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2014 NASCAR Race Review and Results


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Thank you Lizzy. I was hoping that I didn't do something to get in trouble for. :) I heard about the King's birthday after I posted my post as well...

I am sorry about Stenhouse. Both those accidents either took out good cars or affected good cars. After the second accidents they said they only had five cars as being recorded out of the race. I don't see how that could be possible, but I guess they know better than me.

I am also sorry to inform you Hoss that ESPN isn't much different than TNT...you will just have to find a different spelling for it. ;)

I am so glad that they are done with TNT after the next race...heck TNT won't even be back next year. This is the last year for TNT and I think for ESPN too. Next year it will be on FOX then ABC and then an ABC affiliated station. I am hoping that ABC will better than TNT and ESPN. I know I have said this before...I just wish the race would stay on FOX all year long. I really miss DW and the crew. ;) Plus they show more race than commercials. TNT is horrible about their commercials and personally I feel like they have their select favorite drivers and that is who they follow. But as I said, ESPN isn't much different. But I guess we will see in a couple of weeks.

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Just in case anyone's wondering, today's race has been officially postponed due to rain. It will now take place tomorrow (Monday) at noon. Am I the only one to see the irony in having a race sponsored

Congratulations Garrett, you finally got the result you wanted. I watched/listened to the whole race, and you didn't miss much at the start. At least two of the early cautions were for cars losing gri

Why is it that Danica Patrick is never in the lead or even close to the front in wins or points? She's ALWAYS way down on the list! ....Just sayin'!!

The Sprint Cup moves to New Hampshire this week.

Only four drivers set an early time in the second (last) qualifying session, including a quick one by Tony Stewart. With about seven minutes to go, Kyle Busch lined up near the end of the pit lane waiting for a cloud to cover the sun. He was soon joined by Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray. Jimmie Johnson blinked first, and beat Tony Stewart's time. Soon after, Kyle Busch bounced back from his rollover last week to claim the pole at Loudon, breaking the lap record by 1.633 mph in the process. Denny Hamlin made a late run, but could only manage third. Tony Stewart went out for a second run, but failed to cross the line in time to do a lap.

It's interesting to note the difference between qualifying for NASCAR and qualifying for F1. The NASCAR drivers were all trying to cool their cars down, whereas F1 cars have pre-heated tires and need their brakes at a high temperature to operate at their best. Sitting around for several minutes at the end of the pit lane would kill the chances of an F1 driver getting a good time (and would probably be illegal due to the narrow pit exits).

Jeff Gordon tried two timed laps near the end of the session, but they only got him to 11th (he was third in the first practice session).

Ricky Stenhouse Jr was 23rd in the first practice session, and improved to 22nd in qualifying. I hope it's not going to be another of those races where he spends most of the time in a midfield position.

Lizzy, I've obviously covered one of your drivers as he's got pole. Your other driver, Austin Dillon, starts right behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr in 23rd.

1. Kyle Busch

2. Jimmie Johnson

3. Denny Hamlin

4. Tony Stewart

5. Jamie McMurray

6. Joey Logano

7. Brad Keselowski

8. Clint Bowyer

9. Martin Truex Jr

10. Kasey Kahne

11. Jeff Gordon

12. Kevin Harvick

13. Kyle Larson

14. Carl Edwards

15. Matt Kenseth

16. Paul Menard

17. Brian Vickers

18. Kurt Busch

19. Aric Almirola

20. AJ Allmendinger

21. Marcos Ambrose

22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

23. Austin Dillon

24. Ryan Newman

25. Justin Allgaier

26. David Ragan

27. Greg Biffle

28. Dale Earnhardt Jr

29. Danica Patrick

30. Jeff Burton

31. Casey Mears

32. Josh Wise

33. David Gilliland

34. Landon Cassill

35. Cole Whitt

36. Alex Bowman

37. Reed Sorenson

38. Ryan Truex

39. Michael Annett

40. Eddie MacDonald

41. Mike Bliss

42. Timmy Hill

43. Morgan Shepherd

The Camping World RV Sales 301 from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway is this Sunday at 1:00 PM ET. For the last time this year it's live on TNT (I can't believe you might miss it, Garrett ;)).

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With Garrett away, and the last 100 or so laps of the Camping World RV Sales 301 clashing with the World Cup Final, I thought I'd better takes some notes during the race so that I could write some kind of review. Hopefully that explains the chronological format of the following.

Greg Biffle had smoke from his tires very early in the race, but the situation seemed to resolve itself.

Jimmie Johnson got a flat rear tire on lap eight and had to pit for new tires. He came out a lap down, but crashed on lap 14 (during a commercial break) due to another tire failure and brought out the first caution. Jimmie later said that the first tire went down slowly but the second exploded. Morgan Shepherd's car also had to be pushed off the track, although I'm not sure if he hit Jimmie Johnson's car. The crash ended Jimmie's race and means that his crew only have a few laps' worth of data to help them when they return to New Hampshire in September for The Chase.

Kyle Busch led the first 62 laps until he was passed by Denny Hamlin.

Jeff Gordon was very quick in practice (third, third and second), and made it up to 6th in the early part of the race, but then gradually dropped back to 26th before being one of the first drivers to take a green flag pit stop on lap 74 in a car he described as "undriveable". After the pit stop, his team found that one of his rear tires had only 14 pounds of pressure left in it.

There was a caution for debris on lap 112. Kyle Larson stayed out to take the lead after being one of the last drivers to make a green flag pit stop 30 or so laps earlier. He had a good battle for the lead with Kyle Busch after the restart and led about a dozen laps before Matt Kenseth came past him.

Another debris caution was thrown on lap 153, just a lap or two before Kyle Larson would've had to make a green flag stop. The commentators joked that NASCAR should fingerprint the offending water bottle on the track! Joey Logano won the battle off pit road, but Clint Bowyer took the lead before the end of the first lap after the green flag. There was also some minor contact between the cars just behind them.

Brad Keselowski had just taken the lead when there was yet another debris caution on lap 177. So far I think the water bottle was the largest object on the track. After his earlier troubles put him back to 26th, Jeff Gordon had made steady progress up to 16th when the caution came out.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr did well after the caution, and spent quite a few laps running in 10th place just behind Kyle Larson with Jeff Gordon catching both of them. Then, during another commercial break, Joey Logano (who was inside the top five) was taken out by Morgan Shepherd (who was about 13 laps down). That obviously brought out another caution. Joey seemed quite upbeat when they interviewed him straight after the crash, but he was clearly disappointed as he thought the team could've got another one-two finish.

Ricky came back out in 10th, but Jeff Gordon managed to leapfrog him into the top ten and was soon up to sixth, ahead of teammate Kasey Kahne. Kyle Larson's earlier strategy put him up to fifth.

There was yet another caution for a tiny piece of debris on lap 249, again during a commercial break. Jeff Gordon was one of six lead cars to stay out, and became the new leader. Ricky Stenhouse Jr slipped back to 18th, but the new tires paid off in the next few laps as he regained several places.

After 19 laps up front, Jeff Gordon was passed by Brad Keselowski who looked like he'd take an easy win. Then, with just four laps to go, and a few drivers low on fuel, Justin Allgaier hit the wall and caused another caution.

Denny Hamlin was the first to run out of fuel and had to pit from second place while under caution. He was followed to pit road by Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Greg Biffle, Paul Menard and David Ragan. A couple of laps later, Jeff Gordon also ran out of fuel just before the green-white checker and had to be pushed back to the pits. Kevin Harvick barely saw the restart flag before he too ran out of fuel at turn one.

Brad Keselowski went on to take his third win of the season, becoming the first driver to do the New Hampshire Sweep with victory in the Nationwide and Sprint Cups. He's also the 13th different winner at Loudon in the last 13 races. It was a dominant performance with Brad leading 138 of the eventual 305 laps. During the post-race interview he joked that the team had some Kevlar gloves for him this week to prevent him cutting his hands on a Champagne bottle again.

Kyle Busch finished second despite running out of fuel as he crossed the line. Kyle Larson gained a couple of places at the end to finish third.

I was pleased that Ricky Stenhouse Jr managed to bounce back from a terrible race last week to take a well-deserved ninth place.

Here's the full finishing order:

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Kyle Busch

3. Kyle Larson

4. Matt Kenseth

5. Ryan Newman

6. Clint Bowyer

7. Tony Stewart

8. Denny Hamlin

9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr

11. Kasey Kahne

12. Martin Truex Jr

13. Carl Edwards

14. Austin Dillon

15. Greg Biffle

16. Jamie McMurray

17. Kurt Busch

18. AJ Allmendinger

19. Paul Menard

20. Jeff Burton

21. Brian Vickers

22. Danica Patrick

23. Aric Almirola

24. David Gilliland

25. David Ragan

26. Jeff Gordon

27. Marcos Ambrose

28. Cole Whitt

29. Josh Wise

30. Kevin Harvick

31. Alex Bowman

32. Michael Annett

33. Reed Sorenson

34. Landon Cassill

35. Eddie MacDonald

36. Ryan Truex

37. Justin Allgaier

38. Casey Mears

39. Morgan Shepherd

40. Joey Logano

41. Timmy Hill

42. Jimmie Johnson

43. Mike Bliss

TNT signed off by thanking what felt like every member of their team and showing a short compilation of races they'd covered over many years.

There's no race next week while the teams get a week off, but for anyone who fancies some motorsport next Sunday, and doesn't mind an early start, you can watch what promises to be an exciting F1 race from Germany (start time is 8.00 AM ET).

Lizzy and Garrett - feel free to fill in anything I've missed :).

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Thanks Boss for filling in for me. I didn't get to see much of the race at all. Am super bummed that Johnson had such rotten luck and Gordon running out of gas is just as bad. But it is a gamble they had to make.

Roger...I saw that I was no longer in last place in my NASCAR league. Lol. Thanks for taking pity on me. 😊 You maybe beating me in baseball...but no one will beat me in football. 😇

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I guess that's why they call it FANTASY football because you're dreaming.

Back to the subject of racing....I've been going to the local dirt track every Friday. I'm officially hooked so I'm excited today's Friday.

It's a place called Speedway 7 in Conneaut Ohio. It's only 15 minutes from where I live just across the Pennsylvania state line.

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I hope you had fun Roger at the race. Is there a local driver that you like the best and go for? I bet they are fun to go watch and see...and loud.

Well the only good thing about having no race today is that my fantasy team won't take another hit. This is the last off weekend of the season and am so lost without Gordon or Johnson or Earnhardt or Kahne to follow. :( But they are deserving of the break...just wish they did it last weekend when I couldn't watch the race. HA.

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What did you do with all that extra time on your hands with no NASCAR Garrett?

You're right those races are loud. They're also dusty and smelly.

So it should be no surprise that an old redneck like me feels right at home.

To answer your question I do know four of the drivers so that makes it fun.

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After rain shortened the final practice session, the qualifying for tomorrow's race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway took place without a hitch.

Jeff Gordon took to the track early in the first two qualifying sessions and set a fast time, only to have it beaten each time by Kevin Harvick. In the final session it was Kevin Harvick who went out earlier and set the fastest time. When jeff Gordon went out a few minutes later he could only manage second. With Brad Keselowski in third, the same three drivers were in first, second and third in each qualifying session. Kevin Harvick also set a new lap record.

Jimmie Johnson was sixth and fifth in the first two sessions, but ended up qualifying in 11th just behind HMS teammate Kasey Kahne. Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt Jr struggled in the second session and could only get 23rd.

For Lizzy, Kyle Busch starts in 12th and Austin Dillon isn't too far behind in 17th.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr went out very late in the first two sessions, but only made his way up as far as 21st.

Aric Amirola clipped the wall in the first session and had to head for the garage. It didn't look too hard, but he'll start the race in his backup car at the back of the field.

The full starting lineup:

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Jeff Gordon

3. Brad Keselowski

4. Ryan Newman

5. Brian Vickers

6. Tony Stewart

7. Kurt Busch

8. Juan Pablo Montoya

9. Joey Logano

10. Kasey Kahne

11. Jimmie Johnson

12. Kyle Busch

13. Matt Kenseth

14. Danica Patrick

15. Kyle Larson

16. Clint Bowyer

17. Austin Dillon

18. Carl Edwards

19. Greg Biffle

20. Trevor Bayne

21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

22. Marcos Ambrose

23. Dale Earnhardt Jr

24. Jamie McMurray

25. Martin Truex Jr

26. Casey Mears

27. Denny Hamlin

28. Michael McDowell

29. Paul Menard

30. Josh Wise

31. Justin Allgaier

32. Ryan Truex

33. Michael Annett

34. David Gilliland

35. Alex Bowman

36. AJ Allmendinger

37. Landon Cassill

38. David Ragan

39. Cole Whitt

40. Travis Kvapil

41. Aric Almirola

42. Reed Sorenson

43. Bobby Labonte

Reed Sorenson, David Stremme and Matt Crafton all failed to qualify.

The Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard is on tomorrow (Sunday) at 1:00 PM ET. It's live on ESPN.

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Well y'all...the Brickyard 500 has just ended...

Kevin Harvick started out up front with the pole with Jeff Gordon starting second. Gordon was quick to pass Harvick on the first lap and was dominant in the first part of the race but those restarts killed him in the first part of the race. Also a couple of pit stops as the first pit stop his gas man had a hard time holding the can and almost falling which slowed him down and pulled him back in the pack. Then his second stop when he was climbing up, Gordon got too close the wall and that slowed his stop down.

Danica Patrick broke something in her car during one of her pit stop and it ended her race.

Ryan Truex ran out of gas.

After a season of bad luck, Kasey Kahne had a strong car and led the most laps...until the last restart when Kasey chose the top lane and Gordon the bottom...or vice versa. With thirty laps to go, Gordon had what he called the restart of his life and passed Kasey and Kasey went backwards. Gordon went on and had no competition and went on to win his FIFTH win at the Brickyard 500. In fact they have announced that today was Jeff Gordon Day as twenty years ago Gordon won the NASCAR inaugural race at Indy...it is also Gordon's second win of the season...and win number 90 of his career.

Bet y'all know who is happy today...LOL.

Brickyard 500 Final Results:

1. Jeff Gordon

2. Kyle Busch

3. Denny Hamlin

4. Matt Kenseth

5. Joey Logano

6. Kasey Kahne

7. Kyle Larson

8. Kevin Harvick

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

10. Austin Dillion

11. Ryan Newman

12. Brad Keselowski

13. Greg Biffle

14. Jimmie Johnson

15. Carl Edwards

16. Clint Bowyer

17. Tony Stewart

18. AJ Allmendinger

19. Brian Vickers

20. Jamie McMurray

21. Aric Almirola

22. Marcos Ambrose

23. Juan Pablo Montoya

24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

25. Martin Truex Jr.

26. Michael McDowell

27. Justin Allgaier

28. Kurt Busch

29. Josh Wise

30. Landon Cassill

31. Michael Annett

32. Cole Whitt

33. Casey Mears

34. Paul Mendard

35. David Regan

36. David Gilliland

37. Bobby Labonte

38. Reed Sorenson

39. Travis Kvapil

40. Alex Bowman

41. Ryan Truex

42. Danica Patrick

43. Trevor Bayne

This morning Jack Rousch put out that after eleven seasons, Carl Edwards will no longer be at Jack Rousch. Greg Biffle will be back next year.

We will be racing at Pocono where it marks a year since Kasey Kahne has won his last race...

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Ok who got the name wrong? Garrett just called it the Brickyard 500 but yesterday Hoss said it was The Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard.

Or perhaps does this race have two names.

Apparently, "for years Crown Royal has named the race after a man or woman who has gone above and beyond their duties as a person. This year the race is named, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard, after Army Veteran John Wayne Walding" - more info here. The race is known as the Brickyard 400 for short (not to be confused with the Indy 500!).

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With thirty laps to go, Gordon had what he called the restart of his life and passed Kasey and Kasey went backwards.

It was a good restart, but it was on lap 144/160.

This morning Jack Rousch put out that after eleven seasons, Carl Edwards will no longer be at Jack Rousch. Greg Biffle will be back next year.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr will also be staying. Trevor Bayne will be the third driver.

Gordon went on and had no competition and went on to win his FIFTH win at the Brickyard 500. In fact they have announced that today was Jeff Gordon Day as twenty years ago Gordon won the NASCAR inaugural race at Indy...it is also Gordon's second win of the season...and win number 90 of his career.

As Garrett pointed out to me in a PM, Jeff Gordon's fifth win equals F1 driver Michael Schumacher's record for wins at IMS. He won the US Grand Prix in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The US Grand Prix has since moved to Austin, TX, with another planned for New Jersey.

Speaking of Michael Schumacher, for those of you who have read my updates of his condition in the news thread, his wife chose last Sunday's German Grand Prix to write a thank you in the programme for all support from his fans. He is now out of the induced coma, and has been moved closer to his home in Switzerland. Reports say he can now communicate with his family, but only through blinking his eyes.

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This Sunday's racing comes from the Pocono Raceway, aka. the Tricky Triangle.

Clint Bowyer had a slide is first session, but missed the wall with a great save. He made a second run and got through to the second session in 15th place.

Carl Edwards did clip the wall with about a minute to go. He didn't do much damage, but missed out on progressing to the second session.

Danica Patrick looked like she had a borderline time until she went out again and got 8th place in the first session. After that, things got confusing. Ricky Stenhouse Jr was in the danger zone when Jimmie Johnson went for another run just before the end of the session. Jimmie claimed 23rd as Fox went to the commercial break, which left Ricky in 25th, even though the leaderboard on NASCAR.com had him in 23rd. One of the presenters then interviewed Ricky and said he'd just missed out. Ricky told him he thought he was still in. The presenter clarified the situation and said Ricky was in 25th (and therefore out), but then had to apologize when he got a second message that Ricky was in 23rd after all. That put Ricky's Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle down to 25th and out of qualifying.

During the break between the first two sessions, the female presenter commented on Marcos Ambrose's beard, saying "... it makes him look a little more tougher. What do you think?" Personally, I think she should know how to use comparatives: it's either "tougher" or "more tough"!

While I'm having a grammar moan, all of the NASCAR commentators really need to watch

and learn the difference between "doing good" and "doing well".

DoingGoodDoingWell.jpg

I'm not just singling out the NASCAR commentators here; several of the F1 commentators think the plural of "grand prix" is "grand prixes" when it's actually "grands prix", and all of them talk about the number of "podiums" (top three finishes) a driver has had when it should be "podia".

Anyway ... Jeff Gordon and Kyle Larson tried to start the second qualifying session a little early, and got called back in. Both were able to go out again and set times quick enough for the top 12. Jimmie Johnson moved up a little, but missed out on the final session with 17th place. After scraping through the first session in 23rd, Ricky Stenhouse Jr also got 23rd place in the second session and therefore the race (he was 27th in practice).

Joey Logano was fastest in the first two qualifying sessions, and set a great time in the third session, only to see Kyle Larson beat it almost immediately. The session finished with the pair of them in that order, giving Kyle Larson his first career pole (he started at the front in Richmond in April, but that was based on practice times when qualifying was rained out). To be fair, Kyle has been consistently quick with fourth in practice and fifth and second in the first two qualifying sessions.

Brad Keselowski made a late run to get third.

After being down in 15th in practice, Jeff Gordon also had a consistent run during qualifying. Across the sessions he was seventh, fifth and fifth.

Danica Patrick had a good final session, and will start the race in 10th.

Here's the full lineup:

1. Kyle Larson

2. Joey Logano

3. Brad Keselowski

4. Kurt Busch

5. Jeff Gordon

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Kyle Busch

8. Jamie McMurray

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr

10. Danica Patrick

11. Austin Dillon

12. Kasey Kahne

13. Denny Hamlin

14. Clint Bowyer

15. Brian Vickers

16. Tony Stewart

17. Jimmie Johnson

18. Matt Kenseth

19. Martin Truex Jr

20. AJ Allmendinger

21. Ryan Newman

22. Justin Allgaier

23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

24. Casey Mears

25. Greg Biffle

26. Carl Edwards

27. Marcos Ambrose

28. Aric Almirola

29. Paul Menard

30. David Gilliland

31. Josh Wise

32. Landon Cassill

33. Cole Whitt

34. Travis Kvapil

35. Reed Sorenson

36. Alex Bowman

37. Ryan Truex

38. Michael Annett

39. David Ragan

40. Dave Blaney

41. Joe Nemechek

42. Alex Kennedy

43. Johnny Sauter

Only 43 cars were entered this week, so no one goes home.

The GoBowling.com 400 from Pocono in this Sunday at 1:00 PM ET. It's live on ESPN.

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Well I guess I was less than perfect in my last week's review. I apology.

Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Greg Biffle will be at Rousch next season. And I have to admit I agree with Larry McReynolds that Jack Rousch was less than professional with the timing of his "surprise" announcement last week. I guess his press conference that he made it known wasn't scheduled and instead of doing it on a Tuesday as they normally do, Jack did it the morning before one of the bigger races of the season. As I heard someone say, trying to bring attention to himself as all the coverage or talk was on Gordon and how many races he won at Indy and how he won the inaugural race there twenty years ago. Well as a Gordon fan...I great satisfaction that Gordon took the last publicity away from his so called big news and bring it back to him with the win. But that is my two cents worth.

And talking of Gordon...he is currently leading the race at Pocono...well now he is in the pits. He has led 38 laps or so today. Now is on top with the most laps led at Pocono with a thousand. And with his 43rd birthday tomorrow...I think a win would make a great birthday present to the driver of the 24 car. :D

Well I missed the first half of the race due to grocery shopping, but will watch the last half...will write a review once the race is over. :D

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Well I guess I was less than perfect in my last week's review. I apology.

Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Greg Biffle will be at Rousch next season. And I have to admit I agree with Larry McReynolds that Jack Rousch was less than professional with the timing of his "surprise" announcement last week. I guess his press conference that he made it known wasn't scheduled and instead of doing it on a Tuesday as they normally do, Jack did it the morning before one of the bigger races of the season. As I heard someone say, trying to bring attention to himself as all the coverage or talk was on Gordon and how many races he won at Indy and how he won the inaugural race there twenty years ago. Well as a Gordon fan...I great satisfaction that Gordon took the last publicity away from his so called big news and bring it back to him with the win. But that is my two cents worth.

And talking of Gordon...he is currently leading the race at Pocono...well now he is in the pits. He has led 38 laps or so today. Now is on top with the most laps led at Pocono with a thousand. And with his 43rd birthday tomorrow...I think a win would make a great birthday present to the driver of the 24 car. :D

Well I missed the first half of the race due to grocery shopping, but will watch the last half...will write a review once the race is over. :D

The second Pocono race of the season is now in the books and it looks like it was a back and forth day all depending on what pit strategy they are on. I missed the first half of the race (listened to some of it on the radio in the car...) Johnson had a flat tire early in the race and Danica Patrick hit the wall. Kyle Busch's engine had problems and parked his car early in the race.

Jeff Gordon led a lot of laps, going back and forth with pit stop strategy and had a fast race car today to back up his win last week.

Jimmie Johnson's race ended early today as he had more tire issues, tire issues that sent him into the wall hard and into the garage.

Denny Hamlin got loose and caused a thirteen car pile up that took out Stewart, Vickers, and other drivers. It was an ugly wreck...looking more like Talledega than Pocono.

Dale Earnhardt Jr passed Greg Biffle with seventeen laps or so remaining and with six laps to go Kurt Busch hit the wall to bring out the yellow and bunch the cars back up again.

Dale Jr went on to win the third race of the season...Pocono sweep of 2014.

Official results:

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Joey Logano

4. Clint Bowyer

5. Greg Biffle

6. Jeff Gordon

7. Jamie McMurray

8. Ryan Newman

9. Denny Hamlin

10. Kasey Kahne

11. Kyle Larson

12. Caey Mears

13. Kurt Busch

14. Marcos Ambrose

15. Austin Dillion

16. Justin Allgaier

17. David Gilliland

18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19. David Ragen

20. Ryan Truex

21. Cole Whitt

22. Michael Annett

23. Brad Keselowski

24. Josh Wise

25. Travis Kvapil

26. Dave Blaney

27. Reed Sorenson

28. Alex Kennedy

29. Carl Edwards

30. Danica Patrick

31. Alex Bowman

32. Martin Truex Jr.

33. Paul Menard

34. AJ Allmendinger

35. Aric Almirola

36. Tony Stewart

37. Brian Vickers

38. Matt Kenseth

39. Jimmie Johnson

40. Joe Nemechek

41. Landon Cassill

42. Kyle Busch

43. Johnny Sauter

Well my congratulations goes out to Dale Jr who makes it the sixth win at Pocono from a Hendrick driver...his win comes after the big news in the 88 camp came out Friday or Thursday where Rick Hendrick has named Greg Ives to be Jr's crew chief next year as Steve Letart will be leaving after this season.

Onto Watkins Glen next week...the final road race of the season.

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I completely forgot about the qualifying earlier tonight (why can't it always be on Friday?), so the following is based on what I've read.

Because the drivers have to turn right as well as left at Watkins Glen International, there were only two qualifying sessions. The first was 30 minutes and the second was 10 minutes.

This week it's good news for Garrett and Rick Hendrick as Jeff Gordon made a late run in the second session to beat the favorite, Marcos Ambrose. Gordon said he only went out late because he'd made two runs in the first session and had to let the car cool down. Jimmie Johnson starts just behind Ambrose, and Dale Earnhardt Jr is down in seventh.

For Lizzy, Kurt Busch will be right in the mix when he starts in fifth.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr starts yet another race from the middle of the field, but 21st is slightly higher than his practice positions.

Danica Patrick had what she called "a record horrible day" yesterday. She missed a gear in the first practice session and damaged her engine, and blew a tire in the second practice session resulting in a crash which caused a lot of damage to her car. Because of the crash she had to swap to her backup car, and because she had to change her engine, she will start the race from the back.

Another name also jumped out at me this week. Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr makes his Sprint Cup debut after previously racing in both the Nationwide and Camping World series. His father, Nelson Piquet, was F1 World Champion in 1981, 1983 and 1987, but despite qualifying in second place in the 1979 and 1980 US Grands Prix at Watkins Glen (the last two years that Watkins Glen staged an F1 race), he failed to finish both times.

1. Jeff Gordon

2. Marcos Ambrose

3. Jimmie Johnson

4. Kevin Harvick

5. Kurt Busch

6. AJ Allmendinger

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr

8. Matt Kenseth

9. Brad Keselowski

10. Ryan Newman

11. Joey Logano

12. Brian Vickers

13. Tony Stewart

14. Jamie McMurray

15. Justin Allgaier

16. Carl Edwards

17. Denny Hamlin

18. Cole Whitt

19. Kyle Busch

20. Paul Menard

21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

22. Casey Mears

23. Kyle Larson

24. Clint Bowyer

25. Martin Truex Jr

26. David Ragan

27. Aric Almirola

28. Greg Biffle

29. Michael McDowell

30. Kasey Kahne

31. Austin Dillon

32. Nelson Piquet Jr

33. David Gilliland

34. Boris Said

35. Ryan Truex

36. Alex Bowman

37. Josh Wise

38. Alex Kennedy

39. Reed Sorenson

40. Joe Nemechek

41. Landon Cassill

42. Michael Annett

43. Danica Patrick

Tomorrow's (Sunday's) Cheez-It 355 At The Glen starts at 1:00 PM ET. It's live on ESPN.

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Well the race at Watkins Glen got over a short moment ago and it can be summed up in one word: CRAZY. Three caution flags in ninety laps? And at a track where they don't go extremely fast at...

Gordon started out on pole and led 29 laps (which I was happy for. With this pole, it keeps his consecutive streak alive with at least one pole a season for the last twenty-two years or something like that. The longest consecutive streak with a pole in history now belongs to Gordon.) But Ambrose gave him a fit and after pit strategy Ambrose took the lead position...laps before Gordon's power in his car went out and he had to have a push back to his pit stall where they worked on it for four laps before he was able to go back out. (Of which I wasn't too happy about. LOL.)

First half of the race was uneventful except for Cole Whitt hitting the wall and going hard into the wall and under the tire barrier that they had against the wall. He was OK. And Kyle Busch who is a favorite at Watkins Glen. He had left the pit road with his gas container stuck to his car so he had to do a drive through penalty which had put him a lap down. Then he got out and Martin Truex Jr got into him which had put him behind the wall and in the garage for a lot of laps.

Brad Keselowski got into Matt Kenseth on accident (apologized over the radio) and later had to go into the garage as he lost brake fluid or something like that.

Didn't start to get real eventful until Ryan Newman tried to get out of Greg Biffle's way and it threw his car hard into the fence and across the track and into Michael McDowell's car that went on it's side for a moment before hitting the other wall hard. Nothing much was left of their cars after that...and led to the first two red flags which lasted an hour and a half. Was a super scary wreck and am so glad they were both OK. Reminded me of the wreck of Jeff Burton when he was in the CAT 31 car (that Newman is now driving...) that involved Sam Hornish Jr and Jeff Gordon...and where Gordon hurt his back at a few years ago. Newman wasn't very happy with the safety of the track which I don't blame him. They did fix the track and make the fence farther apart from one another since Gordon and Burton's wreck...but still. They went yellow to rearrange the cars and put the other red flag up to finish the work on the cars,

Afterwards it was clear that the race belonged to either Marcos Ambrose or AJ Allmendinger. Jimmie Johnson was wrecked when Kyle Larson got into Matt Kenseth who in turn got into Jimmie Johnson... (Once again, I was not too happy...lol). It also had taken out Reagan Smith who was driving for Tony Stewart. Smith was doing really good considering he didn't get flown into the track and landed until five minutes before the race started. Sad to see him get wrecked out like that too.

Then with four laps to go and AJ Allmendinger just pulled a power move to get past Ambrose...Denny Hamlin wrecked into a barrel of gravel that was protecting the end of pit road and sent gravel all over the track and Alex Kennedy got into another wreck farther down the track...sent the race back into a red flag to pick up the gravel. Though it didn't take long and they were off again and AJ Allmendinger went off to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win.

Ambrose's crew chief had contacted NASCAR and upset with Allmendinger's start...I think he thought Allmendinger started too early. As of now NASCAR hasn't said anything about it either way so I am taking that Allmendinger's start was OK with them. Ambrose said in his post race interview that he got caught with that in the Nationwide Series before (I know Edwards got caught in the Sprint Cup series a year or two ago with that and was punished...) but Ambrose wasn't too concerned or upset with it. Said it didn't effect the outcome of the race.

Personally I was torn. I like both Ambrose and Allmendinger. Both are fair and clean drivers. Great guys. I love how positive Ambrose is. About everything. Even after giving it all he had and Allmendinger winning, he was so positive and congratulated AJ over and over again...and smiling. To me that is a great picture of sportsmanship right there. I am super happy for AJ. I believe he deserves this win and he gave it a great fight ... both of them did. Sad for my top two drivers but am super happy with the top two finishes.

Here is the official results:

1. AJ Allmendinger

2. Marcos Ambrose

3. Kurt Busch

4. Kyle Larson

5. Carl Edwards

6. Joey Logano

7. Kevin Harvick

8. Greg Biffle

9. Matt Kenseth

10. Brian Vickers

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (who is now the current points leader...taking the lead from Jeff Gordon)

12. Kasey Kahne

13. Martin Truex Jr.

14. Jamie McMurray

15. Casey Mears

16. Austin Dillion

17. Justin Allgaier

18. Aric Almirola

19. David Ragen

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

21. Danica Patrick

22. David Gilliland

23. Reed Sorenson

24. Denny Hamlin

25. Boris Said

26. Nelson Piquet Jr

27. Clint Bowyer

28. Jimmie Johnson

29. Landon Cassill

30. Joe Nemechek

31. Michael Annett

32. Paul Menard

33. Alex Kennedy

34. Jeff Gordon

35. Brad Keselowski

36. Alex Bowman

37. Regan Smith

38. Josh Wise

39. Ryan Truex

40. Kyle Busch

41. Ryan Newman

42. Michael McDowell

43. Cole Whitt

We are all done turning right this year...and left with only left turns to make. :) Onto Michigan next week with a new point leader...but I hope not for long. Not that it matters much since in a month they will mix it all up with the Chase.

Once again, my thoughts and prayers are with Kevin Ward Jr who died last night in the accident involving Tony Stewart. For more info see the NASCAR news thread where there is a few posts there. My heart aches for Ward and his family...and for Tony Stewart. Something that was done for fun turned into a horrible tragic accident. Heaven has earned a new angel...a speedy one. RIP Kevin.

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Danica Patrick wrecked in practice I think on Friday...and then was involved in the Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell accident. Her car was pretty smashed in. It is good that she was able to finish the race.

Danica seems like she finds her way into some accident or some sort of trouble it seems in NASCAR...though I feel like she is having a pretty good year this year. Compared to the past year or so that she was in NASCAR Sprint Cup. Maybe it is just taking her a while to get use to the Cup car and the competition. Personally I feel like she would have been better off if she got a few more full seasons in the Nationwide Series before getting pulled up to the Sprint Cup.

Talking about the Nationwide Series. JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliot, Bill Elliot's son, is said to be driving in a few Cup races next season...

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I enjoyed yesterday's race - I wish they had another couple of road courses like that on the calendar.

It was also good to see that the person doing the lap-by-lap coverage at NASCAR.com has been reading my posts and learned the difference between "break issues" and "brake issues" ;).

BrakeIssues.jpg

Why is it that Danica Patrick is never in the lead or even close to the front in wins or points? She's ALWAYS way down on the list! ....Just sayin'!!

Danica was not only in her backup car yesterday, she also started at the back due to an engine change. She was making steady progress through the field when she hit debris from the crash. She's also had some good qualifying performances this year. Like Garrett has said in previous posts, she was probably thrown into the Sprint Cup a little early, but I think she's getting better and more consistent. Let's face it, it took AJ Allmendinger 213 starts over eight years to get his first Sprint Cup win yesterday.

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Just for a change, I remembered to watch the qualifying this week. Seeing as the Michigan International Speedway is in the Irish Hills, I'm gonna count this as my home race ;).

There were mixed results for HMS this week. Jeff Gordon was only sixth fastest in the first session, but took the top spot in the second and third sessions to make it two poles in a row (and that's despite the extra weight of his beard which he says he forgot to shave!). Kasey Kahne is down in 15th, and both Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jimmie Johnson failed to make it to the second session with starting positions of 25th and 30th respectively.

Joey Logano looked strong all the way through. He was fastest in practice, and second, third and second in qualifying. That puts him on the front row with Jeff Gordon.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr was the penultimate driver to set a time in the first session, but his lap put him straight into third until Carl Edwards took the lead and pushed him down to fourth. I was hoping he'd repeat the performance in the next two sessions, but his provisional third place became 12th by the end of the second session. Luckily, he managed to improve this to 10th in the final session for his best starting position for quite a while.

Last week's winner, AJ Allmendinger, takes Ricky's usual starting position in 22nd :). Kyle Busch starts two places behind in 24th.

In case anyone missed Garrett's post in the NASCAR News thread, Jeff Burton is driving the #14 car this week as Tony Stewart misses another race after last week's fatal accident.

Here's the full lineup:

1. Jeff Gordon

2. Joey Logano

3. Carl Edwards

4. Brian Vickers

5. Brad Keselowski

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Paul Menard

8. Austin Dillon

9. Jamie McMurray

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

11. Greg Biffle

12. Ryan Newman

13. Kyle Larson

14. Danica Patrick

15. Kasey Kahne

16. Kurt Busch

17. Justin Allgaier

18. Matt Kenseth

19. Clint Bowyer

20. Marcos Ambrose

21. Denny Hamlin

22. AJ Allmendinger

23. Aric Almirola

24. Kyle Busch

25. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

26. Casey Mears

27. Jeff Burton

28. Ryan Blaney

29. David Gilliland

30. Jimmie Johnson

31. Ryan Truex

32. Alex Bowman

33. Josh Wise

34. David Ragan

35. Michael Annett

36. Cole Whitt

37. Dave Blaney

38. Travis Kvapil

39. Matt Crafton

40. Reed Sorenson

41. Alex Kennedy

42. Joe Nemechek

43. Landon Cassill

There were only 43 entrants, so no one got sent home.

The Pure Michigan 400 is this Sunday at 1:00 PM ET. It's live on ESPN.

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