Posts tagged: Atlanta

Mar 12 2008

Kyle Busch Gets First Toyota Win in Atlanta

I’ll admit, I thought Tony Stewart would have the first cup win in a Toyota, but I’m not surprised it was Kyle Busch who actually got it. If Kurt Busch can LUCK into a cup championship, then Kyle should be able to dominate a couple championships and luck into a couple more before he retires. Talk about having a pretty good weekend, Kyle started out by winning the Craftsman Truck Series race, dominated the Nationwide series race until he blew a tire and then won the cup race by a couple seconds at least over his teammate, Tony Stewart. Besides being the first win for Toyota, this was also the first time someone has won a truck race and a cup race in the same weekend.

In what was tantalizingly close to a three-race weekend sweep, Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, after the winner of the previous two Sprint Cup races, Carl Edwards, fell out with transmission trouble after 274 of the 325 laps.

In posting the fifth victory of his career, by 2.066 seconds over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart, Busch took Toyota to Victory Lane for the first time in a Cup points race (read more). It was the first triumph in NASCAR’s top series for a foreign manufacturer since Al Keller won at the airport road course in Linden, N.J., in a Jaguar in 1954.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, followed by Greg Biffle and pole-sitter Jeff Gordon. Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers and Jeff Burton completed the top 10.

“The 18! The 18! The 18 is back at Atlanta!” Busch exulted on his radio after crossing the finish line, referring to the six wins at Atlanta of one of his predecessors in Joe Gibbs’ No. 18 car, Bobby Labonte. Source: Busch returns 18 to Victory Lane, gives Toyota first win

Tony Stewart being Tony Stewart, when they interviewed him , he immediately dogged Goodyear and their tires, as did Earnhardt and Gordon, they were just a little more diplomatic about it.

Tony Stewart: “That was the most pathetic racing tire that I’ve ever been on in my professional career,” Stewart said. “… Goodyear can’t build a tire that is worth a crap. If I were Goodyear, I would be really embarrassed about this weekend and what they brought here. It didn’t keep us from winning the race and how we got to second, I don’t know.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “I’ll say that Goodyear Tire Company makes good racing tires, makes a safe tire,” Junior said. “There’s a lot of technology that goes into making the tires and I give them a lot of credit. It’s a reputation-risk, just to be in this sport for a company like that, especially … as far as criticism goes. They do a good job. This is just a bad combination. This tire at this track, it was just a poor combination

Jeff Gordon: “I felt like I was going to crash every single lap,” Gordon said. “I’m exhausted right now. I feel like I’ve run a thousand miles here. That was the hardest day I have ever had at Atlanta, especially for a top-five finish. This car, this tire, at this track was just terrible.” Source: Stewart, Earnhardt think bad of Goodyear’s tires

Here is how they finished:

1 6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Snickers 195/10 325 Running 185,375
2 32 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Home Depot “10 Years Strong” 170/0 325 Running 162,886
3 2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 170/5 325 Running 121,000
4 13 16 Greg Biffle Ford Jackson Hewitt 165/5 325 Running 107,375
5 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 160/5 325 Running 138,186
6 7 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 155/5 325 Running 94,850
7 8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 146/0 325 Running 124,086
8 38 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 142/0 325 Running 124,341
9 35 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 143/5 325 Running 79,300
10 15 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 134/0 325 Running 123,958
11 29 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 130/0 325 Running 79,325
12 5 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 132/5 325 Running 114,536
13 11 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 124/0 325 Running 127,786
14 12 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 121/0 324 Running 115,075
15 22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 118/0 324 Running 112,791
16 19 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Wrigley’s Big Red 115/0 324 Running 104,158
17 39 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 112/0 324 Running 89,850
18 28 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 109/0 324 Running 93,908
19 20 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Energizer / Menards 106/0 324 Running 83,425
20 30 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 103/0 323 Running 92,908
21 3 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 100/0 323 Running 106,233
22 10 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 97/0 323 Running 108,558
23 14 6 David Ragan Ford AAA 94/0 323 Running 83,950
24 26 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Valvoline / Jim Beam 91/0 323 Running 95,958
25 33 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Penske Truck Rental 88/0 323 Running 117,550
26 43 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 85/0 322 Running 73,825
27 34 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 82/0 322 Running 69,800
28 9 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 84/5 322 Running 107,141
29 42 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Zaxby’s 76/0 322 Running 99,789
30 27 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 73/0 321 Running 81,508
31 25 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 70/0 321 Running 99,489
32 31 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditRep
ort.com 67/0 321 Running 81,722
33 23 40 Dario Franchitti * Dodge Fastenal 64/0 321 Running 80,550
34 16 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 61/0 321 Running 69,025
35 21 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Cintas 58/0 320 Running 68,990
36 17 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 55/0 320 Running 68,955
37 37 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 52/0 320 Running 76,920
38 41 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 49/0 320 Running 76,885
39 36 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 46/0 318 Running 68,850
40 24 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 43/0 317 Running 76,810
41 40 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 40/0 313 Running 68,765
42 4 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 42/5 274 Engine 116,395
43 18 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy / Garmin 34/0 257 Accident 94,518

Kyle leads the cup points by 73, he leads the truck series by 72 and, had he not had the flat tire, he would be leading the Nationwide series as well. Quite a good start to the year and I bet Rick Hendrick is thinking right now, “What was I thinking?” Definitely should’ve kept Busch and let Mears go.

Here are the top 12 in the Chase for the Cup:

1 — Kyle Busch 665 Leader 4 1 1 3 3 1,123,940
2 +3 Greg Biffle 592 -73 4 0 0 2 3 764,188
3 +1 Kevin Harvick 574 -91 4 0 0 1 3 795,707
4 -2 Ryan Newman 571 -94 4 0 1 1 2 1,946,140
5 +1 Jeff Burton 555 -110 4 0 0 1 2 767,795
6 +4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 531 -134 4 0 0 2 3 1,029,250
7 -4 Kasey Kahne 528 -137 4 0 0 0 3 832,577
8 +3 Tony Stewart 525 -140 4 0 0 2 3 1,435,830
9 +4 Brian Vickers 491 -174 4 0 0 0 1 553,095
10 +2 Kurt Busch 478 -187 4 0 0 1 1 1,352,620
11 -3 Martin Truex Jr. 471 -194 4 0 0 0 1 717,545
12 +4 Matt Kenseth 470 -195 4 0 0 1 2 743,477

Oct 28 2007

Jimmie Johnson Wins Eigth Race of Season, Closes Gap on Gordon

Jimmie Johnson wins in Atlanta
This was one of those races that didn’t finish anything like the rest of the race, Johnson and Gordon struggles with their cars most of the day, working on them and working on them, and Jimmie and Chad decide to take two tires near the end of the race to come out upfront and steal the race from Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who had trouble on a restart when Denny Hamlin ran out of gas and Martin Truex plowed him from behind.

Tony Stewart had trouble, Kyle Busch, who led 98 laps, had trouble in the pits and ended up finishing 17th, Martin Truex led the most laps, 135, Jimmie Johnson only led the last 8 laps, Denny Hamlin was the only lead lap car to stay out and not pit near the end and he and Truex paid for it.

One of the good things about Johnson winning was that he donated his winnings to the victims of the fires burning in California, but that’s not all, Lowe’s said they would match, the folks at Atlanta Speedway said they would match it, and Rick Hendrick is matching it as well. This should be a nice big check for those victims, in the article quoted below, the article said they were donating their $349,561 in winnings, but I wasn’t clear on if that was the combined or winnings for each. Either way, it’s nice that big stars like Jimmie care about where they grew up or lived at one time.

Here are how the points standings are now:

1. — Jeff Gordon 6201 Leader
2. — Jimmie Johnson 6192 -9
3. — Clint Bowyer 6090 -111
4. +1 Carl Edwards 5940 -261
5. -1 Tony Stewart 5879 -322
6. — Kyle Busch 5873 -328
7. — Kevin Harvick 5809 -392
8. +1 Jeff Burton 5801 -400
9. +1 Kurt Busch 5782 -419
10. -2 Denny Hamlin 5777 -424
11. +1 Matt Kenseth 5753 -448
12. -1 Martin Truex Jr. 5688 -513

Johnson and Gordon, who came into the Pep Boys Auto 500 separated by 53 points, both struggled with the handling on their Chevrolets most of the day. But, thanks to a wild finish, they wound up first and seventh, leaving four-time champion Gordon with a nine-point lead with three of the 10 Chase races remaining.

“I just think it’s going to be a fight to the end,” Johnson said. “We took a good bite out of Jeff’s points lead [Sunday] and it’s going to come down to a position or two in the next three.

Gordon, who saw his lead almost disappear, said the pressure is on even more heading into next Sunday’s race at Texas.

“I feel like we’ve got the team and the equipment to do it, but those guys are tough and they’re showing it every weekend,” Gordon said. “All I’m focusing right now is trying not to have the bad day and, for a while, it looked like [Sunday] was going to be the bad day.

“We struggled there for a while and, to come back and finish seventh, it was a great day, even though Jimmie won.” Source: Johnson wins at Atlanta, closes gap again to Gordon

Here is how they finished:

1 6 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 190/5 329 Running
2 16 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 170/0 329 Running
3 32 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target / Breast Cancer Awareness 165/0 329 Running
4 17 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT NANO Technology 160/0 329 Running
5 28 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 155/0 329 Running
6 26 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 150/0 329 Running
7 8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Nicorette Cinnamon Surge / DuPont 146/0 329 Running
8 2 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 147/5 329 Running
9 4 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 143/5 329 Running
10 14 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 134/0 329 Running
11 24 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 130/0 329 Running
12 15 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 127/0 329 Running
13 39 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 129/5 329 Running
14 10 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 121/0 329 Running
15 34 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 123/5 329 Running
16 31 84 A.J. Allmendinger * Toyota Red Bull 120/5 329 Running
17 38 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Snickers Halloween 112/0 329 Running
18 43 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie 109/0 329 Running
19 3 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota The UPS Store / Toys for Tots 106/0 329 Running
20 19 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg’s 108/5 329 Running
21 33 7 Robby Gordon Ford Jim Beam 100/0 328 Running
22 1 16 Greg Biffle Ford Lumber Liquidators 102/5 328 Running
23 40 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 94/0 328 Running
24 18 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Express 96/5 328 Off Track
25 5 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 88/0 327 Off Track
26 25 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 85/0 327 Running
27 36 15 Paul Menard * Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 87/5 327 Running
28 29 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 79/0 327 Running
29 27 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Sears Auto Center / Valvoline / Stanley 76/0 327 Running
30 30 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 73/0 323 Running
31 20 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 80/10 322 Off Track
32 35 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Radioactive Energy Drink 67/0 321 Running
33 37 6 David Ragan * Ford AAA 64/0 320 Running
34 21 42 Juan Montoya * Dodge Texaco / Havoline 61/0 283 Running
35 22 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 58/0 275 Running
36 23 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 55/0 268 Running
37 9 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Mobil 1 52/0 267 Running
38 42 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 49/0 263 Running
39 7 40 David Stremme Dodge Coors Light / St. Jude Hospital 46/0 250 Off Track
40 41 66 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Best Buy 43/0 250 Off Track
41 11 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 40/0 238 Running
42 13 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s Halloween 37/0 64 Out of Race
43 12 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 34/0 64 Out of Race

Mar 18 2007

Johnson Wins Again in Atlanta

Johnson wins in Atlanta
Jimmie Johnson seems almost unbeatable sometimes at these intermediate race tracks, even though he pinched Tony Stewart a little to take the lead, he would’ve eventually had it anyway, Tony even said as much.

“I wish he had given me a little more room,” Stewart said. “I don’t think I ever pinched him or kept him from having room on the racetrack to race.

“He had a faster car. He was probably going to get around us anyway. But I’d like to see him at least give me room to race him for it.” Source: Stewart miffed, Johnson sorry for late pinch in wall

Anyone else see Tony saying Jimmie was number 1 with the hand signal from behind? These guys are so good they can flip you the bird at 190 mph.

I think we’ll see a little payback somewhere down the line, whether he will admit to it or not is another story. Johnson said he heard the clear signal from his spotter and focused on making a good exit of the turn, and not what Tony was doing, and he ended up pinching him unintentionally. Juan Montoya got his first top five, and Mark Martin is still leading the points and still saying he will skip the next two races. It’s hard to believe that someone who wanted a cup championship all these years would do that, I don’t understand I guess, after retiring two years ago, he’s finally going to do it for real, but only partially for real.

Here are the unofficial results, by result, start, car number, and name:
1 3 48 Jimmie Johnson
2 13 20 Tony Stewart
3 21 17 Matt Kenseth
4 32 31 Jeff Burton
5 16 42 Juan Montoya
6 15 07 Clint Bowyer
7 14 99 Carl Edwards
8 18 1 Martin Truex Jr.
9 11 41 Reed Sorenson
10 4 01 Mark Martin
11 17 2 Kurt Busch
12 5 24 Jeff Gordon
13 7 40 David Stremme
14 22 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
15 37 26 Jamie McMurray
16 6 43 Bobby Labonte
17 19 13 Joe Nemechek
18 2 19 Elliott Sadler
19 30 11 Denny Hamlin
20 39 7 Robby Gordon
21 9 49 Mike Bliss
22 20 18 J.J. Yeley
23 1 12 Ryan Newman
24 28 14 Sterling Marlin
25 36 29 Kevin Harvick
26 42 88 Ricky Rudd
27 35 22 Dave Blaney
28 34 25 Casey Mears
29 26 70 Johnny Sauter
30 27 38 David Gilliland
31 23 15 Paul Menard
32 8 5 Kyle Busch
33 38 6 David Ragan
34 40 45 Kyle Petty
35 41 66 Jeff Green
36 43 44 Dale Jarrett
37 29 21 Ken Schrader
38 33 96 Tony Raines
39 12 9 Kasey Kahne
40 24 00 David Reutimann
41 25 16 Greg Biffle
42 31 83 Brian Vickers
43 10 10 Scott Riggs

Mar 17 2007

Qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway

I know I said I may post another list of top 5 predictions for the Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta, but, the ones I posted still look really good to me, 3 of them qualified in the top 5, and the other two were 12th and 13th. The top qualifier for the race was Ryan Newman, but that is all he does anymore, qualify, Tony Stewart can start from anywhere and win if he has a good car and Kasey Kahne has done really well in these intermediate tracks, so I think he will run good Sunday as well.

Here is how they qualified last night for the Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta.

1 12 Ryan Newman
2 19 Elliott Sadler
3 48 Jimmie Johnson
4 01 Mark Martin
5 24 Jeff Gordon
6 43 Bobby Labonte
7 40 David Stremme
8 5 Kyle Busch
9 49 Mike Bliss
10 10 Scott Riggs
11 41 Reed Sorenson
12 9 Kasey Kahne
13 20 Tony Stewart
14 99 Carl Edwards
15 07 Clint Bowyer
16 42 Juan Montoya
17 2 Kurt Busch
18 1 Martin Truex Jr.
19 13 Joe Nemechek
20 18 J.J. Yeley
21 17 Matt Kenseth
22 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
23 15 Paul Menard
24 00 David Reutimann
25 16 Greg Biffle
26 70 Johnny Sauter
27 38 David Gilliland
28 14 Sterling Marlin
29 21 Ken Schrader
30 11 Denny Hamlin
31 83 Brian Vickers
32 31 Jeff Burton
33 96 Tony Raines
34 25 Casey Mears
35 22 Dave Blaney
36 29 Kevin Harvick
37 26 Jamie McMurray
38 6 David Ragan
39 7 Robby Gordon
40 45 Kyle Petty
41 66 Jeff Green
42 88 Ricky Rudd
43 44 Dale Jarrett

Mar 16 2007

Atlanta Predictions

Here is a quick post of my predictions for the top 5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, I will probably do another after qualifying tommorow. ;)

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Tony Stewart
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Mark Martin

And, I think it will cause Mark to race at Bristol, what do you all think?

Nov 03 2006

Robby Gordon Fined for Littering


Looks like everyone was right, Robby Gordon did throw some of his padding out the window to cause the late caution. Now who would’ve thought a driver would try to get an advantage the other drivers wouldn’t get, I bet that never happens. Not saying I condone it, just that I am not surprised, I’ve heard some stories about Dale Earnhardt senior throwing out pieces of his race cars to get cautions, so this has been going on for a long time. Robby Gordon just got caught on TV and had to pay the price. At the time, Robby Gordon said on TV, “I definitely did not throw anything out of the window.”

Gordon, who owns his own race team, was docked 50 driver points and 50 car owner points, and fined $15,000 for throwing a piece of roll bar padding onto the track during Sunday’s race at Atlanta. The debris caused NASCAR to call a caution, which helped Gordon to his 10th-place finish but hurt Burton’s final result.

Gordon was also fined $15,000 and placed on probation until the end of the year. Crew chief Greg Erwin was fined $10,000. Source: Nascar.com

They had two clear angles on TV and inspected his car in a two day investigation into the incident. Previous similar incidents are when Earnhardt Jr was penalized 25 points and $10,000 when he said on his radio he did it on purpose, and Kurt Busch was fined $10,000 for spinning Gordon at the 2002 all star race, after he admitted in two interviews he spun him out. Can you say Du huh?

Oct 30 2006

Stewart Wins Another Chase Race, Wins in Atlanta

Like him or not, and I’ve probably said this before, Tony Stewart is a race car driver. I know I was glad when he didn’t make it because he’s always a threat to win, anywhere at anytime, even if he didn’t win any of the Chase races last year.

“It’s better than last year,” said Stewart after jumping out of his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet. “We were in it last year and couldn’t win any of these, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Hard to believe that Jimmie Johnson is back in the hunt, only 26 points behind Kenseth, when he was 156 points behind with just three races ago, hard to go wrong when you finish 2nd, 1st and then 2nd.

Burton wound up 13th, a lap down, after having to pit under green late in the race with a flat tire; Kyle Busch crashed in the early going and wound up 27th; Kevin Harvick had handling problems all day and finished 31st; Mark Martin got caught up in the late crash and wound up 36th; and Kasey Kahne, who won at Atlanta in March and was the prerace favorite, crashed and finished 38th.

Was just watching Sports Center and they said something about someone getting in trouble, but they haven’t mentioned it since, wonder if Robbie Gordon did get busted throwing that padding out of his window?

Standings with three races to go:

1. — M. Kenseth Leader
2. +1 J. Johnson -26
3. +1 D. Hamlin -65
4. +2 D. Earnhardt Jr. -84
5. — J. Burton -84
6. -4 K. Harvick -121
7. +2 J. Gordon -146
8. -1 M. Martin -201
9. -1 K. Kahne -210
10. — Ky. Busch -249

Okay, they just mentioned it, but that’s all they did, mention it. Said Robbie denied it and Nascar doesn’t have an instant replay system in place. False advertising I say. ;)

Oct 28 2006

David Ragan Not Allowed to Race This Weekend

I really hadn’t followed up on my last post, Should NASCAR Prevent Inexperienced Drivers from Racing During Cup?, where I talked how NASCAR should look at allowing in-experienced drivers into the cup races, because a weekend like the last one, where Ragan wrecked four times, could really affect the points. But I saw a reporter on TV talking about how they weren’t going to allow him on the tracks 1 1/2 miles or bigger, such as Atlanta this weekend, but they were allowing another in-experienced driver to try to qualify. He thought they were not letting Ragan qualify because of last weekend.

I hope they make it a rule, those drivers who haven’t raced over, say 5 races, could not qualify during the Chase for the Cup. Let them practice in the Busch or Truck races and wait until next year to try again.

Because of the rain out, neither driver would have been able to qualify anyway, they go by points when they can’t qualify.

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