Racin' with Russ - By the time NASCAR Sprint Cup teams were packing up to leave Texas Motor Speedway late Saturday night, team owner/founder Jack Roush was smacking his lips in approval after both of his cars swept the Cup and Nationwide shows.
Friday night's action saw Carl Edwards storm away to his 30th checkers in Nationwide competition and scored Ford’s very first NASCAR win in a Mustang. Matt Kenseth followed up with a very strong No. 17 Ford Fusion from beginning to end to score his first win in 76 races on Saturday night Cup action.
Obviously, the new Ford F9 racing engines are finally coming into their own with these latest triumphs; five of the top 10 finishers were piloting Ford products.
The Sprint Cup race started with Ford driver David Ragan out front and teammate Edwards alongside. It didn’t take long for Kenseth to get out front and lead most of the laps with Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer among 13 drivers who took turns out front, but Kenseth surely had the strong horse on the day.
Most of the race found the field well spread out, with the Fords out front and the fans trying to stay awake. The only significant wreck saw Kevin Harvick tap Martin Truex Jr., who bounced off the outside wall right into the path of hapless drivers Mark Martin and Ragan Smith, all of whom left the race with destroyed race cars.
At the stripe, it was Kenseth several seconds ahead of Bowyer, Edwards, Biffle and Paul Menard.
The latest results finds Edwards on top, but just by nine over Kyle Busch and 13 over Kenseth.
Carl Edwards was a man on a mission, with a fast Ford Mustang taking the pole position and a convincing win on Friday night in Texas.
The only driver close in performance was Kyle Busch, but Tim Shendel’s right front flat tire ended Busch’s day in the fence while closely pursuing Edwards.
Wrapping up the top five in this one were a late hard-charging Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Joey Logano and Elliott Sadler.
Series regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads Jason Leffler by 14 points in the big picture.
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Across the pond in Malaysia, Sebastien Vettel stomped away from the field to win his second consecutive Formula One race in his Red Bull racer. Jenson Button was second, with Nick Heidfeld holding off Mark Webber for third.
Closer to home in Alabama, the Indy cars competed at Barber Motorsports Park where Will Power dominated the entire weekend of practice, qualifying and race stats, including his first win this year.
The drivers performed much better with the controversial double-wide starts, with only minor incidents. Scott Dixon wound up runner-up with Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti and Oriol Servia capping the top five.
Danica Patrick started and finished deep in the pack, adding a 17th-place finish while "Miss Swiss" Simona de Silvestro earned a ninth despite an early-race problem that nearly took her out of the race. Patrick now sits 16th in points, while de Silvestro is tied with Scott Dixon in fourth.
Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was admitted to a hospital after finishing 17th at the Texas Motor Speedway with an unknown bug bite, that being a spider or tick. We’ll keep an eye on the situation.
Ex-F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen tested at two NASCAR tracks last week in order to prepare for his upcoming debut at Charlotte in a Camping World truck owned by Kyle Busch.
Kimi’s times were reportedly right next to veteran racer Busch. Can’t wait to see how this situation will flourish...or not. I feel sure it will be entertaining, no matter what.
Next week’s RWR will review the action from Texas, where the Sprint Cups and Nationwide teams will compete, along with more racing news from around the globe.