Coke Zero 400 Creates All Sorts of New Implications

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

Aric Almirola’s victory in the rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 has done nothing but deliver major implications to a whole group drivers who in may be on the outside looking in at the final list of drivers for the Sprint Chase for the Cup.

As it stands now there are only five spots remaining for those drivers without a win. If the Chase ended today Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon would join the 11 drivers who have at least one victory. This would leave the likes of Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Brian Vickers and Jamie McMurray all on the outs. [Read more…]

Who is Next to Take the Checkered Flag in NASCAR?

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

As the battle for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup continues we wonder who is next in line to score their first victory. Let’s look at the drivers who are on the upswing and at those who are trending downward:

TRENDING UP

Matt Kenseth

Yes, he hasn’t done well at Pocono but it’s a good bet that we’ll see him in victory lane within the next four weeks. Eight top 10s and five top 5s just scream to date and a guarantee that Joe Gibbs will pour his resources to get the No. 20 in victory lane.

Greg Biffle [Read more…]

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Kurt Busch Joins a Stellar Group Attempting the Double

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

There has always been an allure for drivers to attempt to race in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Prior to 1970 it was a lot easier because the Indy 500 was always held on May 30 which rarely conflicted with the Charlotte race. This meant the likes of Cale Yarborough, Bobby and Donnie Allison found the schedule a little easier to run both races in the same year. But after 1970 both races ran on the same day and it became more cumbersome for drivers to race both races.

John Andretti was the first driver to accomplish the same-day double in 1994. He finished 10th in the Indy 500 and then jumped on a helicopter to race in the Coca-Cola 600. He started last because he missed mandatory driver’s meetings and eventually finished 36th after dropping out with engine failure. [Read more…]

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Jeff Gordon Beats the Storms and Lights to Win at Kansas

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

Storm clouds and the loss of track lighting couldn’t stop Jeff Gordon from being the first three-time winner at the Kansas Speedway.

Gordon, who won the first two races at the Kansas Speedway, took the lead with eight laps to go and held off the hard charging Kevin Harvick by a mere 0.112 seconds. The win almost guarantees Gordon and spot in the Sprint Car Chase. [Read more…]

Stewart-Haas Dominates Qualifying for the 5-Hour Energy 400

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

Kevin Harvick won the pole position during knockout qualifying for the 5-hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway. Harvick set a track record in the second round of qualifying with a speed of 194.658 on the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

Kevin-Harvick-Phoenix-1

The third and final round of qualifying found all four of the Stewart-Haas cars in the top 10 with Kurt Busch finishing sixth, Tony Stewart eighth and Danica Patrick ninth. [Read more…]

NASCAR Fantasy Preview – 5-Hour Energy 400 (Kansas)

By Travis Reinsch
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

Kansas-Speedway-logo

Talladega Recap

A nightmare season continues for me with Kenseth (21st), McMurray (29th), Biffle (2nd), and Scott (42nd). All of them had fast enough cars, but everyone but Biffle got caught up in a wreck. The jinx is strong with me! [Read more…]

Denny Hamlin Survives the “Big One” To Win At Talladega

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

A late race caution turned out to be Denny Hamlin’s best friend as the Aaron’s 499 ended under the yellow flag giving the Virginia driver his first victory at the Talladega Superspeedway.

The FedEx Toyota team gambled on late race cautions by staying out on the track and maintaining track position. The strategy paid off when the caution waved on lap 187 giving Hamlin his first resistor plate victory. [Read more…]

NASCAR Fantasy Preview – Aaron’s 499 (Talladega)

By Travis Reinsch
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

dega

Richmond Recap:

Horrendous is the word that probably best describes my lineup last week. Bowyer (43rd), Hamlin (22nd), Stenhouse Jr (38th) and Larson (16th) ended up dropping me almost 40,000 spots in the rankings.

The worst part was that I had Kyle Busch (3rd), Newman (8th) and Edwards (9th) all sitting on my bench collecting dust. The only decent thing I accomplished was finally starting the right rookie as Larson ended up 11 spots ahead of Dillon. I’m hoping you all had better luck. It can’t get much worse for me this week…can it? Just not my year so far, but I’m not about to quit now. [Read more…]

Are NASCAR Fans In For A Wild Ride?

By Richard T. Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

Have the new rule changes for the Chase accomplished their intended goals? After nine races it appears that drivers have thrown caution out the window and have concluded it’s a quicker path to the Chase by winning races than laying back and accumulate points and the race results seem to bear this out:

Daytona: Dale Earnhardt survives a late race pile up and survives a two-lap shootout to win his second Daytona 500.

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Phoenix: The only runaway of the season. NASCAR decides even a late race caution wouldn’t stop Kevin Harvick this day as he dominates the day. [Read more…]

NASCAR Fantasy Preview – Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond)

By Travis Reinsch
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

Photo Credit: rir.com

Photo Credit: rir.com

Darlington Recap

My lineup two weeks ago was decent, but nothing to write home about. I started Gordon (7th), Hamlin (19th), Newman (10th) and Dillon (11th). The killer was having Harvick (1st) on my bench along with starting Dillon instead of Larson to keep my streak of starting the wrong rookie in Group C rolling along. [Read more…]

Darlington Expectations

By Richard Miller
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

To date we have seen seven different drivers at the first seven races. Can we expect an eighth different driver this week at Darlington Speedway? The statistics seem to lean that way. Waiting in the wings to join the ranks of 2014 winners are the likes of Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson. In each case the statistics seem to support the likelihood we will see one of them in the winner’s circle come Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NASCAR.com

Photo Credit: NASCAR.com

Over the last two years at Darlington Jimmie Johnson has one victory and two top 10 finishes. Matt Kenseth also has one victory and two top 10 fishes. Denny Hamlin has two top 10 finishes over this same period and has also led 7.62% of the laps. [Read more…]

NASCAR Fantasy Preview – Bojangles’ Southern 500 (Darlington)

By Travis Reinsch
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

darlington-raceway

Texas Recap

My team wasn’t half bad last week even though I stupidly forgot to change my lineup. I had my team set while I was writing last week’s preview, but apparently I forgot to click “save roster.” I went to put my starters in on Sunday morning and was not real happy. I was in Florida on vacation so I’m blaming it on that and crummy hotel Wi-Fi.

My luck was actually pretty good as I ended up playing Gordon (2nd), Stewart (10th), Keselowski (15th) and Dillon (21st). All three of my Group A and B drivers led some laps and I could have done even better but Keselowski had a bad pit road speeding penalty during the final caution that cost us both a top 5 finish. [Read more…]