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The runner up for the 2010 Sprint Cup Champion, Denny Hamlin, went from a contender for the win last year to finishing nineth this year. Though sitting here saying he finished nineth, to me, doesn't sound too bad considering the type of bad luck he has had to face and overcome this year. He only won one year compared to the several wins he won last year...

Well Joe Gibbs, who owns Denny Hamlin's car, has fired his crew chief, Mike Ford who he has been with for several years...did that a couple of days ago. And today he has hired Darian Grub to be Denny Hamlin's crew cheif.

Grub may not make the big headlines as baseball star Albert Pujoles (Sp?) made this week with his redicioulous new contract ($254 million dollars for ten years with the Angels...that's 25.4 mil dollars a year...wish he'd share some of that with me!).

But after taking Tony Stewart into the chase and to the 2011 Sprint Cup championship...I'd say he's a great grab for the eleven team of Denny Hamlin. Though do feel bad for Mike Ford...he seems to be a good cc they were just plagued with a lot of bad lluck and misfortunes.

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wow for Denny's story and good news for your favorite Jeff Gordon's story from Nascar.com:


For Jeff Gordon it was a season of comebacks, marked by a streak-snapping victory, a record-making victory, and a little bit of breakdancing on stage during Champion's Week. But the four-time champion's best campaign in years was also tinged with a little wistfulness over what might have been.

85 Wins

Jeff Gordon became the third-winningest driver in Cup Series history with his victory at Atlanta.

2011 statistics

First 26 Final 10

Wins 3 0

Top-fives 10 3

Top-10s 14 4

Poles 1 0

DNFs 2 1

Laps led 644 278

Avg. start 13.6 16.5

Avg. finish 11.6 16.8

Race-by-Race Results

Gordon won three races, claiming multiple victories for the first time since 2007, and positioned himself as a major player in the Sprint Cup championship field as the playoff began. He snapped a 66-race winless skid with a victory at Phoenix in February, and recorded his 85th career win in September at Atlanta, a triumph that moved him behind only luminaries Richard Petty and David Pearson on the sport's all-time list. But Gordon also let a few other potential wins get away, and faded in the playoff to such an extent that he was only a bystander when Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart duked it out for the title in the season's final weekend.

"It's important to win races, because you have to have results," Gordon said. "You don't have results, it's hard to ever get back to where you need to. The longer you go without winning, the harder it is, and that's why [we] made big changes .... At the same time, I feel like Alan Gustafson is one of the best crew chiefs in the garage, and we should have won more than three races, and really been up there battling for the championship."

Gordon and Gustafson were paired together following the 2010 season as part of a sweeping personnel realignment at Hendrick Motorsports, and the union paid dividends almost immediately. In the second week of the season, Gordon passed Kyle Busch with eight laps remaining and went on to win at Phoenix, scoring his first victory since early in the 2009 campaign, and snapping a 66-race winless skid in the process.

"It feels so amazing. I can't tell you how amazing this feels," he said then. "It's been a long time, I know, and I'm going to savor this one so much."

Gordon would go on to win two more times in 2011, recording multiple victories for the first time since a 2007 season in which he nearly won a fifth championship. At Pocono in June, he rolled to victory after top contenders Denny Hamlin and Edwards fell out of the race with mechanical trouble. And then came the capper at Atlanta, when after a two-day delay because of Tropical Storm Lee, Gordon held off Jimmie Johnson to claim his 85th career win and take sole possession of third place on NASCAR's all-time win list.

"With the kind of day we had, the kind of year we're having, I feel rejuvenated," Gordon said then.

And yet, those feelings would ultimately be tempered by what was left on the table. Gordon was the class of the Brickyard 400 in August, but his attempt to claim that race for a fifth time was derailed when Paul Menard stayed out of the pits and won on a long fuel run, barely holding off a charging Gordon at the end. And then there was the second Chase race at New Hampshire, when Gordon again had a chance to win, but unexpectedly ran out of gas and settled for fourth despite leading 78 laps.

Of those two that got away, Indy unquestionably stung the most. "It certainly was earned by Paul Menard. He did a great job, they had a great strategy," Gordon said. "But we had such a great car that day, and it's the Brickyard 400, a race that means so much. So to be the best car out there and come up a little bit short was a disappointment. And then New Hampshire, it was in the Chase. I figured it was important for us to get some momentum after our race in Chicago, and we had a 10-second lead and ran out of fuel when we didn't even think we were close to running out of fuel. So that was a disappointment."

New Hampshire was Gordon's last gasp. An engine failure at Kansas and a string of mediocre finishes relegated him to an eighth-place finish in final points, a definite disappointment for a driver whom many considered the favorite entering the Chase. In that regard, it was something of a bitter finish to Gordon's best season in four years.

"We had all the momentum. We were running good at so many different tracks," Gordon said. "I think we had everything it took coming into it. And yet, even with that, you still have to perform. And you can't make mistakes."

what you think of his story about? he need lot better for next year to be unlike dale earnhart jr too.

thanks enjoy :)

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Dale Earnharht's Story:

Dale Earnhardt JR need it check his story too he my favorite driver behind Tony Stewart was check out:


It might be a good thing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to make sure he has Steve Letarte's cell number on his frequent caller plan, because based on how they conversed in 2011 -- and how that resulted in a solid Chase effort -- they're about to spend a whole lot more time talking in 2012.

For the first time since 2006, Earnhardt's average finish was at least one position better than his average start. He averaged a 19.6 starting position, but a 14.5 finish. And that, he said, was the key to his optimism with Letarte.


Sitting here again, seeing all the pictures and the accolades that come along with guys who have made it to Victory Lane, my face isn't in those highlights. I want to be in there next year.



2011 statistics

First 26 Final 10

Wins 0 0

Top-fives 3 1

Top-10s 9 3

Poles 1 0

DNFs 2 0

Laps Led 50 2

Avg. Start 21.4 14.9

Avg. Finish 14.2 15.2

Race-by-Race Results

Perhaps too much.

"There's been so many times throughout the season where literally for the next 48 hours after the race, all I wanted to do was text him and call him and keep bugging him about how great a job he did, and how awesome the car was and how happy I was with the car getting better throughout the race," Earnhardt said. "It's so frustrating when you're racing and you can't improve. And you work and work, and you don't get better.

"There were races where we were getting so much better and being more competitive. I just wore him out, bugging the heck out of him about it. He looks at it like, 'Hey, that's what I'm supposed to do. That's my job.' And it wasn't a big deal. He brushes it off. But it just really pleased me a lot to be able to have a guy that I could count on, on top of the box, making changes on the car that were working. It was really enjoyable."

The early part of 2011 showed a consistently strong Earnhardt the Sprint Cup Series hadn't seen in a while. After a 24th-place finish at Daytona -- despite winning the pole -- Earnhardt rolled off seven consecutive finishes of 12th or better. It was a welcome change for both him and Junior Nation.

Earnhardt gives credit to the growing bond among him, his new crew and Letarte.

"The team and myself sort of evolved into the union that we made over the offseason, as we all got together and changed a lot of things around," Earnhardt said.

Coming off of three consecutive finishes outside the top 10, Earnhardt cruised into Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600. He was among the 10 fastest cars in only one of the three practices and qualified 25th.

Letarte worked his magic, and a fuel-mileage gamble almost paid off.

Earnhardt finished up just a quarter-lap short of his first checkered flag in 104 races and ended up seventh, but afterward knew he'd taken the only shot he had.

"I just do whatever my dang crew chief says, but I believe that was the right call," Earnhardt said. "Because if we'd have pitted, I don't know where we would have finished. We'd have finished wherever David Ragan finished [third]. ... But think about it, man. Winning the 600, that would be awesome. I had to try. Had to try."

Earnhardt followed that with a runner-up finish at Kansas and a sixth-place run at Pocono. But that's where things went slightly off track, and Earnhardt wasn't back in the top 10 until the series returned to Pocono seven races later. He was ninth there, and had only three more top-10s in the final 15 races of the season.

He finished seventh in back-to-back outings at Martinsville and Texas in the Chase, and 11th in the finale at Homestead-Miami. Those runs at the end of the year gave him something to build on for 2012 despite leading only two laps in the entirety of the Chase.

"We ended on a relatively decent note," Earnhardt said. "We wanted to finish well at Homestead because I haven't run well there in a long time, and we went into that race really trying to capitalize on the opportunity there -- to finish the season on a positive note."

Another positive for Earnhardt? He made his return to the Cup Series award ceremony -- it was his best points finish since 2006 -- this time in Las Vegas. The last time he got to speak on stage, the event was still being held in New York.

"It's good to be back at the big dinner again," he said with a laugh as an introduction to his speech.

But what was missing from the night? For one, more highlights of him, especially in Victory Lane. For another, the chance to pull the belts tight and turn left for a few hours.

"Sitting here again, seeing all the pictures and the accolades that come along with guys who have made it to Victory Lane, my face isn't in those highlights. I want to be in there next year," Earnhardt said.

"Looking at the pictures and listening to the highlights and people talk, I'm ready to go back to the race track now. After the last several years, I've really looked forward to the offseason and enjoy the break we have. But this year, I'm really looking forward to getting back to the race track whenever we can, because I just enjoy working with Steve. I enjoy exploring and finding new things with him through the mechanics of the car. I'm ready to go, and I think that says a lot about our possibilities next year and our potential to have a good season."

so he need good wins for next year than this time for his team.. oh well..

thanks enjoy :)

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I wish they need long story but it limit typing here so what you think about Safer Barriers and seating safer are? for 2012? check out:


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier system currently in place at all NASCAR facilities has significantly reduced driver injuries, but the aging nylon tethers may need to be replaced soon, according to the man who developed it.

Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska, said the SAFER barriers have three major components: structural steel tubing, closed-cell polystyrene foam blocks and nylon retention tethers.

Seat safety

Upgrades helped minimize David Reutimann's movement when he crashed at WGI. Driver-turned-seat maker Randy LaJoie sees short-track safety as the next priority.


The foam blocks begin to lose their effectiveness for dissipating energy after about five years, Sicking said. But the nylon tethers are also affected by the elements, particularly sunlight. And since most of the tracks installed their SAFER systems between 2003 and '04, the tethers are now in need of inspection.

"Almost all of the tracks have replaced the foam once," Sicking said. "I've informally inspected the tethers during my walks around the tracks. And the tethers are now reaching a point where they need to be looked at."

Sicking said tracks shouldn't be overly concerned about tether replacement, but they should be aware that it could become an issue in the future.

"But when I walked the Daytona track last spring, I saw a lot of tethers that I thought that in another year or two, they're going to need to be replaced," he said. "And there were a few tethers that I told them, they probably need to get rid of now."

Because the tethers help hold the SAFER barrier in place, Sicking said the failure of multiple tethers could result in a disastrous situation, particularly if it happened during a race weekend. For example, a track the size of Daytona may have several thousand tethers in place -- and if they failed, it could create chaos.

"The tethers are so over-designed that if you lose two, it's not a problem," Sicking said. "You lose six or eight in a row and that would be a monumental repair.

"You don't want to stop the race because the SAFER barrier's laying on the track. That would not be good. That would be hours and hours to fix."

The good thing? Tethers are relatively inexpensive, Sicking said. And it's something each track can budget for in advance.

"When they feel like their tethers are in need of system-wide replacement, you might replace every other one," Sicking said. "Then wait four or five years and replace every other one again. And that would keep your cost down."

Sicking gave an update on SAFER technology during this week's safety and technical conference during the International Motorsports Industry Show at the Indianapolis Convention Center. In addition to long-term maintenance of current SAFER systems on ovals, Sicking's future plans include developing a "crash cushion" for the walls at the entrance to pit road, continuing to work with road courses to implement SAFER technology, and to find a solution to the issue with catch fence safety.

Sicking suggested moving the fence supports as much as 8 feet from the concrete walls, then supporting the fence with a cantilevered system.

"The solution is that you move the poles away, and that can be done," Sicking said. "If you can back the poles away from the fence, get them far enough away, most of your problems go away. We had a feasibility study funded a long time ago that we looked at, and that's what we concluded."

The support posts would have to be significantly bulkier to provide enough support and dissipate the energy, and that brings the matter of cost into play. However, Sicking said he's more than willing to undertake further study, if funding can be obtained.

what you think about that for 2012 something better? :confused:

thanks enjoy :)

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Thanks TRP Coltrane for posting the articles.

Great ones on Jeff and Dale Jr. Am very glad to see them both have pretty good seasons. After getting a new crew chief, new pit crew, new cars, new garage it all was a BIG change for them both and was unsure what that would hold for them. Sure Gordon had a dismal chase, but not all to his own doing. He had help. Like his engine failing. His brakes going out, Trevor Bayne abandoning him at Talledega...and running out of gas. So forth. But he had a great regular season and am hopeful he can continue it next year with Alan Gustafson who proved to be a great crew cheif to Jeff Gordon and team 24.

Dale Jr may not have had a win this year, but this is the best season he has had in years. He had the same changes as Gordon did and it seemed to do him a world of difference. Steve Letarte was Gordon's crew cheif last year and I was sad to see him leave him...but it looks like both teams gained a lot from the switch. Am so happy to hear Jr happy to be racing and happy with Steve Letarte. The past few years I was wondering if he was happy or got along with his crew.

With that said, with a year behind them of working together with their new crew, new cars, and new garage, things can only get better for the both of them. This year they will go into the season knowing their crew and crew cheif. Will know each other's styles and likes and dislikes. They are not going into the unknown as they had last year, but have experience of working together behind them.

Am REALLY looking forward to the 2012 season to start!

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Well I may have some pretty big news here...news that would surprise me if they come out true. As of now it is not official but is only in the thinking stages...

Richard Petty has shown interest in hiring Kurt Busch to drive for his 43 car ... for Best Buy. If he does that, the current driver of the car, AJ Allmindinger, who has had a pretty good year for RPM, would have to leave to make room for Busch. Or Petty would have to create a third car and team for Busch to fit in. Which would mean they would have to find sponosors for him...

As I said, right now it is NOT official and is only a t hought. Richard Petty and Robbie Loomis I think is his CEO (use to be Gordon's crew cheif...) said they'd have to figure it all out in order to make it work.

And if they do make it work, it will be Kurt's third chance to straighten up with a pretty decent ride.

Though there is a catch of sorts...Richard Petty Motorsports uses Jack Rousch's engines...who had first fired Kurt Busch several years ago. So, he'd have to give his OK to Richard Petty to hire Kurt as his driver to drive with his engines as well...

I'm sure we will know one way or another soon enough...

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Just read on my facebook account that Greg Zippidelli, who has been the crew cheif of the 20 car for a long time now...first with Stewart and the past few years with Lagono...will be going over to Stewart-Haas Racing. Though really don't know what job he will fullfill there as of yet...

yes he will do in his new team Danica's team #10 for that to be I love see her to in sprint cup racing to be. and more inform:


way I like to see Stewart's team getting more new driver in like Dancia Patrick.. :)

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hi guys,

good news on my comcast said about Kurt Busch's check out his story:


Kurt Busch will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing in 2012.

Busch put the handshake deal together with team owner James Finch on Wednesday night.

“I went to the shop, and on the Christmas tree was a sign that read, ‘All we want from Santa is a winning driver,' †Finch said. “We will be at the Daytona test next month and start with the Shootout.â€

The decision comes just weeks after Busch left Penske Racing in a mutual parting. Upon his departure, Busch said he “wanted racing to be fun again.â€

If Busch, 33, was looking to combine “fun†with racing, no owner can deliver on that promise better than Finch. Couple that with the benefit of Hendrick Motorsports cars and engines, and Busch could be the driver who puts Phoenix Racing on the map.

The 2004 Sprint Cup champion has 24 wins, including two in each of the past three years, and has qualified for six Chase for the Sprint Cups. Busch has won a race in each of the past 10 seasons.

Said Finch: “I told Kurt, ‘I won’t fire you, and you won’t quit. We’ll do whatever it takes — roll in the mud if we have to to win. I’ve worked construction all my life just so I could race and have a good time. I’ve worked with iron workers, I worked with construction workers, so working with a driver is not going to be a problem.

“As I said earlier, all we want to do is winâ€.

Finch has been active in Sprint Cup racing since 1990. Phoenix Racing has one victory and three top fives in 191 starts with multiple drivers. The lone win came in April 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway with Brad Keselowski behind the wheel. Nick Harrison will continue to serve as crew chief.

Landon Cassill most recently piloted the No. 51 for Finch last season. Finch finished 30th in owner points.

Busch finished 11th in the Sprint Cup standings this year. He closed on a sour note when he made an obscene hand gesture while heading to the garage because of mechanical problems. As his car was being repaired, Busch berated a television reporter, drawing a $50,000 fine.

what you think of that huh on him.

and other on news:


MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Roger Penske has hired AJ Allmendinger to replace Kurt Busch in the No. 22 car.

Last year, the 30-year-old Allmendinger had 10 top-10 finishes and was 15th in points driving Richard Petty's No. 43 car.

The move, announced Wednesday, takes Penske back to his open-wheel roots.

Allmendinger won the open-wheel Barber Dodge Pro Series title in 2002, the Toyota Atlantics championship in 2003 and was the 2004 rookie of the year in the now defunct Champ Car series. In 2005, he won five races and was third in Champ Car in points. He joined the Cup circuit in 2007.

Busch won two races, took three poles and was one of 12 drivers to compete in the season-ending chase. Two weeks ago, after six bumpy seasons, Busch and Penske parted ways.

and as for Clint Bowyer change team:


Longtime Richard Childress Racing competition kingpin Scott Miller was honored when Michael Waltrip Racing's Cal Wells approached him about becoming MWR's chief competition executive. But when MWR hired former RCR driver Clint Bowyer to pilot its third full-time Sprint Cup entry in 2012, it about sent Miller over the moon.

In the final month of the 2011 season, Miller had already firmly landed at MWR as executive vice president of competition. He then slid into the role of Martin Truex Jr.'s crew chief for the last three races and engineered two top-10 finishes.

Miller and Bowyer during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway.


Having somebody that I trust and I know and that I've worked alongside is a big deal.



Miller said last week that Bowyer tried to remain with RCR, but was pleased when Bowyer made the move to MWR.

"When MWR became an option, that was obviously very exciting to me because I enjoy working with [bowyer]," Miller said. "He's a very talented race car driver, really a good guy to be around, promotes harmony within a team because he's a fun guy. He's a pleasure to work with and it's just lucky for me that the MWR thing ended up working out for him."

Miller said that as much as he enjoyed working with Truex and as much as he's anticipating getting to work with Mark Martin for the first time at a pre-Daytona test session on Jan. 11, he's really enthused about continuing his relationship with Bowyer.

And Miller said he had no trouble if the public perception of Bowyer might be that he's happy-go-lucky and sometimes even on the verge of being a goofy prankster. Miller knows how competitive and how well-respected Bowyer is.

"I know the public would think he'd be a fun guy to be around but from a racing perspective, he has that respect inside [the garage]. The public persona of the fun-loving guy might not be synonymous with the fierce competitor that he is. The fact that he's as intense as he is behind the wheel of a race car may get lost, but he's a tough guy and he's hard for those guys to deal with -- he's really good."

Bowyer is looking forward to seeing at least one familiar face, though by all accounts his team-building first test last week at Walt Disney World Speedway went way better than expected.

"Having somebody that I trust and I know and that I've worked alongside is a big deal," Bowyer said of Miller. "Being there and manning the ship and kind of organizing this organization into something that I was used to -- kind of having those same organization guidelines that I was used to, I think that will be a big benefactor to me going into this, knowing how [Miller's] going to structure things and already being on the same page with that."

* Watch: Bowyer tests at Disney

Smith testing out West

Furniture Row Racing has proven that being based in Denver, Colo., is no detriment to succeeding in the Sprint Cup Series, and last week the team's activity proved, to some degree, why attitude and commitment count for a lot at NASCAR's premier level.

While NASCAR's efforts to preclude the propensity of teams to tandem draft at the circuit's biggest speedways is occupying a lot of minds, the 2012 introduction of electronic fuel injection is also a concern. So last week, Furniture Row and its pilot, Regan Smith, tested Tuesday at Pikes Peak International Raceway and on Wednesday, for a day at High Plains Raceway, east of Denver.

Ragan locks in one deal

David Ragan's hopes for a quality Sprint Cup Series ride for 2012 have become almost a minute-to-minute chore, with A.J. Allmendinger's selection for the Penske Racing No. 22 Dodge closing one door, but seemingly opening another possibility for Ragan at Richard Petty Motorsports.

But Ragan made one thing certain for 2012 when he successfully proposed marriage to longtime girlfriend Jacquelyn Ann Butler. Ragan, a five-year Cup Series veteran from Unadilla, Ga., and Butler, of Greenwood, S.C.; have set a 2012 wedding date of Dec. 15 at a Charlotte-area church.

Interestingly enough both won races in 2011: Ragan won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona and Butler won the Oct. 15 Better-Half Dash charity race in Bandolero cars at Charlotte.

* Allmendinger to drive the No. 22, hopes to take 'next step' with Penske

Biffle on parade with pets

Sprint Cup veterans Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman share a common interest in the welfare of pets, for example, with their annual charity pet calendars featuring NASCAR drivers and their furry companions.

But next month, Biffle will help Natural Balance Pet Foods make a splash in the upcoming 123rd Rose Parade on Jan. 2, when he rides on Natural Balance's 116-foot float. After extensive training, the dogs on the float will actually surf on 65-foot long waves in more than 6,600 gallons of water on a float weighing more than 100,000 pounds. A specially designed wave machine is incorporated into the design of the float and creates a wave every minute.

"I've heard a lot about this year's float and I've seen video of the floats from the last couple of years," Biffle said. "I can't wait to see [dogs surfing]. It was definitely an honor to be asked to ride on the Natural Balance float because we share the same passion for the well-being of animals."

*Learn more about the float

so i will bring more update for 2012 drivers and teams update inform ok thanks and what you think of this time? :confused:

thanks enjoy :)

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Well to be honest...I am not a Kurt Busch fan. Though am not surprised to see him find a ride for next year. He is a talented driver and does get the wins...

But am very disappointed to see him find his ride in the car 51 - the car that Landon Cassill had drove this past season. Landon Cassill is from Iowa - in fact, only a half an hour away from where I live. Never seen him in person or seen him drive, but always enjoy watching him race on TV knowing where he comes from. So am very disappointed to see him lose his ride. . .

Though am happy for AJ Allmendinger to find a new ride with Penske.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well y'all, I got some pretty big news tonight...news that I personally find surprising and kinda disappointing and yet good too. All wrapped into one!

Can't remember if I said anything but AJ Allmendinger has left Richard Petty Racing to take Kurt Busch's old car in the 22...that was a while ago. AJ is a good driver and am happy that he has found a new ride.

But with Allmendinger out, that has led to an empty car for Petty...until now.

Richard Petty has just announced that Aric Almirola will be driving the famous 43 car! Almirola has spent the last three season in the Nationwide after driving NASCAR Sprint Cup where he shared a ride with Mark Martin.

My opinion is that I am happy for Almirola. Never felt like he was given much of a chance to show the Sprint Cup what he has and now he will have that and with a good ride. But am also disappointed that the King didn't hire David Ragen who is out looking for a car - would have been a great car for Ragen to drive. But I guess it was not to be and I am left hoping that him and Cassill will find a ride for next year - though there is very little rides open. Especially now that Richard Petty has filled his empty seat.

For more information on Aric Almirola here is a link for the article I read at NASCAR.com : Aric Almirola

Also...Mark Martin has taken over David Reutimann's ride in the double zero car where he will be sharing the car with car owner Michael Waltrip. (That was decided a while ago as well...) David Reutimann has found a ride driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

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yeah I read over nascar.com and I surprised that about it and I wonder when Mark Martin going to retired when he did try last time :roll: oh well So hope see happen in 2012 schedule between both them. Aric Almirola hope will good driver more better.. lot change thing going on on 2012 to be. And about Jeff Gordon's story check out:


Only a few of the countless awards and mementos Jeff Gordon has accumulated over the course of his illustrious racing career make the cut to appear in the trophy case at his home. There are the four cups commemorating his NASCAR championships, his three Daytona 500 trophies, the quartet of gold bricks signifying Brickyard 400 victories. There are a pair of the gold cars given to each champion by tire manufacturer Goodyear, and a few select helmets. Everything else is over at Hendrick Motorsports, either at Gordon's office or on display in the shop.

One thing is missing -- a sterling silver Sprint Cup, Gordon's great white whale, the single award that has somehow eluded a champion whose last title came prior to the Chase era. Gordon has won just about everything else there is to win in NASCAR, including race victories at every individual track save Homestead-Miami Speedway, and amassed enough trips to Victory Lane to place him third all-time behind only Richard Petty and David Pearson. But that fifth championship, that first Chase victory, that long-sought-after Sprint Cup, remain out there, driving him as aggressively as he drives that No. 24 car.

Gordon and Gustafson. (Getty)

Our second year together, we're going to show how good we really are.


2011 statistics

First 26 Final 10

Wins 3 0

Top-fives 10 3

Top-10s 14 4

Poles 1 0

DNFs 2 1

Laps led 644 278

Avg. start 13.6 16.5

Avg. finish 11.6 16.8

Race-by-Race Results

As 2012 dawns, though, there might be reason to believe that Gordon may need to clear some room on his home trophy case come November. For the first time in half a decade, Gordon enters a season with seemingly all the pieces in place to make a real run at NASCAR's biggest prize, and end an 11-year drought dating back to his fourth and most recent title in 2001. His three victories in 2011 represent his most significant output since 2007, when he won six times and dominated the regular season before Jimmie Johnson muscled him out of the way with two races left in the Chase. Gordon was in the mix from beginning to end last year, often a factor even races he didn't win, and left probably another three victories on the table. Perhaps most importantly, he and Alan Gustafson have a full year together, and enter this season not getting to know one another, but knowing with it takes to win.

"I really have such a strong belief and confidence in Alan, and the way his engineers go about processing the information. I love that," Gordon said recently. "Their confidence in me really was a boost for me, as well as those three wins. There's no doubt that the Chase was a disappointment, and we've got to take those last couple of races -- Texas and Homestead -- and build on that. Yeah, we've got work to do, but we have a great race team. There's no doubt, we can be a threat for the championship [this] year."

He really is in something of a promising position, having finished a disappointing eighth in 2011 despite entering the Chase as the No. 3 seed. There's a reason so many teams that finish high in the standings often fall off the following year -- they get static, hesitant to change what appears to be working, while everyone else in the garage is trying new and different approaches capable of altering the face of competition when everyone arrives back in Daytona the next season. As good as the No. 24 team was for much of last year, finishing eighth does not afford a program an opportunity to sit still, and the intense Gustafson is not one to be satisfied with the status quo.

"Our second year together," Gordon said, "we're going to show how good we really are."

There's enough performance from last season to know that Gordon's cars can be fast and the wins can potentially come in bunches, enough bitterness to force the No. 24 team to focus on those areas -- hello, fuel mileage -- where it sometimes literally came up short in the previous year. That's not a bad place to be, a position that affords just enough confidence and demands just enough drive, where a little push here or there might be just what makes the difference between a head-shaking finish like the one Gordon endured last season, and raising that silver cup in South Florida. Think about it: if Gordon doesn't run out of fuel in races at Indianapolis and New Hampshire where he had dominant cars, if he gets the top-10 he was headed for instead of running dry at Chicagoland, if his engine doesn't blow at Kansas ... well, maybe Tony Stewart's miracle title run never happens. Little things indeed can mean a lot.

"That's what was disappointing," Gordon said. "I know [brad] Keselowski had momentum as well, but we came into the Chase with tremendous confidence and momentum, and I really thought we were going to get it done. It's disappointing we didn't run better. We knew there were a couple of tracks -- Dover, maybe Texas -- that we were going to struggle at. But we did not expect to struggle at Chicago. And then we give away the win at New Hampshire. Blow up at Kansas. ... Things have to go right. That's what's amazing when you look at a five-time champion like Jimmie, you look at what Tony and Carl [Edwards] did in this Chase. A 4.9 average finish for 10 races? That's amazing."

Yet that average wasn't good enough for Edwards to win the title, evidence that things can go almost completely right, and still leave a team empty-handed at the end. For Gordon, though, the what-ifs and could-have-beens from 2011 are eclipsed by what was very much a career renaissance for a 40-year-old driver who entered the season with a long losing skid, a new crew chief, a few more gray hairs and plenty of questions over whether he would ever win again. Even with the disappointing finish, this most recent campaign served as a confidence booster for a driver who is now very motivated to see what he can achieve in 2012. There is no more losing streak; that 66-race skid ended at Phoenix, the second week of last year. The feeling-out period between him and Gustafson is long over. There are no more questions over whether he can still win.

"What we do have is, we won three races. We won more races than anybody at Hendrick. And we showed at times we can have what it takes to win this championship," Gordon said. "And I think that's what we take through this offseason and build on and try to take it to that next level."

And at that level, though, the aspirations change. The bar has been set, and Gordon believes he and his crew chief have what it takes to push Stewart, Johnson, Edwards, and other top contenders for the championship in 2012. In and of itself, winning three times is something to celebrate in a rebound season, in a transition year, even with that frustrating fade in the standings during the Chase. Not this year. This year, the aim is higher -- a new trophy for the case back home -- and similar results will not be viewed as favorably. Just winning races, especially after a long drought, was once good enough. It isn't anymore.

"You always say, 'Oh, I think we can do it.' But you don't really know," Gordon said. "This year ... we go into it knowing, it is within our reach. We plan on going for that championship and battling for it. And if we don't, even if we win three, four, five races, it's going to be far more disappointing than [last] year."

what you think of this his story? Garrett, your fan are.

thanks :)


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In case y'all are wondering...and I know you are...there is exactly 47 days left until Daytona 500!!!!!!!!! FORTY-SEVEN looonnnnnnggggg days!

Once again, I've got a bad case of NASCAR WITHDRAWL! *Shakes head* Last year was rough, this year is rougher knowing they added an EXTRA week to the off season. Last year at this time I was saying 40 days until Daytona. Not this year....

This year, on January 10th, I am saying 47 days until Daytona 500. Seems like an eternity a way from now...:cry::mad::(

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yeah I know you feel that about it and I plan watching on Feb 18 on sat night at 8pm ET on Fox for Shootout and on Feb 23 on thurs at 2pm ET and 4pm ET on Speed before Daytona 500 on Feb 26th on sunday on Fox at 1pm ET as well so any you guys going watching before first day of Daytona 500 racing? I plan watching all of daytona on feb. I cant wait to excited to see this racing on feb since so long since nov like break time for them drivers on holiday and weather time. I hope Feb and March will okay for nice weather no rain please.... :)

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good news they had update for daytona's check out:


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Earnhardt Ganassi Racing suffered through a subpar 2011 Sprint Cup season as a group and after some major changes to EGR's structure, no one's readier for the 2012 season to begin than Jamie McMurray and his teammate, Juan Montoya.

McMurray, who won the 2010 Daytona 500 and two other plum victories later that season, struggled to finish 27th in points last season.

A test and a Fest

Complementing the testing portion at Daytona is a special two-day Fan Fest event.


So with virtually a full field of Cup teams expected to test Thursday through Saturday during Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway, McMurray's anxious to gauge the impact of EGR's new team manager, Max Jones, and his own team's new car chief, Randy Cox, from the former Red Bull Racing, and a new engineer, Dave Winston, who came from Penske Racing.

Montoya, who also won a race in 2010 after qualifying for the 2009 Chase, but struggled to 21st in the points last season, is working with a new crew chief, former Hendrick Motorsports engineer Chris Heroy.

But this test is going to be everyone's first chance to work with a complete new rules package that's a result of information gathered during recent tests at Talladega this past October and at Daytona in November.

"While we have had other tests with these setups, this is the first opportunity for the entire field to test together and get more comfortable with this package as it relates to their cars," NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said. "This three-day test will allow the engine tuners for these teams to be able to work with their engine packages and see how they relate and react to the new cooling regulations."

While some of the elements were tested, others are new and being seen on-track by the teams for the first time, including smaller radiators with a two-gallon capacity; a smaller cooling system overflow tank with a capacity of a half-gallon; and the radiator inlet being moved up, closer into the front-center bumper area.

Along with electronic fuel injection, which underwent multiple tests in 2011 preparing for its full implementation in ' 12, teams last year also tested a rate reduction for rear springs, making them softer to get the rear spoiler out of the air; a smaller rear spoiler; and a baseline restrictor plate of 29/32nds of an inch (1/64th-inch larger than the plate size for the 2011 Daytona 500).

NASCAR's made it no secret that their changes are designed to break up the two-car drafting formations that teams have gradually discovered is the quickest way around the biggest speedways. The teams' necessary goal is to continue that style of racing.

"You're going to work on trying to stay locked together and making that [tandem drafting] still work," McMurray said. "I personally hope that no one can do it, and that it doesn't work but I don't know that. They've changed the rules a lot so it will be really interesting to see, when we get down [to Daytona] to see if you're able to stay locked together.

"Because if you are, and those other guys can't -- it's 10 miles per hour difference in speed if you can stay locked together or not -- so yeah, I'm anxious to get down [to Daytona] and see what the cars are going to be like."

Montoya's pretty much on the same page as his teammate.

"Our goal is to figure out what we need to do to make our Target Chevrolet better before we come back down to Daytona [for Speedweeks]," Montoya said. "We've completely redone our cars so it'll be interesting to see what we have when we unload on Thursday. We want to gain as much knowledge as possible. I guess we'll have to see if the changes NASCAR made were enough to break up the tandem drafting or not."

A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open with free admission each day of the test, with access through the Daytona ticket office.

New Smyrna before Daytona for Martin

Clint Bowyer tested with his new Michael Waltrip Racing team and crew chief Brian Pattie last month strictly for the purpose of building relationships. His new teammate, Mark Martin, is testing with new crew chief Rodney Childers on Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway, about a half-hour south of Daytona, and said both sessions were much more important on a personnel level than a mechanical one.

After the Thunder ...

Head up to Charlotte for a Jan. 20-22 celebratory weekend of the past, present and future of NASCAR.


"These tests aren't incredibly important from the car hardware side, it's more important for us as a new group working together to work through the areas like communication, flow, learning everyone's names, routines and things like that," Martin said. "That's really the critical part of the test. From the hardware side, we do have a number of things we want to run through at these tests, but all teams are doing those kinds of things.

"These tests are valuable because we want everything to be working like a smooth-oiled machine by the time we get to the Daytona 500. Then, by the time we get to Phoenix, we want to be acting like we've been racing together for years."

"New Smyrna will be fun because it's a handling track," Childers said of the half-mile, high-banked oval. "With Mark's short-track experience, I'm looking forward to his feedback and him pointing us in the right direction."

Martin did say the new regulations have done more than pique his curiosity. Last season, he almost uniquely worked with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon in the tandem draft but this year he's going to pay a little more attention.

"The one other thing that I am going to focus on this time at Daytona, more than I did a year ago, is working on tandem drafting," said Martin, who finished 10th and 33rd at Daytona last season. "We didn't do that last year and it's going to be even more of a challenge this year. Rodney and I want to look toward being ahead of the curve on the two-car tandem or explore areas that will give us an advantage."

"The Daytona test will be about us working on our qualifying setup for the first day and a half and drafting the rest of the time," Childers said. "The most important thing is the draft, making sure our cars can do what they need to do. We'll probably work on some cooling to see if our cars can push longer than some of the others."


as well.. seem lot change stuff for 2012 ready to be. oh well..

thanks enjoy :)

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yeah funny when I notice that too not know why..oh well you guys what think about Draft's come up on daytona's way? check out story:


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Joey Logano knows he'd rather tandem draft every time he's out on Daytona International Speedway during the upcoming Speedweeks 2012.

But he swears just as strongly that Sprint Cup drivers won't be able to, thanks to new technical regulations that NASCAR's put in place for Preseason Thunder which runs Thursday through Saturday and is the final on-track preparation for Speedweeks.

A test and a Fest

Complementing the testing portion at Daytona is a special two-day Fan Fest event.


"Either way's fine for me, but I personally like the two-car draft a lot, I have fun with it [because] it's kind of cool to communicate with someone and have fun with it," Logano said Wednesday at a special event at the track to introduce the Toyota Camry that will pace the 54th annual Daytona 500. "But a lot of people don't like it. So we'll go back to the other way, or whatever."

NASCAR has mandated a much smaller radiator and, as part of that system, a smaller capacity overflow tank in conjunction with a relocated radiator vent opening higher in the front-center of the car. Along with that, teams have a larger restrictor plate than a year ago with a smaller spoiler and softer rear springs.

Logano says that combination will mean less ability to tandem draft -- radically less. Some time Thursday afternoon he hopes to find out.

"Oh yeah, it's gonna change [the ability to tandem draft]," Logano said. "We've got a smaller spoiler so that's gonna make it a little harder to get together. Less rear spring will also take the spoiler out of the air so now you've got less of a hole in the air so it's a little bit harder to get to each other.

"That's not gonna keep us from doing it -- we'll still do it there. But that's gonna make the cars handle worse, because your blade's

not up [in the air]."

Logano said the cooling restrictions are the bigger detriments.

"The [vent] opening and the smaller radiator are going to be the big deal [because] you're not going to be able to [tandem draft] long enough," Logano said of the puzzle that will begin to be solved Thursday afternoon, when teams can draft. "[Thursday] we'll know how long we can do it [but] I don't see us doing it much more than three-quarters of a lap.

"Think about where [the vent opening's] at. It's up high so now you're not getting no air. Before it was down low and you could sneak out and we had the fins that would suck air in from the side and OK, we could do this all day. But now we've got nothing. Zero air -- zero -- and [the vent] is more in the center and it's smaller. And you can't squeak out enough to get any air so you're kind of SOL in being able to get any air on the thing."

Logano did say at the end of races things might change, because tandem drafting is eight to 10 mph faster than any other configuration. But even that's not definite because of the basic dynamics of tandem drafting.

"At the end of the race will it come down to a push-fest?" Logano said. "It might. But the thing we've all got to realize, or practice or realize when the moment comes, is it takes some time to hook up.

"The front guy has got to slow down eight, nine miles an hour to hook up. By the time you get back up to speed, it's gonna take about a straightaway to do that, then another half a straightaway to get up 10 miles an hour.

"Now, are you too hot, and now you're done? Were you better off just drafting? You did all that work, did you gain anything? I don't really know yet, and when I figure it all out, I'll let you know."

Logano said the basic physics of a smaller radiator and a smaller vent would lead cars to run hotter. He said he could already run "240 [degrees of water temperature] all day, but you can't run 260 all day, or 250. Some guys can but our cars can't.

"If the blow-off valve allows it to blow off [water] at 245 that's not gonna be pretty. Because once you lose water, you're screwed. With all that stuff, [drafting] will be interesting. I'm kinda excited about it. I don't know if we'll start in a two-car draft or a big pack."

what you think of draft is? cool or not? that our first time since 2010 to be.. huh? that strange seen so far. that new one.

thanks enjoy :)

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Whoa Roger...doesn't seem like much time between seasons? Are we talking about the same sport here? LOL. NASCAR off season takes FOREVER...and in case y'all are wondering, there is 44 more days until the season starts at Daytona. 36 days until the Budshootout...that I WILL watch and am looking forward to. Well Roger, glad that the off season is going by fast for someone at least...for me, it is slowly dragging on. Leaving me to wonder if it will EVER get here.

TRP Coltrane...I love every race, but I have to admit, do not like the whole drafting that comes with restrictor place racing as of late. Will be VERY happy if they are ever to get rid of that. I miss the old style Daytona and Talledega style of racing. Where everyone was going for the win. Where there was actual speed on the track. And where it doesn't depend on whether you have a partner or not in order to win the race as it does with the whole drafting scenerio. For example:

The fall Talledega race, ten laps to go, Trevor Bayne was with Gordon after Martin had problems. They were in the top ten, could have gotten the win for any one of those two drivers. Instead Jack Rousch gave Bayne orders to leave his racing idol, Jeff Gordon, and to go help Rousch driver Matt Kenseth who lost his partner. Long story short, Bayne left Gordon and Gordon finished way in the back - can't remember where. But all because he was left without a drafting partner at the end of the race. (Bayne and Kenseth finished outside the top ten somewhere it seems...)

The old style of racing, that wouldn't have happen. So if they can find a safe way to prevent that drafting, I will be VERY happy. But as I said, I love every race...but do admit that even though once Daytona and Talledega were on my list of favorites, last year they weren't on my list of favorite tracks due to that (except for the Daytona 500 of course...the Super Bowl of NASCAR!)

Well there is my two cents on the subject of drafting...

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yeah true about that draft are and I like old style too when I watching since 1989 on Daytona and Talledega but what about small track like bristol or martinville or richmond are? which you like best one? I like bristol track more wreck or spin out into cautions more than big tracks is. Talledega really more wreck than Daytona was.. because bit different size of track is. so on daytona test cars look like what they doing before first day racing:


first time danica patrick driving new #10 behind stewart's owner car:


so what you think this cars look like before use real car for first day of Daytona 500 are. nice looking is it huh?

I cant wait watching in few weeks left to go for Feb... :roll:

thanks enjoy :)

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Nice pics TRPColtrane. Like the one with Gordon's car in it :D best car out there if you ask me. :lol:

As for short tracks...I love Bristol. Bristol is on my top favorite tracks. Is a track I've been to for Dukefest and is a track Gordon is good at. Night racing at Bristol is the best!

Feb 26 can NOT get here fast enough...

The King's number...43 days left!:-o

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yeah I have picture of his car with Kahne's new uniform same as Dale E. Jr, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer's had new sponsors looking forward this season. here for you this pictures of Gordon looking now:




that he going to use for Daytona 500 this car with bit new scheme paint.

few new cars I forward see that Carl's, Dale's, Kahne's, Clint's, as well.. hope look good at. Lowes might will wear blue for Daytona 500 I guess so because #48 had two different scheme paint as blue or black as well. hard to tell for on Daytona racing. wait see on Feb.

yeah lol, for number countdown to be.

thanks enjoy :)

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Well I just got some great news on my Facebook account...guess I'd get it at NASCAR.com too, but since I went to FB first, I got it there first...but through NASCAR.com if that makes sense. (I have liked NASCAR.com so their posts to their page goes to my page...)

Anyway...Roger you're gonna love this...David Ragen has found a ride in the number 34 Front Row Race. He will join David Gulliland in their two car team. He will be driving Fords...Guilliland drove number 34 last year, but will be racing in the same team, but under the number 38.

Oh I got a fun fact for you Roger...if you ever in Georgia, you may have to look it up. David Ragen owns a Ford Dealership in South Georgia. Then again, must be a popular side job or business choice for drivers to own a car dealership since Jeff Gordon has one. Think Mark Martin has one...Am starting to see a trend here. :D

Though if I am understanding correctly, Ragen is going to have to qualify into each race whereas with Rousch, due to owner and car points, he was always locked in. He is already locked into Daytona's race since Guilliland finished within the top 35 in points....

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