Jimmie Johnson Talks About Winning Upcoming Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

After finishing 12th in Chicago and 5th in New Hampshire, Jimmie Johnson sits fourth in the Chase heading to Dover International Speedway this weekend

Raleigh, North Carolina (Sept. 23, 2014) – NASCAR driver and six-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson has been heard talking about his race car driving like a tank. Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway Jimmie Johnson met with the media and fans to talk about the upcoming Bank of America 500 and take a comparison drive in a World War II tank.

“I have made references to how bad my race car is driving and it driving like a tank. Today I will find out if it’s true,” Johnson joked before climbing aboard. “It’s usually relative to our car not turning sharp enough and from our debriefing earlier, it doesn’t turn very sharp.”

“The comparison’s fair,” Johnson said of driving the 75,000-pound battle-tested beast. “They don’t turn very well. I just feel bad that I tore up the grass so bad.”

You can watch Jimmie Johnson compete in the fifth race in the Chase for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship, the Bank of America 500, at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 10 and 11th. Check ESPN and local providers for details on possible television coverage of the upcoming race.

“When we get to Charlotte – granted the format is far different now – but you usually have an idea of who the players are. We’ll have a good idea of who’s showing strength,” Johnson said. “I want another win sticker. This has been a great track for me over the years. It has changed a lot. The surface in May was finally starting to lose its grip. We have a lot of little bumps building around the race track which over the next few years will turn into big bumps and allow us to move around the race track and find some different lines.”

Read about the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals Eliminations.

Kentucky Speedway Expanding Parking .

Read about the third annual better half dash

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Joey Logano Advances to Contender Round of Chase to NASCAR’s 2014 Sprint Cup Series Championship

Joey Logano celebrates his victory in the Sylvania 300
Joey Logano celebrates his victory in the Sylvania 300

Ford Fusion and Team Penski sit in the drivers’ seat after third straight win

Joey Logano advances to the Contender round of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
Joey Logano advances to the Contender round of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship

Joey Logano combined a quick pit stop to grab four new tires on Sunday during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with a great restart to take the lead with just two laps to go and then won the race down the stretch to the finish line. This victory punches his ticket to the Contender round of the 2014 Chase to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship.

Sports History Today was on hand after the Slyvania 300 to hear what Joey Logano had to say about his victory and the upcoming race at Dover International Speedway.

Joey Logano enjoying his moment of glory
Joey Logano enjoying his moment of glory

Did you know that four tires would be the call of the day?

“No, I thought we gave it away at that point, but four tires were good and we had some good restarts and were able to get ourselves back up there.  We worked hard.  This is my home race track, the coolest place to win for me.  I could never pick a better race track to win.  I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and I won that other Cup race here, but I just felt like I had to win one the right way here, and this means so much.  I’ve got to thank all the boys at Team Penske.  We’re doing what we’ve got to do to win this thing right now – both teams are – and I’m proud of that.  This is my home track so it means so much to me.”

What went through your mind when the caution came out with four to go?

“I had a lot of things I can’t say right now that came to my mind, but we were able to have some good restarts.  The guys did a good job setting this thing up and gave me something to win with today. I went to sleep last night hoping for a top five.  That would be good for me at this track because it’s not one of my key places, and that’s why it means so much to win here.”

How does it sound to be going to the next round?

“It feels good to go into the next one.  We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing though.  We’ve got to keep our eye on the prize and think about the big trophy at the end.”

How did you feel heading into the race?

“A lot went into this one, that’s for sure.  I’ll just take you back to when we unloaded we were OK and then yesterday in practice we were so-so.  I didn’t feel like we were great and towards the end of practice we made a couple changes and found some speed, started seventh today and was able to work our way up a little bit in the beginning of the race.  I felt like, ‘OK, ‘we’ve got something to contend for a victory with,’ if everything worked out right and we ran around top-three most of the day.  We came in and put two tires on and a couple cars stayed out, and at that point I had a bad restart third and another bad restarted when I was fifth and that put us sixth or so when the caution came out.  Todd put four tires on it and at that point I thought he was crazy because we came out 16th, and I was like, ‘Well, let’s just try to salvage something out of this and try to get a top-10 or top-5,’ because our goal coming into the race was to get to the next round.  We’ve got to get to the next round to win the championship.  That’s our ultimate goal is to win the championship and we had to get through this day the best we could and had some really good restarts.  Before I knew it I was sitting third and was like, ‘Huh, I’ve got a shot at winning this thing.’  I’ve got 30 lap newer tires than anybody and we were able to capitalize with that, and then of course it was caution after caution after caution and that was making me nervous for sure.  I don’t know if Todd and Walt were, but I know I was and we were able to capitalize and have some good restarts and be here in Victory Lane.  Too me, this is almost like Daytona.  It’s such a special place for me.  I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and started my first one and won my first one.  After the week I had in Connecticut doing some really cool fundraisers, to top it off with a victory is really neat.”

Does this increase your confidence heading to the next round?

“I would think so.  It definitely didn’t go the other way.  You get a win like that.  This is personally I consider my worst race track.  That’s terrible to say because it’s my home race track, but I’ve always struggled when I come here.  To be able to win at your worst race track that makes you feel like you can win anywhere.  It’s just special to be able to do that and the confidence is high with the 22 team right now and all of Team Penske.  We all feel like we’ve got some championships to win this year, not only on the Cup side but on the Nationwide side also.  Obviously, we’ve already got one with IndyCar so we’re just trying to catch up to them.”

Did you think you had a good chance to win with all of those late cautions?

“Restarts you never know what’s gonna happen, but Todd gives me a really good car that I can be aggressive with on restarts and I think that’s a big deal because the more in control I am the more aggressive I can be, and the more aggressive you are in restarts the more you’re in control of the restart.  You don’t want to be the guy going the wrong way.  Todd said a second ago about being on the offense and not on the defense.  It’s not just putting tires on that makes it like that, it’s having a car that’s capable of running in traffic and it’s something we work on a lot in practice and making sure that we have something that’s gonna be good in traffic and that can restart well.  We’ve seen it time and time again with these Sprint Cup races that it’s most likely gonna come down to a late-race caution, so you’ve got to be able to execute the restart and the first five laps around traffic.  That takes a good car and kind of knowing what to expect and trying to play it out in your head before it happens.”

How does it feel when you have a car that responds to your input?

“It’s nice when you say something about the race car and Todd is able to adjust it and fix it and it gets better. That’s what we get paid to do.  When we go to practice it’s, ‘OK, where we are on speed and what do we need to be better.’  We talk about it and be methodical about our adjustments and go from there.  I think Todd does a great job.  Todd doesn’t just make changes to make changes.  I know that’s how I would be if I was a crew chief.  I’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, just do that and do that and it will be fine and go for it.’  But Todd really understands and takes the time to talk it out with me, which I think is very important to dig out the deep information and then think about what the adjustment is gonna do and what the reaction to other parts and pieces of the car is gonna be when he does it, and understand why it changes a certain thing.  I think that’s what makes him very strong as a crew chief, and that’s why I wouldn’t be a crew chief because I would just go for it.  So together we work out.”

How much sweeter was it to win this race today compared to the last time?

“I didn’t know where Victory Lane was here actually, so I just made another lap.  I said, ‘I’m just gonna keep going around.’  I didn’t have any rear tires on it.  I think it drug the frame rails off the car, but I just didn’t want to come in.  I wanted to stay out there.  This is, like I said, how big of a win this is for me.  I never got out in front of all the fans on the front straightaway before but it was just too cool.  I couldn’t give up that opportunity.  Then I just wanted to keep going, so I just kept making laps out there.  There might not be much left of the car, but it was really special to win here and I wanted to make it last as long as I could.”

Has this track always been an outside line restart track or did weather conditions play a role?

“As far as I can remember, yes, the outside has been the preferred lane, but it’s kind of sketchy.  It is where you can get the momentum and most likely you come out in the lead, but the way you get in the corners here, it’s so flat just one lane down that the inside car gets loose really easily, so it’s dangerous being out there, but it is the preferred lane and that’s why when I was in the lane I did everything I could to make sure I had a good enough restart that I had position on him, that I didn’t have to race him through turn one.  That was my big goal on every one was just getting through the gear box as quick as I could.”

What happened on the restart when you and Brad were together and Harvick passed you guys for the lead?

“It’s exactly what I just talked about.  I got on the inside and we were both racing for the lead and I got loose and I started chasing it up.  Thank goodness he held onto it and we held onto it and we both ended up with good days out of it.  The important thing is that both of us have moved on to the next round and we can keep racing and working together and trying to win the championship.”

Did you think your shot at the win was gone at that point?

“No, it’s not over until it’s over.  I’ve seen these races change a lot in the late laps.  No, it’s never over until it’s over.  If I’m running fifth with four to go, I still think I can win this thing a lot of times.  I think that’s the attitude you’ve got to have.  If you get a late-race caution it’s like, ‘I’ve got a shot at it.  It might take a miracle, but I’ve got a shot,’ and that’s all I can ask for.”

What’s your attitude heading to Dover?

“Dover is a crazy race track.  It’s so much fun to go around it.  Right now, my focus is on Texas though.  We’ve got a test down there the next two days and we’ve got to make sure we make that test everything we can do out of it and make sure we’re ready for it when we get to Texas and try to win down there again.  Right now, I’m focused on that and then we’ll think about Dover.  You talked about being relaxed, it’s not really the case.  Walt said earlier our next focus is the next race and we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing.  We focus hard on each and every race track and we want to go to Dover.  Knowing that we’re in the next round is nice, but we want to go out there and win.  We want to keep the momentum going and you never know what’s gonna happen later on in this Chase.  There could be a time that we don’t make it to the next round and we’ve got to revert back to points.  It would be pretty nice to have a solid finish at Dover to try and get a good, solid points position at the end of the year.  Our goal is to win the championship though, so we have to get from round to round, but just because we’re in the next one doesn’t mean we’re gonna take an off weekend next week.” 

The next test for competitors is the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014. Four drivers will be eliminated from the Chase for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Championship next week. You can catch the race live on ESPN starting at 1 p.m. eastern time and the race begins at 2 p.m.

Keselowski Grabs First Victory in the Chase to the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship

Brad Keselowski celebrates his victory at Chicagoland Motor Speedway
Brad Keselowski celebrates his victory at Chicagoland Motor Speedway

Penske Racing gives Ford its 1th win of the season, but the first at Chicagoland Speedway 

Brad showed patience and got his timing right on this Sunday afternoon
Brad showed patience and got his timing right on this Sunday afternoon

Joliet, Illinois (Sept. 14, 2014) – Brad Keselowski won for the second consecutive time, and the fifth overall this season, on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway to advance to the Challenger round of the 2014 Chase.

Brad Keselowski cements his position in the next round of the Chase
Brad Keselowski cements his position in the next round of the Chase

This win puts Keselowski and Ford Racing at the front of the pack and in control of their own destiny heading to the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 21. Presently, he’s just seven points ahead of second place racer Jeff Gordon, nine ahead of his teammate Joey Logano in third, and 13 ahead of Kevin Harvick in the Chase for the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship trophy. You can check the official standings for the Sprint Cup series here.

Brad is pumped,  but ready for the next stage of his drive to become the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champion
Brad is pumped, but ready for the next stage of his drive to become the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champion

With only two weeks remaining in the first round of the Chase, several drivers are on the verge of being eliminated, and need to put their foot down on the accelerator. Ryan Newman finished 15th at Chicagoland Motor Speedway, after starting second on the grid, and needs to pick up the pace this Sunday. AJ Allmendinger sits five points outside the cutline, and after finishing 22nd last week, will need to find a path through the pack and finish high in the standings to keep his hopes for the second round of the Chase alive. Greg Biffle sits nine points behind the cutline and after an average start and 23rd place finish at Chicagoland Motor Speedway, is expected to let his horses do the talking this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Sports History Today was on hand after the race to listen to Brad Keselowski talk about his win at Chicagoland on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

How you were able to win? “I am not really sure what to say. I don’t really know what happened I just know we got to the lead. There was traffic and I was just digging and in the zone. The recorder was turned off so I don’t remember what happened. I had my head down doing all I could do. We had a great Miller Lite Ford Fusion that I knew from the start would be good but man it was really awesome the last few runs. We really dialed it in and the 2 crew did a excellent job. What a day. Man, I am still pumped.”

Starting 25th on the starting grid, how much patience did it take to make it to the front and win? “You have to be so patient. The cars in traffic are all over the track and it is very easy to spin out on your own and you have to pace yourself. I don’t know what to say. I am so thankful to be here. I want to say thanks because I know the fans can hear me. I saw all of them standing on their feet when we made the pass for the lead and that was awesome. Thank you fans for being here and for your support. What a great day. God that was sweet.”  How does it feel to make it to the next round of the Chase? “Awesome.”

Give our readers a few comments about the way the race played out for you today. “I guess you couldn’t ask for a better way to start the Chase other than starting up front.  Just phenomenal with the way things played out.  I don’t know if we were the fastest car.  There were some runs where I thought we were really fast and then some runs where I thought the 4 and the 42 were really fast.  It was so hard to tell.  Whoever had the cleanest air was really at such an advantage. But towards the middle part of the race, that’s when we lost track position.  That was something that we all thought was awful at the time, but I guess it worked out.  Then from there we just fought, just climbed and clawed. I think we got up to eighth, and Paul made the call or decision to pit a little bit late.  It worked out perfectly.  We were able to be on pit road right as the yellow came out.  That put us from eighth to fourth, I think.  We were able to take advantage with that on the restarts, get up to third. I just saw a hole and I went for it.  The 4 and the 42 were racing really hard, doing all the things they needed to do.  It just opened a hole.  I didn’t know if my car would stick or not, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try it.  I tried it, it did.  That got us into the lead. Even that was going to be close.  I think the 42 was quite a bit faster as the long run went.  We got that yellow.  Things evened out.  We were able to take advantage from there.”

Everything didn’t go well with the car today, but despite this you seemed to be confident throughout the race. Was there ever a time during the race you thought things were about to fall apart, or were you confident throughout the competition? “I knew we were going to need to catch a break to get to Victory Lane from there.  That was going to be tough.  We did catch a small one.  But I was really surprised how much speed we had to get as close as we did to the front there.  That was amazing. I think we drove up to eighth.  We restarted 16th or 17th in position, but probably had to be 30th or something in car order.  So to get by that many cars, get close to the front, was really an incredible run, and put us in position to capitalize when that yellow came out.  That was something that all came together. From there, I knew once we got to fourth with 30 or 40 to go, it was going to be about executing the restarts.  We had an okay one the first time where we just really held serve.  The outside groove was very, very difficult to get a good restart in with wheel spin.  Then we had a great one there the last one.  There were three of them.  I can’t remember there were two or three of them.  The last one, once we had gotten the lead.  We just put it all together, and that was very, very special.”

Give our readers an idea of what this win means in terms of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship? “It means a lot.  My boss would say don’t read your own press clippings.  I want to enjoy the moment but I still know there’s nine weeks to go.  We have a bit of a hall pass for the next two, which I’m very appreciative.  But those other seven, nobody cares that we won Chicago, nobody cares that we won Richmond or the other three races.  It keeps resetting.  You have to reset yourself.  You have to keep developing the car and pushing as a team, whether it’s on pit road, the car handling, spec, whatever it might be, or driver tactics. So I want to be thankful for today, but I know there’s a long ways to go.  Today was about as much of a statement as you can make on a week one with ten weeks to go.  I don’t want to understate it but certainly don’t want to overstate it.  It’s a hard balance.”

What does this race mean for you and the team? Is this win a road sign the other racers need to heed? “I think kind of like I was saying before, it’s a statement for this week.  After we get done with Dover, everything resets.  I still don’t think we were the fastest car.  It was probably pretty even between the 4 and the 42 and maybe the 24.  It was about the clean air and restarts. But I’m still very thankful for what we were able to do today and we got to keep pushing.”

How is this win going to change the way you race this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway? Will you be willing to let it all loose, knowing it doesn’t really matter what you do here, or will you play it conservative and save the car for later races? “I don’t know.  I guess that’s something we have to sit down and discuss as a group.  I can’t really say I’ve thought about that in detail. I think there’s potential with people.  There’s potential with pieces we might be worried about from a reliability standpoint, things of that nature that come to mind. I don’t know what those opportunities are.  A guy like Paul, Travis, Tim Cindric, they know that best and could probably answer that question better, but we still have a lot to talk through and work on.  Certainly don’t want to lose focus on the seven races after that, as well.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup series action continues this weekend on the pavement at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Brad Keselowski will be on hand to entertain and make a run for his third consecutive Sprint Cup series win. Always willing to talk to fans and let it all go on the race track, Brad will be happy to show you his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion, and sign an autograph.

If you can’t make it to Loudon this Sunday for the running of the Sylvania 300 on the pavement of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. ESPN’s Motorsports This Week is airing a live telecast of the second race of the 2014 Chase on NASCAR Countdown starting at 1 p.m. ET. The green flag will drop around 2:15 p.m., so you have time to grab a few snacks and get ready for the fun!

ESPN’s Lineup on Motorsports This Week

Watch 12 Hours of the Biggest Event in Drag Racing this weekend

Watch the best drag racers in the world compete for the championship this weekend
ESPN This Week is showing 12 hours of the NHRA US Nationals this weekend from Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis

Do you love to watch the big boys race down the track at 300 mph? ESPN is showing 12 hours of one of the most popular races in the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series season on ESPN2 this weekend. This is your chance to enjoy the 60th running of the boys in the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

 

Coverage begins at 6 p.m. Friday, with qualifying rounds on ESPN3. Viewers can watch the qualifying rounds of the race on the multi-screen capability of the network. On Sunday viewers can watch qualifying rounds for the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes on ESPN2 starting at 11 a.m. The action culminates on Monday with six hours of drag racing eliminations that are fun and exciting to watch. There will be two sessions on Monday, the first will be telecast on ESPN3 at 11 a.m. and the second will air at 12 noon on ESPN2.

 

Four-time NHRA champion Gary Scelzi will be on hand, along with ESPN’s normal lineup of announcers, to lend a useful comment or two and add a little class to the show. You can even watch all of the competition on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN.

Joey Logano Wins Fourth Straight Nationwide Series Race at Dover International Speedway

Joey Logano wins 2013 5-Hour Energy 200 Nationwide Series race
Joey Logano wins 2013 5-Hour Energy 200 Nationwide Series race

Dover, Delaware (September 28, 2013) – Joey Logano raced his way into the history books again on Saturday, winning his fourth straight NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Dover International Speedway in the 5-Hour Energy 200. Joey Logano is now the only NASCAR Nationwide driver to ever win four times on the Monster Mile of Dover and the only driver to win four consecutive events in any racing series at the mile long superspeedway in Delaware.

When asked about his historic day, Joey answered. “This has been my favorite place ever since I started here. Even when I barrel-rolled down the straightaway, it’s still my favorite place.”

With four straight wins at the Monster Mile, it is not hard to see why this track is his favorite place to race. The race on Saturday at the old track was recorded as the fastest ever in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, beating the previous record of 130.152 set in 1998 by Dale Earnhardt. Jr. by 1.082 mph.

The fast race was really due to the 160 laps they raced under a green flag. Logano had the pole advantage and due to this was ahead for the first 18 laps, before Kyle Busch made his move. By the time they reached the 26th lap things became a lot tighter on the track, when the caution flag was raised due to a spin by Brian Scott. The caution flag was raised again during Lap 37, when Donnie Neuenberger ran into the wall. By this time in the race, the race car of Joey Logano was running noticeably slower on the track. This prompted Joey to come into the pits for a long stop, during which time he had this to say.

“[Busch was] really fast in the beginning of the race and we were really loose,” Logano said. “I even wanted to stop at the caution before that. But we decided to stay out a little bit longer and got that next caution. We took that hit on pit road making these big adjustments. “These Nationwide races are short and you have to make big swings early. [Crew chief] Jeremy [Bullins] made some big swings on this thing and got it close, and we just needed the one more stop to fine tune it. I was just able to run my race and take care of the tires, and do the right things in the car.”

The extended pit stop worked wonders for the race car of Logano and Busch had elected to stay out on the track and gain ground, instead of pitting. When Busch eventually had to head into the pit during Lap 87, the rest of the field followed his example a few laps later, and this put Busch behind the rest of the racers on pit stops, and would mean he would need to stop one more time before the end of the race.

By this time the tires of Logano were 30 laps newer than the race tires of Busch and he started to rapidly gain ground on the leader. He caught Busch on Lap 141 and from that point on there was nothing but open race track between him and the finish line.

Logano “When your car drives good here and you have what you need, when you have lapped traffic it doesn’t even slow you down,” Logano said. “When you’re loose, you get stuck. In these Nationwide races, being able to get through the lapped traffic as quick as possible is key to winning these things.”

At the press conference after the 5-Hour Energy 200 Joey Logano had a few things to say.

Joey Logano – No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang – We had a fast race car.  I don’t know what else I need to say.  This Hertz Ford was really good when we unloaded and then throughout practice the track changed on us a little bit and last night we made some good changes on the race car.  Jeremy and all the guys and girls on the team did a good job tuning the thing up for me.  We started the race too loose and they went for it.  These Nationwide races are short.  You’ve got to make big swings real early and I feel like Jeremy and I have worked enough together now that when I say loose and how loose he kind of knows how much it is and he made some big swings on this thing and got it pretty close.  Then we needed one more stop to just kind of fine-tune it.  After that second green-flag stop it was dialed in pretty good.  I was just able to run my race and take care of the tires, make sure I was doing the right things in the car, and get another victory.  It’s just really cool to get four in a row here at Dover.  That’s pretty awesome.  It’s been my favorite race track ever since I started here, yes, even when I barrel-rolled down the back straightaway it’s still my favorite place, and I think we showed it today.  Hopefully, my Shell/Pennzoil Ford tomorrow is just as fast as this one.  If that’s the case, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

The No. 22 Hertz Ford
The No. 22 Hertz Ford

The crew chief for the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang, Jeremy Bullins, also had few comments on the race and car.

Jeremy Bullins – Crew Chief -No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang “It means a lot that we’re continuing to build good cars.  This is another brand new car that the guys at the shop built.  We just keep pushing forward and, like Joey said, the first race here we learned a lot about what the car needs for him.  I feel like we’ve learned a lot about, like what he says, when he says ‘loose’ we’re learning how to work on it and we’re getting closer with that.  We talked about it before the race, there were a lot of streaks to be kept alive today and I think we managed to pull that off, so it was just a great day on pit road.  The guys did a good job.  The whole team just did an excellent job today.”

When asked why it has been so hard for him to have success on the race track on Sunday at Dover International Speedway, Joey answered.

Joey Logano “I tell you what, on the Cup side I really do feel like I’ve had some strong cars here.  I’ve had a lot of misfortune in the Cup races, but I’ve had a lot of fast race cars here that are capable of running top five.  I’ve had loose wheels.  I’ve had flat tires.  I’ve had motors blowing up.  I’ve gone through a lot here at this race track and that’s why if you look at the stats like you did, you wouldn’t know that we ran as well as we did, but we have run really well at this race track on the Cup side.  I’m expecting tomorrow to be similar, I hope.  As far as the way the Chase has gone, Chicago, we were doing everything we were supposed to do.  We got the pole and we were leading laps, but unfortunately things break on race cars every now and again and that cost us a really good finish there and a lot of points, obviously.  Last week at Loudon, it’s probably my toughest race track that I go to.  I go from the place that I hate the most to the place I love the most this week and we came out of there with a 14th-place finish, which is not good, but, for me, is decent actually.  We come here this weekend and we know that we can still run up there.  We still have a lot of momentum on this team and we know what we did to get in the Chase and how good we are, and we’ve just got to keep pushing forward and keep fighting.  I always say that the 22 team over there never quits and they never die and that’s what we did to get here.  We’re not out of it yet.  We can still win it.  We’ve got a tough road ahead of us and we really can’t have a bad race in the next eight, but we can still do it.  We’re not out yet.  The fat lady is not singing yet.  She’s warming up her voice, but she’s not singing yet.”

Was it surprising to see this race run 160 laps to the finish line without a caution and were you surprised how easily you caught up to Busch after the series of green flags evened out? 

Joey Logano “Yes and yes.  They were really fast in the beginning of the race.  We were really loose, so I even wanted to stop the caution before that because we were hanging on.  We were pretty loose, but we decided to stay out a little bit longer and then got that next caution.  We took our hit on pit road a little bit making these big adjustments that we were gonna lose a couple spots and some guys took two, and then we were able to drive our way close to the front and then, obviously, he didn’t pit so he has to pit earlier than us, and then at that point we have newer tires so we were able to kind of run him back down.  I don’t really know what happened after that.  I was just driving in circles as fast as I could.”

“That’s when we just came out on new tires and I radioed in to Jeremy and said, ‘This car is right on.  It’s right where I need it to be,’ and I was able to carry really fast lap times.  When your car drives good here and you have exactly what it needs, when you get to lap traffic it doesn’t even slow you down.  But if it’s loose like it was, you get to a lapped car and you’re just kind of stuck and you can’t go anywhere.  He had it right where I needed to be that I was able to pass cars when I got to them and really make up that gap a lot because in these Nationwide races having a fast car is one thing, but being able to get through the lap traffic as quick as possible is key to winning these things.”

 

 

 

 

Third Annual Better Half Dash on Bojangles’ Pole Night

The 201 Better Half Dash is expected to be even more fun
The 201 Better Half Dash is expected to be even more fun

Concord, North Carolina (Sept. 26, 2013) – Ladies start your engines! The girls of NASCAR are set to race 25 laps for charity during the third annual Better Half Dash on October 10 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The last two events saw Jacquelyn Butler walk away with the prized six-foot pink trophy in 2011. Last year the wife of NASCAR driver Travis Pastrana, Lyn-z Pastrana, drove to victory during the second annual Better Half Dash. This year last seasons champion indicates she is looking forward to repeating her success at Charlotte.

Lyn-z showing off her 2012 big pink Better Half Dash trophy
Lyn-z showing off her 2012 big pink Better Half Dash trophy

The ladies of NASCAR are set to run down the track in North Carolina just before the NASCAR Sprint Cup racers head out on the track to see who can do the fastest lap on Bojangles’ Pole Night. The ladies of NASCAR will drive U.S. Legend Cars International Banderos around the frontstretch quarter-mile for bragging rights and charities like Motor Racing Outreach and Speedway Children’s Charities.

The ladies from the 2012 Better Half Dash
The ladies from the 2012 Better Half Dash

Below you can check out which ladies are set to drive during the 2013 Better Half Dash.

Wendy Venturini, motorsports analyst for Fox Sports 1

Lyn-z Pastrana, wife of NASCAR driver Travis Pastrana

Kristen Yeley, wife of NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley

Michelle Gilliland, wife of NASCAR driver David Gilliland

Ashley Stremme, wife of NASCAR driver David Stremme

Heidi Stoddard, wife of NASCAR team owner Frank Stoddard

Jessica Park, wife of NASCAR driver Steve Park

Gina Cope, wife of NASCAR crew chief Ernie Cope

Amy Gordon, wife of NASCAR crew chief Todd Gordon

Melanie Self, a representative of Motor Racing Outreach

The better half of the team of Pastrana, Lyn-z is a sports professional, being a eight-time X Games medalist, and keeps her trophy from last year in their bedroom. She apparently likes her big pink trophy and expectations are for Lyn-z to be very competitive during the 2013 Better Half Dash.

Better Half Dash defending champion and eight-time X Games medalist, Pastrana is no stranger to winning, and she has a special fondness for her six-foot pink Better Half Dash trophy. “It’s actually sitting in our bedroom. None of Travis’ trophies are in our bedroom,” Pastrana said. “I’ve never gotten a trophy like that ever in all my action sports.” “It’s definitely a really fun experience,” Pastrana said. “It’s cool to get to know some of the other wives and bring the community together a little bit more.”

The starting positions for the 2013 Better Half Dash will be determined by qualifying on October 7, 2013, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Race enthusiasts hoping to lend a hand to their favorite driver can show up to add their support, since the driver collecting the most donations will be in front of the field heading to the green flag. You can also help the charities each driver is helping by donating a few dollars in their name by visiting www.go2mro.com/betterhalfdash.

Race fans can also have a little fun watching their favorite drivers act as crew chiefs and spotters during the 2013 Better Half Dash. The husbands will be in the pit taking care of the girls’ cars, but aren’t allowed to make any engine, chassis or suspension changes.

The lady that walks away with the 2013 Better Half Dash Championship will be given $10,000. $5,000 she can hand out to her favorite charities, while the other $5,000 will be given to Speedway Children’s Charities and Motor Racing Outreach.

People looking for more information on the 2013 Better Half Dash should check out www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or www.go2mro.com/betterhalfdash. You can also follow all the fun and action by following #BetterHalfDash on Twitter.

This event is a must attend party for all race fans and ladies looking to have a little fun. Men can bring their better halves, while the ladies can hang out and talk to the girls of NASCAR.

See you at the track in Charlotte on October 10, 2013, for the 2013 Better Half Dash.

Ford Racing Makes Henry Proud in 2011

One hundred and ten years after first Ford racing victory

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 15, 2011 – Henry Ford would certainly be proud.

One hundred and ten years after the Ford Motor Company founder brought home a victory in his one and only auto race as a driver, Ford racing teams and drivers around the world brought home victories and championships in the program’s 110th anniversary season.

In Ford’s most visible worldwide programs, Ford Fiesta drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala of the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team finished second and fourth in the World Rally Championship after a spirited battle that went down to the final event. The Ford WRC duo captured three wins during the season. In all, Fiesta had its most successful year in rally, capturing 16 regional and national championships worldwide.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup, Ford Fusion driver Carl Edwards ended up in a points tie for the Championship, but lost the tie-breaker (number of wins). Edwards ended up second and Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth fourth in the most competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in history. In addition, rookie driver Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 for the Wood Brothers, capturing Ford’s 600th win at the Cup level.

In NASCAR Nationwide, Mustang scored its first NASCAR win and Ford driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captured his first NASCAR Nationwide Driver’s Championship, and helped Ford capture the series’ manufacturer’s title as well.

In NHRA Funny Car drag racing, all five Ford Mustang drivers made the championship playoffs, Ford drivers won 12 times (including Ford’s 200th win in the class), and John Force Racing’s Mike Neff finished fourth and Robert Hight fifth in the championship.

In Rallycross, Ford Fiesta driver Tanner Foust captured the inaugural Global Rallycross Championship and Ford Focus driver Sverre Isachsen captured the European Rallycross Championship, with Foust finishing second. Brian Deegan led a 1-2-3 Ford Fiesta sweep of X Games medals with Foust and Marcus Gronholm.

In off-road racing, Ford continued to showits dominance in desert competition, winning seven total championships in LOORS, Best in the Desert and ABSA Off-Road competition.

In Touring Car, Andy Yan captured the ChineseTouring Car Championship in a Ford Focus, Paul Brown won the SCCA World Challenge GTS title in a Mustang Boss 302S and there were successful winning efforts put forth for Mustang Boss 302R in Grand-Am and Focus in British Touring Car.

“It’s been an incredible year for Ford racing teams and drivers around the world,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing, NorthAmerica. “And we’re proud that we still race today for the same reasons Mr. Ford did – to prove out our products against the best competition, and then to market that success to help the company sell more cars and trucks. There’s no question that our winning racing program worldwide helps lift the favorability of the Ford brand.”

“This has been an outstanding season for the Ford Fiesta in rallying, winning so many championships around the world,“ said Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe motorsport chief. “In its competitive debut the Ford Fiesta RSWRC took a podium lock-out at Rally Sweden and finished the season in similar fashion at the final round, Wales Rally GB. As a factory prepared rallycar or in the hands of private competitors the Ford Fiesta is proving to have the competitive DNA that has seen Ford so successful in rallying over many decades.“

Here’s a listing ofFord championships and awards for 2011 around the world:

· Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCrossSuper Rally Championship

· Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCrossRallyCross Championship

· Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCrossChampionship Overall Champion

· Brian Deegan, Ford Fiesta – X GamesRallyCross Champion

· Ford Motor Company – Global RallyCrossChampionship Manufacturers Champion

· Brian Deegan, Ford F-150 Raptor – Lucas OilOff Road Racing Series Pro 2 Unlimited Champion

· Brian Deegan, Ford Ranger – Lucas Oil OffRoad Racing Series Pro Lite Unlimited

· Sverre Isachsen,Ford Focus – European Rallycross Championship

· Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford Mustang – NASCAR Nationwide Championship

· Ford – NASCARNationwide Manufacturer’s Championship

· NASCAR EngineBuilder of the Year – Doug Yates, FR9 NASCAR Engine

· SCCA WorldChallenge GTS Championship – Paul Brown, Ford Mustang Boss 302S

· SCCA WorldChallenge GTS Manufacturer’s Championship – Ford Mustang Boss 302S

· Best in the Desert Series Class 7100 – BlakeHenn; Ford Ranger

· Best in the Desert Class 7200 – AlHogan; Ford F-150

· Best in the Desert Class 8000 – Dr. MacraeGlass; Ford F-150

· Best in the Desert Class 8100 – Tim Casey; Ford F-250

· Norwegian Rally Championship – Mads Ostberg,Ford Fiesta

· Swedish Rally Championship – Pontus Tideman,Ford Fiesta

· Finnish Rally Championship (R2 Cup) – JukkaKorhonen, Ford Fiesta

· Australian Rally Championship (2WD) – RazvanVlad, Ford Fiesta

· New Zealand Rally Championship (2WD) – BenHunt, Ford Fiesta

· British Rally Challenge Championship (2WD) –Jack Rowe, Ford Fiesta

· Turkish Rally Championship – Yagiz Avci, FordFiesta

· Austrian Rally Championship (2WD) – PiaSchirnhofer, Ford Fiesta

· South Africa Rally Championship – ConradRautenbach, Ford Fiesta

· FIA African Rally Championship – ConradRautenbach, Ford Fiesta

· Argentine Rally Championship – FedericoVillagra, Ford Fiesta

· FIA Middle East Rally Championship – NasserAl-Attiyah, Ford Fiesta

· Chinese Touring Car Driver’s Championship –Andy Yan, Ford Focus

· Chinese Touring Car Team Championship –Changan Ford Racing Team

· Brazil Prototype S2000 – Ford, Best RacingEngine

· Brazilian Touring Car Championship – Ford,Best Racing Engine

· ABSA Off Road Championship –Ford Ranger TDCi, Manufacturer’s Championship

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.