Nick Bromberg

  • Kyle Busch wins Brickyard pole; Stewart starts 3rd and Gordon 21st

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 16 hrs ago

    INDIANAPOLIS ‐ Kyle Busch has a prime opportunity to defend his 2015 Brickyard 400 win.

    Busch took the pole away from Carl Edwards just seconds after his teammate had crossed the finish line in the final round of qualifying for Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Busch’s lap of 184.634 MPH was just faster than Edwards’ lap of 184.547 MPH. Edwards had narrowly edged out Tony Stewart for the top spot as Busch was exiting turn 4 on his qualifying lap.

    Stewart, an Indiana native who is retiring at the end of the season, is making his final start at Indianapolis. He started fourth in last year’s race but the race itself went awry and he finished outside the top 20. But that fourth-place starting position last year felt a bit like a fluke. With the speed Stewart has shown over the last few weeks, a top-three spot on Sunday wouldn’t be too surprising either.

    The top five was rounded out by Denny Hamlin, a Joe Gibbs Racing teammate to Busch and Edwards, and Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski. Penske has never won the Brickyard 400.

    Here’s how the field will line up on Sunday:

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  • Tony Stewart 'relaxed and focused' heading into final Indianapolis start

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago

    INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Stewart doesn’t know how many family and friends will be in attendance for Sunday’s Brickyard 400. And he doesn’t want to know.

    Stewart, an Indiana native and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400, is retiring at the end of the 2016 season. Since Indianapolis Motor Speedway is so special to Stewart – he’s competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times as well – it’s natural to think Stewart will be sentimental this weekend.

    He’s not. Or if he is, he didn’t want to show it on Friday.

    “You guys are going to make a lot more out of this than what I’m going to make out of it this weekend,” Stewart said. “I am literally just coming here in my mind like it is just another race, and it’s another weekend here at Indy. I’m not doing all the sentimental crying stuff that you guys think I’m going to be doing. I’m going to race this weekend.  I’m more focused – I’m probably more prepared for a Brickyard than I have been any other year.”

    Stewart said he was confident in his car after an earlier tire test at Indianapolis.

    — Wood Brothers Racing (@woodbrothers21) July 22, 2016

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  • Jeff Gordon says he was approached to drive Tony Stewart's car at Daytona

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago

    INDIANAPOLIS – Did television get in the way of Jeff Gordon getting behind the wheel in the 2016 Daytona 500?

    Gordon, who has served as an analyst for Fox for its coverage of the Sprint Cup Series and is subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Brickyard 400, said Friday at Indy that this was at least the second substitute-driver approach he’s had from a team this season. The four-time champion said Stewart-Haas Racing asked Gordon to drive Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car at Daytona, but Gordon said he had to decline because of his responsibilities as an analyst for Fox, which broadcasts the Daytona 500.

    “Well the crazy thing about all this I was asked to drive Tony Stewart’s car in Daytona to start the season out with his injuries and the incident that happened there,” Gordon said. “No, I wasn’t able to do it because of my commitments to Fox.”

    When asked later about Gordon’s comment, Stewart said he wasn’t aware of any approach to Gordon by the team.

    Gordon had agreed to drive the pace car for Sunday’s race and Indianapolis Motor Speedway was about to announce his appearance around the same time as the maneuvering for Gordon to get back in the cockpit began.

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  • Jeff Gordon has spent week doing 'everything I possibly can' to prep for Indy

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago

    INDIANAPOLIS – Jeff Gordon said he’s been cramming like a college student for a final over the last few days to prepare for his return to the Sprint Cup Series.

    “I’m going to tell you, the last two days, I don’t think I’ve ever put as much effort in to preparing for a race, and crammed in all that I have in the last two days,” Gordon said. “That process itself has been really interesting, exciting and fun and has me pretty fired up to get in the car and feel what it is like to be in there.”

    Gordon is filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 and the next race at Pocono. It’ll be the first time in 798 career Cup starts where Gordon has raced a car other than the No. 24.

    Junior, who will miss at least three races because of what the team has said are concussion-like symptoms, tweeted Friday morning that he was feeling better; a tweet that was referenced multiple times by Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick when referring to Earnhardt Jr.’s status.

    Today is the 1st day in many that I sensed improvement. Seen small gains during my physical therapy as well. Light at the end of the tunnel.

    Gordon responded with a laugh.

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  • Matt Kenseth docked 15 points following New Hampshire win

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    Matt Kenseth and his team were hit with a 15-point penalty by NASCAR on Wednesday but the team will still get to use the three bonus points it accrued for winning Sunday’s race in the Chase.

    Kenseth’s car failed post-race laser inspection following his win (a P3 penalty on NASCAR’s five-level scale). While NASCAR wasn’t going to take the win away from Kenseth and give it to second-place Tony Stewart, it was conceivable that if the sanctioning body felt the infraction was serious enough it wouldn’t allow Kenseth to count the win at the beginning of the Chase. But there was no mention of bonus points being taken away in the NASCAR penalty report.

    Drivers who win in the regular season are given three additional points per win at the start of the Chase in an attempt to incentivize winning.

    NASCAR didn’t even suspend crew chief Jason Ratcliff either. He was fined $25,000.

    With the points penalty, Kenseth drops from eighth to ninth (behind Jimmie Johnson) in the points standings.

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  • Jeff Gordon to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Indianapolis and Pocono

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

     

    Jeff Gordon is making his return to the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday the four-time Sprint Cup Series champion would take the place of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 car for the Brickyard 400. Earnhardt Jr. will miss two more races because of concussion worries. Gordon will also fill in at Pocono.

    Earnhardt Jr. missed last week’s race at New Hampshire and was replaced by Alex Bowman. Gordon was vacationing in France.

    “Our focus is giving Dale all the time he needs to recover,” Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “There’s nothing we want more than to see him back in the race car, but we’ll continue to listen to the doctors and follow their lead. What’s best for Dale is what’s best for Hendrick Motorsports and everyone involved with the team. We’re all proud of him and looking forward to having him racing soon.”

    The team said Friday that if Junior was to miss the 400 that Gordon would take his place, a sign that the team was incredibly prepared for this exact situation to happen.

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  • Michael Annett has a new crew chief

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    Michael Annett’s forgettable 2016 season will include a new crew chief.

    HScott Motorsports announced Tuesday that Mike Hillman Sr. would be Annett’s crew chief for the remainder of the season. Jay Guy, Annett’s crew chief for the first 19 races of the season, will be the team’s Motorsports Technical Director. According to a team release, Guy is being promoted.

    “We are making these moves today in order to strengthen our management team and develop better lines of communications to improve performance,” owner Harry Scott said in a statement. “Jay Guy’s promotion adds a layer of management we need between the two teams to better coordinate and communicate.  Mike Hillman, Sr. brings more than 25 years of experience to the No. 46.”

    Annett is 37th in the points standings while teammate Clint Bowyer, who is spending a gap year of sorts with the team before replacing Tony Stewart in 2017, is 26th in the standings. Annett’s best finish of the season is a 20th he got at Daytona in July. He’s finished in the top 30 seven times in 2016 and has the fewest points of any driver who has started all 19 races.

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  • Power Rankings: Did Keselowski get knocked off the top spot?

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 4 days ago

    1. Brad Keselowski (LW: 1): The answer to our headline is “No,” even though Keselowski lost ground to points leader Kevin Harvick. Keselowski’s car was not in pristine shape at the end of Sunday’s New Hampshire race and he didn’t make up much track position after a late pit stop. He finished 15th.

    2. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3): As you likely know, Harvick wasn’t too happy about his team’s performance throughout Sunday’s race. He might have had the best car but when you keep losing track position at a track position track like New Hampshire, well, it’s hard to show off just how good your car is. Harvick finished fourth, and while he was disgusted after the race we’re going to go out on a limb and say he’d take another fourth in the Chase instead of running out of gas like he did last year.

    3. Joey Logano (LW: 6): Logano clawed his way to the front thanks to the flurry of late-race restarts and ended up finishing third. Given all of the success Logano has had at Team Penske, his first race win (at New Hampshire, thanks to a strategy play before a thunderstorm) seems like such a distant memory. Maybe Logano still has that lobster somewhere.

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  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 'Definitely' unable to drive at New Hampshire

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 5 days ago

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t second-guessing missing Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.

    Junior, who missed the race because of concussion worries, said he would not have been able to drive the car because of the way he was feeling. He made the comments on his Dirty Mo Radio podcast.

    “The symptoms that I have are balance and nausea. I’ve struggled with my balance over the last four or five days, and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to drive a race car this weekend,” Earnhardt said on the podcast. “So making the right decision really was out of the question. I made the decision I had to make.”

    Junior said he was “kind of plugged in” to the team over the weekend as Alex Bowman filled in for him at New Hampshire. Bowman raced his way into the top 10 before his race was derailed when a flat tire happened thanks to a sheetmetal rub.

    The ImPACT test is used as a guide for concussions and brain function.

    Any decision regarding Junior’s status for Indianapolis would be made this week. Hendrick Motorsports has already said Jeff Gordon would replace Earnhardt if Junior was still unable to drive the car.

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  • Matt Kenseth wins at New Hampshire, car fails inspection

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 6 days ago

    UPDATE (6:30 p.m. ET)

    Matt Kenseth’s car failed the post-race laser inspection. Kenseth and the No. 20 team will likely be penalized this week, though it’s highly doubtful the win will be taken away. It’s much more likely Kenseth won’t receive bonus points at the start of the Chase for this win and will be assessed a regular season points penalty. It’s also very likely crew chief Jason Ratcliff will be penalized as well.

    We’ll update this post if and when details regarding Kenseth’s inspection failure become available.

    Winning car of @mattkenseth failed laser inspection system platform postrace @NHMS. Further evaluation this week at R&D Center by #nascar.

    — Nate Ryan (@nateryan) July 17, 2016

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    Matt Kenseth pulled away from Joey Logano and Tony Stewart over the final 11 laps at New Hampshire on Sunday to grab his second-straight win at the track.

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