Showing posts with label NASCAR Goes West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NASCAR Goes West. Show all posts
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.
Just another day in the desert for Kevin Harvick, who has now won five of the last six contests at Phoenix International Raceway. The 2014 Champion edged out Carl Edwards by a mere .010 seconds, the same margin of Denny Hamlin's victory or Martin Truex Jr. in the Daytona 500. ""I knew I needed to get a good run off the (final) corner and that I was going to have to get into his door. And it worked out, just barely," said Harvick. It was Harvick's eighth win at the track- extending his own record in NASCAR's top series.

Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney have impressed so far in their young careers.

When we were in Daytona for Speedweeks at the season's start- there was a lot of chatter surrounding the exciting 2016 rookie class. Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney proved why on Sunday by each finishing inside the top-10 in the Good Sam 500. "My guys have been bringing such fast race cars to the racetrack every week since Daytona, and I haven't been doing a very good job of getting the finishes that they deserve," said Elliott. It was the first time since October 2014 that two rookies finished inside the top 10. The race was Blaney's second consecutive top 10.

Kyle Busch not satisfied with success so far in 2016

He's led in every race this season. He's finished inside the top-5 in every race this season. But the defending NASCAR champion hasn't come away with a win in any race this season- and he's not having it. “You could be happy with top-five and you could be happy with running up front and doing those things," said Kyle Busch “Those are the things you're supposed to do, but ultimately we've got to get to Victory Lane." Busch is currently tied with Sunday's race winner, Kevin Harvick, atop the NASCAR points standings, but for someone who earned five victories in 25 starts during last season's championship run, he's ready for the wins to start flowing in.

The low downforce package should shine in California

Asphalt baking under the California sun has led to some excellent on-track action in Fontana, and NASCAR's low downforce package should only make things even more exciting. As the race goes on and the track gets slick, fans can expect to see quite a show on Sunday. Kyle Busch, who's excelled racing with the new package at each stop this season, could be due for his third Fontana win in four years on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski wins in Vegas

Not wind nor (dust) storm could keep Brad Keselowski out of Victory Lane on Sunday. Keselowski passed Kyle Busch to take the lead with six laps to go, and held on the rest of the way to earn his first win in 33 races. Teammate Joey Logano, who led 74 laps on Sunday, was happy for the 1-2 Penske finish, but admits he's anxious to get back into the winner's circle himself.  "Gosh, we finished second so many times, Daytona and qualifying. We will go get them next week. … I know we are only three races in, but I am getting antsy." We remember Logano feeling similarly earlier this season.

Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s new fire suits

You've seen what they'll be driving- and now you can see what they'll be wearing. Hendrick Motorsports released images of the Batman and Superman-themed firesuits Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson will be wearing for the #HeroFaceOff at Auto Club Speedway later this month. 

NASCAR chimes in on Peyton's retirement

The sports community bid adieu to one of the all-time greats this week, as Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL after 18 Hall-of-Fame caliber seasons. The NASCAR world took notice, as current and former drivers took to the Twittersphere to pay their respects to the two-time Super Bowl Champion and five-time NFL MVP.  “He’s somebody I really admire and look up to and have the utmost respect for. I’m glad he’s done all this on his terms," said Tony Stewart, who plans to retire from driving full-time at the conclusion of the 2016 NASCAR season.

Kevin Harvick

If you bet against Kevin Harvick at Phoenix, odds are you're going to lose. But despite the fact he's won five of the last seven contests in the desert (including four in a row from 2013 - 2015), Harvick is keeping things in perspective as he prepares for this weekend. "You go there with a fresh start, like you’ve never won there before," said Harvick, who's currently tied for second place with Jimmie Johnson in the early-season standings - seven points behind Kyle Busch. "The hardest thing about having success is that you must have an open mind to try new things and keep moving forward. If you don’t, and aren't willing to try a fresh approach, it will get stagnant. You’re going to become stale and get left behind."

Jimmie Johnson ties Dale Earnhardt for all0time career wins 

The career accolades on Jimmie Johnson's Wikipedia page already rivaled that of the all-time great athletes. Six-time champion (territory Michael Jordan is familiar with), five-time Driver of the Year (Mickey Mantle had three MVP awards) and he's the only driver to have qualified for the Chase every year since it's inception in 2004 (the kind postseason run Bill Belichick is familiar with). But with his win Sunday, Johnson found himself in truly hallowed company- tying Dale Earnhardt Sr. with 76 career Cup wins. "I don't have a problem calling him the best of this generation even as a competitor of his and having to go out there and race against him,"said Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Drivers had glowing reviews of the on-track action in Atlanta

NASCAR debuted its new low downforce package at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta on Sunday- and the drivers loved it. "We were sideways, sliding around, the cars were moving," said Joey Logano, started 27th but raced his way into the top five without a caution. "This is real racing. We're driving hard. That's a tough race and just a lot of fun," said Carl Edwards, who finished fifth on Sunday.

The new downforce package reminds Brad Keselowski of the 70's

Almost every driver had glowing reviews of how their cars handled with the new downforce package in Atlanta, noting how it felt like a throwback to the racing of yesteryear. None were more explicit in their comparison than Brad Keselowski, who suggested the racing style might even inspire a new look for the Penske driver. "That race felt like I was in 1975.  That was kind of awesome.  I should grow my sideburns out after that one." We decided to see what it'd look like if he did, and we think he could pull it off.

Kevin Harvick dominated the West Coast swing last season.

NASCAR kicks off it's West Coast swing this weekend in Vegas, and eyes will be on Kevin Harvick to see if he can replicate last season's run. The No. 4 dominated the desert in 2015, leading 366 laps between wins at Vegas and Phoenix before snagging a second-place finish in Fontana. With two top-10's to start the season (including an impressive fourth-place run in Daytona) the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion could be poised to make a return trip to Victory Lane this weekend.