Martinsville: Hot Dog!

I am a big lover of short track racing. The excitement and action are constant — never a dull moment. Just thinking about whipping around a track in 19.2 seconds is amazing.

Though not my home track (Dover) Martinsville is magical — a mere .526 miles, the shortest track on the Sprint Cup circuit. However, it is not short of drama, hot tempers, or mishaps.

Often dubbed “The paper clip” or “The bull ring” Martinsville is full of history. You can’t really talk Martinsville without talking about it famous, oddly pinkish hot dog. It’s kinda like Philly cheese steaks and soft pretzels.  Here’s a classic article with a good shot of the iconic dog. Click here 

With the race underway keep an eye on tire wear and the illusive second groove. My bet is the groove will remain illusive and that bottom line will be the one to ride. Good Year has brought a new tire here. The teams that manage their tires well and can keep most of their fenders and tempers intact will do well today. Hmm. I guess that eliminates anyway who gets close to Joey Logano. But I digress.

My prediction. when the checkered flag comes out at the end look for Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch. Enjoy the race. Woo hoo! Enjoy the race.

Advertisements

Texas Story Lines: Chase race of the crew chiefs

When I think about my expectations for the AAA Texas 500, and for that matter, the two other races that will complete this Sprint Cup season, it comes down to one thing: the crew chiefs. This is undoubtedly the Jimmie vs. Brad show. I don’t believe that something drastic can happen to these top dogs that would allow Clint Bowyer or Kasey Kahne to truly contend for the championship. Jimmie Johnson’s equipment and team in general are a tad stronger and better financed than Brad Keselowski, but not enough to tip the scales. NASCAR has pretty much evened up the competition as far as equipment goes (but don’t tell that to Joe Gibbs Racing!)

Jimmie Johnson  has proven himself and  so has Brad Keselowski. This 28-year-old has the maturity and driving talent of a seasoned pro. So it will come down to the crew chiefs in my humble opinion.

Hmm. Chad Knaus vs. Paul Wolfe. What do you think?
Bio of Paul Wolfe: Click here.

The slightly older Chad Knaus bio. Click here.
Enjoy the race!

Monster Mile-ing the Chase: Round 3

Dover International Speedway is my home track and an awesome place to see a race. It is a high-banked, concrete short-track that gobbles up drivers who aren’t wearing their “big boy pants,” as Jimmie Johnson would say.

This race is all about the whole package — the driver, the car and the entire crew. Drivers who are okay about slipping around do well here. A tricky pit road entrance can mess up a driver’s good run though. The crews who can keep up with the track changes and not make mistakes may ultimately make the difference.

So what’s my prediction? Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and a dark horse — perhaps Martin Truex, Jr. are going to factor greatly. So you may have noticed that I have not mentioned Jimmie Johnson yet. Well that’s a no-brainer. Dover and 5-Time go together.

My fantasy picks were: Jimmie Johnson; Martin Truex, Jr.; Joey Logano; and Sam Hornish, Jr.

Enjoy the race!!

Fed Ex 400 – Monster Mile day of pit stall showdowns & fast racing

Dover International Speedway is my favorite NASCAR track, and not just because it is my home track. It is a premier short-track with all the fixins’: banked corners; high speeds; and a challenging pit road, as well as great family activities all weekend long. If you haven’t been here you need to put it on your punch list. To learn more here is a link to Dover’s Monster Mile crash course. 

So what’s in store for fans at today’s Sprint Cup race? Well at a minimum a day of fast, fast racing and more than a bit of serious finesse from the drivers. Here is my track overview and predictions on race standouts for today. Click here.

I watched qualifying at the track yesterday and Jimmie Johnson’s car was not only fast, but looked the smoothest. The car looked vacuumed to the track. Mark Martin was, of course, the fastest, but I’m not sure if Jimmie Johnson’s crew may put him over the top. But it sure will be interesting.

Enjoy and the race and let me know what you think about the racing at Dover.

Who will be snakebitten on Phoenix’ slippery track?

Track position and tires may be the key elements for the Sprint Cup race today. In practice we saw lots of cars slipping around especially when their tires weren’t warmed up yet. This is bound to make restarts and exiting pit road particularly treacherous, and eventful!

It was great to see Mark Martin get the pole in his new Michael Waltrip Racing equipment as well as a good run from a much quieter and humbler Jimmie Johnson.

So who is on my fantasy racing team? Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and argg Kasey Kahne (not Ryan Newman). Kasey has a fast, fast car this weekend and he knows his way around this track — having won here last November and finished sixth in this race last year — right behind Ryan Newman. No matter where Kasey and Ryan end up today, this should be a great race. Enjoy!

Martinsville: Hot dogs and game changers for the Chase?

I love short tracks. There’s never a dull moment and there are so many variables – tires, pit stall selection, brakes and engines. With little time on the track this weekend I’m sure that the famous Martinsville hot dog will not be the only thing fans will be cheering for. This race will make or break some Chasers. Will Jimmie Johnson finally show what he’s got or will we see the demise of the 5-time dynasty? Will Dale Jr. rise to the occasion or will Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin?

Here are my fantasy picks: Denny Hamlin; Brad Keselowski;Juan Pablo Montoya; and Bobby Labonte.

Enjoy the race!

Night racing at Charlotte; hold on tight!

Should be a great race tonight. Can’t wait to settle in. So here’s my picks for tonight’s stand-outs: Jimmie Johnson; Brad Keselowski; Kasey Kayne; and Regan Smith.

Let’s go racing!

Will it be Fords & Rouschateers at Kansas?

Today’s race should be filled with long runs and a good bit of aggressive driving … or is that assertive driving?! Hmm. With unusually warm temps in Kansas this may play out like the spring race, but with that extra bit of  craziness since it is a Chase race.

I think the last few laps will be utter mayhem with some drivers like Harvick, Gordon, Johnson and Kenseth contending for the lead. The non-Chasers will surely make those last laps interesting as well. Don’t expect much for the Brothers Busch, so all you haters out there should be happy.

I think Newman will do just okay today, and I’m hoping that Smoke and Dale Jr. have a decent day. But I didn’t go with any of them. My fantasy picks? Well I’ve gone with Greg Biffle, Brad Kesolowski, Kasey Kahne (please don’t make me regret it!!), and Regan Smith.

Enjoy!

Rain, rain, go away .. from Dover at least!!

Yesterday looked iffy for the Nationwide race, but the rain stayed away and I just had to contend with the chill in the air. Guess I picked the right day to spend at the track. Hopefully we will get the Sprint race in today. It should be a good one! Yesterday was a race filled with long runs and dominated by Carl Edwards, but I was hoping that Clint Bowyer would catch up or at least pull off second. If you didn’t see the race yesterday, click here for a quick rundown.

I don’t think we are going to get long runs today, there’s just too much at stake for so many drivers and I’m thinking that patience will not be in abundance. Today will be about keeping up with track changes, not making mistakes in the pits and staying out of trouble. Good luck with that!

My picks are: Jimmie Johnson; Mark Martin; Martin Truex and Paul Menard. Hold on, its going to get crazy at the Monster Mile. Enjoy!

Fuel mileage & weather factors at New Hampshire?

It may be wise for NASCAR to consider hiring astrologists and meteorologists to work their magic to schedule races. Weather and math issues — basically figuring out if a car has enough fuel to finish — have made for some interesting race finishes lately. And kids think you’ll never use all that math! Let’s see, if a car leaves pit road with four fresh tires and returns to a mile and half track traveling at 180 mph, but I digress …

We are probably safe from rain for today’s race, but keeping up with track conditions created by sun and cloud coverage will be a factor as will fuel mileage. With competition so tight the real difference today could very well be made in the Pit Box.

When all is said and done I think the Chasers will dominate today. I’d love to see Tony Stewart do well, but I think Ryan Newman will lead the Stewart-Haas team today with Smoke finishing in the top 5. It’s about time to show the fans why 5-Time is a five-time Champ so today will be the Chad-Johnson show. I’m crossing my fingers for Dale Jr. today too. I think he is showing what he’s got and that he has the passion, skill and drive to win.

So my picks: Jimmie Johnson; Ryan Newman; Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; and Bobby Labonte.

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 240 other followers