Speedway Digest…. Clint Bowyer Restrictor Plate Racing Isn’t Chess

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Clint Bowyer Restrictor Plate Racing Isn’t Chess

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tackles the high banks of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway Sunday for what is normally one of the sport’s most exciting races of the season. By now, everyone knows Talladega racing often leads to nearly 40 cars racing four-abreast, 10 rows deep at 200 mph for more than three hours.

Talladega is about crashes and near crashes with short tempers among stressed-out drivers. Tune in to the radio or television broadcast of the race and the commentators are sure to call the action a “high-speed game of chess.”

But Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), isn’t buying that cliché.

“Chess is sitting there, bored out of your mind, thinking of all the other things that you would rather be doing,” Bowyer said. “There’s a guy across from you, you’re trying to figure out if he’s actually into it or doing the same thing, bored out of his mind, thinking about all the things he would rather be doing.”

Bowyer said NASCAR restrictor-plate racing is so much more than any cerebral pursuit.

“You’re literally freaking out, making knee-jerk-reaction decisions the whole race,” he said. “You’re reacting to things that you don’t even remember. You’ll get out of the car at the end of the race, and somebody’ll be like, ‘Man, that was an awesome move that won you the race!’ And you’re like, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ There were at least 4,000 instances of what won that race or didn’t win that race.”

Don’t let Bowyer kid you; he knows what he is doing on restrictor-plate tracks, especially at Talladega, where he’s won twice and posted six top-five finishes in his 22 career starts at the 2.66-mile track. Bowyer has scored the most points of any driver in the last 10 Talladega races but, even after successful days like he has enjoyed there, he says he’s mentally and physically weary after each race from all the exertion.

“There’s so much going on inside the car, whether you’re listening to the spotter, or you’re looking at – as you’re listening to him, you’re following along to – that story in the mirror, right?” he said. “You’re living it through the windshield. I mean, there are so many things that are going on, you just – you flat out – don’t take it all in. I mean, your brain is registering so many things that, at the end of the race, you don’t even remember half of it.”

Bowyer rides a wave of success to Talladega with top-15 finishes in all nine of the 2017 races except for the season-opening Daytona 500, where a midrace accident ended his day. He’s earned two top-five finishes and four top-10s this season. The No. 14 team led by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz has climbed to ninth in the standings.

“Everybody is working really hard and we are just having fun,” Bowyer said. “SHR is a fun organization and Ford is a fun manufacturer to work with. We still haven’t put everything together and been the best we can be, but Sunday will be our 10th race working together and we expect things will continue to improve.”

Bowyer’s racing fortunes have improved since arriving at SHR this season to replace three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired from NASCAR competition. Bowyer would like to go down in the history books as the first driver to bring SHR a Talladega victory. The organization’s 37 victories in 864 Cup Series races since its 2009 inception have come at every track except Talladega and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Whether or not Bowyer makes history for SHR Sunday afternoon in the normally unpredictable Talladega race, it will be more entertaining than, say, a game of chess.

TSC PR

Clint Bowyer Restrictor Plate Racing Isn’t Chess

Kyle Busch Wins Second Straight Brickyard 400

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Thanks and Courtesy Onpitroad.com

In the 107 year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway there hasn’t been a more dominant performance then the one Kyle Busch delivered this weekend.

After leading 62 of 63 laps in Saturday’s victory in the Lilly Diabetes 250, Busch saved the best for last on Sunday leading 149 of 170 laps en route to becoming the first driver in history to sweep both poles and races at the Brickyard holding off Matt Kenseth by 2.126 seconds to score the victory.

Busch also became the second driver in history to win back to back Brickyard 400’s joining Jimmie Johnson as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.

“I felt pretty good to be up front and obviously you’ve got to do everything in your power to not screw it up,” Busch said.

“I can imagine if I would have … beaten one of those guys with the super fast cars [in the past] how they would have felt because I know how I would have felt here today.”

Busch talked about how important the restarts were today at Indy with track position being at a premium.

“We had the race in our hands that we can manipulate the restarts how I needed to and make sure that I got to the No. 1 spot and Matt [Kenseth] was able to do the same thing last week [at New Hampshire],” Busch said.

“Each and every week, it’s power to the leader. That’s what we’ve all kind of asked for with this bigger restart zone and stuff, too, so when you are the race leader that you’ve earned that right to restart how you want.”

Jimmie Johnson was able to rally to a third place finish after being a lap down late in the going. He was followed by: Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.

Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, and Paul Menard rounded out the top ten.

Notables included: Tony Stewart 11th, Jeff Gordon 13th, Chase Elliott 15th, Kurt Busch 16th, Brad Keselowski 17th, Kasey Kahne 18th, Clint Bowyer 21st, Danica Patrick 22nd, Ryan Newman 31st, and Carl Edwards finished 35th after being caught up in a late race incident.

In a race lacking highlights, the highlight of the race came after the checkered flag had fallen when Stewart and Gordon took a ceremonial lap around the 2.5 mile oval side by side in what was likely barring unforeseen circumstances the last Brickyard 400 for both sure fire hall of famers. After coming back on pit road, Stewart and Gordon hugged.

“For us to share that moment together, I mean that’s probably our last lap around here in a professional race, and I’ll cherish that moment,” Stewart said. “It’s something that doesn’t happen very often.

“It was pretty cool. … We’re never going to get that chance to do that again.”

“Tony and I have gone through a lot over the years, but he and I have become really good friends,” Gordon said. “I was with him when he got hurt this year. … I learned a lot about Tony Stewart. He’s driven. He’s tough.

“To see him in that pain I saw him in and come back and win Sonoma [last month] and be out here driving like this with a chance at a championship when this whole thing is over, that’s impressive.”

Featured Blog from Speedway Digest/Written by Brett Winningham

<br /> NCWTS: Ryan Blaney Captures UNOH 200 Presented by ZLOOP Victory at Bristol<br /> http://www.speedwaydigest.com/index.php/news/camping-world-truck-series-news/26360-ncwts-ryan-blaney-captures-unoh-200-presented-by-zloop-victory-at-bristol

NCWTS: Ryan Blaney Captures UNOH 200 Presented by ZLOOP Victory at Bristol

Ryan Blaney stole the show on Wednesday night at the Bristol Motor Speedway in the UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP. Blaney started the night in the runner-up spot behind the wheel of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford.

After staying in the runner-up position, Blaney was popped for jumping the restart after the caution on lap 31 that forced the team to serve a pass through penalty under green. Caution would fly on lap 78 that would allow Blaney to get the free pass. Blaney got back on the lead lap and worked his way to the front.

A caution would fly once again on lap 195 that sent the race into over-time. This would bunch the field up once again and allow Blaney to make the pass around leader Matt Crafton. Crafton would lose seven positions after spinning his tires on the restart.

Pole sitter Kyle Busch will leave the Bristol Motor Speedway with the runner-up spot. Busch came into the weekend making his third start of the season in the series for his own racing team. The Las Vegas native will walk away with his third top 10 finish in three starts.

John Hunter Nemechek will walk away with his second top five finish of the season in his No. 8 Chevrolet. Nemechek had a smooth night as he started in the seventh position. The finish will give him his best so far in 2015.

Tyler Reddick continues to lead the series standings by six points over Matt Crafton. Erik Jones will leave the Bristol Motor Speedway sitting in third after a sixth-place finish. Johnny Sauter and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

The NASCAR Camping World Series will head to Canada for some road course racing. Coverage will begin next Sunday on FOX Sports 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio broadcast.


brettjw18@gmail.com (Brett Winningham)

http://www.speedwaydigest.com/index.php/news/camping-world-truck-series-news/26360-ncwts-ryan-blaney-captures-unoh-200-presented-by-zloop-victory-at-bristol
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 03:31:10 +0000 Camping World Series News

MWR & BOWYER AGREE TO SEPARATE AT SEASON’S END Press release

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Below is the official Press Release regarding MWR and Clint Boyer “Parting ways”

MWR & BOWYER AGREE TO SEPARATE AT SEASON’S END ORGANIZATION WILL NOT FIELD FULL-TIME CARS IN 2016
CORNELIUS, N.C. – Michael Waltrip Racing and Clint Bowyer have mutually agreed to separate at the conclusion of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Bowyer, currently 16th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase standings, will be free to pursue other career options in 2016 and beyond. MWR will continue to field the No. 15 and No. 55 Toyotas for the remainder of the 2015 season. Kauffman said MWR will not field a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup entry in 2016. ROB KAUFFMAN: “MWR will race hard and compete for the remainder of the 2015 season. This decision was made after weighing several different options and scenarios. “I felt it was important to make an announcement as soon as we had clarity, so that is what we are doing today. I want to thank all of our staff, partners, sponsors and fans for all their effort and support over the years. “Clint Bowyer has done a lot for MWR since joining us in 2012 and we appreciate the energy and effort he has given the organization. After many discussions, Clint and I agreed we would go our separate ways at the end of the season and I wish him well in whatever direction he pursues.” CLINT BOWYER: “I want to thank Michael, Rob and everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing that made these past four years special. After extensive discussions with Rob and MWR, we came to the point that we mutually agreed our paths in the future just didn’t align but I think we all agreed on the next steps in a very professional manner. I am looking forward to what future opportunities may come but for now we have a championship to pursue in 2015 and we owe it to every one of our sponsors, partners, employees and fans to deliver on and off the track.” MICHAEL WALTRIP: “Rob joined MWR in 2007 and has helped give us the resources to build a competitive race team, and in 2012, Clint Bowyer took us to the doorstep of a championship. From where MWR started behind my house in Sherrill’s Ford to winning Sprint Cup races, poles and earning Chase berths, I am proud of what we accomplished. “My family has been a part of NASCAR for almost five decades and I plan on being a part of it for years to come. I would not have had the opportunity to start this journey without so many great partners, sponsors and employees and I want to thank each of them for making Michael Waltrip Racin – See more at: http://www.michaelwaltrip.com/news?n_id=783#sthash.UXD4TNh9.dpuf

Tragedy in New York

 

Kevin Ward

I wont be posting the video we talk about in this blog out of respect for The Kevin Ward Family.

I love this quote from Jay Busbee a writer for Yahoo Sports

“After Saturday night, Tony Stewart’s future as a driver is in serious question. But no matter whether Stewart ever drives again, he’s not the most important part of this story. Kevin Ward Jr. is, and always will be.”

Well here is what we do know! NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver who was walking on a track during a dirt-track race in upstate New York, authorities said early Sunday. Kevin Ward Jr., 20, died from injuries suffered in the incident, which occurred Saturday night at the Empire Super Sprints series event at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The track is about a two-hour drive from Watkins Glen International race track, where Stewart had been scheduled to race in a NASCAR event Sunday.

Ok so lets look at both sides.

  • Kevin Ward JR exits his Sprint Car after hitting the outside wall during lap 14 of a 25-lap race, Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said.
  • Ward is walking toward oncoming race traffic pointing and yelling.
  • Track was on a yellow flag.
  • One car swerves to avoid Ward on the track.
  • Stewart’s car passes close to Ward, and it appears that it’s right rear tire hits him.
  • An ambulance took Ward to a hospital, but he died before arrival.

The questions of the day are

  • Did Tony Stewart intentionally hit Ward?
  • Should the rules be changed so drivers are prohibited to exit car if their life is not in immediate danger?
  • Did Tony Stewart make the right decision to not race in NASCAR race at Watkins Glen?
  • Was this a criminal act on Tony’s part?

Stewart has made no secret of his passion for dirt-track racing and he drives on dirt tracks as often as possible — even to the detriment of his own health. He suffered a badly broken leg in a race a little over a year ago and was involved in a big crash at the same Canandaigua Motorsports Park track last year.

A witness who is a sprint-car driver and friend of Ward’s described what happened to Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News:

“Tony pinched him into the front-stretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves said. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.

“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”

Ward is from Port Leyden, N.Y., and, he started racing go-karts when he was 4. He drove the No. 13 car for five years in the Empire Super Sprints circuit and won two 360 Winged Sprint races last year.

“Business as usual”??? Maybe one of the dumbest things ever said in the history of sports.

You can get away with that kind of macho trick in a NASCAR sled, but not in a short-coupled, high power-to-weight “Outlaw” sprint car. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it, even on the checkered flag lap when the driver’s fired up and whacks the gas. The car does an embarrassing 360 loop-the-loop right in front of the main grandstand.

First ol’ Smoke ran the guy into the wall, then he wanted to “teach him a lesson”. Some lesson. And for what? To be Big Dog on a local racetrack? In a race with a winner’s purse of $1500? Nothing to gain, everything to lose if you can’t control your attitude.

The best spin I can put on this: If Stewart can’t handle the differences in driving technique between a NASCAR stocker and an Outlaw sprinter, he shouldn’t be in the cockpit of either one. But what I’m seeing looks more like a case of “I really just meant to scare him, Your Honor!”

What are your thoughts ? We want to hear your comments!

Guardian of The Brickyard

Pratt

Chris Pratt, star of the new Guardians of the Galaxy is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today to lead the cars around driving the Chevy pace car. Pratt is new to NASCAR but stated he is looking forward to leading the cars around the track. Pratt told a room of reporters that he is looking forward to being signed by NASCAR after his laps leading the 37 cars around the track today for the Brickyard 400. He was amazed at how smooth his ride was around the track going what he said was a slow 120 mph.

Chris Pratt who is also a star of the show Parks and Recreation set in a fictional city in Indiana has been to the Hoosier state once before. Parks and Recreation filmed a show at Lucas Oil Stadium with several members of the Indianapolis Colts and he was on the field playing catch with Andrew Luck.
On a professional note for Pratt, he is looking forward to playing the hero character like his character, the Star Lord of the new movie Guardians of the Galaxy. He stated that the film has just confirmed their 2nd movie in the series. The Guardians of the Galaxy premieres this Friday, August 1st.
Be sure to watch to see if Christ Pratt makes the turnoff in the pace car today or keep the car on the track and prove his driving skills to NASCAR.