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2014 NASCAR Race Review and Results

Garrett Duke

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I did get to see the race, so I'll take a stab at a review. Before I start, I'll admit that I was distracted during the first half because one of the 'Columbo' episodes featuring Sorrell Booke was on TV. You can see a screengrab in this post.

For various reasons J.J. Yeley, Landon Cassill, Trevor Bayne and Martin Truex Jr all started from the back.

Jeff Gordon led the field away, but Joey Logano took the lead on the second lap. Another couple of laps later and Kyle Busch hit the wall causing enough damage to require a visit to the garage. No refueling was allowed under the subsequent caution, and no one got a free pass. Jimmie Johnson pitted under the caution for four new tires as he thought he'd run over some debris. I had to laugh when I saw Kyle Busch's car being worked on in the garage. One of his pit crew, who was wearing a full crash helmet, was using a sander/grinder and hammer on the outside of Kyle's rear wheel arch while another crew member had his unprotected head just inside the wheel arch.

On lap 21 there was a competition caution because of overnight rain. Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson both stayed out while nearly everyone else pitted.

Within a lap of the green flag there was another caution as Danica Patrick's can spun around after clipping Jeff Burton's car (or possibly after being clipped by Jeff Burton). The wreck also involved seven other drivers including Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr and Matt Kenseth. During the following pit stop, Dale Earnhardt Jr exited his pit box into the path of Kyle Larson, causing damage to both cars.

The next couple of dozen laps were fairly incident free, although the racing was good as Jeff Gordon closed on Joey Logano and retook the lead. On lap 49, Jimmie Johnson reported that his gear shifter had broken, although this didn't seem to have an immediate impact on his speed. In fact, after some green flag pit stops, Jimmie Johnson had managed to take the lead by over six seconds. Because Ricky Stenhouse Jr was on a similar pit strategy to Jimmie Johnson, he briefly made it up to second place during this portion of the race. I'm trying to remember if he's led a lap this year.

Jimmie Johnson finally made his green flag pit stop on lap 76. There were some rather comedic scenes as his team handed him some vice grips to fix his gear shifting problem as he was pushed off pit road. This was followed by a large amount of in-car footage as Jimmie Johnson spent a couple of laps trying to attach the vice grips. The issue was eventually solved on lap 108 when his crew managed to fit a new gear shifter.

With Jeff Gordon in the lead, Jeff Burton headed for the garage on lap 82 because of an electrical smell in his car. Then, on lap 97, Kyle Larson hit the wall. The commentators mentioned the new rule about drivers not leaving a crashed car (brought in after the death of Kevin Ward Jr), but Kyle was told to get out because his car was on fire.

Joey Logano led most of the next laps as there was some more good, incident-free racing. The leaders all came in for green flag pit stops around lap 140, and Jeff Gordon took the opportunity to retake the lead. They pitted again around lap 165/166, and had only just rejoined the track when Brad Keselowski hit the wall while leading the race. The caution put Jimmie Johnson back on the lead lap. As often happens, one caution leads to another, and this time it was when Brian Vickers got loose and hit Alex Bowman. Jeff Gordon complained about Joey Logano's speed at the restart. Yet another caution came out on lap 179, this time for debris. That put Danica Patrick back on the lead lap.

Joey Logano led the restart on lap 184, but Jeff Gordon soon dived past. Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard also followed Jeff Gordon past Joey Logano, putting him back to fourth. That's pretty much how it stayed to the checkered flag, although Joey Logano managed to retake third from Paul Menard. With his third win of the season, Jeff Gordon retakes the points lead and Chase standings lead.

Although Ricky Stenhouse Jr only finished 15th, it was good to see him nearer the front and on the lead lap for virtually the whole race.

Here's the full result:

1. Jeff Gordon

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Joey Logano

4. Paul Menard

5. Dale Earnhardt Jr

6. Clint Bowyer

7. Denny Hamlin

8. Brad Keselowski

9. Jimmie Johnson

10. Greg Biffle

11. Ryan Newman

12. Marcos Ambrose

13. AJ Allmendinger

14. Jamie McMurray

15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

16. Kasey Kahne

17. Casey Mears

18. Danica Patrick

19. Brian Vickers

20. Aric Almirola

21. David Gilliland

22. Austin Dillon

23. Carl Edwards

24. David Ragan

25. Cole Whitt

26. Alex Bowman

27. Reed Sorenson

28. Josh Wise

29. Landon Cassill

30. J.J. Yeley

31. Kurt Busch

32. Travis Kvapil

33. Dave Blaney

34. Alex Kennedy

35. Joe Nemechek

36. Martin Truex Jr

37. Jeff Burton

38. Matt Kenseth

39. Kyle Busch

40. Michael Annett

41. Trevor Bayne

42. Justin Allgaier

43. Kyle Larson

Next week it's the Irwin Tools Night Race from Bristol Motor Speedway.

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There's not so much to report this week. Qualifying at Bristol was split into two sessions, with the fastest 12 from the first session going through to the pole position shoot-out. The threat of lightning was only a couple of miles away, so all the mobile cameramen were taken off roof and out of the pit lane.

Cole Whitt spun during the first session, bringing out a red flag. His time was still good enough for 34th. Aric Amirola and Casey Mears both hit the wall before they'd set a time, so will start from the back.

I'd really like to tell you that this was the top five for the race, but sadly it's only the top five from the second practice session. Ricky Stenhouse Jr couldn't match this pace in qualifying, and starts 21st (back to normal :(). Hopefully he'll be faster in the race - he was second here earlier in the year.


Jeff Gordon was fastest in the first qualifying session, but Kevin Harvick just beat him to the pole. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch will start just behind in third and fourth.

Jeff Burton's driving Tony Stewart's #14 car for the second week in a row, and he will start in 25th, one place behind Danica Patrick.

Here's the full lineup:

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Jeff Gordon

3. Carl Edwards

4. Kyle Busch

5. Joey Logano

6. Jimmie Johnson

7. Kurt Busch

8. Greg Biffle

9. Brad Keselowski

10. Marcos Ambrose

11. Ryan Newman

12. Kasey Kahne

13. Denny Hamlin

14. Clint Bowyer

15. Brian Vickers

16. Matt Kenseth

17. Paul Menard

18. Jamie McMurray

19. Justin Allgaier

20. Dale Earnhardt Jr

21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

22. AJ Allmendinger

23. Martin Truex Jr

24. Danica Patrick

25. Jeff Burton

26. Austin Dillon

27. Alex Bowman

28. Michael McDowell

29. David Ragan

30. Josh Wise

31. Brett Moffitt

32. David Gilliland

33. Ryan Truex

34. Cole Whitt

35. Dave Blaney

36. Reed Sorenson

37. J.J. Yeley

38. Michael Annett

39. Landon Cassill

40. Kyle Larson

41. David Stremme

42. Aric Almirola

43. Casey Mears

Again, there were only 43 entrants, so no one had to pack up and go home.

The Irwin Tools Night Race from the Bristol Motor Speedway is tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7:30 PM ET. This week it's live on ABC.

Garrett, I hope you'll be watching this one, because I doubt I'll see all of it.

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One detail I forgot to mention in the preview above is that Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano set identical times (14.644 seconds) in the second qualifying session. I suppose it's more likely on such a short track. They set their times very close together, and afterwards the TV pictures had Logano ahead while the live leaderboard online had Johnson ahead. When this happens in Formula 1 (it doesn't happen often), it's the driver who set the time first who's in front at the start. When the lineup was finalized, it was Joey Logano who was given fifth, with Jimmie Johnson in sixth. At least they're both on the third row.

For anyone who still craves a motorsport fix this Sunday, why not get up early (8:00 AM ET) for the Belgian Grand Prix. It's a great old circuit (one of my favorites), and with half an hour until qualifying, it's raining hard at the track. Unlike NASCAR, F1 cars can race in wet weather, so we may end up with a topsy-turvy grid and an even more interesting race tomorrow :).

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Well I missed yesterday's race...and yes I DVR'd it but after hearing who won and how Gordon did and all that...well I didn't feel like watching it. Bristol or not. So in other words, I am the bad one to be writing the review here.

Sounds like Kevin Harvick got into Denny Hamlin who in turn got into Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hamlin got upset and by the sounds of it GOT OUT of his car and threw something at Harvick as he went past. And after what happened to Kevin Ward Jr. ONLY two weeks ago and after NASCAR's stern warning of staying in one car, personally, I hope he receives some sort of punishment. Know he was upset...it's Bristol, everyone's upset...but felt it was very distasteful on Hamlin's part.

Kyle Busch got caught speeding on pit road...as did Harvick and Jimmie Johnson. Kyle Busch then got caught in another accident with I think Clint Bowyer. Which then led to some frustration on Kyle's and his crew chief's part. Kyle was radioing in that he needed his right suspension and front suspension replaced and will be in the garage in a couple of laps...Dave Rogers his crew chief who was having a hard time hearing, answered back to "Get your whiny ---- behind the hauler". Then what I heard, Kyle got mad and parked his car on pit road and walked away from his car. Which seems like the old Kyle, but it is Bristol...and as I said, everyone gets upset. Kyle and Dave had a long discussion afterwards in the garage.

Jeff Gordon led a lap, but sounds like Kurt Busch got into him at one point and he missed his pit stall...and he finished 16th. Jimmie Johnson finished fourth after getting penalized for speeding on pit road.

Jamie MacMurray had a strong car by the sounds of it and led a lot of laps.

But at the end of the day, when it was all said and done, Joey Logano came home with his third win of the season.

Official results:

1. Joey Logano

2. Brad Keselowski

3. Matt Kenseth

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Kurt Busch

6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

7. Carl Edwards

8. Jamie McMurray

9. Paul Menard

10. Greg Biffle

11. Kevin Harvick

12. Kyle Larson

13. Ryan Newman

14. AJ Allmindinger

15. Jeff Burton

16. Jeff Gordon

17. Clint Bowyer

18. Michael McDowell

19. Justin Allgaier

20. Martin Truex Jr.

21. Brian Vickers

22. Landon Cassill

23. David Ragen

24. Reed Sorenson

25. David Gilliland

26. Casey Mears

27. Danica Patrick

28. Austin Dillion

29. Josh Wise

30. Cole Whitt

31. David Stremme

32. Alex Bowman

33. JJ Yeley

34. Marcos Ambrose

35. Kasey Kahne

36. Kyle Busch

37. Ryan Truex

38. Michael Annett

39. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

40. Denny Hamlin

41. Aric Almirola

42. Brett Moffitt

43. Dave Blaney

We are onto Atlanta next Sunday night for some night racing...hopefully I will be able to watch it.

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Sounds like Kevin Harvick got into Denny Hamlin who in turn got into Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hamlin got upset and by the sounds of it GOT OUT of his car and threw something at Harvick as he went past. And after what happened to Kevin Ward Jr. ONLY two weeks ago and after NASCAR's stern warning of staying in one car, personally, I hope he receives some sort of punishment. Know he was upset...it's Bristol, everyone's upset...but felt it was very distasteful on Hamlin's part.

Kevin Harvick did spin Denny Hamlin, but it was just a slightly misjudged maneuver and not deliberate. Just as Hamlin's car was coming to rest, Dale Earnhardt Jr happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ripped most of the side off his car as well as further damaging Hamlin's car. Dale Earnhardt Jr eventually made it back on track to complete a few more laps. I had to laugh when I saw his team had made an "88" on the side of his car with red tape to conform to NASCAR regulations about displaying racing numbers. Hamlin did wait for the rescue crew to get to his car before he got out, but then he threw his HANS device onto the track. I can understand Hamlin being upset at getting put out of the race at around one third distance, but there's no room for that type of petulant behavior. A large fine or race ban might be a good way for NASCAR to make it clear to other drivers that it's unacceptable to throw things onto a live race track (I say "large fine" because Harvick earned about $13 million last year, so he wouldn't notice a small fine!).

Kyle Busch got caught speeding on pit road...as did Harvick and Jimmie Johnson.

Quite a few speeding penalties were given out last night, but that's probably because there's a 30 MPH speed limit in the pit lane at Bristol. Jimmie Johnson actually got caught twice!

Jeff Gordon led a lap, but sounds like Kurt Busch got into him at one point and he missed his pit stall...and he finished 16th.

Jeff Gordon spent a lot of the early part of the race in the top five and led 17 laps.

Garrett, I can't believe you forgot to mention Ricky Stenhouse Jr's result. Admittedly, he spent the first part of the race being magnetically drawn to the 21st or 22nd spot. Every time he gained or lost a few places, he seemed to end up back where he started. Then at one of the later cautions he took the wave around. After that he slowly and surely gained about ten places to finish in sixth, and that's almost like a win for me :).

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I thought of you when I wrote that down, Hoss...but then forgot to mention it afterwards. I am sorry.

Thank you for explaining and filling in the blanks for me.

Kevin Harvick is known to be an aggressive driver...and has a temper himself. Even though I am NOT a Denny Hamlin fan, I do see where he would think he did do it on purpose. And being that early in the race probably only made it worse. Am not accepting Hamlin's behavior and do think he should have some sort of punishment for his actions. I remember at a race years ago when Kyle Busch still raced for Hendrick when he got mad at another driver...can't remember who...and threw his HANS device at the driver. They were saying how expensive those HANS devises are. Bet Joe Gibbs won't be happy to replace that either...

Well makes JJ's comeback even more awesome to be caught twice. . . that is kinda ridiculous that the speed limit is so low at a track that is so fast like that.

Congrats Hoss for your great finish...

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I missed the first 5-10 minutes of last night's qualifying, but I think it's safe to say that it was incident-free this week.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr always seems to go out late in qualifying. His only fast lap was initially good enough for 24th place, but two drivers beat his time, pushing him out in the first session. I'm a little disappointed, partly because of his improved performance last week, and also because he was 11th in first practice.

Kevin Harvick was only 16th fastest in the first qualifying session, but improved in second session and took pole in the third. Brad Keselowski is back on the front row in second, just in front of Kyle Larson in third. Kyle Busch is eighth, with HMS drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne completing the top ten in ninth and tenth.

Denny Hamlin seems to have put last week's temper tantrum behind him. Under the username 'james hamlin', he posted this video on YouTube a couple of days ago. Taken by his girlfriend, it shows Denny lip-syncing to Taylor Swift:

As Garrett has mentioned in the NASCAR News thread, Tony Stewart is back this week, and has been declared eligible for The Chase if he gets a win in the next couple of races. So far his pace has been fairly consistent with 10th in first practice and 12th in qualifying.

Here's the full lineup:

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Brad Keselowski

3. Kyle Larson

4. Ryan Newman

5. Matt Kenseth

6. Martin Truex Jr

7. Aric Almirola

8. Kyle Busch

9. Jeff Gordon

10. Kasey Kahne

11. Carl Edwards

12. Tony Stewart

13. Austin Dillon

14. Joey Logano

15. Jamie McMurray

16. Jimmie Johnson

17. Denny Hamlin

18. Greg Biffle

19. Brian Vickers

20. Dale Earnhardt Jr

21. Clint Bowyer

22. Kurt Busch

23. AJ Allmendinger

24. Casey Mears

25. Michael Annett

26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

27. Danica Patrick

28. Mike Bliss

29. Ty Dillon

30. Alex Bowman

31. Justin Allgaier

32. Marcos Ambrose

33. Paul Menard

34. Joe Nemechek

35. Brett Moffitt

36. Josh Wise

37. David Gilliland

38. David Ragan

39. Ryan Truex

40. Cole Whitt

41. J.J. Yeley

42. Landon Cassill

43. Reed Sorenson

Michael McDowell was the only driver who failed to make the 43-car field.

The Oral-B USA 500 from the Atlanta Motor Speedway is tomorrow (Sunday) at 7:30 PM ET. It's live on ESPN.

A night race on a Sunday is really bad for me, so I doubt I'll see much of it :(.

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Labor Day means that there's no more car racing at the local dirt track near me.

There's still a local track that has a few more dirt bike races scheduled so I guess I'll check those out.

I guess I should start paying more attention to NASCAR now since everything else is winding down.

I just wish I was doing better in Garrett Duke's fantasy NASCAR league.

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I know, I know. I am slacking. I haven't forgotten, just haven't had time. Had my niece and nephew up this weekend...did watch the race, but didn't have my computer up to write the review after the race due to it being so late and have been busy ever since. I will write a review now, but don't have a lot of time so I won't be posting the final results. You can see them at www.NASCAR.com. I apologize for this being so late and all that.

Kevin Harvick led from the pole after winning in Atlanta in the Nationwide race and truth be told, this was Harvick's race to lose. He led the most laps. In fact, most of the race he was pretty much had no competition. He had a fast car.

Jeff Gordon was doing pretty good and got up to second from starting ninth when he had a tire go flat and sent him into the wall...and down two laps for most of the race. Though he had a fast car, he was racing with the leaders...just too bad he was two laps down...

With this being Tony Stewart's first race back from the incident, all eyes were on him. He was doing real good from the drop of the green flag. Passing cars and was going fast...that is until Kyle Busch got into him and caused a lot of damage to his car. He still stayed out but was in the mid twenties and wasn't going anywhere. He then had a flat tire that led him into the wall and back into the garage where his car remained.

Clint Bowyer, who is on the bubble of the Chase, had transmission problems and spent most of his time in the garage too.

Though the real excitement was at the end when Kasey Kahne (Go team Hendrick!!!!) seemed to come out of no where to challenge Kevin Harvick for the lead and finally got it with forty laps to go or so. Harvick was right at his heals though. With ten laps to go or so, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. put out the yellow flag. I am still not sure what was going on or who started it...but they were both mad. To me it looked like Truex Jr slowed down and Kyle got mad and was shoving him from behind. When Truex Jr. got to his side he kept hitting Kyle...this Hendrick fan, was not happy to see that yellow flag come out at that time...especially for that.

Well the green flag came out and Kasey had a great restart and passed Matt Kenseth to regain his lead...until Paul Menard and Kurt Busch got into Kevin Harvick and shoved Harvick into the wall...which sent the race to green-white-checkers. And guess who got on the lead lap then...JEFF GORDON. Too bad it was on the last lap, he could have gave them all a run for their money with how good of a car he had.

Anyway...Kasey Kahne, who has been plagued with bad luck all season long, went off to earn his first win of the season and got himself into the Chase. This Hendrick fan was very excited! For the third year in a row, Rick Hendrick will have all four of his drivers in the Chase. Personally, the best part of the race, was at the end after Kahne's interview when the camera was still on him when Jeff Gordon came up and congratulated him...you could hear Gordon say how proud he was of Kahne and what an awesome job he did. Then Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr came and congratulate him...all four of my Hendrick boys standing in VL congratulating each other on making the Chase.

Though, I am not a Harvick fan, I did have to feel bad for him. He had that race won. He was racing himself for the longest time and to be thrown into the wall at the end like that...just rotten. But at the same time, I did feel bad for his crew. During his post race interview...as someone on FB put it, he pretty much threw his crew under the bus with this...and it wasn't their fault. I can't remember what he said, but he did bring up his crew and his pit stops or something along the lines off it. I will give Harvick credit that Hamlin's pit stops were always faster than Harvick's which is what I am sure he was mad at, but still, if it wasn't for his crew, he wouldn't have had the car to beat all race long. He probably would have came in second, if not won the race, if it wasn't for Menard and Kurt running into him. Not his crew. But he had to be frustrated...I know I'd be if that was Gordon, Johnson, Jr, or Kahne that happened to.

As I said, I don't have time to post the final results. Kasey Kahne won the race with Matt Kenseth coming in second and securing his seat in the Chase. Johnson got a top ten finish (I wan't to say fourth...not sure though) after a couple of bad race. Gordon with his issues finished on the lead lap but was seventeenth.

This week's race will be at Richmond Saturday night...and I will warn you all right now, I doubt I will be able to watch the race. Which I really hate, becuase you all know how much I love night races. PLUS...this is the race that will determine who is in the Chase and who is not in the Chase. I think most drivers are in, with a couple of openings. So it is an important race...then again, the last time I missed a race, Gordon won. So maybe Jeff will win Saturday night. :D I don't know when I will be home long enough to write a reveiw but will do my best to do at as soon as possible. I apologize for letting you down two weeks in a row now. I guess family comes first, but still, really hate missing races...

Roger- as for my fantasy NASCAR league...you are not the only one having bad luck. LOL. After all my years and faithful support to this sport and fantasy sports, I am second to last with most of my drivers having a problem with each race. I am no longer picking Gordon! I picked him this past week after not using him before...I swear I jinx my drivers...and he went two laps down due to me. LOL.Best of luck Roger, hope you get the winner for Richmond!

Once again, I apologize for not posting this sooner. I truly didn't forget (I don't forget anything NASCAR!) but am lacking time this week...:(

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Once again, I apologize for not posting this sooner. I truly didn't forget (I don't forget anything NASCAR!) but am lacking time this week...:(

Thanks for the review, Garrett. I saw there was a green-white checker finish, but didn't know the details.

I wasn't critcizing you yesterday when I asked if anyone was doing a review, it's just that I didn't want to leave it too long if I had to write one. I only saw some of the race, and my memory would fade if I didn't write it up within a few days. As usual, your review was worth the wait, and better than anything I'd have cobbled together :).

I was frustrated with Ricky Stenhouse Jr's race this week. He missed out on the first Lucky Dog by one place, and stayed a lap or two down and just out of the Lucky Dog spot for pretty much all of the part of the race that I got to see.

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'!!

I guess it's worth mentioning that Danica Patrick finished in a career-best sixth place on Sunday. Maybe she just wanted to prove Hobie wrong :).

Here's the full finishing order:

1. Kasey Kahne

2. Matt Kenseth

3. Denny Hamlin

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Carl Edwards

6. Danica Patrick

7. Ryan Newman

8. Kyle Larson

9. Aric Almirola

10. Greg Biffle

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

12. Jamie McMurray

13. Kurt Busch

14. Joey Logano

15. Brian Vickers

16. Kyle Busch

17. Jeff Gordon

18. Paul Menard

19. Kevin Harvick

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

21. Michael Annett

22. Casey Mears

23. Martin Truex Jr.

24. Austin Dillon

25. Ty Dillon

26. Justin Allgaier

27. David Ragan

28. David Gilliland

29. Reed Sorenson

30. Cole Whitt

31. Landon Cassill

32. J.J. Yeley

33. Josh Wise

34. Brett Moffitt

35. Alex Bowman

36. Ryan Truex

37. Joe Nemechek

38. Clint Bowyer

39. Brad Keselowski

40. AJ Allmendinger

41. Tony Stewart

42. Marcos Ambrose

43. Mike Bliss

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Hoss...I figured you were just asking around, but it did make me feel a bit guilty for not doing it yet. Thanks for the super kind words. :)

Also thanks for making note on Danica's great finish. Totally forgot to say that.

And since I am here I will make note that the Nationwide Series will have a new sponsor as of January 1 and a new name. Xfinity Series.

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Well, it's nearly time for the last race where all the drivers without a win this season get a chance to make it into this year's Chase. Tonight's qualifying at Richmond was run over two sessions, with the top 12 drivers progressing to the second one.

Quite a few drivers, including Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, were still waiting to get their cars through the technical inspection when qualifying started earlier. NASCAR said the delay was caused by cars having the wrong rear camber, and that several teams had had to fix their cars and then get them retested. Consequently, some drivers missed over 10 minutes of the first (30 minute) session.

Jeff Gordon set the fastest lap in the first session after 8 mins. Despite this, he apologized to his team on the way back to the pit lane because he said he couldn't find the grip. Even after the second session he said he never hit turns one and two properly, and was only saved by good pace through turns three and four.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr went out midway through the first session and claimed third. This was reduced to fifth by the end of the session.

Jimmie Johnson made his first run after 17 minutes, and was green for about half the lap before setting the second fastest time behind Jeff Gordon.

Joey Logano didn't get his car back from inspection to the pit lane until about 20 minutes into the session, and only had just over six minutes of the session left when he finally made it onto the track. Despite the setback, he still set the third fastest time to make it through to the second session.

Danica Patrick was in 12th with a couple of minutes to go, but eventually lost out by just two hundredths of a second, and even a late run couldn't improve her time.

In the second session, all the drivers had set times by just over the halfway point, and the commentators wondered if anyone would go out in the last four minutes. In the end, about half of the drivers did make a second run, but it didn't make much difference to their starting positions.

Brad Keselowski ended up with the pole, but Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were only just behind in second and third respectively.

After his late start, Joey Logano claimed the fifth spot, and I was pleased to see Ricky Stenhouse Jr get seventh. Kurt Busch starts back in ninth.

Here's the full lineup:

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Jeff Gordon

3. Jimmie Johnson

4. Kevin Harvick

5. Joey Logano

6. Clint Bowyer

7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr

8. Kyle Larson

9. Kurt Busch

10. Carl Edwards

11. Denny Hamlin

12. Ryan Newman

13. Danica Patrick

14. Paul Menard

15. Jamie McMurray

16. Matt Kenseth

17. Greg Biffle

18. Brian Vickers

19. Tony Stewart

20. Kyle Busch

21. Kasey Kahne

22. Casey Mears

23. AJ Allmendinger

24. Dale Earnhardt Jr

25. Alex Bowman

26. Aric Almirola

27. Justin Allgaier

28. Austin Dillon

29. Martin Truex Jr

30. David Gilliland

31. David Stremme

32. Reed Sorenson

33. Marcos Ambrose

34. Landon Cassill

35. Cole Whitt

36. Josh Wise

37. Travis Kvapil

38. J.J. Yeley

39. Mike Bliss

40. Michael Annett

41. Joe Nemechek

42. David Ragan

43. Ryan Truex

I'm not sure how qualifying at the bottom of the grid works. David Ragan and Ryan Truex didn't make it through the pre-qualifying technical inspection, and didn't set a time, but will start from 42nd and 43rd, respectively. Clay Rogers set the 39th fastest time, but didn't qualify for the race.

The Federated Auto Parts 400 from the Richmond International Raceway is this Saturday night at 7:30 PM ET. It's live on ABC.

After making a couple of appearances in recent NASCAR races, Juan Pablo Montoyo returned to the Formula 1 pit lane today for the first time since leaving the sport several years ago. He was only in Monza to watch the practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, although I bet he'll be there all weekend. When asked, he said he was happy doing what he's doing, and had no plans to return to Formula 1. Monza is one of the great historic tracks still on the F1 calendar, and the long straights meant that drivers were hitting speeds of up to 215 MPH in practice today. The race starts at 8.00 AM ET on Sunday for anyone who's interested.

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I see Garrett will probably miss the race, and night races aren't good for me, so I don't know who'll do the review this week. I'll definitely watch the beginning of the race, but may not make it to the end. Unless anyone else volunteers (Lizzy?), or Garrett gets to watch the race, I'll try to do a review tomorrow.

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I'm not real good at this but I'll give it a shot.

Total of 4 cautions tonight:

The first being a competition caution, then two for debris, and then finally the fourth was for a spectator climbing the crash fence around the track (which one of the commentators said he hadn't seen in nearly 30 years). This could be because Goodyear brought a new setup to this track and it spread the field out for the most part and with a spread out field you can't really bump into anyone and cause a major wreck.

Brad Keslowski lead the most laps tonight leading all but 17 laps tonight.

Kevin Harvick lead the other 17 laps.

Jeff Gordon stayed in the top five for most of the night finishing in second.

Mostly a quiet night tonight. No big feuds tonight, no one getting angry. All in all a good race.

The biggest word for tonight was solid. Seems like everyone was racing a solid race.

Side note: after the race Jimmy Johnson climbed out of his car under his own steam but was feeling very faint and at one point was lying on his back next to his car. His crew members called medics and they took him over to the infield care center. Still awaiting word of what happened to him but the announcers speculated that it was dehydration and carbon monoxide.

Results are:

1 Brad Keselowski

2 Jeff Gordon

3 Clint Bowyer

4 Jamie McMurray

5 Kevin Harvick

6 Joey Logano

7 Kurt Busch

8 Jimmie Johnson

9 Ryan Newman

10 Aric Almirola

11 Kyle Larson

12 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

13 Brian Vickers

14 Kyle Busch

15 Tony Stewart

16 Danica Patrick

17 Kasey Kahne

18 Paul Menard

19 Greg Biffle

20 Austin Dillon

21 Denny Hamlin

22 Carl Edwards

23 AJ Allmendinger

24 Reed Sorenson

25 Martin Truex Jr.

26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

27 Marcos Ambrose

28 Justin Allgaier

29 David Gilliland

30 Cole Whitt

31 Casey Mears

32 Josh Wise

33 David Ragan

34 Landon Cassill

35 Mike Bliss

36 David Stremme

37 Michael Annett

38 Alex Bowman

39 Travis Kvapil

40 Joe Nemechek

41 Matt Kenseth

42 Ryan Truex

43 J.J. Yeley

Next race is live from Chicago at 1 pm eastern.

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Thanks, Lizzy. I did make it to the end tonight, and I did make notes in case I had to write the review, but I'm way too tired to make sense of them at the moment. I re-read your review in the morning and see I've got anything to add. I think you covered all the important stuff, and as you said, there weren't any major incidents or disputes to report.

They've just had a report on Jimmie Johnson, and it sound like he's just dehydrated, which is good news.

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Jimmie Johnson update: Jimmie spent about 90 minutes in the medical center after the race being treated for dehydration. He took five liters of intravenous fluids before being released. In an interview afterwards, Jimmie said he wasn't sure what had happened. He had not trained much this week because he had been due to take part in charity triathlon today.


Lizzy, I've just compared my notes to what you wrote in your review. Although I'd written about twice as much, and included more details, I think your version was much more concise and easy to read. If it falls to me to write another review this year, I'll definitely try to lean towards your style - thanks again :).

From my point of view, I was sad to see Ricky Stenhouse Jr slip back from his great starting place. He actually gained a position at the start, but then started losing places. I saw Greg Biffle interviewed after the race, and he said the whole team missed the right set-up last night.


Brad Keselowski's fourth win of the year at Richmond last night has put him top of the Chase grid. Here are all 16 drivers who made this year's Chase:

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Jeff Gordon

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Joey Logano

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Carl Edwards

8. Kyle Busch

9. Denny Hamlin

10. Kurt Busch

11. Kasey Kahne

12. Aric Almirola

13. AJ Allmendinger

14. Matt Kenseth

15. Greg Biffle

16. Ryan Newman

The top 14 drivers qualified by getting at least one race win, but the last two places were filled by drivers with the highest points. Ryan Newman got in quite comfortably with ninth place last night (he had to finish 18th or higher), but it was closer for Greg Biffle. Greg had to finish in 22nd or above, and scraped in with a 19th place finish, two laps down.

I've been looking over the rules for this year's Chase, and the way that drivers are eliminated after each race. I'm not convinced that a format requiring a couple of pages of explanation is a good thing, but I'll have to wait and see. I'll put together a simplified version of the rules and post it during the week.

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Well y'all...I came on a day late and see y'all beat me to it. :lol: Thanks for covering for me. I did happen to watch most of the race from the hotel room, but didn't have my lap top with me. I had my tablet, but it wouldn't connect to the internet...and it would have taken me forever to write it on my phone. LOL. Just got home. Thanks for covering for me...I just hope I will have a job next week when they go to Chicago. :wink:

I have to admit that race was the first race in a long time for a short track that didn't produce any wrecks or anger type issues. Which I am glad...though would have liked to see more of a battle for the lead and not the same guy lead the whole race. But then again, perhaps I'd feel differently if that was Gordon and not Keselowski. I will admit, I am not a Keselowski fan...but he had that race won from the beginning and was above everyone. There was talk on FB of the race being boring...but I have never heard of a race being boring. Especially when Gordon finished second. :D

Gordon said earlier in this week that Karma has a way of coming around to people or something like that...I think Clint Bowyer is finding that out after finishing third and just missing getting into the Chase. In case you forgot, Clint Bowyer purposely spun out at Richmond last fall in order to help his at the time team mate Martin Truex Jr. get into the Chase. Which caused a lot of controversy and left NASCAR trying to right his wrong by taking Truex Jr out of the Chase and putting someone else in the Chase...and pushed the twelve car Chase to thirteen in order to let Gordon in who was affected by the spin as well as a couple of other teams not playing nice. And after how Bowyer has treated Gordon in the past...wasn't too upset about it. Though I did feel bad for Clint during his interview...he was pretty down about it, but did acknowledge that his team wasn't deserving of the Chase with how he has ran this season.

And wow...I was super scared and worried to see Jimmie go down like that and not being able to stand up on his own. Kudos for his team for helping him out and helping him get the help he needed. I went to bed worried about Johnson, even though they had said they thought it was dehydration. I missed his interview as ABC went to another program and I turned it off...thanks for updating that Hoss. So glad JJ is OK...though it is sad to see all the Hendrick Chase pictures online and not have him in any of them due to being in the in care field center. But he is OK and that is the main thing.

And now we are onto the Chase...going into the new eliminating format. Starting with sixteen drivers until we are down to the final spot and four drivers going for the championship. As of now, I am not a fan of this format and have worries with what will happen or what some of the drivers will do in order to get to that final round. Or this would be the great chance to get some revenge if a driver is not in the Chase and is upset at one of the Chase contenders...I could be wrong and I hope that I am. I will watch and see and give it a chance. After all, for some reason, Todd Helton and the rest of the top of the field of NASCAR seem to have little to no interest with how I feel or what I want...

Here is a great page that shows how the Chase format looks going into the Chase and how it is broke down. The video is very informing too...plus I like any video with the drivers in it. LOL.

2014 NASCAR Chase Grid

Onto Chicagoland...

Edited by Garrett Duke
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OK, as promised, I'm going to try and explain this year's Chase rules.

There are 16 drivers in the Chase, 13 of them qualified by winning at least one race, while the other three had the highest points of the remaining drivers. Each of these 16 drivers start the Chase with 2,000 points plus three bonus points for each race win (starting points in brackets):

1. Brad Keselowski, (2,012)

2. Jeff Gordon, (2,009)

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., (2,009)

4. Jimmie Johnson, (2,009)

5. Joey Logano, (2,009)

6. Kevin Harvick, (2,006)

7. Carl Edwards, (2,006)

8. Kyle Busch, (2,003)

9. Denny Hamlin, (2,003)

10. Kurt Busch, (2,003)

11. Kasey Kahne, (2,003) Atlanta)

12. Aric Almirola, (2,003)

13. AJ Allmendinger, (2,003)

14. Matt Kenseth, (2,000)

15. Greg Biffle, (2,000)

16. Ryan Newman, (2,000)

The remaining 10 races have been split into four rounds, the first three consisting of three races each, followed by the Championship race at the Homestead Miami Speedway:

1st round ("Challenger"): Chicagoland, New Hampshire and Dover.

2nd round ("Contender"): Kansas, Charlotte and Talladega.

3rd round ("Eliminator"): Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix.

Championship: Homestead

After the first round, four of the drivers will be eliminated. Race winners automatically go on to the next round, with the other places being filled by the drivers with the highest points. Any tied positions will be decided by best finishing positions in that round. All the advancing drivers will have their points reset to 3,000 for the second round.

Another four drivers will be eliminated at the end of the second round, leaving eight drivers in the Chase. They all get their points reset to 4,000. After the third round the field will be halved, and we'll be down to four drivers who each start the Championship race with 5,000 points. There are no bonus points or points carried over from one round to the next, so drivers will start the second and third rounds, and the Championship, level on points.

Once a driver has been eliminated from the Chase, his points are converted back to the usual points system, and the highest he can finish at the end of the year is fifth.

I hope that clears things up ahead :).

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It has been a great and exciting year for Gordon....though this dang Chase has me nervous.

A note about Jimmie Johnson. I guess his cooling system wasn't working during Saturday night's race which led to his dehydration issue. He said that they tried a new one...but will now go back to the old trusted one.

Hoss ... Ricky better do good this weekend. I put him on my team this weekend's race. So in other words I am jinxing him.

Lizzy... I hope it will be the Bears game. Sorry to hear you are going to miss the race.

Edited by Garrett Duke
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