AJ Allmendinger

Chicagoland winner Keselowski prepares for reset as NASCAR Chase marches on

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 team overcome adversity, win Chase opener
Brad Keselowski makes statement with win at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR pushes on to second Chase for Sprint Cup event.

Qualifying has never been so important in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series — just ask the six drivers with the best qualifying average on the circuit. Each has scored multiple wins in 2014.

 

Brad Keselowski is amongst that group. In fact, he leads it. Keselowski’s five wins are a series best, as is his 7.2-place average starting position.

 

That’s what made Sunday’s Chase kickoff race at Chicagoland Speedway unusual.

 

NASCAR Chase Race No. 1: The four things we learned at Chicagoland Speedway

Through the Gears: Keselowski wins first Chase race; Larson on verge of breaking through
Post-race reaction from Chicagoland Speedway, where Brad Keselowski won his fifth race of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and earned a pass into Round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Wait a second. Are you telling me there was a pass for the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ visit to Chicagoland Speedway within the last 20 laps of the race? Not just one, or two, or three … but four passes? 

 

The Chase: No going back from NASCAR’s new Pandora’s Box

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Chicagoland Speedway
Each week, Geoffrey Miller's "Five Things to Watch" will help you catch up on the biggest stories on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' upcoming race weekend. This week, the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup kicks off — complete with a hokey shiny new format. Also, Matt Kenseth looks for a Chi-town repeat, Jimmie Johnson begins his quest for a seventh title in earnest and some movement in the Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward Jr. investigation highlight the storylines heading into the MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller's "Five Things to Watch" will help you catch up on the biggest stories on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' upcoming race weekend. This week, the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup kicks off — complete with a hokey shiny new format. Also, Matt Kenseth looks for a Chi-town repeat, Jimmie Johnson begins his quest for a seventh title in earnest and some movement in the Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward Jr. investigation highlight the storylines heading into the MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

 

NASCAR's 2014 Chase: A Driver-by-Driver Preview

NASCAR Chase: Previewing Race No. 1 at Chicagoland Speedway

Pretenders, contenders and potential winners as NASCAR kicks off the Chase at Chicagoland
Contenders, pretenders and predicted winners for the first race of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup, the MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Predicting how the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase will pan out has always been a shot in the dark with one in the cylinder and no night sights. This year things get even more muddled with a new elimination format among the (Sweet) 16 teams that make up the 2014 Chase grid. 

 

Weekend of triumph and tragedy in the world of motorsports

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Watkins Glen
Reaction from the NASCAR weekend, including the tragedy in New York involving Tony Stewart and AJ Allmendinger's win in the Sprint Cup Series' race at Watkins Glen.

So often when people look at tragedy they forget its human cost. Rarely are incidents involving death clear-cut — a battle of good versus evil like we read about as children. No one, with any shred of conscience, deserves to bear the guilt of killing a man, a catastrophe they carry the rest of their lives regardless of accident or intention. It’s a punishment worse than any court can impose, a daily nightmare where one can never hit the “Stop” button. Most importantly, there’s the victim, through which the word “recovery” is impossible.

Earnhardt looks to exorcise road course demons at Watkins Glen

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Watkins Glen International
Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s road-racing disdain, Chase-qualifying opportunities for AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose, as well as the performances of Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick highlight Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s road-racing disdain, Chase-qualifying opportunities for AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose, as well as the performances of Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick highlight Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen.

 

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 team, hitting on all cylinders following Pocono sweep

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Pocono Raceway
Post-race reaction from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran into the media center, jumping up to the podium like a four-year-old kid in a candy store. “I’m not gonna run,” quipped crew chief Steve Letarte, but the driver ignored him, jumping up center stage to sit at the same podium where victory tasted so sweet two months earlier.

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.

Jamie McMurray wins NASCAR All-Star Race in Charlotte

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the All-Star Race
Post-race reaction from Jamie McMurray's win in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jamie McMurray has one of the strangest resumes you’ll find in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. He’s a record 0-for-10 on Chase appearances — making the Missouri native the only driver who’s run full-time since 2004 to get shut out. Despite wheeling playoff-capable equipment with respected car owners Chip Ganassi and Jack Roush, he’s never finished better than 11th in series points, as inconsistency and mediocre performances have been his hallmark. Heck, McMurray has only posted wins in five of 13 career seasons while racing Cup.

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