Are you ready for some slam bang racing this week? It may be a road course instead of a short track. It may be in wine country instead of 'shine country. Hell, it is North California instead of North Carolina, but the road circuits tend to bring out the old school, paint swappin', fender rubbin', donut leaving, hard charging in all the drivers.
After Stewart Haas Racing said it's now too late to form a third team for Kasey Kahne to drive for next year, Phoenix Racing has come forward to offer their services. Phoenix hopes to get one of those sweetheart deals (top driver, sponsor, and HMS support) by becoming an HMS satellite team, if only for one year. They would, in effect, be Hendrick's seventh team... but who's counting.
Casey Mears was bounced from his (evidently, very) temporary Red Bull ride last week after an on-track team driver meeting with Scott Speed at 170 mph. Mears is headed back to the start-and-park effort at TBR with all the other underachievers. Reed Sorenson parlays some solid NNS runs this year into the Red Bull seat that Mears barely kept warm for Brian Vickers. Langley Speedway legend, Elton Sawyer also lost his management position at RBR last week.
It's No Secret
After dominating last week at MIS, Denny Hamlin said what everyone already knows. Hamlin stated that all the drivers know to expect the 'debris' caution near the end of every race. He also shrugged and deadpanned, "We know it's show business."
Some are predicting that Hamlin will be penalized by NASCAR, because other sports do not tolerate competitors trashing the officiating. It's bad enough that NASCAR defends the indefensible, but publicly going after Hamlin would send a sour message to the fans. As in, "We don't mind you guys purposely wrecking each other at 190 now, but no truth telling!"
Infineon and Beyond!
It's been a long time since a part-time, road race ringer won a Cup road race. So, why do owners keep bringing them in every year?
Boris Said returns, this time in the #26. Among the other one and dones are PJ Jones, Brian Simo, and Jan Magnussen.
Jimmie Johnson is 0 for 16 on the two road courses now on the Cup schedule.
Dale Earnhardt Jr's best finish here is 11th, and his average finish is 21.4.
Kasey Kahne's average is even worse. Even after winning last year, he averages a 26.7 finish here.
The last ringer to win on a twisty? Mark Donohue at Riverside in 1973, driving an AMC Matador for Roger Penske.