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May 2017
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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

NASCAR will move doubleheader to Monday at Texas Motor Speedway

compiled from staff and wire reports

This week’s NASCAR races have been held up by the elements in Texas.

Rain on Saturday wiped out the Nationwide race. It had been rescheduled for Sunday night after the Cup race and will be run Monday.

Persistent wet weather Sunday forced the postponement of the Sprint Cup race as well. The race was called about 75 minutes after its start.

Texas Motor Speedway (tms)

If both races are run Monday, that will mean that 15 drivers face the potential of 801 miles behind the wheel, 501 miles in the Cup race and 300 in the Nationwide race.

The last time there were 800 miles of NASCAR racing on one day was October 11, 2003, in Charlotte, North Carolina, when both Cup and Nationwide races were run. Jamie McMurray and Michael Waltrip both ran all 534 laps that day, and Kevin Harvick ran 533.


This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup series goes to the Dallas suburb of Ft. Worth and the Samsung Mobile 500 on Fox. The race will start at 1 p.m. The race will go 334 laps or 501 miles.

The track has several characteristics. A fast 1.5-mile track made faster by improvements to the turns and the asphalt surface since its opening in 1997.

With a 138,122 seating capacity, Texas Motor Speedway is the largest sports facility in the state of Texas.

The Texas Motor Speedway had 12 different winners in its first 12 Cup races and did have a multiple winner until Jeff Burton, winner of the first race in 1997, won the spring race in 2007.

Texas Motor Speedway (file)

In recapping the 2009 Samsung 500, Jeff Gordon ended a 47-race winless streak, leading 105 laps to edge teammate Jimmie Johnson. Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded ou the top five. Carl Edwards seemed poised to win, but a dropped lug nut on his final pit stop relegated him to 10th.

Kasey Kahne to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012

compiled from staff and wire reports

Kasey Kahne has completed a deal to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 but still needs to iron out his driving plans for next season.

Most notably, it’s not clear where Kahne will drive in 2011. HMS is currently at NASCAR’s four-car limit, and Kahne is working out a deal to succeed Mark Martin in the number 5 car in 2012. Martin has one more season left on an extension he signed last year, and owner Rick Hendrick plans to honor that deal.

Kahne’s deal with Hendrick is done, but he still must figure out where he’ll race in 2011. Among his options are a potential ride with Stewart-Haas Racing, which has an alliance with Hendrick, another Chevrolet team, or, should Martin opt out of the final year of his contract, Kahne could get to drive the number 5 car early.

Kasey Kahne (nascar)

Although he has 11 career wins and two berths in the Chase for the Cup championship, Kahne has not felt he’s had the equipment to contend for a title. He was openly vocal and critical last season, when he overcame a hectic merger between Gillett-Everham Racing and RPM and severe financial issues inside the organization to win two races and finish 10th in the Chase.

Indy Grand Prix of Alabama goes to Helio Castroneves

compiled from staff, wire and IndyCar reports

“Spiderman” as Helio Castroneves is called because of his climbing of fences at the race track after a win, won the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday in Birmingham after carefully conserving fuel and then held off Scott dixon after a caution with two laps to go.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner took over in the stretch run when Marco Andretti headed to pit road with seven laps to go.

Helio beat Dixon by over half a second and nobody else was closer than 7 seconds to the lead, making it a two-man chase for the flag at the end. He didn’t allow any openings for Scott Dixon to pass him on the narrow race track that offers few easy if any ways to pass and makes fuel strategy as important as any daring andpassing on-track maneuvers.

Helio Castroneves (IRL)

Dario Franchitti finished third. Will Power, who won the first two races and was dominant during qualifying and practices, had to settle for fourth, still clinging to a comfortable points lead. Castroneves earned 50 points to move into second place place, ahead of Franchitti, Justin Wilson and Scott Dixon.

Everybody’s favorite driver, Danica Patrick continued to struggle, starting 19th and finished 19th.

Ryan Newman breaks winless race streak; wins Phoenix

compiled from staff and wire reports

Ryan Newman (NASCAR)

Believe it or not, but the first race car driver to offer a handshake to Ryan Newman in Victory Lane was Tony Stewart. Stewart usually doesn’t do that, but Newman is one of his guys.

The win helped Newman break a 77-race Sprint Cup winless streak.

Newman took the lead after a late caution at Phoenix International Raceway and held off Jeff Gordon in a two-lap shootout Saturday night to get his first victory since the 2008 Daytona 500, and first since joining Stewart’s new team last season.

Kyle Busch was cruising to what would have given him a weekend sweep when a caution flag came out with three laps remaining. When the lead-lap cars pitted, Busch took four tires and came out eighth, behind six cars that took only two tires and Jimmie Johnson, who also took four and was seventh out of the pits.

Gordon, however beat everybody out of the pits, but unfortunately spun his tires on the restart in a green-white-checkered finish. Newman then charged inside and took the lead, and held on for the win.

Newman, driving the number 39 Chevrolet owned by Stewart, had led only two laps before the final two. That lead came during the first caution only 21 laps into what became a 378-lap race, instead of the scheduled 375, already 63 more than last spring at Phoenix, which is an oddly shaped mile track in the desert.

It was  Newman’s 14th career victory in 303 starts, but the first time a number 39 car has been to Victory Lane in 286 races.

Jimmie Johnson, who had won four of the previous five races at Phoenix, finished third and increased his series points lead from 14 to 36 over Matt Kenseth. Greg Biffle had been second in points before finishing 22nd saturday night, the first time this season he wasn’t in the top 10.

Denny Hamlin, racing only 10 days after surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee, drove the entire race and finished 30th. He had moved up to 13th before an extended pit stop to repair damage from being hit and to address an electrical problem.

Newman snapped Hendrick Motorsports’ string of six consecutive victories at Phoenix, and gave Chevrolet its 10th straight win at the track. Chevy drivers had the top five spots, with Mark Martin fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya fifth.

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