Join us for the latest Yahoo! Sports NASCAR live chat, Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET

09 Oct

Time again for another weekly live chat! Join us here at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday to talk Dega, Charlotte and oh so much more. Be here, won't you?

Tags: Dega, Join, live chat, , , , , Yahoo! Sports NASCAR live chat
No Comments Share Read More

Chase Power Rankings: Really? You want us to make sense of that Talladega mess?

08 Oct

The fourth race of the Chase is over, and that means it's time for Power Rankings! But we're doing things a little differently now that we're in the postseason. It's all-Chasers, all the time. Good job, good effort for those of you that didn't make it, but we've got bigger fish to focus on. We'll be judging who's running well, considering not just finishing position but quality of run, expected potential, and general gut feelings. As always, we hate your guy and are biased against him. Now, enjoy.

1. Brad Keselowski: All right, here's the deal. There's absolutely no way to make any kind of objective judgment about how each driver is doing based on Talladega, so we're going completely the other direction. We're using the Mafia Name Generator to transform your favorite NASCAR drivers into the world's fastest mob. Hey, it makes about as much sense as determining a race winner by who survives a 31-car pileup. Brad Keselowski? He's @Kes no more. Now he's "Slug-Like Marco Santoro," which makes like no sense in any direction. Hmmm. Clearly this isn't a flawless system.

2. Jimmie Johnson: "Valentino the Stink-Eye." Don't know about the Valentino aspect, but when Johnson lasers his eye on you, you're going to start stinking. Just like the end of Sunday's race did for most Chasers.

3. Denny Hamlin: "Tony Lottaspaghetti." Hmm. No bueno for Denny. But you know what was bueno? The way he managed to dodge most of the mess on Sunday. Of course, hiding out in Birmingham while the rest of the race happens is one way to do that.

4. Jeff Gordon: "Green Jack Ricci." That sounds more like a post-Bieber singer than a made man. Gordon, for his part, continues his amazing run of top-3 finishes, and so once he takes that mulligan he'll be in fine sha- what? No mulligan? Oh. He's screwed.

5. Clint Bowyer: "Luca the Wolf." Yes. YES. Now THAT'S a badass name. Of course, Bowyer ended up like the three little pigs, not the wolf, on Sunday. He looked like he was in line for a big jump, but, well ... no.

6. Kasey Kahne: "Angelo the Bookie." Nah. Kahne's too pretty to be a bookie. Bookies look like they blocked punts with their faces. Kahne? Not so much. He won the pole but not much else at Talladega, and the debt is coming due on his season.

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "Paolo Rubberface." Rub 'er face? But I don't even know her! OHHHHH! Junior was in the lead for awhile, which is mandatory at Talladega, but he got caught up in that whole bloodthirsty wreck and looked more than a little shellshocked afterward. Time's up.

8. Tony Stewart: "Decrepit Roberto Rossi." If there's one thing Stewart is NOT, it's decrepit. Whatever. Just curious, though: what do you think Smoke's reaction would have been if any, and I mean ANY, other driver had caused that wreck? He'd have pulled the guy's skeleton out of his skin.

9. Martin Truex Jr.: "Fat Alphonso Barrow." Aw, come on. Hell, Truex is the only Chase driver who legitimately looks like he could be IN the Mob. AND he's from New Jersey! Hmmm. Anyway, as we've discussed, Truex's window is pretty much slammed shut at this point.

10. Matt Kenseth: "'Heavy Load' Bruno." Yeah, victory when you just happen to be in the right place at the right time is indeed a heavy load to carry. Little bit too late, though, for Kenseth's Chase chances.

11. Kevin Harvick: "Tony Fatface." Hmmm. That seems like it might best apply elsewhere. You know who else ought to apply elsewhere? Anybody working on the 29 crew this season.

12. Greg Biffle:
"Twisted Oscar DiMarco." Twisted like Biffle's championship chances, amirite? Better luck next year, Greg.

All right, this didn't quite turn out as well as we'd hoped. Hey, sometimes these columns are ridearounds, too. Anyway, your turn. Oh, and by the way, my Mafia name? "Carlo Chainsaw." YEAH.

Tags: , mess, , , , sense, Talladega
No Comments Share Read More

Why does NASCAR need restrictor plates at superspeedways, anyway?

08 Oct

Sunday featured another Talladega Big One, and just like clockwork, another round of columns questioning this kind of racing, and following that, a round of emails questioning why NASCAR doesn't take the restrictor plates off its cars and let 'em run wild at Talladega and Daytona.

Simple answer is this:

That's Bobby Allison at Talladega in the 1987 Winston 500, and but for a few bolts in a catch fence, that could be a video you'd be watching about how that old-timey racing sport called NASCAR ended once and for all. Allison's car got airborne and very well could have leaped the fence and taken out an entire swath of fans. It was at that point that NASCAR decided that 200+ mph speeds were just too much for these speedways to handle, and so began installing restrictor plates in cars to slow them down.

For those not familiar: The restrictor plate is a metal plate with holes in it designed to slow the airflow into the engine thereby reducing horsepower and speed. Depending on track conditions, NASCAR can mandate larger or smaller holes, but unrestricted airflow into engines at these superspeedways hasn't happened in decades. Restrictor plates aren't necessary at NASCAR's other tracks; either the tracks are too small or the banking not as severe to allow drivers to get up to the phenomenal speeds they do at Daytona and Talladega. The concern is primarily for the crowd's safety; drivers are well-protected and have already survived wrecks that would have been unthinkably catastrophic even a few years ago. (Of course, too much power at a track unable to handle it was a contributor to the death of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon last year, though safety and equipment issues are different matters there than in NASCAR.)

Of course, the very concept of a "restrictor plate" seems to run counter to the idea of racing itself: speed without restriction. And for that reason, many fans loathe the idea of the plate. Turn 'em loose, right?

Also of note: the perpetual law of unintended consequences that constantly bedevils NASCAR. Cutting the top speed of the fastest cars brings those cars back toward the mean, which leads to the gargantuan pack racing that so many fans love. (The superspeedways even used the "return" of pack racing in promotions recently.) The problem is, when you've got 35 cars all packed into one space, and one at the front goes wrong, well ... we saw Sunday what happens then.

Complicating the pro-plate stance was a race that happened three years ago at Talladega, when Brad Keselowski clipped Carl Edwards in juuuust the right way to send Edwards airborne:

Everybody walked (or staggered) away from that one OK, right? (Although seven fans did get injured.) You can't prove a negative; you can't say that restrictor plates have kept cars on the ground all this time, particularly when circumstances clearly still exist that allow the cars to launch into the air.

But bottom line: Cutting the power to engines is the best way to keep the cars' speed down, and keeping speed down is the best way to keep the cars on the track and not in the stands. For that reason, the restrictor plate is here to stay. NASCAR would rather have a lot of angry live fans than a few he-sure-did-love-'Dega late ones.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Indianapolis Colts honor cancer-stricken coach, score big win
• Bronson Arroyo delivers Cincinnati Reds to brink of NLCS
• Why can't a juggernaut on 'D' like Jadeveon Clowney win the Heisman?
• Y! News: Dragon rocket blasts off to space station

Tags: , , , restrictor plate, restrictor plates, , Talladega, ,
No Comments Share Read More

Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives Jimmie Johnson a lift back to the garage after Talladega crash

07 Oct

Yes, sometimes even NASCAR drivers need to bum a ride from their buddies too.

After they were both involved in Sunday's final-lap 25-car pileup at Talladega, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. limped their cars across the start-finish line, Johnson officially in 17th place and Junior in 20th.

Once he was across, Johnson got out of his mangled car and needed a lift back to the garage, so he walked over (without his thumb up, unfortunately) to his Hendrick teammate's battered car and asked for a ride. Junior obliged, but as you know, Sprint Cup Series cars don't have passenger seats. So, therefore, Johnson had to settle for a windowsill ride back down pit road similar to the one that he gave their team owner Rick Hendrick after winning the All-Star race, a week after Hendrick had scored his 200th career Sprint Cup Series victory.

Tags: , , garage, Jimmie Johnson, , , Rick Hendrick, , Talladega,
No Comments Share Read More

Chase Watch: Brad Keselowski benefits from final lap melee

07 Oct

As the pack hurtled into turn three on the final lap Sunday afternoon at Talladega, a top 10 was looking out of reach for points leader Brad Keselowski, who was buried back in the pack on the inside line. And then when leader Tony Stewart made contact with Michael Waltrip, carnage ensued and chaos erupted.

The moment that Stewart spun off of Waltrip's front fender, Keselowski was the 23rd car in line. But remember, he was on the inside line; that turned out to be an extremely important detail, because it allowed Keselowski to immediately dive onto the apron of the track, where he missed most of the melee. As he was almost through, he was hit from behind by Bobby Labonte, but managed to keep the car pointed towards the start finish line.

He finished 7th.

That 16 position gain and the blows that his closest pursuers took in the final lap crash means that Keselowski leaves Talladega (unofficially) 14 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson and 23 points ahead of Denny Hamlin, a gain of nine points on Johnson and four on Hamlin.

Last year after the fourth race of the Chase, Kyle Busch was 20 points behind then-leader Carl Edwards; in eighth place. The top three were separated by four points, and eventual champion Tony Stewart was 19 points back in seventh place.

So yes, Keselowski has a significantly stronger hand than Edwards did at this time last year, and perhaps more importantly, he has five fewer drivers within a half a race than Edwards did -- Kasey Kahne is 36 points back in fourth.

Who's up? That's Jeff Gordon, who got his third straight top three finish after he turned his car on the apron and held his foot to the floor to avoid the crash ahead of him and finish second. While Gordon only made up six points on the points lead thanks to Keselowski's seventh place finish, he passed four drivers in the points standings, and is now ahead of Stewart by a point for sixth place.

Who's upside down? This one could go to a lot of drivers, but it has to be Tony Stewart, who went from potentially gaining 25 points on Keselowski and being within single digits of the top of the heap to being 46 points behind in seventh place thanks to his crazy upside down ride on the cars of Kahne, Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard. Honorable mention for the spot goes to Bowyer, who lost 15 points to Keselowski because of the crash too.

Who's out? Unfortunately for race-winner Matt Kenseth, the win didn't do him much good in the points standings; he's still 12th. But the biggest loser amidst Sunday's pileup was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is now in 11th, 51 points behind Keselowski. (A loss of 12 points from the previous week.) We'll go ahead and make this group anyone who is more than a full race's worth of points out of the lead, so Kevin Harvick, and Greg Biffle, who are both 49 points out of the lead, can go ahead and start turning out the lights too.

Tags: , , carl edwards, finish line, gain, Keselowski, , , Michael Waltrip, , pack, , Tony Stewart
No Comments Share Read More

Racin’ for bacon: Almirola hands out 600 pounds of bacon at Talladega

07 Oct

If you're like us around here, you greeted the recent rumors of an impending worldwide bacon shortage with a mixture of sadness and sheer terror. A world without bacon is not a world we want to live in, friends.

But fear not! Aric Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports are teaming with Gwaltney this weekend at Talladega to dispute such fearmongering reports.

"It's great timing to have Gwaltney on our car this week with all this talk about a bacon shortage," Almirola said. "We kind of joke about the rumors and people are calling it the 'Aporkalypse,' but it's actually a serious matter that affects farmers across the country.  It was a rough summer with the drought and we all hope that everyone recovers from it financially.  But for this race week, we're here to assure race fans that they don't have to worry about the bacon case at the grocery store being empty.  Gwaltney will be there, no matter what."

Almirola and Gwaltney put their bacon where their mouths are on Saturday by distributing 600 pounds of bacon in the garage. And it's a good thing they put that news out after the fact; "free bacon" is an incitement to riot in most parts of the South.

Almirola will start Sunday's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 in 18th position, which at Talladega means absolutely nothing. If he wins, Almirola hasn't exactly promised bacon for all, but it'll be a victory for the forces of bacon nonetheless.

Tags: Almirola, Aric Almirola, bacon, Gwaltney, , , Racin, Richard Petty Motorsports, shortage, Talladega, terror
No Comments Share Read More

Tony Stewart picks up Bass Pro Shops sponsorship for 18 races in 2013

05 Oct

Bass Pro Shops announced their partnership with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing on Thursday night and on Friday at Talladega, they revealed the terms of the sponsorship agreement that will see the company on the hood of Stewart's No. 14 car for 18 races in 2013.

Stewart said Friday that the team approached Bass Pro when it became uncertain if Office Depot would return in 2013. Bass Pro sponsored Jamie McMurray in the Earnhardt Ganassi No. 1 car for 18 races in 2012. Office Depot and SHR announced in September that the company wouldn't be returning.

"We worked on it then we went to Johnny (Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops) and knew that there might be the possibility that Office Depot might be leaving but at the same time we know that the U.S. Army had already made their decision that they were leaving. We gave him different options," Stewart said. "The one thing about Johnny is he is very loyal. We weren't trying to steal him away from anybody but we just threw it out there that if he ever decided to make a change that we had opportunities now that we really hadn't had in the past to do something. When Office Depot made their announcement then it was very clear that we had an opportunity on our car as well. That is when we went to him and we worked on it I would say all the way pretty much through Richmond until we made a decision."

Morris said that Bass Pro would continue to be involved with Austin and Ty Dillon, and that he hoped to stay associated with McMurray in some capacity.

Mobil 1, currently a co-primary sponsor on Stewart's car, will be back with the team for 11 races, leaving nine races that the team is still in need of primary sponsorship for. Unfortunately, From the Marbles won't be able to be that sponsor. We're still working on our 2013 plans.

"Well it's important that we fill it, but I've got a great partner with Gene Haas," Stewart said. "Obviously he is all in with this program. He is not going to let it not succeed. Haas Automation could fill in if we needed to, but it's our hope that we can find somebody that can carry those last nine races for us and be a good partner with Bass Pro Shops and Mobil 1 and really tie this all together and complete it. We do have Haas Automation as a safety net so to speak if we really needed it. My goal as his business partner is to not have to all back on him and have to utilize his resource that way."

NASCAR video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Call leaves baseball with a mess on its hands
• Video: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are poised to renew their rivalry
• Geno Smith becomes college football's most powerful weapon
• Y! TV video: Kate Middleton imposter

Tags: Automation, Bass Pro, Bass Pro Shops, , Mobil, , Office Depot, sponsorship, Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart, ,
No Comments Share Read More

Happy Hour: Should Dale Jr. and Chad Knaus join forces?

04 Oct

Welcome to the latest Happy Hour mailbag! You know how these work: You write us with your best rant/ joke/one-liner at or on Twitter at @jaybusbee, we respond to your messages, everyone goes away with a smile on their face.

It's Talladega week, one of my most favorite weeks of the year! I love everything about this race, from the on-track action to the infield, and even the watered-down version of Talladega we're seeing these days is better than most other tracks. If you've got a great infield story to share, spill. We want to know!

For now, your letters.

Rick Hendrick has bent over backwards to give Dale Jr. a shot at winning the title (different crew chief, garage, etc.). Do you think if he fails AGAIN, Hendrick will give him Chad Knaus?

— Becky Kemp
Bowling Green, OH

This is perilously close to one of those trolling letters that always fill my inbox — "Hey, Busbee: since Dale Jr. sucks so much, you think he ought to just go to France where he can be sucky among a bunch of other sucks?" But let's be generous today and take it at face value.

For starters, I think Rick Hendrick has to be delighted with how Junior has done so far. The guy finished second in the regular season, for heaven's sake. And while he's not exactly tearing up the Chase, nor are 39 other drivers. I'd consider this season an exceptional success, and a solid building block for the future. So, no, I don't think Hendrick will be replacing anybody on Junior's team, least of all his crew chief. I'd love to see what Knaus does with a different driver, but I've got to think it'd be one of those David Lee Roth-Eddie Van Halen situations where they're amazing together but utter garbage when they're apart.


Did football come over to NASCAR? Is there really a bounty for anyone who wrecks Danica? Sure seems like the guys can't handle her racing with them, especially if it looks like she might have a good run. I have watched many of the times she has been wrecked and yea a few she should have known better but most sure look like the boys can't man up and let her race with them!


Eh, I think we're past the whole "Oooh, Danica's a gurl HOW CAN SHE RACE WHILE SHE'S PUTTIN' ON HER MAKEUP HA HA HA" nonsense by now. The big question at this point is whether she actually can race in the first place, and the consensus still seems to be that while she has SOME talent, she's got a long way to go before she's able to hang at the highest level. Could she at some day? Sure, and she's getting every chance to prove herself. But if she fails, it's not going to be because of some grand conspiracy. Danica brings in tons of new money to NASCAR, and for that reason, she'll be around as long as she wants to be.


I've convinced myself that the racing would be better if NASCAR could find a way to get the cars to sit off the track a couple inches. Let the air underneath the car. This would lower cornering speeds and maybe just maybe get rid of the aero advantage of being out front. Just a thought.

Hobo Joe

Like most media members, I was an English major in college, so I'm not even going to pretend I have a working knowledge of aerodynamics and automotive engineering. But, yes, the virtues of clean air for drivers tend to make for the most boring races imaginable. The trick, of course, isn't technological, it's moral: just how much manipulation of the engineering should you do to force competition? Anything that frees up standards, I'm all for, because that rewards engineering genius, but then that gives us the very real possibility that somebody will figure out something that wins them ten straight races.


As talented as Kyle and Kurt Busch are, both these guys have still got some learning to do with handling interviews and questions. As we saw at Richmond, it appears whatever niceties Kyle is handing out are because he is being watched closely and "coached." As for Kurt, his comment about being back on a "quality" team doesn't give him points for appreciating all Finch went thru for him over the past few months. A big "thank you for giving me a chance, and I wish your team the best in the future" would have gone a lot further with everyone. I wonder if it sent a chill through the Furniture Row people as a clue to what they may still have to deal with?

Joyce Keith

We could psychoanalyze all afternoon about why it is that these guys seem to have so much trouble with the media, but what's indisputable is that, more often than not, they create their own problems. Kyle can't be surprised that no one wants to talk to him if he's given them gritted-teeth, just-doing-this-'cause-I-have-to interview quote-bits.

Kurt's a bit more problematic. The guy seems hell-bent on burning every bridge, often while he's still standing on it. He's a fascinating character study, but yes, you have to know exactly what you're in for when you bring him onto your team. But it sure is fun for us to watch.


I might actually be the only NASCAR fan in all of NYC. No, really. I don't think I've ever met another NASCAR fan in the whole city. The first race I ever watched was the 2001 Daytona 500. Seeing DJ urge on Mikey in the last lap totally hooked me. (When I heard later that some guy died in the last lap crash I was sad for him, but didn't get the implications or impact that would have on the sport.) I've been a Waltrip fan ever since. It's been a fun year with two wins and two in the Chase. Go 15, 55, 56!

John C
Huntington NY

I think we have a couple other NASCAR fans in NYC, but yeah, it's always funny seeing NASCAR try to edge its way into the Big Apple. They used to run the cars through the concrete canyons of Manhattan, you'll recall. Now, if that happened anywhere south of Washington, D.C., you'd have crowds losing their minds and glomming onto every driver wherever they walked. But in New York? If any of those surly Yanks even looked up from reading the latest "Headless Body in Topless Bar" story in the Post, they'd just snarl, "Hey! I'm walkin' here, country boy! Take your fancy-colored cars and get the [censored] outta my city! Go Jeter!"

Anyway, keep the faith, John.


Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I loathe road course races. If cars aren't screaming at 175-200 MPH, it's a snooze fest for me. Maybe this is why NASCAR won't use road course tracks in the Chase. They assume it's an automatic tune out for the fans who want speed. What's that famous line in Top Gun...? Oh yeah, "I feel the need... the need for speed!"

Robert B.
Mesquite, TX

Yeah, but that doesn't explain why Martinsville is in the Chase. I don't like Martinsville for the exact same reasons. To re-use my same comparison, to me it's like watching 43 cars look for a parking space at the mall at Christmas. Road courses, I get it: they can be the same way for some people. Personally, I dig 'em; seeing familiar cars shoot up over hillsides and diving into turns is a pleasant change of pace, like hockey's outdoor Winter Classic. Until we actually have a road course on an actual road, though, I won't be satisfied.

Finally, today in spam ...


Attn: Luboil Rigs International Co. Ltd is a company in the United Kingdom which is penetrating the oil and gas industry in Ghana. Oil rig operators, geologists, drillers, engineers and project managers are needed for Production, Exploration, Refining of petroleum products. The company has international projects in 27 countries. We are currently looking for strong, innovative, experienced and capable hands on board for our latest oil rig in Tarkoradi Ghana West-Africa which would commence at the end of December 2012.

"AJ! Sam! Hey, it's Roger Penske ... No, I'm not calling to offer you your old job back. But I know of a place that's looking for guys like you ... "

And on that note, we're out. Thanks to all our writers this week. You want in? Fire up the computer and hit us with whatever's on your mind, NASCAR-wise, at . You can find Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR coverage on Facebook right here, and you can follow me on Twitter at @jaybusbee and on Facebook here. Make sure to tell us where you're from. We'll make you famous!

NASCAR video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Football gods were very kind in giving us Peyton Manning-Tom Brady rivalry
• Was Pat Summitt forced out of her job at Tennessee?
• Geno Smith becomes college football's most powerful weapon
• Y! Movies: 'Vacation' cast reunites, recall laughter with more laughter

Tags: Chad Knaus, , , , Happy, , Rick Hendrick, Should Dale Jr.,
No Comments Share Read More

Want to win the Sprint Cup Series title? Better grab a top 10 at Talladega

03 Oct

Wild Card! Lottery! Unpredictable!

You've heard those words and their brothers, sisters, cousins, and long-lost relatives more often than you can probably count when it comes to describing the Talladega Chase race, and let's be honest, they're all applicable. However, there's no point in rehashing what we already know, and that basically boils down to "anything could happen."

While the races themselves at Talladega can be unpredictable, the performance of the eventual champion isn't. Only once in the eight-year history of the Chase has the eventual champion finished outside the top 10 at Talladega. That was Jimmie Johnson in 2006 — the race that saw him go spinning off the back bumper of then-teammate Brian Vickers as he went for the lead on the final lap. Here's how our three Chase champs have fared:

2004: 5th (Kurt Busch)
2005: 2nd (Tony Stewart)
2006: 24th (Jimmie Johnson)
2007: 2nd (Johnson)
2008: 9th (Johnson)
2009: 6th (Johnson)
2010: 7th (Johnson)
2011: 7th (Stewart)

After Sunday's race at Dover, Brad Keselowski said that it was then too soon to be picking favorites. But if seven of eight Talladega races are any indication, it may not be too soon to pick one late Sunday afternoon. And the guy atop the (admittedly easily skewed) average finish list is also atop the points standings:

Keselowski: In seven Talladega starts, @Kes has wins in his first one — guess what race that was! — and his last one, when he separated himself from Kyle Busch in May on the race's final lap in turns three and four. He's got an average finish of 13.0 and five top fives.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Kind of surprising that it's not Junior atop this list, isn't it? Junior has an average finish of 14.8, and his last Talladega win came in the 2004. He's led laps in 23 of his 25 Talladega starts. If he wins on Sunday, do you think NASCAR will let him say (poop) in victory lane without fear of a penalty? (Come on Junior, please do it if you win just to see what would happen.)

Tony Stewart: Smoke finished second six times before he broke through in 2008 for his only Talladega victory. And last year's Chase race is his only top 15 since then. If Stewart betters his average finish of 15.5, he's going to still be a title threat.

Kevin Harvick: Cupcake is a notch below Smoke at 15.6 and won his only Talladega race in the spring of 2010. Last year in this race, he was caught up in a crash on lap 105 and finished 32nd, effectively killing his Chase hopes.

Clint Bowyer: Bowyer is tied with Harvick in the average finish department and has won this race the last two years. A third consecutive win on Sunday could make a lot of people realize that Bowyer is a legit title threat.

Jeff Gordon: Sunday will be Jeff Gordon's 40th race at Talladega, and in his previous 39 starts he has six wins, including back-to-back wins in 2007 for an average finish of 16.8. Since those two wins, Gordon has been hampered by bad luck and has just two top 10s. How Jeff Gordon would it be if he finished first and then the top six drivers in the Chase finished second through seventh?

Johnson: Johnson hasn't finished any of the season's first three restrictor plate races, so first up on his checklist is to simply finish Sunday's race, and then he can worry about where he finishes. He finished 35th in the spring thanks to a blown engine, one of four engine failures he has in 21 Talladega starts. His average finish is 17.7

Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has three top fives in 13 Talladega starts and an average finish of 18.2 and he's finished 8th and 9th in the last two Chase races here.

Matt Kenseth: The antithesis of Johnson, Kenseth has been incredibly good at the three restrictor plate races this season, finishing first in the Daytona 500, third in the spring at Talladega and then third in July at Daytona. If he's got the same setup again, only a crash will prevent him from bettering his 18.6 average finish.

Greg Biffle: It's something about those Fords this year at plate tracks. Biffle was second to Kenseth in the 500, finished fifth in the spring here and was at the front of the pack on the last lap at Daytona in July when he was involved in a big crash. The Biff's average finish is 19.7, and he'll need to beat that significantly if he wants to have any hope of getting back in the Chase.

Kasey Kahne: Kahne's average finish is 20.8 and has three top fives and four top 10s in 17 Talladega starts. But two of those top 10s have come in the last two races.

Martin Truex Jr.: In 15 Talladega starts, Truex has nine DNFs, which leads to an average finish of 23.8. Two of those were for engine issues and seven were for crashes, including one in the spring race.

NASCAR video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Football gods were very kind in giving us Peyton Manning-Tom Brady rivalry
• Wisconsin players meet President Obama, talk hoops and get LSAT tips
• Video: Can West Virginia and Oklahoma avoid the upset?
• Y! Movies: 'A Good Day to Die Hard' first teaser trailer released

Tags: , engine, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, , , , , Talladega, Talladega Chase, Tony Stewart
No Comments Share Read More

Quicken Loans to sponsor Ryan Newman in 18 races in 2013

02 Oct

A large piece of the sponsorship puzzle at Stewart-Haas Racing for 2013 has been found.

SHR announced Tuesday that Quicken Loans was upping its commitment next year and will sponsor Ryan Newman in 18 races after being the primary sponsor for nine this season. Earlier in the year, the US Army, which has been with Newman since he arrived at Stewart-Haas and sponsored 12 races this season, announced that it wouldn't be returning in 2013. Originally a free agent at the end of the season, Newman signed a one-year deal to remain with the team for 2013.

In September, Office Depot, sponsor of defending Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart in 22 races this season, announced that it wouldn't be returning to Stewart's car in 2013. While that looks to leave a gaping hood on Stewart's car, indications are that Bass Pro Shops will replace Office Depot. Bass Pro currently serves as the primary sponsor for Jamie McMurray at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

Newman could also have a new crew next year, as his crew, including crew chief Tony Gibson, could move to the No. 10 of Danica Patrick as she runs a full Sprint Cup Series schedule. She's one driver that sponsorship isn't an issue for at Stewart-Haas; she's all set with GoDaddy for the entire season.

Tags: , , Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, , Office Depot, puzzle, Quicken, Quicken Loans, Ryan Newman, SHR, sponsorship, Stewart-Haas, Stewart-Haas Racing
No Comments Share Read More
1 2 3 4 5 27 28 Next »

Recent Posts

  • Tour Report: Ask Paul Haley II a question (PGA Tour)
    Tour Report: Ask Paul Haley II a questio...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • Chargers send K Kaeding to injured reserve – Nate Kaeding | SD
    Chargers send K Kaeding to injured reser...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • Saints ‘feel good’ about Graham’s status – Jimmy Graham | NO
    Saints ‘feel good’ about Gra...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Dallas Mavericks
    Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season ...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The Dallas Mavericks
    Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 NBA Season ...
    October 22, 2012No Comments