Posts tagged: Qualifying

Jan 27 2011

New Points System, No Catch-can Man, Chase Change

Along with the pick a series rule change we posted about the other day, Nascar has announced some more changes, including the rumored new points system.

First off, they are making a change to the Chase for the Cup, the top ten drivers by points after the 26th race will continue to be in the chase, but position 11 and 12 will now go to the top two race winners in the top 20 points positions, so actually, the ones who win the most races in points positions 11-20. The top 10 chase drivers will still be seeded according to wins, while the 11th and 12th place chasers will stay in those positions. I think this is a good change; it will make it possible for someone who gets hot late to win several races and make the chase even if they were not in the top 12 in points.

They have simplified the points system for all of us loyal idiots I guess. Cup race winners will earn 43 points for the win, three bonus points for the victory and will earn at least 1 point for leading a lap. You can also get 1 point for leading the most laps, bringing the total possible maximum for a win to 48 points. All of the other drivers in finishing order will be separated by one-point increments, thus, the second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, up to the last place finisher who will earn 1 point. This will certainly make it easier to figure out, it will be interesting to see how it really affects the championship points this next season, and I am sure many will apply the previous rules to see if their driver would have fared differently under the older systems.

The qualifying order will now be set based upon slowest-to-fastest practice speeds. If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book.

Cup teams now are allowed only five sets of tires for practice and qualifying instead of the six they were allowed to have and they must return four of those sets to Goodyear in order to get their race tires, and they may keep only one set of practice/qualifying tires.

The Cup series will be using the Closed Loop Fueling System that was introduced in the Truck Series, it combines a more efficient fueling system with the elimination of the catch-can man, teams will now use six, rather than seven, over-the-wall pit-crew members.

They are also continuing to change the look of the COT, trying to make it more appealing to the fans that think it should look like the actual manufacturer vehicle.

Apr 03 2009

Reutimann Claims Pole in Texas

I didn’t get to see any of the qualifying, as usual, but David Reutimann claimed the pole, his second, with a time of 28.344 running at 190.516 mph. Both Jeff Gordon, 2nd, and Matt Kenseth, 3rd, said they went through turns three and four easier than normal because of the wind, but “the Franchise” said they think things through more than he does, so he didn’t hold back in 3 and 4 and pulled down the best time.

Here is how they qualified:
1 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 190.516 28.344 Leader
2 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet National Guard GED Plus / DuPont 190.194 28.392 -0.048
3 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Dewalt 189.954 28.428 -0.084
4 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 189.934 28.431 -0.087
5 98 Paul Menard Ford Quaker State / Menards 189.907 28.435 -0.091
6 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 189.900 28.436 -0.092
7 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Old Spice / Office Depot 189.807 28.450 -0.106
8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 189.427 28.507 -0.163
9 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt “Tough Tools for Cool Schools” 189.421 28.508 -0.164
10 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 189.268 28.531 -0.187
11 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Clorox / Kingsford / Little Debbie 189.221 28.538 -0.194
12 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 189.215 28.539 -0.195
13 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 189.175 28.545 -0.201
14 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 189.155 28.548 -0.204
15 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 189.122 28.553 -0.209
16 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 188.857 28.593 -0.249
17 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 188.831 28.597 -0.253
18 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 188.778 28.605 -0.261
19 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 188.772 28.606 -0.262
20 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 188.745 28.610 -0.266
21 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 188.626 28.628 -0.284
22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 188.541 28.641 -0.297
23 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Cheez-It / Carquest 188.515 28.645 -0.301
24 96 Bobby Labonte Ford Ask.com 188.469 28.652 -0.308
25 44 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Super 8 188.298 28.678 -0.334
26 34 John Andretti Chevrolet MyAutoLoan.com 188.291 28.679 -0.335
27 09 Mike Bliss Dodge Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 188.009 28.722 -0.378
28 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 187.950 28.731 -0.387
29 7 Robby Gordon Toyota Jim Beam 187.898 28.739 -0.395
30 171 David Gilliland Chevrolet Capital Window 187.833 28.749 -0.405
31 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 187.682 28.772 -0.428
32 12 David Stremme Dodge Penske Racing 187.493 28.801 -0.457
33 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 187.487 28.802 -0.458
34 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA 187.305 28.830 -0.486
35 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 187.279 28.834 -0.490
36 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Sears Auto Center / Valvoline 187.240 28.840 -0.496
37 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 187.039 28.871 -0.527
38 43 Reed Sorenson Dodge McDonald’s 186.948 28.885 -0.541
39 113 Max Papis Toyota GEICO 186.496 28.955 -0.611
40 25 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 186.355 28.977 -0.633
41 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Guitar Hero 186.156 29.008 -0.664
42 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy 182.395 29.606 -1.262
43 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Prism Motorsports 186.111 29.015 -0.671

Did Not Qualify
44 187 Joe Nemechek Toyota Huckleberry’s BBQ 186.034 29.027 -0.683
45 82 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull 185.790 29.065 -0.721
46 41 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota All Sport 185.344 29.135 -0.791
47 64 Todd Bodine Toyota Mambo Restaurants 184.546 29.261 -0.917
48 36 Scott Riggs Toyota Tommy Baldwin Racing 183.974 29.352 -1.008

Mar 21 2009

Mark Martin on the Pole in Bristol

Mark Martin claimed his second pole in a row today, 8th pole at Bristol, running at a speed of 125.773 mph. Looks like he will turns things around this weekend, I bet he ends up with a top ten at least, and his teammate Jeff Gordon is going to break his winless streak this weekend with another win at Bristol. I didn’t get to see qualifying myself, so not much commentary as far as that goes.

After breaking a 257-race pole drought at Atlanta two weeks ago, Mark Martin topped his second consecutive Sprint Cup qualifying session, streaking around .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway in 15.256 seconds (125.773 mph) Friday to win the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500.

Martin won back-to-back poles for the second time in his career, having claimed the top starting spot for the April 1989 races at Darlington and Bristol.

“It felt really, really good,” said the 50-year-driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, who edged Ryan Newman (125.740 mph) for the pole by .004 seconds. “The car was really fast and it was really comfortable.”

“With the things that have happened to us in the races, it was good to show people that we’ve still got speed in the car,” said Martin, who claimed the 43rd pole of his career. “We’ve got speed, and the other part will come around sooner or later.” Source: Martin edges Newman for second consecutive pole

If you had Scott Riggs or Jeremy Mayfield in your Nascar pool you are going to have a tougher weekend as both did not qualify for this race. And Tony Stewart and AJ Allmendinger have qualified on speed for every race so far this year, good thing since they had to. Scott Speed beat AJ Allmendinger in qualifying again, but is 161 points behind AJ in the points standings.

Here is how they qualified:
1 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / Kellogg’s 125.773 15.256 Leader
2 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 125.741 15.260 -0.004
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 125.453 15.295 -0.039
4 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 125.289 15.315 -0.059
5 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 124.954 15.356 -0.100
6 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 124.808 15.374 -0.118
7 43 Reed Sorenson Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 124.541 15.407 -0.151
8 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Hyde Park Storage Suites 124.508 15.411 -0.155
9 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 124.492 15.413 -0.157
10 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 124.267 15.441 -0.185
11 82 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull 124.194 15.450 -0.194
12 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 124.130 15.458 -0.202
13 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Little Debbie / Kingsford / Clorox 124.130 15.458 -0.202
14 171 David Gilliland Chevrolet Capital Window 123.946 15.481 -0.225
15 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Old Spice 123.897 15.487 -0.231
16 64 Todd Bodine Toyota Fred’s Hometown Discount Store 123.698 15.512 -0.256
17 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Golden Corral 123.658 15.517 -0.261
18 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Champion Apparel 123.650 15.518 -0.262
19 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Snickers 123.626 15.521 -0.265
20 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 123.610 15.523 -0.267
21 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA 123.562 15.529 -0.273
22 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy 123.538 15.532 -0.276
23 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 123.523 15.534 -0.278
24 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 123.491 15.538 -0.282
25 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 123.427 15.546 -0.290
26 44 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Charter Comm. 123.427 15.546 -0.290
27 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 123.372 15.553 -0.297
28 187 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 123.324 15.559 -0.303
29 12 David Stremme Dodge Penske Racing 123.118 15.585 -0.329
30 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 123.071 15.591 -0.335
31 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 123.032 15.596 -0.340
32 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 123.024 15.597 -0.341
33 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Dewalt 122.827 15.622 -0.366
34 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Amp Energy 122.725 15.635 -0.379
35 7 Robby Gordon Toyota SPOT 122.709 15.637 -0.381
36 96 Bobby Labonte Ford Academy Sports + Outdoors 122.654 15.644 -0.388
37 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 122.404 15.676 -0.420
38 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 122.349 15.683 -0.427
39 34 John Andretti Chevrolet WindowWorld.com 122.248 15.696 -0.440
40 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 121.952 15.734 -0.478
41 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 121.914 15.739 -0.483
42 98 Paul Menard Ford Johns Manville / Menards 121.898 15.741 -0.485
43 09 Sterling Marlin Dodge Phoenix Racing 123.189 15.576 -0.320

Did Not Qualify
44 36 Scott Riggs Toyota Array Lighting / Nexxus Lighting 122.193 15.703 -0.447
45 41 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota All Sport 122.162 15.707 -0.451

Feb 10 2009

Daytona 2009 Qualifying

Martin Truex Jr. has the pole for the 2009 Daytona 500 with a speed of 188.001 mph, and Mark Martin claimed second with a speed of 187.817 mph, they also start in the top spot in both of the Gatorade Duel races, Truex in race #1 and Martin in race #2.. The top two spots are the only ones that are guaranteed right now, they use the results of the Gatorade races to determine the rest of the starting order, the top two finishes in each Duel race outside the top 35 in 2008 owners’ points make the race, as well as the next three fastest qualifiers not already locked in.

Pretty complicated, and there has been some debate on how complicated and hard it is on the teams to qualify for Daytona the way that it is now. They should qualify normally for the most part, and use the Gatorade races to determine the top two starters for the race, they would still have the same amount of warm-up races, the Duel races and the Bud Shootout but would make it a lot easier on the drivers I bet. But what do I know.

Here is how they will start for the two Gatorade races.
Read more »

Oct 19 2008

9th Rainout at Martinsville

Guess what? Yep, another rainout during qualifying means Jimmie Johnson is on the pole in Martinsville for the TUMS QuikPak 500. This also gets him the best pit spot on pit lane, the last one as you exit pit row, about the biggest perk you get in Martinsville. Johnson has won three of the last four races in Martinsville, another of the tracks that Jeff Gordon used to dominate, and probably his next best shot at winning a race during the 2008 season.

There is a funny article on Nascar.com of the reporters talking to the drivers and getting some great comments, here is one of them.

“Well, both my children had friends spend the night at the house [on Thursday],” Burton explained. “My mother was there, my wife’s mother and her father were there — and between the four of them they’ll drink enough wine to kill a small animal. So the only way for me to get any sleep was to leave. That was at the heart of my decision. That’s why I made my decision to come early, because it was probably loud at my house [Thursday] night.”

Yeah, but man, what about that drive up from North Carolina through the beautiful Virginia countryside? Coming up early, driving all by yourself, wasn’t that sort of a sacrifice?

“I bummed a helicopter ride so it’s 40 minutes for me. It wasn’t exactly a hardship tour,” Burton admitted. Source:

Here is how they will start Sunday:

1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s
2 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility
3 16 Greg Biffle Ford DISH Network Turbo HD
4 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot
5 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s
6 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil
7 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot
8 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont
9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s
10 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard
11 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers
12 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight
13 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance
14 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser
15 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army
16 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Alltel
17 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull
18 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker
19 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite
20 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal
21 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker
22 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy / Garmin
23 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST
24 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Big Red Slim Pack
25 28 Travis Kvapil Ford All Sport
26 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS
27 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Super Clean / Menards
28 38 David Gilliland Ford Digital TV Transition
29 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target
30 01 Regan Smith Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group
31 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS
32 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet Haas Automation
33 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar
34 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Menards
35 84 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull
36 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1
37 21 Bill Elliott Ford U.S. Air Force
38 00 Mike Bliss Toyota Champion Mortgage
39 10 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Tow Truck in a Box
40 96 Ken Schrader Toyota DLP HDTV
41 45 Chad McCumbee Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil
42 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/DenverMattress.com
43 70 Tony Raines Chevrolet Haas Automation

Did Not Qualify
44 175 Derrike Cope Dodge Derrike Cope Inc.
45 109 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming

Apr 05 2008

Michael McDowell Crash at Texas Motor Speedway

Sorry I haven’t posted much this year, I hate to give an opinion on something I didn’t get to see, but this is one hell of a crash. During qualifying today at Texas Motor Speedway, Michael McDowell hit the wall HARD and walked away from it, this one looked a LOT harder than Dale Earnhardt’s, I have no idea if it really was or not, but just looking at the video, it sure looks like it.

This delayed qualifying for almost an hour and a half, as they made repairs to the steel barrier. Michael made an impressive start last week, running up front near the end of the race, and now has probably the hardest looking hit in Nascar history, probably not how he wanted to start, but I bet it helped him gain a few fans.

Here’s what Michael had to say about it:

“I came off of [Turn 4] on that last lap and it just felt a little bit off,” McDowell said. “I went down into [Turn] 1 and I don’t know if it was the oil dry or something happened, but it was real unfortunate for those guys. I hate to make a lot of work for the guys back in the shop.

“That’s one of the worst wrecks I’ve seen, for sure, in a while and I’m not excited I had to participate in it.”

Seeing the accident on television replay, McDowell himself seemed awed and impressed by his escape — and used the word “mad” to describe his emotions while the crash was unfolding.

“I told the guys, ‘Man, this thing feels really tight. I’m going to run another lap,’” he said. “Then I got down in there and it just started to pull right on me. I tried to gather it up and as soon as I turned back to the right, the front tires hooked up and it started rolling down from there. I didn’t lose consciousness, so I felt every roll down the hill.

“I thank the guys back in the shop. They make these cars extremely safe. They spend the extra time padding everything. For me to walk away from that wreck, right there, is unbelievable.” Source: McDowell OK after near head-on crash in qualifying

Here is how they qualified:

1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / AMP Energy 190.907 28.286 Leader
2 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 189.487 28.498 -0.212
3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 189.069 28.561 -0.275
4 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Samsung HDTV / ALLTEL 189.042 28.565 -0.279
5 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 188.772 28.606 -0.320
6 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 188.732 28.612 -0.326
7 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 188.534 28.642 -0.356
8 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 188.475 28.651 -0.365
9 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 188.390 28.664 -0.378
10 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 188.245 28.686 -0.400
11 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Texaco / Havoline 188.160 28.699 -0.413
12 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 188.140 28.702 -0.416
13 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 188.009 28.722 -0.436
14 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 187.990 28.725 -0.439
15 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Jim Beam 187.931 28.734 -0.448
16 16 Greg Biffle Ford DISH Network 187.865 28.744 -0.458
17 77 Sam Hornish Jr.* Dodge Mobil 1 187.741 28.763 -0.477
18 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 187.611 28.783 -0.497
19 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards 187.598 28.785 -0.499
20 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 187.591 28.786 -0.500
21 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 187.493 28.801 -0.515
22 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Cheez-It / CARQUEST 187.474 28.804 -0.518
23 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 187.311 28.829 -0.543
24 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 187.195 28.847 -0.561
25 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 187.156 28.853 -0.567
26 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy / Garmin 187.007 28.876 -0.590
27 10 Patrick Carpentier* Dodge Valvoline 186.981 28.880 -0.594
28 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 186.974 28.881 -0.595
29 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 186.948 28.885 -0.599
30 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios Racing / Sam’s Club 186.935 28.887 -0.601
31 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 186.793 28.909 -0.623
32 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal Cask No. 16 186.645 28.932 -0.646
33 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 186.220 28.998 -0.712
34 01 Regan Smith* Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 186.046 29.025 -0.739
35 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Prilosec OTC 185.995 29.033 -0.747
36 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 185.752 29.071 -0.785
37 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Front Row Motorsports 185.669 29.084 -0.798
38 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Yates Racing 185.631 29.090 -0.804
39 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 185.350 29.134 -0.848
40 00 Michael McDowell+* Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 182.933 29.519 -1.233
41 38 David Gilliland+ Ford Yates Racing – - -
42 41 Reed Sorenson+ Dodge Target – - -
43 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row
/ DenverMattress.com 185.191 29.159 -0.873

Did Not Qualify
44 40 Dario Franchitti* Dodge Kennametal 185.122 29.170 -0.884
45 45 Chad McCumbee Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 183.736 29.390 -1.104
46 08 Burney Lamar Dodge rhino’s energy drink 181.996 29.671 -1.385

Mar 29 2008

Gordon on Pole for Martinsville, 7th of His Career There

Jeff Gordon takes Martinsville Pole for 2008
Hendrick Motorsports continues it’s dominance at Martinsville Speedway with Gordon claiming his 7th pole there, 65th all time. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have won 8 of the last 10 races at Martinsville, winning 4 each, while Jimmie has won the last three there, I think it’s Gordon’s turn to put his name on the trophy, as he has 7 total wins athe the short track. In fact, check out his overall stats, tops for this track:
Driver Starts Wins Top-5 Top-10

Jeff Gordon 30 7 18 24

Gordon toured the .526-mile short track in 19.666 seconds (96.288 mph) to claim the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Cool Orange 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. It was the 65th career pole for Gordon, who has won seven times at Martinsville, twice from the pole.

Denny Hamlin (95.757 mph) qualified second, followed by rookie Aric Almirola (95.733 mph), David Ragan (95.569 mph) and Jamie McMurray (95.492 mph). Almirola will make his second Cup start of the year Sunday, and McMurray had to make the race on speed, having dropped out of the top 35 in owner points.

Kasey Kahne, Ken Schrader, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson will start from positions six through 10. Johnson has won the last three races at Martinsville, and Johnson and Gordon together have won eight of the last 10 (four each). Source: Gordon wins his seventh career pole at Martinsville

Kyle Petty barely missed the race when he and Dario Franchitti ran the same time and Dario is ahead of Kyle in owner’s points.

Denny Hamlin has been running great there as well, but has been coming up short behind Jimmie and Jeff at the finish line. “”I’m usually the guy that runs right behind them,” said Hamlin, who finished third behind the Hendrick teammates last spring. “I think we’re maybe more prepared for those guys this year. Typically, when we come here, we know we can run top-three, and those two cars are the ones you have to beat.”

I think it will be a great race, as the short tracks always make for some great racing. My predictions for the top five:

1. Jeff Gordon (of course)
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr
4. Kyle Busch
5. Jimmie Johnson

Here is how they qualified:

1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 96.288 19.666 Leader
2 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 95.757 19.775 -0.109
3 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 95.733 19.780 -0.114
4 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 95.569 19.814 -0.148
5 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 95.492 19.830 -0.164
6 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 95.487 19.831 -0.165
7 49 Ken Schrader Toyota Microsoft Small Business 95.463 19.836 -0.170
8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 95.347 19.860 -0.194
9 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 95.271 19.876 -0.210
10 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 95.213 19.888 -0.222
11 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 95.208 19.889 -0.223
12 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 95.208 19.889 -0.223
13 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 95.079 19.916 -0.250
14 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Yates Racing 95.060 19.920 -0.254
15 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 95.036 19.925 -0.259
16 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 95.032 19.926 -0.260
17 21 Bill Elliott Ford Little Debbie 94.951 19.943 -0.277
18 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 94.874 19.959 -0.293
19 16 Greg Biffle Ford Jackson Hewitt 94.870 19.960 -0.294
20 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 94.832 19.968 -0.302
21 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditReport.com 94.832 19.968 -0.302
22 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 94.770 19.981 -0.315
23 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 94.713 19.993 -0.327
24 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 94.637 20.009 -0.343
25 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge McDonald’s 94.637 20.009 -0.343
26 77 Sam Hornish Jr.* Dodge Mobil 1 94.637 20.009 -0.343
27 99 Carl Edwards Ford Claritin 94.600 20.017 -0.351
28 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 94.595 20.018 -0.352
29 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Wrigley’s Big Red 94.595 20.018 -0.352
30 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 94.562 20.025 -0.359
31 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 94.543 20.029 -0.363
32 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 94.538 20.030 -0.364
33 01 Regan Smith* Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 94.486 20.041 -0.375
34 00 Michael McDowell Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 94.406 20.058 -0.392
35 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 94.369 20.066 -0.400
36 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 94.312 20.078 -0.412
37 10 Patrick Carpentier* Dodge Charter Comm. 94.298 20.081 -0.415
38 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 94.139 20.115 -0.449
39 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 93.966 20.152 -0.486
40 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 93.664 20.217 -0.551
41 7 Robby Gordon+ Dodge Charter Comm. 93.641 20.222 -0.556
42 1 Martin Truex Jr.+ Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 93.627 20.225 -0.559
43 40 Dario Franchitti* Dodge Kennametal 94.078 20.128 -0.462

Did Not Qualify
44 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 94.078 20.128 -0.462
45 34 John Andretti Chevrolet Front Row Motorsports 93.507 20.251 -0.585
46 08 Tony Raines Dodge rhino’s energy drink 93.460 20.261 -0.595
47 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 93.230 20.311 -0.645

Oct 11 2007

Ryan Newman Takes Pole in Charlotte

I didn’t get to see it, but it looks like Ryan Newman beat Jimmie Johnson out of the pole in Charlotte for this weeks Saturday night race. He was almost six miles an hour faster than the slowest car to make the field, almost a full second quicker as well. Looks like Michael Waltrip Racing is finally turning it around some, or at least he is, as he qualified 19th on time, without any Chase drivers lying back or anything, way to go Michael.

Jimmie Johnson has this tracks number, but can he win this one? Well, sure he can, but he’s not going to and I will tell you why.

1. He was won entirely too many times here. (Okay, not a good reason, but it works for me.)

2. Jeff Gordon used to own this track, but he hasn’t actually finished at Charlotte since October of 2004, while he only had 4 DNF’s in his first 24 races there. He’s due.

3. Jeff Gordon has only won the fall race once. He’s due. (Notice a pattern?)

4. I’m sick of Gordon running bad here.

Okay, none of those are really why he’s going to win Saturday night, but, I just have this feeling, I also have a feeling about Stewart, just not sure how they are going to fit together. ;)

Anyway, I’m picking Jeff Gordon to win in Charlotte.

Here is how they qualified:
1 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 189.394 28.512 Leader
2 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 188.990 28.573 -0.061
3 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios Racing / Pink for the Cure 188.363 28.668 -0.156
4 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 188.298 28.678 -0.166
5 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Mopar / Dodge Dealers / UAW 188.088 28.710 -0.198
6 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 188.075 28.712 -0.200
7 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Carhartt for Women 188.016 28.721 -0.209
8 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 187.898 28.739 -0.227
9 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 187.852 28.746 -0.234
10 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 187.585 28.787 -0.275
11 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Kinko’s 187.402 28.815 -0.303
12 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 187.214 28.844 -0.332
13 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 187.188 28.848 -0.336
14 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Stanley Tools / Valvoline 187.078 28.865 -0.353
15 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet Lucas Oil / State Water Heaters 186.916 28.890 -0.378
16 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 186.883 28.895 -0.383
17 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards 186.883 28.895 -0.383
18 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 186.819 28.905 -0.393
19 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 186.761 28.914 -0.402
20 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Dominos.com 186.748 28.916 -0.404
21 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s / Susan G Komen for the Cure 186.703 28.923 -0.411
22 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 186.516 28.952 -0.440
23 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Yellow Trans. 186.477 28.958 -0.446
24 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 186.419 28.967 -0.455
25 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 186.374 28.974 -0.462
26 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Fujifilm 186.322 28.982 -0.470
27 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 186.149 29.009 -0.497
28 40 David Stremme Dodge Target 186.034 29.027 -0.515
29 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 185.842 29.057 -0.545
30 84 A.J. Allmendinger* Toyota Red Bull 185.733 29.074 -0.562
31 6 David Ragan* Ford AAA 185.701 29.079 -0.567
32 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 185.637 29.089 -0.577
33 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Snickers 185.490 29.112 -0.600
34 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar /
CatUsed.com 185.452 29.118 -0.606
35 21 Bill Elliott Ford Ore-Ida 185.433 29.121 -0.609
36 42 Juan Montoya* Dodge Texaco / Havoline 185.427 29.122 -0.610
37 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Best Buy 184.887 29.207 -0.695
38 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 360 OTC 184.672 29.241 -0.729
39 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 184.628 29.248 -0.736
40 7 Robby Gordon Ford Motorola Digital Audio Players 184.559 29.259 -0.747
41 96 Tony Raines+ Chevrolet DLP HDTV 183.874 29.368 -0.856
42 45 Kyle Petty+ Dodge Tire Kingdom 183.617 29.409 -0.897
43 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 184.508 29.267 -0.755

Did Not Qualify
44 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 184.370 29.289 -0.777
45 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 184.150 29.324 -0.812
46 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 183.911 29.362 -0.850
47 06 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Kenwood 183.505 29.427 -0.915
48 208 Carl Long Dodge E&M Motorsports 181.904 29.686 -1.174
49 27 Kirk Shelmerdine Chevrolet Batista Grading / Lilly Trucking 174.076 31.021 -2.509

Oct 06 2007

Michael Waltrip Gets Lucky, Grabs Pole at Talladega

I say he got lucky because this is an impound race, meaning they qualify, then Nascar impounds the cars and they can’t make any changes to them, so, the Chase drivers, or at least most of them, qualified with race setups and will be driving to the front as those who qualified up front will slowly make their way to the back of the field. This should be an interesting race, to say the least.

Qualifying for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, given the Car of Tomorrow and its effect on the pack mentality of restrictor-plate racing, is merely a formality.

As Jeff Gordon, second in points, said, Saturday “was all about the guys outside the top 35 in points.”

That’s the way it turned out, as 13 of the top 15 cars in qualifying were go-or-go-home cars. Only eight made it, with the other five losing out. The top eight includes rookie Jacques Villeneuve.

The first top-35 car on the grid will be Bobby Labonte in eighth, and the first Chaser was Tony Stewart in 11th. Source: Chasers will have to charge toward front at Talladega

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are the only two drivers in this race who have won here, Johnson has one victory and Gordon has five victories, Johnson’s average finish is 19.3, Gordon’s is 15.4, Stewart’s average finish is 12.9, Truex is 20.0, Hamlin’s is 21.3, Jeff Burton’s is 18.5, Bowyer’s is 36.7, Kenseth’s is 15.4, Edwards average is 23.0, Kyle Busch’s is 30.8, Harvick’s is 13.1 and Kurt Busch’s average finish is 10.2.

Here is how they qualified:

1 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 189.070 50.648 Leader
2 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 188.839 50.710 -0.062
3 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 188.779 50.726 -0.078
4 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 188.471 50.809 -0.161
5 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Burger King 188.459 50.812 -0.164
6 127 Jacques Villeneuve Toyota UNICEF 188.215 50.878 -0.230
7 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 187.798 50.991 -0.343
8 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Pillsbury Food Service / Cheerios 187.284 51.131 -0.483
9 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 187.258 51.138 -0.490
10 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 187.119 51.176 -0.528
11 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 187.057 51.193 -0.545
12 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 186.827 51.256 -0.608
13 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 186.816 51.259 -0.611
14 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 186.761 51.274 -0.626
15 88 Mike Wallace Ford M&M’s Halloween 186.692 51.293 -0.645
16 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 186.663 51.301 -0.653
17 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 186.467 51.355 -0.707
18 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Ground 186.202 51.428 -0.780
19 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 186.133 51.447 -0.799
20 16 Greg Biffle Ford Starz / Dish Network 186.014 51.480 -0.832
21 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 185.956 51.496 -0.848
22 42 Juan Montoya* Dodge Texaco / Havoline 185.938 51.501 -0.853
23 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s 185.826 51.532 -0.884
24 7 Robby Gordon Ford Camping World
/ RVs.com 185.797 51.540 -0.892
25 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 185.783 51.544 -0.896
26 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 185.783 51.544 -0.896
27 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s 185.725 51.560 -0.912
28 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 185.625 51.588 -0.940
29 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 185.542 51.611 -0.963
30 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet PEAK / Menards 185.463 51.633 -0.985
31 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 185.323 51.672 -1.024
32 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Garmin / Best Buy 185.212 51.703 -1.055
33 40 David Stremme Dodge Coors Light 185.061 51.745 -1.097
34 24 Jeff Gordon+ Chevrolet Pepsi / DuPont 185.051 51.748 -1.100
35 26 Jamie McMurray+ Ford IRWIN Vise-Grip GrooveLocks 184.918 51.785 -1.137
36 5 Kyle Busch+ Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 184.890 51.793 -1.145
37 29 Kevin Harvick+ Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 184.726 51.839 -1.191
38 01 Aric Almirola+ Chevrolet U.S. Army 184.626 51.867 -1.219
39 70 Johnny Sauter+ Chevrolet Radioactive Energy Drink 184.580 51.880 -1.232
40 21 Ken Schrader+ Ford Motorcraft 184.193 51.989 -1.341
41 2 Kurt Busch+ Dodge Miller Lite 186.416 51.369 -0.721
42 6 David Ragan+* Ford AAA Travel 185.255 51.691 -1.043
43 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 187.658 51.029 -0.381

Did Not Qualify
44 84 A.J. Allmendinger* Toyota Red Bull 187.596 51.046 -0.398
45 160 Boris Said Ford SOBE – No Fear 187.423 51.093 -0.445
46 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools 187.328 51.119 -0.471
47 06 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 187.262 51.137 -0.489
48 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 360 OTC 187.130 51.173 -0.525
49 109 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 186.696 51.292 -0.644
50 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet State Water Heaters / Miccosukee Resort 185.963 51.494 -0.846
51 37 Kevin Lepage Dodge Taco Bell 185.765 51.549 -0.901

Sep 21 2007

Jimmie Johnson Nails Dover Pole

Jimmie Johnson claims Dover pole
That 48 machine is still rolling with Jimmie Johnson grabbing the pole late in Dover, almost 1mph faster than the 2nd place qualifier, Juan Montoya, and landing that all important first pit stall. Half of the 12 Chase for the Cup drivers are in the top 10, as usual, while Gordon and Stewart are starting 27th and 28th. Here is how the 12 cuppers qualified:

1. Jimmie Johnson 154.766
3. Denny Hamlin 153.570
4. Kurt Busch 153.518
5. Martin Truex Jr. 153.211
7. Kevin Harvick 152.879
10. Matt Kenseth 152.362
15. Carl Edwards 151.796
22. Kyle Busch 151.477
27. Jeff Gordon 151.178
28. Tony Stewart 151.172
36. Jeff Burton 150.420
42. Clint Bowyer 148.038

Clint Bowyer followed up the win with a disappointing qualifying run, which could show how important it is to be consistent in Nascar, up and down every week does not a champion make. Sam Hornish Jr, still hoping to make his first Nascar start, did not make this race, his second failed attempt in a row.

Here is something interesting, if you are really into Nascar and trying to predict the winners and other such things, here is how the 12 drivers in the cup finished in the last Dover race:

1 1 Martin Truex Jr.
3 99 Carl Edwards
4 11 Denny Hamlin
5 17 Matt Kenseth
8 15 07 Clint Bowyer
9 24 Jeff Gordon
12 31 Jeff Burton
15 48 Jimmie Johnson
17 5 Kyle Busch
20 29 Kevin Harvick
40 20 Tony Stewart
42 2 Kurt Busch

So, in the last Dover race, every cup driver ran well, with Truex winning it and Edwards coming in third, everyone except for Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, and we all remember why right? If you don’t, Kurt Busch came close to hitting a crew member on Tony’s 20 team when he slid into the side of Tony’s car, because of the on track racing where neither was giving the other room. Here is a video with Tony’s side and one with Kurt’s side. Personally, I think Kurt should’ve set out a week, but Nascar declined on sending a message, probably because of Penske, Miller Lite and a “big” star like Kurt Busch.

Johnson leads the points standings heading into the second race of NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup championship. He hasn’t started worse than ninth in any of the last eight races.

“It’s tough to say how important track position is going to be,” Johnson said. “The thing I’m most excited about is having the first pit stall.”

Johnson and Jeff Gordon both have 5,210 points, but Johnson’s series-high six victories give him the edge. Gordon has four. Source: Johnson steals Dover pole from Montoya in late run

Here is how they qualified:

1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 154.766 23.261 Leader
2 42 Juan Montoya* Dodge Texaco / Havoline 153.833 23.402 -0.141
3 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Ground 153.570 23.442 -0.181
4 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 153.518 23.450 -0.189
5 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 153.211 23.497 -0.236
6 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools 152.931 23.540 -0.279
7 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 152.879 23.548 -0.287
8 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 152.439 23.616 -0.355
9 16 Greg Biffle Ford Nintendo Wii 152.413 23.620 -0.359
10 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT NANO Technology 152.362 23.628 -0.367
11 84 A.J. Allmendinger* Toyota Red Bull 152.362 23.628 -0.367
12 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 152.284 23.640 -0.379
13 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Domino’s Pizza 152.066 23.674 -0.413
14 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 152.008 23.683 -0.422
15 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 151.796 23.716 -0.455
16 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo 151.771 23.720 -0.459
17 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 151.713 23.729 -0.468
18 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 151.694 23.732 -0.471
19 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 151.668 23.736 -0.475
20 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 151.643 23.740 -0.479
21 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 151.515 23.760 -0.499
22 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 151.477 23.766 -0.505
23 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 151.464 23.768 -0.507
24 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 151.407 23.777 -0.516
25 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation 151.381 23.781 -0.520
26 21 Ken Schrader Ford U.S. Air Force 151.197 23.810 -0.549
27 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 151.178 23.813 -0.552
28 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 151.172 23.814 -0.553
29 49 John Andretti Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 151.051 23.833 -0.572
30 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 151.013 23.839 -0.578
31 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 150.912 23.855 -0.594
32 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 150.880 23.860 -0.599
33 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 150.880 23.860 -0.599
34 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Comcast 150.804 23.872 -0.611
35 6 David Ragan* Ford AAA 150.628 23.900 -0.639
36 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 150.420 23.933 -0.672
37 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s 149.782 24.035 -0.774
38 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 149.564 24.070 -0.809
39 88 Kenny Wallace+ Ford Snickers 149.068 24.150 -0.889
40 40 David Stremme+ Dodge Halo 3 / Target 148.926 24.173 -0.912
41 7 Robby Gordon+ Ford Jim Beam Black 148.173 24.296 -1.035
42 07 Clint Bowyer+ Chevrolet DIRECTV 148.038 24.318 -1.057
43 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 150.344 23.945 -0.684

Did Not Qualify
44 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet Lucas Oil / State Water Heaters 149.856 24.023 -0.762
45 33 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Holiday Inn 149.782 24.035 -0.774
46 06 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Penske Truck Rental 149.545 24.073 -0.812
47 37 Kevin Lepage Dodge Front Row Motorsports 149.489 24.082 -0.821
48 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 149.025 24.157 -0.896
49 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 360 OTC 148.503 24.242 -0.981

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