NASCAR: Carl Edwards’ High Rolling in Las Vegas

March 8, 2011

Rebounding from what could have been a win last week in Phoenix, Carl Edwards drove a smart race to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sunday in Las Vegas.

After Matt Kenseth took the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 earlier in the weekend, several drivers, such as Greg Biffle and Juan Montoya, took turns out front.

But it was Tony Stewart with the strongest car, leading the most laps until running over an air line on pit road late in the race, thereby incurring a drive through penalty and sending him deep into the pack.

He recovered many of those positions by gambling on a two tire stop, which elevated him 14 spots into the lead, but that would come to bite them late in the go.

With about two dozen laps remaining, the final pit stop saw Edwards and Montoya grab two tires while Stewart took four.

With pit stops completed, Edwards’ Ford emerged in the lead by several seconds and ran away to the checkers with Stewart, Montoya, Marcos Ambrose, and Ryan Newman capping the top five finishers.

Stewart’s post race interviews saw a ticked off Chevy driver saying that they gave one away.

I say that with all things considered, second was just fineespecially coming with a tie with Kurt Busch in the overall standings. The latest results also find Montoya and Edwards tied for second place, just seven points back from the top spot.

Notes: Last week’s double winner, Kyle Busch, wound up in the wall with a flat tire. Then many laps later blew the Toyota motor out of the car, falling down the results sheet to 38th, which ripped him out of the points lead, down to 14th.

Similarly, last week’s Cup winner, Jeff Gordon, while running among the top 10, smacked the outside wall with a flat right frontsending the four-time champ out of the race and into 36th place. Gordon also dropped 14 spots in the standings down to 19thouch!

Nationwide: As the laps wound down towards the checkers, it looked as if Brad Keselowski would add yet another mark to his win columnuntil the white flag lap.

That’s when his right front tire went down, sending the Dodge racer into the outside wall while he watched Mark Martin zoom by for the win.

Martin’s latest triumph marked his 49th trophy in the Nationwide series, much to the approval of race fans and fellow competitors.

Martin had been told to be easy on the gas, as they were about 2 ½ laps shy, so he proceeded to do so; it paid off for the wily veteran. Crossing the line more than one second back were the cars of Justin Allgaier, Keselowski, Danica Patrick, and Trevor Bayne.

The race turned out to be an economy run with the top players rolling the dice on fuel mileage.

Had there been a late race caution, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, or Ricky Stenhouse would more than likely have landed in the winner’s circle. All of these drivers needed a splash for gas late in the show, giving up their spot out front.

Note: Patrick’s fourth place finish marks the highest finish by a female driver in any NASCAR event. For me, she was fortunate (read lucky) to be in the right place at the right time to notch this top five finish.

Even her crew chief, Tony Eury Jr. said in post-race interviews that they were lucky. She was running in the teens for most of the dayat times as much as two laps down.

From Rumorville: Robby Gordon was placed on indefinite probation on Friday afternoon, after an incident between he and Kevin Conway.

Conway had driven for Gordon with Extenze backing that has yet to be paid for. The two drivers are currently in litigation over the situation, and even though the details were sketchy, there’s little doubt in my mind that Gordon will throw a few punches at Conway. More details as they develop.

— Jamie McMurray in an Indy car? Well, just for demonstration purposes as he and Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon will swap their normal rides in an unofficial exercise later in the season.

That’s it for this week. Next week’s RWR will review the NASCAR truck action from Darlington, along with more racing news from around the globe.

Questions? Comments? Contact Russ at racinwithruss@comcast.net


Jeff Gordon Breaks Winless Streak at Phoenix

March 8, 2011
It took Jeff Gordon 66 races to get back in a NASCAR Sprint Cup victory lane and what better place to do so then the last outing at the current Phoenix International Raceway layout on Sunday afternoon.
The tricky one-mile track is about to get a radical transformation  with a different final turn and progressive banking, so there may be an asterisk next to Gordon’s name as the final winner with the current configuration.
The latest win is the four-time champs 83rd, tying Cale Yarborough on the overall win chart.
The race began with Carl Edwards breaking his own track record in a very strong Ford Fusion race car. Kurt Busch led for a while as did his brother Kyle, but it was Edwards taking over the point until the first caution flag.
Emerging mid-pack because of some teams taking on less than four tires, Edwards ran a foul of a loosely wild Kyle Busch as he side-swiped the Subway Ford onto the curbing and into Gordon and the outside wall. Gordon managed to make minor repairs, yet Edwards’ crew need more than 50 laps to repair the car to return to the track.
A couple of laps past the lap 66 incident saw the largest wreck of the day kicked off by a tangle between Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers, sidelining no less than 13 cars.
Some of the strong runners involved were Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte.
Several drivers took turns out front including Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer but it wasn’t difficult to see Gordon had a stout Hendrick Chevy for the rest of the field to deal with.
On the final restart, Kyle Busch bolted out ahead of leader Stewart until Gordon hunted down the Toyota of Busch, took the lead with eight laps remaining and went on to claim the checkers.
Kyle Busch, Johnson, Harvick and Ryan Newman made up the top five finishers.
Kyle Busch now sits atop the Cup points with his brother Kurt not far behind (-3).
Nationwide – Busch, Busch and more Busch would suffice the report on this boring race. Kyle Busch led all 200 laps with only Carl Edwards mounting any kind of challenge late in the go.
The rest of the field was more than 10 seconds back all race long.
I often think the car can’t be legal and agree with Clint Bowyer’s comment from a while ago, saying, “A monkey could drive that car!”
Whether it’s monkeys, people or aliens wheeling that No. 18 Toyota, the car is a winner and wheeled most of the time by Kyle with amazing results.
Rounding out the top five included Edwards, Kevin Harvick,  Ryan Newman and Reed Sorensen. Danica Patrick wound up 17th, some three laps down.
Current points leader is now Sorensen followed by Ricky Stenhouse and Jason Leffler.
Camping World Trucks – Clint Bowyer led the opening segment until Kyle Busch took over the top spot for the remainder of the Phoenix race.
There were several wrecks and restarts, but each time Busch pulled away like he had an extra 30 hp with only Bowyer in the same speed neighborhood.
Crossing the line behind Busch were the trucks of Bowyer, Ron Hornaday Jr, Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon.
Matt Crafton heads the points with Clay Rogers and newbee Clay Whitt among the top three.
From Rumorville – Tony Stewart in F-1? Well, not exactly, but he will be swapping rides for a day with F-1 champion Lewis Hamilton as the two check out each others normal rides at Watkins Glen later this summer.
— Look for veteran race Ken Schrader to wheel the Frank Stoddard No. 32 Ford Cup car at least twice later this season, probably Martinsville and Bristol.
— The Indy Car Series is making a $5 million offer to any non-Indy regular to win the last race on the schedule in Las Vegas. Possible candidates to entertain this idea are Juan Montoya, Tony Stewart, Scott Speed, Robby Gordon, A.J. Allmendinger and Sam Hornish Jr.
Hornish Jr has the best shot as a past Indy 500 winner and Indy champion with Penske connections.
That’s it for this week. Next week’s RWR will review the NASCAR action from Las Vegas along with more racing news from around the globe.
Questions? Comments? Contact Russ at racinwithruss@comcast.net

Surprise Checkers for Bayne at Daytona 500

March 8, 2011
No odds makers would have taken even money for rookie Trevor Bayne to place let alone win the 53rd Great American Race…The Daytona 500.
But, that’s exactly what the 20 year and one day old driver did after being the ‘pusher’ for most of the day. He had various dance partners during the day, but they all faded for one reason or another. In the final few laps, Bobby Labonte became his ‘bud’ and finally teammate Carl Edwards did the final push across the line with David Gilliland in third, giving Ford a top three sweep.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this surprise win is Bayne signing up as a part-time driver with the sports oldest team, The Wood Brothers who hadn’t won a race since 2001.
The race began with polesitter Dale Earnhardt Jr having to drop to the back of the pack, the result of a pre-race practice session wreck.
That handed to point to Kurt Busch along with Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart not far behind. The Daytona ‘TANGO’ of driver and pusher were quickly set up with some obvious strange combos of car makes and non-teammates.
Throughout the event however, Bayne made some excellent choices teaming with Jeff Gordon for a while before latching onto fellow Ford driver David Ragan.
The cars were darting around most of the race and large wrecks were inevitable such as the 17-car incident on lap 30 taking out such notables as Gordon, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson, both of whom later returned but many laps down.
All in all, a great race with 74 lead changes that fans will remember for the two-by-two drafting and an unknown kid named Bayne taking the checkers for the Wood Brothers.
Nationwide – This race proved to be a good taste of things to come for Sunday’s 500 as the fast way around were drivers racing two by two. Pick a dancing partner and try to plan things out to come across the line in first.
Such was the case for Tony Stewart as his unlikely partner turned out to be Landon Cassill as they powered by long time leaders Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. During the final few laps, the four drivers ran nose to tail until in sight of the checkered flag. That’s when Stewart pulled to the high side with Cassill pushing the No. 4 Chevy just enough to nip Bowyer at the line by .007 seconds or about a foot. Interestingly enough, this would be Stewart’s fourth consecutive Nationwide opening event win with Bowyer, Cassill, Earnhardt and Reed Sorensen wrapping up the top five.
Oh, there were a couple of ‘big ones’ in this race like most any other race at Daytona, yet the good news was no one was hurt, other than their rides and wallets.
The best part of the weekend for me was looking at the current points standings for the Nats and Trucks with the new points system in place. No longer are the names of Cup drivers invading the lower ranks at the top of the charts. While they still dominate the accolades and money, they are no longer eligible for points. That being said, Landon Cassill leads the Nationwide series with Reed Sorensen and Jason Leffler among the top three.
Note: Despite starting fourth, Danica Patrick wound up a lap down in 14th, yet managed to lead one lap, a first for any woman at Daytona in a NASCAR venue.
Camping World Trucks – Things were fairly calm in this pick ‘em up opener until later on the race when a pair of big wrecks took out a number of top drivers such as Todd Bodine and Austin Dillon.
When the smoke cleared on this one, Michael Waltrip stood tall among tears to claim his very first truck win 10 years to the day he won his first Daytona 500 while team owner Dale Earnhardt Sr lost his life in turn four on the final lap.
Long time leader Elliott Sadler settled for second with Clay Rogers, Miguel Paludo and Kyle Busch making up the top five finishers. Rogers now heads the charts with Paludo and Jeffery Earnhardt next.
From Rumorville – Look for a big change to the start of next season as the Daytona 500 for 2012 will be on Feb 26, a week later than normal in order to shorten the entire season by one week.
— Walmart in NASCAR? Well, you knew it had to happen sometime. Walmart has entered into a marketing agreement with NASCAR to sell branded merchandise along with ticket and ticket packages right from any of their 1500 stores.
That’s it for this week. Next week’s RWR will review the NASCAR outing from out West in Phoenix, preview the Las Vegas venue and report on racing news from around the globe.
Questions? Comments? Contact Russ at racinwithruss@comcast.net

Kurt Busch and Dodge Win First Budweiser Shootout

February 13, 2011

Kurt Busch managed to win his very first restrictor plate race and what better way than to kick off the season with a trophy and big payday (over $200,000) for sponsors Shell-Pennzoil.

It also marked the first win for a Dodge product in the 33-year history of the Budweiser Shootout.

The race began with Dale Earnhardt Jr out front, the result of a lucky draw from the festivities the night before. Twenty-three cars followed the fan favorite across the stripe to take the green before drivers decided on ‘dancing’ drafting partners. With the new surface and changes to the cars, the new fast way around the big track turns out to be to be two cars running nose-to-tail.

It didn’t seem to matter what brand you were driving ,just what combo worked well in the wind.

Early good combos were teammates Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick and Chevy ‘buds’ Joey Logano and five-time champ Jimmie Johnson.

Kasey Kahne dropped out by lap 11 with engine woes while Burton was the fast cat on the track, winning the first segment with Harvick and Dale Jr close by.

After a 10-minute break for minor repairs, the pack hit the track again, still looking for the best partner in order to get to the front.

On the second lap of the 50-lap segment, all heck broke loose when Ragan Smith and Carl Edwards tangled, sending several other top cars such as Logano, Dale Jr and Juan Montoya out of the race.

Not far into the segment, the second incident found Mark Martin and Kyle Busch into each other with both eventually out of the big show.

The were lots of two by two cars zipping around that appeared to work the best. Not three, not four, but two good cars with two good drivers turned out to be the hot ticket.

In the final dozen laps, Ryan Newman was being pushed around the track by a fast Denny Hamlin with Kurt Busch helped by Jamie McMurray.

These four cars wound up pulling away from the next pack of six and drag raced to the finish line by several seconds over the final closing laps.

Over the final thousand feet, Busch moved high with McMurray sticking with him, while Hamlin dove below Newman and crossed the line first, but because of going below the yellow line, NASCAR quickly stepped in and awarded the win to Busch with McMurray second and Newman, Johnson and Greg Biffle rounding out the top five.

An elated Busch said, “I’m glad to see this win for Shell and Pennzoil. This is a great start for a new relationship.”

On the other end of the comment trail, Hamlin said, “The yellow line is there for safety reasons. I should have gone high, but didn’t want to get into the 39.” Hamlin wound up being credited with 12th place, the last car on the lead lap.

The race gave us a good idea of what to expect at this year’s Daytona 500, that being a 200 mph high-speed chess match with a whole bunch of luck to get into the winner’s circle.

What do you think of the way the cars run now? Will we have a great 500 race next week or will we see more of the two car breakaways witnessed on Saturday night?


Who’s Where for 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

February 1, 2011
After spending nearly two months discussing who’s where among the 2011 NASCAR Cup and Nationwide scene, here’s a one shot brief synopsis of the Camping World truck side. There are many changes and it appears to be shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons ever with a great mixture of seasoned veteran ex-champions and young lions. 

No. 1 – Jeffrey Earnhardt has put together a full-time ride in this Rick Ware truck with sponsorship still a question mark. Results? I haven’t seen any of his famous grandfather’s abilities in this young man to date.
No. 2 – Elliott Sadler and owner Kevin Harvick will split driving duties in this Chevy truck with top runs and more than one win predictable.
No. 3 – Second year driver Austin Dillon appears to be the real deal in this Childress Chevy ride. Don’t be surprised to see this black ride in the winner’s circle more than once and a real shot at the title.
No. 4 – Ricky Carmichael, James Buescher and Jason Leffler will share driving duties in this Turner Chevy truck. I’d say there are numerous top 10 runs on the horizon.
No. 5 – Mike Skinner is out and ex-truck champ Travis Kvapil is in. Wins and a title shot for this Toyota combo are not unrealistic.
No. 10 – Jennifer Jo Cobb has put together a full-time shot in her own operation with DrivenMale.com to be plastered on the quarters. Cobb’s effort to put this Ford out front is ambitious, but not realistic.
No. 13 – Johnny Sauter is well back in place in this Curb Records Chevy. There are many who feel this combo will be among the top three contenders when the smoke clears…I concur.
No. 17 – Virginia driver Timothy Peters returns to this Toyota ride and should be among the top 10 during the year with at least one win possible.
No. 18 – Mr. Personality Kyle Busch will drive this Toyota truck for about 18 races. He’ll probably need a little more room in his trophy case for additional hardware and possibly a second owner’s title.
No. 20 – A very young Johanna Long has wrangled a full-time ride in this Panhandle Motorsports ride. The ROTY contender should shoot for top 15’s as a realistic goal with a few top 10’s thrown in.
No. 30 – Reigning champion Todd Bodine is back with Germain Racing despite the lack of a full-time sponsor named. As long as Bodine is with this team, you can never rule them out as a top contender on any given day.
No. 31 – Young James Beuscher is back for a full season with this Turner truck and Great Clips as the backer. This driver is very good and I would expect to read about good results for this combo in no short order.
No. 33 – Multi-champion Ron Hornaday was asked to return to this Harvick Chevy truck team. After a dismal year last year, I’d expect much better results, but not a title hunt.
No. 62 – Brendan Gaughan is back to a full-time truck racing after nearly winning his first title several years ago. South Point Resorts will sign the checks and I’d look for numerous top 10’s and perhaps a win before seasons end.
No. 77 – Justin Lofton also becomes a member of the ever expanding Germain Racing operation. This is a talented young driver with lots of potential.
No. 88 – Matt Crafton returns to this Menards Chevy with visions of top fives and wins. I don’t rule out either aspiration.
Note: I have not listed every single driver on the 2011 roster, but concentrated on the top contenders.
Rolex 24 – Despite very early problems sending them behind the wall for more than a lap, the two Ganassi DP cars came home first and second in the big twice around the clock event at Daytona. Scott Pruett led the No. 01 car home first while Scott Dixon wheeled the No. 02 to second place. Overall, a very good race right down to the closing minutes.
From Rumorville – Mustang Cup cars? Don’t be surprised if not only the Nationwide Fords in the future are Mustangs, but the Cup cars as well. It appears Ford officials really like the idea of brand identification and the Mustang may be just the ticket they’re looking for in 2013.
That’s it for this week. Next week’s RWR will preview the first round of NASCAR Sprint Cup action, that being the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona along with more racing news from around the globe.
Questions? Comments? Contact Russ at racinwithruss@comcast.net

Who’s Where for 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series

January 25, 2011
After spending six weeks discussing who’s where among the 2011 NASCAR Cup scene, here is a one shot brief synopsis of the Nationwide side. There
are lots of changes and a new points rule set up, so look closely.
No.’s 01, 05 & 09 – Mike Wallace, Willie Allen and Kenny Wallace respectively will pilot these Nat rides for 2011. I bunched them together for several reasons, but mostly because their prior and future performances should only result in middle-of-the-pack results. The Wallace boys need to think about hanging it up.
No. 2 – Ex-Cupper Elliott Sadler has been tapped to drive this KHI Nat ride full-time with Citifinancial as the backer of this rapid Chevy. Some people say this car will wind up at the top of the heap by season’s end. While I feel there are some wins in store, a title won’t happen.
No. 6 – Ricky Stenhouse returns to this Roush-Fenway ride with his best shot yet at a full-season top shelf result.
No. 7 – Danica Patrick is slated for 11 races this year with GoDaddy as the major backer under the JR Motorsports banner. Look for Josh Wise among others to fill in the gaps. Results for Manica? More of the same laps down, sub-25th place runs.
No.’s 10, 11 & 12 – Ex-motocross Ricky Carmichael, Brian Scott and Sam Hornish Jr will wheel these rides this year on a part-time basis. Carmichael continues to show improvement as does Scott under Gibbs banners and Hornish is down to showing what he can do here before hanging up his taxi-cab helmet.
No. 16 – Trevor Bayne is set to drive this Roush-Fenway ride full-time and I’d expect several top 10’s and don’t rule out a win or two.
No. 18 – Kyle Busch and Michael McDowell will share this Gibbs ride for most of the season. Checkered flags for this car are almost a given.
No. 20 – Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin will also share this Gibbs ride and checkers are more than likely in their future as well.
No. 22 – Reigning Nat Champ Brad Keselowski returns to this Dodge ride with wins on his mind, but will have to leave the idea of a repeat title behind as drivers will have to choose what series titles they will contend for.
No.’s 31 & 32 – Justin Allgaier and Reed Sorenson have the driving duties for these two Turner Motorsports Toyotas. Both are full-time with Mark Martin picking up a couple of dates in the No. 32. All around good driver combos are here with good results expected.
No. 33 – Team owner/driver Kevin  Harvick will campaign this Chevy full-time with the help of Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon splitting up the driving duties. Yet another car quite capable of pulling into the winner’s circle by day’s end.
No. 38 – Jason Leffler and Kasey Kahne will combine driving talents in this Turner Toyota. Top 10’s and possibly wins are in their future.
No. 60 – Carl Edwards will contend a full-season in this Roush-Fenway Ford and why not? His numerous wins and single title make him a threat on any given Saturday.
No.’s 62 & 66 – These two Rusty Wallace Racing Toyotas will be driven by Michael Annett and Steven Wallace. There are possibilities for good results here as long as Steven keeps the wrecks to a minimum.
No. 88 – Aric Almirola will pilot this JR Motorsports Chevy full-time with TaxSlayer and Unilever as the major backers. This talented young man can and will get the job done.
No. 99 – Motocross and X-Games star Travis Pastrana will make his NASCAR Nat series debut mid-season under the Michael Waltrip Toyota tent in this ride. Boost Mobile is the major backer and I look for this talented biker to wind up with better stats than Manica during his first outings.
Note: I have not listed every single driver on the 2011 roster, but hit the highlights.
From Rumorville – New NASCAR points system? There are numerous reports indicating NASCAR is finally about to change their overall points system that dates back to 1975. Instead of the complicated 180 points to win, then five less each spot until they reach three points less, etc., it may be a very simple 43 points for a win, then one point less as the spots wind down. Throw in a point to lead a lap, the most laps and perhaps an three points for a win and it sounds like a much more fan friendly system for all to understand. What do you think? Drop me a line.
That’s it for this week. Next week’s RWR will review the results of the Rolex 24 race run at Daytona along with more racing news from around the globe.
Questions? Comments? Contact Russ at racinwithruss@comcast.net

Who’s Where for 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup (Part 6)

January 18, 2011
Here is the final installment of who’s where for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup team lineup for 2011. Keep in mind as up to date as this may appear, changes to sponsor, driver and crew lineups can and do happen right up until the green flag drops at Daytona….and then start again after the first checkers. What used to be known as the Silly Season taking place towards the end of a season now seems to take place all year.
No. 77 – Penske’s driver Sam Hornish Jr is out of this Dodge Cup ride in favor of a part-time gig in the Nationwide series. Steven Wallace will pilot this Chevy in the opening round at Daytona and more than likely a few others during the year. Veteran racer/team owner Rusty Wallace has procured this cars’ points in order to guarantee his son a starting spot in the great American race.
There are no other details at this time as far as sponsor, crew chief, etc. All my crystal ball sees for this combo are additional caution flags and twisted race cars.
No. 78 – Former rookie-of-the-year Regan Smith returns to this Furniture Row sponsored Chevy with Childress products under the hood.
This young man has proven time and time again, he is a worthy driver that is easy on equipment and will generally get the job done to stay among the top 20 on any given day.
The one-car team managed to finish 28th in points last year, but without any top 10 runs, and still earned $3.4 million. This team will have to step up their game to gain more sponsors or credibility. Utilizing training of their over-the-wall crew by Stewart-Haas Racing will have to help.
No. 83 – Brian Vickers returns to driving duties in this Red Bull Toyota after being sidelined early last year with serious health problems. If pre-season testing is any indication of not losing any ability to be competitive, he and crew chief Ryan Pemberton should meet in the winner’s at least once. Chase odds? I don’t see any here.
No. 87 – Veteran racer Joe Nemechek has been operating on a shoe string budget for several years now and this year looks no different. Under the capable direction of crew chief Philippe Lopez, they managed to miss only five shows and rack up earnings of $2.5 million despite their normal start-and-park status. No exact word as to their plans for this year, but I would predict more of the same with their Toyota racers.
No. 88 – Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr will slide behind the wheel of this Hendrick Chevy with Steve Letarte now calling the shots. The stats for last year were a little more than lack luster with only one pole, eight top 10’s and 21st in points.
The No. 88 operation has moved into the same building as five-time champion Jimmie Johnson with the hopes of some ‘goodness’ rubbing off.
Amp Energy drinks has returned as backer alongside Army National Guard. Results for this year? I see an improvement, but nothing to write home about. Dale Jr just has too many outside distractions and has lost that ‘eye of the tiger’ needed to be competitive.
No. 90 – I was glad to see Scott Riggs assigned to this Keyed Up Motorsports Chevy for at least the first five races. This is a talented driver that should not be home watching these races from his couch as he has for the past few years.
There are lots of unanswered questions as far as sponsor and crew assignments at this time.
No. 99 – ‘Cousin’ Carl Edwards is well in place to drive this Roush-Fenway Ford with Aflac, Sunway and Kellogg’s signing the big checks. Edwards wrapped up last season with the final two wins with many fans and media having this personable driver as the man to displace Johnson from atop his throne.
Edwards also earned three poles, 19 top 10 runs while finishing fourth in the big picture. If he doesn’t take the whole enchilada, he should be among the top three throughout the season providing those new Ford engines stay glued together.
From Rumorville – Tony Stewart arrested? Yes, the mild-mannered(?) Indiana NASCAR driver was arrested while competing in Australia over the weekend. It appears that Stewart and the track owner disagreed about track conditions whereupon Stewart smashed him in the face with his helmet. The track owner returned the favor by giving Stewart a black eye.
The two-time NASCAR champion has left ‘the land down under’ but may have to return to answer additional questions and appear in court. Does that answer your questions about Tony ‘calming down’?
That’s it for this week. Next week’s RWR will discuss some of the team lineups for the 2011 Nationwide series, along with more racing news from around the globe.
Questions? Comments? Contact Russ at racinwithruss@comcast.net

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