From The Marbles
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles6 hrs ago
A grand jury began hearing testimony on Tuesday in the case involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr.
Stewart struck and killed Ward on August 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, a dirt track in upstate New York. Stewart and Ward were racing together when Ward hit the wall. Ward exited his vehicle to confront Stewart's car and was struck by the right rear tire.
The RochesterDemocrat and Chronicle reported that the testimony began and Chuck Hebing, who was in the race with Stewart and Ward, confirmed he was called to testify. However, Hebing declined to discuss the matter further.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles8 hrs ago
Sprint Cup Series cars are going to be a little slower next season.
Mind you, you won't be able to tell with the naked eye. You'll only know through scoring monitors and posted speeds, but the spate of track records that have been set throughout 2014's qualifying sessions are going to be unattainable.
In an effort to make better racing, NASCAR announced that Cup cars will have less horsepower and downforce in 2015.
The engines in Cup cars now turn out an estimated (but not regulated) 900 HP. Next season, through the use of a tapered spacer, horsepower will be down to 725. A tapered spacer, which is used in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series engines, helps choke off the flow of air to the engine, throttling power.
Spoilers on the cars will be reduced from the current eight inches to six and radiator pans will be five inches smaller (to 38 inches). Combine that with a 50 pound decrease in minimum weight, and the cars will produce less downforce.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles11 hrs ago
1. Brad Keselowski (LW: 1): Kes gets to keep the top spot because of his bounceback after hitting the wall on lap 195. Thanks to a fuel-only pit stop on the next caution, Keselowski was in position to take the lead for 41 more laps before ultimately falling back and finishing seventh after a couple other perilous moments on the inside of other cars. If, for some crazy reason, you had reservations about the No. 2 team's effort in Chase races two and three with advancement guaranteed, those reservations are gone.
2. Joey Logano (LW: 4): Logano now has the second-most wins in the Cup Series behind the man (and teammate) in front of him. You could tell how serious Logano was about wanting to win a race at New Hampshire the way he did on Sunday. While his first career race win isn't illegitimate, the fact that he immediately referenced winning Sunday straight up versus what happened in 2009 was telling. You can't call Sunday, or Logano's title chances, fluky.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles2 days 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 Marbles2 days 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 Marbles3 days 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 Marbles4 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 Marbles4 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 Marbles5 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 Marbles7 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.