Tag Archives: Kasey Kahne

Race Recap: AAA Texas 500

5 Nov

What. A. Race.

The last 10 laps of yesterday’s AAA Texas 500 were, in my opinion, the most intense of the entire NASCAR season.  (If you have 10 minutes, check out the Race Rewind here).

Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski, numbers 1 and 2 in the Chase standings, respectively, zoomed around the track, banging and bumping until Johnson got his break and sneaked past “Bad Brad” for the victory at Texas.

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Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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As always, there was a bit of drama in this one, as Keselowski and Johnson were both accused of jumping a restart near the end of the race for an unfair advantage.  NASCAR has since dismissed the charges.

[There is a great explanation here of why a small lead at the line by the 2nd-place driver is acceptable on a restart.  Essentially: it’s impossible to tell whether the race leader slowed down on purpose to get the other driver penalized.]

There was also (maybe) some drama on Lap 320 when Kasey Kahne hit the wall to bring out a caution (see below).  A later restart allowed Johnson (on four fresh tires from his previous pit stop) to pass Keselowki, who had elected to go with only two fresh tires on his previous pit stop.

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Brad Keselowski talks to the media after his second-place finish in the AAA Texas 500.

Some comments on the race:

  • I was really impressed by Keselowski’s levelheadedness after losing 8 spots (and the lead) on pit road on Lap 275.  As he left pit road, he said on the radio: “Stay cool here guys.  Stay cool.”  That attitude brought him back to the lead a few laps later and almost produced a victory.
  • This Jimmie Johnson post-race interview on NASCAR.com is worth 3 minutes of your time.  He’s so dang nice; he’s like the quarterback of your HS football team that you’d love to hate (because he gets all the girls and everyone worships him), except that he reads to blind kids in his spare time.
  • Here’s a sample from Keselowski’s post-race interview, regarding the two-tire call:  “I stopped short of saying it was my call because we’re a team and we make decisions together […] and Paul and I made the decision together.”
  • Wowww.  Kyle Busch hates Bad Brad, huh?  From KyBusch’s post-race interview: “I guess there’s no restart rules.  I mean, I think Brad went early – I think – the last two times. […] From my experience with Brad, it doesn’t surprise me.”
  • If the two-tire change for Keselowski on Lap 312 had worked, he would have looked like an absolute genius.  It didn’t, but only because of some bad luck (read: multiple cautions) at the end.

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I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge this week, thanks to some awesome folks on Twitter.  Here’s a summary:

  • Per NASCAR regulations, all cars have the same size gas tank.  This leads to pretty equivalent gas mileage across the board, with some exceptions:
  • Team Hendrick are a bunch of cheaters!

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Tweet of the weekend:

(If you aren’t sure why this is funny, check out this article and associated pictures at “From The Marbles” blog on Yahoo! Sports).

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Only two weeks left before a 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion is crowned…  Next weekend, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Phoenix International Raceway for the AdvoCare 500.

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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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The Four Categories of NASCAR Commercials

29 May

If you’ve ever watched at least 20 (consecutive) minutes of a NASCAR race, the commercials you saw likely fell into one of these four (manly) categories…

(1) “SPORTS”

Category includes:

  • commercials for products that promise to make you look and feel younger (but mainly just erectile dysfunction pills)

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Viagra, Cialis, Androgel Testosterone, etc.

Sample commercial from this category:

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(2) “TRUCKS”

Category includes:

  • commercials for off-road vehicles, motorcycles, cars, boats, and what everyone else refers to as “truck”

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge, Nissan, Buick, etc.

Also included in this category:

  • commercials for car/boat/motorcycle/motor home insurance companies such as Geico, Farmers, State Farm, Progressive, and Nationwide

Sample commercials from this category:

 

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(3) “TOOLS”

Category includes:

  • commercials for home improvement stores and all kinds of “tools,” from lawn mowers to drills and wrenches

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Husqvarna, Kobalt Tools, Lowes, Home Depot, Aarons, etc.

Also included in this category:

  • cell phones (the tools we use to communicate), featuring companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint

Sample commercials from this category:

 

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(4) “BEER”

Category includes:

  • commercials for products that can create an altered state, such as beer, or Golden Corral (this altered state is intestinal in nature)

Likely target audience:

  • middle-aged men

Sample brands featured:

  • Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud Light, Golden Corral, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc.

Also included in this category:

  • energy drinks and sodas such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, and 5 HR Energy

Sample commercials from this category:

 

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By the way… I honestly considered adding a fifth (bonus!) category called “Jimmie Johnson Commercials.” He’s in a ton. Here are some more:

 

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So, what do you think of these categories? Did I miss any?

Also, did you notice a common theme with the target audience? Companies that advertise during NASCAR events sure seem to target their advertising at the male demographic, especially middle-aged men… Do you agree?

Feel free to respond in the comments section below or tweet your comments/suggestions to me at @NASCARneophyte.

Thanks for reading!

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Race Recap: Coca-Cola 600

28 May

With the F1 Grand Prix at Monaco, the (IndyCar series) Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR‘s Coca-Cola 600 all happening yesterday, this past weekend is known across motorsports as “Racing’s Greatest Weekend.”

In Sunday’s late race – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor SpeedwayKasey Kahne won his first Sprint Cup Series race as a member of Team Hendrick.

Kahne led 96 laps total, including the final 42 on the day.

Before the race, yesterday’s CBS Sunday Morning segment on Jimmie Johnson referred to Team Hendrick as the New York Yankees of NASCAR. Well, after back-to-back Sprint Cup Series victories, Team Hendrick sure seems to be back at the top of the sport.

It now seems like just a matter of time before Hendrick team members Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. make it to victory lane this season.

A few notes from yesterday:

  • The 600 is NASCAR’s longest race, but this one turned out to be the quickest 600 in history at 3 hours, 51 minutes, 14 seconds.
  • Dale Jr.’s winless streak continues… It is now up to 141 races.
  • Danica Patrick struggled in her third Sprint Cup Series race. She finished five laps down, in 30th place.

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As always, I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge this weekend thanks to Twitter, and the announcers on FOX. Here’s a summary:

  • According to DW (during the broadcast), NASCAR’s cars don’t have speedometers, but it sounds like they do have tachometers:
  • I always wondered how teams make adjustments during pit stops. Here are some explanations:
  • Yahoo!’s NASCAR blog is called “From The Marbles.” I never knew why until today, when I read the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. In the article on IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand, they mentioned the small pieces of rubber from tires that build up as debris on the track. These pieces of debris are known as “marbles.”

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As always, some questions came up yesterday as I was watching. If you can answer them, help me out in the comments section below or tweet @NASCARneophyte.

Brad Keselowski bumped into Tony Stewart on pit road, which caused Stewart to have to spin his car around in order to get to his pit box. Two questions:

1. Are the spotters really tasked with directing drivers while on pit road??

2. I’m assuming (since Stewart did a burnout/spin-o-rama to get to his pit box), that these cars don’t have a reverse gear?

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Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series will move to Delaware for the “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.” What a mouthful.

And finally… Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to all who serve, or have served.

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Race Recap: Food City 500

19 Mar

Congrats to Brad @Keselowski on his victory in the Food City 500 yesterday. It was Keselowski’s second straight win at Bristol (he also won the Irwin Tools Night Race last August), leaving him “only” 10 wins behind Darrell Waltrip, who holds the record with 12 wins all-time at the track.

As you can see in the photo below, Keselowski took a picture with his phone as soon as he got out of his car in Victory Lane (which means he had his phone in the car with him again during the race).

The guy definitely knows the importance of social media these days…

Keselowski actually took two pictures from Victory Lane (and tweeted one of them). Here is the one he tweeted last night:

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As always, I picked up a ton of new NASCAR knowledge during the race yesterday, thanks to the announcers on FOX, and a little help on Twitter. Here’s a summary:

  • Actually, this one I learned before the race: I turned on @SPEED on Saturday and saw a motorcycle race at Daytona International Speedway. Turns out, tracks are operated independently of NASCAR and need to make money somehow when there are no NASCAR races going on. Therefore, they run events such as professional motorcycle racing, and also open to the public for different kinds of racing.
  • Whenever there is a wreck during a race, NASCAR officials around the track communicate by radio to determine whether or not there will be a caution at that time.
  • These cars have exhaust pipes in the middle of undercarriage, which stick out to the side a bit. Gordon’s car was actually out of the race because his rear left tire exploded when teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. bumped into him and sent him spinning. The resulting wreck caused enough damage that he couldn’t get back in the race right away.

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As always, some questions came up yesterday as I was watching. If you can answer them, help me out in the comments section below.

1. A friend of mine told me that the pit road speed limit depends on track size. The larger the track, the higher the pit road speed limit. Can anyone confirm? (By the way, the pit road speed limit yesterday was 30 mph).

2. When a driver participates in Nationwide and Sprint Cup races, does he use the same crew/crew chief for both events?

3. Where is lap length measured from? The middle of the track? Or the lower edge?

4. It sounds like 6 or 7 crew members are allowed over the wall during a pit stop. Can anyone confirm?

5. When the drivers do burnouts after winning, doesn’t that just mean more work for the crew to prepare the car for the next race???

6. Jeff Burton’s nickname is “The Mayor,” and Kyle Busch’s nickname is “Wild Thing”?

7. It sounded like the announcers said the first car that is one lap down at the time of a caution lap gets a “free pass” to rejoin the lead lap?

8. Bristol Motor Speedway is called “Thunder Valley”? Because of how loud it is?

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Keselowski seems to be heating up lately, as ESPN anchor John Buccigross tweeted this morning:

Let’s see if Keselowski can make it two races in a row next week…