Rumble rumble rumble…Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. That rumble isn’t from a beautiful NASCAR stock car driving by. It’s that nasty storm that has been haunting my house for a week now. Sometimes it stops and drops 5 minutes of rain and sometimes it just keeps rolling around circling my town rumbling as it goes. Spooky is what it is. It’s in the 90’s and the heat index is over 100 degrees. Humid? You got to be a fish to breath the air. I took this week off to work on the yard and gardens. Didn’t happen.
So what of the land of Left Turns?
INDYCAR DRIVER VISITS WATKINS GLEN
Josef Newgarden visited The Glen this past Sunday and talked to the media. He expressed interest in getting into a stock car sometime if the ride was right. He likes the short track program or maybe a road course. He also said he’d love to see more racers crossing over. In this day and age drivers don’t do that much which is something he’d love if it changed. He mentioned the Memorial Day weekend double where a driver can race IndyCar in the afternoon and then NASCAR in the evening. Says he knows some high profile drivers that might be doing it next year but wouldn’t give names.
Personally, I agree with Josef. More drivers should cross over. I’d like to see a bunch of them doing the double next year. Any guesses on who? I’m thinking Ku Bu for sure. Maybe Kyle Larson because Gnassi has a team in IndyCar. Maybe Keselowski. Remember he test drove already and the Capt has a team. The suspense is killing me. Any way, those are my 3 guesses.
BRISTOL GETTING BUFFED UP
Bristol track general manager Jerry Cladwell confirmed that changes were made to the Bristol track this week. The lower racing groove was polished. A substance was added to make the tires hook up better and then a tire machine was ran over the surface.
They made these changes after consulting with NASCAR, Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski and Dale Jr. The truck series will be the first out to try the new surface during practice on August 17th. OOO-OOO-OOO can’t wait. Love me some Bristol.
TOP % LAP LEADERS AFTER 22 RACES
Truex – 990…..Ky Bu – 986…..Harvick – 829…..Edwards – 710…..Kenseth – 469
Ku Bu keeps adding to his streak of laps completed. The streak is alive and well at 5901 laps completed in 22 races. Bristol is a tough track but I have confidence in the new, improved and very focused Ku Bu.
BRYAN CLAUSON PASSES AWAY AT 27 YEARS OLD
Last Saturday night at the Belleville Nationals midget race on the Kansas half mile dirt oval, Bryan wrecked while in the lead and was hit by another car in the roll cage. He was airlifted out and passed away Sunday night with family and friends surrounding him. A family spokesman said that they were proud of Bryan as he fought hard like he raced and he helped 5 people because he was an organ donor.
Bryan got to drive in the IndyCar Series 8 times. Two of them in the Indy 500. He also raced in ARCA for Chip Gnassi Racing in a developmental program.
This week a benefit silent auction was held at the Knoxville Nationals. On the silent auction table were items like Gordon’s racing shoes, a bottle of wine from Abreu Vineyards, a helmet signed by all the drivers in the 2016 56th Annual 5-hour Energy Knoxville Nationals and a piece of sheet metal from Larson’s car.
Tony Stewart bought Bryan’s helmet for $32,000 and then handed the helmet to Bryan’s fiance Lauren. Danica Patrick helped out by working in Bryan’s merch trailer with the auction items.
GORDON WINS IN A GO-KART
Seriously. This past week was the 4th Annual Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular. It raises money for pediatric cancer research. Fans donate money for a chance to compete against Cup drivers. This year it was Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne.
The race came down to Gordon and Stewart for the win. Gordon got that W though. He said that it was amazing and he might have a blister now.
And speaking of Gordon. You can order this nifty poster when you pre-order his book. I kind of like this. It’s classy and he looks really focused. Not a Gordon fan but I know a guy who is and I’m betting he ordered his. Very nice indeed.
CONGRATULATIONS TO AUSTIN & WHITNEY
This week Austin Dillon asked his girlfriend Whitney Ward to marry him. She said yes. Whitney is an ex NFL cheerleader. Good luck you 2.
NASCAR UNHAPPY WITH OVER THE TOP VICTORY CELEBRATIONS
Last week Denny Hamlin won his first road course. He was so happy he did a celebratory burnout. In this case it was a burn down. Both his tires blew out and the car was sitting on the track which damaged the under carriage which in turn made NASCAR rather unhappy because the first place car must be inspected at the R&D Center along with sellected others. Celebratory damage hinders a proper inspection.
Steve ODonnell, NASCAR executive VP said that It’s a trend we don’t like to see.” He also said that a team is allowed to do burnouts but not to that extent. They will be looking into fixing the wording in the rules.
Now folks, why do you think he destroyed his rear end after winning the race? I would say, destroying the evidence but I may be wrong but I doubt it. His set up got him that win. Must’ve been illegal to do that much of a burnout. Just my thoughts.
WATKINS GLEN RECAP
Speaking of Hamlin. Yeah, he won at The Glen last Sunday. Lets see how he did it.
Edwards had the pole and at 2:52 pm the green flag dropped. WOO HOO!!!! We’re 3 wide in turn #1. Edwards takes the lead.
On lap 3 Gordon gets a huge dent and a hole on the left front of his car when he hits Dillon in the rear and then Dillon goes for a spin. It’s Edwards – Larson – Kenseth – Allmendinger – Stewart for your top 5.
On lap 10 Stewart goes straight at the inner loop. As per the rules he must come to a complete stop or be black flagged. He goes back to 16th now.
On lap 12 it’s a debris caution and Gordon goes in for duct tape therapy. Edwards leads them to the green flag.
Lap 22 Green Flag pit stops start with Keselowski. Johnson gets a penalty when his tire rolls away. That means Pass Thru but he stops for fuel. He’s penalized again. AND he’s caught speeding. Now it’s a Stop & Go penalty.
Lap 28 Allmendinger gets a penalty for speeding. Edwards gets one for a uncontrolled tire. Pass Thru for both. Logano is now in the lead.
Lap 34 Logano pits and DANICA IS LEADING. For real. Logano gets a speeding penalty so that means Pass Thru. Danica – Ky Bu – Bowyer – Menard – Keselowski are your top 5.
Danica leads till lap 45 when she finally pits. Ky Bu takes over the lead.
Lap 47 is a caution. DiBenedetto’s tire is rolling down pit road. Buescher and Menard both had crew members that threw pit equipment over the wall. Both get penalties. To the rear of the field. Harvick says his foot went to the floor. Look mom, no brakes.
Ku Bu leads them to the green flag with Edwards in hot pursuit. AND Logano in 3rd swipes the lead. AND we’re right back to caution because Stenhouse, Johnson, Dillon & Biffle wreck. Red Flag @ 4:14 pm.
Johnson gets a DNF, Biffle DNF, Stenhouse DNF but Dillon manages to finish minus 1 lap. Red Flag lasts 13 minutes & 9 seconds. Teams can now work on their cars.
On lap 57 Keselowski is now leading and they’re off but NOOOOOOOOOOOO….Edwards spins. Bowyer, Ragan and Kennedy wreck. Dillon is back on track without a nose on his car. Restart on lap 62 sees Keselowski still leading with Hamlin – Harvick – Ky Bu – Bayne the top 5.
Harvick has to pit for a tire issue. Keselowski & Hamlin are on fuel saving mode.
Lap 64 sees another caution. Logano with heavy damage after contact with Mears. Now everyone is on fuel saving mode.
With 15 to go it’s Keselowski – Ky Bu – Hamlin – Truex – Stewart for your top 5. A caution for Kennedy’s motor. It went poof. Allmendinger must give up a spot on the track for not maintaining pace car speed. Drops back to 8th.
All the caution laps help everyone to save fuel and with 10 to go Keselowski leads them to the green flag. Ky Bu and Keselowski are fighting hard and they both over shoot the corner and lose the lead. Hamlin pounces on the lead. BUT the caution comes right back out.
Now with 7 to go Hamlin leads them to the green flag. They’re 3 wide into turn #1 with Ky Bu up the middle. And again Ky Bu & Keselowski over shoot the turn going in too hard. Menard ran through the dirt causing a dust cloud others couldn’t see through and another wreck is on. Harvick, Ragan, Almirola, Danica, DiBennedetto and Buescher are all in it. Harvick, Ragan & DiBenedetto are done.
Red Flag. Buescher is being told by track officials he has to exit the car. He refuses. Says the car if fine. NASCAR says to crew chief that he hit the guard rail twice and has to get out.
In the garage Buescher comes back from the infield care center and wants back in the car. With 4 to go he’s back and only down a lap. Hamlin takes the green flag in the lead. It’s dawg eat dawg now. Team mates against team mates. Logano passes Keselowski for 3rd but Keselowski comes right back for his 3rd place.
It’s Hamlin – Truex – Keselowski – Logano – Ky Bu for the top 5.
With 1 to go Keselowski gets a run and runs into the back of Truex. And off he goes for the spin. At the same time Allmendinger sends Larson for a spin. That was over 4th place.
Hamlin wins and burns down the tires in celebration. Keselowski goes to Truex and tells him it’s his fault and Truex says he already knows that. Later on Keselowski sent a case of Miller Lite to Truex’s plane which was refused.
Allmendinger says he didn’t mean to wreck Larson over 4th place. Larson says it’s a shame that that team will be having to build new cars in the future. Wonder what that veiled threat means?
Hamlin gets out of the car and walks to victory lane very gingerly due to back spasms which he woke up with.
Top 15 Finishers – Hamlin – Logano – Keselowski – Menard – Stewart – Ky Bu – Truex – McMurray – Bayne – Kenseth – Ku Bu – Mears – Elliott – Gordon – Edwards
So now we have the bubble watch. As they line up now if it were the Chase today it’s as follows, Keselowski – Ky Bu – Edwards – Hamlin – Kenseth – Johnson – Harvick – Ku Bu – Logano – Truex – Stewart. All these drivers have 1 or more W’s.
Next is Newman in 12th – Elliott – Dillon – McMurray – Larson – Bayne – Kahne.
Of course Buescher won a race. He now has a Chase ticket but can only use it if he gets into the top 30 in points. He now sits in 31st and 3 points out. He’s at a huge disadvantage being in a low budget team. It remains to be seen if Roush who is the affiliate will give more support. It has to gripe him that nobody in his 3 car stable has a win yet but Buescher does with the low budget Front Row Motorsports team. So the guys above listed are crossing their fingers that Buescher can’t get into the top 30 and stay there.
Newman made it all the way to the final 4 without a win last year. Can he do it this year. It would be cool.
Elliott is right there too. He’s been having issues the last few races. Can the rookie who replaced Gordon make the Chase this year? Betting his dad Awesome Bill from Dawsonville is coaching him heavily.
Dillon drives for the same team as Newman. If he makes it this year it will be his first Chase. No W’s yet but he’s been knocking.
McMurray & Larson are 15 & 16. Also team mates and no W’s.
Bayne drives for Roush. No W’s and he’s 12 points behind Larson.
Kahne has no W’s and drives for HMS. He’s 11 points behind Larson. I refer to Kahne as a talented squirrel. He can be quite awesome but tends to wreck himself when he’s frustrated with the competition around him. Can’t drive that way if you’re racing for a championship.
So it’s 4 races till the Chase. No race this week but we’ll be back at it Next Saturday at Bristol. Then it’s Michigan, Darlington & Richmond to decide the 16 finalists.
In the mean time, stay cool, stay safe, stay hydrated
And I’m outta here…..=^!^=