February 2013 Archives
Jimmie Johnson has picked up sponsorship from Lowes through the 2015 Sprint Cup Season.
One day after one of the wildest wrecks ever at Daytona the Sprint Cup drivers take to the track for the first points race this season. On poll for the event was Danica Patrick who was the first female ever on the poll for the event.
"A lot of unknowns today with this car," said Kevin Harvick.
As the green flag drops Jeff Gordon got the best of the start and the race lead as the high side again for the Sprint Cup cars is the way to go. By lap five the field had a big section in the back of three wide racing as the bottom line started to get fast with Kevin Harvick slowly marching his way to the front. That did not work for long and then at lap 10 it was a long single line of racing cars.
Around lap 21 Jeff Gordon was still leading the race, but had junk on the grill of his car causing his temps to rise. By this time Michael Waltrip and Trevor Bayne were off the pace. At lap 27 it was the first caution of the day for some metal debris. The caution brought down everyone with Jeff Gordon keeping the lead of the race.
This time after the green flag dropped the low line worked enough so that Jimmie Johnson could get the race lead. It was not too much longer and it was wreck time. Kasey Kahne gets loose and helps take out Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, and Tony Stewart.
"It just all happened really fast," said Kasey Kahne.
"I got spun around," said Jamie McMurray. "I guess we can get it fixed."
"I saw the five(Kasey Kahne) spinning," said Kevin Harvick.
Tony Stewart stated that he saw the five and 29(Kevin Harvick) car spinning.
The low side was working again and Matt Kenseth this time was able to get the race lead. The top side though started to gain more momentum and a single line cars started to form. Then it got to be a long line of single line cars.
At lap 70 the first of the green flag pit stops started with Austin Dillion. Kyle Busch wound up with a slow stop due to a jack issue and Aric Almirola picked up a penalty for exiting too fast from pit road. After the pit stops were over Denny Hamlin picked up the race lead with Martin Truex Jr. in second pace.
The caution finally came out on lap 85 for debris. This caution brought in the leaders for fuel only pit stops. As the race restarted Danica Patrick gets to be the first woman to lead laps at the Daytona 500. Denny Hamlin and the low line started to get hot and he took over the race lead. Denny went to the top side which allowed Matt Kenseth on the low side to move up to the top and take the race lead.
The green flag racing continued and with 74 laps left it was another round of green flag pit stops. Three laps go by and Danica Patrick with a bunch of other cars pit. After all the pit stops were over Matt Kenseth was back to the race lead. The caution finally comes out again with 63 laps left for the second group of wrecking cars. The wrecked cars included Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillion, David Gilliand, Josh Wise, and David Ragan. This has been the fifth wreck that Carl has been in this year.
"This has not been fun," said Carl Edwards. "Very frustrating day."
When the race restarted Matt Kenseth kept on leading laps. With 52 laps left though his car started smoking big time. This caused Denny Hamlin back into the race lead and Matt down to pit road. Three laps later and Kyle Busch goes down put road as his car is toast.
"Transmission or engine," said Matt Kenseth.
"Really unfortunate," said Kyle Busch.
With 28 laps left a big bulk of cars go down for green flag pit stops. With 25 laps left Martin Truex Jr. and his engine went south. On the next lap Jeff Burton in a single car wreck brings out the caution. When the race finally restarted with 19 laps left Brad Keselowski was in the race lead while Danica Patrick was back in sixth.
Brad Keselowskoi started out leading more laps as it quickly got single file up front with Danica Patrick in third. The low side started to get fast with Jimmie Johnson moving his way up to second place. With 13 laps left it got three wide behind Danica. Four more laps go by and the caution came out again for debris out on the race track.
Jimmie Johnson was in the race lead at the time of the caution with Danica in sixth. With six laps left the race restarted high side with Jimmie Johnson leading the laps. As the laps quickly went down Jimmie Johnson was the leader at the last lap. Mark Martin pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr. up to second place while Greg Biffle and Danica Patrick lost momentum big time. Dale Jr. could not do anything in the final corner
Danica Patrick stated that she felt like she was going to get freight trained if she got out of line. Danica finished the race in eighth place which is the best every finish for a woman at Daytona.
"The Lowe's Chevrolet was so good," said Jimmie Johnson. "Awesome day." Jimmie winds up being the sixth only driver to win in his 400th start.
"It was a ton of fun," said Chad Knauss who is the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. stated that he just kinda run out of steam on turn four.
"Lane got stalled on the restart," said Brad Keselowski.
"Great effort," said Mark Martin.
After a 13 week lay-off the Nationwide Series is back at Daytona to start off another full season of racing. The weather great and the racing was action packed all race long. Drivers tried to avoid the big one, but the race had two massive wrecks late in the race.
"It's a fast racecar, " said Regan Smith.
"The car was fast the other day," said Sam Hornish Jr.
The race started off with Trevor Bayne in the race lead with help from Parker Kligerman. After a few laps Kyle Busch Battle for the race lead as Trevor Bayne lost a few spots.
As Danica Patrick get the lead at the start of lap 8 Scott Lagasee Jr. spins out as he tried to make a move to get to the low side, but Trevor Bayne just enough car to spin him out.
The caution brought a bunch of cars down pit road for service.
After the race restarted Danica had no one to go with and lost a few spots as Elliott Sadler took over the race lead. Then it became a trio of Joe Gibbs cars up front. At lap 21 it was Brian Vickers in the race lead, but he did not have it for long and Elliott Sadler was back in the race lead. A few more laps go by and the duo of Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr. took over the top two spots.
At lap 30 we saw some three wide racing up front, but it did not last long. The second caution came out on lap 32 as Regan Smith spins out. At this time Danica Patrick and her car went behind the wall.
Danica stated that when she lost the lead pack she knew something was wrong with the car.
The caution brought in the leaders and Kyle Busch won the race off pit road. During this good green flag run Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth got to lead laps. Sam Hornish Jr. lost the lead pack and Brad Keselowski went to the back to pick him up. A few laps after the half way point and the next cauton came out as the cars of Kurt Busch, Reed Sorenson, Joe Nemecheck, and Mike Wallace get together on lap 64.
"I gave it my best effort," said Kurt Busch.
The caution brought in the leaders and Elliott Sadler spent a long time on pit road to fill the car with water.
As the race restarted Regan Smith had the lead, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. got pushed into the race lead with some help from Kyle Larson while in the back a whole lot of cars were in some three wide racing. Regan Smith though got hot again and took over the race lead. He kept on leading the laps and then the next caution came out with 35 laps left as Trevor Bayne lost a bunch of parts out of his car.
The caution brought in the leaders and Brad Keselwoski won the race off pit road. Brad started off leading laps then Matt Kenseth got the race lead as Kyle Busch pushed him to the front. With 22 laps left Eric McClure got to lead a lap. Then on the next lap it was all over with for the Kyle Busch car as his engine went south.
The race restarted with 14 laps left and Parker Kligerman in the race lead and three wide racing started in a hurry. Elliott Sadler than got hot to get the race lead with some help from Michael Annett. With 8 laps left things started to get messy in the back as a few cars almost cased a wreck. Tony Stewart was really hot at this time and with help from Sam Hornish Jr. got the race led with six laps left.
Then the next caution came out which was the big one. This one involved Jamie Dick, Austin Dillion, Johanna Long, Michael Annett, Kasey Kahne, Mike Bliss, Danny Effland, and others. This one brought out the red flag with four laps left. The incident was bad enough for Michael Annett that he went to the local hospital for evaluation. At the time of the caution Regan Smith was in the race lead.
After a lengthy clean up time the race restarted with two laps left. Kyle Larson was able to push Tony Stewart back into the race lead. Regan Smith then got a massive push to the race lead on the final lap. In the final corner Regan Smith gets tapped and helps cause the biggest wreck of the race. Getting the worst of the damage was the Kyle Larson car where the whole front of the car separated and parts of the car hit a piece of the catch fence wrecking it. Kyle got out of the car with no problems. The wreck involved most of the cars left on the lead lap.
Tony Stewart did not wreck and won the race.
"Its hard when the fans get caught up in it," said Tony Stewart.
"I tried to throw a block," said Regan Smith.
"I saw the seven car sideways," said Brian Scott.
"I hope the fans are all right," said Parker Kligerman. "It's crazy."
On Thursday the dual races were held for the 45 drivers to determine the final 41 positions for the Daytona 500. Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon have an automatic spot in the front row of the Daytona 500 race while two drivers will not get a chance at the major event.
The first dual race included Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, Trevor Bayne, Michael Waltrip, and more cars.
The start of the first race saw Trevor Bayne get the race lead with help from Denny Hamlin. Denny Hamlin though on lap three went to the low side to get the race lead, but could not pull it off. As the laps went on the bottom row was not moving at all and Denny Hamlin started to drop back.
Around lap 13 it was just a single line of racing with Danica Patrick at the tail end of the pack. Then the top 12 started to break away from the rest of the cars in this race. At lap 30 Trevor Bayne was still leading this race with some two wide racing from around the 8th position back. By lap 35 the big pack was all back to together.
At lap 38 the first of the pit stops started, by this time Kevin Harvick finally got to be the second driver to lead one lap in the race. The first big group of cars pitted with 20 laps left and then with 19 laps left the rest of the lead laps cars pitted.
After the pit stops were over the field was all over the place with Kevin Harvick in the race lead in a small group of four cars. The first wreck finally occurs with around seven laps left. Denny Hamlin gets loose and hits Carl Edwards. Edwards hits the wall hard and damages the Trevor Bayne car that had nowhere to go.
"I know what the wrecks look like now," said Carl Edwards who has wrecked four cars at Daytona before the Daytona 500.
"Unfortunate deal for our team," said Trevor Bayne.
"Tough deal, " said Denny Hamlin. Denny also stated that he got loose.
With 4 laps left the green flag dropped and the bottom line did not move again, but it quickly moved to three wide racing in the back. The final lap saw no wrecking with Kevin Harvick leading the final lap while Greg Biffle just followed behind him. Getting the last transfer spot in this race was Scott Speed who finished this race in fifteenth after Martin Truex Jr. got a penality for a side panel that went missing on his car.
Kevin Harvick started that the car was a little free up off the corner.
"I learned some," said Danica Patrick. "The top line was the way to go."
"I think we have a really good car," said Scott Speed.
The second race of the day included Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and More cars.
The start to this race was a bit different then the first race as the bottom row was much faster while Jeff Gordon was leading laps, but by lap 12 it was a single line of racing.
Four more laps go by and we had an eight car breakaway at the front. At the half way point Jeff Gordon was still leading this race with a long single line of cars behind him. With 21 laps left the green flag pit stop start. On the next lap Ryan Newman spins out by the pit entrance on the high side of the track trying to get down to the pit road. Ryan blew a tire, but made it down to pit road with no penalty. Jeff Gordon though winds up getting a speeding penalty.
After the pit stops were over Kyle Busch was leading the race. The race continued on with green flag laps and on the final lap Kyle Busch was still in the race lead. Kasey Kahne made a move to get to second place, but could not do anything as Kyle Busch won the second race of the day. Josh Wise in this race was the last car to get a spot in the Daytona 500.
Kyle Busch said that coming to pit road won us the race.
"Just couldn't get enough of a run at Kyle, said Austin Dillion.
"Overall we have some pretty good speed," said Matt Kenseth.
Josh Wise stated that he had to run a safe race.
Mike Bliss and Brian Keselwoski wound up being the only two cars to miss the big event. Terry Labonte, J.J. Yeley and Michael McDowell wound up getting the final three spots in the event,
Flex Seal is going to sponsor Danny Effland for the Nationwide Series race at Daytona
Florida Lottery will sponsor Alex Bowman at the race this Saturday.
Jeremy Clements is going to attempt a full season in the #51 nationwide Series car.
On Saturday Eric MClure will be starting his 200th Nationwide Series race.
Ryan Truex is going to get his first ever Sprint Cup start in the #51 car this year at April Richmond race.
Daytona International Speedway
Nationwide Series Driver Seeks to Win the Title While Declaring He is Second
DALLAS, February 18, 2013 - Blake Koch, No. 24 for SR2 Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will declare he is second during this weekend's DRIVE4COPD 300 with the help of his primary sponsor for the race, I am Second, a non-profit started to reach people from all walks of life and help them find hope, peace and fulfillment.
A longtime supporter of I am Second, in 2012, Koch joined fellow NASCAR drivers Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell, David Starr, Justin Allegaier, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and veteran Darrell Waltrip in shooting a special short film for iamsecond.com. In the film, each driver shared his personal stories of trials and triumph, victory and defeats, and desperation and transformation on the racetrack. It can be see at http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/nascar-drivers/.
"As someone who puts God and others above himself, Blake embodies what it means to be second," said John Humphrey, project manager for I am Second. "We are honored that he invited us to support him as a Daytona 500 primary sponsor and are excited to share the message of being second at NASCAR's biggest race."
Koch has created a major fan base in both the NASCAR and faith-based community over the past three years. In 2009, with only 20 amateur races under his belt, he was recruited by Steve Portenga to join as the primary driver for the Richard Childress Driver development team in the NASCAR Camping World West Division. Koch achieved an impressive top 10 finish in his rookie year.
In 2011, after only three short years, Koch went full-time into the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He has earned five top 25 finishes in his first 10 career Nationwide Series races, an accomplishment only achieved by an elite group of three others - Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Koch completed 32 Nationwide Races in 2011 and finished 18th in points as well as "Runner Up" Rookie of the year. For additional information about Koch, visit http://www.blakekoch.com.
I am Second presents true stories of ordinary people and celebrities who deal with a variety of personal struggles including abuse, addictions, eating disorders, pride, broken families and the search for success and the meaning of life.
Athletes, actors, models, musicians, pastors, politicians and many more have stepped forward, looked in the camera and proclaimed, "I am Second." But most in the iamsecond.com movement are ordinary people with stories of personal struggle and transformation.
Launched in Dallas-Fort Worth four years ago, iamsecond.com website and films have reached 25 million people from 219 countries/regions. For more information, visit http://www.iamsecond.com.
It is the start of a new era tonight as the Sprint Cup drivers start a whole brand new season. It is the first time the Gen 6 Sprint Cup car gets a debut and it is also the first time ever the race has been called the Sprint Unlimited.
This race included 19 drivers which excluded the Sprint Cup Champ Brad Keselowski as he did not meet the qualifying rules. The rules for the event were set by fans. This year the race is 75 laps long with three segments.
Kasey Kahne picked up the poll for this event. The green flag dropped and Greg Biffle on the outside was able to get the race lead. The outside line was still hot and at lap 3 Martin Truex Jr. was in the race lead. Two more laps go by and Matt Kenseth who is now in the 20 car took the race lead.
Matt Kept on leading laps and then a big wrecked occurred on lap 15. Tony Stewart attempts to go to the low side trying to pass Marcos Ambrose. The move was not clean and cars in the back started to wreck. Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, and Kyle Bush were involved in the incident.
"I thought we were all going to be fine," said Mark Martin. "Really unfortunate," said Kyle Busch. "Felt very good about the race car," said Jimmie Johnson. "we had good handling," said Jeff Gordon.
After the race restarted Matt Kenseth was back leading more laps. Tony Stewart started to get hot and tried to get the race lead he was finally able to get the race lead on lap 30 which was the final lap of the first segment.
During the first break all cars had to do a four tire pit stop as stated by the fan vote. After the pit stops ended Kevin Harvick was the race leader.
With the start of the second segment Kevin Harvick started out with the race lead, but could not keep it and Tony Stewart was back in the race lead. A few more laps went by and Kevin was back in the race lead. As the laps went on it got to single file racing for a while and then on lap 55 which the final lap of the second segment did we have a little two wide racing in the middle of the field.
During the second segment the cars left in the race all made a pit stop, but under the rules no car would lose a position on the track.
The final segment started of with Kevin Harvick leading laps as Matt Kenseth who was lead car on the bottom row of cars tried to get the race lead. Matt was able to lead one lap, but then wound up going to the back as the race went single file.
With six laps left Kevin Harvick was still in the race lead with Tony Stewart in second. With four laps left Matt Kenseth started to make it two wide racing again, but it did not work. On the final lap Joey Logano started some two wide race and then Kevin Harvick blocked a move by Tony Stewart to get the race lead on the bottom of the track. Then Kevin went up high to block a move by Greg Biffle to get the race lead. That was the last move Kevin needed and he went on to win the race.
After the race ended Kevin Harvick and his car stopped working.
"Nervous about the 20(Matt Kesneth) and the 14(Tony Stewart)," said Kevin Harvick. "Awesome day for us."
Tony Stewart stated that he thought he was clear when asked on the first wreck incident.
This is it folks my final driver previews, only four more cars get previewed this time.
21--Trevor Bayne--Wood Brothers Racing
He is back again in this car that is only going to go a half a season with Motorcraft as a sponsor. I see a couple of top tens for him with a shot at a win this season.
33-Austin Dillion--Richard Childress Racing
This is a part time car which could see other drivers in it. Honey Nut Cheerios could be a sponsor for this car. I see Austin getting 3-10 races in the car with one to two top tens.
52--Brian Keselowski--Jimmy Means Racing
He last Sprint Cup race was 2 years ago. Wreaths Across America is the sponsor for his Daytona 500 ride. I do not see this car going a full season and will not even make the Daytona 500 if more than 43 cars show up.
87--Joe Nemecheck--Jay Robinson Racing
This car is expected to go a full season. He was in 31 races last year with not even one top 20 finish. No full sponsorship details are know at this time. I do think this car goes a full season and not even gets one top 20 finish.
8--Scott Lagasee Jr.--Team SLR
Had only three starts in 2012 with no top tens. The team has not given out much sponsorship info yet. I do not think it goes a full season and only pick up a few top 20 finishes.
10--Jeff Green--TriStar Motorsports
Jeff Completed an almost full season of racing in various cars last season. I do not know much on sponsorship. I do not see a full season for this car that at best will get a couple of top 20 finishes.
32--Kyle Larson--Turner Motorsports
This is supposed to be a full time ride. No sponsorship info in known at this time. He had two wins last season in the K&N East series. I see him getting 12-15th place in the points with no wins, but 5-10 top tens.
33--Kevin Harvick, Ty Dillion, And Others--Richard Childress Racing
This is going to be a split ride car with some sponsorship from Armour Foods. Kevin Harvick had two wins last season. I say Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillion will get a win in this car.
40--Reed Sorenson--The Motorsports Group
This is supposed to be a full time ride, but No Sponsorship has been fully announced yet. He only had six races last year in this series with no top tens. I do not think he goes a full season and a few top 20 place finishes this season.
54--Kyle Busch--Joe Gibbs Racing
The car moves over to Joe Gibbs Racing this season where it will be in at least 25 races. This was a split ride car last year where Kyle picked up 14 top tens in 22 races with no wins while his brother picked up one win in 11 races with 8 top tens. Monster Energy will be back to sponsor this car. I see Kyle getting 5 wins in this car with 20 top tens.
87--Joe Nemechek--NEMCO & Jay Robinson Racing
Was in only 32 events last season with only one top ten to finish 11th place in the points. Right now this car is only going 15 races minimum. No sponsorship data is known at this time. I see at best 2 top tens for this car in the limited racing it will do.
88--Dale Earnhardt Jr.--Jr. Motorsports
This car is a part time car for sure with Tax Slayer and Great Clips as sponsors for this car. It will do the Daytona race in February, Las Vegas, and only a couple more races at best. I see this car getting nothing but top 20 finishes, but no wins.
In a few day I will do my final previews for the Sprint Cup series.
56--Martin Truex Jr.--Michael Waltrip Racing
Napa will be back again to sponsor this car. Martin had no wins in 2012, but had 19 top tens to finish 11th place in the points. I say he can pull off a win and get 18-20 top tens for a 9-12th place in the standings.
78--Kurt Busch--Furniture Row Racing
Kurt had 5 top yens in 2012 with most of them being at Furniture Row Racing. Furniture Row will be back to sponsor this car. I say this car gets two wins with one win in the final ten races. No chase for him, but will finish 13th place in the points.
83--David Reuitmann--BK Racing
David only had 25 starts last year with no top tens to finish 34th place. This car is a full time car with Burger King as a sponsor. I think at best he gets one top ten and finishes no better than 30th place in the points.
88--Dale Earnhardt Jr.--Hendrick Motorsports
Diet Mountain Dew and the Army National Guard will be back to sponsor this car. Dale finished 12th place in the points as he was in only 34 races last year. He picked off only one win with 20 top tens. I say he is only a one win driver in 2013 with 20-24 top tens to finish 9-12th place in the points.
93--Travis Kvapil--BK Racing
Travis only had one top ten in 2012 to finish 27th place in the points. Burger King will be back to sponsor this car. I do not see anything better for him in 2013. One top ten all season long to finish 25-28th place in the points.
99--Carl Edward--Roush Fenway
Carl had a dud of a season in 2012 with only 13 top tens and no wins to finish 15th place in the points. Best Buy, Fastenal, and more companies will sponsor this car. I say he rebounds a bit from last year and picks up a win with 15-17 top tens. I say he finishes 14-16th place in the points.
1---Jamie McMurray---Earnhardt Gnassi Racing
Had a disappointing 2012 season with only three top tens and no wins. He finished 21st place in the standings. McDonalds will sponsor this car. I do not think he picks up a win in 2013, but gets six top tens to finish 17-20th place in the points at the end of the season as a change to Hendrick engines helps.
2--Brad Keslelowski--Penske Racing
Won the 2012 championship with five wins and 23 top tens. Miller Lite will be back to sponsor this car as this car moves over to the ford brand. I say the change backfires on them a bit. I will give Brad a couple wins max, but makes the chase. He will finish 9-12the place in the points.
5--Kasey Kahne--Hendrick Motrsports
He picked off two wins and 19 top tens to finish fourth place in the standings. Farmers Insurance is coming back to sponsor the car for 22 races with a couple other companies as well. I say he gets 2 wins in 2013 with 18-20 top tens to finish 4-6th place in the standings.
7--Dave Blaney--Tommy Baldwin Racing
This car was the #36 car last season that Dave had for almost all of the season. He drove 32 races with Tommy Baldwin Racing picking up only one top 20 finish. Sponsorship is not 100% know at the time. He finished the season 33rd place in the points. I see this car picking up a couple top 20 finishes at best and finishes 30-33rd place in the standings.
9--Marcos Ambrose--Richard Petty Motorsports
Black and Decker will back to sponsor this car that had one win and 8 top tens to finish 18th place in the points. I see him in 2013 getting no more than 2 wins, but picking up 10-12 top ten finishes to get 14-16th place in the points at the end of the season.