Jeff Gordon was ticked that his driver — who drives a car that Gordon owns half of — lost Sunday’s race at Dover when Kyle Busch drove around him with just over one lap to go.
Meanwhile, Ryan Newman was equally ticked — perhaps more so because he had just fallen two points short of advancing into the second round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs.
So when Gordon made an off-hand comment to Newman, the latter took umbrage to it. Gordon quickly retreated, trying to downplay his comments, likely not wanting to get into an even worse confrontation with Newman, perhaps one that may have turned physical.
On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Steve Letarte — Gordon’s former crew chief — and Parker Kligerman gave their takes on the Gordon-Newman dust-up of sorts.
“A simple exchange became this big of a topic because of the pressure of the playoffs,” Letarte said. “In Race 20, I think Ryan Newman let’s it pass. But not at the end of the round that he was knocked out of. … The pressure goes up and so does the disappointment if you’re the car eliminated.”
Kligerman, meanwhile, agreed with Newman for being incensed at Gordon’s off-hand remark.
“I definitely think Ryan Newman is in the right,” Kligerman said. “Jeff Gordon said what he had to say and has a right to do that. There’s emotions after these races … and especially for drivers when you’ve gotten knocked out of the playoffs and didn’t have the first three races you wanted, as Ryan Newman had, anything said your way I think you’re going to go after it all day.
“Both of them were completely in the right in what happened there. But I definitely would be in Jeff’s shoes afterward and say, ‘No I didn’t say it the I think you heard it.'”
LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin had the fastest lap in Saturday morning’s Cup practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading the field with a lap of 132.942 mph.
He was followed by Ryan Blaney (132.526 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (132.462), Kyle Busch (132.406) and Kevin Harvick (132.356).
Harvick ran the most laps at 50. Harvick told NASCAR on NBC broadcaster Rick Allen in the garage that he ran so many laps to see how much the speed falls off as the tires wear. Jimmie Johnson was next with 42 laps run.
There were no incidents in the 50-minute session.
Ryan Blaney had the best 10-lap average at 131.767 mph.
Click here for the speed chart.
LOUDON, N.H. – The start time for Sunday’s Cup race has been moved up to 1 p.m. ET because of the threat of rain, NASCAR announced.
NBCSN will broadcast the race. NBCSN’s coverage begins at noon ET.
The wunderground.com forecast for 1 p.m. ET Sunday calls for a 49 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms. There is a threat of rain throughout the day.
Kurt Busch won the pole for Sunday’s race.
LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne each will miss 15 minutes of Saturday’s final practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for inspection issues, NASCAR announced.
Hamlin is being penalized for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice last weekend at Kentucky. Kahne is being penalized for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice Friday at New Hampshire.
Final practice is scheduled to go from 12:35 – 1:25 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Today’s schedule at New Hampshire Motor Speedway includes two Cup practice sessions and the Xfinity Series race at the “Magic Mile.”
Here’s the full schedule with TV and radio info.
(All times are Eastern)
Saturday, July 21
7 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Cup garage open
10:05 – 10:55 a.m. — Cup practice (CNBC)
11:05 a.m. — Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (CNBC)
12:35 – 1:25 p.m. — Final Cup practice (NBCSN)
1:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting
3:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver introductions
4 p.m. — Lakes Region 200 Xfinity race; 200 laps/211.6 miles (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)