Saturday, August 10, 2013

Racing Weekend Take Two

Hey everyone and happy Saturday!

We made it to the weekend again!

First off terribly sorry that I never got back with a wrap up from last weekend's races (things got crazy here), but I will include that in this post, so here we go!

Racing Wrap Up from Iowa and Pocono

Last Saturday night the NASCAR Nationwide Series was at the Iowa Speedway for their 250 mile race.  The race went caution free all the way to lap 55 when caution came out for Drew Herring, and all the leaders came down pit road for a pit stop,  the #22 of Brad Keslowski had a tire outside of the pit box on this stop and they were put to the back of the field for the restart.  They started to battle an overheating problem around lap 100.  One interesting fact via the ESPN broadcast of the race was that Brad Keselowski had previously never won a race that he had a pit penalty in.  Lap 140 the caution returned for Reed Sorenson's engine expiring, on the restart the #3 of Austin Dillon remained the leader.

(When I say pit stop in my head I always
have this come to mind)
Things went downhill for the #3 of Austin Dillon on lap 199 when a caution flew for the #60 of Travis Pastrana who had a flat left rear tire.  Under this round of pit stops, the Trevor Bayne took the top spot by taking just two right side tires, as did the top 4 cars leaving pit road.  The #22 of Brad Keselowski restarted the race in 7th position with 4 fresh tires.  Right after the race went back green, Brian Vickers took over the lead from Bayne, and retained the lead until 34 laps to go when Keselowski took advantage of the 4 fresh tires and took the lead.  The fourth and final caution flew on lap 223 for a single car spin on the front stretch. The first car to come down pit road on this caution was the #7 of Regan Smith all the way back in the 12th position. The green flag flew once again with 22 laps remaining, and Keselowski retained the lead all the way to the checkers.

On to Pocono from last Sunday, which didn't wait too long to throw the first yellow flag.  First lap first turn the #42 of Juan Pablo Montoya, the #17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and the #20 of Matt Kenseth all tangled, and Stenhouse wound up with the worst damage from the bunch.  The next caution came out just a few laps later for a cut tire, and the scheduled competition caution for lap 20 was canceled.

Left: Green Track (
Right: Rubbered in track (
For those who don't know, a competition caution will be scheduled for a race that has had rain the night before thus all the rubber has been washed off the track which we call a "green track".  The competition caution will be scheduled so that tire wear can be checked.

The pictures on the left are an example of a green race track (left) vs. a "rubbered in" race track (right).  Both are the same race track (Bristol Motorspeedway), and you can see the distinct black color that the concrete will take on as the weekend wears on.  The picture on the right is from March after Kasey Kahne's win in the Cup race.

Back to the race!  Lap 52 the caution flag  flew for the #38 of David Gilliland, and when the race went back to green on lap 58 Brad Keselowski was the leader; however, just one lap later the #5 of Kasey Kahne took the lead.  After leading much of the race, the #48 of Jimmie Johnson blew a tire on lap 76 which sent him into the turn 2 wall.  Caution flew again on lap 95 for another tire, this time it was the #30 of David Stremme.  Kasey Kahne took control of the lead once again at lap 108 on a restart, but 2 laps later the #7 of Danica Patrick, Travis Kvapil, and the #31 of Jeff Burton got together bringing out another caution.  Caution didn't fly again until lap 149 (after a round of green flag stops around lap 125) for a piece of debris on the track.  Jeff Gordon took the lead on this restart and took off, but a caution for Matt Kenseth's spin in turn 2, gave Kahne another shot, which he took and never looked back winning his 2nd race of the season.

On to this weekend shall we? Or I should mention the happenings of this week right.  The biggest news to come out of this week was from Tony Stewart who has been hospitalized for a broken leg since Monday night.  Ouch right?! So Max Papis has taken over the #14 car for Stewart-Hass Racing this weekend in Watkins Glen.

Ok now to this weekend.  The NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are together this weekend in Watkins Glen, in New York.  This track is a really fast road course, yes I said road course that means right and left!  (Excuse me with my excitement, these things are what I grew up with)

Photo: Getty Images
This place is so incredibly fast as you can see by the long straightaways and the wide sweeping corners.  Think there's no major wrecks at this type of track, you are sadly mistaken, there is always an interesting bit that happens when you throw guys that normally don't shift or turn right into a situation like this.  However, over the years the times where a road course "ringer" (aka someone who is normally just a road course racer/specialist) would dominate.  These days the regulars spend days testing at other road courses across the nation to become better.

Remember what I said about wrecks

Anyway, tune in for NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying now on ESPN2 (it's about to go off though), and 11:30 PM EST for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying  which both are being done in groups.

NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 is on ABC at 2:00 PM EST.   NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 comes on ESPN tomorrow at 1:00 PM EST.

And for the record I have been over the wall for a pit stop just one race (that's me full face helmet with a catch can)  Catch cans are no longer used in NASCAR's 3 upper divisions; however, ARCA still uses them.

Y'all have a great day!

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