Friday, August 31, 2012

NCWTS Recap: Ty Dillon gets his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in HOTlanta!

Credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts and Scuffs
Ty Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, captured the checkered flag for the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory as well as his first top-10 finish at the speedway. Dillon started from the pole and led for a total of 40 laps.

The race winner talked about how the fact that he was able to catch race leader Kyle Busch and eventually pass him in the closing laps for the win. He was thankful to God, his team and family as well as his trainer Max Papis.  

Grandfather and team owner Richard Childress stated that his grandson/driver "has the heart of a lion."  This statement says a lot about the pride that he feels for the win tonight. 

Second-place finisher Kyle Busch explained that his race team missed it a little bit on the set up during practice as well as through the race.  "It was alright, just missed it a little bit there through practice and through the race just with the setup.  Just wasn't exactly what we needed, we've run the same thing for three years and we've been beat by the same truck for three years.  It gets a little old.  It's just Groundhog Day today."

Third-place finisher James Buescher led a two times for a total of six laps and he seemed to be upbeat about the progress that he and his team are having this season. They are currently sitting six points behind points leader Timothy Peters and his focus is on making the finishes as well as capturing the wins needed to become the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. 

Parker Kligerman, Aric Armirola, Kyle Larson, Joey Coulter, Nelson Piquet Jr., Matt Crafton and Kurt Busch are the drivers who finished out the top-10.

Race Highlights:
  • 20 lead changes with eight different leaders
  • three cautions for 16 laps
  • six infractions (four cars to the tail end, two pit road safety violations and one speeding penalty)
Unofficial Race Results, click here.

Unofficial Points Standings, click here.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be heading to Iowa Speedway for the American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee on September 15.  It will be broadcast on SPEED at 8:00 p.m.

Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry" which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.

NSCS Pole Report: Stewart on pole at Atlanta

Tony Stewart won his 14th career Sprint Cup Series pole at Atlanta on Friday for the Sprint Cup Series with a lap of 29.787 seconds at 186.121 mph. This is Stewart's first pole of the season. Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, and Martin Truex Jr. round out the top-5.

Here’s the lineup:
1. Tony Stewart
2. Greg Biffle
3. Kyle Busch
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Mark Martin
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Joey Logano
10. Marcos Ambrose
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Carl Edwards
13. Aric Almirola
14. David Ragan
15. Sam Hornish Jr.
16. Kurt Busch
17. Ryan Newman
18. Paul Menard
19. Casey Mears
20. Jamie McMurray
21. Brad Keselowski
22. Dave Blaney
23. Danica Patrick
24. Kevin Harvick
25. Bobby Labonte
26. Jeff Burton
27. Regan Smith
28. Martin Truex Jr.
29. David Gilliland
30. Clint Bowyer 
31. David Stremme
32. Trevor Bayne
33. Juan Pablo Montoya
34. Jason Leffler
35. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
36. Scott Speed
37. Joe Nemechek
38. Reed Sorenson
39. Scott Riggs
40. J.J. Yeley
41. Landon Cassill
42. Travis Kvapil
43. TJ Bell

Who did not make it:
Mike Bliss
Josh Wise
Stephen Leicht
Michael McDowell

TV Schedule:
Practice- 2:30 PM ET Saturday on SPEED
Practice- 5:30 PM ET Saturday on SPEED

Race at Atlanta- Sunday 6:30 PM ET on ESPN

NCWTS Pole Report: Ty Dillon wins pole at Atlanta

Ty Dillon won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta with a lap of 31.259 seconds at 177.357 mph. The top-5 is rounded out by Tim George Jr., James Buescher, Kyle Busch, and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Here’s the lineup:
1. Ty Dillon
2. Tim George Jr.
3. James Buescher
4. Kyle Busch
5. Nelson Piquet Jr.
6. Johnny Sauter
7. Miguel Paludo
8. Timothy Peters
9. Parker Kligerman
10. Matt Crafton
11. Jason White
12. Ryan Blaney
13. Aric Almirola
14. Joey Coulter
15. Kurt Busch 
16. Ross Chastain
17. Kyle Larson
18. Cale Gale
19. Ron Hornaday Jr.
20. Justin Lofton
21. Todd Bodine
22. John Wes Townley
23. Ryan Sieg
24. David Starr
25. Johnny Chapman
26. Chad McCumbee
27. Scott Riggs
28. Bryan Silas
29. Dakoda Armstrong
30. Max Gresham 
31. Caleb Holman
32. Blake Koch
33. Chris Fontaine
34. Stephen Leicht
35. Chris Jones
36. Dennis Setzer

Did not qualify:
Jeff Green
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Norm Benning

TV Schedule: 
Race at Atlanta- 7:30 PM ET on SPEED and RaceBuddy

MWR Extends Partnerships with Martin Truex Jr. and NAPA Auto Parts

Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing
Michael Waltrip Racing announced earlier today that they will be extending partnerships with both driver Martin Truex Jr. and sponsor NAPA Auto Parts. Both are multi-year contract extensions, NAPA will be the primary sponsor for all 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races along with two non-points races during the duration of this contract. 

“NAPA and I have been together a long time and they are family to me,” said Michael Waltrip. “They have been to victory lane with me, helped me launch my own race team and have been our team’s biggest supporter through the years. It is hard to describe how grateful I am that NAPA feels good enough about our organization to continue this partnership.”

Waltrip felt that re-signing Martin Truex Jr. was a huge accomplishment for the team due to their success this season which includes 5 top 5s and 13 top 10s.

Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
Martin Truex Jr. had the following to say about his new contract extension: “Driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota means the world to me. I knew when I signed on for the 2010 season that we had a lot of work to do to get the performance to where NAPA would be proud of us, and I also knew I had big shoes to fill in that NAPA uniform because Michael is the best at being an ambassador for sponsors. It is so gratifying that the hard work has paid off with competitive race cars every week. And I am more comfortable than ever that NAPA is my sponsor and I am their driver. It’s my job to do everything I can to make sure we are together for the rest of my career.”

Paul Donahue, President of Geninue Parts Company, had this to say about the contract extension: “We put a lot of time in evaluating where we choose to spend our marketing dollars and decided NASCAR continues to be a good fit for us. The sport garners tremendous fan support whose loyalty to NASCAR sponsors is unsurpassed and for that we are most appreciative...We have been very pleased with the performance of Martin Truex, Jr. and the entire No. 56 NAPA team. Martin as well as all the folks at Michael Waltrip Racing continue to represent NAPA in a positive manner and we look forward to a successful partnership both on and off the track.”

TV Schedule: Aug. 31-Sept. 2

Jeff Gordon won his 85th Sprint Cup victory in last year's Atlanta race. Can the four-time champion win
back-to-back at Atlanta and secure a Chase wild card? Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
It's Labor Day weekend, and in NASCAR that means Hotlanta time: NASCAR makes its annual stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is the second year in a row that the 1.54-mile track hosts only one NASCAR race weekend.

All three series get on track at Atlanta, known for being one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and hosting some of the most exciting finishes in the sport's history.

Track facts
Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.
Length: 1.54-mile quad-oval
Type: Intermediate
Banking: 24 degrees in the turns, 5 degrees on the straightaways

2011 winner: Jeff Gordon

2011 winner: Carl Edwards

2011 winner: Ron Hornaday

The following is a schedule of track events and TV coverage this weekend at Bristol. All times are in Eastern Standard Time. Events without a channel listed will not be televised.

Friday, Aug, 31:
10 a.m. NCWTS Practice
1 p.m. NCWTS Final Practice (tape-delayed from 11:30 a.m.), SPEED
2:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
4 p.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
4:30 p.m. NCWTS Qualifying, SPEED
6 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, SPEED
7:30 p.m. NCWTS SetUp, SPEED
8 p.m. NCWTS: Atlanta 200, SPEED

Saturday, Sept. 1:
1 a.m. NSCS Qualifying (re-air), SPEED
2:30 a.m. NCWTS: Atlanta 200 (re-air), SPEED
11:30 a.m. NNS Final Practice (tape-delayed from 9 a.m.), SPEED
2:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
3:30 p.m. NNS Qualifying, SPEED
5 p.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
5:30 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, SPEED
6:30 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
7 p.m. NNS: NRA American Warrior 300, ESPN2
10 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
10:30 p.m. NSCS Practice (re-air), SPEED
11:30 p.m. NSCS Final Practice (re-air), SPEED

Sunday, Sept. 2:
4 a.m. NNS: NRA American Warrior 300 (re-run), ESPN2
3:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
4 p.m. SPEED Center NASCAR Edition, SPEED
4:30 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
11:30 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED
6:30 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ESPN
7:30 p.m. NSCS: Advocare 500, ESPN. Re-airs at 12:30 a.m. on ESPN2.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Driver to Watch: Jeff Gordon - Atlanta is where it all began

Jeff Gordon at Darlington
May 2012
Photo Credit: Genevieve Cadorette
Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR Cup career started on Nov. 15, 1992 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That day he started 21st, but was involved in an accident and finished 31st.

"I don't remember too much about the weekend,” Gordon said, “but I do remember Richard (Petty) walking through the garage with a huge number of fans with him. And he gave us money clips with our starting position during the driver's meeting - something I still have to this day.”

In 20 years, Gordon has accomplished four Cup championships and 86 victories. At Atlanta, he’s finished in the top ten 24 times and finished first five times in 38 starts.

Gordon’s first race may not have been the most memorable for him but the last time NASCAR visited Atlanta is one of his greatest memories. Last September’s race was postponed until Tuesday afternoon due to rain and Gordon won, marking his 85th victory with Hendrick Motorsports.

This year had some rough spots for Gordon. His bad luck started in the Bud Shootout in February when a crash sent him sliding on his side and ended with tumbling around the track a few times. In Martinsville, Gordon had a solid day with a strong car. He was in the top five and might have won but a wreck late in the race took him out of the top five and he finished 14th.

The first win this season didn’t come for the No. 24 Hendrick team until Aug. 5 at Pocono, but Gordon had poor finishes at the next two races, Watkins Glen and Michigan.

Sunday’s race in Atlanta will be aired on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. ET. "I expect the track to be a lot faster at night," Gordon said. "But I think we will still be able to race high, low and everywhere in between."

This could be the first season Gordon doesn't make it to the Chase, although a second win might secure his spot in the top 12.

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Atlanta Motor Speedway

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
All with 4 - Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch
Both with 3 - Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin

By Track
All with 5 - Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, and Kevin Harvick
All with 4 - Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards

Recent Pole Winners:
2011 Kasey Kahne
2010 Denny Hamlin

The Likely Suspects: These drivers should factor in greatly this weekend: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Jimmie Johnson. My next pick is Matt Kenseth although Jeff Gordon is definitely worthy of consideration. I will round out my team with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Sam Hornish Jr. and Trevor Bayne. Enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at

5 Questions Before ... Atlanta Motor Speedway

The NASCAR Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series are heading to "HOTlanta" for the upcoming Labor Day weekend (Aug 31-Sep 2). Atlanta Motor Speedway deemed "the fastest track in NASCAR" is setting the stage for some fast lap, action-packed racing. After the beating and bumping of Bristol this past weekend, it will be a interesting to see what transpires on track during these exciting night races.

Here are the five questions that I have this week:

1. Will Atlanta Motor Speedway be the setting for the next Hatfields and McCoys battle(s) on the track?

Bristol Motor Speedway did not disappoint this past weekend because it brought out “The Beast” in a lot of the competitors. There was fierce competition along with a lot of beating and banging throughout all three of the night races. The most notable disagreement on track occurred during the Sprint Cup race that ended up taking out the two-handed, helmet throwing, three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. “Smoke” and Matt Kenseth were racing hard and really didn’t give each other any room; therefore, they traveled in a synchronized slide into the wall. In case you missed the action, click here.

Other drivers to watch include: Newman/Montoya, Sadler/Stenhouse Jr and Patrick/Smith.

2. Can NASCAR Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler maintain his lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.?

Elliott Sadler managed to maintain the points lead after Bristol and he is heading to Atlanta with a number of drivers who are in hot pursuit to take that top spot from him. The three drivers who are just a few points away from the points lead are Stenhouse Jr (-19), Hornish Jr (-28) and A. Dillon (-35).

Sadler has driven in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series at this track. His Nationwide stats are as follows: 3 top 10s, 2 DNFs, average start 13th, average finish 22nd and two laps led. His Sprint Cup stats are as follows: 3 top 10s, 3 DNFs, average start 17th, average finish 23rd and 18 laps led. With these statistics will Sadler be able to pull off the win or finish in a position to keep the points lead?

3. Will NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Timothy Peters remain at the top after Friday night’s race?

Timothy Peters is currently sitting in the points lead, 17 ahead of second-place James Buescher. He is heading to a track where his best finish has been seventh approximately two years ago. His average start has been 22nd and average finish 17th with one DNF. James Buescher has captured one top 10 at this track in two starts; his best start is eighth and best finish is 12th.

Also, let’s not forget about rookie Ty Dillon who is currently sitting third in the standings, 25 behind the points leader. He has been very competitive this season and depending on how things transpire throughout the night race, Dillon should always be considered a factor for the win.

4. Does Jeff Gordon have a fighting chance to win his second race this weekend?

Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon is looking to capture his second win before the regular season competition comes to an end. He is heading to a track where he has five wins, 15 top 5s, 24 top 10s and two poles in 38 starts. His average start is 13th and average finish is 12th. I would say that he has a serious fighting chance to make it a sixth win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

5. Should Denny Hamlin be considered for an upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars?”

I just couldn’t resist with this question because two years in a row Denny Hamlin has not failed to show off his (um) dancing skills at Bristol. First, he graced us with his interpretation of  “The Dougie” and then a few nights ago he showed the NASCAR fans how to “Wobble.”

Maybe it’s time for him to join Helio Castroneves on one of the most popular television dancing shows … What do you think?

*The video links shared are courtesy of TheOfficialNASCAR YouTube and Miss Sprint Cup Facebook pages.

Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry" which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.