Tag Archives: Joey Logano

Ryan Newman Races Boss to Checkered Flag

Article first published as Ryan Newman Races Boss to Checkered Flag on Technorati.

Ryan Newman lead the one-two punch, Stewart-Haas victory dance with his employer and teammate, Tony Stewart, a little better than 0.7 seconds behind. Newman ended a 47-race winless streak with the victory.

“One hell of a day boys — one hell of a day,” Stewart radioed to his team as he watched the checkered flag drop on his teammate. Newman posted his first victory of the season, his third at new Hampshire and the 15th of his career.

Denny Hamlin snagged third, followed by Joey Logano fourth and Jimmie Johnson close behind in fifth. Kasey KahneBobby LabonteMartin Truex Jr.Marcos Ambrose and Kurt Busch round out the top ten.

Kyle Busch started the day as the points leader but saw trouble on lap 50 when he blew a right front tire and crashed in turn two.

“Blew a bead,” Busch said, “Fastest car here — getting through the field pretty good and kind of the only guy passing guys, I guess, there. We made some big changes there on that pit stop.

“We came back and got four [tires] just to make sure we got all the changes we wanted to. Working our way up through there. Just blew a bead, I guess, transferring too much brake heat through the wheel.”

The M&Ms crew repaired the #18 Toyota and Kyle Busch returned to the race on Lap 134. He finished 36th and dropped four places in the Chase standings.

First Sprint Cup Appearance in Kentucky

Article first published as First Sprint Cup Appearance in Kentucky on Technorati.

Kentucky is an unknown for many Sprint Cup competitors

Almost halfway between Lousiville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH, you will find the small agricultural town of Sparta. Population – 209. (Except this weekend when the small community swells to over 100,000 as they play host to the NASCAR family and fans.)

For the first time since Kentucky Speedway opened way back in 2000, the top tier NASCAR division is in town for the inaugural Sprint Cup race. The road from an empty field in 1998 to the Quaker State 400 this weekend has been long, tough and filled with more bumps than Daytona’s turn four.

Kentucky Speedway ultimately had to sue NASCAR to get them to consider a Sprint Cup race. In the end it took a new owner group to make that happen and the lawsuit faded faster than Scott Speed’s career.

This race is the wild card, the unknown, the equalizer, the place where any advantage is welcome, but in short supply. If there is such a thing as an advantage it might go to guys like Joey Logano who have run in the Nationwide series and turned hundreds of laps on the mile and a half oval.

It’s not just the drivers. The crew chiefs and team engineers are scratching their heads to come up with a game plan. Everyone starts from a blank page. Even the defending duo of Chad Knaus/Jimmie Johnson could be as lost as everyone else along pit road.

Experience is everything in this sport and there is very little of it in the garage for this race. Look for the team that can learn fast, adapt to changing conditions, keep up with the race car and survive Saturday night to roll into victory lane as the first Sprint Cup victor at Kentucky.

The Nationwide/Feed the Children 300 starts Friday night at 7:30pm Eastern, on ESPN. The Sprint Cup/Quaker State 400 goes off Saturday night at 7:30pm on TNT.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40yz-WuTUNg]

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]