Showing posts with label 2011 chase for the championship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2011 chase for the championship. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Edwards Using Runner-up Texas Chassis This Week at Homestead

Edwards has a track best 5.7 average finish in 7 Homestead starts (Getty) 
Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-739 This car last raced at Texas this month & finished second


Carl Edwards on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway: “I’m just excited to get in the race car this weekend. It’s a fun race track and we run very well there. The last few weeks we’ve run really well. To be a part of this championship battle is truly an honor. The team and I are all having fun with it, and we’re going to go to Homestead and give it everything we’ve got, and hopefully we can end up in victory lane again. That would be a heck of a way to end the season and win the championship.”

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway: “Going into Homestead we’re going to really stick to what got us in this position in the first place and that’s try to have the best race car possible and go run the best race we possibly can, and finish as high in the points as we can and try to beat that 14 team. Definitely last year’s race setup is going to apply directly to this year for us. We plan on starting right where we left off setup-wise and trying to improve that setup for this race at Homestead.”


* THE CHASE IS ON… Carl Edwards enters the final race of the season at Homestead leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings by three points over Tony Stewart. He has earned one win, 18 top-five, 25 top-10 finishes and two poles this season.

* Carl Edwards will make his eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway in this weekend’s Ford 400. In his previous seven starts, Edwards has accumulated two wins, four top-five, six top-10 finishes and one pole.

* FOR THE RECORD…Edwards’ average start at Homestead is 13.4, his average finish is 5.7 which is the best of all active drivers. He has also led a total of 441 laps there, the most among active drivers. He has only finished outside the top 10 once in seven starts.

* IN THE LOOP… According to NASCAR’s Loop Statistics compiled over the last seven races at Homestead, Edwards has turned 173 of the track’s fastest laps, spent 1,379 laps in the top 15, and has a driver rating of 117.5, which leads all active drivers in these categories.

* ON THE TRACK…The Aflac team will be unloading chassis RK-739. This car last raced at Texas two weeks ago where Edwards led 14 laps and finished second.

* REWIND: HOMESTEAD 2010… Carl Edwards dominated the NASCAR Sprint Cup race and took home his second win of the season. Edwards started from the outside of the front row en route to leading 190 of the 267 laps and taking the checkered flag in the Ford 400.

- Roush Fenway Racing, Press Release

Monday, November 14, 2011

Las Vegas Hilton Super Book Odds to Win Homestead-Miami Ford 400

Might there be only one burnout Sunday at Homestead? Edwards is 9/2
FORD 400


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Edwards Hoping to Extend Points Lead at Phoenix

Carl Edwards will be looking to duplicate his performance from last season
Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-782 This car last raced at Loudon in Sept., finished eighth


Carl Edwards on racing at Phoenix: “Phoenix is really a big unknown. I would say this first trip will be more of a crew chief/engineer race. You’re going to have to pay attention to tire wear. The setup is going to be very important. The track is very smooth and easy to drive. I don’t know that you’ll be able to go there and manhandle the car and hustle it around there like you could at the old Phoenix, at least not this first time.”

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Phoenix: “I still like Phoenix a lot. There are definitely some issues that are going to have to be overcome this weekend for track grip and multi-lane racing. Right now it is a one-lane race track and that is not going to bode well for racing. It is going to be a little scary if they don’t get two lanes at least going there.”


* THE CHASE IS ON…Carl Edwards enters Phoenix leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings by three points over Tony Stewart. He has earned one win, 17 top-five, 24 top-10 finishes and two poles this season.

* DEFENDING WINNER…Edwards won last year’s Phoenix race in November after leading 93 laps. He broke a 70-race winless streak for his first Sprint Cup win there.

* FOR THE RECORD… In 14 starts at the one-mile track, Edwards has one win, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. His average start is 11.0 and finish of 13.0. Edwards has completed 93.5 percent of laps in Cup competition attempted at Phoenix.

* IN THE LOOP… According to NASCAR’s Loop Statistics compiled over the last 14 races at Phoenix, Edwards has turned 252 of the track’s fastest laps (third most), spent 2,827 laps in the top 15, and has led 201 laps. He has a driver rating of 99.6 (fourth best).

* ON THE TRACK… The No. 99 Aflac crew will unload RK-782 at Phoenix. This car was new at Loudon where Edwards finished eighth with it.

* REWIND, PHOENIX, NOVEMBER 2010… Carl Edwards dominated the weekend at Phoenix International Raceway by winning everything he could including three practice sessions, qualifying, the Nationwide race on Saturday, and most importantly he broke a 70-race winless streak by taking the checkered flag in the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards led 93 of the 312 laps en route to his 17th-career Sprint Cup Series win.

- Roush Fenway Racing, Press Release

Phoenix Odds & Ends: Kobalt Tools 500

At Phoenix International Raceway:
·            Construction was completed in January 1964.The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
·            Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
·            The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.
·            The track underwent its first repave this year. The construction began in March and concluded in September of 2011.
·            The following changes were made during the construction period:
·         Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet
·         Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls
·         Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet
·         Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet
·         Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4.
·            There have been 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
·            Geoffrey Bodine won the first Coors Light Pole in 1988.
·            There have been 18 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four. Newman’s next pole will be his 50th.
·            Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, and Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.
·            There have been 21 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson with four.
·            The race has been won from the pole four times: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).
·            The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 15 of 30 events.
·            Denny Hamlin won his first career pole at Phoenix in November 2005. AJ Allmendinger won his first career pole in April 2010.
·            Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
·            Mark Martin has 12 top-five finishes, more than any other driver. Martin (8.8 average finish) is one of three active drivers who average a top-10 finish. Jimmie Johnson (4.8) and Jeff Gordon (10.0) are the others.
·            Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix. Kurt Busch did it with his win in April of 2005, and Kevin Harvick did it in November of 2006.
Phoenix International Raceway Data
Race: 35 of 36 (11-13-11)
Track Size: 1 mile
·     Banking/1 and 2: 10 - 11 degrees
·     Banking/3 and 4: 8 - 9 degrees
·     Banking/Frontstretch: 3 degrees
·     Banking/Backstretch: 9 degrees
·     Frontstretch: 1,179 feet
·     Backstretch: 1,551 feet
Driver Rating at Phoenix
Jimmie Johnson 121.8
Jeff Gordon 103.3
Kurt Busch 100.3
Carl Edwards 99.6
Mark Martin 99.4
Denny Hamlin 98.3
Tony Stewart 98.1
Kyle Busch 98.1
Kevin Harvick 95.9
Greg Biffle 94.8
 Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-11 races (13 total) at Phoenix. 
Qualifying/Race Data
2010 pole winner: Carl Edwards (136.389 mph, 26.395 seconds)
2010 race winner: Carl Edwards (110.758 mph, 11-14-10)
Track qualifying record: Carl Edwards (137.279 mph, 26.224 seconds, 2-27-11)
Track race record: Tony Stewart (118.132 mph, 11-7-99)
NASCAR in Arizona
·            There have been 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Arizona: 30 at Phoenix International Raceway; four at Arizona State Fairgrounds; one at Tucson Rodeo Grounds.
·            30 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Arizona.
·            There have been no race winners from Arizona in NASCAR’s three national series.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keselowski Has Series Best 6.5 Average Finish in Last 13 Heading into Martinsville

Keselowski just might win this Title if Roush drivers let up (Getty)is
Brad Keselowski
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
Tums Fast Relief 500
October 30, 2011Martinsville Speedway
TV: ESPN at 1:30 PM ET Radio: MRN/Sirius Channel 90 at 12:00 PM ET
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger News and Notes

* · This Week’s Charger… The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-803 during Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.

* · No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011… After 32 points-paying events, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team are ranked third in the 2011 Chase for the Championship standings. Keselowski is just 18 points behind leader Carl Edwards following a fourth-place finish in the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway last Sunday afternoon.

* · Top-Five Leader… With four top-five finishes, Keselowski is tied for the most top-five results in the six races run in the 2011 Chase for the Championship.

* · Nothing “Average” About 6.5… Over the last 13 races, Keselowski has scored a series-best average finishing position of 6.5. During that stretch he has produced two wins, eight top-five finishes and he has led the field for a total of 142 laps.

* · Cheers To Chasing Greatness… The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the “Blue Deuce” this weekend in Martinsville will be “Cheers To Chasing Greatness.” Keselowski sits just 18 points out of the lead in the Chase for the Championship, which would be a “great” accomplishment in his first with driving the iconic car.

* · Deuces Wild… When Brad wins a race during the 2011 Chase for the Championship, two lucky fans will win their own “man cave,” compliments of Miller Lite. The man cave gear includes a “kegerator,” a dart board, Miller Lite neon sign, a basketball game and pub furniture. Visit to enter.

* · The Rest is History… Martinsville Speedway is a track where Penske Racing has enjoyed its share of success over the years. In 86 starts, the organization has picked up six wins (all by Rusty Wallace), five poles, 19 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes at Martinsville. Wallace made Martinsville his personal playground in the Miller Lite car as he did not finish outside of the top-three in eight consecutive races from September of 1992 through April of 1996.

Brad Keselowski on his position in the Chase with four races remaining: “That was exactly how we needed to leave Talladega, with a strong finish. We gained points on the leader and gained points on really all the Chase cars. I’m very proud of the effort that everyone on this Miller Lite Dodge team has put forth thus far. We’re still in contention and we have a damn good shot at winning this championship. This weekend’s race at Martinsville is one that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. There is no part or piece of equipment that can substitute for just getting a bunch of laps under your belt there. I’ve learned a lot in my three races, and I know Paul (Wolfe) has as well. This is a race where I think we can really pick up some points on Carl (Edwards) and Matt (Kenseth).”

Brad Keselowski on racing at Martinsville Speedway: “Martinsville will always be a track that is hard on brakes. Yes, the braking systems have come a long way over the last 10 years or so. But if you give us more brakes or better brakes, we are going to use more brakes to the point that we will damage the sidewall of the tire. Overheating the brakes is something that is easy to do because you are going so hard every lap as passing is difficult at Martinsville. Managing your brakes is part of being a successful short-track racer.”

Crew chief Paul Wolfe on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: “Everyone on this team feels really good about going to Martinsville this weekend, especially since we were able to take part in the Goodyear tire test there last month. The good thing about Martinsville is that you don’t have to worry about aerodynamics. It’s the shortest track we visit and it’s all about mechanical grip. In the short time Brad has been at Martinsville, he has shown a great ability to get around the place. Hopefully we can get qualifying in – which is never a guarantee during this weekend – so that we can get a good starting spot. Then, if we can maintain forward bite off the corners, I believe we can gain more points on the Chase leaders to really make this thing interesting heading into the final three weeks.”

- Penske Racing, Press Release

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Final Driver Ratings For New Hampshire Sylvania 300 Following All Practices

Micah Roberts Top 10 Driver Ratings
Sylvania 300
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 11:16 am (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds     Practice 1   Qualified   Practice 2   Practice 3

 1. Jimmie Johnson 5/1          4th             10th            1st             3rd  
Three-time winner with the last coming in 2010; using new chassis this week.
 2. Kevin Harvick 7/1             11th             6th             3rd             9th
2006 winner; using same chassis this week that won at Martinsville and Richmond.
 3. Jeff Gordon 6/1                 3rd              7th             5th             2nd
Three-time winner, the last coming in 1998; four runner-up finishes since 2004.
 4. Kyle Busch 10/1               23rd             8th             7th             5th
2006 winner with only two top-five finishes in 10 races since; new car this week.
 5. Tony Stewart 6/1              14th            20th           11th            28th
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2005; using runner-up car from July NHMS race. 
 6. Ryan Newman 15/1           1st             1st              9th             6th
Three-time winner, site of his first and last win; using winning car from July NHMS race.
 7. Kasey Kahne 40/1             2nd             2nd            14th            7th
Finished sixth in July race and had one of the better overall final two practice sessions.
 8. Jeff Burton 40/1                 9th             18th            2nd             4th
Four-time winner, the last coming in 2000; best 10-consecutive lap average of practice.
 9. Denny Hamlin 8/1             19th            28th           22nd           15th
2007 winner with a track best 7.2 average finish in 11 career starts; finished third in July.
10. Kurt Busch 15/1              32nd             5th             17th           22nd
Three-time winner, the last coming in 2008; using brand new chassis this week

Note: Races run at Richmond, Martinsville and Phoenix this season can serve as a good barometer for handicapping New Hampshire due to the relatively flat banking on each.
Odds courtesy of the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former race and sports Director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to or follow MicahRoberts7 on Twitter.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reutimann Fastest in Chicagoland's First Practice Session

Last years winner was FAST today!
It was last years Chicagoland winner,David Reutimann, with a lap speed of 183.138 mph, who posted the top time during the first GEICO 400 practice session at Chicagoland Speedway.

Second fastest and with a lap speed of 182.964 mph, was Clint Bowyer, followed by 2009 Chicagoland winner Mark Martin (182.883), 2008 winner Kyle Busch (182.846) and Trevor Bayne (182.723).

Rounding out the top-ten fastest in practice were Ryan Newman (182.710), David Stremme (182.692), AJ Allmendinger (182.506), Martin Truex Jr. (182.131) and Regan Smith (181.861).

The teams will return to the track later this evening for their final practice session that will run from 6:00 PM to 7:25 PM (EDT) and then they will return Saturday afternoon at 1:40 PM (EDT) for their scheduled qualifying session.

Results from this first practice session is what determines to qualifying order in tomorrow's session.

Notes from
Brad Keselowski went out for his first run but came back into the garage reporting a possible problem with the engine. The team changed spark plugs and the car was okay. Carl Edwards reported a possible problem with the fuel pickup. The team is going to change the carburetor. Mike Skinner had a possible engine failure that laid oil on the track.

Practice 1 Results

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chicagoland Chase Preview: Johnson Still Vegas Favorite To Win Championship

12 drivers will be battling for the 2011 Title beginning Sunday (Getty)

By Micah Roberts

Let the NASCAR playoffs begin!

The final 12 drivers are set with 10 races to go in their quest to win the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. The first track each of the drivers will attempt to conquer is Chicagoland this Sunday.

The top story coming in is the same story it’s been for the last five seasons: Who can beat Jimmie Johnson?

For the last five seasons, the answer has been no one. No matter how close anyone gets to knocking him off his throne, Johnson does just enough to be a little better.

In 2008, Carl Edwards finished fourth or better in eight of the 10 races with three wins and Johnson still found a way to win the title. Last season, Denny Hamlin was cruising to a championship but faltered in the final two races, while Johnson stayed cool and calm to win his unprecedented fifth straight championship.

Johnson has ice in his veins and is almost sub-human in that he doesn’t feel pressure like regular people do. He’s Joe Montana, Larry Bird and Reggie Jackson all rolled into one who does his best in the biggest moments.

On Monday, the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book posted Johnson as the 3-to-1 favorite to win the championship with Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon close behind at 7-to-2 odds.

Busch comes in with a three-point head start over the field with Kevin Harvick (8/1) on the basis of their four wins during the first 26 races. Gordon is three back, Matt Kenseth (10/1) is six points back and then you’ll find Johnson nine points backs along with the other drivers who won only one race this season.

Johnson could make up the nine position points easily in one race, but what’s amazing about his 2011 performance is that he only has one win on the year. Johnson has never had less than three wins in any of his nine seasons, including his rookie year in 2002. While his cars this season may not have been collectively as dominating as his previous nine years, he’s made up for the differences with his driving.

Who's got the stones to mess with Johnson?
"I’ve said all along," proclaimed Johnson, "these final 10 races, it’s its own world. When everything re-racks and the point spread is so small between first and 12th, it changes things and it’s a whole new season. It’s a clean sheet of paper and off you go.”

So who can step up and knock the King off his throne?

Who’s the driver that has enough moxie with the equipment to stand up to this silent bully?

At first glance, the top candidate looks to be Johnson’s mentor and boss, Jeff Gordon. Since winning at Pocono in race 14 of the season, he’s gone on a tear finishing in the top-10 eight times.

“I haven’t felt like this in a long time and I love the position we are in as a team,”said Gordon earlier this week. “We led the most laps at Bristol, and we led the most laps and won at Atlanta. We definitely have momentum on our side.

“I don’t feel that anybody has shown more strength than we have in the past 10 races.”

Brad Keselowski is considered somewhat of a longshot at 12-to-1, but no one is running better than him over the last seven races. He’s finished 12th or better over that span, including two wins. One of his three wins on the season came at Kansas in June, a track that will be the fourth stop in the Chase. When asked about making the Chase, he sounds like he's still piching himself to make sure this isn't a dream.

“Well, I feel like a one-year old that got his first box of crayons, you know, just amazed and happy to have ‘em," said Keselwoski in a Tuesday interview for Dodge. "It's Great! Everything is fresh, new and a lot of positive momentum. No matter what happens in the Chase, it’s still an honor to be in it.”

Kenseth and Edwards could see some success for the Ford entries just because five of the 10 Chase races are on their best type of track, the 1.5-mile facilities. Kenseth also won at Dover earlier this season which is the third stop of the playoffs.

"I’m feeling pretty good heading into Chicago this weekend, " Kenseth said Tuesday. "I feel like our performance so far this season has been good enough for us to be a contender in the Chase. With how fast our cars have been, combined with great pit stops, I feel like those factors combine to show that our performance is strong on the No. 17 team.

As always, the wild card race of the final 10 races will be at Talladega, the sixth stop on the tour. Beyond just being a volatile track that can chew any car up because of the speeds, the nature of the tandem drafting can vault just about any car to the front and leave some of the best cars with a poor finish.

When it’s all said and done in November at Miami, look for Jeff Gordon to be hoisting his fifth championship trophy and first since 2001. He is probably the most equipped to look Johnson square in the eyes and not flinch. Even though Gordon gets a piece of Johnson’s success through the cash register, he hasn’t enjoyed having his legacy in the sport be put in the past tense because of Johnson's present domination.

Jeff Gordon 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion? Maybe?
Top-5 Chase Prediction:
1) #24 Jeff Gordon (7/2)
2) #48 Jimmie Johnson (3/1)
3) #17 Matt Kenseth (10/1)
4) #2 Brad Kieslowski (12/1)
5) #99 Carl Edwards (5/1)

Top-5 Chicagoland Finish Prediction:
1) #22 Kurt Busch (10/1)
2) #99 Carl Edwards (7/1)
3) #48 Jimmie Johnson (7/1)
4) #24 Jeff Gordon (8/1)
5) #18 Kyle Busch (8/1)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Las Vegas Hilton Super Book Odds to Win 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Richmond Odds & Ends: 2011 Wonderful Pistacios 400

At Richmond International Raceway:
·         Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
·         The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953.
·         The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
·         The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
·         The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
·         The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
·         The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
·         The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
·         The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
·         The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
·         There have been 110 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond since the track opened in 1953.
·         The current 400-lap race length was established on the .542-mile measurement in March 1976.
·         BuckBaker won the pole in 1953.
·         LeePetty won the first race in April 1953.
·         There have been 49 different pole winners, led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty (eight).
·         Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five poles.
·         47 different drivers have posted victories at Richmond, led by Richard Petty (13).
·         Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson (three) lead active race winners.
·         Petty Enterprises has won 15 races at Richmond, more than any other team.
·         63 of 110 races have been won from the top five starting positions, including 22 from the pole.
·         The last driver to win from the pole was Kyle Busch in 2010.
·         The furthest back in the field a race winner has started was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the 2008 spring race.
·         Kyle Busch (4.9), Denny Hamlin (7.5) and Clint Bowyer (9.5) are the only active drivers with an average finish in the top 10.
·         KylePetty became the first third-generation NASCAR race winner when he won his first race at Richmond, on Feb. 23, 1986. Richard Petty posted his first Richmond victory in 1961 and Leewon the very first Richmond race in 1953.
·         Three of the last four races have had a margin of victory less than one second.
·         Four drivers have come from outside the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cut-off to make the Chase at Richmond:
o    Jeremy Mayfield in 2004 made up a 55-point deficit
o    Ryan Newman in 2005 made up a one-point deficit
o    Kasey Kahne in 2006 made up a 30-point deficit
o    Brian Vickers in 2009 made up a 20-point deficit
NASCAR in Virginia
·         There have been 272 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
·         162 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Virginia.
·         There have been 18 race winners from Virginia in NASCAR’s three national series:
Joe Weatherly
Ricky Rudd
Jeff Burton
Curtis Turner
Denny Hamlin
Ward Burton
Glen Wood
Elliott Sadler
Emanuel Zervakis
Lennie Pond
Wendell Scott
Tommy Ellis
Jimmy Hensley
Rick Mast
Hermie Sadler
Elton Sawyer
Stacy Compton
Jon Wood
Richmond International Raceway Data
Race # 26 of 36 (9-10-11)
Track Size: .75 miles
·     Banking/Corners: 14 degrees
·     Banking/Frontstretch: 8 degrees
·     Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
·     Frontstretch: 1,290 feet
·     Backstretch: 860 feet
Driver Rating at Richmond
Denny Hamlin 120.4
Kyle Busch 116.0
Kevin Harvick 110.2
Clint Bowyer 97.9
Jeff Gordon 97.8
Tony Stewart 95.9
Ryan Newman 92.6
Mark Martin 92.2
Kurt Busch 91.2
Jimmie Johnson 88.7
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (13 total) at Richmond.
Qualifying/Race Data
2010 pole winner: Carl Edwards (127.762 mph, 21.133 seconds)
2010 race winner: Denny Hamlin (104.096 mph, 9-11-10)
Track qualifying record: Brian Vickers (129.983, 20.772 seconds, 5-14-04)
Track race record: Dale Jarrett (109.047 mph, 9-6-97)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gordon Looking For Sixth Bristol Win with Invite to Chase and Showdown

Jeff Gordon's last Bristol win came in 2002 (Getty)
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Win it, and Jeff Gordon is in it(s).

If five-time Bristol Motor Speedway winner Gordon takes the checkered flag in Saturday’s IRWIN Tools Night Race, he will clinch a spot in the 2011 “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.” Along with earning one of those 12 coveted spots in the 10-race playoff, Gordon would also secure the final spot in the Sprint Summer Showdown –joining Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Busch as those racing for the bonus in Atlanta on September 4.

“We have one more chance to earn a spot in the Showdown, and I really want to be the driver that wins a fan one million dollars in Atlanta,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. “I think this such a cool program by Sprint that is a great chance for a fan — and a charity — to win a million dollars.

“The Bristol night race is just a completely different atmosphere. The intensity level may be even higher with the final Showdown spot on the line.”

Also on the line for the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is a berth in the Chase. If Gordon wins Saturday night, he would secure at least a “wild card” spot –entries into the playoff for the two drivers with the most wins that are outside the top 10after race No. 26 at Richmond. He can also secure his spot in the Chase if he holds at least a 97-point advantage over 11th-place in the standings following Bristol. That gap currently sits at 69.

“Even though we have a little bit of a cushion, the focus hasn’t changed,” said Gordon, who has earned the most points in the last 10 races – moving from 13th up to sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings while cutting the deficit to the leader from 121 to 60 during that span. “ The goal is to win each and every week. With the cushion, how we go about it has changed.

“With that cushion, we can take more risks with fuel or pit strategy the next few races to try to get another win.”

Along with his five wins at the 0.533-mile high banked short track, Gordon has earned five poles, 14 top-fives and 20 top-10’s. Much of that success occurred before a track reconfiguration in 2007.

“There was a groove – a rhythm – that I found on the old layout,” said Gordon. “I just haven’t found it yet in the new layout.”

If found this weekend, it could be worth a million dollars.