Tag Archives: Carl Edwards

Keselowski Beats Bristol

Article first published as Keselowski Beats Bristol on Technorati.


Brad Keselowski may very well be the hottest driver in NASCAR right now. Just four races ago the young driver had only managed to average a 23rd place finish through 20 races and at 21st in points not on anyone’s radar.

And then he broke his ankle in a practice crash at Road Atlanta. Since then Keselowski has finished first at Pocono, second at Watkins Glen, third at Michigan and then the big win last night at Bristol.

Now he sits in the 11th position a serious threat for the Championship. His three victories all but ensures him a spot in the Chase, but with two races remaining and the mother of all hot streaks going, Keselowski is positioned to knock someone out of a guaranteed top ten spot. Without a win Tony Stewart or Dale Earnhardt Jr. would not be qualifed for one of the wild-card spots.

With 80 laps remaining in last night’s Irwin Tools 500, Keselowski took the lead and never looked back. “Wow — the night race at Bristol!” Keselowski gushed in the victory lane interview. “I used to watch Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt win this race. This is a race of champions. I can’t believe it. There’s races that pay more. There’s races that might have a little more prestige, but this is the coolest damn one of them all.”

Martin Truex Jr. ran second, followed by Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray. Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, pole-sitter Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose filled out the top 10.

Kyle Busch hit the wall on the wall on lap 418 and fell out of contention for his Bristol sweep. Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 16th but holds on to his 9th spot in the standings.

Compared to many of Bristol’s past crash fests this race went fast with only six cautions for 42 laps. The average speed was 96.753 mph and it took two hours-45 minutes to run the race.

For a full rundown of the point standings go to NASCAR Standings.

NASCAR heads to Atlanta for next week’s AdvoCare 500.

Kyle Busch Victory Secures Chase Spot

Article first published as Kyle Busch Victory Secures Chase Spot on Technorati.

Kyle Busch hammers out his first Michigan victory and becomes the only driver so far to secure spot in the Sprint Championship Chase. Busch held off defending champion Jimmie Johnson on a Green-White-Checkered restart for his first Michigan win.

“It’s awesome,” Busch said. “That’s what we wanted. We wanted to make sure that we could come out here and win races and have the opportunity to go for broke.” The victory was Busch’s fourth of the season and in the process denied Johnson the opportunity to go somewhere he’s never been — victory lane at Michigan.

Johnson settled for 2nd, a half second behind Busch. Brad Keselowski finished third, Mark Martin fourth and Ryan Newman took the five spot. Fifth through tenth – Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

With the win Busch guarantees, at worst, a wild-card berth in the Chase regardless of how he finishes the next three races, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond. Coming into Michigan he shared the lead with co-front runner Carl Edwards who suffered early electrical problems and finished 36th. That misfortune relegated the Roush-Fenway driver to fourth in the standings.

Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs teammate, Denny Hamlin, had a slight altercation with the wall on lap 122 bringing out a caution, killing his hopes of improving his status in the Chase. Hamlin currently sits on the bubble for one of the wilid card spots. He has one win and sits in 14th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. holds on to the ninth spot with his lackluster 14th place finish.

NASCAR moves the show to Bristol, TN, for the Irwin Tools Night Race, next Saturday night on ABC.

Brad Keselowski Rides Broken Ankle to Victory Lane

Article first published as Brad Keselowski Rides Broken Ankle to Victory Lane on Technorati.

Over the race season victories begin to run together. Another driver – another checkered flag.

But every now and then a driver steps up and beyond a normal day at the track. Brad Keselowki won Sunday’s “Good Sam RV Insurance” 500 at Pocono with a broken ankle and a dogged determination.

After a lengthy rain delay, which kept cars off the track for an hour and forty minutes, Keselowski led the field on the lap 132 restart with Kurt Busch close by in second but faded to fourth. For the next several laps the Busch brothers ran one and two with Kurt out front.

On Lap 180, Kasey Kahne and Juan Montoya got together bringing out the last caution of the day.

In what turned out to be the gutsy call of the day, Keselowski stayed out on old tires and raced Kyle Busch on the restart with fifteen laps remaining. Even on old rubber the Keselowski machine seemed to easily maintain a comfortable lead and Busch never seriously challenged the young driver for the position.

At the finish it was Brad Keselowki for the win, Kyle Busch in second, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson traded paint on the last lap to settle third and fourth place respectively, without respect for each other. Ryan Newman rounded out the top five. Jeff GordonCarl EdwardsGreg BiffleDale Earnhardt Jr. and Paul Menard completed the top 10.

In the victory lane celebration, Keselowski kept it low-key minimizing his effort by saying, “I’m no hero. The heroes are the guys who died in Afghanistan this weekend. I want to spend time thinking about them. They’re my inspiration for this weekend, the things that those guys do.

“I’m glad that we could win today, but those are the heroes. I just drive race cars for a living.” Keselowski drove the US Navy sponsored car when he drove the Nationwide series.

With the victory, Keselowski helps his chances for one of the Wild Card positions for the ten race Chase for the Sprint cup. The 11th and 12th spots in the Chase this year can be grabbed by a driver in the 11th through 20th positions who has the most victories. The win today was his second of the season. Keselowski sits in the 18th slot.

The 9th for Dale junior was his first top ten in seven races. He still sits on the bubble in 10th, one point below 9th place Tony Stewart.With six more races to determine the Chase, look for drivers outside the top ten without a win to start taking chances. It’s crunch time and nobody knows that better than Brad Keselowski.

The NASCAR show moves to Watkins Glen next Sunday for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, next Sunday.

Weirdo Wednesday – July 20, 2011

It’s a bit unusual that my NASCAR blog over at Technorati and my Weirdo Wednesday entry here would align in a collage of weirdness, yet here we are. This article first published as Weird Trophies of NASCAR on Technorati.

NASCAR Sprint Cup takes a rare week off as teams prepare for one of their biggest races of the season, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 31st.

With drivers off doing their thing, crew chiefs working on the cars and race fans readying for the run up to the Chase, finding something worthwhile to write about this week was a bit of a struggle. Then I came across the picture to the right.

Tony Stewart is no little guy but he more resembles one of Tolkien’s Hobbits standing beside this monstrosity. For winning the Bass Pro Shops 500 in 2006, this was his prize. Stewart was overheard telling his crew chief later, “I’m going to need a bigger mantle.”

NASCAR trophies through the years have run the gamut from the tiniest little brass gizmos with no character and little room for the drivers name, to some of the wildest, weirdest trophies in professional sports. Here is a quick look.

For winning a race at Martinsville the driver takes home one of the most sought after trophies in the sport – a Grandfather Clock.  Valued at over $11,000 the clock is the most coveted trophy in all of NASCAR. Everybody wants a clock and the checkered flag that comes with it.

After body-slamming their race-cars around the mile and a half track just a few miles north of the Las Vegas strip, it seems fitting the winner’s trophy looks more like a wrestling belt from the WWE.

Dover International Raceway is a treacherous one-mile concrete raceway located on Dover Downs Hotel & Casino property just north of Dover, DE. Somewhere along the way this speedway picked up the nickname, The Monster Mile for the beating it hands out over 500 laps of racing. It was only a matter of time before a trophy came along to reflect its personality. Rumor has it, Thing, of Fantastic Four fame, was the model for this monstrosity.

If there’s a rock and roll heaven, they should be lucky enough to have a mondo-trophy like the winner of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond receives. Now if only Alice Cooper would give up golf and take up racing.

Keeping with the guitar theme, winners of the Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway gets to take home this Sam Bass custom painted Gibson Guitar. (Nashville is Gibson’s headquarters.)


Carl Edwards looks like a playa!

It’s been said that everything is bigger in Texas, even their boots. The winners trophy from the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is this homage to Cowboy life. Handguns not included.

Win a race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA, and a bottle of Napa Valley’s finest blush awaits the driver in victory lane. Now that’s the way to chug a glass of wine.

Kyle Busch Night at Kentucky Speedway

Article first published as Kyle Busch Night at Kentucky Speedway on Technorati.

It may have been the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway but Las Vegas native Kyle Busch drove like he grew up there. He started on the pole and hovered around the top all night long. He led 125 of the 267 laps and became the first driver of the season to win from the pole.

Kyle Busch burnout

Unfortunately the most exciting part of this race was Kyle’s post race burnout. Other than the restart on lap 265 making it a two lap sprint to the finish, this race was about as titillating as a root canal. I’ve had more fun doing my taxes.

But that last minute or two was almost a nail-biter. Not so much as who was going to win. That was a given. The real drama played out behind Busch once he pulled away from second place Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch in third. David Reutiman poured on the steam and passed both Johnson and Kurt Busch to take second.

Kyle’s win was the second of the three Kentucky Speedway events over the weekend. He won the Camping World Truck Series race Thursday night. The strong finish in Saturday night’s race let the Joe Gibbs‘ driver leap-frog over Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards onto the top of the series leaderboard.

When asked about what it meant to get that first Kentucky win, Busch replied, “That I won on the way to Slinger. I’ve got to go to Slinger [Wisconson]. I’m going to stay here tonight, chill out and get a good night’s sleep, get out of here in the morning and head up there and, hopefully, win a Late Model race.”

Third place finisher Jimmie Johnson said his inability to stay beside Busch on the restart cost him a chance for victory.

“I was able to hang with the 18 [Busch] inside of Turns 1 and 2, and he just cleared me going down the back,” Johnson said. “The outside lane had a little bit more momentum coming off of [Turn] 2 down the back. If I could have stayed inside of him, it would have been one heck of a finish.

“But it didn’t happen that way, and then he cleared me and went on, and then I had my hands full with the 00 [Reutimann]. David was probably the best car at the end, and if he had cleared me sooner, I think he would have been up there with the 18 racing for the win.”

Leaving Kentucky the Sprint Cup Chase shakes up a bit with Kyle Busch leading second place Carl Edwards by four points, Kevin Harvick in third, Kurt Busch in fourth and nineteen points behind the leader is fifth place Jimmie Johnson.

Post race interview with Driver Kyle Busch, crew chief Dave Rogers and car owner Joe Gibbs.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjieC3aEDQg]

David Ragan Wins Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

David Ragan atones for late race mistake that handed the Daytona 500 to rookie Trevor Bayne.

Article first published as David Ragan Wins Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on Technorati.


David Ragan was out front on the last restart, exactly where he was in February for the Daytona 500. He screwed that one up with a penalty and finished seventh. Not to be denied, the young driver was rock steady and two laps later absolved himself of the spring snafu.


Ah, the sweet taste of redemption for the driver of the Jack Roush owned, UPS Ford. It was Ragan’s first win in his fifth season of Sprint Cup.

“It’s a good feeling to come back here — we got one back at Daytona,” said Ragan, 25, in post race interviews. “It would have been tough to lose another one. I thought about that, actually, under that last caution [before the final restart]. I said, ‘Man, if we don’t win this thing, I’m not going to talk to anyone afterward.’

“We were able to win, and that does ease the pain from February. … This is a great race. It does ease the pain, and so we’ll think about this one a lot more than we’ll think about the Daytona 500.”

The race itself seemed to have two distinctly different personalities. The first 157 laps had a couple of minor skirmishes resulting in early cautions. Daytona 500 Winner, Trevor Bayne, was knocked out on lap five ending his shot at the Daytona sweep. Points leader Carl Edwards got the short end of an bump from Greg Biffleon lap 23. With heavy damage to the 99 car, Edwards fought to stay in the race. At one point he got very sick in the race car overcome by exhaust fumes. He would finish in 37th, 26 laps off the pace.

And then the second part that was more demolition derby than “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Just three laps from the end on lap 157, Jeff Gordon was spun around by slight contact from Kasey Kahne. Gordon made a spectacular save and kept the #24 Chevy off the Daytona wall.

On lap 162 the first green-white-checkered finish took off with Ryan Newman out front. Denny HamlinDavid RaganMatt KensethBrian Vickers and Kasey Kahne second through sixth.

Barely up in turn two the “Big One” unfolded as the field bunched up and race cars turned into pinballs.  Joey Logano got into Mark Martin and took a dozen cars with them.

On lap 168, Ragan lead the field on the second G-W-C restart with Ryan NewmanMatt KensethDenny HamlinKevin HarvickPaul MenardJoey LoganoKasey KahneJamie McMurray and Juan Montoya in positions two through ten.

Ragan stayed out front and would not be denied as the field was crashing behind him. Teammate Matt Kenseth finishes second and Joey Logano took third.

Carl Edwards dropped to second in points behind new leader Kevin Harvick.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HjmPvYZl25k]