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Articles filed under Auto Racing

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  • NASCAR’s SpinGate spun out of control early Sep 16, 2013 5:45 PM
    Everything could have been handled better from the moment Clint Bowyer spun at Richmond to trigger the biggest credibility crisis in NASCAR history. That spin started as the well-intentioned desire to help a teammate earn a valuable spot in NASCAR’s version of the playoffs, and with a little honesty, a few deep breaths and some clear thinking, it might have ended there. The situation snowballed, and NASCAR quickly had a full-blown scandal on its hands.

     
  • Kenseth wins opening Chase race in Joliet Sep 15, 2013 11:47 PM
    Matt Kenseth restored order to a chaotic week for NASCAR with a steely victory over teammate Kyle Busch in the opening race for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The top seed at the start of the Chase, Kenseth slid into Chicagoland Speedway under the radar as all the attention centered squarely on NASCAR’s investigation into the manipulation attempts of at least three teams to alter the outcome at Richmond the previous week. It led to severe sanctions against Michael Waltrip Racing, Martin Truex Jr. was replaced by Ryan Newman in the Chase field, and after NASCAR continued to review incidents long after cars began to practice for Sunday’s race, NASCAR chairman Brian France took the unprecedented step of expanding the field to 13 drivers to add Jeff Gordon. Then he held an ethics meeting for teams on the eve of the opening race to outline new “rules of the road,” demanding drivers give 100 percent going forward and banning any attempts to artificially affect the outcome of races as France sought to restore the integrity of NASCAR. A strong opener to the 10-race Chase would go a long way, but rain made for another bad day for NASCAR. The start was delayed by mist for almost 90 minutes. Once the race began, it made it almost to the halfway point before the sky opened up again. In all, there were two stoppages totaling six hours, 30 minutes and Kenseth didn’t cross the finish line until early Monday morning. It was worth the wait, though. He passed Busch on a restart with 27 laps remaining — in part because of a push from Kevin Harvick — then led Busch across the finish line for a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. It’s bad news for the rest of the Chase field: JGR drivers have won six of the seven races so far this season on 1.5-mile tracks, and four of the nine remaining races in the Chase are tracks covering the same distance. Kenseth, a six-time winner this season, has four wins on 1.5-mile tracks. This latest victory denied Busch a weekend sweep yet again. He’d won the Truck race and Nationwide Series race this weekend, only to come up short in the main event. The same thing happened last month at Bristol, where Busch won the first two legs of the trifecta only to be denied the sweep by Kenseth. Harvick finished third, Kurt Busch was fourth and teammates Jimmie Johnson and Gordon were fourth and fifth as Chevrolet took spots three through six and Chase drivers swept the top six spots. Gordon, who only learned he made the Chase 48 hours before the race, was in great shape until he got a flat tire that forced him to pit and claw his way back for his finish. “That was an incredible accomplishment. It just shows how much fight this team has in them. They just never gave up,” he said. “To think how far down we were with 40 laps to go — I know we were 18th on one of those last restarts — to be able to come up through there and get sixth, and have a shot at top-five, was a lot of fun. That’s what we needed to get this thing started off right.” Defending series champion Brad Keselowski, who failed to qualify for the Chase this year, was seventh. Keselowski was the defending race winner. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was eighth. Clint Bowyer, the driver who first triggered all the trouble last week at Richmond when he spun with seven laps to go in an effort to help teammate Truex make the Chase, finished ninth. Newman was 10th, Carl Edwards 11th and Kasey Kahne 12th. Chase driver Greg Biffle was 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (35th) and Joey Logano (37th) had the worst nights of the Chase drivers as both failed to finish because of engine issues. “I am pretty angry. That was such as fast race car we had,” said Logano, the pole-sitter. “Unfortunately the motor blew up. You have these every once in a while. It is a bummer to have it in the Chase when you are running for a championship.” Joe Gibbs Racing has won six of the seven 1.5-mile races this season.

     
  • Kyle Busch dominates to win at Chicagoland Sep 14, 2013 9:12 PM
    Just when it appeared Kyle Busch couldn’t be any stronger in a Nationwide Series race, he broke the record for most laps led on a 1.5-mile track in a Nationwide race in winning the Dollar General 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on Saturday.

     
  • NASCAR seeks to restore credibility after scandal Sep 14, 2013 4:30 PM
    NASCAR took the first step toward restoring its credibility Saturday by telling its teams to give 100 percent at all times. Teams were also told attempts to “artificially alter” a race will face severe punishment and examples were given as to what will be prohibited going forward.

     
  • Kyle Busch wins truck race at Chicagoland Sep 13, 2013 10:57 PM
    Kyle Busch won his 34th career Truck Series race Friday night, beating Brad Keselowski at Chicagoland Speedway before running out of gas on his way to Victory Lane. It was Busch’s fourth series win of the season and 17th overall spanning all three of NASCAR’s national series.

     
  • Kyle Busch wins truck race at Chicagoland Sep 13, 2013 10:57 PM
    Kyle Busch won his 34th career Truck Series race Friday night, beating Brad Keselowski at Chicagoland Speedway before running out of gas on his way to Victory Lane. It was Busch’s fourth series win of the season and 17th overall spanning all three of NASCAR’s national series.

     
  • Penske Racing sweeps pole at Chicagoland Speedway Sep 13, 2013 10:58 PM
    Penske Racing swept the front row in qualifying for the first race of the Chase, with Joey Logano winning the pole hours after NASCAR placed his team on probation for allegedly cutting a deal with another organization to help him make the championship field.

     
  • Logano defends spot in NASCAR’s Chase field Sep 12, 2013 5:27 PM
    Joey Logano defended his place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship on Thursday, rattling off his season statistics as proof he earned his spot in the 12-driver field regardless of any help he may have received in the deciding race. And make no mistake, Logano said: If anybody helped him at Richmond, he had no clue.

     
  • Vettel wins Italian Grand Prix ahead of Alonso Sep 8, 2013 10:22 AM
    Sebastian Vettel withstood a tricky start from the pole position to win the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday and take a commanding lead over Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who finished second.

     
  • Edwards wins race, Keselowski misses Chase Sep 7, 2013 10:59 PM
    NASCAR will have a new champion at the end of the season. For now, it has yet another conspiracy. Reigning champion Brad Keselowski failed to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship Saturday night when an ill-timed caution ruined his run at Richmond International Raceway.

     
  • Gordon wins pole at Richmond Sep 6, 2013 7:12 PM
    Jeff Gordon will try to race his way into NASCAR’s playoffs from the pole position.The four-time series champion turned a track-record qualifying lap of 130.599 mph at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night to win his 73rd career pole position, and his first this season.

     
  • Tony Stewart calls injury a small bump in the road Sep 3, 2013 6:09 PM
    Tony Stewart, upbeat and noticeably thinner, won his first race since breaking his leg in a sprint car accident when he beat an employee around the office at Stewart-Haas Racing in his wheelchair. His injury? The three-time NASCAR champion called it “a small bump in the road” and expects to be back in a race car in time for next year’s Daytona 500.

     
  • NASCAR divers scrambling to land rides for 2014 Aug 30, 2013 7:25 PM
    NASCAR is going through its own version of musical chairs at the moment, with several big-name drivers moving to new rides or scrambling to land a spot in the 2014 Sprint Cup field.

     
  • Track officials vow not to repeat Million TV faux pas Aug 22, 2013 8:13 PM
    Million Day had everything going for it: beautiful day, big crowd, great racing ... too bad a glitch at the end of the television broadcast of the race put a little damper on the whole day. That and a little Bears talk and much more in Spellman's Scorecard.

     
  • Tony Stewart to miss rest of season Aug 19, 2013 5:10 PM
    Out for the season with a broken leg, Tony Stewart turned to one of NASCAR’s most respected drivers to take over the No. 14. At 54, Mark Martin is up for the challenge of taking the wheel for his good friend. “Hopefully, we can turn the 14 car back over to Tony an even stronger organization than what it was when he stepped away and got injured,” Martin said.

     
  • Earnhardt Jr. makes his mark in downtown Chicago Aug 13, 2013 1:02 AM
    Race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. burned some rubber Monday morning in downtown Chicago to promote a triple-header chase weekend next month at Chicagoland Speedway.

     
  • Tony Stewart has surgery following Iowa crash Aug 6, 2013 5:11 PM
    Tony Stewart broke his right leg Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, where he flipped his 360 winged sprint car while leading with five laps remaining in the 30-lap feature. He had surgery Tuesday on the upper and lower parts of his leg, and Stewart-Haas Racing said he’ll need a second surgery.

     
  • Kahne holds off Gordon at Pocono Raceway Aug 4, 2013 4:16 PM
    Kasey Kahne got the jump on Jeff Gordon off the final restart with two laps left and pulled away to win at Pocono Raceway.

     
  • Johnson wins 2nd pole of the season at Pocono Aug 2, 2013 6:47 PM
    Jimmie Johnson needed multiple attempts to make it through pre-qualifying inspection, then set a track record with a lap of 180.654 mph to win the pole Friday at Pocono Raceway.

     
  • Newman knocks Johnson off of Brickyard pole Jul 27, 2013 5:04 PM
    Ryan Newman snatched the pole away from Jimmie Johnson with a blistering lap of 187.531 mph around Indianapolis Motor Speedway to set a track record for NASCAR races at the Brickyard.

     
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