NASCAR News & Notes

Transcendent: Jeff Gordon's Indy victory epitomizes his NASCAR career

Gordon's record fifth Brickyard 400 victory on Sunday the 90th of his NASCAR career
Jeff Gordon delivered a win in the Brickyard 400 that NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway needed.

For some athletes, career achievements are done on a grander scale. Every accomplishment has a little more flare, it has more of a trailblazing bent and therefore seamlessly falls into place, making a good story not only great, but transcendent. Think Jeter, Jordan and Montana.

 

Think Jeff Gordon.

 

NASCAR, Indianapolis need marquee winner to bolster slumping Brickyard 400

Storylines rule the day for NASCAR at the Brickyard. And there have been too few of late.
NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway need an intriguing storyline and big-name driver to carry the day at the struggling Brickyard 400.

In a decade of skyrocketing growth for the sport of NASCAR, no single event in the 1990s topped its first visit to the hallowed grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 1994 Brickyard 400.

 

However, 20 years later, amid sagging attendance and television ratings and a weekend diluted with Nationwide and nondescript sports car ancillary races, the Sprint Cup Series’ annual visit is a shell of its former self.

 

Balance of power in Ford's NASCAR camp has shifted to Team Penske

Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano challenge Hendrick Motorsports atop NASCAR hierarchy
After playing second fiddle to Chevrolet and powerhouse NASCAR organization Hendrick Motorsports for a decade, Ford Racing seems to have found its groove with four consecutive race wins in the Cup Series. And it’s led by a face familiar to the sport but new to Ford’s roster: Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski.

After playing second fiddle to Chevrolet and powerhouse NASCAR organization Hendrick Motorsports for a decade, Ford Racing seems to have found its groove with four consecutive race wins in the Cup Series. And it’s led by a face familiar to the sport but new to Ford’s roster.

 

NASCAR Chase deserves better kick-off than stops in Chicago-Loudon-Dover

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in New Hampshire
Post-race reaction after Brad Keselowski won NASCAR's Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

On paper, New Hampshire Motor Speedway should be one of the most exciting racetracks in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Just one mile in length, it’s the shortest oval NASCAR races on between the second week of June and Bristol in late August, part of a summer doldrums stretch that typically produces the lowest ratings of the year. Its second event, held in September, is also in the Chase midway through the first round of eliminations that will cut the field down from 16 drivers to 12 drivers.

Petty's No. 43 returns to Daytona Victory Lane with Aric Almirola

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona
Post-race reaction from Aric Almirola's upset win in NASCAR's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

For years, Aric Almirola’s name in the record books has come with a weird asterisk. In 2007 at Milwaukee, he was just a part-time Nationwide (then Busch) Series driver for Joe Gibbs Racing trying to make a name for himself. Pegged as a backup for Denny Hamlin, Almirola was pressed into a start when the Cup driver’s helicopter ran late. Although running from the pole and dominating early, JGR chose to replace Almirola once Hamlin arrived. Hamlin slid in and rode on to an easy victory.

 

Kentucky Speedway needs "Fontana Moment" to rebuild NASCAR interest

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in Kentucky
Post-race reaction after Brad Keselowski dominated the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

Kentucky Speedway has now held four NASCAR Sprint Cup races since getting added to the sport’s top-tier schedule in 2011. In theory, the potential is there for incredible racing in the Bluegrass State, a place that begged for a stock car arena to be built inside their borders. Aging pavement, the type that’s resulted in side-by-side endings at Fontana and Atlanta, should give drivers tires that fall off. Multiple grooves and varied setups should be the result, causing better racing all the way around.

 

Free agent Carl Edwards wins in NASCAR trip to Sonoma

Edwards bests Jeff Gordon for first career NASCAR Sprint Cup road course victory
Carl Edwards wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

For those looking to bury a supposedly slumping Carl Edwards and his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team, the message delivered in Sonoma, Calif., was clear: You haven’t kicked enough dirt on the grave yet.

 

After Sonoma win, is Carl Edwards' NASCAR destiny as clear cut as believed?

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Sonoma Raceway
Post-race reaction from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Toyota-Save Mart 350, won by Carl Edwards.

Let’s have a quick flashback to NASCAR 2011. The hottest free agent on the Sprint Cup Series market? Carl Edwards, whose decision lie between sticking with Roush Fenway Racing and replacing a struggling Joey Logano at Joe Gibbs Racing. The choice was difficult, as Edwards was on the comeback trail with RFR after a 2008 season that witnessed a gaudy nine victories and found him on the cusp of unseating Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson's intermediate acumen will pay off in NASCAR's Chase

With Michigan off bucket list, 48 team looks to Chicagoland, Homestead in Chase
Jimmie Johnson finally scored a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Michigan International Speedway. Can he parlay that into a record seventh Chase for the Cup championship?

It’s said that racetracks don’t owe anyone anything. Rarely, if ever, will you hear a driver, following a victory, proclaim that “this old place owed us one” after a string of disappointments finally results in paydirt.

 

In racing it’s taboo to suggest that the reason one loses is because of the track. Instead, a driver and team take the onus upon themselves; they should have prepared harder, executed better or employed a different strategy. Take credit when you win, take the blame when you lose. There are no excuses.

 

Johnson slays Michigan, cements standing as NASCAR title favorite

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in Michigan
Post-race reaction from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

With all that Jimmie Johnson has accomplished in NASCAR, it’s amazing there are still tracks on the circuit where the No. 48 team hasn’t won. Michigan was the latest checked off the list, as strategy worked in their favor at a place where Lady Luck has typically bit them instead. In the course of a month, the 48 team has won three of the past four events and been reestablished as the team to beat.  Jimmie Johnson

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