From The Marbles

  • Happy Hour: Your thoughts on potentially limiting Cup drivers in lower series

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 12 hrs ago

    Welcome to Happy Hour. As always, you can tweet or email us your NASCAR thoughts 24/7 at the links below.

    Y’all were moved by NASCAR saying earlier this week there was a possibility of a limitation on Sprint Cup Series drivers in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

    Any limitation would be imposed in 2017 and if the internet is any example, will be met with open arms by a vast majority of NASCAR fans. Cup drivers competing in lower series races has become one of the biggest NASCAR topics of the past few years.

    Part of that likely has to do with Kyle Busch. 2015 Sprint Cup Series champion has dominated the Xfinity Series over the past 10 seasons. Over half of his 169 career NASCAR wins have come in the series and he’s won an average of 7.6 races in each of those 10 seasons despite competing in about 70 percent of the series’ races in that same span.

    NASCAR won’t be making any decisions that hurt the bottom line.

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. to be in NBC booth for Talladega and Martinsville

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 21 hrs ago

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be on your television in more than just commercials for the next two Sundays.

    Junior will serve as a guest analyst for NBC during their coverage of Talladega on Sunday and next week’s race at Martinsville.

    “I’m excited to see these races from a different vantage point and hopefully offer some insight to the viewers,” Earnhardt said in a statement. “I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to broadcast the Xfinity race at Michigan earlier this year, so I expect getting to spend time in the booth with the NBC team to be just as fun.”

    Junior is currently sitting out the rest of the 2016 season because of a concussion he suffered over the summer. He’s said his rehab is progressing well and expects to be back in the No. 88 for the 2017 Daytona 500.

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    Alex Bowman and Jeff Gordon have filled in for Junior in his absence. Bowman will be in the car at Talladega while Gordon will possibly make the final Sprint Cup Series start of his career at Martinsville.

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  • Who will make it to the 3rd round of the Chase? Here's our best guess

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago

    Predicting what will happen at Talladega is an exercise in futility. Unless it’s a prediction that there will be a winner of the race, a driver that will finish last, there will be a crash (or two) and that teams will have to make pit stops.

    Those predictions will be accurate. OK, maybe not the crash prediction. There have been two caution-free races at Talladega, though they happened in 1997 and 2001.

    Nevertheless, we’re going to take a shot at guessing who the eight drivers advancing to the Chase’s third round after Talladega will be. Let’s get to it after a refresher on the points standings.

    1. Jimmie Johnson – Won at Charlotte 2. Kevin Harvick – Won at Kansas 3. Matt Kenseth, 3,074 4. Kyle Busch, 3,072 5. Carl Edwards, 3,069 6. Kurt Busch, 3,062 7. Martin Truex Jr., 3,058 8. Joey Logano, 3,045 9. Austin Dillon, 3,045 10. Denny Hamlin, 3,039 11. Brad Keselowski, 3,038 12. Chase Elliott, 3,020







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  • Jeffrey Earnhardt to run another Dale Earnhardt tribute scheme at Talladega

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    Jeffrey Earnhardt is set to pay homage to his grandfather for the second time this season.

    Earnhardt, the grandson of seven-time Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt and nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., is racing for BK Racing at Talladega. His No. 83 car will be painted black with silver trim like Dale Earnhardt’s famous No. 3 car.

    His firesuit will also be similar to the one his grandfather wore. Jeffrey Earnhardt paid tribute to his grandfather’s Wrangler-sponsored car at Darlington in September.

    Starter is sponsoring @JEarnhardt1 for 2 races. He's going with a tribute to his grandfather, The Intimidator. (via @darrenrovell)

    — NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 17, 2016

    Earnhardt has driven the majority of the season for GoFas Racing’s No. 32. But the team has former Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte in the car for Talladega, so Earnhardt will pilot the No. 83 for BK Racing normally driven by Matt DiBenedetto.

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  • Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick stakes his claim to No. 1

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    Kevin Harvick led 74 laps on Sunday. (Getty)[/caption]

    Welcome to Power Rankings. As always, Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it’s the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. Direct all your complaints to us at and we’ll try to have some fun.

    1. Kevin Harvick (LW: 7): There’s only one time Kevin Harvick hasn’t gotten a win when he’s needed it in the Chase. And that was at last year’s season finale at Homestead when he finished second to Kyle Busch. Not bad at all.

    Had Harvick not gotten a win at Kansas to move on to the third round his Talladega could have been a bit more distracting than most. Remember what happened in 2015 with the cautions at the end of last year’s race and Trevor Bayne? It’s impossible to forget. The win means Harvick can simply laugh at any and all mentions and simply flash three fingers for the third round instead of wondering if a similar situation will dictate his Chase chances once again.

    2. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 1): We are so brutal. After vaulting Johnson seven spots thanks to his Charlotte win last week, the six-time champion drops a spot despite finishing fourth. Poor guy.

  • NASCAR taking 'hard look' at Cup drivers in Xfinity and Camping World Series

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    NASCAR appears close to potentially limiting the number of Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races a Sprint Cup Series driver can participate in.

    NASCAR vice president Steve O’Donnell said Monday on SiriusXM that the series is taking a “really hard look” at changing the rules for Cup drivers’ participation and could have something to announce in the near future.

    “It certainly is on our radar,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve heard the fans … They like seeing those drivers come up through the ranks and it’s our job to make sure that Xfinity is the name where names are made. We have to do that on the racetrack. So that is something we’re taking a really hard look at for next year. I’d say stay tuned. We’re going to look at that and probably have something to announce very soon.”

    Kyle Busch won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Kansas, his ninth win in NASCAR’s No. 2 series this season. 19 of 30 Xfinity Series races have been won by Cup Series drivers and Busch’s win total is more than double that of teammate Erik Jones who leads all Xfinity regulars with four wins in 2016.

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  • Quick takeaways from Kansas: What could go wrong did go wrong for Denny Hamlin

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 4 days ago

    KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Damn that Denny Hamlin luck.

    A week after a blown engine with less than 30 laps to go derailed a potential second-place finish, wacky circumstances struck the No. 11 team once again. It was a day, in Hamlin’s words, that was “Terrible.”

    [Related: Kevin Harvick wins at Kansas]

    On lap 115, Hamlin slowed quickly when he thought he had a right-front tire issue. As the team pitted under caution for Josh Wise’s crash, it discovered the splitter had come apart on the front of the car and needed to be patched back together.

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    The repairs put Hamlin back in the pack, though he started to make his way forward again … until he hit Brad Keselowski when Keselowski got loose in front of Hamlin on lap 190. The team had to scramble for repairs again, this time to the nose of the car.

    And then on lap 225, Hamlin’s team was penalized for an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

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  • Mangled race car after spin through infield erases points cushion for Brad Keselowski

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 4 days ago

    KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Brad Keselowski entered Sunday’s race at Kansas 25 points ahead of the Chase’s cutoff line for the second round. Thanks to a spin through the infield, Keselowski leaves Kansas seven points behind the line.

    After starting eighth, Keselowski ran in the top 15 for most of the first half of the race. But any hopes of a top-10 finish disappeared when Keselowski’s car snapped loose exiting turn 4 on lap 190. He saved the car, but had to get out of the gas so much that Denny Hamlin had nowhere to go behind him.

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    Hamlin’s bump sent Keselowski’s car careening through the grass, which destroyed the front end of the car. He said that while he could have “laid up” at Kansas — potentially avoiding a scenario of pushing the car over the limit — he wanted to drive hard.

    “I probably could have raced less hard with a big points gap coming in,” Keselowski said. “With this format I had a big points gap coming in. With this format it is probably the smart thing to do but I don’t want to race like that. I want to race my guts out and go for wins. I don’t want to points race. I don’t care what the damn format is, I am going to give it my best.”

  • Kevin Harvick comes through again, wins at Kansas to move on to Chase's 3rd round

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 4 days ago

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    KANSAS CITY, Kansas — If Kevin Harvick needs a win to keep his Chase alive, odds are he’s going to get it.

    Harvick won his second race of the Chase on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, passing Carl Edwards on the race’s final restart. The win means Harvick is automatically advancing to the third round of the Chase despite a terrible finish last week at Kansas.

    Both Edwards and Harvick stayed out on the race’s final caution flag and Edwards chose the high line. Harvick had the better restart on the inside lane and pulled away from Edwards, who had to contend with teammate Kyle Busch on fresher tires.

    “He didn’t have a car [behind] quite as close to him, and I was able to break that draft before I got to the middle of [turns 1 and 2] and get away from him, so that was pretty awesome,” Harvick said. “I just needed to go for and that is really the mindset we go into every race in the Chase was to go for, and we did.”

    Edwards ultimately prevailed and finished second. Joey Logano finished third while Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Busch finished fifth.

    Race results:

    Chase standings:

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  • Matt Kenseth wins Kansas pole as JGR-equipped cars take 5 of top 7 spots

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 6 days ago

    Is Sunday setting up to be a day of Toyota dominance?

    Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth beat out teammate Kyle Busch by 0.001 seconds to take the pole at Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s race. And while JGR swept the front row, its Toyota cars took five of the top seven spots when you count Furniture Row’s Martin Truex Jr. in with the four Joe Gibbs Racing cars.

    Truex dominated the spring race at Kansas Speedway but lost the lead on a late-race pit stop when the team had an issue on the left front of the car. Truex’s misfortune meant Busch ended up winning the race.

    Kenseth is also looking for redemption at Kansas. We probably don’t need to remind you that he went spinning off the bumper of Joey Logano’s car late in the race last fall. Had Kenseth won the race he would have made it to the third round of the Chase. Instead, he finished 14th, failed to advance in the Chase and then got a two-race suspension when he crashed Logano at Martinsville.

    So while we’re sure Kenseth is excited for the opportunity to get a win that he thinks he was wrongly denied of last year, we’re much less sure that he’s excited to talk about the Logano incident for the rest of the weekend.

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