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Feb 18 2011

2011 Daytona 500 Qualifying

Its official, after the completion of the two qualifying races today; here is the starting lineup for the 53rd running of the super bowl of racing, the Daytona 500:
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2 24 Jeff Gordon
3 22 Kurt Busch
4 31 Jeff Burton
5 78 Regan Smith
6 33 Clint Bowyer
7 29 Kevin Harvick
8 115 Michael Waltrip
9 17 Matt Kenseth
10 18 Kyle Busch
11 4 Kasey Kahne
12 192 Brian Keselowski
13 42 Juan Montoya
14 1 Jamie McMurray
15 43 A.J. Allmendinger
16 2 Brad Keselowski
17 5 Mark Martin
18 11 Denny Hamlin
19 27 Paul Menard
20 56 Martin Truex Jr.
21 39 Ryan Newman
22 99 Carl Edwards
23 48 Jimmie Johnson
24 00 David Reutimann
25 14 Tony Stewart
26 16 Greg Biffle
27 83 Brian Vickers
28 37 Robert Richardson Jr.
29 09 Bill Elliott
30 7 Robby Gordon
31 47 Bobby Labonte
32 21 Trevor Bayne
33 46 J.J. Yeley
34 6 David Ragan
35 9 Marcos Ambrose
36 77 Steve Wallace
37 71 Andy Lally
38 20 Joey Logano
39 34 David Gilliland
40 38 Travis Kvapil
41 87 Joe Nemechek
42 36 Dave Blaney
43 32 Terry Labonte

Now, Dale Earnhardt will not be starting the Daytona 500 in the first position, he has to go to the back because he wrecked his car and has to use a backup car. Jeff Gordon MAY have to go to the back as well if they can’t get the damage fixed from his wreck/incident in the second Gatorade duel today. Speaking of the duels here is how they finished in the first duel: Read more »

Feb 13 2011

Kurt Busch Wins 33rd Bud Shootout

There I was, laying on the couch, enjoying the 33rd running of the Bud Shootout at Daytona, Earnhardt Jr was wrecked by Regan Smith or Carl Edwards and they had a couple long commercials and I feel alseep. Daggonit. I missed the rest of the race, but, apparently, Kurt Busch was ruled the winner after Denny Hamlin passed by crossing the yellow line.

Here is how they finished:
1 – 22 Kurt Busch
2 – 1 Jamie McMurray
3 – 39 Ryan Newman
4 – 48 Jimmie Johnson
5 – 16 Greg Biffle
6 – 24 Jeff Gordon
7 – 29 Kevin Harvick
8 – 31 Jeff Burton
9 – 33 Clint Bowyer
10 – 47 Bobby Labonte
11 – 14 Tony Stewart
12 – 11 Denny Hamlin
13 – 17 Matt Kenseth
14 – 64 Derrike Cope
15 – 115 Michael Waltrip
16 – 18 Kyle Busch
17 – 5 Mark Martin
18 – 20 Joey Logano
19 – 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20 – 42 Juan Montoya
21 – 99 Carl Edwards
22 – 78 Regan Smith
23 – 97 Kevin Conway
24 – 4 Kasey Kahne

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.

Jan 24 2011

2011 Nascar Schedule

Here is the racing schedule for the 2011 season.
Pre-season races:
February 12 Shootout at Daytona
February 17 Duel 1 at Daytona
February 17 Duel 2 at Daytona

Points Races Start:
February 20 Daytona
February 27 Phoenix
March 6 Las Vegas
March 20 Bristol
March 27 Fontana
April 3 Martinsville
April 9 Texas
April 17 Talladega
April 30 Richmond
May 7 Darlington
May 15 Dover
May 21 Showdown
May 21 All-Star Race
May 29 Charlotte
June 5 Kansas
June 12 Pocono
June 19 Michigan
June 26 Sonoma
July 2 Daytona
July 9 Kentucky
July 17 Loudon
July 31 Indianapolis
August 7 Pocono
August 14 Watkins Glen
August 21 Michigan
August 27 Bristol
September 4 Atlanta
September 10 Richmond
September 18 Chicago
September 25 Loudon
October 2 Dover
October 9 Kansas
October 15 Charlotte
October 23 Talladega
October 30 Martinsville
November 6 Texas
November 13 Phoenix
November 20 Homestead

Jan 24 2011

Nascar Rule Changes for 2011

Nascar is making some new rule changes this year; here are the ones we know about so far.

The first one I’ll comment on is the one that will probably end up being called the Nationwide rule; each driver must check a box on their application this year that says which series they will be collecting points for. What does this mean? It means that someone who is racing full time in the cup series will not be able to win a Nationwide championship like Brad Keselowski did last year.

I think is a really good rule change, the Nationwide series used to be the proving ground for up and coming young drivers, this is where Dale Jr. was before he started racing the cup series, but the past few years, it’s been an extra race for the cup guys to get in some more practice on the current track. It was a big help to some, like Kevin Harvick, although it wasn’t as helpful when the cup series started using the COT and the cars were so different. From;

“The hope for this is … there is a level of focus and a level of exposure offered to younger drivers who have personalities that deserve to get attention and be developed along the way [in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series],” Helton said.

They are also discussing a change to the points system that would make it easier for us normal folks to understand I guess, I’d heard mentioned giving 43 points for first, all the way down to 1 point for last, from the same article linked to above;

“The main goal is to get one that’s just easier to understand and simpler, but you have to do that with credibility around the championship,” he said. “And we’re getting a lot of great input from the drivers about the tweaks that would go along with something like that, so it’s actually been fun to work on.”

Ya, I would imagine it’s pretty fun to work for Nascar.

Nov 24 2009

Johnson Wins 4th Straight Chase Championship

The Chase for the Johnson is over; Jimmie Johnson has won his fourth straight Chase championship in a row, making Nascar history. Of course, IMHO, its recent history, just because he’s won four chase championships, I don’t hold that in as high regard as I would four Winston Cup championships. If we were still under the old points system, Jimmie would have two championships, this year and 2006, with Gordon winning 2007 and Edwards winning 2008. So, not to take anything away from Jimmie, who is going to be one of the all time greats, four championships in a row is hard to do in any sport, and in Nascar, all it takes is one more wreck or mechanical failure and you’re whole season can be different.

I do agree that Johnson stands alone, as Duane Cross puts it in this article on, he is one of the greats, but you can’t compare these guys anymore like we used to be able to, the points system is completely different, and I am sure if you applied the Chase rules to every Nascar season it would change the results, mainly because the Chase format sucks. To go from the best over the whole season to the best over the last ten races is a big swing, maybe if you took the top 12 drivers and have them vote on the final ten races, that might be more interesting.

Mark Martin looked like he was going to be tough on Sunday, but they weren’t as good as they thought they were going to be, Denny Hamlin was the guy to beat at the end, winning his 8th race overall.
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