Danica Patrick

Keselowski rolls, makes Richmond into a snoozer; NASCAR Chase field set

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in regular-season finale at Richmond
Post-race reaction from Richmond International Raceway, where Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 and NASCAR set its 16-driver Chase field.

Richmond International Raceway hosted 650 laps of racing this weekend within NASCAR’s two major series — Nationwide and Sprint Cup — with 633 of those laps led by just two drivers. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch dominated each event, making the most interesting moment at NASCAR’s “most competitive” short track a drunken guy that climbed to the top of the catchfencing. Busch led all 250 circuits in the Nationwide event — a race that has averaged a whopping two lead changes in the last three NNS events held there.

 

Atlanta: Kahne's Chase bid, Stewart's NASCAR return and Danica's career night

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Post-race reaction from the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Kasey Kahne punched his ticket into NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup.

NASCAR’s new Chase format was designed to make the regular season finale a “can’t miss” on anyone’s calendar. With 16 postseason slots available, chances are at least one would be available at Richmond, and with any driver inside the top 30 Chase eligible under the rules, one upset victory is all it would take to shuffle up the final drivers in the field.

 

Penske teammates "legit championship threats" after big NASCAR weekend in Bristol

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Bristol Night Race
Post-race reaction from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Penske Racing has been a multi-car team since the beginning of 1998. Despite making over 1,000 starts in the first 15 years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it had only a single 1-2 finish — and that in itself was rolling snake eyes on a craps table: mastering plate-racing luck in the 2008 Daytona 500.  Joey Logano

 

Jeff Gordon bests Joey Logano in a NASCAR "battle of the ages"

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in Michigan
Race recap of the Pure Michigan 400, where Jeff Gordon won his third race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Once upon a time, 24-year-old Jeff Gordon set the NASCAR world on fire. In his third full season in the Cup Series, he won seven times, collected 23 top-10 finishes and intimidated The Intimidator himself en route to his first series title. It was a watershed moment, one that set the stage for other young, aspiring drivers to walk in Gordon’s path rather than spend 15 years “working their way up the ranks” in middling equipment before earning a primo shot.

 

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.

Gordon, Hendrick remain atop NASCAR charts with Brickyard win

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Indianapolis
Post-race reaction from Jeff Gordon's win in NASCAR's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Speeding past the sport’s best drivers 20  years ago, Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 en route to starting his own legacy. Much has been made of the win’s impact — his second of 90 Cup victories, — even though it was hardly surprising at the time. After all, Gordon was blooming in his second season and the Indiana native was expected to morph into one of the sport’s all-time best.

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.

 

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.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. reverses trend with win at Pocono

Dale Earnhardt Jr. turns the tables on Brad Keselowski, wins Pocono 400
Dale Earnhardt Jr. scores his second win of the 2014 season by passing Brad Keselowski to win the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not have the fastest car at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, but NASCAR’s 11-time most popular driver had strategy, determination and a little bit of luck on his side. And Earnhardt parlayed those attributes into his second win of the season in the Pocono 400.

 

Can a winning Dale Earnhardt Jr. turn NASCAR's tide?

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Pocono Raceway
Race reaction from NASCAR's Sprint Cup race in Pocono where Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded his second win of the 2014 season.

Let’s turn back the clock to 2004. Kyle Larson was adjusting to middle school, simply make it through a daily class routine. People knew Bob Keselowski, Brad’s father, as a former NASCAR driver and Truck Series owner but absolutely nothing about his son. Jimmie Johnson had yet to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup title, while Jeff Gordon was king of the NASCAR hierarchy. Meanwhile, Mark Martin and Viagra remained the most amusing sponsor pairing in sports.

 

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