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 @onpitrowJune 12, 2010 9:25 pm UTC No Comments
Michigan International Speedway is the NASCAR Home Track for On Pit Row.
BethAnne Heisler is our field producer and a terrific photographer. Here is a sample of her work from Friday’s Sprint Cup practices and NASCAR drivers interviews from the all new Media Center.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler 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 @onpitrowJune 5, 2010 11:39 pm UTC 1 Comment
Glenn Bure is at the track for the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 weekend. Here is a selection of his NASCAR photos from Saturday’s practice at the Tricky Triangle with some bonus photos of Elliott Sadler doing Trackside Live!
Photo credit for all: Glenn Bure for OnPitRow.com
by Charlie Turner
If NASCAR’s 2010 Sprint Cup Season schedule were a tournament, Denny Hamlin would have been one of the number one seeds.
Just like Kansas. And Syracuse. Kentucky (who are losing with 2 minutes to go) were in the NCAA B-Ball tourney.
Hamlin was the guy most of the NASCAR experts called on to unseat 4 time Sprint Cup Champ Jimmie Johnson. But Denny was flawed.
For the second time in his short, but meteoric, NASCAR career, Hamlin hurt a knee playing pick up basketball. The first time it was a strain or something. This time, a torn ACL.
There were off-NASCAR-season comments that “all will be well” and such. And if Hamlin played pick up basketball for a living it probably would have been fine.
But he’s trying – they’re all trying – to overcome one of history’s greatest teams. The no 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy of Johnson and Chad Knaus. You need all of your guns for that.
And both healthy knees.
Hamlin will have reconstructive surgery on that knee Monday. Good guy, and good driver, Casey Mears will stand by if a fill-in driver is needed for the Fed-Ex Toyota Camry.
And Jimmie Johnson just says…”Next.”
Photo credit: Round girl Jen by BethAnne Heisler for On Pit Row
by Matt Mercer, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I'm the former blogger of The Catfish Show NASCAR Blog and a contributor to On Pit Row. Follow me on Twitter: @mattmercerMay 28, 2009 7:12 pm UTC 8 Comments
As I was reading a story this afternoon on what new Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Lance McGrew plans for the #88 team, I started worrying about the chances of Mark Martin’s title run this year. McGrew says that among the first items to be evaluated is the #88 team’s relationship with that of their shop-mate, the #5 team. McGrew says that they aren’t a unified outfit because they were two entities brought together, unlike the #24 and #48 teams. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the #5 and #25 teams were together since what, 2002 when Hendrick added a 4th car? The teams have been there, with mixed success, since the days of Terry Labonte/Kyle Busch in the #5 and Joe Nemechek/Brian Vickers/Casey Mears in the #25. McGrew was even a big part of that #25 team, serving as crew chief for Vickers in that time. I have to wonder why McGrew seems to fault the new combination of Martin and crew chief Alan Gustafson in the #5 for being successful. Maybe I’m reading the story wrong, but that’s how it looks.
My main concern here is that Martin’s team has been very successful with fast cars nearly ever week of the year while Earnhardt Jr. and his team haven’t adjusted their equipment to meet the demands of 2009 yet. It’s no guarantee the change will work the first time around. Is McGrew implying that he wants to change the way Gustafson is running the #5 team? This quote scares me:
“Basically, the crew chiefs have to steer the ship. If you want [the 5/88] building to perform and function with the 24/48 shop does, it has to be managed like the 24/48 shop is. The crew chiefs steer the ship there. I feel like you have to do that in unison, because the idea is to have two teams in one building that operate as one. Those [24 and 48] teams do that. Right now that’s not happening [in the 5 and 88 shop].”
Right. Because it’s the #5 team’s responsibility for the #88 not using the notes and setups the #5, #24, and #48 do. McGrew is right about this part: ideally, both teams in the shop should operate as one. It seems that the #88 team led by Tony Eury Jr. was willing to break away from that and do things their own way.
All I’m saying is, this could easily drag down Martin during the rest of the 2009 season. If McGrew wants to change the #5 team’s method (which is clearly working) it could derail Martin’s title hopes this season. I do not want that to happen and I suspect that even Dale Jr. himself wouldn’t want that to happen. Hendrick needs to be careful he isn’t tearing down the strong to build up the weak.
Photo credit: Sports Illustrated
by Charlie Turner
NASCAR’s 2009 Sprint Cup Series is revving up all the usual suspects picked by someone to grab the France Family jewels. But who is your version of the Phoenix – the legendary bird that rises from the ashes?
Bram that sage Scottish Racer of Backstretch Motorsports acclaim asked just that over at the BenchRacers forum . Who has the chance to be most improved? Here’s a bit of Bram’s answer to his own question…
“no one stands a better chance at brass-covered tin-ring than Casey Mears.. he’s fully funded and from all outward signs, has a much stronger support system behind him at the Welcome, NC shops as opposed to the ‘and we must mention…’ status he got at Hendrick.. and this is his last chance…”
Is this Casey Mears’ last chance in Cup? It’s hard to argue that logic. Mears has had what seemed at the time, to be very good rides. The second car at Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing and then the No 5 car at Hendrick Motorsports. But, the results of the Ganassi team show that they have been annually overrated and Hendrick has never gotten the fourth car up to the level of the No 24 or 48.
Mears seems the perfect fit for Richard Childress Racing. He reminds me of Jeff Burton, in fact. I’ve had to opportunity to interview Mears and it would be tough to come away from that experience with anything but hope for his success.
It would seem that all is in place for Casey to have that “Most Improved Driver” kind of season. The caveat is that RCR has never run four cars for a full season. It can be argued that only Jack Roush has done so successfully. I like Casey’s chances though.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler - ON PIT ROW