Tag Archives: NASCAR

Brian Vickers Looking to Repeat at New Hampshire

Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR(NEW YORK) — Brian Vickers is still looking for his first Sprint Cup victory of the season.  NASCAR will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend where Vickers won last year.

“I suppose they would be 1 in 43,” Vickers said of his chances on Tuesday.  “You know, I think we have a really good car.  Obviously I like Loudon.  Especially a track you win at you’ll always like.  We also had a great test up there last week.  But I know a lot of other teams tested there as well.”

“It’s not going to be easy, but I think we’re definitely capable of winning again,” Vickers continued.  “It would be a great place to have a repeat win and lock ourselves into the Chase.”

With the new NASCAR format, one win could be a way in to the Chase. Vickers finished second at a rain-shortened race on Sunday at Daytona.

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Aric Almirola Wins Rain-Shortened Sprint Cup Race at Daytona

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(DAYTONA, Fla.) — After waiting a night, Aric Almirola won a rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.

There were three red flags, two which caused serious accidents that knocked out almost all of the 43-car field and top contenders.

For Almirola, it’s his first Sprint Cup victory since 1999.

“The amount of effort that’s gone into this race team this year with everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports trying to build this race team back to a winning race team, the way it’s supposed to be,” an excited Almirola said.

Brian Vickers was second followed by Kurt Busch, Casey Mears, and standout rookie Austin Dillon.

“We’re in the Chase! This team deserves to be in the Chase,” Almirola said. “Man, I just took the 43 car to Victory Lane at Daytona!”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. survived the two crashes and finished in 14th.  Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Kyle Busch were knocked out of contention after the crashes.

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Keselowski Wins At Kentucky Again

Sean Gardner/Getty Images(SPARTA, Ky.) — For the second time this year, Brad Keselowski found himself in victory lane after winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Keselowski becomes the first ever repeat winner at the track as he cemented his spot in the Chase for the Cup.

Keselowski started on the pole and led 199 of the 267 laps to get the win. He had to weave his way through traffic, sitting in sixth place after a restart. On lap 248, Keselowski was able to make his move and get past Kyle Busch for the lead. Busch went on to finish second in the race.

“I knew it was going to be a dogfight to get back to Kyle and then race him,” Keselowski said. “We got there with a really fast car and I hit the perfect run on him with traffic. Next thing I knew, we were there. It feels really good to get that second win.”

Ryan Newman placed third while Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top five. The 2012 Cup champion posted his ninth top-10 finish of the season and moved up one spot in to fourth place in the standings.

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Matt Kenseth Hoping for Success at Kentucky

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR(NEW YORK) — Matt Kenseth is still seeking his first Sprint Cup victory of the season and is the defending race winner at Kentucky Speedway, where NASCAR will be on Saturday night.

Kenseth has three top-10 finishes in three starts and is hoping to get Joe Gibbs Racing in Victory Lane.

“I don’t know if I would say our best opportunity,” Kenseth said on Tuesday.  “I’m not even sure how many races we’ve run this year, 15 or 16, but I feel like the way we ran last year, any one of those races with the exception of maybe last weekend would have been a good chance for us to get up there and get a win.”

Kenseth sits 11th in the standings, but one win gives Joe Gibbs Racing a better chance at a Chase berth.

“You know, we’ll see what happens,” Kenseth continued.  “It was a good track for us last year for sure, so you know, hopefully we’ll get there this weekend and have some speed and hopefully be a factor.”

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Carl Edwards Takes Sonoma

Jerry Markland/Getty Images(SONOMA, Calif.) — Carl Edwards had to hold off Jeff Gordon on the final lap, but he was able to secure his first ever road course win on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway in California. The victory was Edwards’ second of the season, cementing his spot in the Chase for the Cup field.

“My road racing progression, it’s been a pretty long climb,” said Edwards, who had never finished higher than third at Sonoma. “The real special part to me was to stand in Victory Lane at Sonoma and have Jeff Gordon come and give me a handshake as the second-place finisher. 

Gordon leads all drivers with five wins at Sonoma and almost picked up his sixth. After Edwards took the lead off a restart with 25 laps to go, Gordon made a strong run at the lead but was able to pass the 99 car. His second place finish keeps Gordon on the top of points standings.

Edwards helped Rousch Fenway Racing snap a five-race win streak for rival team Hendrick Motorsports. It also comes one week after Rousch Fenway failed to have a single driver finish in the top-10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished third with Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounding out the top-five.

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Jimmie Johnson: Sonoma’s a Very ‘Cool Track’

Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images(SONOMA, Calif.) — Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson returns to his home state of California this weekend at Sonoma race track.

Johnson comes into the weekend having won three out of the last four races.

“This track is way different than anything we run on because of the elevation changes,” Johnson said of the tough road course.

“Our cars are so big and heavy, we need a lot of real estate to slide our vehicles around, it makes a huge challenge; at the end of the day the tires take all the abuse,” Johnson continued.

Even with the difficulty of racing at Sonoma, Johnson always enjoys coming back home.

“Very cool track to make laps around,” Johnson said.  “On an oval, you probably have three to four moments that really get your attention, here with 11 corners around this track every braking zone you’re on edge.”

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Scoreboard Roundup – 6/15/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs 104 – Miami Heat 87 (Spurs Win Series, 4-1)

World Cup: Group E: Switzerland 2 – Ecuador 1 

France 3 – Honduras 0 

Group F: Argentina 2 – Bosnia-Herzegovina 1

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 5 (41-30) – Baltimore Orioles 2 (35-33) 

New York Mets 3 (31-38) – San Diego Padres 1 (29-40) 

Miami Marlins 3 (35-33) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (34-35) – 10 Innings

Chicago Cubs 3 (28-39) – Philadelphia Phillies 0 (29-38)

Detroit Tigers 4 (36-29) – Minnesota Twins 3 (32-35)

St. Louis Cardinals 5 (37-32) – Washington Nationals 2 (35-33)

Kansas City Royals 6 (36-32) – Chicago White Sox 3 (33-37)

Cincinnati Reds 13 (33-35) – Milwaukee Brewers 4 (41-29)

Cleveland Indians 3 (35-35) – Boston Red Sox 2 (31-38) – 11 Innings

Tampa Bay Rays 4 (27-43) – Houston Astros 3 (32-39)

Seattle Mariners 5 (35-34) – Texas Rangers 1 (34-35)

Oakland Athletics 10 (42-27) – New York Yankees 5 (35-33)

Arizona Diamondbacks 6 (30-42) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (37-34)

Colorado Rockies 8 (34-35) – San Francisco Giants 7 (43-27)

Atlanta Braves 7 (36-32) – L.A. Angels 3 (37-31)

Golf: Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open.

NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson won the Michigan 400.

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Paul Menard takes Home the Nationwide Ollie’s Bargain Barn 250

BannanStock(BROOKLYN, Michigan) — It came in an unpredictable fashion, but Paul Menard won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ollie’s Bargain Barn 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.

With five laps remaining in the race, leader Joey Logano suffered a flat tire and had to pit. Logano wound up finishing the race in 16th place, his first non top-five Nationwide finish this season.

Menard took advantage of Logano’s misfortune as he held off Sam Hornish Jr. to win his first Nationwide series race since 2006.

“Man, good to be back in victory lane,” Menard said after the race. “Win number two, and I think we’ve finished second or third the past couple years so this was good.”

Hornish Jr. wound up finishing second in the race, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Brian Scott. Regan Smith finished seventh, and still remains atop the points standings.

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Michigan 400

Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Kevin Harvick took home the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup series race at Michigan.

Harvick’s pole-winning speed of 204.557 mph was the fastest qualifying speed since Bill Elliot in 1987.

“This is one of those racetracks where you’re running fast, but you really can’t put it all in perspective, I guess, until you hit something,” Harvick said. “It’s so wide, it’s so fast and so smooth, but you don’t really get that huge sensation of speed.”

Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon was the second fastest on Friday and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“This format has obviously been good for me to kind of, I guess, creep up on it as you go through the sessions,” Harvick said. “A fast car really solves a lot of problems.”

Harvick enjoys racing at Michigan.

“Michigan’s been fast for a long time. How fast is too fast?” Harvick said. “The cars will slow down a tremendous amount when we get them in race trim and you get them in a pack, and it’s going to be quite a bit hotter on Sunday. They’ll slow down. Qualifying speeds are high. It’s just a matter of whose opinion is taken on whether it’s too fast or not.”

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Brad Keselowski Looking Forward to Michigan

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(NEW YORK) — Brad Keselowki is hoping to pick up his second checkered flag of the season at the Michigan 400 on Sunday.

Another win for Keselowski would inevitably lock up a spot in the chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

“It’s a great opportunity to come home to Michigan, which is my home state, certainly my home racetrack, with cars that have been just blistering fast this year,” Keselowski said on Tuesday.

“I’m really, really happy where we’re at as a team and how things are progressing and kind of feel like we’re turning a corner to getting back into championship form here as we hit the month of June,” Keselowski continued.  “It kind of gives me some goosebumps knowing that we have an opportunity to, I guess, one, run for another championship in my eyes as it stands right now, and two, win a big Cup race at my home track, and both of them are very realistic at this time.  A lot of things good going on, and I’m just really excited.”

Keselowski’s first win of the season came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9. He has won two poles in the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford for Team Penske this season.

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