Page 2 for the week of 07-07-2014

The First Reid:  Plate Racing Levels Playing Field, But Almirola Deserved Win

By Reid Spencer,NASCAR Wire Service

Anyone who doubts that restrictor-plate racing tends to level the playing field in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series needs only to look at the race report for Sunday’s rain-delayed Coke Zero 400.

The drivers who populated the top 10 when the race was called weren’t exactly the usual suspects.

Fourth-place finisher Casey Mears and fifth-place Austin Dillon both recorded the first top fives and second top 10s of the season. Both drivers got the only other top 10s of the year in the Daytona 500.

Seventh-place finisher Michael McDowell cracked the top 10 for the first time this season. Eight-place Danica Patrick adroitly dodged two major wrecks and collected her second top 10 of the season.

And, of course, Aric Almirola won the first Sprint Cup race of his career.

Just because Almirola triumphed on a plate track, however, doesn’t mean we should dismiss his victory as another random spin of the Wheel of Fortune.

Almirola had to have a car with enough speed to run up front. His No. 43 Ford also had to handle and turn through the corners on a track made slicker by daytime racing, thanks to the postponement from the night before.

And Almirola had to make the right choices in the draft, when everyone knew that an approaching storm could end the race short of its scheduled distance.

In other words, just because plate racing adds more drivers to the mix, that doesn’t mean the winner doesn’t earn the victory.

Almirola certainly did.

NASCAR NUMBER

545: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races between the two most recent victories for the No. 43. John Andretti took the Petty Enterprises car to Victory Lane at Martinsville in April 1999, more than 15 years before Aric Almirola put the vaunted car number back in the winner’s circle at Daytona.

192: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories collected by Richard Petty in the no. 43. Though Petty won his first race at Charlotte (1960) and his last race at Daytona (1984) in the number he made famous, he also had six victories in the No. 41 and two in the No. 42 to total 200.

3: The number of top 10s scored by rookie Kyle Larson at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks that will host return visits from the series before the Chase starts. Larson was 10th at Bristol, fifth at Pocono and eighth at Michigan in his first visits to those venues. At Richmond, he finished 15th—but won the pole.

6: Of the previous seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the number of drivers still seeking a first victory this season. This list includes Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth. Denny Hamlin is the one exception.

12: The number of consecutive different winners in the last 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Variety indeed is the spice of life at the Magic Mile, where Kurt Busch started the streak in 2008 and Matt Kenseth kept it going last September.

NASCAR ETC

As mentioned above, an astounding rarity has developed at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. There have been 12 different winners in the last 12 races. There’s a very good chance we’ll see a 13th different, looking at who isn’t part of the streak. That list includes 2014 winners Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards. … Aric Almirola, you may have heard, won in the iconic No. 43 car. Some No. 43 nuggets of note: Almirola was the 43rd driver to drive the famed No. 43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. …Prior to Sunday’s win, the last time the No. 43 car visited Victory Lane at Daytona was 7/4/1984 with NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty behind the wheel. … The last time the No. 43 car won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was at Martinsville Speedway (4/18/1999) with driver John Andretti. … The win was the No. 43 car’s 199th win (second-most all-time) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. … It was the No. 43 car’s 11th points-paying win at Daytona among two drivers – Richard Petty (10 wins) and Aric Almirola (1 win). … Almirola was the sixth driver to win in the No. 43, joining Richard Petty, Bobby Hamilton, Jim Paschal, John Andretti and Lee Petty.

@nascarcasm

Aric Almirola’s victory-lane celebration…

Aric Almirola’s victory-lane celebration…

It may have been shortened by rain, but a win is a win. You, Aric Almirola, are in the Chase, and NO ONE can take that away from you. OK, just spoke with Martin Truex Jr. – MAYBE that’s not entirely true, but…

When the “Daytona Rising” project started at Daytona International Speedway, we admit that we didn’t know the “Rising” referred to the level of Lake Lloyd.

Based on Sunday’s carnage, if you live around Dale Earnhardt Jr., expect him to knock on your door and offer you good money for your property for the upcoming car-graveyard annex.

The race featured two massive wrecks, which involved…know what, how about we list off the cars that WEREN’T involved – that’ll be quicker…

(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, July 7-13


Monday, July 7

4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (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 (re-air), FOX Sports 2

8 p.m., Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Watkins Glen (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Tuesday, July 8

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

5:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Iconic Cars, NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

7:30 p.m., 100,000 Cameras: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (re-air), FOX Sports 2

8 p.m., The 600: History of NASCAR’s Toughest Race (re-air), FOX Sports 2

9 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Sonoma (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Wednesday, July 9

6 a.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

2:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Greatest Finishes, NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

5:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Rookie Seasons, NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Thursday, July 10

2:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Legendary Drivers (re-air), NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Midnight (Fri.), NASCAR Race Hub Special (re-air), FOX Sports 2

1 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Sonoma (re-air), FOX Sports 2

2 a.m. (Fri.), Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Watkins Glen (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Friday, July 11

11 a.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1

11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1

1 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, FOX Sports 1

2 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1

3 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 1

4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

7 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying (same day delay), FOX Sports 1

8 p.m., NCWTS SetUp, FOX Sports 1

8:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Iowa, FOX Sports 1

3 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1

4:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1

Saturday, July 12

6 a.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 2

6:30 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

7:30 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

9 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1

10 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 1

2:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

3 p.m., NNS Countdown, ESPN2

3:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at New Hampshire, ESPN2

6:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Fights & Feuds (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Iowa (re-air), FOX Sports 2

10 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub Special (re-air), FOX Sports 2

3 a.m., (Sun.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1

4 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1

5 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub Special (re-air), FOX Sports 1

5 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at New Hampshire (re-air), ESPN2

Sunday, July 13

6 a.m., 100,000 Cameras: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (re-air), FOX Sports 2

6:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 2

8 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

9 a.m., 100,000 Cameras: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (re-air), FOX Sports 1

9:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1

11 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1

Noon, NSCS Countdown to Green, TNT

1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at New Hampshire, TNT

2 p.m., TUDOR United SportsCar Championshp Race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, FOX Sports 1

5:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

1 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Iowa (re-air), FOX Sports 2

This Week

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

The Next Race:Camping World RV Sales 301

The Place:New Hampshire Motor Speedway

The Date/Time: Sunday, July 13, 1 p.m. (ET)

TV: TNT

Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

The Next Race:Sta-Green 200

The Place:New Hampshire Motor Speedway

The Date/Time:Saturday, July 12, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

The Next Race:American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen

The Place:Iowa Speedway

Date/Time:Friday, July 11, 8:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: FOX Sports 1

Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

 

NASCAR National Series Standings

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.

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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                   2

7.      Kyle Busch               1

8.      Kurt Busch               1

9       Denny Hamlin        1

10.    Jeff Gordon              1

11.    Aric Almirola          1

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Pos     Driver                     Points

1       Jeff Gordon             651

2       Dale Earnhardt Jr.                624

3       Jimmie Johnson    596

4       Brad Keselowski  586

5       Matt Kenseth          580

6       Joey Logano           546

7       Carl Edwards         543

8       Ryan Newman      534

9       Kyle Busch                              524

10     Paul Menard           516

11     Kevin Harvick       514

12     Clint Bowyer          509

13     Austin Dillon #      494

14     Denny Hamlin       493

15     Greg Biffle                               490

16     Brian Vickers         484

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos        Driver                 Points

1     Regan Smith                             577

2     Elliott Sadler                            565

3     Chase Elliott #         562

4     Ty Dillon #                                545

5     Brian Scott                                523

6     Trevor Bayne          518

7     Brendan Gaughan  465

8     James Buescher      448

9     Chris Buescher #    446

10   Ryan Reed #                             423

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Pos        Driver                      Points

1       Johnny Sauter        297

2       Matt Crafton           289

3       Timothy Peters    286

4       Ryan Blaney           285

5       Ron Hornaday Jr. 284

6       German Quiroga   272

7       Ben Kennedy #      263

8       Darrell Wallace Jr.               261

9       John Wes Townley              257

10     Joey Coulter           242

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