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Race Preview: Quicken Loans 400

16 Jun

All the talk in practice on Friday was about blistering tires at the newly repaved and blistering fast Michigan International Speedway.

This prompted NASCAR and Goodyear to bring in harder left-side tires for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400. The decision was made on Friday night, but the tires didn’t make it to Michigan until Saturday afternoon, after qualifying was already over.

Teams had an extra practice session on Saturday night during which they were able to test out the new left-side tires, and drivers have since taken to Twitter to share their opinions about them:

As you can see, the consensus seems to fall somewhere between confusion and uncertainty. (Ignore Jimmie’s tweet about excitement – that’s a PR tweet).

I guess we’ll find out on Sunday which team was able to, in such a short window, make the adjustments needed to win.

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The Quicken Loans 400 is race #15 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup Series circuit. Race coverage on Sunday starts at 12:00 PM EDT on TNT. (The race itself starts at 1:16 PM EDT).

Below the logo, find everything you need to prepare for Sunday’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Quicken Loans 400

  • Location: Brooklyn, Michigan
  • Track name: Michigan International Speedway
  • Track shape: D-oval
  • Banking: 18° turns, 12° frontstretch, 5° backstretch
  • Lap length: 2.0 miles
  • Race distance: 200 laps / 400 miles

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As always, I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do. During the race, be sure to use hashtag: #QL400.

Enjoy the race everyone.

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Race Preview: Pocono 400 Presented By NASCAR

9 Jun

I’ve been watching NASCAR now for about four months, and I must say that one of the coolest things about this sport is that the tracks vary a lot from week to week in terms of size and shape.

From “The Paperclip” to “The Monster Mile,” NASCAR tracks have some interesting nicknames relating to their design.

This week’s track (Pocono Raceway) has an intriguing nickname as well: “The Tricky Triangle.” (Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I believe this is the first scalene triangle – as opposed to an isosceles triangle – on the Sprint Cup Series schedule).

The Tricky Triangle??? I’m hooked already!

The Pocono 400 is race #14 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup Series circuit. Race coverage on Sunday starts at 12:00 PM EDT on TNT. (The race itself starts at 1:18 PM EDT).

Below the track layout, find everything you need to prepare for Sunday’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Pocono 400 Presented by NASCAR

  • Location: Long Pond, PA
  • Track name: Pocono Raceway
  • Track shape: Tri-oval
  • Banking: 14° turn 1, 8° turn 2, 6° turn 3, 2° straights
  • Lap length: 2.5 miles
  • Race distance: 160 laps / 400 miles

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As always, I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone.

Race Preview: FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks

2 Jun

We’re at the “Monster Mile” this week for the “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks,” which has to be the worst title for a NASCAR race since… the “Capital City 400 Presented by Virginia is for Lovers.”

Side-note: Thanks to this race, I now know how to spell “benefiting.” (Shouldn’t that be pronounced ‘bene-fighting’?)

The FedEx 400 is race #13 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup Series circuit. Race coverage tomorrow starts at 12:30 PM EDT on FOX. (The race itself starts at 1:15 PM EDT).

This is the last race of the year that will be televised on FOX, so mentally prepare yourselves… Tomorrow could be the last time this season you get to hear “BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY, LET’S GO RACIN’ BOYS!!!!!!” from D.W.

Below the logo, find everything you need to prepare for tomorrow’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks

  • Location: Dover, Delaware
  • Track name: Dover International Speedway
  • Track shape: Oval
  • Banking: 24 degrees
  • Lap length: 1.0 mile
  • Race distance: 400 laps / 400 miles
  • Here is the complete list of past winners (scroll down a bit).
  • Finally, here is the starting order for tomorrow’s race.

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I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone.

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Race Preview: Coca-Cola 600

26 May

NASCAR got lazy this week and decided to stay in North Carolina, so we have another Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night…

Just kidding!

It looks like there is a NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year on Memorial Day Weekend, and this year is no exception. (Thanks as always, Wikipedia!).

Unlike last weekend’s Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race, this week’s Coca-Cola 600 will count in the standings, so don’t expect any drivers to “sandbag” their way through this one like Jimmie Johnson did last weekend.

The Coca-Cola 600 is race #12 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup circuit. Race coverage on Sunday night starts at 5:30 PM EDT on FOX. (The race itself starts at 6:16 PM EDT).

Below the logo (which has to be the most boring one I’ve seen in NASCAR so far), find everything you need to prepare for Sunday’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Coca-Cola 600

  • Location: Concord, NC
  • Track name: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Track shape: Quad-oval
  • Banking: 24 degrees (turns), 5 degrees (straights)
  • Lap length: 1.5 miles
  • Race distance: 400 laps / 600 miles

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As always, I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone!

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NASCAR All-Star Day?

19 May

I’m confused by tonight’s NASCAR festivities. Apparently there are two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway this evening, but they don’t count for anything in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

The first one is the Sprint Showdown, starting at 7:30 PM, and running 40 laps long. That race has 22 drivers in it, but only one (really) big-name driver: Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

The main event is the Sprint All-Star Race, starting at 9:00 PM. That race has 20 drivers in it, including all the big-name drivers (like Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Jeff Gordon). Unlike the Showdown, the All-Star Race will be 90 laps long.

Don’t look for these races on FOX; tonight, television coverage is on SPEED, starting at 7:00 PM.

Below the logo, check out your Charlotte Motor Speedway/Sprint All-Star Race essentials.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Sprint All-Star Race

  • Location: Concord, NC
  • Track name: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Track shape: Quad-oval
  • Banking: 24 degrees (turns), 5 degrees (straights)
  • Lap length: 1.5 miles
  • Race distance: 90 laps / 135 miles
  • Pole sitter: Kyle Busch
  • Last year’s winner: Carl Edwards
  • Here is the complete list of past winners in the All-Star Race (Showdown winners are listed as well).

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Here is the starting order for tonight’s All-Star race, and here is the starting order for the Showdown.

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I’ll be following the race(s) on Twitter tonight since I won’t be able to watch, but I’ll post questions and comments after the race(s) from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race(s) everyone!

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Race Preview: Bojangles’ Southern 500

11 May

I must be a Northerner, because I’d never heard of Confederate Memorial Day before today, but apparently it’s a real thing, and apparently there is always a NASCAR race in South Carolina that weekend.

According to Wikipedia, Confederate Memorial Day is “an official holiday and/or observance day in parts of the U.S. South as a day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.”

Excellent.

So yes, I’m a Northerner, but I have heard of this week’s sponsor: Bojangles’. (It’s basically like Popeye’s or KFC, but their locations are mainly in the South).

My sister went to school in North Carolina, so we drove past a Bojangles’ once, and I laughed at the name. Never ate at one, though.

Anyways… The Bojangles’ Southern 500 is race #11 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup circuit. Race coverage on Saturday starts at 6:30 PM EDT on FOX. (The race itself starts at 7:15 PM EDT).

Below the logo, find everything you need to prepare for Saturday’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Bojangles’ Southern 500

  • Location: Darlington, South Carolina
  • Track name: Darlington Raceway
  • Track shape: Not-quite oval, or: “egg-shaped.”
  • Banking: 25° turns 1-2, 23° turns 3-4, 6° frontstretch, 6° backstretch
  • Lap length: 1.366 miles
  • Race distance: 367 laps / 501 miles

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As always, I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone.

Race Preview: Aaron’s 499

5 May

There were two hot topics on Twitter ahead of this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega: (1) Kurt Busch’s paint job, and (2) jorts:

It took some effort, but Kurt Busch was finally given permission to use Ricky Bobby’s paint scheme.

Jimmie Johnson says NO to jorts. (You should too).

The Aaron’s 499 is race #10 (out of 36) on the Sprint Cup circuit. The race will take place at Talladega Superspeedway, which is the largest track on the NASCAR schedule, at 2.66 miles around.

Race coverage tomorrow starts at 12:00 PM EDT on FOX. (The race itself starts at 1:19 PM EDT).

Below the logo, find everything you need to prepare for tomorrow’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Aaron’s 499

  • Location: Talladega, Alabama
  • Track name: Talladega Superspeedway
  • Track shape: Tri-oval
  • Banking: 33 degrees
  • Lap length: 2.66 miles
  • Race distance: 188 laps / 500 miles

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I’ll be tweeting my comments and questions about NASCAR during the race from my Twitter account: @NASCARneophyte. If you can answer my questions, please do.

Enjoy the race everyone. (I’ll be cheering for Ricky Bobby).