Page 2 for the week of 03-17-2014

The First Reid: Justice Served In Edwards Win At Bristol

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

The right guy won the race—suggesting once again that there really is a sense of cosmic balance in the universe.

Carl Edwards was three laps away from a hard-earned victory in Sunday night’s rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, but caution lights that appeared to have a mind of their own had other ideas.

After Edwards crossed the start/finish line to begin Lap 498, the bank of caution lights illuminated for no apparent reason. NASCAR officials said after the race that the flagman had brushed against an override switch in the closing laps.

What quickly became a full-course caution set up a potential green-white-checkered-flag finish. But Mother Nature intervened, soaking the track with a downpour that began before the race could be restarted, and Edwards took the checkered flag under yellow.

Mercifully, Edwards didn’t have to sweat out a two-lap dash against two hungry drivers, each seeking his first career win. Ultimately, both race runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Edwards’ teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, and third-place finisher Aric Almirola posted career-best results, though neither got a final shot at a breakthrough victory.

But that’s as it should be. Gambling he could keep the lead on old tires, Edwards had driven away to a lead of more than two seconds over Stenhouse (also on old rubber) before the mysterious caution slowed the race.

Moments later, a deluge determined there would be no attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Edwards had the win, and justice was served.


After driving several laps with no power steering at Bristol Motor Speedway, Joey Logano’s press photo has been updated.

•      The #23 of Alex Bowman caused an incident early when his car shed its battery in the middle of the track, sending streams of toilet-paper-like material over the track. Now needing batteries and toilet paper, Bowman probably has a trip to Walmart in his future.

•      Sunday’s race proved to be good double-duty practice for Kurt Busch. Between the race and traveling to and from motorcoach lot during rain delays, pretty certain he logged 1,100 total miles.

•      Starting now, black cats consider it bad luck when Martin Truex Jr. crosses their path.

•If the two rain showers weren’t enough proof that Mother Nature is angry at NASCAR, she also dropped the temperature to below freezing on Friday – after teams had purchased new cooling units for qualifying. WE GET IT – YOU LIKE FOOTBALL.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own – but chances are you already knew that.)

NASCAR Numbers
By Reid Spencer

1: The number of drivers who have posted top-two finishes in the first four races of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell short in his bid to join the only member of that exclusive club, Richard Petty, after finishing 24th Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in an ill-handling car.

3: The number of drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who have made the cut to the final 12 in the first three sessions of knockout qualifying. Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano share that distinction with reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson.

34: After Sunday’s win by Carl Edwards, the number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories recorded by Ford drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway, where Blue Ovals swept the top three spots. Fords have also been to Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway 35 times in the top series.

5: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories posted by Jimmie Johnson at Auto Club Speedway, a track record. Johnson got his first career win at Fontana in the 10th race of his 2002 rookie season. After that, the deluge, as Johnson has claimed 66 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and six series championships all told.

9: The number of California natives expected to appear on the entry list for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif. They are: Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon), Jeff Gordon (Vallejo), AJ Allmendinger (Los Gatos), Kyle Larson (Elk Grove), Casey Mears (Bakersfield), David Gilliland (Riverside), Cole Whitt (Alpine), Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield), Josh Wise (Riverside).


Last year’s Auto Club winner Kyle Busch needs just 67 laps led this weekend at Auto Club – a feat he’s accomplished five times at the two-mile track – to become the 15th driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to log 10,000 laps at the point. … The new TUDOR SportsCar Championship lead Prototype class provided the most competitive racing ever seen in the Twelve Hours of Sebring with nine cars finishing on the lead lap (previous record: three). … Chip Ganassi Racing became the first organization to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Daytona 500 and Indy 500. … Porsche’s first North American factory team has proven to be an early success with its Porsche 911 RSR completing the historic Daytona-Sebring double in the GT Le Mans class.  … The innovative DeltaWing DWC13 led its first laps ever at Sebring Raceway with Andy Meyrick out front for 13 laps in the early stages of the race. … The TUDOR Championship’s next race is at Long Beach on April 12. Due to limited pit and paddock space at the street circuit only the lead Prototype and GT Le Mans classes will compete.

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.

2014 Winners
Pos  Driver                 Wins
1.      Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1
2.      Kevin Harvick        1
3.      Brad Keselowski   1
4.      Carl Edwards          1

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Pos        Driver                Points
1             Brad Keselowski             163
2             Dale Earnhardt Jr.           153
3             Carl Edwards                    152
4             Jeff Gordon                        152
5             Jimmie Johnson               143
6             Joey Logano                      141
7             Denny Hamlin                  140
8             Matt Kenseth                     138
9             Ryan Newman                 125
10           Ricky Stenhouse Jr.        122
11           Kasey Kahne                      120
12           Greg Biffle                          118
13           Austin Dillon # 117
14           Kyle Busch                         111
15           Marcos Ambrose             108
16           Jamie McMurray             100

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Pos        Driver                Points
1            Regan Smith                      151
2            Trevor Bayne                   150
3            Ty Dillon #                         143
4            Chase Elliott #                  138
5            Elliott Sadler                     135
6            Brendan Gaughan           131
7            Brian Scott                         127
8            James Buescher               117
9            Dylan Kwasniewski #   116
10          Landon Cassill                  105

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Pos        Driver                                 Points
1             Timothy Peters               43
2             Johnny Sauter                   41
3             Ron Hornaday Jr.            39
4             Ryan Blaney                      38
5             Jeb Burton                         37
6             Joe Nemechek                  36
7             Jimmy Weller III             35
8             German Quiroga              34
9             Ryan Sieg                            33
10           Tyler Reddick                   32

Tweets Of The Week

Trevor Bayne

I vote we build a bunch of Bristols all across the country… Best racing all year. #actioneverywhere

Clint Bowyer

Not the day/night we wanted but live to see another day. Proud of the fans for sticking with us. You definitely win the hard charger award!!

TJ Bell
Any race at night is awesome but this race is at a whole new level. They are standing on the loud pedal.

Jeff Burton‏

Don’t let the caution light deal ruin a great race. The results ended as they should have. Really fun race to watch!

Kenny Wallace

Our family was worried about Carl Edwards slipping on the WET concrete during his back flip all of us were like NOOOOOO!

Andy Lally


BMWUSA Motorsports

It has been said that the 12 hrs of Sebring are tougher than the 24hrs of Daytona…we believe it tonight

Flying Lizard Motorsport

.@SpencerPumpelly frustrated with the slow car ahead of him. “Permission to hit him?” Team: “let’s don’t.” Spencer: “how about a love tap?”

Marino Franchitti
Sebring 12hr winners! Wow, still hasn’t sunk in, thank you @BigMachine @CGRTeams, @scottpruett01 & @MemoRojas15 Incredible!!

This Week

The Race:
Auto Club 400

The Place:
Auto Club Speedway

The Date/Time:
Sunday, March 23, 3 p.m.  ET


Radio: MRN,
Sirius XM Ch. 90

The Race: 300

The Place:
Auto Club Speedway

The Date/Time:
Saturday, March 22,
5 p.m. ET


Radio: MRN,
Sirius XM Channel 90

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, Week of March 17-23

Monday, March 17 
4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
4:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Greatest Finishes,
NBC Sports Network
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2
2:30 a.m. (Tue.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2

Tuesday, March 18
Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
2 p.m., 1 on 1: Jimmie Johnson (re-air), FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2
3 a.m. (Wed.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2

Wednesday, March 9
Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
1 p.m., Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Sebring, FOX Sports 1
4:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Legendary Drivers,
NBC Sports Network
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2
2 a.m. (Thu.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2

Thursday, March 20
Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Friday, March 21       
Noon, NSCS Race at Bristol (re-air), FOX Sports 1
3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice,
FOX Sports 1
4:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, FOX Sports 1
5:30 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1
6 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, FOX Sports 1
7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
9 p.m., The Day: Daytona Primetime (re-air), FOX Sports 1

Saturday, Mar. 22
11:30 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Bristol, FOX Sports 1
12:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice, FOX Sports 1
1:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
3 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1
3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Final Practice, FOX Sports 1
4:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Countdown, ESPN
5 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Auto Club Speedway, ESPN
2 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Auto Club Speedway (re-air), ESPN2
4 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Auto Club Speedway, ESPN Deportes

Sunday, Mar. 23
1:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1
2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show, FOX
3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Auto Club Speedway, FOX
3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Auto Club Speedway, FOX Deportes
7:30 p.m., Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Sebring (re-air), FOX Sports 2
Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.