Showing posts with label Jeff Gordon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeff Gordon. Show all posts

The Round of 16 was officially the Martin Truex Jr. show. After his postseason-opening victory in Chicagoland and nearly doubling down the following weekend in Loudon, Truex Jr. earned the fourth win of his 2016 season in Dover and has a lead a whopping 360 of the 967 total laps in three Chase races. “We are here to get it done and golly I’m telling you just the best bunch of guys you could ever ask for,” Truex Jr. said. “It’s just amazing to drive their race cars and do what we were able to do. I’m just ecstatic.”

Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott

Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott? Under the current Chase format we've seen a driver weave their way into Championship contention on the backs of strong, consistent finishes. Although he's without a win in his rookie season - Elliott is not only hanging with the big dogs, he's thriving with them and advances comfortably in the Chase. Fellow postseason newbie Austin Dillon raced his way into the next round with an eighth place showing at Dover, securing the 12th and final Chase spot. "It feels good," he said. "It's time to knock some more of these guys out, because we've got this opportunity. … I want to say that we're going to be the underdog in this next round, so let's go do it."

Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr

What Lies Ahead
Jeff Gordon found himself in a familiar place after 400 miles at Dover International Speedway, where a 10th place finish marked the 476th top-10 showing of his storied career.  It was Gordon's best finish in seven races behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet, and the future Hall of Famer has just one race left on his calendar for 2016. "I wanted to get a top-10 in this car before my time in the car is over,’" Gordon said. "We got that. Now let’s go get a top five or something better at Martinsville." Considering the Virginia track is Gordon's best, odds are good that he will.

Jimmie Johnson

Don't Rule Out Johnson
While it was ultimately Truex who dominated the Chase's first round - it could've just as easily been Jimmie Johnson and the 48 in Victory Lane at both Chicagoland and Dover. A pair of pit road penalties saw possible victories slip away for the six-time champion, and those kind of mistakes will be even more costly in a tighter field. But with a combined 30 wins at the six tracks between here and Homestead, there's still time to put a stop to the costly mistakes and round into championship form.
Double Burnout
Even Mother Nature was no match for Kevin Harvick, who raced his way to his second win on the season in the rain-delayed Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol. "We should have won a lot of races this year, but things did not go our way," Harvick said. "We made mistakes or whatever the case may be, (so) to get back into Victory Lane feels good." Apparently it was good enough to share too. After the race, Harvick encouraged fellow driver and team owner Tony Stewart to celebrate Stewart's final race at Bristol. The result? A synchronized burnout to remember. "I really wanted him to ride around that track with me, but that's why he's the boss," said Harvick.

Chris Buescher

After shocking the NASCAR world with a win at Pocono two weeks ago, Chris Buescher continued his meteoric rise into the Chase conversation with a fifth place showing at Bristol. "We're out here to get a championship and to get wins, " Buescher said. "We come to these next handful of races with a great opportunity to make the Chase." The finish put him inside the top-30 in points, and should he protect that standing through Michigan, Darlington and Richmond - we'll see this rookie standing among the field of 16 following the Federated Auto Parts 400 checkered flag.

Elliott Sadler

There's something to be said for stability, and that's exactly what JR Motorsports and XFINITY Series driver Elliott Sadler established Wednesday. Longtime sponsor One Main financial inked a multi-year deal to return with Sadler and the team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller.  "We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Elliott Sadler and JR Motorsports," said OneMain Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Hurzeler. "Elliott has been an outstanding ambassador for OneMain and we look forward to our continued success with Elliott and JRM, on and off the track." The Emporia, VA native currently sits atop the XFINITY Series points standings, 51 points ahead of second place Daniel Suarez.

Alex Bowman

Jeff Gordon is out, Alex Bowman is in. With Dale Earnhardt Jr. still working his way back onto the track, Alex Bowman will fill in behind the wheel of the No. 88 this weekend in Michigan. Gordon has filled in for the past four races, while Bowman subbed for Junior at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earlier this season.

If the season ended today, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman would be in, leaving the likes of Trevor Bayne and Kyle Larson on the outside. But with three races left, there's a chance someone could win their way into the Chase. Guess you'll just have to be there to find out.
Kyle Busch Back at it again

And he's back at it again. It's hard to forget Kyle's scorching 2015 campaign, the one that saw him return from an 11-race absence to pick up five wins and a Sprint Cup Championship. But what he's done through the first 20 races this season might be even more impressive, punctuated by a dominating weekend at the Brickyard - two poles awards, two trips to Gatorade Victory Lane. The sweep means the Joe Gibbs driver has taken the last four NASCAR races at Indy. “It’s so cool because it hasn’t been done before," Busch said of the streak. "I’ve tried and been successful at being able to do a lot of things that others haven’t been able to do before. It helps you and when it helps you win on Sunday, that’s what makes everything so worthwhile on those Saturday races."

Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart

"I know you want to keep (your last year) on the low down, but I'm sorry buddy - we're in your home state," Jeff Gordon said to fellow NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart at the driver's meeting. "As we've gotten to know each other as friends and competitors over the years, I know what (Indianapolis) means to you...and I think that this is a year not about saying goodbye, but a year about celebrating what you've done." On a weekend where Kyle Busch dominated the competition, these two might've stolen the show. With Gordon filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the 88 and Tony Stewart returning to his hometown track in his final season, Sunday's race was very important to two of NASCAR's biggest stars. The future Hall of Famers also hooked up for a final lap run after the checkered flag."I knew when we got the checkered you didn't want to come in just yet," Stewart said. "I wanted to run one more lap and Jeff was around us. I couldn't think of a better guy to share that moment with."

Stewart Haas

As the saying goes, there's no time like the present. Turns out the folks over at Setwart-Haas have taken that heart with their decision to field an XFINITY Series team beginning in 2017. “An XFINITY Series team has always been something we would consider when the time was right, and that time is now,” said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “Staying successful in this sport means staying ahead of the curve, and having an XFINITY Series team provides a positive impact with our race team.” Cheers guys! And we're looking forward to watching them whip around the Action Track in next year's ToyotaCare 250 and Virginia529 College Savings 250.

Matt Kenseth Pocono

Mid-Summer Awakening
After a "mini-funk" that saw Joe Gibbs Racing go over two months without sending a driver to Victory Lane, they've now done so in back-to-back weeks for the fourth time this season. We're not necessarily saying history repeats itself, but it's hard not to consider this the beginning of something big for Coach's squad. Consider just a year ago when a JGR driver took home the checkered flag 10 times in a 13-race stretch spanning from late June to September. The upcoming Pennsylvania 400 in Pocono was one of those races, dominated by JGR's Matt Kenseth.

Matt Kenseth

Boom, called it. In last week's Victory Lap, we named Matt Kenseth as the one to watch in New Hampshire, and he sure delivered. The Joe Gibbs driver picked up his second win of the season while also adding to his aquarium with his second straight Loudon the Lobster. “You’re always pleased to be in Victory Lane,” Kenseth said. “The farther down the road you get, the better they feel for sure. Thanks to everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing – I’ve said it a million times, but I’m blessed with this opportunity to be over here with the guys I get to work with and my great sponsors.”

New Hampshire

 The Richmond Times Dispatch's Chris Wilbers made the trek up to Loudon, N.H. for Sunday's race, and color him impressed. The folks hosting the New Hampshire 301 treated Richmond's own to some first-rate, New England hospitality, but while he notes "you can’t go wrong with a road trip to Loudon in late September," he also mentioned there's still a certain short track that gives you a bit more bang for your buck. Click the link above to find out.

Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch

Sunday's action saw quite a bit of movement inside the Chase Grid, including JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards locking in their spot in the field of 16. "With NASCAR, it's our playoff. That's what it's all about," said Coach Joe Gibbs. "It's a thrill for us to be in there. I think the key is, as you continue to work during the year, try and keep your performance up and try and point towards the playoffs." So far 11 drivers have wins on the season, leaving just five playoff spots available on points. Tony Stewart, one of those with a 2016 win, continued his rapid climb in the standings with a second-place finish. It was the future Hall of Famer's fourth top-10 in last five races.

Jeff Gordon

Heeeeeee's Bacccckkkkkk?
Late last week Hendrick Motorsports announced that should Dale Earnhardt Jr. be forced to miss this weekend's race in Indianapolis, the recently retired Jeff Gordon would suit up behind the wheel of the No. 88 in his stead. "I think a lot of us on the team have worked for Jeff throughout his illustrious career at Hendrick Motorsports," said crew chief Greg Ives. "To be able to be part of that one more time would be pretty cool for those who have worked with him in the past, but also for those who've never worked with him." It'd definitely be a new look for the NASCAR legend, who spent his career tied with the now-iconic 24. But if you saw him in the booth at all this season, you know he can sport a "new suit" pretty well. 

September 7, 1991: Harry Gant shines “under the lights” at Richmond International Raceway, winning the first scheduled night race at the Action Track. It was the second of four consecutive trips to Victory Lane that month - earning him the nickname “Mr. September.”

September 12, 1998: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon hook up for the closest finish in NASCAR action at Richmond. Burton edges Gordon by just 0.051 second for the win after starting third. His winnings top $100,000 for the first time at Richmond.

September 11, 1999: Future champion Tony Stewart wins his first ever Cup race by edging teammate Bobby Labonte. Richmond remains close to Stewart’s heart; he’s had nothing but praise for the track: "It's not one of my favorite tracks; it is my favorite track," Stewart says. "It is literally the favorite track of mine on the circuit."

September 8, 2001: Virginia native Ricky Rudd loses the lead after being bumped by Kevin Harvick in the waning laps of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400. With just six laps to go, Rudd retaliates with a push from behind to re-take the lead en route to his second win at Richmond. Finishing third in that battle? Dale Earnhardt Jr.

September 12, 2009: “One Last Race to Make The Chase” again lives up to its billing. The Chase field is unsettled until the final lap, as Brian Vickers edges Kyle Busch by just eight points for the 12th spot in NASCAR’s playoffs. Denny Hamlin finally takes the checkered flag in a Cup Series race at his hometown track for the first time.

September 8, 2012: Jeff Gordon rallies from a lap down to race his way into The Chase with a second place finish to Clint Bowyer. Bowyer edged out Gordon by 1.198 seconds in one of the tightest finishes in RIR history. To this day, Gordon considers it one of his favorite moments at Richmond, commenting after the fact, "... It was amazing. I still can't believe we actually did it."

September 10, 2016: For the Federated Auto Parts 400 this September, we celebrate the RIR tradition of racing under the lights with the "25th Anniversary of The Night Race." To get ready, we're offering TWO tickets on the fronstretch for just $91 total.

Jimmie Johnson Passes Dale Earnhardt on all-time wins list
He had the "S" on his firesuit and on the hood of his car, but this past Sunday Jimmie Johnson truly solidified his place as NASCAR's Superman. With his win in the Auto Club 400, Johnson moved past Dale Earnhardt Sr. on NASCAR's all-time wins list. "I feel like physically and mentally I'm the best that I've ever been in my career," he said. "So I'm in the space I want to be in, which tells me it makes me want to stick around and do this for a lot of years. There's no guarantees about when you're going to win and have success. I've been very, very fortunate to win 77 of these things, which blows my mind on its own."

Logano and Truex do some rubbing and racing
The 2016 season is young still, but it's been filled with high-drama and exciting racing. Already there have been two of the top eight closest finishes in NASCAR history, Jimmie Johnson continues his march up NASCAR's all-time wins list, four different winners in five races (including at least one from each manufacturer), the three previous Sprint Cup Champions (Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Johnson) are all inside the top-5 of points standings and we're just getting started. The new low-downforce package is getting rave reviews on the track, as evidenced in Fontana where we saw green flag passes and multi-car battles for positioning throughout the field. "I think overall, when we look at the start of the season, we said we would kind of get through the West Coast swing and take a look at it," saidSteve O’Donnell, NASCAR's Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "But we still feel like … certainly it's going in the right direction.
Drivers dish on their West Coast experience

As NASCAR wraps up it's West Coast Swing and drivers head into their Easter weekend reprieve, driver and crew guys take to Twitter to react to what transpired in California. With a mix of haterade, bedhead, boat towing and more, here's some of our favorite tweets from the weekend as #NASCARgoeshome. 

Jeff Gordon can spit some fire.

We knew he could light it up on the track, but who knew Jeff Gordon could spit fire like that? Jeff's transition from behind the wheel to the broadcast booth has shown he's a natural in front of the camera. But Jeff showed the guys from Fox Sports Live he's got some chops behind the mic too, giving viewers a few lines Nelly himself would be proud of.
A look at Jeff Gordon heading into the Sprint Cup Championship

2015 Rearview: Donations, cars, an 18-liter wine bottle and even his own blackjack table - Jeff Gordon's victory lap season has been a remarkable showcase of gratitude from one of the most influential drivers in NASCAR history. The retirement circus followed "The Kid" from track-to-track throughout the season, leading to tears shed and memories shared by all. But that was off the track, on the track Gordon was held winless through the first 33 races, and was in danger of missing the Chase for just the second time in his 24-year Cup career. Once he qualified in Richmond however, the switch flipped. Riding high on the back of his Martinsville win and six consecutive top-10 finishes, Gordon has scored more points (334) than any other driver in the Chase.   

His Career: What more can be said about Gordon's storied career. Only David Pearson (105) and Richard Petty (200) have more career wins than the future Hall of Famer (93), and a victory this weekend would net Gordon his fifth NASCAR Championship trophy. Considering he was winless in his final full season until two weeks ago, his sudden resurgence has the No. 24 team confident they can end his career in a big way.

History at Homestead: How's a win and seven Top-5 finishes (most ever at Homestead) for kicks? He's led more laps at the track than any of the other remaining Chase drivers, he's focused and he's determined. The man is a living legend, and he'll look to put an exclamation mark on his storybook season this weekend.

A look back at the 1997 Pontiac Excitement 400

Sunday, March 2, 1997 – The Pontiac Excitement 400 at RIR was nothing less than exciting on a crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon. While some folks may remember it as the last regularly-scheduled day race at RIR before moving to a night-races-only schedule for the next eighteen years, others are probably more familiar with the on-track action that took place that day.

After starting 7th, Rusty Wallace tangled early with Ricky Rudd on lap 6, immediately putting him all the way in the back of the field.

371 consecutive green flag laps later – yes, you read that right – without any help from a caution flag, Rusty working his way through traffic all the way up to P1.

Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett controlled much of the first half of the race, especially Jarrett who racked up 172 laps led over the course of the 400-lap event, until Rusty jumped back on the scene to take over the lead on lap 159. The two battled it out for the next 43 laps when Jarrett finally snatched it back.

At that point, it looked like Jarrett might be able to hold on to the lead for the rest of the race, even with the momentum clearly in Rusty’s favor less than 100 laps ago. But, during Jarrett’s final green flag pit stops he lost nine seconds due to dropped lug nuts, costing him the lead and putting Rusty back in prime position for the checkered flag.

Remember now, the last – and only – caution flag up ‘til now flew back on lap 6. With 19 laps remaining in the race, Kenny Wallace’s engine blew, giving Jarrett a huge break, much to his brother’s chagrin. At this point, there were only four cars still on the lead lap: Rusty, Jarrett, Geoff Bodine, and Ernie Irvan.

In the top spot one lap down, Jeff Gordon connected with Irvan while trying to line up for the restart. Seven laps later, Irvan hit the wall in Turn 4 hard with a cut tire, for which he blamed Gordon.

Later, Rusty would say: “I was real surprised at Gordon. He might have thought he was racing for the win. I don't know. I've never seen anybody race like that with the leaders when he's a lap down, but he did."

Back to lap 398 – we’ve got three to go ‘til the end, putting Rusty, Jarrett, and Bodine in a three-car shootout for the win. Rusty’s long history of short-track racing served him well – he smoked Jarrett to hold on to the lead.

"You think about those old short-track days," Wallace said. "I laid back about a car length and a half, and, just about the time I thought [Jarrett] was going to pick it up, I nailed it. It worked out perfect."

Jarett would claim a third-place finish, after losing both the chance at the win and a rough battle with Bodine for second.

"Rusty just got the best of me there," Jarrett said. "I thought I had a good start. I saw him drop back and try to get a run on the restart. I thought I had him, [because I] had him slowed down. I just messed up. It's my fault we didn't win the race.”

Don’t feel too bad for Jarrett thought, he returned to the fall race at RIR with a vengeance. On top of winning the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400, his average speed of 109.047 easily topped Rusty’s during the spring event.

However, you’d be hard-pressed to find another performance like Rusty’s during that final day race. In Rusty’s own words: "You know the [car] is stout when you go from 41st to first, and pass them all and take the lead. I'm used to taking the lead via pit stops and maybe passing one or two, but I've never passed 41 of them. That was a tough one."

Indeed; an RIR tradition of exciting, tough racing on Sunday afternoon we’re excited to see return in 2016 and beyond.

Be there to witness Sunday short-track racing make its historic return to Richmond International Raceway on April 22, 23, and 24th.

Need tickets? Sign up here to be the first to get yours before they go on sale to the public January 15th

A look at Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch this weekend in Texas

Last Week: It took 33 races, but the Jeff Gordon swan song hit its highest note yet with a dramatic win in Martinsville. Leading 35 laps en route to his ninth grandfather clock, the future Hall of Famer described the victory “unlike anything he'd ever experienced.” But if we know Gordon, he's already turned his focus to the Great American Speedway. His lone Texas win came back in 2009, but he's nabbed two top-10's in his last three races at the Fort Worth track, so the odds of him building on his Chase momentum are strong.

Earlier This Year: Stop me if you've heard this before, but Kevin Harvick was certainly one to watch at the Duck Commander 500 earlier this year. While the No. 4 driver does have three wins on the year, it feels like he could have had a dozen. One of his twenty top-5 showings came back in April at Texas with a second place finish. While he has yet to find a win at there, his average finish is stronger than any other driver remaining in the Chase. This weekend is a good opportunity for the defending champ to secure a spot in the Championship Four and defend his title.

Who To Watch: There was a time earlier this season when it felt like Kyle Busch could run the table on the 2015 NASCAR Season. Momentum has slowed down a bit since the Joe Gibbs driver won four in a five race stretch back in June/July, but this weekend could be one where he kicks the tires and lights those Chase fires. With a win, eight top-5 finishes and a fourth place showing in last year's AAA Texas 500, he has a better Texas resume than any remaining Chase driver.

A look at the chances for Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon this weekend in Martinsville.

Last Week: Get your brooms out, cause we had ourselves a sweep. Logano took not one, not two but all three of the Contender Round races, culminating with his victory at Talladega. With four top-5's in just 13 Martinsville starts, including three in a row, he has the ability to keep the streak going this weekend.

Earlier This Year: While it was Denny Hamlin who took home his fifth grandfather clock after winning the STP 500 back in March, it was actually Kevin Harvick who paced all drivers with 154 laps led. Gordon is the only remaining Chase driver with more top-10 finishes at Martinsville, and he's earned three in his last four contests at the track.

Who To Watch: The same guy eyes have been on all season long. Jeff Gordon. IIt's hard to find a track on the circuit at which the ol' 24 hasn’t had a long line of success… that history just hasn't translated into a 2015 win. But with eight wins, seven poles and more top-10 finishes than any other driver at the half-miler, maybe Jeff can punch his ticket to the Championship round with a win at one of his favorite tracks.
Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon at Kansas

Last Week: We called Penske making some noise, and while Keselowki managed a top-10 finish it was teammate Joey Logano who brought the hammer in Charlotte. Five-time winner Matt Kenseth had the early advantage, but contact with Ryan Newman sent him into the outside wall and the No. 20 driver was forced to leave the contest early. Logano seized the opportunity and lead a race-high 227 laps en route to his fourth win of the season.

Earlier This Year: It might have been Jimmie Johnson who took home that killer Spongebob trophy back in May, we all remember the one, Kevin Harvick had an equally impressive showing at Kansas earlier this season. The 56 laps led was just the latest in a string of strong performances in Kansas City. The defending champion has earned the pole in three of the last four races, with a win and a pair of second place finishes during that span.

Who To Watch: Remember Ryan Newman's 2014 run? Well Jeff Gordon is putting on a remarkably similar show. Even without a 2015 win, Gordon still sits inside the top-8 of the standings with several strong tracks on the horizon. Kansas is one such track, where Gordon has three wins and more top-10 finishes than any driver not named Jimmie Johnson. After a fourth place showing back in May, Gordon is one to keep an eye on if he can continue to build on that success.
Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon all have reasons to smile at Dover
Last Week: Can anyone stop JGR? Another week, another win for the Joe Gibbs Racing machine as Matt Kenseth found his way to Victory Lane for a NASCAR-leading fifth time this season. With defending champ Kevin Harvick running out of fuel with three laps to go, Kenseth took advantage and punched his ticket to the Contender Round alongside teammate Denny Hamlin.

Earlier This Year: Six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag at the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks back in May. Johnson has had unparalleled success on the Delaware track, with 10 wins, almost 3,000 laps led and his best average finish (6.8) of any track. Experts have Johnson pegged as the odds-on favorite to secure his spot as one of the 12 Contenders with another strong performance in Dover.

Who To Watch: Jeff Gordon currently finds himself sitting inside the top-12, but not comfortably. Currently 10th in points, there's no time like the present for Jeff to pick up his first win of the season. Just a year ago "The Kid," picked up his fourth and final win of the 2014 season at the Monster Mile. Hopefully it won't be the last win of his full-time racing career.

It's here.

We've come to the Last Race to Make the Chase, and Jeff Gordon still finds himself without a win in his final full-time season. Although we're sure he'd like to have earned more hardware over the course of the 2015 season, he still finds himself sitting 14th in points with a couple different ways he can clinch a spot in the Chase at Richmond:   

A- Win and he's in. Plain and simple. 

B- If a driver inside the current top-16 in Chase points finds their way to Victory Lane, Gordon qualifies regardless of where he finishes. 

C- If a driver outside the top-16 takes home the checkered flag AND Clint Bowyer finishes 2nd place while leading the most laps, then Gordon would need to finish better than 17th. 

D- If scenario C comes to fruition and Gordon finishes worse than 17th, he could still make it into the Chase so long as he finishes no more than seven spots below Paul Menard.

Head hurting yet? For simplicity's sake Jeff, why don't you just pick up your third Richmond win. 

Fun fact! Jeff’s made The Chase ten out of eleven times since it began in 2004 (only missing 2005). History alone says he has a solid chance to secure his tenth consecutive Chase appearance, especially since nearly 20% of his career Sprint Cup wins have come from these next four tracks.

Where do you think Jeff has the best chance to secure a win on the Road to Richmond?