News & Views – Volume 28 – May 28 – June 3, 2012

News & Views – Volume 28
For the week of May 28 – June 3, 2012

“It’s just so great to win for Mr. Hendrick” – Kasey Kahne after winning the Coca-Cola 600. His third Coke 600 win and fourth win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.




And the Hendrick momentum continues to roll through Charlotte Motor Speedway, with Kasey Kahne winning the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night!


This week, the NASCAR teams are rolling on to Dover International Speedway. The Camping World Trucks are racing Friday, June 1st; Nationwide drivers race on Saturday, June 2nd; and the Sprint Cup teams take to the track on Sunday, June 3rd. This will be the last race broadcast by FOX, with TNT taking over broadcasting duties beginning with the Pocono race the following Sunday, June 10th. 


Let’s begin with news for today…

Sunday, June 3, 2012
2012 NSCS FedEx 400 Race Results

Johnson celebrate a win with Miles The Monster
Photo – NASCAR.com/Getty Images

The wins keep coming for Hendrick Motorsports, as Jimmie Johnson gives the team another win with a dominating victory in the 2012 NSCS FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway.


Johnson, who led the most laps – 289 laps of the 400 that were run, received his 2nd series win of the 2012 season, his 57th series career win and the 7th time in the series that he has tamed “The Monster Mile.” With Johnson’s seventh series win at Dover, he is now tied with Bobby Allison and Richard Petty for the most NCSC all-time wins at Dover.


Coming in second – 2.550 seconds – behind Johnson to the drop of the checkered flag was Kevin Harvick, and they were followed by Matt Kenseth – who moves within 1-point from the series points leader, Greg Biffle – who finished 11th – finishing third, Dale Earnhardt Jr fourth and Clint Bowyer finishing in fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Aric Almirola finishing in sixth, Martin Truex Jr seventh, Joey Logano eighth, Kasey Kahne ninth and Marcos Ambrose finished in the tenth position.


Race Results
Point Standings


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


Drivers torn on how more side-by-side racing can be achieved
NASCAR can make all the changes it wants to limit the downforce of the cars, and the drivers still could fight what they fight today – an aero push with difficulty making a pass.


This isn’t a new topic for NASCAR to tackle, but the topic is much talked about currently in the Sprint Cup garage because there have been 40 fewer cautions this year than at this point last year, mainly because of fewer accidents.


Read more from Sporting News


Jeff Gordon feels heat to do well in FedEx 400
Tough veteran Mark Martin 53, will start on the pole for today’s FedEx 400, the spotlight is squarely on another NASCAR veteran.


As the Sprint Cup Series about to hit the halfway mark of its regular season, four-time champion Jeff Gordon finds himself teetering on the hot seat.


Read more from The Detroit Free Press


Danica Patrick, Sam Hornish Jr. get tangled up again
Danica Patrick and Sam Hornish Jr didn’t make it a month without bumping into each other again.


Patrick finished 30th, 67 laps down, in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race after her No. 7 Chevrolet was spun by Hornish’s No. 12 Dodge.


Read more from The Detroit Free Press


Kurt Busch lashes out at Sporting News reporter after Nationwide race
Kurt Busch had some harsh words for Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass during an interview following the Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday.


The interview took place several minutes after the race, and after Busch had a confrontation with Justin Allgaier.




Read more from Sporting News – Video from YouTube


Saturday, June 2, 2012
2012 NNS 5-hour Energy 200 Race Results

Logano Wins at Dover
Photo – Associated Press

Joey Logano dominated the NNS 5-hour ENERGY 200 at Dover International Speedway Saturday afternoon, as he leads 154 laps – out of 200 – and keeps fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Ryan Truex and Brian Scott, in his rear view mirror en-route to victory lane.


This was Logano’s fourth series win of the 2012 season, his thirteenth series career win and his first series win at “The Monster Mile.”


Following the JGR trio to the drop of the checkered flag were Kurt Busch finishing fourth, Justin Allgaier fifth, NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon sixth, Elliott Sadler seventh, Ty Dillon eighth, James Buescher ninth and Jeremy Clements rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.


With Elliott Sadler’s seventh-place finish, and with Ricky Stenhouse Jr, involved in an early race incident and finishing thirty-second, Sadler takes back the lead from Stenhouse, and now leads by 12-points in the standings.


Race Results
Point Standings


Next Up – The teams take a weekend off and return to action at Michigan International Speedway with the Alliance Truck Parts 250 on Saturday, June 16th, with an approximate start of 4pm ET – television coverage provided by ESPN on ABC beginning with their 3:30pm ET pre-race show.


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


SRT Motorsports – Dodge – Keys for Success: FedEx 400
Howard Comstock – SRT Motorsports Engineering
Back in Black – “We noticed yesterday that there was an incredible amound of rubber build-up on the track. Throughout the day, teams tried to adjust their cars to deal with the increasing amount of rubber. Last night we had heavy rain that washed all the rubber off. We have only two laps of qualifying today which aren’t going to mean much. And then we have the Nationwide Series race today, which will be interesting to watch. For Sunday, are we going to have the track that we raced on during Friday practice with a lot of rubber build-up or will we see a clean track? That’s a lot of changing over a two-day period and that’s tough for the teams to adapt to that.”


Pit Road Woes – “This year, week after week we’ve seen good runs by quality teams go bad on pit road – mistakes by the driver getting on and off pit road, collisions on pit road, equipment being taken out of the box. Now we come to the half-way point to the Chase and we’re on the narrowest pit lane in Sprint Cup racing. I think the drivers are going to have to concentrate on their pit road etiquette and teams are going to have to be careful in their boxes. I’d give up a tenth of a second on pit road versus serving a drive-through penalty on pit road. We’ve seen too many times this year that good runs have gone bad because of penalties on pit road. You can’t afford that here.”


Two Lane Groovin’ – “Generally speaking, if you can get your car to work on the bottom at Dover it will be good on the top groove as well. It’s harder to make your car work low here. If your car won’t work low and you have to move up, then it’s trouble because the guy that can make his car work in the low lane is going to pass you every time.


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports – Dodge-PR


2012 NSCS FedEx 400 Starting Lineup
Mark Martin, with a qualifying lap speed of 158.297-mph, captured the 2012 NSCS FedEx 400 Coors Light Pole Award at Dover International Speedway.


This was Martins’ 3rd series pole of the 2012 season, his 54th series career pole and his 5th series pole at “The Monster Mile.”


Starting second on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 158.263-mph, will be Jimmie Johnson, followed by Ryan Newman 158.235-mph who will start third, Clint Bowyer 158.047 fourth and Matt Kenseth 157.985 will start fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Kevin Harvick  157.867-mph who will start sixth, current series points leader, Greg Biffle 157.839 and Kyle Busch – with identical lap speed of 157.839 – recorded seventh and eighth respectively, Kurt Busch 157.611 ninth and Denny Hamlin 157.549 will start from the tenth position.


Failing to make the starting lineup were the #26 driven by Josh Wise and the #74 driven by Cole Whitt.


The 31st running of the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks is scheduled to get underway Sunday at approximately 1:20pm ET with television coverage provided by FOX beginning with their 12:30pm ET pre-race show.


Starting Lineup


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NNS 5-hour ENERGY 200 Starting Lineup
Ryan Truex and Joey Logano will make it an all-Joe Gibbs Racing front row for today’s 2012 NNS 5-hour ENERGY 200 at Dover International Speedway, as Truex captures the Coors Light Pole Award with a qualifying lap speed of 154.746-mph.


Truex’s teammate, Logano, ran a lap speed of 154.453-mph – for the outside pole – and they will be followed by Ty Dillon 154.420-mph starting from third, current series points leader, Ricky Stenhouse Jr 154.057 fourth and Brian Scott 154.057 starting fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Elliott Sadler 153.636-mph who will start sixth, Justin Allgaier 153.623 seventh, Mike Bliss 153.505 eighth, Kurt Busch 153.466 ninth and Sam Hornish Jr 153.283 will start from the tenth position.


With only 43 drivers/teams attempting to qualify for the 43 starting positions, no one failed to make the starting lineup.


The running of today’s 31st annual 5-hour ENERGY 200 race is scheduled to get underway around 2:20pm ET and ESPN will begin their pre-race coverage at 1:30pm ET. 


Starting Lineup


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


Dover’s tricky concrete earns respect, some dislike
Carl Edwards as feeling pretty good about himself when he raced for the first time on Dover International Speedway’s concrete surface.


Edwards was in his second season in NASCAR’s Truck Series in 2003, driving a plain white Dodge with no sponsorship decals, adorned only with a No. 99.


Read more from That’s Racin


Berggren calling it a career after 32 years as pit reporter
The checkered flag will wave not only for the winner of the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup race Sunday afternoon, it will also signal the end of Dick Berggren’s 32 years as a TV pit reporter.


Berggren, 70, worked his first NASCAR telecast in 1982-also at Dover – and has spent more than 40 years writing and reporting on motorsports, including the last 12 with the Fox television network as its lead pit reporter. He announced last month that we would retire following the Dover race.


Read more from USA Today


Earnhardt looks to put winless streak behind him
Dale Earnhardt, Jr is hoping to pick up the next memorable victory for Hendrick Motorsports.


First Jimmie Johnson raced to owner Rick Hendrick’s 200th win. Then Kasey Kahne earned his first victory with Hendrick in the Coca-Cola 600. 


Next? Well, Earnhardt brings his bewildering 141-race winless drought into Sunday’s Sprint Cup stop at Dover International Speedway.


Read more from AJC

Friday, June 1, 2012
2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 Race Results
With 53 laps to go in the NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway – and being past the half-way point in the race – rains forced NASCAR officials to call the race officially in the books, giving the leader of the race, Todd Bodine, the victory.


This was Bodine’s first series win of the 2012 season, his twenty-second series career win and his first series win at “The Monster Mile.”


Finishing in second was Parker Kligerman, followed by Kevin Harvick – who led the most laps, 96 of the 147 – finishing third, Nelson Piquet Jr fourth and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cale Gale, finishing in the fifth position.


Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were rookie contender, Ty Dillon, finishing in sixth, James Buescher seventh, Matt Crafton eighth, Timothy Peters ninth and the current series points leader, Justin Lofton – leads Peters by 1-point in the standings – finishing in the tenth position.


Race Results
Point Standings


Next Up: The WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, June 8th, with an approximate starting time of 9:20pm ET and television coverage provided by SPEED beginning with their 8:30pm EST pre-race program.


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


NASCAR drivers insist they aren’t being cautious on the track
When wrecks happen on the racetrack, the theory of why the wreck happened often depends on the driver.


The same is true when drivers talk about the decline of wrecks this season. One driver delivers a theory and another driver responds to that theory with a quizzical look of disbelief.


Read more from Sporting News


Hunt for Wild-Card Berths Heats Up at Dover
A third of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is in the books, and after the series’ next race, the field will be halfway home in the 26-race regular season.


There’s still plenty of racing left, but for several drivers on the outside of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s top-10, the clock is ticking a tad louder.


Read more from WLWT-News 5


NASCAR, Coca-Cola 600 trumps Indy in TV ratings
While the Indianapolis 500 is one of the world’s most famous automobile races and attracts a worldwide audience, it still takes a backseat to NASCAR and the Coca-Cola 600 in terms of American television viewership.


Read more from Sporting News


Ryan Truex back after speedy recovery
Ryan Truex is thankful he’s back behind the wheel this weekend after undergoing an appendectomy only a few days ago.


Truex will jump into his Nationwide Series ride for Saturday’s race at Dover International Speedway and is amazed considering where he was health-wise only a relatively short period of time.


Read more and see video at Eye On NASCAR


Sponsors hit the brakes on NASCAR
With attendance declining and a tough economy putting pressure on marketing budgets, companies are dropping out or avoiding NASCAR for sponsorships. Trevor Bayne was a 20-year-old part-time driver with no major sponsor when he won the Daytona 500 last year. This year, he returned to Daytona a year older but in the same driving situation.


Read more from Central Penn Business Journal


Dale Earnhardt Jr a proponent of shorter NASCAR season, but admits it’s a dream
When Rusty Wallace said last week that the Sprint Cup season might be better off at 32 races instead of the current 38-race schedule, not many people expected that to actually happen.


Tracks value their dates and none would want to lose one. Also with television contracts the way they are, a change in the number of races would likely require those deals to be revised.


Read more from Sporting News


2012 NSCS FedEx 400 Final Practice Session Speeds
Last week’s NSCS Coca-Cola 600 pole-sitter, Aric Almirola, with a lap speed of 157.205-mph, was on top of the speed charts Friday afternoon at the end of the final FedEx400 practice session at Dover International Speedway.


Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon 156.958-mph, Dale Earnhardt Jr 155.966 and Jimmie Johnson 155.952 were second, third and fourth on the speed charts respectively, while Scott Speed 154.772 ended up fifth.


Rounding out that top-ten on the speed charts during the “Happy Hour” – final – session were Jamie McMurray 154.679 who was sixth, Michael McDowell 154.447 seventh, Kurt Busch 154.381 eighth, Joe Nemecheck 154.308 ninth and JJ Yeley 154.248 finishing the practice in tenth.


Qualifying for Sunday’s 43rd annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks – which is set to get underway at approximately 1:20pm ET with television coverage provided by FOX starting at 12:30pm ET – is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 12:10 pm ET. 


Final Practice Speeds
Qualifying Order


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NNS 5-hour ENERGY 200 Final Practice Session Speeds
The final and only NNS 5-hour ENERGY 200 practice session found Joey Logano, with a lap speed of 154.215-mph, showing the fastest way around Dover International Speedway.


Elliott Sadler, with a lap speed of 154.149-mph, posted the second fastest lap speed, and was followed by Ryan Truex 153.853-mph who was third fastest, Kurt Busch 153.800 fourth and Justin Allgaier 153.551 was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – session were Parker Kligerman 153.048-mph who was sixth fastest, NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cole Whitt 152.918 seventh, Mike Bliss 152.808 eighth, Ty Dillon 152.782 ninth and John Wes Townley 152.400 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will return to the track Saturday morning for their 10:40am ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for that afternoon’s race – which is scheduled to get underway around 2:20pm ET – and television coverage will be provided by ESPN.


Final Practice Speeds
Qualifying Order


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NSCS FedEx 400 First Practice Session Speeds
Mark Martin, with a lap speed of 159.200-mph, was the quickest during the first NSCS FedEx 400 practice session at Dover International Speedway.


Second quickest was Denny Hamlin with a lap speed of 158.926-mph, and was followed by Martin Truex Jr 158.527-mph who was third quickest, Kyle Busch 158.444 fourth, and Greg Biffle 158.367 was fifth quickest.


Rounding out the top-ten quickest during practice were Ryan Newman 158.054-mph who was sixth quickest, Marcos Ambrose 157.563 seventh, last week’s Coca-Cola 600 winner, Kasey Kahne 157.535 eighth, Paul Menard 157.522 ninth and Kevin Harvick 157.453 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.


The teams will return to the track later this afternoon for their 2:45 – 4:15pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” – final – practice session, and then return Saturday afternoon for qualifying at 12:10pm ET.


The 43rd annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks is set to get underway around 1:20pm ET on Sunday, and FOX will continue their television coverage beginning with their 12:30pm ET pre-race show – this will also be long-time veteran FOX pit reporter, and at the age of 70, Dick Berggren’s last full-time stint as a race reporter.


First Practice Speeds
Qualifying Order


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 Starting Lineup
Kevin Harvick, with a qualifying lap speed of 158.235-mph, captured the 2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 Keystone Light Pole Award at Dover International Speedway.


This was Harvick’s second series pole of the 2012 season, his fourth series career pole and his first series pole at “The Monster Mile.”


Starting on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 157.336-mph, will be Joey Coulter, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr 157.219-mph who will start third, Johnny Sauter 157.165 fourth and NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cale Gale 156.420 will start fifth.


Rookie contenders, Ty Dillon 156.338-mph and Jeb Burton 156.006 will start sixth and seventh respectively, while Timothy Peters 155.993 starts eighth, Miguel Paludo 155.595 ninth and Matt Crafton 155.575 will round out the top-ten starting positions.


Only 35 drivers/teams attempted to qualify for the 36 starting positions, so no one failed to make the starting lineup.


Weather permitting, the 13th annual Lucas Oil 200 is scheduled to get underway around 5pm ET today, and SPEED will begin their pre-race coverage at 4:30pm ET.


Starting Lineup


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


NASCAR Sprint Cup grind starts at the Monster Mile in Dover
Dover International Speedway is nicknamed “the Monster Mile,” the Sprint Cup veteran Jeff Burton says the moniker fits perfectly.


“If you say Dover doesn’t intimidate you, you are lying,” Burton says. “You have to be exceptionally aggressive, but if you cross the line, you will be in trouble. It’s an incredible racetrack and a huge challenge.”


Read more from USA Today


Austin Dillon Emerging as racing’s most intriguing young star
The driver who may just be NASCAR’s next big thing is unabashed about his choice of headgear.


“I think I’m going to bring some new style back into racing,” Austin Dillon, 22, said of the cowboy hats that he’s been wearing around the track. “I’ve always had a little bit of cowboy in me.”


Read more from Sports Illustrated


Drivers racing conservatively under new points system
NASCAR fans, the media and NASCAR officials have been clamoring for reasons why there are so few caution flags this season compared to recent years.


There are fewer caution flags because there are fewer wrecks, but why are NASCAR’s top drivers wrecking less than before?


Read more from Sporting News


2012 Dover Weather Forecast – Possible Showers During the Weekend
The main concern with this weekend’s forecast at Dover is the possibility of storms on Friday, lingering into Saturday morning. With another possible threat of showers late on Sunday.


That sounds like a big mess with rain but based on timing the only day of real concern is Friday. Cold front will move through the East coast on Friday afternoon and evening. Storms some strong to potentially severe are possible as this system moves through. This could be a problem for the final Sprint Cup practice and Camping World truck race.


Read more from WX-Man


Thursday, May 31, 2012
2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 Final Practice Session Speeds
Kevin Harvick, with a lap speed of 154.712-mph, showed the fastest way around Dover International Speedway during the final NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 practice session.


Second fastest and with a lap speed of 153.309-mph was Justin Lofton, followed by NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon 152.944-mph who was third fastest, Brian Scott 152.782 fourth and Parker Kligerman 152.775 was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Joey Coulter 152.672-mph who was sixth fastest, Nelson Piquet Jr, 152.420 seventh, Miguel Paludo 152.310 eighth, series rookie contenders Max Gresham 152.304 and Jeb Burton 152.271 posting the ninth and tenth fastest lap speeds respectively.


The teams will return to the track Friday morning for their 10:10am ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for the 4:50pm ET – weather permitting – approximate start of the Lucas Oil 200 later in the day.


Television coverage of the 13th annual Lucas Oil 200 is set to begin with SPEED’s coverage at 4:40pm ET


Final Practice Speeds


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 First Practice Session Speeds
Ron Hornaday Jr, with a lap speed of 151.764-mph, was the fastest during the first NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 practice session at Dover International Speedway.


NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon, with a lap speed of 151.681-mph, was second fastest, followed by Joey Coulter 151.458-mph who was third fastest, Brian Scott 151.197 fourth and Kevin Harvick 151.159 was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice were Justin Lofton 150.817-mph who was sixth fastest, Timothy Peters 150.722 seventh, Todd Bodine 150.640 eighth, rookie contender Max Gresham 150.370 ninth and Parker Kligerman 150.370 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session this afternoon from 4:15 – 5:30pm ET and then return on Friday morning for their 10:10am ET qualifying session. The Lucas Oil 200 will be later that afternoon with an approximate starting time of 4:50pm ET with SPEED beginning their coverage at 4:40pm ET.


First Practice Speeds


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


Dodge could turn to IndyCar team to restock NASCAR roster
NASCAR future was thrown into disarray by Penske Racing’s impending departure to Ford, Dodge still seems without a firm plan for Sprint Cup in 2013.


Recent reports have linked the manufacturer to an IndyCar team moving into Cup and suggested Dodge could make an announcement in two weeks at Michigan International Speedway. But a Dodge executive said in a Wednesday statement to USA Today Sports that nothing has been finalized.


Read more from USA Today


Legacy of “Blue Deuce” drives Keselowski
Some kids grow up wanting to play shortstop for the New York Yankees or quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, but I never wavered in want to be a Cup Series driver.


Last year, when I got the opportunity to drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, it was like a dream come true. It’s one of the most-iconic cars in the series. The roots of its successful legacy can be traced to one man – Rusty Wallace.


Read more from NASCAR.com


Trimming NASCAR’s schedule would be easier said than done
NASCAR has the longest season of any major professional sport in the United States. Starting with February’s Speed Weeks at Daytona, the season chugs along until the weekend before Thanksgiving.


That’s 36 race weekends, not counting the All-Star race and two open dates. It’s not compact like baseball – 162 games played five or six per week – but it’s still long. So long that the offseason is basically December.


Read more from al.com


NASCAR: Sport continues long, eager vigil for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s next victory
When it comes to Dale Earnhardt Jr’s next victory, eager anticipation turned into desperate angst a long time ago. The 141-race winless streak that dates back four years has led to a groundswell of concern that starts in the grandstands and reaches to the highest penthouses at NASCAR.


There are a multitude of reasons why the most popular driver in the sport hasn’t won a race in a long time. Luck, preparation, strategy and ability all must align perfectly on race day, and for so much of Earnhardt’s long winless streak, one piece is generally missing each week.


Read more from Brainerd Dispatch


NASCAR replacing crash and burn with wait and see
There were five cautions in last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway – four for debris and one for a single-car spin.


While it produced the fastest 600-mile race in track history, it added to the growing trend of fewer accidents in NASCAR.


Read more from Jacksonville – Florida Times Union


Daytona International Speedway unveils its new short track – sort of
“We’re going for the minimalist approach,” said George Silberman, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series, at Wednesday’s unveiling of the 4/10th of a mile oval-within-an-oval at Daytona International Speedway.


Unlike other short tracks inside big NASCAR ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway – which have dedicated small ovals inside the big speedways – the Daytona short oval is just marked out on the backstretch of the superspeedway, in front of the “Superstretch” grandstands, using orange traffic cones and some stacked-up tires protecting part of the inside wall. If “minimalist” is Silberman’s goal, he succeeded.


Read more from Auto Week


NASCAR Must Fix Racing To Return Action To The Track
Close your eyes and take a listen. Can you hear it? It’s the ever-growing murmur of disgruntled fans, media and even some drivers grumbling that something is amiss with NASCAR in its current state.


And with each passing week, the whispers are only getting louder.


It’s the belief that NASCAR is regressing in terms of popularity and as a viable means of entertainment. That conviction is backed up by the lack of side-by-side racing as well as far fewer cautions than in years past. Maybe more telling: There hasn’t been one race this season where we’ve seen a last-lap pass for the win.


Read more from SB Nation


Wild Things
Don’t look now, but with the Sprint Cup “regular season” reaching its halfway point Sunday at Dover International Speedway, the race for the Chase’s two wild-card spots is developing into something that could be, well, wild.


Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at the Monster Mile will be the 13th race of the season, marking the halfway point on the way to Sept 8 Chase for the Sprint Cup cutoff race at Richmond, Va.


Read more from SPEED


NASCAR driver capsules: Biffle, Kenseth
16 Greg Biffle, Ford – Where he stands: At 453 points, Remains in first place in the Sprint Cup Series for the 10th consecutive week. Leads Roush Fenway Racing teammate and second-ranked Matt Kenseth by 10 points and third-ranked Denny Hamlin by 16 points.


Read more from Click Orlando

Thursday, May 31, 2012
2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 Final Practice Session Speeds

Todd Bodine Wins at Dover
Photo – Rob Carr/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick, with a lap speed of 154.712-mph, showed the fastest way around Dover International Speedway during the final NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 practice session.


Second fastest and with a lap speed of 153.309-mph was Justin Lofton, followed by NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon 152.944-mph who was third fastest, Brian Scott 152.782 fourth and Parker Kligerman 152.775 was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Joey Coulter 152.672-mph who was sixth fastest, Nelson Piquet Jr, 152.420 seventh, Miguel Paludo 152.310 eighth, series rookie contenders Max Gresham 152.304 and Jeb Burton 152.271 posting the ninth and tenth fastest lap speeds respectively.


The teams will return to the track Friday morning for their 10:10am ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for the 4:50pm ET – weather permitting – approximate start of the Lucas Oil 200 later in the day.


Television coverage of the 13th annual Lucas Oil 200 is set to begin with SPEED’s coverage at 4:40pm ET


Final Practice Speeds


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 First Practice Session Speeds
Ron Hornaday Jr, with a lap speed of 151.764-mph, was the fastest during the first NCWTS Lucas Oil 200 practice session at Dover International Speedway.


NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon, with a lap speed of 151.681-mph, was second fastest, followed by Joey Coulter 151.458-mph who was third fastest, Brian Scott 151.197 fourth and Kevin Harvick 151.159 was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice were Justin Lofton 150.817-mph who was sixth fastest, Timothy Peters 150.722 seventh, Todd Bodine 150.640 eighth, rookie contender Max Gresham 150.370 ninth and Parker Kligerman 150.370 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session this afternoon from 4:15 – 5:30pm ET and then return on Friday morning for their 10:10am ET qualifying session. The Lucas Oil 200 will be later that afternoon with an approximate starting time of 4:50pm ET with SPEED beginning their coverage at 4:40pm ET.


First Practice Speeds


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


Dodge could turn to IndyCar team to restock NASCAR roster
NASCAR future was thrown into disarray by Penske Racing’s impending departure to Ford, Dodge still seems without a firm plan for Sprint Cup in 2013.


Recent reports have linked the manufacturer to an IndyCar team moving into Cup and suggested Dodge could make an announcement in two weeks at Michigan International Speedway. But a Dodge executive said in a Wednesday statement to USA Today Sports that nothing has been finalized.


Read more from USA Today


Legacy of “Blue Deuce” drives Keselowski
Some kids grow up wanting to play shortstop for the New York Yankees or quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, but I never wavered in want to be a Cup Series driver.


Last year, when I got the opportunity to drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, it was like a dream come true. It’s one of the most-iconic cars in the series. The roots of its successful legacy can be traced to one man – Rusty Wallace.


Read more from NASCAR.com


Trimming NASCAR’s schedule would be easier said than done
NASCAR has the longest season of any major professional sport in the United States. Starting with February’s Speed Weeks at Daytona, the season chugs along until the weekend before Thanksgiving.


That’s 36 race weekends, not counting the All-Star race and two open dates. It’s not compact like baseball – 162 games played five or six per week – but it’s still long. So long that the offseason is basically December.


Read more from al.com


NASCAR: Sport continues long, eager vigil for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s next victory
When it comes to Dale Earnhardt Jr’s next victory, eager anticipation turned into desperate angst a long time ago. The 141-race winless streak that dates back four years has led to a groundswell of concern that starts in the grandstands and reaches to the highest penthouses at NASCAR.


There are a multitude of reasons why the most popular driver in the sport hasn’t won a race in a long time. Luck, preparation, strategy and ability all must align perfectly on race day, and for so much of Earnhardt’s long winless streak, one piece is generally missing each week.


Read more from Brainerd Dispatch


NASCAR replacing crash and burn with wait and see
There were five cautions in last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway – four for debris and one for a single-car spin.


While it produced the fastest 600-mile race in track history, it added to the growing trend of fewer accidents in NASCAR.


Read more from Jacksonville – Florida Times Union


Daytona International Speedway unveils its new short track – sort of
“We’re going for the minimalist approach,” said George Silberman, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series, at Wednesday’s unveiling of the 4/10th of a mile oval-within-an-oval at Daytona International Speedway.


Unlike other short tracks inside big NASCAR ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway – which have dedicated small ovals inside the big speedways – the Daytona short oval is just marked out on the backstretch of the superspeedway, in front of the “Superstretch” grandstands, using orange traffic cones and some stacked-up tires protecting part of the inside wall. If “minimalist” is Silberman’s goal, he succeeded.


Read more from Auto Week


NASCAR Must Fix Racing To Return Action To The Track
Close your eyes and take a listen. Can you hear it? It’s the ever-growing murmur of disgruntled fans, media and even some drivers grumbling that something is amiss with NASCAR in its current state.


And with each passing week, the whispers are only getting louder.


It’s the belief that NASCAR is regressing in terms of popularity and as a viable means of entertainment. That conviction is backed up by the lack of side-by-side racing as well as far fewer cautions than in years past. Maybe more telling: There hasn’t been one race this season where we’ve seen a last-lap pass for the win.


Read more from SB Nation


Wild Things
Don’t look now, but with the Sprint Cup “regular season” reaching its halfway point Sunday at Dover International Speedway, the race for the Chase’s two wild-card spots is developing into something that could be, well, wild.


Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at the Monster Mile will be the 13th race of the season, marking the halfway point on the way to Sept 8 Chase for the Sprint Cup cutoff race at Richmond, Va.


Read more from SPEED


NASCAR driver capsules: Biffle, Kenseth
16 Greg Biffle, Ford – Where he stands: At 453 points, Remains in first place in the Sprint Cup Series for the 10th consecutive week. Leads Roush Fenway Racing teammate and second-ranked Matt Kenseth by 10 points and third-ranked Denny Hamlin by 16 points.


Read more from Click Orlando



Wednesday, May 30, 2012
New Fan-Friendly Events Added to Pocono 400 Schedule
Pocono Raceway today announced new, fan-driven additions to the June 8-10 Pocono 400 race weekend schedule. These events include a NASCAR Driver Autograph Session with Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Regan Smith and Kurt Busch, and Question and Answer Sessions with drivers Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr.


Read more from Pocono Raceway-PR


RPM celebrates Charlotte success, looks for more
It was just a couple of fast laps for Aric Almirola and Marcus Ambrose. It was a lot more than that to NASCAR’s “King.”


Almirola and Ambrose went 1-2 in qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600, the first time a Richard Petty Motorsports entry had started up front since November 2010.


To Petty, it was just the kind of thing that shows “what these guys have been doing has been right.”


Read more from Yahoo Sports/AP


The Numbers for the FedEx 400 – Dover International Speedway (84 races)
0 – Fewest cautions – 6/6/71
1 – Fewest cars on lead lap at finish – 11 times, most recent 9/15/91
3 – Fewest leaders – five times, most recent 5/16/82
3 – Fewest lead changes – 10-17-71
4 – Number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
6 – Fewest laps led by race winner – Jeff Burton 9/24/06
6 – Most poles – David Pearson
7 – Most wins – Bobby Allison and Richard Petty
13 – Fewest cars running at finish – 5/17/81
13 – Most leaders – three times, most recent 9/24/00
13 – Wins from the pole in 84 races
16 – Most cautions – 9/19/93
18 – Races won from a starting position outside the top-ten
21 – Most cars on lead lap at finish – 6/4/06
29 – Most lead changes – twice, most recent 5/18/86
31 – Fewest cars to start a Sprint Cup races – 5/20/79, 500-mile race
33 – Different race winners
35 – Different pole winners
40 – Most running at finish – 9/21/08
51 – Wins from a top-five starting position
90 minutes – Approximate amount of time it takes to dry the one-mile, all-concrete track after a significant rainfall
103 – Most caution laps – 9/19/93
491 – Most laps led by race winner – Richard Petty, Dodge, 9/15/74


2012 Caution Update
1 – Fewest cautions this season – Fontana
4 – Races extended beyond scheduled distance – Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington
10 – Most cautions this season – Daytona
66 – Cautions in the first 12 races of 2012; includes 27 for accidents, 21 for debris and eight for spins
366 of 3,888 – laps under caution in 2012
472.571 of 4,833.118 – miles under caution in the first 12 races


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports Dodge-PR


Young driver had emergency surgery
Ryan Truex is ready to race again.  The driver underwent an emergency appendectomy after feeling severe discomfort in the early morning hours of Mya 22, according to a news release. Doctors operated on Truex and removed his appendix that afternoon.


Read more from Fox Sports


Chase field coming together
Historically nearly 80 percent of the Chase for the Sprint Cup is locked in by the time the calendar turns to June. As the month of May gets closer to the rear view mirror, it’s looking like this year’s championship field is also taking pretty firm shape.


Read more from Eye On NASCAR


Jeff Gordon aims for the win at Dover
No. 400 for Jeff Gordon in the ‘400’ this Sunday? If so, it might be a first.


Last Sunday night at Charlotte, Gordon collected his 399th career top-ten finish. Only four other drivers have more: Richard Petty (712), Bobby Allison (446), Mark Martin (442) and Dale Earnhardt (428). For Gordon to secure another top-ten and an 86th career victory, in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway this Sunday, the No. 24 team will need to find the winning combination.


Read more from Motorsport.com


alue of NASCAR military sponsorships goes beyond patriotism
People are going through tough times in America’s Heartland and beyond. Save, save, save; cut, cut, cut is in full vogue.


So it’s understandable there’s a push by some members of Congress to cut military sponsorships in NASCAR and other sports. 


But it’s also wrong.


Sports and patriotism are a powerful mix, intertwined in a culture that takes its caps off to salute this country when the national anthem is performed at every sporting event.


Read more from Chicago Tribune


Daughter of Dale Earnhardt gets married
Taylor Nicole Earnhardt – the only child Dale Sr had with his third wife Teresa Earnhardt – got married Saturday in the Moorseville area. 


Taylor Nicole Earnhardt and Brandon Samuel Putnam were married on the 26th of May at the Earnhardt Estate in Moorseville, North Carolina.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Lack of Funding Forces Red Horse Racing to Suspend Operations on No. 7 Team
Red Horse Racing announced today, the team will suspend operations of the No. 7 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team driven by rookie of the year contender, John King, effective immediately.


Due to lack of sponsorship funding, the No. 7 will be cutting back its program until further notice. The organization will continue to operate the No. 17 entry driven by Timothy Peters and the No. 11 entry driven by Todd Bodine.


From Red Horse Racing-PR


Two NASCAR Nationwide Series Teams Penalized for infractions at Charlotte
NASCAR has penalized two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams for rules infractions that were committed last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


The No. 41 car was found to be in violation of Section 12-1 – actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J – any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules; and 20A-12.8.1(B) – body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum front car heights of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. 


As a result, crew chief George Church has been fined $10,000 while owner Rick Ware and driver Timmy Hill have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively. The violation was discovered during post-race inspection May 26.


Philippe Lopez, crew chief for the No. 43 car, and Michael Wright, car chief for the 43 car, have been penalized for rules infractions discovered during opening day inspection May 24. Lopez has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Wright has also been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.


The No. 43 car rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 – actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J – any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book; 20A-2.1E – streamlining the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgement of the NASCAR officials , any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance; 20A-3.10A – front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.


From NASCAR_PR


Ty Dillon to make NASCAR NNS Debut at Dover
Ty Dillon, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular and 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Richard Childress Racing in the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet in the June 2 Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.


Read more from RCR-PR


NASCAR’s lack of competition reflected in poor attendance
Maybe it’s time for NASCAR to take a long, hard look in the mirror and stop conjuring explanations for poor attendance. Through 12 point-baring races and so-called all-star showcase, the reason has been painfully obvious.


The on-track product is no longer entertaining.


Read more from The Record Herald


Kentucky on Rebound
Imagine making a very messy debut on the national motorsports stage, and then imagine trying to recover from it.


That has been Mark Simendinger’s task for much of the past year after he was at the center of a spectator sports debacle last year – the inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.


Read more from SPEED


Is point system suppressing driver aggressiveness?
I have been a big proponent of the Chase from the day the radical new format for determining a Sprint Cup champion was born. The idea of the NASCAR season working its way into a playoff crescendo that crowns the champion after the final 10 races of the schedule is still far superior to the long and tedious task of adding up of points over the course of an entire 36 race slate.


Read more from Eye On NASCAR


Carl Edwards’ uncanny strategy
Carl Edwards won’t know the history of the car he will use at Dover International Speedway this weekend. He won’t know if it’s a car he’s won with or a car he’s struggled with in the past.


The lack of information is done on purpose, a strategic maneuver by crew chief Bob Osborne, to keep Edwards from having any preconceived notions on how he should run based on how well the car has driven in previous events.


Read more from Sporting News


NASCAR 2012 proves huge support for America’s heroes here and gone
Although Kasey Kahne ruled the Coca-Cola 600 with a cool 4.295 second win over Hamlin…, America’s heroes past and present were NASCAR’s true champions of the entire event.


From Darius Rucker’s opening with the “Star Spangled Banner” to NASCAR’s 2012 Sprint Cup Series finish, this certainly could have been the most exciting year for the Sprint Cup Series. The variety of events and observances dedicated to America’s brave, past and present has created an entirely new group of NASCAR fans. Heartfelt dedications and honoring of the heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice for the country, were befittingly weaved throughout the competition.


Read more from Examiner


Kansas Extends Major Development Tool for Five Years
Kansas legislators have extended the life of an economic development incentive considered an effective tool for the state in attracting businesses.


Lawmakers approved a bill allowing Kansas to authorize bonds for big projects backed by sales tax revenues through 2017.


Such STAR bonds have helped Kansas in a contest with Missouri over jobs in the Kansas City area.


They helped finance Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR track, as well as a new stadium for the Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City.


From KSAL-News Radio


Patrick’s Cup education continues at Charlotte
Danica Patrick’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series education continued Sunday night as she finished 30th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway.


It was Patrick’s third career Sprint Cup start and just as she did two weeks ago at Darlington (SC) Raceway, Patrick ran a clean race and was running at the finish in the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, which is fielded by Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).


Read more from Motorsport.com 


Monday, May 28, 2012
Hendrick teams unstoppable in Sprint Cup
Rick Hendrick says he made a mistake last year, something the owner’s teams haven’t done much lately.


Hendrick acknowledge he added pressure to his programs when he spoke of win No. 200 so soon after Jimmie Johnson collected the 199th victory at Kansas last October. Then came the lost chances and missed opportunities that stung Hendrick’s four teams until Darlington Raceway earlier this month, when Johnson earned the milestone win. 


Read more from Yahoo Sports


Fewer cautions flags? Drivers being more patient, cautious on the track
He won it by 4.295 seconds Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway


That’s a wide margin in racing standards, and that’s what can happen when the final 112.5 miles are run without a caution flag.


What we learned in a race with only five cautions for 23 laps:


Read more from Sporting News


Switch from Indy cars to NASCAR not so easy anymore
AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti made their names in open-wheel racing as winners of the Indianapolis 500. But both have their names on NASCAR’s Daytona 500 trophy as well, victories that solidified them as all-time great racecar drivers, no matter the vehicle.


They made it look so easy for drivers to switch from open-wheel cars to stock cars and back again.


Read more from Sporting News


Rusty Wallace thinks it’s time to shorten NASCAR season
Rusty Wallace, recently selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, loves plenty of things about the sport. Except maybe the increased schedule.



“It’s the classic case of supply and demand,” Wallace said Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Too much supply and not enough demand.”


Read more from The Detroit Free Press


Kahne gets first win since joining Hendrick Motorsports
Kasey Kahne aced the greatest test of man and machine Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, dominating the last hundred miles of NASCAR’s longest race to win the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday t Charlotte Motor Speedway.


It was Kahne’s fourth win at Charlotte and third in the Coca-Cola 600, but it was his first with Hendrick Motorsports. It was his 300th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


“It’s special,” Kahne said.


Kahne wove quickly through traffic with 67 laps to go, taking a commanding lead. He extended his lead as the race wore on, bringing his Quaker State Chevrolet to the checkered flag in a race record 3:51:17. 


Denny Hamlin finished second, followed  by Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski.


Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, winner of last weekend’s Sprint All-Star Race, watched his race hopes end with a rare pit miscue when he received a stop-and-go penalty for leaving the pit box with equipment attached on  lap 354.


“We had a couple little mistakes on pit road tonight; it happens,” Johnson said. “Last week things couldn’t have gone any better, and then this week we had a few little issues.”


Interview with Kasey Kahne post-race:
Some drivers hope to win the Coca-Cola 600 once in their career; you have now won this race three times. I have to imagine this one feels a little different?
“It feels really good. It’s so special and awesome to drive for Rick and Linda Hendrick. For them to make me part of their company this is unbelievable to drive for Hendrick Motorsports and be part of everything they do there. Our Hendrick engine was awesome tonight, brand new car that so many people put a lot of effort into. Thanks to Quaker State and the durability of the oil we did 600 miles no problem with tons of power. Farmers Insurance, Hendrickcars.com, Chevrolet they have all been a huge part of our season and it feels good to get a win tonight.”


The season started on such a down note for you. You said you never really got worked up about it because you didn’t feel like you had come to your capability yet. Do you feel like you have now and have the tides turned?
“Well we are gaining. I think that is like seven, top-ten finishes in a row counting the All-Star race. So we are making big strides. I have the greatest teammates to work with. Which is something that I have really looked forward to coming to Hendrick Motorsports and being able to learn from Jimmie (Johnson), Jeff (Gordon) and Dale (Earnhardt Jr) and see how they do things as well as Chad Knaus and ll their crew chiefs (Alan) Gustafson and (Steve) Letarte they are all awesome guys and to learn from those guys, working with those guys is all I really wanted to do.”


From Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR


Keep checking back for updated news throughout the week. At the end of each day, more news and views will be posted here. 


As always, Thanks for reading and participating.  

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