Crew Chief Club on NASCAR LIVE

It's all about NASCAR

Posts Tagged ‘Chicagoland Speedway’

Truex, team penalized for failing Chicago inspection

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 15, 2009

Right-rear quarterpanel was too high after Saturday’s race

Martin_Truex_Jr._NASCAR announced Tuesday that Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, crew chief Kevin Manion and car owner Teresa Earnhardt have been fined for rule violations during last weekend’s event at Chicagoland Speedway. Truex was penalized 25 points in the Sprint Cup Series drivers’ standings. Manion was fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Earnhardt was penalized 25 points in the Sprint Cup Series owners’ standings.

The three were penalized for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock-car racing); Section 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and Section 20-12.8.1C (right-rear quarter panel height did not meet the required specifications; too high in post-race inspection).

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Posted in Nascar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NASCAR confiscates Truex’s Sprint Cup car

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 13, 2009

Martin TruexWas Martin Truex Jr. riding too high at Chicagoland Speedway?

NASCAR is taking Truex’s No. 1 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet back to their Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., after discovering the right rear of the car was high in postrace inspection.

Truex was selected for random inspection at the conclusion of the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Truex finished 16th in Saturday night’s race.

Any penalties would be announced following further inspection, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Nascar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Johnson, Kurt Busch offer different takes on brush

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 12, 2009

Contact between two champs late in race at Chicagoland

Their haulers were located no more than 25 yards apart in the Sprint Cup Series garage.

But when they climbed out of their respective cars after tangling during Saturday night’s LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch were worlds apart in their opinions about what had just transpired between them on the 1.5-mile track.

An angry Busch thought Johnson wrecked him. A much calmer Johnson said Busch “body-slammed” him.

Objective observers of the incident on Lap 252 of the 267-lap event saw Busch, Johnson and Jeff Gordon go three-wide after Johnson had lost the race lead one lap earlier following contact he absorbed from behind by the No. 11 Toyota of Denny Hamlin. When Gordon got under Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet on the inside, with Busch riding high on the outside in his No. 2 Dodge, Johnson appeared to get loose and bump Busch unintentionally.

Busch then appeared to retaliate by deliberately turning into Johnson.

*There wasn’t any appear to it, Busch DID deliberately turn/hit Johnson!*

Asked what happened between the pair shortly after climbing out of his car, Johnson replied: “I’m not really sure. I don’t think there really was anything. We were all just racing up off of [Turn] 4. The 24 [Gordon] got inside of me and got me a little loose, and then the 2 and I touched. When we touched, he just came down and body-slammed me, (Kurt Busch) trying to get some room from me. But it was just a racing thing. The 24 got inside of me and got me sideways.”

Busch described the incident a whole lot differently.

“The 48, we got run into [by him] at Sonoma, we got run into again,” Busch said. “I’m starting to lose faith in his ability to be a three-time champion on the track. I’m disappointed. I gave him room and we got pounded into the fence.

*Two lies, first you didn’t give him room, second he didn’t pound you into the fence. Yes you got pushed into the wall but not pounded, and it was unintentional, everyone who commentated on the race saw that and said so!*

“Then we had a left-rear tire rub [as a result of the contact]. Luckily we got a yellow, got ‘er fixed, and finished 17th. A couple of runs were spoiled by the 48, but we kept digging.”

Johnson eventually recovered enough to finish eighth, but that was somewhat disappointing for him after losing the lead on the botched restart so late in the race.

“It was one of those days. I probably had this thing won at one point, and then one of those restarts didn’t work out so well for us,” Johnson said. “Everybody was out of control back there, racing and body-slamming. The 83 [Brian Vickers] and 11 went after it a little bit. We were bump-drafting down the straightaways. That was some wild racing right there. I didn’t think we could race like that on a mile-and-half [track].”

Busch was extremely upset about all the wild racing, which he blamed mostly on Johnson. He also indicated that he’s wondering if Johnson has some issues with him.

“It looked like the 48 just ran out of room. We got spun together at Sonoma and got hit here again. I’m trying to decide what’s going on with the 48. I’ve lost a little bit of respect for him. I gave him room — and he pounded us into the fence coming off Turn 4,” Busch said.

“Then we got a tire rub. Luckily we got a yellow to come in and fix it, instead of fencing it. … I mean, we were running eighth-to-12th and had an OK car. But when he had that bad restart, man, he was like a ping-pong ball just bouncing off guys.”

Johnson said he had no doubts that Busch hit him on purpose — and was making plans to do so again when he thought better of it.

“I don’t know if it cost me the win, but he certainly body-slammed me pretty hard,” Johnson said. “What’s funny is that he was coming to hit me again and he saw the 24 on the apron and I think then he realized I didn’t run him up the track on purpose.

*It most certainly DID cost Jimmie the win.*

“You know, at the end of the race everybody’s tempers are high. He’s one of those guys whose temper can get away from him. When he first hit me, I was like, ‘Man, this is racing. This isn’t necessary.’ But then he backed off.”

Of course, Busch realized nothing of the sort. He made it clear after the race that he didn’t appreciate the initial contact caused by Johnson. Asked if he deliberately gave Johnson a retaliatory shot immediately afterward, Busch replied: “I didn’t wreck him; I got wrecked.”

Busch then was ushered away by Tom Roberts, his public relations man, before he could answer any more questions. Johnson sounded like he thought the incident would be forgotten by the time the two race against each other again in two weeks at Indianapolis. The Sprint Cup Series gets a rare weekend off next weekend.

“First I have to find out if he’s mad. I kind of thought it just was a racing thing. But the fact that everybody’s asking about it makes me wonder,” Johnson said.

“We’ll see. We’ll talk at some point. The good thing is that you always end up running into each other. You end up talking at driver intros or something. It never fails. You run into somebody on the track and the next week you get put in the back of a pickup truck with ’em [for pre-race driver introductions].”

MY WORD

Kurt Busch was involved in another scuffle as usual. Jimmie Johnson after being nudged fair and square by Denny Hamlin fell back and then got loose ending up running into Kurt Busch. It was not on purpose and was just bad luck. So what does crybaby Busch do, purposely slams into Johnson risking a huge pile up just because he felt slighted. In the end he got what he deserved when his own reckless behavior caused a tire rub on his race car and he fell back to 17th, karma will get you, punk.

Then he has the nerve to claim Johnson isnt acting like a 3 time champ, give me a break. From what I can recall nearly every driver and announcer always mention Johnson’s clean racing style. It seems like Kurt Busch has a little bit of jealousy to deal with and needs to grow up and stop blaming his failures on better men!

Typical Busch tempers, tactics, game plans (wrecking others on purpose), denying what everyone saw, blaming others, and not taking responsibility. I have a news flash for you Kurt, Jimmie handles his car just fine, in fact way better than you do your own. Stop being jealous and being a little bitch. I can see where Kyle gets his attitude and everything else. Man it runs deep in your family. You’re all psychos, I’m sure your parents are oh so proud of their whiny little bitches, temper tantrum, rage roving bastard schrub boys!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Jimmie Johnson | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Logano Named New Young Gun

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 11, 2009

Joey Logano

Gillette®, the world’s leading grooming brand, today announced that it will heat things up this summer by adding recent NASCAR race winner Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, to its elite group of Gillette Young Guns Drivers which includes Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman.

Logano earned his rookie stripes from his fellow Gillette Young Guns during the filming of a new commercial to support the Gillette Optimal Shave indicator strip, which alerts consumers that it is time to change their blades when the strip color changes from blue to white. The commercial features all seven Gillette Young Guns and highlights Logano as the latest addition to the roster of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars. The ads will begin airing during the broadcast of the July 11 LifeLock.com 400 from Chicagoland Speedway.

“Joey is one of the hottest drivers in the sport and we are pleased to welcome him as the newest member of the Gillette Young Guns,” said Michelle Potorski, Associate Marketing Director, Gillette North America. “Our new commercial is about change — whether it’s reminding consumers to change their blades or adding a teenage rookie sensation to our Gillette Young Guns roster. We’re proud to have Joey join the team and look forward to watching his career take off in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”

In his first full-time year in NASCAR’s highest level of competition, Logano became the youngest driver in the sport’s history – at 19 years, 35 days – to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, taking first place at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 in Loudon, N.H. on June 28.

So far this season, Logano has recorded four top-10 finishes and currently sits atop the Rookie of the Year standings. His surging popularity landed him one of racing’s top honors when he was voted by the fans to drive in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

The 30-second commercial was created by BBDO New York and filmed in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Gillette Young Guns program, now in its sixth year, continues to be a core marketing platform for Gillette. Throughout its tenure, Gillette Young Guns drivers have combined for four NASCAR Cup Series Championships and four Daytona 500 victories, including Ryan Newman’s historic victory at the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Nascar | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Jeff Gordon: Giving an inch on last lap at Daytona and Talladega easier said than done

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 11, 2009

jeff-gordon-2009Jeff Gordon chalks up the last-lap wrecks involving leaders at the Sprint Cup Series’ two most recent restrictor-plate races to one thing: Drivers don’t think clearly when going for the win on the last lap.

“As a race-car driver, I think that that’s the one thing that separates us from the average person,” Gordon said Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway, site of Saturday night’s LifeLock.com 400. “You become so hungry for that victory in that moment and you don’t really think rationally. You don’t think, ‘Well, I’m going to put a block here and then I’m going to do it once and then if that doesn’t work, I’m just going to give it up.’”

Gordon addressed the issue of last-lap accidents after contact between frontrunners Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch last Saturday at Daytona sent Busch crashing hard and collecting several others on the final lap. The wreck started when Busch moved up to block the charging Stewart and Stewart’s car hooked the right rear quarter panel of Busch’s machine.

There was also a late wreck among leaders at Talladega in the spring when Carl Edwards’ car went airborne and into the catch fence after contact with Brad Keselowski in the trioval on the last lap.

Like at Daytona, that accident started when the leader tried to block the second-place driver’s attempt to pass while racing toward the checkered flag. The wreck at Talladega occurred close to the yellow line that drivers are not allowed to race under. The wreck at Daytona occurred well above the yellow line.

“Is the yellow-line rule a good thing? It probably is,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “We’d be driving through the grass if we weren’t doing that and that’s not a good thing either. I think that some responsibility lies upon us competitors to make some better judgment calls when it comes down to that finish.

“I mean, these are not air bags that we’re driving around there. These are fast, expensive race cars and you’ve got to think a little bit about that when you’re closing in on the finish, especially at these restrictor-plate tracks.”

Gordon just hopes the lessons of the last two restrictor-plate races will be remembered when the series returns to Talladega in the fall – but he can’t guarantee that they will.

“I know how blind and stubborn I’m going to be if I’m in that situation,” the four-time champion said. “I’m hoping that some of those other situations come into the back of my mind and help me make a little bit better choice. I’ve kind of got some things up my sleeve if I get in that position that I think might help me win the race and not be in the fence.”

Does Gordon think that others might also be able to think more clearly going forward at Daytona and Talladega?

“Oh, I’m not saying I’m going to think clearly,” he said. “I’m hoping. There’s been plenty of cases where I haven’t. We’re race-car drivers, we’re not necessarily going to be thinking clearly on the white-flag lap at Daytona and Talladega.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Nascar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Daytona crash has Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle concerned about safety

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 11, 2009

biffleDespite NASCAR’s efforts to promote safety on the track, Sprint Cup driver Greg Biffle worries that a driver could still be seriously injured if his car is hit multiple times in a crash.

Last weekend at Daytona, Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota hit the wall and was struck by several cars on the final lap before coming to rest at the finish line.

Busch walked away uninjured, but Biffle fears that not every driver might be so lucky in the future. Concerns about safety are always heightened at Daytona and Talladega – NASCAR’s two restrictor-plate tracks – because of the high speeds and close-quarters racing that can breed major accidents.

There’s also the issue of blocking, which happened last week when Busch moved up the track in an attempt to keep Tony Stewart from passing and was turned head-on into the wall.

“I can tell you one thing: You can get hurt in these cars,” Biffle said at Chicagoland Speedway, site of Saturday’s LifeLock.com 400. “It hurts when you crash at 175 miles an hour. I think there are some guys pushing that envelope thinking that somebody is going to give. They’re playing chicken. When one guy is moving over to block, you’ve got three choices: One, let up on the gas. Two, move over and let him run you up the race track, or, three, spin him out. Guys are testing that to see what the guy is going to do.

“When you can see the checkered flag from here to there, it’s tough to just roll over and play dead, but at the same time, you don’t want to get turned around on the frontstretch in front of the whole field. But you can get hurt in these cars, and it does hurt when you crash in these things.”

The last NASCAR Cup driver to be fatally injured in a crash was Dale Earnhardt, who died from injuries suffered on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Three other NASCAR drivers – Kenny Irwin (Cup), Adam Petty (what is now the Nationwide Series) and Tony Roper (Truck) died in crashes in 2000.

But since Earnhardt’s death, NASCAR has put considerable emphasis on driver safety. The most notable measures have been the addition of a HANS (Head-and-Neck Support) device that drivers are required to wear, SAFER barriers at individual tracks and NASCAR’s bulkier new model Cup car, which is widely considered safer than its predecessor.

But even with those improvements, Biffle believes drivers could still get hurt – especially in accident such as Busch’s at Daytona.

“The thing that concerns me is just the safety aspect of the cars getting slowed down enough after there’s a crash like that,” Biffle said. “He got hit multiple times. Some thought of mine was, ‘Are people slowing down or are they trying to still race to the line to get their finishing position?’ I’ve got a concern with that because he got hit by the 9 [car of Kasey Kahne] and then got hit by other cars. He got hit by a car that was behind me on the race track pretty hard, which tells me that maybe that guy wasn’t slowing down as quick as he could have been. So that’s one concern.”

Biffle says that drivers can do a better job of slowing down when they see a wreck ahead – even if it’s the last lap. This is another area where NASCAR changed its rules a few years ago to promote safety, mandating that drivers can no longer race back to the line when the caution flag waves. Of course, when it’s the last lap, drivers still might not be prone to slow down fast enough.

“When we have these wrecks at the end of the race, how quickly does the caution come out and are we racing back the line?” Biffle said. “Mark Martin and Kevin Harvick raced all the way back [to the line at Daytona in 2007] when the third-and fourth-place cars wrecked. …

“So that’s probably my biggest concern is safety – a guy getting hit two or three or four or five times. And, of course, staying out of the fence was the key this time.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Nascar | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson excited about ESPY nominations

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 11, 2009

johnson.tallHendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson is no stranger to honors and recognition, but he still gets excited about being nominated for an ESPY award.

This year, the defending three-time NASCAR Cup champion is in the running for two ESPYs – Best Male Athlete and Best Driver of 2008 – at the annual ceremony, which recognizes the top performers across all sports from the previous year.

Johnson is up against open-wheel drivers Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Lewis Hamilton and drag racer Tony Schumacher for Best Driver at the 2009 event, which will be televised at 9 p.m. EDT July 19 on ESPN.

Johnson won the award last year, beating out fellow Cup competitor Carl Edwards among others.

“We had a good battle with Carl and all that stuff,” Johnson said at Chicagoland Speedway, where he’ll compete in Saturday’s LifeLock.com 400. “[I’m] very excited about it. We will see what happens. The Driver of [the] Year, I was able to win that … last year. That is extremely special in its own right with all the great racers that were up [against] for the nomination.

“Guys that won the Indianapolis 500 and a variety of drivers from around the country and world [are nominated]. Just cool stuff. [I’m] excited about it and hope things go our way.”

Johnson is probably a longer shot to take home the Best Male Athlete Award, as his competition includes Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and National Basketball Association stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Still, Johnson is just glad to be be grouped with such accomplished athletes.

“I think it is a great honor to be a part of that,” Johnson said. “I think it says a lot for our sport in the fact that a driver from our sport is being nominated as potentially Male Athlete of the Year. I am really excited about it. I am hopeful that our fan base gets involved and is able to show their strength and power in numbers and places a lot of votes and hopefully has me as the Male Athlete of the Year.”

“I think it has been a combination of the last three seasons and what we have done [that] has kind of led to the nomination and being able to back it up last year under the tough circumstances.”

Even as Johnson enjoys reflecting on his past accomplishments, he is focused on this season – and potentially winning a record fourth straight Cup title.

With only eight races left until NASCAR’s Chase For The Sprint Cup begins, Johnson feels his team is performing well enough to make another championship run.

And his season to date – third in points with two victories – validates his outlook.

“I think we have been real consistent,” Johnson said. “There have been tracks where we had an advantage. I think at Dover, it has been a while since we won at Dover, and things worked out right there for us. Michigan we were in position to win, and that isn’t one of our best tracks. I think we are getting smarter on some tracks, but at the same time our baseline of where we start has been pretty close to the top.

“When we get things right, we can have a car that will dominate and win the race. When we have an off day, it is not all that bad. “

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Jimmie Johnson | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Johnson on Top in Friday’s First Practice

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 11, 2009

Jimmie Johnson LifeLock 400 2009 Friday's First Practice

Jimmie Johnson LifeLock 400 2009 Friday's First Practice

Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson led the way in the first of Friday’s two NASCAR Sprint Cup practices at Chicagoland Speedway, pacing the session with a lap of 177.200 mph.

Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards was second at 176.881, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin at 176.725.

Michael Waltrip Racing’s David Reutimann and Roush Fenway’s Greg Biffle rounded out the top five, as Richard Petty Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne, JGR’s Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer, Red Bull Racing’s Brian Vickers and Hendrick’s Jeff Gordon completed the top 10.

One final practice remains Friday in preparation for LifeLock.com 400, which is scheduled to begin just after 8pm EDT Saturday.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Jimmie Johnson | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No. 48 team looks for redemption at Chicagoland

Posted by Digory Kirke on July 11, 2009

Chicagoland.193They lost the ’08 race to Kyle Busch in green-white-checkered finish, now Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus are looking for redemption.

You don’t expect Jimmie Johnson to lose a race when he restarts from the top spot with two laps left, but that’s exactly what happened last year at ChicagolandSpeedway.

In a green-white-checkered finish, Kyle Busch raced to the lead to the outside of the No. 48 Chevrolet and kept Johnson winless at the 1.5-mile track. Like Joliet Jake of “The Blues Brothers” fame, Johnson will be on a mission when he returns to the speedway for Saturday night’s LifeLock.com 400.

That goes double for Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, from Rockford, Ill., who craves a win in his own backyard. Lack of a win at Chicagoland is especially frustrating given that, in seven starts at the venue, Johnson has finished second twice, third twice and fourth and sixth once each.

“We still haven’t gotten the win in Chicago, so we’ll be going after it this weekend,” Knaus said. “We always run well there — I think we’ve only finished outside the top five or so twice. But for some reason, things haven’t worked out for us yet to get to Victory Lane.

“We’re taking a good car — the one we had in Michigan [where Johnson led 146 of 200 laps at the two-mile track] when we ran out of gas. So maybe this is our year we can finally get a win near my hometown.”

Johnson is nearing several significant accomplishments this season. The only driver in the modern era (since 1971) to win at least three races per year in his first seven seasons of Cup racing, Johnson needs one victory to make it eight years in a row.

Already having notched 42 wins, the three-time defending Cup champion is two victories short of tying Bill Elliott for second place among active drivers. Johnson is 15th on the all-time win list.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Jimmie Johnson, Nascar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »