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.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all you dads of children, dogs, cats, Jedi…we’re not picky. Hopefully you were too busy hanging out with your father, or kids, to keep up with social media on Sunday, so we’ve put together a roundup of posts to highlight how your favorite drivers spent their Father’s Day.
With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heading in to one of only three off weekends this season, you may find yourself with a little more time on your hands. Here are a few of our suggestions on how to fill the Junior-sized hole in your weekend:
- Hang out with your dad – it IS Father’s Day, after all
- Watch the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway on Sunday afternoon. (Duh.)
- Take a page out of the drivers’ books and go on a sweet vacation. (See: Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson)
- Train for American Ninja Warrior. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and several IndyCar drivers beasted the course on last night’s episode. We wouldn’t have made it past the first obstacle, but go on – give it a shot!
- It’s going to be a beautiful weekend in Richmond – if you’re here, go outside! Visit one of our state parks, restaurants, breweries, or wineries for a sure-fire good time.
With 33 laps to go, substitute crew chief John Klausemeier told Kurt Busch was told that he'd be two laps short on fuel in Monday's rain-delayed Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway. Turns out he had enough to pick up his first win of 2016 and even throw in a burnout to celebrate. "We just had to balance everything," said Busch, who got to the stripe 1.126 seconds ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. "We had a fast car, a (suspended) crew chief, and the way the fuel mileage played out, I didn't know if we would have enough fuel. It's a wonderful win for us. We have been so close all year. It was just a matter of putting it all together." It was the 2004 Cup Champion's first win since the 2015 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway, and the third of his career at the Tricky Triangle.
The 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class will be announced tonight and among the 20 considered for induction is fan-favorite Mark Martin - who finds himself on the ballot for the second straight year. Martin's distinguished career includes 40 premier series wins, an XFINITY Series wins record (49) that stood for 14 years, and although there was no championship trophy for Martin, he finished second in points a record five times. The other potential inductees include Red Byron, Benny Parsons, Alan Kulwicki, Ron Hornaday Jr., Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Waddell Wilson, Ken Squier, Buddy Baker, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Larry Phillips, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates.
Queen City Kings
Drivers often talk about how much winning the Coca-Cola 600 means to their career, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that a Sprint Cup Series champion has won 56% of all Coca-Cola 600 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.