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 13, 2012 10:05 am UTC No Comments
I enjoyed both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series race from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The racing has come a long way, on the track, since the intro of NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow prototypes.
The evolution continues. So does the aesthetic weirdness. That aero device attached to the driver’s side c-pillar and deck lid – the so-called sharkfin – just keeps getting bigger.
In the NNWS race at Vegas, I kept thinking that the cars had a winged sprint car look to them. Maybe that’s why Ricky Stenhouse Jr was so good in his. He can wheel a sprint car.
I know that there is often a trade-off between good looks and performance on the track. I also know that NASCAR is working with the manufacturers to make the cars more street-car like.
NASCAR – and the teams – also fight the urge for more billboard space to sell to sponsors. That fin has possibilities.
But I digress. It seems to me that it’s only a matter of time before Bruton Smith gets a second date in Las Vegas. The France family parlayed their Kansas City combination of casino games and stock car racing into two dates for Kansas Speedway. With the show that LVMS puts on, I’d like another one there too.
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 @onpitrowOctober 17, 2011 3:22 pm UTC No Comments
Photo credit: Jordan Tabak – 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 @onpitrowMarch 8, 2011 12:38 pm UTC No Comments
The Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a return to normalcy. No more crazy racing, like the pairs competition at Daytona and freaky Phoenix. Well maybe no more until Bristol. But we’ll see I guess.
Vegas was traditional. Lots of fast laps and the near impossibility of passing. Cookie Cutter Classic.
Roush-Fenway Racing. Matt Kenseth took the pole and Carl Edwards won the race, but all the buzz all weekend was about how strong the Fords were through the bumps in turns one and two.
Tony Stewart said he gave the race away, but second place ain’t a bad place in this race.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Marcos Ambrose finished 3rd and 4th. Strong all day.
Dale Earnhardt Jr got his second straight top ten.
Danica Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide Series race on Saturday. Best finish by a female in major NASCAR competition. She will break that record too.
Fins Sinking Low
Kyle Busch came into Vegas leading the points and with a home track advantage. Why didn’t Joe Gibbs Racing change The Shrub’s engine when they found Denny Hamlin’s issue?
Robby Gordon and Kevin Conway. As NASCAR fights go, this one’s fins are so low….
NASCAR Fans. Off week? Are you kidding me?! It’s only the fourth weekend of the season! Talk about a buzz kill.
Photo credit: Round girl Cindy by BethAnne Heisler - OnPitRow.com
by Charlie Turner
“We have every confidence in our manager blah blah blah…”
“Build it (i.e. spend the money) and they will come”…or keep coming
“We love short tracks. They have so much character…”
First, the news. International Speedway Corp. has committed to two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway for at least the next five years, in a press release dated Thursday, Aug. 26.
Sorry. I’m not buying. Did you also see the caveat?
You know it’s going to happen. Just as the venerable Darlington lost a date, and New Boston lost a business, Martinsville is destined to become a single stop (I hope at least that) on the Sprint Cup tour. And I doubt that it takes five years for it to happen. Not with Las Vegas Motor Speedway still waiting for a second date.
As the GarageFather would say – “It’s nothing personal Sonny. It’s just business.”
by Clance' McClannahan, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieFebruary 27, 2010 12:04 am UTC 1 Comment
How much does luck really have to play in NASCAR? Auto Club Speedway was a perfect example of both good luck, bad luck, skill and strategy.
Race Day at ACS started out cloudy, with the threat of rain looming overhead in in the future. Lovely Katharine McPhee, Season 5 American Idol runner-up, performed the National Anthem, after stating “I’ve never watched a NASCAR game before.” Personally, I am really glad she said that prior to the first inning, or it might have been embarrassing for her later.
Andy Garcia was able to give the command. “ Gentlemen, start your engines!” and still be politically correct.
Pole sitter Jamie Mac led the race for about 5 seconds, and then Juan Pablo Montoya politely said “Excuse me?”, and took the lead. If you would reach far back into your memory…(I mean, it’s a stretch for me), you will remember that JPM led 60 laps at ACS in October, and in one truly horrendous moment, lost that race. Juan Pablo Montoya meant serious business and opened up a lead of more than 3 seconds by Lap 12. By Lap 29, Jimmie Johnson’s good luck began to show, and the 42 car’s not so good 30th lap, gave him a brush with the wall. Soon after…it was Good vs. Bad for JPM, Kasey Kahne and a few others. Namely Dale (**NOTE to Jr. Nation: Dale doesn’t want to be called Jr. or June Bug, anymore).
In the meantime, a war was beginning to rage. Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson had begun the battle that would continue throughout the race, which culminated in one of the finest moments in NASCAR History.
Lap 97 began to get a little more interesting. Now we will get into the good luck, bad luck, strategy (?) syndrome that happenedthat day.
Martin Truex Jr. loses power. Later, Martin Truex Jr’s engine blows.
JPM begins to battle with Jeff Gordon for 5th position. Harvick and Johnson continue to dance the Flamenco (to impress Juan Pablo Montoya) for 1st and 2nd, not being able to decide who would lead and who would follow.
In one of the most endearing and heart breaking moments of the race, Kasey Kahne, being conscientious of the bleak economy, decided he would help out some poor souls, who needed to make some money to feed their kids, by making sure they had jobs replacing the sod he tore up.
Ryan Newman’s engine blew up. DNF. Again. JPM, looking very competitive, was out of contention once again, after a great 140 laps. It also, was due to another kaboom of a large quantity of moving parts, critical to the car continuing to run..
Kevin Harvick discovered that one of Jamie Mac’s pit crew has a part time job with Cirque du Soleil. Scary.
Then there was Dale Earnhardt Jr. It seems like the last few years, if it’s going to happen to someone it will be Dale Jr. Personally, I don’t think he has any better or worse luck than many driver’s. I think his worst luck is the scrutiny he is constantly under. Much more than other driver’s. Broken Axle. Axle Broken. Race over for the 88.
Jimmie Johnson seemed to be going backwards for a small moment in time. Then… From out of the blue…comes JJ again. Jamie Mac, startled, said “”How can he be leading? “He was on pit road, wasn’t he?!!”
Why yes, he was. Double J won. 48/48.
Luck? Strategy? All of the above?
Kevin Harvick , at the end of the race, summed it all up, in one sentence. Possibly one of the finest quotes in NASCAR History. I am honored to have been able to do small tribute to that little quip at The Church.
“They have a golden horseshoe stuck up their ass.”
…And that, Dear Fans, was the finest finish to a race I have seen since the Daytona 500.
*What wondrous events shall LVMS bring us this weekend? Aw…the suspense is killing me!
by Clance' McClannahan, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieFebruary 26, 2010 8:40 pm UTC 1 Comment
Dear Bruton Smith,
You have more money than God. Please fix the traffic coming in and out of the track. In fact, could you just fix it in all of Las Vegas? The wait at the airport sucks too. Wayne Newton would do it for his fans, I bet.
All of us that make you have more money than God.
P.S. Good job with the track. It’s really fast! The traffic may be worth it, if the race is as good as qualifying was. Too bad we missed 10 driver’s attempts, including Kurt Busch beating Jeff Gordon who beat out Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the pole.
But that wasn’t your fault.