500 Kilometers Of Phoenix

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One of the few races on the NASCAR tour that bills itself by km instead of miles (though in reality it is slightly longer than 500 km), Phoenix comes next on the calendar of NASCAR-sanctioned thrill shows that reenforce every stereotype any non-NASCAR viewer could ever have about the series.

Last year, Phoenix reconfigured the track, to include slightly more banking, and a controversially redesigned dogleg. Not that the dogleg played any role; everyone just took a short-cut and avoided it altogether. This year, however, NASCAR will set cones up such that drivers must stay on the track. Assuming it will be a penalty if you hit/go below the cones, similar to the commitment cone rules on pit lane.

Cup, Nationwide, and K&N Pro Series West this weekend.


2:30 PM: Bashas' Supermarkets 200 NNS race (200 miles)

5:30 PM: Talking Stick Resort 50 K&N Pro race (50 miles) (not televised live...air date TBD)


1:00 PM: Subway Fresh Fit 500 Cup race (312 miles)

NOTE THAT ALL TIMES ARE LOCAL TO PHOENIX...MOUNTAIN TIME IN AMERICA...GMT -7. Also those times are not accurate at all. Cup will probably star around 1:17.

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K&N Pro Series West entry list includes:


2. Carl Harr (West World Computers Chevrolet)

24. Cameron Hayley (NAPA Gold Filters Toyota)

33. Jack Chisholm (THS Racing/Holleran's Performance Dodge)

71. Daryl Harr (World Connect Chevrolet)

81. D.J. Kennington (Northern Provisional Pipelines Toyota)

Drivers Related to People Related to Auto Racing

94. Chase Elliott (Hendrick Cars/Aaron's Chevrolet), son of NASCAR champion Bill

96. Benjamin Kennedy (TBD Chevrolet), son of International Speedway Corp. CEO and NASCAR Board of Directors member Lesa France Kennedy

98. Chad Boat (Celebrity Fight Night Chevrolet), son of IndyCar driver Billy

GP2 Drivers

74. Carlos Iaconelli (Bienvenidos a NASCAR/Mayor Cars Toyota)

Top Series NASCAR Drivers

8. Johnny Borneman (TBD Chevrolet), NNS

9. David Gilliland (Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Elibach Ford), Cup/NNS

17. David Mayhew (MMI Services Chevrolet), NNS/CWTS

Harr (NNS) and Kennington (NNS/CWTS)

Past Champions

20. Eric Holmes (NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)

26. Greg Pursley (Star Nursery Ford)

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NNS entry list includes, among forty-six cars:

Things that have changed since last week

4. Daryl Harr (TBA Chevrolet)

13. Jennifer Jo Cobb (Lemer & Rowe Injury Attorneys Dodge)

23. Jamie Dick (Viva Auto Group Chevrolet)

27. TBA (GCMI Ford)

33. Kevin Harvick (South Point Chevrolet)

52. Tim Schendel (Means Racing Chevrolet)

Drivers ESPN will show during the broadcast

7. Danica Patrick ( Chevrolet)

54. Kyle Busch (Monster Energy Toyota)

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Cup has forty-four cars, meaning only one goes home, among them are:

Differences from Daytona

10. David Reutimann (Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet)

23. Scott Riggs (North Texas Pipe Chevrolet?)

26. Josh Wise (MDS Trucking Ford)

33. Brendan Gaughan (South Point Chevrolet)

37. Timmy Hill (Poynt Ford)

93. Travis Kvapil (Burger King Toyota)

Guys who could fail to qualify

7. Robby Gordon (SPEED Energy Dodge)

30. David Stremme (TBA Toyota)

36. Dave Blaney (Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet)

49. J.J. Yeley (American Israel Racing Toyota)

87. Joe Nemechek (AM FM Energy Toyota)

98. Michael McDowell (Phil Parsons Racing Ford)

Riggs, Wise, and Hill as well.

Drivers I like

1. Jamie McMurray (Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)

9. Marcos Ambrose (Stanley Tools Ford)

13. Casey Mears (GEICO Ford)

24. Jeff Gordon (AARP Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)

27. Paul Menard (Menards/Tarkett Chevrolet)

47. Bobby Labonte (Kingsford Toyota)

83. Landon Cassill (Burger King Toyota)

Drivers I don't like

2. Horse (Miller Lite Dodge)

11. Denny Hamlin (FedEx Toyota)

15. Clint Bowyer (5 Hour Energy Toyota)

18. Kyle Busch (M&M's Toyota)

20. Joey Logano (The Home Depot Toyota)

22. A.J. Allmendinger (Pennzoil Dodge)

29. Kevin Harvick (Rheem Chevrolet)

38. David Gilliland (Long John Silver's Ford)

51. Kurt Busch (Phoenix Construction Chevrolet)

55. Mark Martin (Aaron's Toyota)

56. Martin Truex, Jr. (NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)

99. Carl Edwards (Subway Ford)

Riggs, Wise, Gaughan, and McDowell as well.

Past winners at Phoenix

5. Kasey Kahne (Farmers Insurance Chevrolet)

14. Tony Stewart (Office Depot Chevrolet)

17. Matt Kenseth (Best Buy Ford)

31. Jeff Burton (Wheaties Chevrolet)

32. Terry Labonte (TBD Ford)

39. Ryan Newman (WIX Filters Chevrolet)

48. Jimmie Johnson (Kobalt Tools Chevrolet)

88. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (National Guard Chevrolet)

Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Martin, and Edwards as well.

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There has never been a really exciting NASCAR race at Phoenix. So here's some USAC from Phoenix, obviously before the modern reconfiguration. Take note of some of the big names in this race...most before they were stars...great racing too for the lead and for the win at the finish.

Love that stuff. Thirteenth year for me and NASCAR viewership. Nineteenth with USAC, literally from birth.

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Kasey Kahne and Sam Hornish, Jr. are the only race winners on the new Phoenix layout, taking the Cup and NNS races respectively in 2011. Ryan Blaney, son of almost-maybe-could-have-been Daytona 500 winner Dave, won the K&N Pro Series West race in November; he is not entered in any of the races this weekend. Ryan will be running six NNS events with Tommy Baldwin Racing throughout this season, however.

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The BK Racing team that isn't actually sponsored by Burger King has now been licensed by Burger King. Cassill and Kvapil this week. Cute that the King has a driver named "Castle."

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Chad Knaus suspended six races, fined $100,000 for the C-pillar violation. Hendrick will appeal, which means Knaus will be able to serve as crew chief during the appeal; if upheld, he will serve his six races once the appeal ends.

Sometimes, NASCAR appeals have only yielded harsher penalties. Once in the 90s, a driver appealed a two-race suspension and came out with four. In recent years, Robby Gordon simply cut a deal. He needed points to stay in the top 35, so he got his points back, and took a $100,000 fine (originally had been $25,000).

It is very rare that an appeal is successful.

Hendrick's case? The templates never even touched the car. NASCAR just looked at the C-post and said "this is illegal." The car also never hit the track; Clint Bowyer's car hit the track before failing an actual tech inspection, yet they got a slap on the wrist. Hendrick claims the same car, with that same C-post, has passed tech inspection sixteen times. Either means NASCAR let them get away with something illegal sixteen times, or they just screwed up.

Wouldn't surprise me if NASCAR wanted to create "the ultimate comeback story" or had pressure from fans to look like they were tough on Johnson's team when everyone says Hendrick gets away with cheating or something just silly like that. Knaus is a repeat offender, having been fined for a host of technical violations, suspended a few times. In 2002, he was even fined for swearing on live television. :P

At the moment, Johnson has a negative points total as the team was also fined points.

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Let's play guess who of these NASCAR drivers.

He may be porkier now, but damn does he look better...


Anthony Wayne "Tony" Stewart

This guy's my favorite driver...


Robert Allen "Bobby" Labonte

His brother returned to NASCAR in Friday's CWTS race...


Jeffrey Brian "Jeff" Burton

No hint needed...this was taken in 2001...


Kyle Thomas Busch

Twelve years separate this man's two Cup titles...


Terrance Lee "Terry" Labonte

Hawks Subway sandwiches these days...


Carl Michael Edwards, II.

Really needed to use the restroom at Daytona...


Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

A mustache in high school? What a bad***...


Jeffrey Michael "Jeff" Gordon

You think people said "wow, this guy's going to be a five-time champion someday," though I guess they also didn't know how often his team would cheat, and besides, he was a motorcycle racer turned off-road truck racer, not a stock car guy, talk about versatile...


Jimmie Kenneth Johnson, seriously, his name isn't James

Dale Jr. had bleached hair once, but this guy from my USAC video certainly isn't him...


Kasey Kenneth Kahne, yes, he has those initials

Hevin Karvick...

Kevin Michael Harvick

His team only has one seat for their two cars. He wrecked three cars for them in Speedweeks...

Kurt Thomas Busch

This one took me a while, but he's in the USAC video, too...

Ryan Joseph Newman

Here's a freebie...

Danica Sue Patrick Hospenthal


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I was going to pick Barbara Bush for that last one....though I couldn't figure why you had put her up there when she didn't drive in NASCAR, but then it was like, maybe this is the trick one...Eric can be ever so tricky at times...

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Penske Racing will switch to Fords in 2013.

They are currently the only real Dodge team; Robby Gordon also fields a Dodge, but it doesn't count.

The 2013 Dodge Charger will be unveiled at Las Vegas next weekend. The spy shots of it that I posted in another thread were in Penske's shop of all places.

No word if this means the end of Dodge, or if they will try to lure another team in as the "factory" team of sorts.

Penske last raced Fords in 2002 before switching to Dodge the following year.

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More: a new manufacturer is trying to get involved in NASCAR. Usual suspects are Honda, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai. They have talked to Richard Petty Motorsports, who are also being courted by Dodge to fill the Penske void. RPM left Dodge a few years ago, and their boy Ambrose is a Ford man first and foremost (though he did race a Toyota for a few years, reluctantly. Just like Stewart spent a year in a Toyota, you know he's a Chevrolet guy).

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A fan asked Matt Kenseth what his favorite dinosaur was.

He answered "Darrell Waltrip."

New respect.

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A fan asked Matt Kenseth what his favorite dinosaur was.

He answered "Darrell Waltrip."

New respect.

Not a stegosaurus?! Oh man, but stegosauruseseseses are BADASS!!

Or what about the one that is like a big armadillo but has a clubby thing on its tail?


Edited by JHS18

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Robby Benton is a good guy.

First he fires John Wes Townley after his DUI. Keep in mind RAB Racing is a very small team, they have no sponsorship, and JWT was funding the entire thing himself. They stood by their ethics over their need for money and put the kid in his place. So much respect, when Rusty Wallace, Richard Petty, etc. never had the balls to do that.

Now his NNS driver Kenny Wallace, one of the most annoying people in racing to say the least, needs sponsorship. He has funding through race five, and that's it. Benton has been talking to other drivers about replacing Wallace, and now Wallace is coming out down on his knees begging for people to sponsor him and "IF YOU SPONSOR ME FOR ONE RACE YOU GET ME FOR THE WHOLE YEAR" and complaining how "IT NEVER USED TO BE THIS WAY WITH ALL THESE RICH KIDS" when in reality I can't recall a time when it didn't cost money to go auto racing, but obviously Kenny knows best.

Anyway, here comes Benton:

[Kenny Wallace] thinks what he is doing is generating interest, but at the end of the day, it's making me and our race team look like a couple of a**hats and trying to get people to feel sorry for him. That's not productive. You don't want people to feel sorry for you. We're trying to sell a strong, marketable program.

Tremendous respect for the usage of "a**hats" and for painting Wallace the character he really is...someone who just needs to shut up and go away.

Can't wait to see who gets the ride.

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Round two of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this afternoon...

Mark Martin brings the field to green driving for Michael Waltrip Racing. Martin retired after the 2005 season, and again after 2006, and again after 2007, and now he says he'll retire after 2013. He's racing part-time this year and next, splitting the #55 with owner Waltrip and yesterday's NNS winner Elliott Sadler. A fourth driver will run the two road course races, but has not yet been named (no doubt, in true NASCAR fashion, it will be some mid-pack Trans-Am guy from the 90s that NASCAR fans will worship as a road racing god. Not talking about Boris Said but I'm definitely talking about Boris Said).

Tony Stewart to his outside; Phoenix was one of the five races he didn't win in last year's Chase.

Regan Smith grids third, a great run for Furniture Row Racing. Despite winning Darlington last year, Furniture Row is a tiny team, really low-budget (do you think their livery gives that away?), and based in Denver. Not Denver, NC. Denver, CO. Thousands of miles away from all the personnel and wind tunnels and all that in Carolina. Doing it their way, and almost had a great run at Daytona (after starting sixth) before getting caught in a wreck.

Juan Montoya has a top five start, and that's good for him. Give it by 3/4 distance and he'll be twentieth or worse, and doing nothing to improve. Maybe he'll hit something. A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar. Montoya drives into it. Ahahahahhahahha it's funny because he crashed.

Kasey Kahne has a damn fast car, and he won here with lesser equipment in the fall. He botched the final corner of his first qualifying lap, which screwed up the start of his second. He'll be moving up.

P22 isn't bad for Landon Cassill and that new BK Racing team started a week-and-a-half before the season began. He and teammate Travis Kvapil continue to be the most accessible drivers in NASCAR. This morning they will be at the local Burger King restaurant once again for breakfast with fans (though I suspect they won't actually be eating, but they do sit at the actual tables in the dining room with the fans, no lines, none of that, just two guys who happen to drive racecars sitting around in a Burger King with a bunch of guys who don't drive racecars. They'll even sign those paper crowns they give out).

He's got Dave Blaney right there in twenty-third. Guy gets stuff done.

Scott Riggs put R3 Racing's car in the show after team owner Robert Richardson, Jr. failed to qualify for the 500. And well into the show, too, in twenty-seventh. Riggs was, at one time, a top prospect in NASCAR, winning with regularity in the Nationwide Series with the NesQuik Ford. Years later, he's relegated to this, after a half-a**ed Evernham third car made him look worse than he was. Of course, I never liked Riggs much, so I guess I don't care. :lol:

The only guy going home? 19-year-old Timmy Hill, who still awaits his Sprint Cup debut.

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