A quick overview of notes from last week's races, a look into this week's races, and the current news of all three of NASCAR's premier divisions.
Camping World Truck Series
Todd Bodine took his Copart.com Germain Racing Toyota back to Victory Lane for the second time this season and the 17th of his CWTS career after a late race gamble on fuel paid off.
Estimated attendance: 49,000
There were five lead changes amongst five drivers.
The race was only slowed twice by the caution flag for a total of 10 laps.
Laps Reason Lucky Dog
42-46 #16 accident T2 #10 James Buescher
123-127 Debris #24 David Starr
If you like long green flag runs then this was the race for you as they had three total green flag runs of 41, 77 and 39 laps respectively.
Race No. 9 of 25(Michigan 200)
2008 winner: Erik Darnell
2008 pole: Mike Skinner
According to the entry list that was released today(June 11), there are 34 teams making the trip north, ergo no teams will be sent home after qualifying. Some notes from that list:
No. 4 J.R. Fitzpatrick is back with new sponsor Auto Owners Insurance
No. 15 Brian Ickler is back in the BBM Samsung Instinct Toyota
No. 33 Ron Hornaday will have a new sponsor on board, Turtle Wax
No. 84 Chris Fontaine returns to the BDH Construction Chevy
Teams will take the track Friday from 10:15-11:25 a.m. and 1:30-3:00 p.m. for practice and then qualify Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. before taking the green flag for 100 laps(200 miles) at 2:00 PM. SPEED will have coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Raybestos Rookie Report
After not only becoming the second rookie to capture the pole for TMS' spring event, Johnny Sauter led 42 laps en route to a sixth race finish and another rookie of the race award.
Malsam, second in rookie points, finished ninth and fell from being tied with Sauter to being four points behind Sauter in the current rundown(87-83)
1. Johnny Sauter 87
2. Tayler Malsam 83
3. James Buescher 73
4. Ricky Carmichael 54
5. J.R. Fitzpatrick 52
Driver Point Standings
After finishing second while Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday finished 10th and 19th respectively Matt Crafton has taken over the current driver standings with 17 races to go in the season.
1. Matt Crafton, 1202
2. Ron Hornaday Jr., 1172, (-30)
3. Mike Skinner, 1163, (-39)
4. Todd Bodine, 1136, (-66)
5. Brian Scott, 1067, (-135)
6. David Starr, 1049, (-153)
7. Johnny Benson Jr., 1047, (-155)
8. Chad McCumbee, 1040, (-162)
9. Terry Cook, 1023, (-179)
10. Rick Crawford, 1013, (-189)
Some CWTS News
Bad news-good news situation as it was announced that Red Horse Racing was closing the doors on the No. 1 CWTS team of driver Johnny Benson, currently seventh in the driver points.
While it's unfortunate to see the 2008 champion ride-less, there's good news for fans of Timothy Peters: Peters and his sponsor Strutmasters.com have joined Red Horse Racing for the rest of the season.
Andy Ponstein and the Corrie Stott Racing No. 02 will have Potencia Energy Drink back as a sponsr this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
The No. 02 also announced that 19-year-old Dillon Oliver will make his second CWTS start next week at Milwaukee.
Kyle Busch will be making start number two of four on the weekend in the Michigan 200 after a day of rest from the Rowdy Busch 125 at Berlin Speedway.
The Wednesday night event was won by Brian Campbell, Busch finished fifth.
It was announced today that AAA Insurance has been named the title sponsor of the upcoming CWTS race at O'Reilly Raceway Park. The length of the current contract is two years.
Sun Studio and Memphis Motorsports Park have announced that starting this summer with the MemphisTravel.com 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts on Saturday, June 27, the race's pole winner will receive a sleek, black Sun Studio acoustic guitar. The guitar will be awarded in two ceremonies on race day, at the NASCAR hauler after qualifying and on stage during driver introductions.
Kyle Busch won last week but you already knew that due to all the attention given to his post-race celebration. That's as far as I'm going on that in this article.
Estimated attendance: 30,000
The race saw the lead change hands 12 times amongst eight drivers.
The cars were slowed four times by the caution flag for 24 laps. The red flag was also displayed for 13 minutes during the final caution.
Laps Reason Lucky Dog
5-12 4 car accident T4 #96 Willie Allen
25-27 #15 accident frontstretch None
114-120 #26 accident T2 #47 Michael McDowell
126-131 5 car accident T4 #6 Erik Darnell
The race had two really good long green flag runs with the first going 87 laps and the final run going for 94 laps.
Race No. 14 of 25(Meijer 300)
2008 winner: Joey Logano
2008 pole: Joey Logano
According to the latest entry list 48 teams will be making the trip out to Kentucky meaning that five teams will have to make the disappointing trip home Saturday night after qualifying. Here are some notable entries:
No. 19 J C Stout returns to the series for his second start
No. 31 Travis Kittleson is back in the Rick Ware entry
No. 33 Kelly Bires takes the wheel of the Copart KHI entry this week
No. 72 Benny Gordon was a late entry to the race
No. 81 will be piloted by Bobby Hamliton Jr.
No. 91 Jeff Green is in for MSRP Motorsports
Teams will take the track for two and a half hours of total practice Friday afternoon from 5 to 8 p.m. before qualifying a day later at 5:10 PM for the 200 lap race scheduled to go green at 8:30 PM. Television coverage will begin at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
Eighteen drivers will compete with each other for the 13 open spots during Saturday evening's qualifying session.
Those teams are:
No. 0 Mark Green, No. 05 Casey Atwood, No. 09 John Wes Townley, No. 19 J C Stout, No. 31 Travis Kittleson, No. 40 Scott Wimmer, No. 41 Stanton Barrett, No. 42 Kenny Hendrick, No. 49 Kertus Davis, No. 52 Kevin Lepage, No. 58 Chris Horn, No. 70 Shelby Howard, No. 72 Benny Gordon, No. 73 Derrike Cope, No. 89 Morgan Sheperd, No. 90 Johnny Chapman, No. 91 Jeff Green, No. 96 Dennis Setzer
Raybestos Rookie Report
Justin Allgaier was able to take sole possession of the rookie points lead after finishing 13th while now second place Brendan Gaughan finished 24th. Allgaier, however, was not the rookie of the race as that distinction went to eighth place finisher Michael McDowell.
1. Justin Allgaier, 132
2. Brendan Gaughan, 131, (-1)
3. Michael McDowell, 127, (-5)
4. Scott Lagasse Jr., 117, (-15)
5. Michael Annett, 94, (-38)
Driver Point Standings
After taking home the victory Kyle Busch added a few points to his lead over second place Carl Edwards who finished third. Nationwide regulars Leffler and Keselowski are still in contention for this championship after finishing fifth and second respectively.
1. Kyle Busch, 2031
2. Carl Edwards, 1966, (-65)
3. Jason Leffler, 1843, (-188)
4. Brad Keselowski, 1838, (-193)
5. Joey Logano, 1670, (-361)
6. Mike Bliss, 1520, (-511)
7. Jason Keller, 1519, (-512)
8. Justin Allgaier, 1468, (-563)
9. Michael McDowell, 1465, (-566)
10. Brendan Gaughan, 1455, (-576)
In the adjusted Nationwide-only standings Leffler takes over the lead and two Wallaces and a Lagasse join the top 10.
1. Jason Leffler, 1843
2. Brad Keselowski, 1838, (-5)
3. Mike Bliss, 1520, (-323)
4. Jason Keller, 1519, (-324)
5. Justin Allgaier, 1468, (-375)
6. Michael McDowell, 1465, (-378)
7. Brendan Gaughan, 1455, (-388)
8. Steve Wallace, 1422, (-421)
9. Scott Lagasse Jr., 1374, (-469)
10. Kenny Wallace, 1322, (-521)
Some Nationwide Series News
Richard Petty Motorsports recently announced a partnership with Nationwide series team Braun Racing for five races this season. Kasey Kahne will run four events starting with the July 3 race at Daytona. Elliott Sadler will run in the July 27 race at New Hampshire.
Kenny Wallace is putting his fans first in a unique way. Wallace will be driving a car for the August 30th race at Montreal with sponsorship from his best friends, his fans. For $20 per name, fans can have their name on the #28 Chevy for the road course event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The car will carry a special scheme designed by Wallace himself. Each "sponsor" will receive an autographed picture of the car after the race. Fans have until July 31st to sign up at kennywallace.com/sponsorkenny.
Westerman Companies which has been a long-time sponsor of Key Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make their first-ever appearance as primary sponsor of a Nationwide Series car with Key Motorsports and the No. 40 of Scott Wimmer.
Sun Drop has added to their sponsorship of the No. 01 of JD Motorsports and will be on Danny O'Quinn Jr.'s entry at Kentucky. It will be the third race in four weeks Sun Drop has been the primary sponsor of the 01.
Kyle Busch will be having his Kyle Busch Foundation joining NOS Energy Drink aboard his No. 18 entry for the Kentucky Nationwide race.
Sprint Cup Series
It was arguably the one of the most exciting race of the season for numerous reasons.
First, it was our first look at double-file restarts and the new lucky dog policies. Unfortunately, there were not many cautions in the race.
Also, we saw a fuel mileage gamble race that came down to the very end and wound up with Tony Stewart claiming the first win for an owner/driver in almost 11 years.
There were 22 lead changes among 12 different drivers.
The race was slowed 5 times by caution for 20 laps.
Laps Reason Lucky Dog
3-4 #11 stopped None
14-16 #11 stopped None
105-108 Debris #96 Bobby Labonte
114-117 Debris #19 Elliott Sadler
159-165 Debris/slight rain #55 Michael Waltrip
The longest green flag run of the race was 99 laps between the second and third caution flags.
Race No. 15 of 36(Lifelock 400)
2008 winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2008 pole: Kyle Busch(was set by points)
There are 44 entries on this weekend's entry list meaning only one team will be forced to sit out. If qualifying is once again rained out it will be the No. 13 of Max Papis going home. Some notes from the entry list:
No. 13 Max Papis returns after taking last weekend off
No. 21 Bill Elliott will return with the Wood Bros.
No. 36 Patrick Carpentier gets his second turn in the Tommy Baldwin entry
Cup teams will have one practice session Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. before qualifying live on SPEED at 3:00 p.m. There will then be two practice sessions Saturday from 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. and 12:20 - 1:20 p.m. before the green flag drops Sunday at approx. 2:16 p.m.
Fight for the Top 35
Last week Scott Speed chipped nine more points off John Andretti's lead for the 35th and final locked-in position and brought the margin down to 41 points. Speed only has to beat one driver this weekend to get himself into the race.
Raybestos Rookie Report
Joey Logano took home his 11th rookie of the race honor by virtue of his 23rd place finish last week at Pocono. Scott Speed finished 32nd and fellow rookie Dexter Bean ended his Cup debut with a 36th place finish, four laps down to the leader. Logano now has a 17 point advantage over Speed in the Rookie of the Year rundown.
Driver Point Standings
After winning his first points paying race of the season, Stewart adds a bit to his current lead and locks in 10 bonus points for the Chase. Mark Martin currently sits one point behind 12th place Hamlin for the last Chase qualifying position.
1. Tony Stewart, 2043
2. Jeff Gordon, 1972, (-71)
3. Jimmie Johnson, 1940, (-103)
4. Ryan Newman, 1840, (-203)
5. Kurt Busch, 1819, (-224)
6. Carl Edwards, 1762, (-281)
7. Greg Biffle, 1753, (-290)
8. Matt Kenseth, 1745, (-298)
9. Kyle Busch, 1731, (-312)
10. Jeff Burton, 1725, (47 ahead of 13th)
11. David Reutimann, 1701, (23 ahead of 13th)
12. Denny Hamlin, 1679, (1 ahead of 13th)
13. Mark Martin, 1678, (-1)
14. Kasey Kahne, 1619, (-59)
15. Juan Pablo Montoya, 1617, (-61)
16. Clint Bowyer, 1576, (-103)
17. Brian Vickers, 1536, (-143)
18. Marcos Ambrose, 1469, (-210)
19. Martin Truex Jr., 1447, (-232)
20. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1434, (-245)
Some Sprint Cup News
Drivers Logano, Reutimann, Ragan, and Papis completed a two-day test session at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Wednesday at the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. The drivers took laps in late-model stock cars that were supplied by Pioneer Motorsports out of Northern California. Logano and Boris Said will also compete in the Camping World West Series Race at Infineon as well as the Cup race.
Speaking of Said, he will be making his first Cup start of the 2009 season in the EM Motorsports No. 08 Ford owned by Georgia businessman John Carter.
Brian Vickers and Red Bull Racing have agreed to a multiyear contract to keep Vickers in the #83 Toyota, sources confirmed Wednesday.
While terms of the deal have not been disclosed an official announcement is expected later this week.
Michael Waltrip Racing announced that they will place Patrick Carpentier in the No. 55 NAPA Toyota for the road course races at Infineon and Watkins Glen as a substitute for owner/driver Michael Waltrip.
Kasey Kahne was one of many drivers turning laps on Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway in prepareation for the August debut of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at the half-mile short track. Kahne took laps in the #96 Troyer house car and was eighth fastest on the charts with a speed of 15.371.
Talk is that Kahne will drive the car in the race in August.
Sad news as Richard Petty Motorsports has laid off nine of their employees and reduced salaries throughout the organization as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy filing. Team co-owner Richard Petty has stated that the bankruptcy slowed the money flow from the Dodge organization over the past few weeks.