Keselowski Dominates in Bluegrass Country

skid marks, jason hildebrand, beaverdamusa.comLast Saturday night, from start to finish, the #2 Penske Miller Lite Ford dominated the bumpy Kentucky Speedway. Brad Keselowski wound up leading 199 of the 267 laps around this Tri-Oval track in the Northern Part of Kentucky.

If you were looking for a lot of action in this race, you were very disappointed.  Aside from the early accidents that involved Denny Hamlin — who by the way, finished dead last — and Kyle Larson, there wasn’t a whole lot of other stuff that happened. Long green flag runs. In fact, I went in and out of the house constantly to grill and everything on the TV looked the same as before I went out.

Nevertheless, it was Saturday night racin’ and it sure beats the heck out of watching soccer. Finishing 2nd was Kyle Busch, followed by Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Dale Jr, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, and rounding out the top 10 was Jimmie Johnson.  So, all in all, a good showing for some, not so good for others.  Now let’s get to what is in store for us this week.

Resctrictor Plate racing in Daytona

For the 2nd time this 2014 season, the boys of NASCAR will be running at Daytona International Speedway.  This time, though, will be under the lights in the summer heat.  The first was finished under the lights in February, due to crappy weather that plagued most of the tracks at the beginning of the season. Hendrick Motorsports has claimed the last 2 races at Daytona, with Jimmie Johnson winning last summer and Dale Jr winning the 500, earlier this year.

Picking a winner at a restrictor plate is about as a sure thing as winning the Powerball drawing. I’m gonna go out on a limb and pick Kyle Busch to win this week. As stated earlier, he finished 2nd last week, and he runs pretty darn well down there in the summer. We’ll see how that plays out this Saturday.

Until next week, keep ‘em clean, folks.

 

NASCAR, 2014: Bad Weather and Controversy (What’s New?)

skid marks, jason hildebrand, beaverdamusa.comEaster weekend seems a perfect time to sit back and reflect on what has come to fruition the first 8 weeks of this very early NASCAR season. A lot of storylines have evolved, so far. First, the number 29 of Kevin Harvick is good for 2 things, a non finish or a win. Heading into Richmond, he is the only driver on the circuit with 2 coveted victories. Aside from the 2 wins, his other races have the NASCAR Gods turning over in their graves. Next, the old man (oldest regular on the circuit), is off to his best start in many years. He is currently the point leader heading into the 9th race of the 2014 season. With the exception of the grass jumping up and tearing up his car at Texas Speedway, Dale Earnhardt, Jr is doing his best impression of his father, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Junior has been consistently running and finishing in the top 5, way more than other drivers. The only thing more consistent than Jr finishing in the top 5, has been the bad weather, so far (I’ll get to that later). Carl Edwards has been another good one, this year, winning at Bristol Motor Speedway (I was there, and it was freakin’ cold!). Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski aka I wanna fight Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch are your other winners, so far, in this 2014 season.

What would NASCAR be without controversy? First was the tire issue at Fontana at the Auto Club 400. Multiple cars tore up tires, and many tore up cars. The Survivor was Kyle Busch, who benefited from dominant driver Jimmie Johnson cutting a tire very late in the race. Kyle went on to win and secure his spot in The Chase. A week later, Brad Keselowski wanted to fight Kyle’s brother Kurt at Martinsville, over Brad’s screw up. BTW, Kurt was in the right, and Brad was in the wrong. Also, Kurt would have stomped a mudhole in Brad.

I sure hope the weather here on out is better than what we have seen, so far. The weather, for racing, has absolutely sucked. First, Daytona was delayed. I’m not complaining about night racing, but it was a long Sunday night that day. Bristol. I froze my rear end off, along with about 50,000 other brave (or stupid) souls in the mountains of upper east Tennessee that morning/day/evening. Then the Texas soaker that had to be delayed until the next day.

This week is the first of two Richmond night races this 2014 season. It is hard to bet against any Joe Gibbs Racing driver at Richmond, or Jeff Gordon. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Gordon have all been money at this track. If you were to pick a few others to win this week, Tony Stewart, Dale Jr, and Kevin Harvick all have 3 wins at this track (money says if Harvick doesn’t crash/blow up, he will win).

Foolish move of the year, was Dale Jr at Texas. 12 laps into the race, he dips down the track and clips the grass, sending him up the track and into the wall. This resulted in an inexplicable 43rd place finish for the 88 team and injured the 48 car, who by the way is his teammate Jimmie Johnson, in the process. Dale Jr admitted it was a boneheaded move.

Racing stripe of the year belongs to Danica Patrick. Why? Because she can’t finish races on the lead lap and can’t stop hitting everything on the track.

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