Showing posts with label Tony Stewart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tony Stewart. Show all posts
Kevin Harvick

Harvick Gets Lucky in Loudon
Make that two tickets punched to the Round of 12. Kevin Harvick joins Martin Truex Jr. as a lock to advance to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup with his win in New Hampshire Sunday. Harvick overtook race leader Matt Kenseth - who was gunning for his third straight Loudon win - off the final restart with five laps to go and held on for his third victory of the season. “For me, it was just a smooth restart,” Harvick said. “I just didn’t want to spin the tires. I feel like the performance of the car and the things that we’re doing are good enough to be competitive, and we just need to not make mistakes and go from there.” It was Harvick’s 34th career Sprint Cup Series win and second at NHMS, with his last coming in 2006.

Elliott Sadler

An emotional Elliott Sadler celebrated history over the weekend, becoming the first driver to win a race under the new XFINITY Series Chase format."We fought through a lot tonight," Sadler said in Victory Lane. "I'm going to get a little emotional on you, I've been in the hospital all week with my mom in ICU watching her fight and fight through a lot of pain and suffering. (She) made her way back home tonight to watch the race. Mom, I love you. She leads so much by example." The Emporia, VA native expertly navigated his way through a caution-filled battle for the 13th win of his XFINITY career.

Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart

The season's not over yet, but there's already been news of some big changes coming in 2017 with Stewart-Haas Racing front racing. Clint Bowyer will be behind the wheel of the 14 once the "Smoke" clears, and it'll be running on a Roush Yates Ford. NASCAR takes a look at these and a few other changes coming down the pipeline this winter.

Jamie Mcmurray, Austin Dillon, Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher

The field will get a little tighter after this weekend's race in Dover as four drivers will be eliminated from Chase contention. With two first-timers and a future Hall of Famer on the cusp of elimination, we could see some monster action at the "Monster Mile." Less than 20 points separate 7th-place Denny Hamlin from 13th-place Jamie McMurray, so don't be surprised to see some serious shake-ups before the Round of 12 is officially underway.
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.
Chris Buescher

Mother Nature thowing us an occasional curveball is no surprise, who was leading the field when a heavy fog descended upon Monday's Pennsylvania 400 might be a shock to some. NASCAR rookie Chris Buescher outlasted other cars to take the top spot just before the red flag waved the field to pit roac. It was the first Cup win by a NASCAR rookie since Joey Logano took home the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 trophy in 2009. "It was stressful," said Buescher, who lost a lap because of a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 94 and regained it as the highest-scored lapped car under caution on Lap 109. “I tried not to get my hopes up because I know how these things can play out." But the fog hasn't completely lifted for Buescher yet. The rookie is still on the outside looking in the top 30 in points, sitting six behind David Ragan. "We're in a good spot, and we can definitely make up those six points," Buescher said. "We're going to try and get a lot more than that and be ready when the Chase does start to make sure we can advance as it goes through."

NASCAR Trading Cards

NASCAR and Panini America have collaborated together to release the first line of officially licensed trading cards, which will include stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. "We are excited to bring NASCAR trading cards back into the marketplace," said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. "NASCAR fans are some of the most passionate in all of sport, and we look forward to delivering an assortment of products across a broad range of price points that meet the needs of collectors and race fans alike." You said it Mark, our fans are pretty awesome. So much so we'll be celebrating them all weekend long this September.

Tony Stewart

We remember another driver who missed time early in the season last year, and by all accounts it ended pretty well for him. This season, Tony Stewart is doing his best Kyle Busch impression with a mid-summer tear that's reminded us all he is a three-time Sprint Cup Champion. Going back to his win at Sonoma in late June, Stewart has four top-five finishes in his last six starts. He also is up to 27th in the Sprint Cup point standings. Considering he has five career wins at Watkins Glen International, there's a good chance he'll make another jump in the standings this weekend.

AJ Allmendinger

The Glen's 2.45-mile road course has been a unique twist in the midst of NASCAR's end of season stretch. Throw in the track's recent repave, and there's a chance the Chase point's scramble becomes even more intense after this weekend. Stewart is the track's all-time victories leader, and though his last win came in 2009 - his victory at Sonoma earlier this season shows he's still a threat.  AJ Allmendinger took advantage of his road course background in 2014, when his victory over Marcos Ambrose vaulted him into the only win and Chase berth of his 10-year Cup career. Even Jeff Gordon, who will continue to run the No. 88 in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s absence, has four career wins at the New York track.  With only three repeat winners in the last decade,  there's a chance this weekend could be one of the most exciting stops on the Road to Richmond.
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.
Tony Stewart at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Alright, alright. We dragged our feet a little bit to embrace this whole Pokemon Go thing, but we've been hooked since checking out our very own PokeStop. While out catching 'em all, it was hard not to notice a few similarities to some guys we're a little more familiar with... 

Carl Edwards - Machoke

It's only logical that NASCAR's preeminent gym rat would draw comparisons to the bodybuilding Pokemon Machoke. Whether he's one-upping Jay Glaser in the gym or speaking for the "Eat Smart, Move More" campaign, a healthy lifestyle has always been important for Edwards. We're not sure who'd win between these two in an arm wrestling competition, but smart money is on Carl when it comes to back flips.

Joey Logano - Jolteon

Starting out as a common Eevee, the right trainer - or team - can quickly evolve this Pokemon into the hardcore Jolteon; one guy you don't want to mess with, if you can help it. Similarly, Joey Logano's work with Team Penske makes him a formidable opponent on the track. While only capturing one (points-eligible) W this year, last year's Chase run was nothing short of intimidating. Bottom line: don't underestimate these two.

Tony Stewart - Charizard

You know what they say, where there's "Smoke" there's fire - so it's easy to see the parallels between Tony Stewart and the fire-breathing Charizard. The future NASCAR Hall of Famer is a legend on and off the track, and well-known for his fiery personality and driving style.

Chase Elliott - Squirtle

One of the most popular rookie drivers, meet one of the most popular "rookie" Pokemon. Aside from Pikachu (don't worry, we'll get to him), Squirtle is a top choice for both new and veteran Pokemon players. Elliott's popularity spans generations, too: NASCAR fans looking for a new driver after Jeff Gordon's retirement were quick choose the new caretaker of the 24 - a strong driver from day one and possibly the best new talent out there.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Pikachu

What better comparison for the 13-time reigning "Most Popular Driver" award winner than the Pokemon that everyone chooses? Pikachu is the face of Pokemon, just like Dale Earnhardt Jr. really is the face of NASCAR. This little guy is lightning-quick, loyal, and is the only Pokemon famous enough to have his own brand. Need we say more?

Any other suggestions? Comment below and let us know what you think!

It took him 15 tries, but Brad Keselowski finally raced his way into Daytona's Gatorade Victory Lane in Saturday's Coke Zero 400. The No. 2 Penske Ford driver managed to avoid "The Big One" on Lap 90, which saw over half the field (22 cars) suffer damage, and scored the 100th win for Team Penske. “We had two great cars here with Team Penske and worked together really well,” Keselowski said. “Joey (Logano) has won here and he’s really a pro, especially on that restart. He gave me that push I need to get to the front and here we are at Daytona in Victory Lane. I don’t care if it’s not the 500. It’s Daytona. This is huge. I love this place and here we are in Victory Lane.” Brad's 19 wins for Team Penske trail only Rusty Wallace's 37 for most in the team's history, and his 2014 win in Richmond's Federated Auto Parts 400 marked the most dominating win in Sprint Cup Series competition for the team.

Keselowski wasn't the only one making headlines in Central Florida. We went to the "World Center of Racing" to announce our Fan Appreciation Weekend program for September. It's an entire weekend devoted to showing our gratitude to race fans near and far for the enthusiastic support they have given our sport throughout the regular season, and the NASCAR industry jumped on board the hype train.

Our friends over at Sprint helped kick off the announcement by sending one lucky fan from Daytona to the Federated Auto Parts 400 in September! Orlando native Ashley Miller, will experience Fan Appreciation Weekend firsthand and in style, with all expenses paid, a view from the TORQUE Club and “the works” of passes and credentials for an unforgettable weekend. "I’ve been attending the Daytona races with my Mom for the last eleven years, and I’ve never been to a short track so I’m very excited to go to Richmond," said Miller. "I’ve been a Tony Stewart fan for close to 15 years, and I’m ecstatic to go to the track where he got his first win.”

Through 17 Sprint Cup races, we've seen 11 different drivers in Victory Lane. If history is any indicator, that number might not grow after this weekend's Quaker State 400. Through five Sprint Cup Series events at Kentucky Speedway, only three drivers have won at the 1.5-mile tri-oval: Keselowski (2), Kyle Busch (2) and Matt Kenseth (1). But the speedway underwent a facelift earlier this year - with a repave and reconfiguration in Turns 1 & 2 (increased banking and narrower track), and this weekend marks NASCAR's first crack at the new-look track. Maybe this weekend is the chance for someone like Chase Elliott or Austin Dillon to earn the first win of their promising young careers.
Tony Stewart wins in Sonoma

Smoke rises again, y'all. For the first time in 84 races, three-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart finds himself back in Victory Lane after a thrilling finish at Sonoma over the weekend.  "It's been a tough three years not just for him but everyone that's close to him," his father, Nelson Stewart, said. "I don't know what to say. We all needed that bad. He really needed that bad." After missing the first eight races with a back issue, Stewart is hoping to channel his inner Kyle Busch and race his way into the Chase picture. Sunday's W helps that a great deal. "With about eight to go it was the first time I thought, 'hey, we might actually have a shot to hold onto this,' and I actually got a little bit emotional thinking about it while I was driving," Stewart said. "You didn't have time to think about wine and flowers and ponies and all that stuff. I had to get back to business. But it was nice." Now his attention turns to racing his way back into the top-30 by the season's end in Richmond. Considering he's only 10 points back from Brian Scott, we think the odds are good.

Denny Hamlin finishes Second

Stewart's first win in three years certainly didn't come easy. Denny Hamlin, who finished second on Sunday, battled the No. 14 up to the finish. It was just the Chesterfield, VA native's third top-10 at Sonoma. "I didn’t even think I’d have an opportunity, honestly," Hamlin said. "He made one mistake in Turn 7 and allowed us to get closer to him. He made mistakes that allowed me to get there and get position...Still a pretty good day. This is definitely a step in the right direction on the road course, but man... utterly disappointed." The finish was Hamlin's best since his victory in the season opener in Daytona.

FOX hands baton to NBC

From Hamlin's record finish in the Daytona 500, to the return of day racing at RIR, to Smoke's triumphant return to Victory Lane, the team at FOX has brought NASCAR fans a historic start to the 2016 season. Now it's NBC's turn to take the baton to the season's finish in Homestead - and they take over with things in a really good place. Through 16 races we've seen 11 different winners, and only 31 points separate 12th place Dale Earnhardt Jr from 17th place Ryan Blaney. We hope you're as excited as we are for the second half stretch, culminating at the regular season finale at Richmond on September 10.

Join us in Daytona

Ready for Daytona round two? We are, and we'll be on hand to bring you the action from our perspective. As the sport returns to the World Center of racing for the Coke Zero 400, RIR will be in the thick of it all - and you can come along for the ride. Click here to follow us on Snapchat and get and insider's look at everything going on this weekend in Central Florida.
 Kyle Busch wins at Kansas

At just 31 years old, Kyle Busch is close to accomplishing something nobody has ever done in the history of NASCAR. After his Kansas win on Saturday night, there are just two tracks on the Sprint Cup Series circuit at which the defending Champion hasn't won. Both of those tracks - Charlotte Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway - are both fast approaching on the NASCAR calendar. "There's been a lot of rough days (at Kansas)," said Busch following the win. "I certainly found the boundaries that you need to have here being able to feel the race car and I’m so used to just attacking all these race tracks that sometimes I over-attack and that may be what has bit me here in the past, but tonight I really felt this race car all night long."

Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott

Thanks to a fifth-place finish by Ryan Blaney on Saturday, a rookie has finished in the top-5 in four of the last five races (Richmond being the only exception). It was Blaney's first top-5 finish to go along with four top-10's for the Wood Brothers this season, while fellow rookie Chase Elliott has more top-10 finishes (seven) than any other Hendrick driver, in addition to three top-5's.

Axalta signs on as founding partner

Daytona's new motorsports stadium will get a "fresh coat of paint" with Axalta Coating Systems coming in as the fifth and final founding partner. "Axalta has been a long-standing and strong sponsor of our sport for many years and we’re thrilled to welcome them as a partner at Daytona International Speedway,” said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “Their activation will enable us to further enhance the fan and spectator experience which is a main focus of our new stadium.” Their activation includes naming and branding rights within the center injector at the facility and is a part of Axalta's 150th anniversary celebration.

Tony Stewart doing his best to make up for early season misses

When Tony Stewart made his season debut in Richmond he was 112 points out of the 30th place, the cutoff mark for drivers with a win to qualify for the Chase. Just three starts later, he's almost cut that margin in half to a mere 59 points. Thanks to a sixth-place finish by the No. 14 at Talladega and Stewart's 12th-place showing on Saturday, he is poised to continue his season surge this weekend at Dover where he has three career wins.

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.