Danica Patrick wrecks herself crashing Landon Cassill

21 Oct

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Danica Patrick was frustrated with Landon Cassill. However, as she drove into turn one on Cassill's rear bumper on lap 155 of Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, she got the worse end of the accident.

Patrick entered the corner with her front fender on Cassill's rear bumper, and maintained the contact through the turn while moving him up the track. Her message was delivered, as Cassill's car went into a spin. But Patrick's did too, and when she went to straighten her car out in turn 2, she ended up sliding back up the track and slamming into the wall.

"I have just been really frustrated with the No. 83," Patrick said after getting out of her car. "He slammed into me on the front straight for no other reason than his radio communication 'She was in the way.' I've always played fair. If it's one time, I can imagine frustration. But it's been pretty consistent with him getting in to me. So at some point in time, I have to stand up for myself, or everybody's going to do it. So, the bummer is that this is my Texas car. We were having a good run, we were making the car better. And, I'm out of the race and he's not."

Her crew chief, Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli was not amused with Patrick's attempt at retaliation, telling her, according to the ESPN broadcast that "You know better than to do that."

Before crashing Cassill, Patrick was inside the top 20 and on the lead lap in her eighth Sprint Cup Series start of the season before she moves full time to the series in 2013. But because of the damange, she finished 32nd. Cassill was able to keep going. He finished 18th.

"My situation with [Cassill] is really a product of frustration," Patrick said. "He got into me on the front straight and said I was just in the way. That's really no good reason to hit me. If it's one time, I can imagine it's frustration, but it's been quite a few times with him. At some point I have to stand up for myself so this doesn't happen with other people. I chose today. The bummer about it is that my car is out, and he's still out there going, so I've got to work on how to do that."

Tags: bummer, , Cassill, , Kan., landon cassill, Landon Cassill KANSAS CITY, , , Sprint Cup Series, , ,
No Comments Share Read More

Chase Watch: Jimmie Johnson keeps pace with Brad Keselowski despite crash

21 Oct

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- After leading 44 laps in the early stages of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Jimmie Johnson found himself back in 20th place after getting caught by a caution flag immediately after making a pit stop under green from the lead. But that didn't look like too much of a mountain to climb. He had more than half of the race to make up the track position. And then he crashed.

On lap 136, Johnson's car snapped sideways on him exiting turn four. He backed into the wall, crumpling the left rear quarterpanel and rear fender of his Lowe's Chevrolet. For a moment, it looked like deja vu from last year's Charlotte race, where Johnson's crash effectively took him out of title contention.

"And everything else today -- this weekend -- was really good except for one corner and truthfully I was just trying to get inside of (Martin Truex, Jr.), he was loose in front of me, I could see his car moving around and I was trying to put some pressure on him and his car bobbled, when his car bobbled I jumped in the gas, hopeful to get an opportunity and mine took off," Johnson said.

But this was far from Charlotte, where the damage was crippling. The damage on Sunday was significant. However, it wasn't fatal, but rather a flesh wound. Johnson drove the car to his pit stall, and his pit crew immediately went to work on the car with all of the hammering and Bare Bond adhesive strips that they could muster.

"When you sit back and look at it, the vital parts were still intact where we needed them, the spoiler was still where it needed to be, the roof was dented a little bit and the rear window was buckled up a little bit, but all in all, everything was there," crew chief Chad Knaus said. "So when Ron and the guys got out there and everything secured pretty well, I felt very confident that he was going to be able to drive it."

The team made four consecutive pit stops to fix the damage, and then were given another immediate opportunity to do some more work on the car under caution when Bobby Labonte crashed just after the green flag waved. The car wasn't pretty by any means -- the left quarter panel was bowed out, and a bumper bar was sticking out of the car's sheetmetal on the rear bumper, but the quick fixes -- ones that car owner Rick Hendrick called "unbelievable" -- were effective enough to give Johnson a competitive car for the rest of the race to end up with a 9th place finish.

"1. I'm impressed that they fixed it as they did and got the spoiler and decklid back in place," Johnson said, "And then 2. and then surprised that the car was as fast as it is. It drove fine through the turn, I could tell on the straightaway that I didn't have the efficiency and I can see why with this left rear quarterpanel. It's blown out and a big parachute sticking in the wind."

At one point, thanks to the differing pit strategies in the 14 caution flag filled race, Johnson restarted fifth. While he had enough speed to stay near the front, he lost the track position when he was forced to top off for fuel a second time under caution. But because the damage wasn't incredibly detrimental, Johnson was able to drive back into the top 10, one spot behind Brad Keselowski, the man the No. 48 team is chasing.

"I thought (the 48 crew) did a hell of a job fixing that car is what I was thinking. They were coming."

And they drew even on the day, thanks to those laps Johnson led. With four races to go, the interval between the first and second place drivers is the same as it was with five races to go: seven points.

"It's huge. I really hate missing an opportunity to get points on Brad on a mile and a half. It's their strong suit and they're just good on it. Today we had a fast enough car where I thought we could get some points on them. So I'm disappointed in that, but at the same time, with all we went through, to finish, and have it be even still, is pretty rad. So we'll take it, and we'll go to Martinsville, and, hopefully for the 48, things go as we hope they will."

Who's up? Both Clint Bowyer (6th) and Kasey Kahne (4th) gained points on Keselowski. Now Bowyer is 25 points back, and Kahne is 30 points back.

Who's down? Denny Hamlin had a fast car, but like Johnson, he too pitted under green right before a caution flag while running in the top five. However, the caution flag that hurt Hamlin flew on lap 215, and he didn't have nearly enough time to get back to the front. Hamlin drove back from outside the top 20 to finish 13th, an impressive salvage, but he still lost five points to Keselowski and Johnson.

Who's out? No one put themselves in the out column this week (probably because there's already so many here), and while Truex and Tony Stewart were able to gain points, they are still more than 40 points behind with four races to go.

Tags: , , caution, caution flag, , Jimmie Johnson, , , ,
No Comments Share Read More

Brees throws 4 TDs, Saints hang on to beat Bucs (Yahoo! Sports)

21 Oct

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with backup quarterback Chase Daniel (10) after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end David Thomas against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Once Drew Brees got the New Orleans offense on track, it hardly mattered that Jonathan Vilma wasn't the solution for the Saints' leaky defense.

Tags: Brees, , , , , ,
No Comments Share Read More

Tony Stewart says he’d be ‘ecstatic’ if NASCAR came to Eldora Speedway

19 Oct

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- As NASCAR looks for new venues for the Camping World Truck Series schedule, Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway, a half-mile dirt oval in Rossburg, Ohio has been mentioned as a possible site for the 2013 Truck schedule.

On Friday, Stewart said that the possibility of the series coming to Eldora had, in fact, been brought up, and that he would be ecstatic if NASCAR came to his short track.

"But the rumor about the trucks, trust me, I would be ecstatic if we could get any NASCAR race at Eldora, that would be great," Stewart said. "But, I've talked to NASCAR, they've been looking at all kinds of tracks. You know, it's been brought up in conversation but that's about as far as it's gone right now."

A Truck Series race has never been run on a dirt track. The ARCA Series runs on dirt tracks in addition to paved tracks of all sizes and styles, and according to ARCA owners in this article by SB Nation, the transition between the two surfaces isn't all that complicated.

One race that won't be held at Eldora in 2013 for certain, however, is the Prelude to the Dream, Stewart's annual charity race that features drivers from all different racing disciplines in a late model race. Kyle Busch won the eighth Prelude earlier this year, but because of changes to the format of The Dream (the prestigious late model race that follows the Prelude), the Prelude is taking the year off.

"It takes a ton of work to put the Prelude on and we're changing our format for how we run The Dream that weekend and making it a three day weekend with that series, so we're trying to focus on that a little bit more and some changes that we think are going to be better for our late model race," Stewart said. "So we just needed to take a year off while we focus on that and make sure we don't get overloaded for that."

Tags: Camping, Camping World Truck Series schedule, Eldora Speedway, Eldora Speedway KANSAS CITY, format, Kan., , , , Prelude, Rossburg, Tony Stewart,
No Comments Share Read More

Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle are at the head of the field at Kansas

16 Oct

What impact will the new surface at Kansas Speedway have on Sunday?

That's the question that you'll hear more times than you can count over the course of this week, as Sunday's race is the first Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas since the track repaved. Gone is the consistent 15 degrees of banking throughout the track's four corners, replaced by variable banking of 17 degrees near the white line and 20 degrees near the wall.

So, we ask again, what impact will the new surface have? Since racing can be such a finicky beast, it's probably impossible to figure out the exact significance of past performance at a remodeled racetrack. You certainly can't look back to the last few races on the old surface for a reliable indicator, but can you throw out the results completely?

The result is probably somewhere in the middle. What we do know, however, is that Jimmie Johnson (surprise!) and Greg Biffle were the two best drivers at Kansas before the repave. And it wouldn't be stunning if they were two of the best drivers at Kansas after the repave. But how much of it is the driver and the car instead of the track?

Johnson: Vader has two wins and 10 top 10 finishes at Kansas Speedway for an average finish of 7.9. He won last year's fall race here and was in the thick of the Chase mix until the following week at Charlotte. He was also third in the spring.

Biffle: Biffle is just fractionally worse than Johnson at Kansas with an average finish of 8.0, and that can be traced back to his only nine top 10s in 12 starts. Biffle also has two wins at Kansas; in the near darkness in 2007, and in the fall race in 2010.

Brad Keselowski: Jetski's first Sprint Cup Series win for Roger Penske came in the 2011 spring race at Kansas, when he conserved enough fuel over the final laps to pull away from the field. Back then, it was a surprising win. Now? No, not at all, and we're surprised when Keselowski and Paul Wolfe don't make their fuel supply last longer than everyone else's. His average finish is 10.2.

Jeff Gordon: The winner of the first two races at Kansas hasn't won since, but has nine top 10s in 13 starts at the track. His average finish is 11.1, but his last two Kansas finishes have been 34th thanks to an engine failure, and 21st.

Tony Stewart: Stewart showed Keselowski how to win a fuel mileage race at Kansas in 2006, when he coasted more than a half of a lap without fuel to the win. In 2009, he won without the benefit of fuel mileage, outrunning Gordon to the finish over the race's final green flag segment. His average finish is 12.2.

Kevin Harvick: Harvick's average finish isn't too far behind Stewart's at 13.0, but he hasn't been to victory lane at Kansas. Harvick has six top 10s in 13 Kansas starts, and with the way that RCR is going this year, it wouldn't be surprising if Harvick made it seven in 14 without sniffing the lead.

Denny Hamlin: The Hamster is going for a rare sweep of two wins in the same season at the same track that really isn't the same track. He ran down and passed Martin Truex Jr. in the spring after the sun came out late at Kansas in the spring for his only win and just his third top 10 at the track. His average finish is 14.1, thanks in part to Hamlin completing all but four laps in his Kansas races.

Clint Bowyer: Saturday night's winner hasn't had the best luck at the track that's just an hour and change from his hometown of Emporia, KS. Since finishing second in his second Kansas start, Bowyer has only finished higher than 12th once. His average finish is 15.0. (Did you know that Bowyer's win at Charlotte was his first at a 1.5 mile track?)

Kasey Kahne: Kahne, who has an average finish of 16.1, has started on the pole twice at Kansas, but in those two starts, he's finished 33rd and 37th. Kasey, you may not want to lead the field to green on Sunday. He was second in this race last year for Red Bull Racing, and was 8th in the spring.

Matt Kenseth: Kind of surprising to see Kenseth so far down the list, no? His average finis is 16.9, and that's after finishes of seventh, sixth, fourth and fourth in the last four Kansas races. Four finishes of 32nd or worse will do that to you.

Martin Truex, Jr.: This would be a different paragraph if Truex would have been able to hold on in the spring. He dominated the race, leading 173 of 267 laps on his way to a second place finish. And that second place finish? That was his first notable finish at Kansas; his previous high finish was 11th, and that came in his first start at the track. Hence the average finish of 23.2.

Tags: , , , spring, surface, ,
No Comments Share Read More

RG3 on track; Skins play-calling won’t change – Robert Griffin III | WAS

11 Oct
Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan will not change his play-calling to protect Robert Griffin III, coming off a Week 5 concussion.
Tags: , , , , , Shanahan, ,
No Comments Share Read More

Redskins quarterback RG3 on track to start Sunday (Yahoo! Sports)

11 Oct

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is hit by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi (96) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) during the second half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is still on track to start Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

No Comments Share Read More

It’s no surprise that Jimmie Johnson is tops at Charlotte

10 Oct

Entering last year's Charlotte race, Jimmie Johnson trailed points leader Carl Edwards by four points. He left trailing by 35.

It was the perfect symbol for the end of Johnson's reign. He crashed at a track that he had dominated throughout his career. In his five championship seasons, the lowest Johnson had ever finished at Charlotte was 14th. That was in 2007, and after that race, he was in second, trailing teammate and points leader Jeff Gordon by 68 points — or roughly 2o points converting to the current point system.

So this current 14 point deficit to Brad Keselowski? Nah, that's nothing. (For all of his success at Charlotte, Johnson has never taken the points lead during the race. In 2006 and 2007, he's entered and left trailing, and in 2008-2010, he was the points leader both before and after.)

Johnson's average finish at Charlotte is the highest of any Chase driver at 11.8, with six wins and 14 top 10s in 22 races. Yes, it's worth noting that since his last win (the 2009 fall race) that Johnson has finished 28th or lower three times in five races. But, it's Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte. After all, the dude did win four straight races there at one time.

Here's how the other Chasers stack up:

Kasey Kahne: Kahne's won the Coca-Cola 600 earlier this season and you can make a case that he's been the series' best on intermediate tracks this season. That bodes well, as four of the final six races are at 1.5 mile tracks. In his career at Charlotte, Kahne has three wins and an average finish of 12.7.

Tony Stewart: Think of how different the storylines would be surrounding Tony Stewart this week if he would have held onto the lead for another 1/3 of a lap. Anyway, Stewart's average finish is 14.0 at Charlotte and his lone win there came in 2003. In last year's race, he had the pole and led 94 laps, finishing 8th.

Matt Kenseth: Here's the man that won last year's Charlotte Chase race and the guy that won Sunday at Talladega, and he clocks in with a 14.2 average finish. Kenseth has 14 top 10s in 26 starts, and is going to need to repeat if he wants to get out of the Chase cellar.

Denny Hamlin: Hamlin's average finish at Charlotte is a nice, round, 15.0 and he's got 7 top 10s in 14 starts. He finished second in the Coca-Cola 600, and unless he finishes behind Johnson or Keselowski, I'm sure second this time would be just fine too.

Gordon: Gordon clocks in with an average finish of 15.7 and 21 top 10s in 39 starts. His last Charlotte win came in 2007. You know what will probably happen on Saturday night? He'll finish fourth... behind Keselowski, Johnson and Hamlin, in that order.

Keselowski: His fifth place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 was Keselowski's first top 10 in six Charlotte starts, and he finished 16th in last year's Bank of America 500. As we've said before, Keselowski is NASCAR's small sample size outlier, so his average finish (16.5), is likely the least indicative of anyone else's.

Greg Biffle: Being in Roush equipment for all of his 19 starts at Charlotte, doesn't it seem that Biffle's average finish would be higher than 17.1 and he would have won a race at the track before? Biffle has 4 top fives and 7 top 10s.

Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has finished outside the top 10 in his last four Charlotte starts, and was 13th in the 600 in May. His average finish is 17.5, and his best run came in 2007's fall race at the track, where he finished second and led 79 laps.

Kevin Harvick: Harvick's only victory at Charlotte came in last year's 600, when he seized the lead on the final lap when Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas, the second of his four straight top 10 finishes at Charlotte. And he finished second and eighth in his two rookie Charlotte starts. But in the 17 races between his rookie year and the first of those top 10s, he only grabbed one top 10 finish. His average finish is 18.1.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has 11 top 10s in 26 Charlotte starts, with five top fives and no wins and an 18.8 average finish. He finished sixth in the 600, and 19th in last year's fall race. In between finishing fifth in the 2008 600 and seventh in the 2011 race, Junior's highest Charlotte finish was 22nd.

Martin Truex Jr.: Here's Other Junior, and his stats at Charlotte are slightly worse than Junior in the average finish department at 19.4. He's got two top 10s in 14 Charlotte starts and was 12th earlier in the year at the 600.

Ryan Newman: Newman has nine poles in his career at Charlotte, but the worst average finish of any Chaser at 20.1 Kind of weird, eh? Newman had the pole for both 2007 races, and promptly lost an engine in the 600 and crashed in the 500 for finishes of 39th and 28th. He was 10th in last year's Chase race here.

Tags: , , Charlotte race, , Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, , , , , Tony Stewart, ,
No Comments Share Read More

Magic try to get on track amid spate of injuries (Yahoo! Sports)

10 Oct
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- It may take until the very end of the preseason before Magic coach Jacque Vaughn gets a true glimpse of what his team will look like this season.
Tags: , , , Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, , , , spate, , true glimpse, ,
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
1 2 3 7 8 Next »

Recent Posts

  • Bulgaria first as country to host World Match Play (Reuters)
    Bulgaria first as country to host World ...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • The NBA creates a ‘Reggie Miller rule’ in order to punish shooters attempting to kick defenders
    The NBA creates a ‘Reggie Miller rule�...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • Panthers GM Hurney fired after team’s 1-5 start (Yahoo! Sports)
    Panthers GM Hurney fired after team̵...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • Report: Redskins set to re-sign Chris Cooley – Chris Cooley | WAS
    Report: Redskins set to re-sign Chris Co...
    October 22, 2012No Comments
  • 1-5 Panthers can general manager Marty Hurney – Panthers Offense | CAR
    1-5 Panthers can general manager Marty H...
    October 22, 2012No Comments