Monday, September 1, 2014

Scorching Night in Atlanta Gives Kahne His Ticket to the Chase

Kasey Kahne takes home win in Atlanta and secures Chase spot.
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs  

Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway proved to be fast, furious and fraught with emotion as drivers scrambled for position and points. One of just two races remaining before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, the 500-mile race was a critical one as the momentum of the regular season comes to a close.

Kasey Kahne came away victorious, scoring his only Cup win this season and securing a spot in the Chase.

Despite an uncertain 2014 to date, winning at Atlanta is nothing new for Kahne, who marked his third victory in 18 career Cup starts at the speedway. As the race wound down, Kahne led Kevin Harvick until a skirmish between Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. brought out a caution with two to go, and Kahne lost several positions on pit road. The first attempt at a G-W-C restart ended with a wreck that took Harvick out of contention after he dominated much of the race. Thanks to a solid pit strategy with four new tires, Kahne snatched the lead from Kenseth on the final G-W-C restart, and took the checkers.

It’s been a frustrating season for Kahne so far. He's watched teammates Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. stand in Victory Lane multiple times while he’s dealt with a streak of errors, close calls and bad luck.

"It's been tough and we have had kind of a downer year at times and then we started running really good," Kahne said. "Last week we were really fast at Bristol and then we had a problem. So it's been kind of one thing after the other, but we are in the Chase with my teammates."

Polesitter Harvick, who led seven times for a race-high 195 laps, had a rather squirrely night. At one point a small animal -- which Harvick radioed his team was a cat -- darted in front of his car, barely making it to the safety of the infield. Shortly afterward, an incident between Joey Logano and Paul Menard caused damage to Harvick’s No. 4 car, and he wound up finishing 19th.

The cat, confirmed by NASCAR to actually be a squirrel, was later spotted hiding near Turn 3.

In his first Sprint Cup race in four weeks since an August 9 fatal sprint-car incident unaffiliated with NASCAR, Tony Stewart’s big return was met with thunderous applause and cheering during driver introductions. But his night ended early after he hit the wall and lost a tire on Lap 172. On top of damage sustained in an earlier entanglement with Kyle Busch, the No. 14 car proved to be beyond repair.

With Kahne’s win, all four Hendrick drivers now quality for the Cup Chase. Kenseth finished second and will make the Chase based on points. Other notables included Denny Hamlin, who finished third, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards, fourth and fifth respectively, and Danica Patrick in sixth -- her best career Sprint Cup finish.

The Race to the Chase ends next weekend at the last regular season race at Richmond International Speedway. Additional drivers who qualify for the Chase include AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Edwards, Gordon, Harvick, Hamlin, Johnson, Brad Keslowski and Logano. Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman are on the bubble and can still qualify for the Chase based on points or a win.

In 2015, the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway moves to the second race, much earlier in the season.

Click here for final race results. 

Travel Tips: Richmond International Raceway – Sept. 5-6, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
The place to be for drama this weekend, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5-6, is Richmond International Raceway, home of the last race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The Federated Auto Parts 400 is on the schedule for Saturday night, Sept. 6, preceded by the Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 on Friday night, Sept. 5.

Fans can await the introduction of the 16 Chase drivers following the Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Post-Race Party on the Track after the checkered flag flies. All fans in attendance are welcome to stick around after the race for the party, which will include a DJ spinning party tunes.

Fans can also check out the Midway throughout the weekend, featuring the Toyota PitPass, the Miller Lite Party Zone Experience, Chevrolet, Ford, Coca Cola and more – find out more about it here.

Key on-track times:

Friday, Sept. 5 –
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series qualifying – 3:40 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series qualifying – 5:40 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 – 7:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, Sept. 6 –
  • Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 – 7:30 p.m. ET

Find the complete weekend schedule here, and a list of driver appearances here.

For updated information for race weekend and to purchase tickets visit www.rir.com.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Leaping into the Unknown: Five Questions for Atlanta

Atlanta. Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There is risk in everything we do. From walking the street alone to ignoring a deadline, consequences can creep up and bite you in the butt. The thrill comes from not knowing if it will work out, and that’s what fuels our desire for jumping out on those limbs. With spread wings, we leap into the unknown.

Racers take risks every single time they climb into their machines. They jump from team to team, not knowing which dynamic will stick. Behind all the money and fame, it’s a difficult life to live, always on the edge of failure.

In this week’s Five Questions, I examine schedule changes, TSM’s situation and what risks have rewarded themselves. There are two races until the Chase begins; this is when the true gamblers make an appearance.

Is the new schedule going to help or hinder the sport? Schedule Reveal Day was hyped up more than Thanksgiving and Christmas. After the news of Darlington Raceway’s date moving back to Labor Day broke, people began to have hope. More major changes? Well, those people were disappointed; no extreme changes were made, aside from moving Atlanta Motor Speedway’s date to follow up the Daytona 500. This shifts the race at Phoenix International Raceway to the fourth race of the year, a stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway separating the two. With Auto Club Speedway’s race fifth, this sets up a nice West Coast swing. However, there STILL ISN’T A ROAD COURSE IN THE CHASE. I’m bitter. I really am. Overall, it’s a good schedule, yet there are some major things that still need attending.

Does Logano’s Bristol performance make him a true contender? For the record, I chose Joey Logano to win at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend (tooting my own horn here). Team Penske is always good there, but something told me that Logano would surpass teammate Brad Keselowski. Since joining the Penske Posse, the former Joe Gibbs Racing driver has blossomed and grown into the potential many knew he possessed. It’s his year, but his Chase run will either go very well or plummet. It’s all up to JoLo.

With two races to go, who still has a chance? It’s down to the wire, folks! The Race to the Chase ends next weekend at Richmond International Raceway, the sight of much controversy last season. What crazy antics will the drivers get into this time around? Things will most likely be more mundane, yet don’t count any wild cards out just yet. Some people can still slip into championship contention. Drivers like Kyle Larson, Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne can still knock out two wins. That’s what this format is all about, right? We know what a majority of the Chase field will look like, but a few spots seem to be up in the air. Who will thrive? Who will suffer? This is why we watch, y’all.

Will TSM (or whatever it’s called now) get itself together? Sad news was announced Wednesday afternoon when Turner-Scott Motorsports revealed their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series presence would be downsized. The ‘T’ in TSM is pulling out of the series. At this time, the No. 30 truck of Ron Hornaday Jr. will not be racing this weekend, yet teammates Cameron Hayley and Dylan Kwasniewski will race. The event at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park won’t be the same without the driver fourth in the standings, and NASCAR Nation feels iffy about this decision. It goes to show that money truly matters and that NASCAR is more of a business than we’d like to believe.

Which driver changes have paid off? A big part of risk is extending outside your comfort zone. Many drivers did that; Logano did it, Kevin Harvick jumped teams, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch … the list is pretty long. The driver of the No. 22 is obviously doing well, but how about the others? It’s plain to see Harvick is always a contender, but there are constant crew issues that hinder his efforts. If it weren’t for loose wheels and other preventable issues, he would have about six wins by now. The eldest Busch brother has won, yet it’s an uphill battle to remain strong. The group has the components of a championship-caliber team. They’re just struggling to put them in their correct stops. If we had to list the biggest disappointment, Newman would be at the top. They haven’t been competitive as often as many thought, and it’s saddening. Risks may or may not live up to their full potential, but that’s their dangerous yet enticing beauty.

TV Schedule: Aug. 29-31

Atlanta Motor Speedway. Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

NASCAR is split between Hotlanta and our neighbor to the north, Canada. The Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series converge on Atlanta for their annual stop, while the Camping World Truck Series goes international at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The following is a handy guide to track events and television coverage this weekend. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, Aug. 29:                                  
1:30 p.m. NASCAR Race Hub Special, FS1
2:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, FS1
4 p.m. NNS Practice, FS1
5 p.m. NASCAR Live, FS1
5 p.m. NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
5:30 p.m. NNS Final Practice, FS1
7 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, FS1

Saturday, Aug. 30:
4:30 a.m. NSCS Qualifying (re-air), FS1
10:30 a.m. NSCS Qualifying (re-air), FS1
3 p.m. NSCS Practice, FS2
4 p.m. NNS Qualifying, FS2
6 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, FS2
7 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
7:30 p.m. NNS race at Atlanta, ESPN2

Sunday, Aug. 31:
Noon NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Race at Bristol, FS1
1 p.m. NCWTS SetUp, FS1
1:30 p.m. NCWTS race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, FS1
5 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ESPN
7:30 p.m. NSCS race at Atlanta, ESPN
12 midnight NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta




Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks:  Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway • Darlington Raceway   Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway • Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor Speedway • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.54 miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin

By Track 
Both with 4 - Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick
All with 3 - Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch

Recent Pole Winners:
2013 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2012 Tony Stewart

The Likely Suspects: Gone are the days when Jimmie Johnson and Atlanta Motor Motor Speedway were a foregone conclusion. It's probably a good week to keep Jimmie in your fantasy garage. After all, you'll need him during the Chase. Instead look for these drivers to earn you some decent points this week: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Jeff Gordon. Ordinarily, I would say Kyle Busch is your next best bet, but I'm still stinging from last week's hit at Bristol. Instead, I'm going with Matt Kenseth. I will round out my team with Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon and Danica Patrick. Enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com.

Life Moves Ahead as Stewart Prepares to Race Again

Tony Stewart signing autographs for fans.
Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs  
Over the past few weeks, there have been moments when it felt like time was standing still, moments during which it felt like everything happening was all a dream, moments when we wanted to return to the past.

Those moments are over. Time is moving again. Kevin Ward Jr. has been laid to rest, while Tony Stewart remains under investigation. Most believe he will be cleared of any wrongdoing, but he still faces an uphill battle in the court of public opinion. Ward's family continues to grieve, and Stewart prepares to move on with his life, which will never be the same.

For the first time since Ward's death, Stewart will get behind the wheel of a racecar this weekend in Atlanta. Sunday will mark 22 days since the young man was killed in an on-track incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York — 22 days since we've seen or heard from Stewart and 22 days since Ward's family last spoke to him. Across multiple media outlets, both men have faced 22 days of persecution. Everyone has an opinion, even those who know nothing about racing. The video of the accident has been shown numerous times, and every Monday morning crew chief has had something to say about it.

Stewart's return is a surprise to some, and a welcome sight for many. He missed the last three Sprint Cup races, privately grieving the accident with only his closest circle around him. Many thought he would miss the rest of the season as he struggled to come to grips with the tragedy. Some argue that he shouldn't drive again this year, and others say he's been away too long.

But here's the thing, there's no rulebook on how to deal with tragedy. There's no outline for anger and grief. No one can tell another how to overcome guilt that may be eating away at them. We're human.

Yes, even Tony Stewart, one of the most polarizing figures in NASCAR, is human. He has the temper of a bear, but the heart of a saint. Unfortunately, it's his temper that has gotten most of the attention over the past three weeks. He drives the car with reckless abandon, giving his all every lap. He's angered when something cuts his race short. Racing is his job; he does what he can to be his best.

But isn't that how we all are?

In our jobs and lives we all must deal with grief and disappointment. Think about it. That person who was just passed over for a huge promotion probably won't have a smile on her face for the next few days. The family that just lost someone unexpectedly will undoubtedly grieve. But since most of us live our lives on a much smaller scale than Stewart, our grief and disappointment goes unnoticed to many. We deal with it, and we move on.

As I wrote in the hours that followed the accident and continue to believe, there are only two people who know what really happened on the racetrack on that Saturday night. Two people. Two souls, both forever changed. Two belief systems, shaken to the core.

As Stewart prepares to return to the track this weekend, it's time to let opinions and emotions go. They serve no good as a man forever changed prepares to make his way back to the sport he calls family. Whatever your opinion on the subject is, it doesn't matter. What matters now is getting back to normal.

The racing community will embrace Stewart as he returns to the track this weekend. The family he has created and that stands behind him will welcome him back into their circle. It's for the best. Racing is who he is; it defines him. Staying away too long will only make his heart hurt worse. He's suffered enough, and so has the Ward family. It's time to let both move forward.

We will never forget what happened to Kevin Ward Jr., and we shouldn't. A young man died doing what he loved. He had a long life ahead of him, and we will never get to see the promise that was. Stewart will have to live with his death forever, and if that isn't punishment enough, I don't know what is. It's time to embrace Stewart again as a racer and a human being. His human heart can't take too much more grief. We can only hope he finds peace amongst 42 other drivers, who all understand the emotional roller coaster that he rides every day — 42 other drivers who are his closest family.

Time is moving ahead, and it appears Stewart is ready to move with it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fast Facts: Atlanta Motor Speedway

Atlanta Motor Speedway - 2013 AdvoCare 500
credit: Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series spend Labor Day weekend under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA. The 1.54-mile quad-oval track has seen expansion, plenty of racing and even a few movies over its 50-plus years on the circuit – here’s a look at this fast track’s history.
  • 1.5-mile Atlanta International Raceway, as the track was known from 1960-1990, broke ground in 1958, the dream of Walker Jackson, Lloyd Smith, Garland Bagley, Ralph Sceiano and Ike Supporter. All but Bagley would jump ship on the project before completion due to insufficient funds, but four more men – Dr. Warren Gremmel, Bill Boyd, Jack Black and Art Lester – joined Bagley and spent $1.8 million to ready the oval track for its debut on July 31, 1960. The inaugural Dixie 200 at Atlanta was won by pole sitter Fireball Roberts.
  • Atlanta’s debut was less than perfect, as much of the track’s facilities still needed attention. The suffering continued for the track into the 1970s, when it was reorganized under Chapter 10 bankruptcy proceedings. The track would struggle through the 1980s as well, until October 23, 1990, when Bruton Smith – founder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and later Speedway Motorsports Inc. – purchased the track and renamed it Atlanta Motor Speedway.
  • In 1991, Smith expanded the East Turn Grandstand and added 30 top-of-the-line suites to the top of the grandstands. In 1994, Tara Place – featuring luxury condos, the Tara Ballroom for events, the speedway’s office and more – opened, and in 1995, the Earnhardt Grandstand was opened. In 1997, the biggest overhaul took place, as the Champions Grandstand was built, the start/finish line was moved from the east side to the west side of the track, and doglegs were added to the new frontstretch, forming the 1.54-mile quad-oval raced on today. The Winners Grandstand opened in 2006.
  • In addition to the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, other series that have raced at Atlanta include the Camping World Truck Series and the IndyCar Series. The track previously hosted two Cup Series races, but the second date went to Kentucky Speedway, another Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facility, in 2011.
  • The late Dale Earnhardt leads all drivers with nine wins and 26 top five finishes at Atlanta. Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman are tied for the most poles with seven poles each. The Cup Series qualifying record was set by Geoffrey Bodine on Nov. 15, 1997 (197.478 mph/28.074 seconds).
  • Three early 1980s car-driven movies were filmed in part at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), Six Pack (1982) and Stroker Ace (1983).
  • Get all the up-to-date racing information for Atlanta Motor Speedway at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tough Times in Tennessee: Clashes and crashes as Logano brings home first Bristol win

Kyle Busch's pit crew works to repair the No. 18 car after a crash on Lap 125.
Credit: Logan Stewart for Skirts and Scuffs  
It was Bristol Baby!

Bristol’s half-mile event is a perennial fan favorite, and it didn’t disappoint during Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race. A wild sequence of dust-ups and frustration highlighted the evening, and from banging metal to thrown equipment to heated words, the World’s Fastest Half Mile stayed at top speed throughout the race.

When the green flag dropped the night was off to a hot but relatively normal start, with polesitter Kevin Harvick taking an early lead until Jeff Gordon passed him on Lap 38. Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson picked up speeding penalties (Johnson later got a second one) and Kenseth eased into the lead spot. Cautions began when Josh Wise spun out, followed by a tangle on Lap 125 between Aric Almirola and Brian Vickers that damaged the cars of Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer.

A subsequent Denny Hamlin lead was dashed when Kevin Harvick took him out on lap 162 by clipping his car, sending him into the inside pit wall. Visibly upset, Hamlin threw his HANS (head and neck support) device at Harvick’s car. The incident also involved Dale Earnhardt Jr., eliminating him from contention.

Leaders over the course of 500 miles included Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keslowski and Kenseth until Joey Logano claimed the top spot with 44 laps remaining, and held on for the win.

Kyle Busch's Doublemint paint scheme didn’t lead to a sweet outcome with his car or crew chief. Running at the back after a speeding penalty led to significant damage to his No. 18 car when he got caught up in the Almirola-Vickers crash. As he subsequently fell further back in the field, Busch and crew chief Dave Rogers had heated words on the radio. The exchange led to Busch parking the car, leaving the race early and a reported meeting with team owner Joe Gibbs.

In the end, Joey Logano held off Penske teammate Brad Keselowski to earn a spot in Victory Lane under the lights. Penske’s third win of the weekend, it came on the heels of Keselowski’s win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series race on Thursday and Ryan Blaney’s Nationwide Series win Friday. Logano, Keslowski, Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. each have three Sprint Cup wins this season, adding Logano to the list of drivers who could potentially enter the Chase seeded No. 1.

"We can win the championship. We've showed it at every kind of race track. We've just got to keep doing it," said Logano.

Brett Jewkes, Vice President, Chief Communications Officer for NASCAR, announced Saturday that the 2015 spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be April 17-19.

Final running order:
1. Joey Logano
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kurt Busch
6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
7. Carl Edwards
8. Jamie McMurray
9. Paul Menard
10. Greg Biffle
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Kyle Larson
13. Ryan Newman
14. AJ Allmendinger
15. Jeff Burton
16. Jeff Gordon
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Michael McDowell
19. Justin Allgaier
20. Martin Truex Jr.
21. Brian Vickers
22. Landon Cassill
23. David Ragan
24. Reed Sorenson
25. David Gilliland
26. Casey Mears
27. Danica Patrick
28. Austin Dillon
29. Josh Wise
30. Cole Whitt
31. David Stremme
32. Alex Bowman
33. J.J. Yeley
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. Kasey Kahne
36. Kyle Busch
37. Ryan Truex
38. Michael Annett
39. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
40. Denny Hamlin
41. Aric Almirola
42. Brett Moffitt
43. Dave Blaney

Sprint Cup series action heads south next Sunday evening over Labor Day weekend for the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Travel Tips: Atlanta Motor Speedway – Aug. 29-31, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
Celebrate Labor Day weekend NASCAR-style at Atlanta Motor Speedway, home of this weekend’s Oral-B USA 500 for the Sprint Cup Series and the Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed the Children for the Nationwide Series. The two series visit the 1.54-mile oval Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29-31.

On Thursday, Aug. 28, “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,” Bill Elliott, will be inducted into “Speed Lane” in downtown Hampton, Georgia at 6 p.m. ET. Following the induction, the Sprint Cup Series Hauler Parade runs through downtown Hampton on the way to Atlanta Motor Speedway beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

On Friday, fans get a chance to ask Sprint Cup stars Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson questions on the frontstretch at 8:15 p.m. ET as part of Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka Qualifying Night. After the Q&A session, the USCS Sprint Car will race on the quarter-mile track at Atlanta.

Key on-track times:

Friday, Aug. 29:
  • USCS Sprint Car practice – 11 a.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup practice – 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series practice – 4 and 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup qualifying – 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka Sprint Car Shootout – 9:15 p.m. ET

Saturday, Aug. 30:
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 3 and 6 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series qualifying – 4:10 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed the Children – 7:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, Aug. 31:
  • Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 – 7:30 p.m. ET

Find the complete weekend schedule here.

First-time fans can check this out for tips on enjoying the race.

Find out more about this weekend’s races and purchase tickets at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

Travel Tips: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Aug. 29-31, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series heads north of the border this weekend, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29-31, for the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmansville, Ontario, Canada. The Truck Series will be joined by the Canadian Touring Car Championship, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

Key on-track times:

Friday, Aug. 29:
  • Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada test session – noon ET
  • Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada practice – 3 and 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship practice – 3:45 p.m. ET

Saturday, Aug. 30:
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship qualifying – 8 a.m. ET
  • Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada qualifying – 8:45 a.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 9:30 and 11:35 a.m.ET
  • Canadian Tire Series practice – 10:40 a.m. and 1:10 p.m. ET
  • Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Race No. 1 – 3 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship Race No. 1 – 4 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Tire Series qualifying – 4:40 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series qualifying – 5:40 p.m. ET

Sunday, Aug. 31:
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship qualifying – 9 a.m. ET
  • Canadian Tire Series Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 – 10 a.m. ET
  • Chevrolet Silverado 250 for the Camping World Truck Series – 1:30 p.m. ET
  • Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Race No. 2 – 4:15 p.m. ET
  • Canadian Touring Car Championship Race No. 2 – 5:15 p.m. ET

Click here for track policies and FAQs.

Find out more about the weekend and purchase tickets at www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com

Friday, August 22, 2014

TV Schedule: Aug. 22-24

Bristol Motor Speedway. Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
NASCAR takes on the concrete bullring: Bristol Motor Speedway. The Sprint Cup and Nationwide series race under the lights at the temperamental short track, where small quarters mean short tempers.

The following is a handy guide to this weekend's events at Bristol. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, Aug. 22:                              
10 a.m. K&N Pro Series Race at Evergreen, FS1
11 a.m. NSCS Practice, FS1
1 p.m. NASCAR Live, FS1
1:30 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, FS1
2:30 p.m. NASCAR Live, FS1
3:30 p.m. NNS Qualifying, FS1
5:30 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, ESPN2
7 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN
7:30 p.m. NNS: Food City 300, ESPN

Saturday, Aug. 23:
3 a.m. NSCS Final Practice (re-air), FS1
4 a.m. NNS Qualifying (re-air), FS1
10 a.m. NSCS Practice (re-air), FS1
5 p.m. K&N Pro Series Race at Evergreen (re-air), FS2
6 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS2
7 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ABC
7:30 p.m. NSCS: Irwin Tools Night Race, ABC

Sunday, Aug. 24:
3 a.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
3 a.m. NSCS: Irwin Tools Night Race (re-air), ESPN2
10:30 a.m. NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FS1
11 a.m. NCWTS: UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP (re-air), FS1

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Short trackin' fun at Bristol




Track Classification: Short Track
Similar Tracks: Dover International Speedway • Phoenix International Raceway 
Martinsville Speedway • Richmond International Raceway
Distance: .533 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Marcos Ambrose and Matt Kenseth
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin,  Ryan Newman and  
Jimmie Johnson

By Track
Both with 6 - Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne
All with 5 - Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Jimmie Johnson 

Recent Pole Winners: 
2013 Denny Hamlin
2012 Qualifying rained out
2011 Ryan Newman

The Likely Suspects: With only three races until the Chase begins and some key drivers still without wins, racing on a Saturday night in Bristol will be even more nail-biting and electrifying than usual.
Remember, short-track greats are either wildly wicked or incredibly patient. Look for these drivers to run well on Saturday: Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers and Marcos Ambrose.  Please note that Jeff Burton will be in the No. 14 car car again for Tony Stewart.

My 2 Cents: My perennial no-brainer pick at Bristol is the king of cool and collected: Matt Kenseth; followed closely by his polar opposite, the wild one Kyle Busch. I will round out my team with Marcos Ambrose, Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon and Jeff Burton. When making your final picks, keep in mind that nearly 64 percent of the Bristol races have been won from the top 10 starting positions. Of those, 33 percent have been won from the front row. Pick carefully, and enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com.