Welcome to the fourteenth edition of Katie’s Komment’s, a place to find the latest NASCAR news and my opinion on it! All comments are my views only but feel free to leave your own!
Trucks on Dirt: I have one thing to say about the Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora: MORE PLEASE! It was the first time in more than 40 years that one of NASCARs major series took to the dirt and the drivers who were part of this historic race out on a great show. There were dirt track ringers, truck series regulars, past champions and more out on the track on Wednesday night battling for the first NASCAR dirt track win since the King Richard Petty. 2011 Camping World Truck Series Champion Austin Dillon tore through the field and has a gold shovel and a trophy to show for his Victory Wednesday night. There were so many notable drivers and moments throughout the race that if I were to name them all, this article would be four pages long. If you haven’t had the chance to watch this race yet, you definitely need to. It is one you don’t want to miss!
Brickyard 400: It is one of the biggest races of the season; ranking just behind the Daytona 500. The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway marks the middle of the 2013 race season and after a weekend off from racing; teams and drivers are ready to get back out on the track. There are a few notable drivers to watch when the series comes to Indy. Jimmie Johnson, last year’s Brickyard 400 winner, has four wins at the track and four wins this season. He could easily make it five and five this weekend so keep an eye on the No.48 team. Jeff Gordon, who won the inaugural event in 1994, also has four wins at Indy, but hasn’t visited Victory Lane since 2004. Could he come back to win this season? Another driver to watch is someone who probably won’t see the front of the pack, but at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they welcome her with open arms. Danica Patrick makes her first start in the Brickyard 400 at Indy this weekend, the very place that turned her from an unknown in 2005 to motorsports biggest star. The Brickyard 400 is a historical event and one you won’t want to miss.
Who Will Make the Chase?: With just a few races left until the Chase starts, there are a number of drivers on the brink of missing out. With just 47 points separating 8th through 16th in points, one bad race could drop a driver multiple positions in the standings. Drivers like reigning champion Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Gordon sitting on the brink of missing the Chase, it’s do or die time for these drivers. With few points separating the positions, it is going to take wins to secure a spot in the Chase. Currently, Biffle, Keselowski and Kahne round out your top 10 in points with Martin Truex Jr. and Stewart holding the coveted Wild Card spots but with one bad race, that could all change. So who will make it in and who will be looking in from outside? Stay tuned to find out.
That will be it for the fourteenth edition of Katie’s Komments and remember, if you don’t like mine, feel free to leave your own!
Welcome to the thirteenth edition of Katie’s Komments, a place to find the latest NASCAR news and my opinion on it! All comments are my views only but feel free to leave your own!
Jimmie Johnson: Johnson and the Lowe’s No.48 team have just accomplished something that hasn’t been done in over 30 years; they swept Daytona. Johnson kicked off the 2013 season with a victory in the Great American Race and Saturday night then he took home his fourth win this season with the Coke Zero 400. The last driver to sweep Daytona was Bobby Allison back in 1982; 31 years later, Johnson does the same. It was pretty obvious Saturday night that there are a lot of NASCAR fans who despise Johnson and him dominating and ultimately running away with both Daytona wins didn’t help his cause. This latest history-making feat only builds on the fact that Jimmie Johnson will go down in history as one of the best drivers in NASCAR history, right alongside the likes of Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and more. Can he win his sixth Championship this season? It is looking pretty good so far.
Will The Make It? With eight races left until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship starts, there are a number of drivers outside of the top-10 who just might not make it in. The one driver who is more than likely NOT going to make the Chase is Denny Hamlin. He needs at least two wins and most importantly, needs to get into the top-20 in points with just 8 races left. Looking at how his season has gone so far, the chances of that happening are very slim: he currently sits 26th in points. Another big name that is on the verge of missing the Chase is Kasey Kahne. He sits 12th in points with one win that came early in the season. He is holding on to the second wild card spot but only by the slightest margin. Reigning Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski has dropped out of the top-10 and with no wins this season, his Chase chances are getting smaller and smaller. He sits 13th in points and needs at least one win and a few top-5 finishes in the next eight races to make it into the Chase to defend his title. Another driver who is seeing his Chase hopes slipping away is Jeff Gordon. He raced his way into the Chase in 2012 at the last possible moment and this season, he might have to do it again. He is sitting 14th in points with no wins. The Chase is closing in and the big question is, who will make it, and will be left looking in from afar?
Kurt Busch on the Rise: With his new team in the No.78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, Kurt Busch has secured himself a spot in the Chase; for now. With his sixth-place finish in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400, the elder Busch Brother as slid in to the 9th spot in the standings. He has been running consistently this season and has missed out on a few wins but I wouldn’t count him out. Based in Denver, Colorado, Furniture Row Racing is the only full-time organization not based in NASCAR’s epicenter. With 4 top-5s and 8 top-10s, Kurt Busch could easily stay in the top-10 in points and could make a run for the Championship. Keep an eye on him these next eight races; I don’t think a win is out of the question for Kurt Busch.
That will be it for the thirteenth edition of Katie’s Komments and remember, if you don’t like mine, feel free to leave your own!
After rain postponed what would be a Saturday night race to a Sunday afternoon showdown against potential rain. All of the team’s set-ups and strategies were washed away with the rubber on the track when news hit that the Quaker State 400 would no longer be run under the lights and when the green flag flew, teams really didn’t know what they had on the track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr led the field to green on Sunday but that was about all that happened for the No.88 at the start of the race. Carl Edwards, starting beside Earnhardt Jr, nabbed the lead and took off in front of the field. Flipping through drivers’ radio feeds, one thing was abundantly clear; the cars were LOOSE and in need of adjustments.
Nothing notable really happened in the first 30 laps of the race leading up to the competition caution. Teams made many changes and adjustments on pit road and on the restart; Earnhardt Jr takes the lead followed by Johnson, Montoya, Edwards and Hamlin. Shortly after the green, Hamlin slides up the track with a flat tire and as he makes it onto pit road, the tire casing comes off and rolls onto the track, in the paths of Earnhardt and Johnson who both receive damage.
Neither team decides the damage is bad enough to hit pit road so Earnhardt leads the field to green again for a short stint before Kyle Busch gets turned, bringing out another caution. Busch keeps it off the wall and his fellow competitors keep their cars away from his.
Lap 48 saw the biggest excitement of all when Kurt Busch took to the apron and came back up behind Brad Keselowski, causing him to spin. Keselowski took Greg Biffle, Dave Blaney and others out with him, leaving Biffle and himself with the worst damage. Clean up from the wreck caused NASCAR to stop cars on the track for 18 minutes followed by multiple caution laps. When the race restarted, Johnson leads the field to green followed by Kenseth, Edwards, Gordon and Harvick.
After the wreck on lap 48, the race was pretty uneventful as far as wrecks go. With a few cautions for debris on the track, and many green flag pit stops, Johnson continued to lead the field with as much as a seven second gap over second place for a majority of the race.
Halfway through the race, Tony Stewart starts dropping after running in the top-15 to top-10 all afternoon. Radio chatter sounds like he has a tire going down but he never hits pit road and rides around the track in 25th, the last car on the lead lap. He would eventually go on to finish 20th.
About two-thirds through the race, Hamlin blows a tire yet again but this time, he slams into the wall. He is able to nurse the car back to the garage but he is taken to the infield care center where he stays for an alarmingly large amount of time, leading reporters and fans to think that he was injured. Thankfully, Denny emerges from the care center upright and alert and will be testing at Indianapolis early this week.
Back under green, Johnson loses the lead to Edwards but not for long. Johnson blazes past and that is the last you see of him, or is it? With less than 100 laps left in the race, the No2 and No16 cars are back on track after their lap 48 incident. The No2 of Brad Keselowski is missing his rear end but is lightning fast on the track, keeping lap times consistent with the leaders. The No16 of Greg Biffle caught on fire after colliding with the No2 and his team put a brand new front on the car and got him back out on the track and up to pace.
With 50 laps to go and after falling a lap down with an untimely green flag stop before a caution flag, Gordon is back up to the top-10 and gaining positions. Your top-5 are Johnson, Logano, Bowyer, Kenseth, Vickers, Kyle Busch, McMurray, Edwards, Kahne and Gordon.
There are around 30 laps left and the tenth caution of the day comes out when Brian Vickers slaps the wall after blowing a tire. With rain and weather no longer an issue, the teams have changed focus to fuel and tire strategy as the last round of pit stops start.
As the green flag flies yet again, Kenseth leads the field with Johnson beside him, but the green doesn’t last long as Johnson loses control and starts to spin, somehow keeping it off of the wall bringing out caution flag 11. Johnson restarts P22 but quickly tears through the field and with ten laps to go he has cracked into the top-10.
Checkered flag flies and Matt Kenseth becomes the first driver to reach four wins this season. One notable finish is the guy who finished in the runner-up position, Jamie McMurray. McMurray scored his first top-5 finish of the season and to him and his team, that was as good as a win.
Top-10 at the checkered was: