by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowAugust 24, 2012 10:13 am UTC No Comments
After the spring race at Bristol, track owner Bruton Smith, claiming that he was responding to complaints about the “New Bristol” racing experience, altered the racing surface by, basically scraping the top two grooves out of the track. Nobody knows for sure how the new pave will affect the racing. We just know that it will. There was a Wednesday modified race and the Camping Word Trucks ran that night too. There will be 2 and a half hours of Cup practice on Friday that might be critical to fantasy pickers. See what the experts think below.
The other big story this week was Brad Keselowski’s comments about what some of the fast teams – namely Hendrick Motorsports and Roush-Fenway – are doing with their suspension setups. He alluded to cheating. Jack Roush and others say they are within the rules. We talked to Tommy Baldwin Racing car chief Patrick Donahue On Pit Row Tuesday. He says it may be both. Called it a “light gray” area. Watch the interview below. Photo credit – Glenn Bure for OnPitRow.com
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowJuly 25, 2011 5:06 pm UTC No Comments
Includes printable NASCAR Head2Head Knockout Game bracket pdf
That’s right, NASCAR and the DIRECTV folks are rolling out a new and unique NASCAR fantasy game. 32 of the top drivers will be selected and seeded in a tournament style head to head single elimination bracket (think March Madness) Fans will then be able to choose the winners of each match-up for a chance to win up to a million bucks or a new truck.
The winning driver in each head to head match-up will advance to race another day. The game kicks off with the Pocono race August 7th and runs for three weeks until the “Fastest Four” are left. Those four drivers will race for the Championship at Bristol Motor Speedway August 27th.
The fan with the most accurate picks will win a truck from the manufacturer of the car driven by the winning driver. If Chevy driver Tony Stewart wins it all, the fan with the best record will win a Chevy truck. A fan with a perfect bracket has a chance at $1,000,000.
The drivers will be competing on behalf of their favorite charities, with a total of $400,000 to be awarded to support great causes. The contest starts August 7, so make sure to get your entries in soon. Click here to get set up.
This is a cool deal, with serious prizes. It’s a simple game to play, but you don’t have to rely on luck to win. Take a look at a couple of the first round match ups.
I’m not sure how they went about seeding this thing. Looks like maybe they went by championship points with the driver with the highest point total matched to the guy with the lowest. This might make for easy pickings in the first round. Maybe.
Carl Edwards is matched with Casey Mears, and you would need a big pair of rocks to take Mears. But the Matt Kenseth vs Jamie McMurray match up is a different story.
Kenseth is 6th in Sprint Cup points and has a couple wins, while McMurray has had a dismal season compared to 2010. But comparing their respective stats for Pocono Raceway makes the choice tougher. Kenseth still has the edge, but not a huge one. And if you look at stats for Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well – a track that is very similar in character to Pocono – you see the same thing. This race could go either way.
We will have a special section in the On Pit Row newsletter during the Head 2 Head Knockout game. I’ll give you my picks and tell you my thinking. Who knows; if it helps you win a million bucks, maybe you’ll start returning my calls. Click here to download a printable Head 2 Head Knockout Game bracket.
Anyway, the DIRECTV NASCAR Head 2 Head Knock Out game sounds like fun. Tell us what you think, and share your strategy with us in the comment section.
This post is sponsored by DIRECTV.
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMarch 22, 2011 9:29 pm UTC No Comments
- Old School Bristol or crap
- Good Bristol – which is the same as Old School Bristol – or crap.
- Exciting, wreck-filled, 21 caution Bristol, or crap.
What we got was one hell of a good Sprint Cup race and terrific, sometimes three-wide racing. Kyle Busch won everything in sight, and has owned Thunder Valley since this time last year at Bristol, so I’m thinking The Shrub likes The New Bristol just fine.
The haters are losing the argument.
Fins Stoutly Standing
Kyle Busch has won the last five NASCAR touring series races held at Bristol. The Jeff Byrd 500 was had some epic moments with Kyle, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson.
Carl Edwards had the second best weekend, and not by much.
Paul Menard is in the top ten in NASCAR Sprint Cup points – 5th in the race and 5th in the standings, best of the RCR cars – and it does not look like a fluke.
Kurt Busch leads the Cup standings with another consistent, competitive finish.
Bristol Motor Speedway; the track races great. Get over it.
Jeff Burton. Ugly start
Clint Bowyer finished 35th at BMS. But he was better than Burton
Denny Hamlin. This was not the faster start that he predicted after coming up short in 2010.
Danica Patrick. Come on. You don’t have any business doing a Kurt Busch on the track. Getting laughed at won’t help your credibility.
Photo credit: Round girl Cindi by BethAnne Heisler for OnPitRow.com
by Chris Leone, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I do weekly Fantasy Pick'Em columns here at OPR, as well as the occasional opinion and analysis piece. I also provide the IZOD IndyCar Series coverage. For more on that, head to my site, OpenWheelAmerica.com. My Twitter handle is @christopherlion.August 18, 2010 5:59 pm UTC No Comments
The rough-and-tumble racing that Bristol is famous for, under the Saturday night lights in the dog days of summer, provides fans with a powder keg that’s ready to explode at any moment – and frequently does, claiming many contenders along the way. Many fans will never forget Dale Earnhardt punting Terry Labonte out of the way to win the 1999 edition, nor the post-race fireworks between Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch a couple years ago.
So who’s got a shot at surviving the event and driving into victory lane this year?
Bristol is one of Busch’s best tracks, and its tendency to produce interesting and exciting on-track action makes it a perfect fit for him. His 10.1 average finish trumps all other active drivers. Besides this spring’s aberration, Busch hadn’t failed to lead in a Bristol race since his 2005 rookie season. He has three wins at the track, and top-two finishes in three of the past four Bristol events. He’s my pick.
My dark horse pick for this weekend is Marcos Ambrose, who had finishes of 10th and 3rd at Bristol last year but a dismal 33rd this past spring. Now that he and JTG Daugherty Racing have both announced plans for 2011 that don’t involve one another, they might just mail it in until the end of the year. On the other hand, they could both step up their game, showing their new partners (Richard Petty Motorsports for Ambrose, Bobby Labonte for JTG) a commitment to a strong year next year.
Three more, because we can:
Greg Biffle, despite having never won at Bristol in a Sprint Cup car, has the second best average finish of active drivers at the track, a solid 11.0. He’s got six top fives and nine top-10s in 15 starts. His Roush Fenway Racing team is also peaking at the right time, finding victory lane and the front of the pack these past few weeks in the wake of owner Jack Roush’s plane crash. Roush cars won this race each year from 2005 to 2008, and there’s no reason to think they can’t again.
Kevin Harvick is the only driver to have a Chase berth right now. Coming off that clinch, his Michigan victory, and a lucrative sponsorship deal with Budweiser for 2011, Happy’s gotta be living up to his nickname right now, and the momentum can certainly carry into Bristol. Harvick can be Superman at Bristol – while the box score for his 2005 victory at the track says he started 13th, he actually started dead last due to unapproved impound work and passed every car in the field for the victory.
Finally, Kurt Busch has the second-best winning percentage at Bristol of active drivers, behind only brother Kyle. And while four of his five wins came in 2004 or earlier, he showed us all a thing or two about how to race at Bristol this spring, leading a race-high 278 laps and finishing third. While Jimmie Johnson may have used that race to get the Bristol monkey off his back, Busch showed the field that he had his old Bristol magic back.
by Charlie Turner
The Kez wasn’t happy. He had just been passed at the end of a dominant performance in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. He said all the right things. But he did seem to be choking something back. I got the feeling that his inner Brad was saying something like – “If that had been Edwards or Hamlin, instead of Allgaier, and if the whole world weren’t watching me this week, there’s no flippin’ way…..”
It was Justin Allgaier though, who finally made good on the promise he has shown since signing with the Penske organization, off his 2008 ARCA Racing Series championship. It was the first of a bunch more NASCAR wins to come. And they won’t all be in the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule either. Allgaier is coming to Sprint Cup, right behind Keselowski. And it won’t be long.
ESPN the Magazine’s Ryan McGee was a guest On Pit Row before the Bristol Motor Speedway weekend. The talk started to be about Keselowski. Shortly, it turned to Penske Racing in general. The great 2010 start of Kurt Busch. Keselowski’s speed. The tenuous hold that Sam Hornish may have on a ride that Allgaier covets. And then there is 19 year old Parker Kliggerman, 2009 ARCA Racing Series near-champ and Rookie of the Year.
There is a theory being floated that because they are the only Dodge team, Penske has an advantage of being the sole focus of Dodge’s more limited resources. Larry McReynolds and Rusty Wallace both suggested as much Sunday. If it’s true, Roger Penske probably anticipated that. He’s a smart guy, Roger. And he has always been a great driver-talent evaluator.
The future looks bright at Penske.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler – On Pit Row
by Mindy Monday, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieMarch 19, 2010 10:21 pm UTC No Comments
The latest Monday Morning Crew Chief NASCAR video is up. There’s a musical undertone, if you can find it amid the sarcasm. Flying cars, smashing guitars and hotdog wrappers. Enjoy.