the drivers are not just biding their time for the end of the race.
It seemed that a big complaint among the race fans I follow were the in-race penalties during the race at Richmond. There were several pit road speeding penalties, a couple of lose tire and equipment leaving the box penalties but no more than any other race I thought. So I am wondering if people weren’t talking about the commitment violations for pit road (I guess technically we can’t really call them commitment cone violations since they don’t use a cone at Richmond but instead use an orange square. Apparently it use to be okay if your right side tires hit the orange commitment square on the track but this race they changed the rule so that the tires had to be completely on the left side of the box for pit road and the right side of the box to remain on track. During the national broadcast they said that the change was communicated during the driver’s meeting and I don’t know if a few of the drivers just weren’t paying attention to the rule change or if they were unaware.
I think a lot of people are talking about the incident with Joey Logano ducking in quickly and blocking the view of the commitment box from Kyle Busch who then clearly ran over the box because it was blocked from his view by Logano. Some people think it was a dirty thing for Logano to do. Some people think Kyle Busch is being a whiner. I can honestly see both sides. As the race leader Joey Logano’s job is to protect that lead. Ducking into the pits at the last minute is nothing new- it’s probably one of the oldest “tricks” in the pit strategy sleeve. Nor do I think Kyle has reason to be called a whiner- he was upset- that penalty cost him a decent finish and possibly a win. It’s quite understandable to be upset with the call- especially when you yourself can’t see the box because the view is blocked by the car in front of you. Kyle doesn’t have the vantage point the people on TV have or even the people in the stands. I would call that a “racin’ deal” pure and simple.
Stewart-Haas had a pretty good day overall. All four cars finished in the top 20 with one top five (Harvick), one top ten (Busch), One top 15 (Bowyer) and one top 20 (Patrick).
Drivers that impressed me: Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Daniel Suarez
Drivers that disappointed me: Dale Jr, Clint Bowyer,
It’s been a horrendously busy time for me at work lately and I think the tech gods are mad at me because it seems like this week in particular is trying to kill me. However- just because I am busy at work doesn’t mean I don’t have few things ping around my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:
1. Planning to be at the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby (previously known as the MudSummer Classic) at Eldora Speedway in Ohio next week to watch the CWTS on dirt? Looking to do some good and kill some time before the feature? Join the Tony Stewart Foundation’s Guinness Book Of World Records attempt at the Largest Game of Heads Or Tails! Register now for $10 to ensure your spot in the game. Proceeds will assist the foundation’s grant program! There some pretty awesome prizes if you end up as one of the top ten people lasting the longest in the game plus all registered contestants will get a commemorative bandanna (you can also donate and get a bandanna if you can’t be there)! Check out the Tony Stewart Foundation’s Flip It For Good page for more information and to register:
2. Here is a great article from National Speed Sport News on what Tony Stewart deems as his “Personal Hell Week” (but it sounds like he also loves it) but check out what the next week to ten days are going to be like in the life of Tony Stewart. I just have one question…when does he sleep? Give it a read and if you can figure out when he does…let me know.
Well looks like the lugnuts are pinging around that pitbox I call a brain again:
1. Did you hear? BadGroove is having a contest and you can enter to win some Tony Stewart swag. Pay special attention to the part about how you can earn a bonus entry on Saturday.
2. So it sounds like the new lugnut rule is in action- Crew Chief of the #18 Adam Stevens and the front tire changer Josh Leslie have been suspended through May 18th for a lugnut violation. Additionally Stevens has been fined $20,000. This according to a tweet from Dustin Long. I hate to say it but it’s been pretty obvious that the teams can’t police themselves when it comes to lugnuts so I expect to see more of these fines in the future. It’s a safety issue. You wouldn’t drive your passenger car down the freeway at 65 MPH (or higher- come on you know you don’t go the speed limit) missing lugnuts, explain to me why it’s safe for a stock car going 150 plus MPH (depending on the track) to do that on a race track? It’s common sense.
3.It was great to see the 14 lead a few (ok 12) laps on Saturday. I hope to see that Code 3 Associates Chevy in victory lane this weekend. I can’t be the only one right? Speaking of Code 3 Associates did you know that they in conjunction with Adam’s Flea and Tick Pest control are offering you a sweepstakes where you can win a VIP race experience including the chance to meet Tony Stewart? Enter today! (more…)