Tag Archives: Sprint All-Star Race

Race Recap: FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks

4 Jun

Honestly, is there anyone left out there who thinks a driver other than Jimmie Johnson is winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year? The guy has been on an absolute tear of late, winning (no, dominating) two out of the last three races, and three out of four if you include the Sprint All-Star Race.

There was some early excitement during yesterday’s FedEx 400, with a 12-car wreck on Lap 9 bringing the field to a halt with a red-flag. When the race re-started (after a break of 19 minutes, 54 seconds), Johnson went to work. By the end of the day, he had led a total of 289 laps (out of 400) at the Monster Mile in Dover, Delaware.

Sporting a light blue paint-job on his car for the upcoming Madagascar 3 movie, Johnson wore a multicolored wig before the race, and also afterwards in victory lane:

As the drivers and announcers on FOX keep telling me, NASCAR is truly a “team sport,” and Johnson’s team certainly seems to be firing on all cylinders right now (pun intended).

Johnson’s early-season rescinded penalties and Team Hendrick‘s drought now feel like ancient history.

Watch out, everyone else…

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

  • No teams can work on their cars during a red-flag stop, however, they can pull out the tools and materials needed to fix the damaged car:
  • NASCAR cars generate 2200-2400 lbs of downforce. While I have no idea what that means, it’s good to know, I guess.

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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.

1. What came first, the “Monster Mile” name, or the Monster Mile statue outside the track? What about the monster trophy?

2. What are the chances Jimmie Johnson gave up the lead on purpose mid-race so that his teammate Jeff Gordon could earn the bonus point in the standings for leading a lap?

3. Is Dover International Raceway the only one with a bridge across it? (That was awesome).

4. Is the monster trophy the best trophy in NASCAR?

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If you’re already looking ahead, the Sprint Cup Series will move to Pennsylvania next weekend for the Pocono 400 in Long Pond, PA.

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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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Race Recap: 2012 Sprint All-Star Race

20 May

The Associated Press recap of last night’s Sprint All-Star Race said it all:

“It’s not often a race car driver intentionally cruises slowly at the back of the field.

Jimmie Johnson did it for roughly 60 laps Saturday night, and it earned him a cool $1 million payday.

Johnson used a calculated strategy – he drove hard for the first and last segments, and coasted for the three in between – to join Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon as the only three-time winners of NASCAR‘s All-Star race.”

It wasn’t the most interesting race (clearly), but then again, the All-Star games of the four major American sports leagues (the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL) aren’t very interesting either.

I’m sure that NASCAR’s All-Star weekend has (by far) the best tailgating, though.

These driver/crew chief trophy pictures are so awkward…

In case you missed it, there were actually two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races last night (although neither counted in the standings).

The first one, called the Sprint Showdown, featured 22 drivers. The two top finishers in that race (Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and AJ Allmendinger) were added to the field for the second race: the Sprint All-Star Race, which featured 23 drivers.

The Showdown driver who earned the most fan votes was going to be the third addition to the All-Star Race. (Twenty drivers had automatic bids for the All-Star Race). However, since Dale Jr. was the #1 vote getter but raced his way into the All-Star Race, the #2 voter getter (Bobby Labonte) was added instead.

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I missed all of the Showdown last night, but I got home in time to catch most of the All-Star Race. My least favorite part was Carl Edwards in the booth (after he was knocked out of the race). His commentary was atrocious. Example:

(He basically repeated some variation of that comment every time he opened his mouth. It was ridiculous. And awful).

As I watched the All-Star Race, I quickly picked up on the race format: four 20-lap segments, with the four segment winners moving to the front of the field for the final segment: a 10 lap shootout. (Hence Jimmie Johnson running at the back of the pack after winning the first segment).

Ten laps isn’t a very long distance in NASCAR, so it was basically a forgone conclusion that the leader at the final restart would win it all if he got out to a lead.

Sure enough, Jimmie Johnson got out to a decent lead to start the final segment, and went on to win the All-Star Race for the third time in his career, tying him with Dale Earnhardt (Sr.) and Jeff Gordon for most All-Star victories in NASCAR history.

Johnson’s crew also won the Pit Crew challenge on Thursday night, so it turned out to be an All-Star weekend sweep for his team.

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After the race, Team Owner Rick Hendrick went for a ridiculous victory lap on Johnson’s car. I’m still not quite sure how he managed to hang on. It looks like maybe he had one leg inside the car? If that was the case, it could NOT have been comfortable.

Here is the video:

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Here are a few questions I have about NASCAR’s All-Star weekend:

(1) Was this the first time a driver took his/her owner for a victory lap around the track?

(2) Do most NASCAR fans truly enjoy (and watch) the All-Star festivities?

(3) During the race, I texted my “NASCAR insider” (who was actually at the race) to ask why the drivers qualified at ~135 mph but raced at ~180 mph. His answer: race qualifying involved pit stops, so the times were much slower. Can anyone elaborate on this?

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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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