Page 2 for the week of 06-23-2014

The First Reid:  Edwards Flips Out Over Road Course Win, With Good Reason

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

Welcome to the club, Carl.

To a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who hasn’t won on a road course, that hole in the resume is almost as gaping as the absence of a championship.

Remember how elated Jimmie Johnson was when he won at Sonoma in 2010? Ditto for Carl Edwards on Sunday afternoon.

Because a victory at a road course adds to the full measure of a “complete” driver, it’s a highly coveted trophy.

Here’s the way drivers think about it, using one of Brad Keselowski’s favorite analogies. Asking a driver to win on a restrictor-plate track, and intermediate downforce speedway, a short track and a road course is akin to asking Peyton Manning to play quarterback, running back, tight end and wide receiver on successive weekends.

For a driver, the skill sets are different, too, and never more different than they are between an oval and a road course.

That’s why Edwards was so thrilled that 10 years of hard work on road courses had finally paid off. That’s why keeping road course ace Jeff Gordon behind him in the closing laps enhanced his level of satisfaction exponentially.

Admittedly, the membership of the once-exclusive club has grown significantly in recent years, as more drivers have stressed road course performance. But as Edwards will tell you, it’s far better to have a road course victory among your list of accomplishments than to go through a career feeling your resume is somehow incomplete.

NASCAR NUMBER

10: The number of consecutive different winners in the last 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Sonoma Raceway. That’s a clear indication of just how far the competitive level of road course racing within the series has come over the last decade.

5: The number of runner-up finishes posted by Jeff Gordon at Sonoma, equaling his number of wins. Gordon’s last victory at the 1.99-mile road course came in 2006. He has finished second in three of the last four races there.

5: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers with multiple wins this season and hence guaranteed to be among the top 16 winners. With his second victory of the season on Sunday, Carl Edwards added his name to a list that already includes Jimmie Johnson (3 wins), Kevin Harvick (2), Joey Logano (2) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2).

9.3: Marcos Ambrose’s average finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway. Admittedly, it’s a small sample size (3 races), but the premier road course racer has a better average finish at Kentucky than he does at Watkins Glen (11.2), where he has won twice in six starts..

264: Laps led by Kyle Busch in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. The good news? Busch was out front for 81 circuits at Dover to top the 10,000 career laps led mark. The bad news? At his current pace, Busch will lead the fewest laps since his second full season in Cup racing (571 in 2006).

NASCAR Notes

Ten to Go: With 10 races at 10 different tracks standing between here and the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. A wide array awaits: 1.5 milers like this Saturday night’s race at Kentucky; a restrictor plate track (Daytona); a triangle (Pocono); a road course (Watkins Glen); a short track (Bristol); one of the most historic sporting venues in the world (Indianapolis) — and more. … Edwards Locked Into Top Winners List:

Edwards, throughout his career, has been a maestro at the big, fast race tracks. If it measured 1.5 or 2 miles, you’d often find him Victory Lane. So it made perfect sense that he locked up a spot among the top 16 winners with a victory at a road course – such is this fascinatingly unpredictable NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Edwards now needs only to finish in the top 30 in points after race No. 26 and attempt to qualify for each race to officially clinch a Chase spot. … One To Go For Gordon: Jeff Gordon’s prolific career is filled has one hole – Kentucky Speedway. And it’s an understandable hole. After all, the series has only raced there three times. Still, it remains the only track on the current schedule where Gordon has yet to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. If he wins on Saturday night, he’ll be the first driver in NASCAR history to win at every track on that respective year’s schedule.

@nascarcasm

Someone at Stewart-Haas Racing monitors this special gauge every race. Sunday it was pegged to the right.

Someone at Stewart-Haas Racing monitors this special gauge every race. Sunday it was pegged to the right.

“Road-Course Ringer” – (noun) Temporary driver brought in by a team owner to win road-course race, but leaves shortly thereafter. So technically, Carl Edwards = “road-course ringer.”

Kyle Busch finishes 25th. Denny Hamlin finishes 26th. Matt Kenseth gets viciously wrecked and finishes 42nd. But Carl Edwards won, so overall not a bad day for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Anyone who said “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Is going to finish in the top 3” would probably receive a snide, dismissive “Go home, you’re drunk.” Which in wine country isn’t necessarily outside the realm of possibility but still…

It’s been well documented that Hendrick engines seem to have much more speed than the others. But Tony Stewart should probably stop demonstrating this on pit road.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own – but chances are you have probably figured that out by now.)

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, June 23-29

Monday, June 23

4 p.m., Kurt Busch 36 (re-air), NBC Sports Network
5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Tuesday, June 24
5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2
 
Wednesday, June 25                                                          
4:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Greatest Finishes (re-air), NBC Sports Network
5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2
7:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FOX Sports 2

Thursday, June 26
4:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, FOX Sports 1
7:30 p.m., NCWTS SetUp, FOX Sports 1
8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky, FOX Sports 1
3 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), FOX Sports 1

Friday, June 27                                            
9 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice,FOX Sports 1
10:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice,FOX Sports 1
Noon, NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Langley,FOX Sports 1
1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice,FOX Sports 1
2:30 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1
3:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
5:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
7 p.m., NNS Countdown, ESPN
7:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Kentucky, ESPN
3 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1
3 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), ESPN2
4:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1
Saturday, June 28
10:30 a.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 1
11 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), FOX Sports 1
1 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1
4 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 2
5:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 2
6:30 p.m., NSCS Countdown to Green, TNT
7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Kentucky, TNT
3 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1
3:30 a.m. (Sun.), Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 1
 
Sunday, June 29
9 a.m., 100,000 Cameras: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (re-air), FOX Sports 1
9:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1
10 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Langley (re-air), FOX Sports 1
11 a.m., TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Race at Watkins Glen, FOX Sports
6 p.m., Kurt Busch 36, NBC Sports Network
This Week

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
The Next Race:Quaker State 400
The Place: Kentucky Speedway
The Date/Time: Saturday, June 28, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: TNT
Radio: PRN,Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
The Next Race: John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
The Place: Kentucky Speedway
The Date/Time:Friday, June 27, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN
Radio: PRN,Sirius XM Channel 90
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
The Next Race:UNOH 225
The Place:Kentucky Speedway
Date/Time:Thursday, June 26, 8 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: MRN,Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR National Series Standings

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This year, wins matter more than in any season in the 65-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Essentially, a win locks a driver into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

2014 Winners

Pos  Driver                 Wins
1.      Jimmie Johnson                     3
2.      Kevin Harvick        2
3.      Joey Logano            2
4.      Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2
5.      Carl Edwards          2
6.      Brad Keselowski                   1
7.      Kyle Busch               1
8.      Kurt Busch               1
9       Denny Hamlin        1
10.    Jeff Gordon              1

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Pos     Driver                     Points

1       Jeff Gordon             580
2       Jimmie Johnson    560
3       Dale Earnhardt Jr.         555
4       Matt Kenseth          515
5       Brad Keselowski  512
6       Carl Edwards         509
7       Joey Logano           483
8       Ryan Newman      473
9       Kevin Harvick       472
10     Kyle Larson #        470
11     Kyle Busch            465
12     Paul Menard           459
13     Denny Hamlin       453
14     Clint Bowyer          452
15     Greg Biffle            444
16     Kasey Kahne           429

 
NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos        Driver                 Points
1     Regan Smith            516
2     Elliott Sadler          506
3     Chase Elliott #         505
4     Ty Dillon #                475
5     Brian Scott               458
6     Trevor Bayne          453
7     Brendan Gaughan  410
8     Chris Buescher #    388
9     James Buescher #  388
10   Landon Cassill         368

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Pos        Driver                      Points
1       Johnny Sauter         261
2       Matt Crafton            251
3       Ron Hornaday Jr.  248
4       Timothy Peters     246
5       Ryan Blaney            244
6       German Quiroga    243
7       John Wes Townley               234
8       Ben Kennedy#        229
9       Darrell Wallace Jr.                218
10     Jeb Burton                                211

 

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