From The Marbles
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles2 hrs ago
Apparently eliminations are needed when a bunch of Chase drivers attempt to eliminate themselves in a single race.
Issues struck a bunch of Chase drivers including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers and Kurt Busch during Sunday's race at New Hampshire. Couple that with a mediocre performance from Carl Edwards and a strong run from Aric Almirola and the battle for 12th in the points standings at Dover is suddenly a close one.
After Dover, the third race of the Chase, the 16-driver Chase field will be whittled down to 12. Thanks to the New England craziness, nine drivers are within 10 points of 12th place either way.
Let's start with Gordon, who isn't among that group. The four-time champion, perhaps the most consistent driver in 2014, was having another solid day Sunday planted in the top 10. All hope of a top-10 finish went away with eight laps to go when Gordon had a flat right-front tire heading into turn one and slammed the wall.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles3 hrs ago
New Hampshire has been very kind to Joey Logano.
Statistically, Logano hasn't been great at the one-mile track (his average finish entering the race was 19.3), but it's the site of Logano's first Sprint Cup Series win and now his latest one as he pulled away from Kevin Harvick on multiple late race restarts to win on Sunday.
He's now guaranteed to advance to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup along with last week's winner and Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski after next week's race at Dover.
The race featured 15 cautions, the second-most in New Hampshire history, and after Logano took the lead from Harvick under green with more than 20 laps to go, he held on to it over the course of three restarts.
Logano got to the front with a strategy call that looked iffy at the time. Track position is always a dominant theme at New Hampshire and the first half of the race had largely been a green-flag affair. On lap 247, some 30 laps after the leaders last pitted, Logano's crew chief Todd Gordon called him down to pit road for four tires.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles1 day ago
16-year-old Cole Custer is now the youngest NASCAR winner.
Custer won Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire, beating Bubba Wallace by 1.14 seconds. Custer dominated the race; he led 148 of the race's 175 laps. But he needed to pass Matt Crafton with four laps to go to take the victory.
Just to reinforce how young Custer is and perhaps make you feel old, he was born January 23, 1998.
Because of NASCAR's age limits in the Truck Series, Custer has been running a part-time schedule and Saturday's race was his seventh start. Drivers must be 16 to participate in trucks at tracks under 1.25 miles in length. Drivers can compete in a full season schedule at 18.
Erik Jones, who was competing in Saturday's race, was previously the youngest winner. He was 17 when he won at Phoenix last year.
Custer is the son of Joe Custer, an EVP at Stewart-Haas Racing. He was the youngest winner in the K&N Series, a NASCAR feeder series, last year when he won 15-years-old at Iowa and New Hampshire. He first drove a quarter-midget car at 4 and started driving late models at 14. He won 10 races as a 14-year-old, including in his first start at I-10 Speedway.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles2 days ago
Is Brad Keselowski setting up to go two-for-two at New Hampshire in 2014?
The 2012 Sprint Cup champion and winner of the first race of the 2014 Chase at Chicago on Sunday won the pole Friday at New Hampshire, site of the second race of the Chase.
In July, Keselowski led 138 laps and won at New Hampshire. Because of that win earlier in the year, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson called Keselowski's team the team to beat before Friday's qualifying session.
“Yeah, I would expect him to be in a similar position for two reasons," Johnson said. "One, he had so much more pace than the rest of the field here in the spring race that it’s hard to believe that everybody could cover that gap and get back to him. And then when we went to Richmond, which wasn’t too long ago as a short track and they had that form there, too. So, I’d definitely say those guys are tough to handle.”
Keselowski won at Richmond, the last race before the Chase. Johnson turned out to be prophetic for Friday. Will be prophetic for Sunday?
Jamie McMurray qualified second, three-hundredths of a second behind Keselowski. Kevin Harvick qualified third, while Denny Hamlin was fourth and Kyle Busch was fifth.
Brad Keselowski: 'It kind of feels a little bit like a cop-out' that Stewart case sent to grand juryNick Bromberg at From The Marbles2 days ago
Brad Keselowski was asked about the continued legal proceedings surrounding the death of Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park during his media availabilty on Friday.
Ward was hit by Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart after he exited his car to confront Stewart's car on the track. The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department investigation into Ward's death wrapped before the Chase for the Sprint Cup began and on Tuesday, the Ontario County District Attorney sent the case to a grand jury.
During its investigation, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said officials had obtained a second video of the incident. Shortly after it happened, a video of the incident was posted to YouTube. Details of the second video are unknown.
Save for statements made during the early stages, the OCSD's investigation was largely done out of the public eye.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles3 days ago
Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy.
Y'all were quiet this week. Did Brad Keselowski's pass bore you or something? Here it is again just because it was a rare moment.
Spoiler alert, I'm afraid the chances of this happening throughout the next nine races are slim-to-none, but I'm not going to complain in the slightest if I am wrong.
Wednesday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Stanley and DeWalt would sponsor Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth respectively. It means that Richard Petty Motorsports is going to be down a sponsor for 2015, but given that there's a driver change a the No. 9, it's not terribly surprising. It'll be interesting to see how much sponsorship is tied to RPM's impending driver search.
Let's get to our topics this week. And the onus is on y'all to break out some good questions next week.
- Jay Busbee at From The Marbles5 days ago
It's been more than a month since an accident involving Tony Stewart claimed the life of Kevin Ward Jr. at a race track in Ontario County, N.Y. In that time, Stewart has returned to driving in NASCAR. A police investigation into the event has concluded, and on Tuesday came the news that Stewart's case has been referred to an Ontario County grand jury. Here are answers to the most common questions surrounding Stewart's impending grand jury hearing.
What has happened from the time of the Ontario County police's investigation until now?
In the wake of the incident, Ontario County police maintained that there was nothing in their initial investigation to indicate that Kevin Ward Jr.'s death was anything more than a tragic accident.
As Donald G. Rehkopf, Jr., a criminal defense attorney with the Rochester, N.Y. firm of Brenna, Brenna & Boyce told Yahoo Sports, there were basically two options at that point: the police could have filed the charges themselves, or they could have taken the case to the Ontario County district attorney, who would then turn the case over to the grand jury.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles5 days ago
A grand jury will decide if Tony Stewart will face charges in the August 9 death of Kevin Ward.
The Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney's office announced Tuesday it is sending the evidence from Ward's death to a grand jury, which will decide whether or not to file charges against Stewart.
Stewart and Ward were racing together at Canandaigua Motorsports Park (N.Y.) in a sprint car race on Aug. 9. After Ward hit the wall, he exited his car and went down the track to angrily confront Stewart. Stewart's car struck and killed Ward.
The Ontario County Sheriff's Department had investigated the matter for approximately a month. Last week it announced it had sent the evidence from the investigation to the district attorney. According to the Associated Press, Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo "could have determined there was not enough evidence to support charges and dropped the case."
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles5 days ago
Our Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it's the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. And you think we dislike your favorite driver, so it makes sense, right? Direct all your complaints to us at email@example.com.
1. Brad Keselowski: Please note, we will not be resetting Power Rankings after each Chase elimination round. That seems like an exercise in not-power. With two consecutive victories and the points lead going into the Chase and the points lead after Chase race numero uno, Keselowski is the no-brainer pick for the top spot. His three-wide pass for the lead was great, but it's made more awesome in that it came in a season where battling for the lead at intermediate tracks has been nonexistent at times.
2. Kevin Harvick: Harvick was using everything in his bag of tricks to try to get Kyle Larson to burp the throttle just enough to yield first place. Had either driver been able to get clear, Keselowski may not have an opportunity to make his pass. Instead, Harvick and Larson had cut such a huge hole in the air on the frontstretch that Keselowski's car looked like it had rocket boosters attached to it.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles7 days ago
The possibility of Marcos Ambrose joining forces with Roger Penske in the Australian V8 Supercar series is official.
Team Penske announced Sunday night it had partnered with Dick Johnson Racing for the 2015 season and that Ambrose would drive the No. 17 entry.
“Team Penske is excited to partner with Dick Johnson Racing to compete in the V8 Supercars Championship starting next season,” Roger Penske said in a statement. “We believe in building our businesses through racing and our success on the track. With our new business ventures in Australia, it makes sense to showcase our brands through the V8 Supercars Championship and the opportunity to work with DJR and Marcos Ambrose convinced us to go forward.”
Ambrose's current NASCAR team, Richard Petty Motorsports, announced Saturday that Ambrose wouldn't be returning to the team in 2015. Shortly after the announcement, Penske said it had an announcement scheduled for early in the week involving the Supercars series.
Ambrose, a native Australian, was successful in V8 Supercars before he moved to NASCAR. He won the series championship in 2003 and 2004.