Tag Archives: Denny Hamlin

Top 10 Moments of 2012

25 Nov

It’s been a long, crazy season (my first following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series), capped off with a Brad Keselowski championship last weekend.

Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Most-Memorable Moments of the 2012 season…

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10.

Stephen Leicht (who??) sends a groundhog airborne during practice

June 8, 2012 at Pocono

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9.

Jimmie Johnson rocks colored afro in victory lane

June 3, 2012 at Dover

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8.

Kevin Harvick’s car dented by parachute jumper during pre-race festivities

November 4, 2012 at Texas

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7.

Dale Jr. ends 4-year, 143-race winless streak in the “Batmobile”

June 17, 2012 at Michigan

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6.

Jeff Gordon makes Clint Bowyer angry, prompting priceless YouTube spoofs such as this one:

November 11, 2012 at Phoenix

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5.

Denny Hamlin calls his victory, then delivers

September 23, 2012 at New Hampshire

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4.

After leaving race, (lunatic) Tony Stewart launches his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car

August 25, 2012 at Bristol

 

[Afterwards, Stewart said: “I learned my lesson there—I’m going to run over him every him every chance I’ve got from now until the end of the year, every chance I’ve got.”]

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3.

Brad Keselowski tweets from inside his car during the Daytona 500 jet dryer incident

February 27, 2012 at Daytona

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2.

Kurt Busch rocks the Ricky Bobby paint job

May 6, 2012 at Talladega

(Here is an article on how he got permission to use it).

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1.

Bad Brad wins championship; gives (awesome) sponsor-fueled interview afterwards

November 18, 2012 at Homestead

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When you think back on the 2012 season, are these the moments that stand out for you, as well?

[Here is a 2012 recap that the folks at the Yahoo! Sports blog “From the Marbles” came up with.]

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Race Recap: TUMS Fast Relief 500

1 Nov

As much as I’d like to blame the Frankenstorm for making me miss last weekend’s TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville, I can’t.

I was out of town last weekend watching – in person – my favorite (black-and-yellow-colored) football team defeat the sorry football team from our nation’s capital.  (Was that too specific??)

Therefore, once again, I’ll analyze the race highlights courtesy of NASCAR.com’s superb video series known as the “Race Rewind.”

(Here is the NASCAR.com race recap, if blog-quality journalism isn’t your thing…).

P.S. – This is the blog post of awesome pictures. Prepare yourself…

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I told you there were awesome pictures in store for you.

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Some comments/questions on the race:

  • If my math is correct, this was only the second time this season that the race winner started from the pole, as Jimmie Johnson did on Sunday (the other time was at Pocono, where Joey Logano won on June 10th).  –Is this normal in NASCAR??
  • How quickly things change at the small tracks, eh?  Denny Hamlin went from 30th at Lap 48 to first at Lap 165.  –Wow.
  • Hamlin got two(!) speeding penalties???  –Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice…
  • No major wrecks in this race.  –Yawn…

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So the Top 5 Chase drivers remained the same after the race, but there was some shuffling at the top:

Jimmie Johnson moved past Brad Keselowski for first overall, and both Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne moved passed Hamlin after his struggles on Sunday.  Bowyer now stands in third, Kahne fourth, and Hamlin fifth overall in the Chase standings.

With three races left before a champion is crowned for this 2012 season, it’s looking now like a two-man race (no pun intended) between Jimmie and Brad.

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Definite “Tweet of the Week” winner:

Yep, that’s Jeff Gordon there on the left dressed as King Arthur?  One of the knights of the Round Table?  Who cares… it’s awesome!

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BONUS PICTURE:

If you thought the Jeff Gordon Halloween picture above was awesome, check out his 2005 Halloween costume (when he attended Heidi Klum‘s Halloween party in New York City with then-girlfriend Ingrid Vandebosch):

He is (they are?) dressed as a One Night Stand! Get it? Hahaha

Happy Belated Halloween!!

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Next Sunday, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Fort Worth, Texas, for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

I will be watching.

Hopefully.

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Race Recap: Hollywood Casino 400

23 Oct

Okay, full disclosure: I didn’t watch this past weekend’s race.  I rented “The Hunger Games” instead, and it was pretty awesome.  Best 74 cents I’ve ever spent (thank you, Redbox!!!).

I just got caught up on the race highlights, however, thanks to NASCAR‘s wonderfully produced “Race Rewind” (which as I’ve mentioned before, is a must-watch any time you miss a race).

Here’s the tweet that sent me to the Race Rewind for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas, by the way (so I knew right off the bat that Matt Kenseth won):

…and here is the NASCAR.com recap of the race.

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Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas.

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Some thoughts on the race (or more accurately, some thoughts on the Race Rewind for Kansas):

  • Did you hear the announcer say (Race Rewind, Lap 32) that they were expecting “maybe half a dozen” cautions? HA! (There were a track-record 14 on Sunday).
  • Everyone knows that Tony Stewart is a psycho, right?  RIGHT???  (See Race Rewind, Lap 74: “Feel free, at any point guys, to get your heads out of your @$$es.”)
  • Check out the Race Rewind at Lap 147 after Brad Keselowski almost hits the wall.  The dash cam has a perfectly placed Dodge logo that looks suspiciously computer-generated.  Here it is:

Check out that Dodge logo. Looks Photoshop’d.

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Here’s a question:

  • When Greg Biffle hits the wall and slides across the grass into Pit Lane (Lap 174), he was allowed to go straight to his pit box without entering Pit Lane at the beginning???

Greg Biffle takes a shortcut to his pit box on Lap 174.

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EarlyTweet of the Week” candidates:

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So, another week of the Chase down, and the Top 3 remain the same: (1) Brad Keselowski, (2) Jimmie Johnson, and (3) Denny Hamlin.

Everyone else better start making moves or one of these three will win the championship this season.

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Next Sunday, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Ridgeway, Virginia, for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway a.k.a. “The Paperclip.”

Now… we’ve already had a “Fast Relief” race name this season (The Goody’s Fast Relief 500, also at Martinsville), so couldn’t we have been a little more original, Tums??

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Race Recap: Bank of America 500

15 Oct

NASCAR racing under the lights.  There’s nothing like it, am I right?

Clint Bowyer celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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The big news around the NASCAR world heading into the weekend was that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. would be out two weeks due to his second concussion in six weeks.

The first was suffered during a crash while tire testing at Kansas on August 29th, and the second was suffered during the last-lap wreck at Talladega last weekend (after which he drove Jimmie Johnson back to the garage, oddly enough).

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (88) gives Jimmie Johnson (left) a lift back to the garage after the final lap wreck at Talladega.

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The two-week absence effectively eliminated Dale Jr. from Chase contention, as points in the standings are awarded to drivers, not their car or team owner.  It also marked the first time in 33 years(!) that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was run without an Earnhardt in the field.

In the end, Clint Bowyer came away with the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which marked the half-way point in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  Thanks to his win, Bowyer moved up a spot to fourth in the Chase standings.

With five races left in the Chase, it’s looking more and more like this year’s Sprint Cup Series Champion will be Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, or Denny Hamlin.  Overall, the trio remained in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, after this weekend.

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Some thoughts on the race:

  • Great job by Matt Kenseth avoiding major damage when he spun out after the cut tire early in the race, no?
  • During that Kenseth spin-out, wasn’t it funny listening to Keselowski’s spotter?  “In the middle… on the bottom, on the bottom, on the bottom, on the bottom, on the bottom… caution’s out.”
  • Wasn’t it odd watching someone other than Dale Jr. in the 88?
  • Did the 24 car look awesome this weekend, or what?

Jeff Gordon’s #24 car advertises the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie during the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Tweet of the Weekend:

-Mario Kart reference, ftw!

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Next Sunday, the Chase moves to Kansas City for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.  Don’t miss it!

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Race Recap: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500

8 Oct

Heading into yesterday’s Sprint Cup Series race, all the media talk was about how the Chase standings could be turned upside down if several Chase drivers got involved in a big wreck at Talladega Superspeedway.

Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL.

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[At NASCAR‘s largest tracks (such as Talladega), where the long straightaways and gentle curves allow drivers to mash the gas all the way around, a big, violent wreck is never far away – or at least never feels far off].

As I watched yesterday’s race, I kept waiting, and waiting, for “The Big One” to occur.  In the end, it took a green-white-checkered finish in lap 189 (of a regularly-scheduled 188) for “The Big One” to occur, but it was well worth the wait.

Here’s a video of the final-lap crash that wiped out almost the entire field and turned the race results completely upside down:

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Of the 12 Chase drivers, the two biggest movers in the standings were Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  Gordon gained four places in the standing by finishing 2nd in the race, and Dale Jr. dropped four places in the standings by finishing 20th in the race.

Brad Keselowski remained in the top spot, and Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin remained in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the overall Chase standings.

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As always, I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge this week.  Here’s a summary:

  • Restrictor plates are a necessity at larger tracks like Talladega Superspeedway.  Here’s how they work and why they’re important (briefly).
  • The Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 race name comes from the Good Sam Club, which is an international organization for recreational vehicle owners.

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Tweet of the weekend:

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Next weekend, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Bank of America 500.  This one will be under the lights on Saturday night.  Don’t miss it!

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Race Recap: Quicken Loans 400

18 Jun

The (winless) streak is over! The (winless) streak is over!!!

(Can we stop talking about Dale Jr. now?)

It took 4 years and 2 days, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally returned to victory lane after a winless streak of 143 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (but really, who was counting?).

The media talked about him every week when he lost, and they won’t stop talking about him now that he’s won. My friend told me that Jr. even made Sportscenter today (with video highlights!), so you know this was a big deal…

Some other notes on this weekend’s race:

  • Is it just me, or is Matt Kenseth flying under the radar each week? The announcers never seem to talk about him, yet he now leads the points standings. The dude has eight top-5s and 11 top-10s in 15 races. Wow.
  • Denny Hamlin’s car caught fire, which led him to tweet this after the race:
  • For those keeping score at home, Jeff Gordon remains the only Team Hendrick driver without a win this season (but it’s coming…).

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By the way, I’ve determined that Jr. won the race solely because of his car’s paint job, which was an advertisement for the upcoming Batman blockbuster, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Here is a pic of the hood:

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Finally, here’s the tidbit of NASCAR knowledge I picked up this week:

  • Dale Jr’s girlfriend is pretty pretty. Not only that, but she stuck with him during this unending winless streak? He better put a ring on that ASAP.

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If you’re already looking ahead, the Sprint Cup Series will move to Sonoma, California next weekend for the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

(You would think Toyota has enough money to sponsor their own race, no? I guess not…).

Race Recap: STP 400

22 Apr

After 267 laps and ~400 miles of racing today, Denny Hamlin came away with his second victory of the season, helping him move from sixth place to fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.

I was at this game earlier, so I wasn’t able to watch today’s STP 400 at Kansas. Since I’m one of the last people on Earth without DVR, I wasn’t able to record it either.

With all that said, I was able to follow the race on Twitter, which of course had its pros and cons (see below).

 

"I love Coke. Coke is the best. I drink Coke, and you should too!"

Here are a few notes about the race:

  • It is immensely difficult to decipher @NASCAR‘s tweets during a race if you don’t know each driver’s number (which, for the most part, I don’t). Here is an example:

(Of those listed above, the only one I knew off the top of my head was #48 – Jimmie Johnson).

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  • The trophy awarded at Kansas (below) is nowhere near as cool as the trophy awarded at Texas.

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  • After the race, Brad Keselowski jumped in a tank and helped blow up the Kansas Speedway ahead of the track re-paving… or something:

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  • I caught some of the pre-race show on FOX today, during which Michael Waltrip and D.W. were talking about the lack of controversy so far this year:

There haven’t been any fights between drivers yet (which I’ve been hoping for each week, to no avail), so to this point you’d have to say that the most “controversial” moment of the season was the finish at Martinsville.

D.W. quoted one driver who said that he didn’t want to cause any bad publicity for his team. I completely understand that mentality, but it’s been all puppy dogs and rainbows lately, and it’s getting a little boring.

Come on guys, step up the entertainment! If you don’t want to get into a shoving match with another driver after the race, blow up some more jet dryers or something. Please!

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By the way, next weekend I’ll be going to my first live NASCAR race. Actually, it will be my first live racing event of any kind, at any level.

After the race (in Richmond), I will blog about my experience here, complete with pictures and all.

Five days to go until race day… I can’t wait!