Daytona

Matt Kenseth: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Tue, 2013-02-19 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Joe Gibbs
Team Name: 
Joe Gibbs Racing
Manufacturer: 
Toyota
Sponsor: 
Dollar General/Home Depot
Driver Rank: 
7
Car Number: 
20
Crew Chief: 
Jason Ratcliff

2013 Spin
Matt Kenseth isn’t apprehensive about his surprising decision to leave Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing this season. Things just weren’t coming together when Kenseth, fresh off his 2012 Daytona 500 win, tried to re-sign with the team. Sponsorship for 2013 wasn’t streaming in, and commitments weren’t set in stone. And maybe most important, the offer of a full-time ride with solid long-term backing to drive the powerful Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota looked awfully appealing.

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NASCAR Tracks: 
NASCAR Drivers: 
Driver Name: 
Matt Kenseth
Previews, predictions and stats for Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 team

Tony Stewart: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Tue, 2013-02-19 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Tony Stewart/Gene Haas
Team Name: 
Stewart-Haas Racing
Manufacturer: 
Chevrolet
Sponsor: 
Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
Driver Rank: 
8
Car Number: 
14
Crew Chief: 
Steve Addington

2013 Spin
In 14 seasons in NASCAR’s elite division, Tony Stewart has earned a few adjectives: brilliant, talented, hotheaded, difficult. But perhaps the one descriptor that has dogged him the most is “streaky.”

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NASCAR Tracks: 
NASCAR Drivers: 
Driver Name: 
Tony Stewart
Previews, predictions and stats for Tony Stewart and the No. 14 team

Jeff Gordon: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Tue, 2013-02-19 00:50
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Rick Hendrick
Team Name: 
Hendrick Motorsports
Manufacturer: 
Chevrolet
Sponsor: 
AARP "Drive to End Hunger"/Axalta/Pepsi
Driver Rank: 
9
Car Number: 
24
Crew Chief: 
Alan Gustafson

2013 Spin

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NASCAR Tracks: 
NASCAR Drivers: 
Driver Name: 
Jeff Gordon
Previews, predictions and stats for Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 team

Carl Edwards: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Tue, 2013-02-19 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Jack Roush
Team Name: 
Roush Fenway Racing
Manufacturer: 
Ford
Sponsor: 
Fastenal/Subway/Kellogg's/Aflac/UP
Driver Rank: 
10
Car Number: 
99
Crew Chief: 
Jimmy Fennig

The last crew chief to win a Sprint Cup championship for the Blue Oval brigade is now the next best hope to rejuvenate Carl Edwards’ title efforts. Jimmy Fennig’s assignment (or acceptance, or demand — however the story really goes) is by far the biggest offseason move among Roush Fenway Racing teams, both for its potential for wild success and lurking combustibility.

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NASCAR Tracks: 
NASCAR Drivers: 
Driver Name: 
Carl Edwards
Previews, predictions and stats for Carl Edwards and the No. 99 team

Danica, Stenhouse and an Evolving NASCAR Narrative

New storylines will emerge at Speedweeks in Daytona
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<p> New storylines will emerge at Speedweeks in Daytona.</p>

It’s been a unique start to Speedweeks in Daytona for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Though technically, I guess most starts are unique. This one, however, has taken a new (if not predictable) turn since Danica Patrick went public concerning her relationship with fellow Rookie of the Year candidate Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to re-hash, quote-for-quote, the events of the week.

Greg Biffle: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Mon, 2013-02-18 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Jack Roush
Team Name: 
Roush Fenway Racing
Manufacturer: 
Ford
Sponsor: 
3M
Driver Rank: 
11
Car Number: 
16
Crew Chief: 
Matt Puccia
Recap: 
<p> <strong>2012 Recap</strong><br /> Greg Biffle, now planning for his 11th full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup season, knows not to be over-exuberant about a season’s prospects. “I figured we were going to have our challenges ahead of us,” Biffle said of 2012. “So to come out of the gate like we did and lead the points all the way through when the Chase started was amazing for me. I was really excited about that.”</p> <p> Indeed, Biffle had plenty to be pleased about from NASCAR’s latest tour. The season proved to be his best since 2005, which featured an oh-so-close miss at the championship. Biffle tied his career-best mark for top 10s (21), clicked off 32 lead-lap finishes and became the only driver to finish every race all year.</p> <p> Oh, and Biffle scored two wins — one at Texas Motor Speedway, the other at Michigan International Speedway. The Texas win was the first of the Cup Series variety for crew chief Matt Puccia, who took over Biffle’s team in July 2011.</p> <p> “I wanted to win more for Matt than I did myself,” Biffle said at Texas. “I know I hadn’t won in a long time, but I wanted to get a win for him.”</p> <p> The Washington native earned Sprint Unlimited eligibility with three pole positions (Bristol, Darlington and Charlotte) and set a personal best for average finish (10.2).<br /> Biffle entered the Chase fifth in points but floundered quickly with three finishes outside the top 10. A crash during the race on Kansas’ treacherous new pavement was the final blow, even after he survived a self-described “Days of Thunder” moment in the Talladega Chase race with a sixth-place run. He never returned to contention position but finished the year with four straight top-10 finishes and fifth in NASCAR’s point standings.<br />  </p>

2013 Spin
When a driver turns in the most consistent season-long effort of his career, yet still isn’t a factor when the championship fight boils down to the final moments, the offseason head-scratching can be nearly maddening. That’s what Greg Biffle has dealt with since NASCAR took its short winter break.

NASCAR Drivers: 
NASCAR Tracks: 
Section: 
Driver Name: 
Greg Biffle
Previews, predictions and stats for Greg Biffle and the No. 16 team

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Mon, 2013-02-18 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Rick Hendrick
Team Name: 
Hendrick Motorsports
Manufacturer: 
Chevrolet
Sponsor: 
National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew
Driver Rank: 
12
Car Number: 
88
Crew Chief: 
Steve Letarte
Recap: 
<p> <strong>2012 Recap</strong><br /> For Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2012 will be defined more by the races he sat out than by the ones where he succeeded, although his successes allowed him to put together the best season of racing he’s had in a half-dozen years. Concussions sidelined the 10-time Most Popular Driver in October, derailing his Chase efforts and crippling what had been a comeback season.</p> <p> The season was characterized by urgency for Earnhardt, whose contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports was freshly inked. From Day 1, the driver responded. Earnhardt finished second in the Daytona 500, trailing only good buddy Matt Kenseth, and that jump-started a stretch of 15 straight weeks where he finished outside of the top 15 only once (17th, Darlington). That included 12 top-10 finishes, 218 laps led and most important, a win — Earnhardt’s first since 2008 — at Michigan in June.</p> <p> While crew chief Steve Letarte’s steady setups led to consistency, the win inspired confidence. During the first 20 races, Earnhardt would go 20-for-20 on lead lap finishes, something neither defending champ Tony Stewart nor 2012 titlist Brad Keselowski could do. After a fourth-place run at Indianapolis, Earnhardt was the Cup Series points leader, a position he hadn’t held since 2004.</p> <p> But just when Junior was labeled a bona fide title contender, it all came crashing down. A wreck during a tire test at Kansas in late August resulted in a concussion that Earnhardt hid. He later admitted to feeling just “80, 90 percent by the time the Chase started.” And it showed. In the first three postseason races, Earnhardt had a best finish of eighth. Then came Talladega, where the driver thought he was 100 percent until a vicious, last-lap impact led to headaches and the realization that he certainly wasn’t.</p> <p> After he was forced to sit out Charlotte and Kansas after being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, the season turned on a dime. Earnhardt came back, and although he scored two top-10 finishes in the final four races, the damage was done. Dead last in the Chase for the second time in five years, Earnhardt was left to wonder what might have been.<br />  </p>

2013 Spin
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has something to prove in 2013 after a pair of concussions clouded his long-term prospects. Earnhardt, after years of struggling with Hendrick Motorsports, was the most consistent driver in Sprint Cup in the early part of the 2012 season, taking the points lead midsummer. However, a poor start to the Chase made his decision to sit out two races due to concussions an easy one. When the other drivers pushed down on the title accelerator, a low-key Earnhardt turned all but invisible — again.

NASCAR Drivers: 
NASCAR Tracks: 
Section: 
Driver Name: 
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Previews, predictions and stats for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 team

Ryan Newman: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Mon, 2013-02-18 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Tony Stewart/Gene Haas
Team Name: 
Stewart-Haas Racing
Manufacturer: 
Chevrolet
Sponsor: 
Quicken Loans/Outback Steakhouse
Driver Rank: 
13
Car Number: 
39
Crew Chief: 
Matt Borland

2013 Spin
Ryan Newman enters 2013 knowing he has to perform. Entering his 12th full year of Cup competition, the 2002 Rookie of the Year has 16 career wins, 49 poles and six top-10 points finishes. But Newman still leaves the sense he’s never quite lived up to his full potential.

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NASCAR Tracks: 
NASCAR Drivers: 
Driver Name: 
Ryan Newman
Previews, predictions and stats for Ryan Newman and the No. 39 team

Kurt Busch: 2013 NASCAR Driver Profile

Release Date: 
Mon, 2013-02-18 01:00
Driver Profile Year: 
2013
Owner: 
Barney Visser
Team Name: 
Furniture Row Racing
Manufacturer: 
Chevrolet
Sponsor: 
Furniture Row
Driver Rank: 
14
Car Number: 
78
Crew Chief: 
Todd Berrier

2013 Spin
Kurt Busch is an immense talent behind the wheel of a race car; of that, there is little doubt. Unfortunately, Busch is also his own worst enemy, and a career marred by reprimands and dismissals for bad behavior has led to his second new team in two seasons. Furniture Row Racing is a small step up for Busch over his 2012 ride with unsponsored Phoenix Racing, but it’s not the upper-level equipment you’d expect to find a 34-year-old former Sprint Cup champion wheeling, either.

Section: 
NASCAR Tracks: 
NASCAR Drivers: 
Driver Name: 
Kurt Busch
Previews, predictions and stats for Kurt Busch and the No. 78 team

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