Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. Kind of soggy here in my neck of the woods. Did get the hay field out back mowed. where did that kind of grass come from? I live in town. Next up? The damn weeds.
So what is happening in the land of Left Turns?
DALE JR RETIRING AT THE END OF 2017
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? For real? On Tuesday the 25th Dale Jr had a press conference in the afternoon to explain why. The 42 year old driver said he wanted to leave on his own terms and that he wasn’t leaving the sport but just finding other ways to stay involved.
Dale Jr has his own Xfinity team which he will drive at least 2 races next year. For now he wants to fulfill his commitments to his sponsors, Rick Hendrick and of course Jr Nation. He has 2 Daytona 500’s, and 2 Xfinity Series titles along with 26 W’s to his racing career. Even a record 14 years voted as most popular driver. But this year he is struggling. Coming off his concussion scare he has 3 DNF’s and sits 24th in the points. Not good.
Who is in line for the ride in 2018? Regan Smith is in the mix. He’s the super subber that has subbed for Tony Stewart, Dale Jr, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Larson. He is without a ride in Cup right now.
Carl Edwards is in retirement. I personally don’t believe he wanted to go. Denny Hamlin even said the media should go ask him if he’s happy. He said drivers are ok for a couple months but then get bored. He did leave it open that he might come back.
Alex Bowman is the test driver for HMS and ready to sub for HMS drivers at a moments notice. He drove for most of the 18 races Dale Jr was out of in the last leg of the 2016 season. Did a pretty respectable job too.
William Byron is in a Hendrick Xfinity ride right now. He’s young and quite talented. Almost won a Truck title in 2016.
Kyle Larson is even on the list. He says no way. He wants to stay at Chip Gnassi Racing. But I’m sure he’d listen if Rick Hendrick offered him a deal.
There are many other drivers that would love to get that call but there’s are the most obvious. For now, there has been no announcement. So we’ll all have to stay tuned folks.
The race lineup was set by owners points due to qualifying being rained out. So that put Larson on the pole at this half mile track. Since it rained over night NASCAR sprayed a drag racing adhesive on the bottom part of the track to make 2 good racing grooves. It worked. There was a lot of good racing and passing going on all race long. This was the best racing I’ve seen in a while.
Larson led them to the green flag at 1:11 pm and he led them all the way to the competition caution on lap 57. Ku Bu had just spun and Chris Buescher spun as a result of bunched up traffic trying to avoid Ku Bu.
Larson again brought them to the green flag. Blaney has developed a power steering issue. Not a good thing on a short track where you are turning almost the whole race. That’s a muscle builder there.
Larson easily takes the first stage win. Top 10 – Larson – Truex – Johnson – Logano – Hamlin – McMurray – Elliott – Jones – Ky Bu – Newman
Larson leads them to the green flag for stage 2 of the race. All around the track drivers are tapping the wall but keep going. Danica and Ty Dillon are just a few.
Logano is after the lead and DiBenedetto is the lap down car in the way. Larson maiontains the lead and Logano almost wrecks himself trying to get by. Now Truex tries. On lap 203 Truex finally gets the lead.
Lap 209 Ky Bu brings out a caution. He’s cut down his tire and hit the wall. Blaney is behind the wall for a new power steering pump.
Truex is leading again and then on lap 217 Dale Jr hits the wall. He’s done for the day. Truex brings them to the green and the stage win on lap 250.
Stage 2 top 10 Truex – Logano – Johnson – Harvick – McMurray – Jones – Larson – Hamlin – Bayne – Stehouse
Cassill did not pit and takes the lead but only for the caution laps. Truex makes short work of that lead on the restart. Harvick is close behind.
Keselowski is now having power steering issues. Ky Bu says something is broke in the car.
Logano gets the lead after a caution brought out by Ragan and Danica hitting the wall. Three wide doesn’t work at this track. Danica is done.
On lap 383 Ky Bu hits the wall for the last time. He was 7th when his tire went boom.
Logano still leads. But Johnson is looking. With 107 to go he steals the lead. But Logano isn’t letting go that easy. It’s now a 4 car train. Johnson, Larson, Logano and Truex in line and all fighting for that lead.
With 80 to go Jones is in the wall. Larson gets a speeding penalty on pit road which proves to be devastating to any chance of a win. Johnson leads them to the green. He holds on for win #82 of his career.
Top 15 Finishers – Johnson – Bowyer – Harvick – Kenseth – Logano – Larson – Elliott – Truex – Stenhouse – Hamlin – Bayne – A Dillon – Newman – Ty Dillon
So we have Matt Kenseth on the pole of this .75 mile D – shaped oval track. Logano will be going to the back because of a new transmission and A Dillon failed laser inspection 5 times so it’s to the back for him as well. Our top 5 in last practice were Larson – Truex – Johnson – Jones and Elliott.
HARVICK – Top 5 here last spring so I expect the same Top 10
KY BU – He’s great at the spring race here. 4 W’s & 10 Top 5’s with a 4.2 average finish. Top 10
TRUEX – On fire in fantasyland. He’s #1 in fantasy points with 5 stage wins. Top 10
HAMLIN – As always, he should but dial up your local psychic first.
LOGANO – Mr Consistency and his 300th career start today. Top 10
LARSON – He’s hot hot hot. Top 10
ELLIOTT – Another hot driver. Top 10
JOHNSON – This is a good track for him. Top 10
KENSETH – Is he finally over the slump? He has pole. Top 10
KU BU – Lots of nasty luck here of late since the D 500 win. He’ll turn it around here. Top 10
So that’s my story. Good luck to all you fantasy players and have a great day.
And I’m outta here….=^!^=