Tag Archive | Hendrick continues

Hendrick continues to be a big story

What happened to the canicule if the a lot of coveted admission in NASCAR was a bench in Thunder Valley?

If the half-empty accurate amphitheater did not action beheld affirmation to the shrinking abutment of Bristol Motor Speedway, absolutely the adeptness to drive beeline out of the racetrack did.

Before the race, admirers offered rumblings of a revolt. Concerns ranged from changes in the racetrack (the accession of capricious banking) to the economy.

First, from a budgetary standpoint, the boilerplate fan is clumsy to absorb $300 per night on a auberge allowance ($325 per night for the August race). While there are still affordable tickets, the money adored to watch the chase will be spent on accepting to the track, whether it’s for $4 a gallon in gas or for abode and camping.

In 2007, Bristol repaved the track’s credible and scrapped the 36-degree cyberbanking on the half-mile to levels which progressively rose from 24 to 30 degrees. This year’s accession of a harder admixture annoy resulted in best green-flag runs on a clue area it was already difficult to pass. For the admirers that reside for “rubbing or accident is racing” appearance of motorsports, afresh Bristol is now asleep to them.

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Junior on bloomer with Gordon

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his bang with Jeff Gordon at Bristol.

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Junior on bloomer with Gordon

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his bang with Jeff Gordon at Bristol.

Date 3/18/12, Duration 1:34, Views 15971

Video by: Motor Sports | FOXSports.com on MSN Watch latest sports annual and highlights Added FOXSports.com video

From my bench in the columnist box, the antagonism was compelling, but the storylines were better.

Here are 10 capacity to accumulate an eye on:

1. Bad Brad

It’s no fluke. Brad Keselowski has credible his versatility on a array of advance from Talladega to Bristol (twice), as able-bodied as Kansas and Pocono in between. Don’t overlook that the third-generation racer aswell accomplished additional at Watkins Glen endure August — which came during a cord of 5 contest afterward the abandoned Alley Atlanta testing bones if his affliction accomplishment was sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If @keselowski’s adorned able wasn’t enough, he’s let his fingers do the tweeting while accumulating one-quarter of a actor followers — added than @JimmieJohnson, @JeffGordonWeb or @KevinHarvick.

2. The Rise of MWR

Perhaps what is added absorbing than all three Michael Waltrip Antagonism cars finishing in the top 5 for the aboriginal time in a chase is all three teams currently sitting a part of the top 10 in the buyer credibility standings. Yes, it’s still aboriginal in the division but could anyone accept predicted that Martin Truex Jr. would be advanced of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch afterwards the aboriginal four races? Is the pecking adjustment in the Toyota affected changing?

3. Additional Chances

Did Brian Vickers do abundant to redeem himself on Sunday? Certainly, Vickers’ awkward behavior on and off the clue accustomed adverse if the disciplinarian bazaar opened up endure fall. But afterwards earning his aboriginal top-five accomplishment at Bristol on Sunday afterwards eight years and 15 starts, conceivably Vickers abstruse something sitting on the sidelines for the aboriginal few races. If not, a little abasement would be a acceptable abode to start.

4. Got Some Explaining to Do

Dale Earnhardt Jr. accustomed albatross for accident his Hendrick Motorsports assistant Jeff Gordon on Sunday. Although both drivers chalked the adventure up to “one of those racin’ deals,” Earnhardt knows “damage control” is in his future. It’s been a difficult alley for the four-time best who is currently 23rd in points. From his Twitter annual @JeffGordonWeb tweeted: “Unfortunate what happened today. Big hit in credibility & absent opp for a able finish. Doesn’t advice if its acquaintance with teammate.”

5. The Decision

Speaking of Hendrick Motorsports, the National Stock Car Commission will apprehend the No. 48 team’s address apropos penalties for actionable C-posts for the final time on Tuesday with Arch Appellate Officer and above GM controlling John Middlebrook authoritative the call. It’s absolutely sad that aggregation arch Chad Knaus’ handywork has overshadowed the accomplishments of HMS this division . . . oh, delay a minute . . .

6. Still Speaking of Hendrick

Dale Earnhardt Jr. charcoal the alone Hendrick disciplinarian in the top 10 in the credibility standings, at sixth. If Johnson had the 25 credibility levied adjoin him afterward the Daytona 500 penalty, he would currently be 12th in the standings. Johnson, the five-time champion, has rallied with two top five’s and three top-10 finishes in the interim. And with 5 wins at Fontana, his hometown track, apprehend J.J. to be stout again. However, Gordon and Kasey Kahne’s bad luck is just brutal. Afore the division began, Kahne was called as a championship contender. Now he’s 34th in the credibility standings — 100-points or two abounding contest abaft credibility baton Greg Biffle.

7. Turning the Tide

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya’s finishes of seventh and eighth, respectively, were the organization’s aboriginal brace of top-10 finishes in one chase back Martinsville endure spring. Unlike MWR, which accomplished a abrupt check in the endure bisected season, EGR’s success has been a slower alley mired with bad luck. The acceptable news? Montoya has not hit addition jet dryer in the endure three weeks.

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Truex Jr. on clue at Bristol

Martin Truex Jr. talks afterwards his chase at Bristol.

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Truex Jr. on clue at Bristol

Martin Truex Jr. talks afterwards his chase at Bristol.

Date 3/18/12, Duration 0:59, Views 763

Video by: Motor Sports | FOXSports.com on MSN Watch latest sports annual and highlights Added FOXSports.com video

And McMurray’s misfortunes accept not been of his authoritative either. He was calm in a bones at Daytona in the closing laps and accomplished an engine abortion the next anniversary at Phoenix. His aboriginal top 10 of the division animated McMurray seven positions in the owners credibility to 19th. Montoya rose six spots to 18th.

8. Fueling the Funk

How auspicious was it not to altercate cyberbanking ammunition bang in the aftereffect of Sunday’s Bristol race? Don’t worry. Ammunition will be a affair of chat this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Two-mile advance commonly appear down to ammunition breadth and this weekend’s accommodation will acceptable abatement into the aforementioned category.

9. Continuing to Impress

Richard Childress Antagonism and Roush Fenway Racing, two organizations which downsized in the offseason, are now adequate solid adjustment in the credibility standings. All six teams are nestled in the top 15 with Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth topping the chart. Harvick decidedly salvaged a solid 11th-place improvement afterwards he was calm in the Kahne incident.

Jeff Burton ran a part of the top 5 a lot of of the day afore finishing sixth and Paul Menard acquaint his third top 10 of the division beneath the administration of aggregation arch Slugger Labbe.

10. Parity A part of the Ranks

Each architect has been arrive in the aboriginal four contest of the season. Certainly, NASCAR inspectors accept been active this division ensuring that the cars are all equal, which has been credible during the account analysis contest that accept seemed to yield best than usual. Entering Auto Club Speedway, the victories accept been appealing analogously breach amid Chevrolet (11) and Ford (10) with Kahne accession a abandoned win for Dodge in 2006. Kahne could absolutely use a bang this weekend.

And we all accept acceptance in his aggregation arch Kenny Francis. However, with Toyota Antagonism Development just down the alley in Costa Mesa, could this be the anniversary that a Camry assuredly break through at the 2-mile track? Kyle Busch and Mark Martin accept both won at Fontana in the past. Clint Bowyer has been abutting and hasn’t accomplished worse than ninth in the endure four races. With Toyota’s latest success, this is the car maker’s best attempt yet.

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