DAYTONA 500 Stewart, Gordon win Duel qualifying races
DAYTONA 500 Stewart, Gordon win Duel qualifying races
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip got what he wanted Thursday -- a chance to prove he didn't need to cheat to make the Daytona 500.
Tony Stewart, the favorite to win Sunday's stock-car Super Bowl, won the first of the two 150-mile qualifying races, and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon charged from fourth to first on the final lap to take the second race. It sets up a showdown with Stewart, who has yet to win the 500.
Joe Nemechek and Mike Wallace raced their way into the 500 with finishes of ninth and 11th in the second race. They join Waltrip and Boris Said, who nosed out Mike Bliss, in the first qualifying race.
Kyle Busch led most of the second race but lost the lead to his older brother Kurt, the 2003 series champion, and fell all the way to sixth on the 54th lap. Meanwhile, Gordon, who has three qualifying race wins, hung around the leaders throughout the race but seemed to come out of nowhere for the victory.
He pitted for four tires during a caution period 10 laps from the end, while the eight cars in front of him stayed on track. Gordon was 11th on the restart on Lap 54 and slowly moved back into contention.
Gordon said it took some luck and some drafting help from J.J. Yeley to get to the front on the final trip around the 2.5-mile oval.
"We just showed anything is possible," Gordon said. "I didn't think we had the car to get here [to Victory Lane] today. I know we've got to get our car handling a little better before Sunday.''
Kurt Busch wound up second, followed by David Stremme, Kyle Busch and former series champion Matt Kenseth, who had to race from the rear of the 30-car field after his qualifying speed on Sunday was disqualified by NASCAR in the cheating scandal that involved four other cars.
But it was the role of Waltrip's team in the cheating scandal that had everyone's attention. He guaranteed he would remain the talk of the garage after nearly knocking friend and former teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. out of the opener.
"I'm just sad and happy at the same time," said Waltrip, who hours earlier apologized for his team's role in the cheating mess. "That's what Daytona does to you."
Waltrip charged back to finish eighth, while Junior, whose crew made quick repairs to his car, finished close behind Stewart in second.
Said, who already had secured a guaranteed starting spot in the 43-car field 500 field, nipped former Truck Series champion Bliss in the opener for the second transfer spot into the race.
Because Said raced his way in, that means Waltrip's rookie teammate David Reutimann, who was to race later in the second 150, will be in the 500 based on last Sunday's time trials. Third Waltrip driver Dale Jarrett finished 18th Thursday but was guaranteed a Daytona 500 spot as a former series champion.
Stewart, who won the non-points Budweiser Shootout last Saturday and also has won the last two July Cup races here, added to his credentials as the man to beat Sunday, easily holding off former 500 winner Earnhardt in a two-lap showdown in a race that went three extra laps because of a late caution flag.
"This car has been bad to the bone all week," said Stewart, who is 0-8 in the 500. "Hopefully, we have one more in it. The qualifying races and Shootouts are great. And so are the July races, but I really want this race on Sunday bad."
Jeff Burton finished third in the first race, followed by Daytona pole-winner David Gilliland, 2006 Nextel Cup rookie of the year Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., Earnhardt's teammate. Reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson never was in contention for the win and finished 11th.
The first race was slowed by six caution flags, while there were only two in the second 150.
For a while, it looked as if James Hylton, the 72-year-old hoping for a comeback at Daytona, would make the field for his first Daytona 500 since 1983 and first Cup race since 1993. After running as high as second by staying on the track when others pitted during a caution period, he got shuffled back on a late restart and faded out of contention.
Hylton said he had a race-long problem with his clutch, hampering his restarts.
"I'm disappointed, yeah, because I was locked in eighth place there, and that's where I needed to be," Hylton said. "And then the daggone caution came out, and I knew I was a dead duck."
Others who failed to make the race included former open-wheel star A.J. Allmendinger, teammate Brian Vickers, two-time Daytona winner Bill Elliott, 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton and 1990 winner Derrike Cope.
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Finished 7th)
– "We made it through. We’ve got a great car. It’s gonna be a good race. I’m excited about the 500."
YOU STAYED OUT WHEN A LOT OF OTHER CARS PITTED NEAR THE END. WAS THAT TO STAY IN FRONT OF ANY POTENTIAL TROUBLE? "Yeah. We just thought we’d stay out and try to hang out there in the fron weiter >>
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 28th) –
"The AAA Ford Fusion was excellent. We were just kind of taking our time and running our own race. We had a good top-10 or top-15 run going and we cut a right-front during green. We got down pit road and then got the lucky dog, and I don’t know if something on the car or debris on the track cut another ri weiter >>
"I’ve never raced a Saturday night short-track race, but that’s what I guess it would be like if I ever did it. That was a wild race and it was a lot of fun. I’m just really proud of the effort. Our Sobe No Fear Energy Drink car and Advance Auto Parts on this weekend and we have four full-time employees back at our shop, so to come here and actually qualify on time and then actua weiter >>
Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology, was part of a manufacturer’s panel this morning at Daytona International Speedway in which a variety of issues were discussed.
DAN DAVIS, Director, Ford Racing Technology –
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CAR OF TOMORROW?
"It’s on us already. As Lee (White) mentioned, we now know what we’ve weiter >>
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - Chevy Silverado HD250, Feb. 16 Daytona International Speedway
New names and faces, same faces different teams and a new Chevy Silverado set the stage for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season-opening racing – the Chevy Silverado HD 250 – kicking off the 25-race 2007 season for Team Chevy Silverado. The branding of the Dayto weiter >>
ROBERT YATES, Car Owner – No. 38 and No 88 Ford Fusions – "This is a good day. This is as good as back in the day or better. It’s the best day we’ve had in a while, so I’m happy to be here."
DAVID GILLILAND – "I couldn’t ask for anything more as a rookie coming to Daytona for your first time. It’s been an experience. It’s been great. We unload weiter >>
"It feels really good. To come back and align ourselves – the Yates teams at Daytona or Talladega, you couldn’t pick a better place to come back, but I’m just real fortunate. I’ve got a great team. I’ve got guys like Butch Hylton turning all the bolts and running the crew and it’s just a real good feeling right now. I like what I see with what’s going on."
BUTCH HYLTON weiter >>
· Today’s pole was the 11th all-time for Ford in the Daytona 500.
· David Gilliland captured the Daytona 500 pole in his first attempt.
· Bill Elliott was the first Ford driver to win the 500 pole and he did it in three straight seasons 1985-86-87.
· This marks the fifth time Robert Yates Racing has had a driver on the pole for the Daytona 500. Other RYR d weiter >>
Tony Stewart kicked off the 2007 NASCAR season by taking the checkered flag under the lights in the 29th annual Budweiser Shootout - his 10th win overall at the Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart slipped past Kyle Busch on Lap 63 and then held off the surprising David Gilliland and third-place finisher weiter >>
1. 14 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 70 Running
2. 13 38 David Gilliland Ford 70 Running
3. 19 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 70 Running
4. 8 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 70 Running
5. 20 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 70 Running
6. 10 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet 70 Running
7. 6 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet 70 Running
8. 4 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 7 weiter >>
The Robert Yates Racing duo of Ricky Rudd and David Gilliland were first and second, respectively, in the morning practice and were at the top of the speed charts in the afternoon as well.
Both drivers, along with car owner Robert Yates, spoke about the team’s performance heading into tomorrow’s qualifying session for the Daytona 500.
RICKY RUDD – weiter >>
Matt Kenseth and Ricky Rudd are not part of the Budweiser Shootout, but they still had plenty to talk about during Thursday’s NASCAR Media Day. Kenseth is coming off a second-place finish in last year’s standings while Rudd is returning to Robert Yates Racing after a one-year hiatus.
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion –
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS weiter >>
- NASCAR Nextel Cup Series -
While strong past performance does not guarantee future success in racing, Team Chevy has a history of its Monte Carlo SS drivers winning events at Speedweeks - including the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 pole positions - in addition to the grandest race itself.
With over half of all Shootouts won and five of its cur weiter >>
Preparing Their Summit Racing GTOs for 2007 and the GM DRCE3
With the opening of the 2007 NHRA season less than two weeks away, it won’t be long now before defending Pro Stock champion Jason Line puts his first POWERade crown on the line, and the eager group of drivers ready to rise to the challenge includes none other than his own Summit Racing Pon weiter >>
As Presenting Sponsors of "DALE",Chevrolet and GM Goodwrench Offer Free Movie Premiers to Race Fans in 40 U.S. Markets
Chevrolet and GM Goodwrench will support the premier of the highly anticipated documentary "DALE" through their role as presenting sponsors and by hosting exclusive screenings in 40 markets across the United States mirroring weiter >>
Benny Parsons, who charmed television audiences with his folksy demeanor as much as he impressed fans with his ability as a driver, died Tuesday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte following complications from lung cancer. He was 65.
The former self-proclaimed Detroit taxi dri weiter >>
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 M&M’s Ford Fusion –
TUESDAY AFTERNOON WAS THE FIRST DRAFTING PRACTICE. CAN YOU SUM UP THAT SESSION? "We learned a lot. We got to run there, lead in the pack, in the back, in the middle, two-wide. Learned a lot. We’ve got some work to do, I think, on the cars.
Getting a little bit more comfortable. Ricky [Rudd, Ro weiter >>
Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, has a new crew chief in Larry Carter as he begins his second year with Roush Racing on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. McMurray held a Q&A session in the infield media center before Wednesday’s morning practice session.
JAMIE MCMURRAY – No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion – "Larry didn’t actually sta weiter >>
Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, was a guest during the lunch break in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center to discuss his return to full-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing. His comments follow:
RICKY RUDD – No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion –
"We’re looking forward to it. We’re hav weiter >>
Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, returned to Daytona International Speedway as a full-time driver this morning as the first day of testing for next month’s Daytona 500 began. Rudd, who served as a mid-race fill-in driver for Tony Stewart at Dover last season, signed with Robert Yates Racing just before Christmas.
RICKY RUDD – No. 88 Snickers Ford weiter >>
Things to see in '07 NASCAR
Toyota's Nextel Cup debut: Toyota's entry into Nextel Cup in 2007 represents the first full-time foreign manufacturer in NASCAR's top-tier series. How will Toyota fare in its first season?
Car of Tomorrow phase-in: NASCAR's vision of the racing chassis of the future is scheduled to make its debut at Bristol in Marc weiter >>
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
An interview with: JIMMIE JOHNSON, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Champion
November 21, 2006
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to this week's special post-season NASCAR teleconference with our guest, the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, driver of th weiter >>
· Greg Biffle won the Ford 400 for the third straight year and gave Ford a Truck-Busch-Cup sweep of Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
· Mark Martin won the Ford 200 on Friday night while Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag in the Ford 300 on Saturday night.
· Biffle now has 11 career NNC wins after posting his second triumph of 2006 (Da weiter >>
Ford 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway
An Interview With:No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship Winning Driver, Crew Chief and Team Owner:
JIMMIE JOHNSONCHAD KNAUSRICK HENDRICK
THE MODERATOR: How does it feel?
CHAD KNAUS: Has not set in just yet. It wa weiter >>
An Interview With:
MARTIN TRUEX, JR., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Monte Carlo SS, second place finisher in Ford 400
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Monte Carlo SS, third place finisher and Raybestos Rookie of the Year winner
MODERATOR: We have two of our top competitors in here today with a career?best secon weiter >>
MARK MARTIN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Finished 6th) –
YOU TOOK TWO TIRES THERE AND TOOK A CHANCE. "Yeah, we had a pretty good car. It was awesome on long runs and we didn’t get none of that in the second half, but in the first half we were mowing ‘em down. It wasn’t real good on restarts with new tires and stuff, so we made the most of it. I’m really proud of this t weiter >>
DALE JARRETT – No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion (Qualified 27th) – "We had a good pick up on both of our laps from practice. We worked on race stuff mainly in practice and made one attempt at a qualifying deal, but we were terrible. The guys put their heads together and the changes they made, especially with the shocks, made a huge difference in the way that car drove. I could be ag weiter >>
MATT KENSETH, press conference
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 R&L Carriers Fusion (finished 11th, series points leader) – "We didn’t run very good. We kind of did the pit thing, I thought, right at the end, and got tires and we were decent there. Whatever the heck we’re do weiter >>
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 R&L Carriers Fusion – YOU SEEM TO HAVE ALMOST THE PERFECT TEMPERMENT FOR A RACE AT MARTINSVILLE. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TEMPERMENT WHEN YOU’RE ON THE TRACK? "I think whatever your car is capable of doing that day has a lot to do with how you drive. You just do the best you can every week with the equipment that you’re given and try to get the best finish weiter >>
KEN SCHRADER – No. 21 Little Debbie Fusion (qualified 10th) – "I just missed it a little bit, but it’s the fastest lap we ran today. It’s not going to be bad."
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 R&L Carriers Fusion (qualified 20th) – "That was a really good lap. That’s a lot better than we thought we were going to do."
MARK MARTIN – No. 6 AAA Fusion (qualified 25th) – ALL weiter >>
Chevy Teams Observe 10 Talented Drivers Put Through Paces of Final Stage at Nashville Superspeedway
The GM Racing Development Driver Evaluation Program concluded on Tuesday, Oct.11, 2006 at Nashville Superspeedway (NSS). Chevrolet NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS), Busch Series (NBS) and Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) teams observed the invited drivers go th weiter >>
Jeff Burton held onto his lead in the Chase for the Nextel Cup after Talladega, but just barely. Matt Kenseth is now just six points behind him in second place -- but not by much.
Mark Martin trails Kenseth by just four points; Kevin Harvick is only 23 points behind Martin... I think you get the picture. The always unpredictable Talladega tightened up the Chase standings weiter >>
2007 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb 16 Daytona International Speedway
Feb 23 California Speedway
Mar 16 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Mar 31 Martinsville Speedway
Apr 28 Kansas Speedway
May 18 Lowe's Motor Speedway
May 26 Mansfield Motorsports Speedway
Jun 1 Dover International Speedway
Jun 8 Tex weiter >>
The 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule was announced today and for the fifth consecutive year, the championship will be contested over 25 races. The schedule begins at Daytona International Speedway in February and concludes at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
The series will visit the same 22 tracks as it did in 2006. A change in the schedule order moves t weiter >>
Final Stage Set for October 10-11, 2006 at Nashville Superspeedway
Detroit (MI) - GM Racing is in the process of hosting a three-stage Development Driver Evaluation Program. The purpose is to place a group of select young drivers in a controlled environment to give Chevy Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series racing teams the opportunity to m weiter >>
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, is fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings with three races remaining before the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
SHARPIE 500 QUALIFYING
MARK MARTIN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Qualified 15th) – "We got a bad draw there. I hate that. We’ve got a great race car and I thought for once we weren’t g weiter >>
Schedule's order has changes, but locations remain same
Official Release August 24, 2006
Nextel Cup Series schedule was announced Thursday, a 36-race slate starting with the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. On Sunday, Nov. 18, Homestead-Miami Speedway will again host the season finale. weiter >>
Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M’s Ford Fusion, qualified 12th for tomorrow’s AMD at the Glen. After the first practice session, Sadler spoke about the race and his decision last month to leave Robert Yates Racing.
ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 38 M&M’s Ford Fusion – YOU SA weiter >>
Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, is sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings with five races remaining until the Chase for the Nextel Cup begins. He spoke about his position in the standings and this weekend’s race before Friday’s practice.
MARK MARTIN – No. 6 A weiter >>
Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion, was one of the NASCAR Busch Series regulars who also will be trying to make the Nextel Cup race this weekend. Leicht, who made his Cup debut two weeks ago at Pocono, spoke about attempting to make both races and his first trip to Indianapolis weiter >>
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion, has won two of the last three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway and he was the fastest in both practice sessions on Saturday. Biffle, who qualified 10th for tomorrow’s 3M Performance 400, spoke about his expectations wh weiter >>
MARK MARTIN – No. 6 AAA Fusion – "We just did this, didn’t we? I feel like we just left the press room."
ALMOST HALF OF YOUR CAREER CUP STARTS HERE HAVE RESULTED IN TOP-FIVE FINISHES. YOU MUST ALWAYS FEEL LIKE GOOD THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN HERE. "Yeah. I’ve always liked this weiter >>
ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 38 M&M’s Fusion (qualified 8th) – "We’ve been missing on qualifying a little bit. We’re fast right there because nobody’s really gone. We just missed it a little bit. Spending so much time on race trim, we’ve been letting our qualifying slip through the cracks a lot. But maybe that’ll be in the top 15 or something. I’m proud of my guys. We got a lo weiter >>