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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:10 am
 


Gunnair wrote:
NASCAR could use more road courses, short tracks, and super speedways and less 1.5 mile ovals.



R=UP


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:26 pm
 


Quote:
By Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM
September 09, 2011 5:15 PM, EDT

RICHMOND, Va. -- One thing's for certain this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. If A.J. Allmendinger wins Saturday night's Wonderful Pistachios 400, he'll no longer be able to wander incognito through the Cup Series garage.

"I feel like over the last six weeks we have been getting stronger and kind of flying under the radar," Allmendinger said before Friday's two practice sessions. "Our last four finishes have been eighth, 10th, 11th and 12th. We have been right there. As a race team I feel like we are getting better."

A.J. Allmendinger needs a win and movement up the points to nab the tie-breaker. He is 11 points behind Denny Hamlin, who currently holds the last wild-card spot.
Complete clinch scenarios
Allmendinger, who comes into Richmond 13th in the Sprint Cup standings and smack in the middle of a complex Chase for the Sprint Cup wild-card qualifying format, already has proven he can contend here.

In his past two Richmond starts, he's finished eighth in this event a year ago and seventh this past May. Those finishes mark his consistent improvement on the fast, .75-mile oval since he made his debut in the spring of 2007.

But in the confusing scenario, the bottom line is simple: Allmendinger has to record his first career win Saturday night to score the coveted spot in the Chase.

Ironically, Allmendinger's Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Marcos Ambrose, scored his first career victory four races ago at Watkins Glen, and if Ambrose wins Saturday night he'll get the Chase spot (assuming that victory vaults him into the top 20 in points; he's currently in 21st, seven points behind No. 20 Paul Menard).

"Yeah, it is pretty simple -- we have to win and get a little bit of help," Allmendinger said. "We don't have to worry about everyone else and where they're at, points-wise, until you cross the finish line -- and unless we win it doesn't matter.

"I [wish] we had about three or four more races before the Chase started because I feel like we are starting to get there and be a contending race team. It is pretty simple. We go out there and try to win the race and let the cards fall where they may fall."

Allmendinger took a critical first step in Friday's opening practice, when he had the fifth-best lap behind red-hot Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer, who's as badly in need of a win as is Allmendinger.

In Happy Hour, Allmendinger appeared to be right where he wanted to be in race trim. Even though he was 21st on the time sheet in the session led by Carl Edwards, Allmendinger's average lap time was third-best, behind Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick.

That indicates the progress Allmendinger feels his RPM team's making.

"I felt like at the beginning of the year we weren't too bad and then we kind of hit a lull in the middle of the season -- when we were off, we were really off [and] had a couple of races where we finished like 25th and 27th or something like that," Allmendinger said. "I felt like our consistency wasn't where it needed to be and we struggled with that."

That resulted in a crew chief change, after Greg Erwin was taken out of the chief mechanic's role at Biffle's Roush Fenway Racing squad. Erwin joined Allmendinger's crew before the Brickyard 400, and after a two-race break-in period the string Allmendinger cited began.

"I feel like the addition of Greg Erwin over the last six weeks we've been stronger," Allmendinger said. "We're progressing better than we had been and I feel that as we keep getting stronger we are a seventh-, eighth- to 13th-place race team right now."

Allmendinger praised former crew chief Mike Shiplett for his organizational and car-preparation skills. But he said Erwin's race-winning, championship-contending experience was needed more.

"We are one of the race cars with the most laps every practice session now, which is good for me because I am still learning out there," Allmendinger said. "During the races, the way [Erwin] calls the races -- he knows when to maybe take a big swing at it and when not to take a big swing at it -- whether I want to or not.

"Overall I think it is just the experience he has brought and his mentality has been good for the race team and for me. I think the organization, especially on the 43 side of it -- they were really close to Mike so I was nervous how they would take to the change. But everyone has been really good of fitting in with the change and moving forward with the race team."


Allmendinger was so pleased with his car's balance, he has no qualms about racing at night after practicing only in daylight. His Practice 1 speed puts him in a favorable qualifying draw (he'll be the 42nd of 46 cars to take his laps).



"I really am satisfied with where our car is," Allmendinger said. "The Best Buy Ford's been quick -- obviously we started in qualifying trim and it's usually important to go fairly late here, when it gets cooler during qualifying. The car was dialed in from the start."


But it was race trim that pleases him the most.


"We've been working on race trim and it's been close," Allmendinger said. "Obviously the track changes a lot as we go into the nighttime but it's been really balanced all day -- we've made changes and done stuff, and the car's been fast no matter what we do.

"The way I always look at it, if you've got a good, balanced race car during the day and it's pretty quick, there's no reason you shouldn't go as quick, during the night, as everybody else. But it's been really fast and a lot of the credit goes to the guys back at the shop, building great race cars and to Greg and the guys here at the race track making good adjustments."


And that puts Allmendinger on the cusp of something potentially great, in his fifth full-time season in stock cars after leaving a successful Indy car career.

"Hopefully, as we keep getting stronger -- whether we make the Chase or not -- we can take the last 10 races and contend inside the top 10 on a consistent basis."



But Allmendinger isn't about to concede anything just yet.



"We're always working [on the car] and I wouldn't every say you're comfortable knowing where you are," Allmendinger said. "The way I look at it, I can see people with nervous faces about the Chase; but nobody expected us to be here so there's probably more pressure on a guy like Bowyer or Biffle that are supposed to be in the Chase.


"So we're just gonna have fun with it. If we've got a chance to win this thing we're gonna go do it."

If he doesn't achieve it at Richmond, Allmendinger said he has some other bright spots on the near horizon.

"There are races coming up, like Loudon and Dover; that we've been really good at and maybe [can] get a win," Allmendinger said. "We're getting there but I wish we had a few more races before the Chase starts.

"The Chase doesn't define our season. If we don't make it, we can take those last 10 races and have a chance to run up front every weekend. If we get to Homestead and are a lot better than where we were last season, I'll be happy with that."


As much as I'd like to see his first win tonight - I don't think so. He needs a lot more consistency first.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:47 pm
 


sandorski wrote:
DanSC wrote:
Before everyone goes "Haha NASCAR drivers can't turn right"



And if a top-3 list was being made, you would have to consider Michel Schumacher,
Sébastien Loeb, and maybe Jackie Stewart.


If Nascar was mostly that type of Track, I'd probably watch it.

I lived so close to that track you could hear the whole race. 8O


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:57 pm
 


He's a good guy. He married a classmate of mine from high school. His wife is Canadian :)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:16 pm
 


OnTheIce wrote:
He's a good guy. He married a classmate of mine from high school. His wife is Canadian :)


Cool. I like him.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:51 am
 


Quote:

RICHMOND, Va. -- On a wild night in which the record for cautions in a race at Richmond International Raceway was tied during the Wonderful Pistachios 400, no feud produced more sparks or had more possible long-range implications than the one between drivers Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.

“You could just see the payback coming from the five-time chump. ... Cars have been racing; cars have been wrecked. We have a Chase to start, so let's forgive.”

-- KURT BUSCH


“Unfortunately, we have had a history over the years. We spoke a few minutes up on the stage, and I certainly hope it's behind us. ”

-- JIMMIE JOHNSON

The problems between Busch and Johnson erupted on Lap 185 when Busch admittedly got into Johnson and spun him in Turn 2 of the 0.75-mile track.

"We had 398 other laps with the way we raced each other [clean]," Busch said. "I got into [Turn 1] hot, locked up my brakes and slid into him. And then you could just see the payback coming from the five-time chump.

"So this is where we stand. Cars have been racing; cars have been wrecked. We have a Chase to start, so let's forgive."

Johnson was not ready to forgive right away. On Lap 246, he hit Busch from behind and spun both cars out. Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet hit the wall and headed to the garage, and he later candidly admitted he deliberately spun Busch's No. 22 Dodge in retaliation.

"Going into Turn 1 [earlier], he spun me out. I just repaid the favor," Johnson said.

This wasn't the first time the two have feuded. They exchanged heated words after banging into each other during the final lap of a race at Pocono on Aug. 7, and have tangled with each other at other tracks in the past.

"I worked very hard not to have contact with him. And I didn't have any contact with him at Pocono," Johnson contended. "I passed him twice before [the first incident Saturday], and then he got into me in [Turn] 1 and spun me around. So it is what it is."

Told that Busch referred to him as a "five-time chump," Johnson shook his head and replied: "He can keep talking. He can keep running that mouth. He can't help but run his mouth."

Johnson was asked if either he or Busch could win the upcoming Chase if they continue to have issues on the track.

"It's not a concern," Johnson said. "If he would stop running into my race car, it would be really easy. I mean, very easy.

"I didn't hit him at Pocono. I didn't hit him [first on Saturday] night. We raced last week in and around each other at Atlanta and we drove right on by one another. He passed me and I passed him, and everything was cool. So if he can stay away from my race car, we won't have a problem."

Asked the same question moments earlier, Busch declined comment.

"How did I see you were going to come with that? We're done," Busch said.

Later, in a group interview, Busch was asked again by another reporter if he and Johnson "can leave it alone for the next 10 weeks."

"For 398 laps we had a solid car, and on one of those [other] laps I got into Turn 1 too hot and got into the 48," he said. "The other lap was when the 48 retaliated and spun us around. If you guys can really figure it out, you can figure out what to write.

"But to me, when guys are out there racing, we're racing. That's what we're supposed to be writing about."

Johnson was asked if fans could expect to see a raised level of payback during the upcoming Chase, based on the incidents that took place at RIR and in other races in recent weeks involving a number of drivers.

"I think that we've seen it from the start of the season, and even last year and in other times," Johnson said. "When someone feels wronged, a lot of times people are going to take that opportunity to get even and settle it, then go on with it.

"So it seems to be turning out that way, absolutely. I can remember an instance at Homestead last year. I can remember stuff at a lot of different places, a lot of things going on. The boys have at it; certain things are in effect."

Johnson added that he and Busch spoke briefly on the stage where all 12 participants in the 2011 Chase gathered for photographs after Saturday's race, during which Busch rallied to finish fifth.

"The bottom line is we can race out there without running into each other," said Johnson, who finished 38 laps down in 31st. "Unfortunately, we have had a history over the years. We spoke a few minutes up on the stage, and I certainly hope it's behind us. I have no intentions to run people over."


Would have been better payback had Johnson not wrecked himself when tapping Busch. He came out for the worse.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:42 am
 


Both the Busch brothers are great at shooting their mouth off from a distance but when challenged face to face reveal what total pussies they are. Good drivers, but whiny little bitches.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:54 am
 


2Cdo wrote:
Both the Busch brothers are great at shooting their mouth off from a distance but when challenged face to face reveal what total pussies they are. Good drivers, but whiny little bitches.


Jimmie Spencer punching Kurt in the face was the highlight of his career. Now he's a whiny commentator, no better than the Buschs.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:29 am
 


Quote:
Mike Helton told the Associated Press Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway that NASCAR has been able to find "nothing conclusive" in its investigation into the circumstances surrounding a late caution caused by driver Paul Menard's single-car spin last Saturday night at Richmond.

Driver Jeff Gordon, who had been leading the race at the time, said something seemed "a little fishy" about Menard's team radio communications just before the spin, making him wonder if perhaps Menard did it on purpose to deliberately bring out the caution in an effort to let his Richard Childress Racing teammate, Kevin Harvick, win the race. Harvick did end up beating Gordon off pit road during the subsequent caution and went on to win the race. Gordon finished third.

Helton, NASCAR's president, said Friday that the governing body would be looking into the incident, but that more information needed to be gathered. His comment to AP on Saturday left Menard believing the matter is now closed.

Menard, Childress and crew chief Slugger Labbe had all vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

"If they had something, I would have loved to have seen it," Menard said. "I talked to David Hoots [managing event director of NASCAR] before [Sprint Cup qualifying Saturday], but we didn't even talk about that. We just talked about racing. So if they said that, I'm just glad it's behind us and we're moving forward."

Later NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp added: "So far everything that we've been able to look at and listen to regarding the situation leads us to believe that there was nothing inappropriate done on the part of the No. 27 car [driven by Menard] in the Richmond race last Saturday."



Drivers have done this before. Earnhardt Jr was caught doing this, and I remember seeing Robby Gordon tossing out foam from his role cage to get a caution.

That being said, Menard's car was trash and he was having a shitty night.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:32 am
 


Quote:
Though no championship points are awarded for qualifying, Matt Kenseth got a leg up on his competition in the Chase in Saturday's time trials at Chicagoland Speedway.

Kenseth also took the first step toward doing something no Ford driver has ever done -- win a Cup race at the 1.5-mile track. Kenseth toured the track at 183.243 mph (29.469 seconds) to edge Paul Menard (183.125 mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday's Geico 400, the opening race in the Chase.

The Coors Light pole award was Kenseth's second of the season and the sixth of his career.

Though Chicagoland is a speedway with wide, sweeping corners, Kenseth said track position is more important here than one might expect.


"The track is really wide, so there's a lot of grooves to pass out there, but I still think [track position] is going to be important," Kenseth said. "There were a few times in practice yesterday when I ran up on some cars, and it was more difficult to get around them than I expected.


"I think starting up front is nice, having a good pit stall. Hopefully, you can get a good start and get a bonus point [for leading a lap] and try to keep up with the track a little better. We've been qualifying a lot better, if you throw Richmond out, but we've been slipping a little at the end of the race. I'm really happy to be on the pole, but it's just a starting position, and we've got to work really hard on the race, keeping up with our adjustments and that type of thing."


Chase drivers completed the top five with Kurt Busch qualifying third at 183.032 mph, followed by Ryan Newman (183.007 mph) and Carl Edwards (182.914 mph), Kenseth's teammate at Roush Fenway Racing.


Kurt Busch can thank a few last-minute changes by crew chief Steve Addington and a strong drive for his second-row starting spot.


"It was a great qualifying effort for us," said Busch, who won the first Cup championship contested under the Chase format in 2004. "We feel like getting off to a strong start in the Chase is important, and it starts with qualifying.


"Thanks to my guys and most importantly, Steve Addington. He made a couple of quick adjustments while the car was on the grid for qualifying this afternoon."


Other Chase drivers and their starting positions are Brad Keselowski (sixth), Kyle Busch (ninth), five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson (12th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (19th), Jeff Gordon (23rd), Tony Stewart (26th), Denny Hamlin (27th) and Kevin Harvick (30th).


Travis Kvapil, David Starr, Stephen Leicht and Mike Skinner failed to qualify for the 43-car field.



First race of the Chase. Chicagoland is one of those 1.5 mile cookie cutter tracks that can often have a dull race. We'll see how it works out this time around.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:47 am
 


rain.... :|


picking Smoke for the win !


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:49 am
 


martin14 wrote:
rain.... :|


picking Smoke for the win !


Crap. I'll go with Gordon.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:49 pm
 


Race on Monday......


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:10 am
 


You must admit though that the discussion between Menard and his crew chief was more than a little suspicious. 8O


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:01 am
 


2Cdo wrote:
You must admit though that the discussion between Menard and his crew chief was more than a little suspicious. 8O



Yeah, and all the other drivers going on about doing

'anything' to win, especially now.


OK, so it happens, big surprise.


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