Bump & Run: Is Dover Jimmie Johnson’s time?

1 Comment

Next on the schedule is Dover, a place Jimmie Johnson has 11 wins and is the site of his last Cup victory (33 races ago). What does this weekend mean for Johnson?

Parker Kligerman: Personally, I feel he is as motivated as ever and that a win would be great for the entire HMS organization. But to be solid championship contenders, there will still be a lot of work to be done – no matter what happens at Dover.

Nate Ryan: It’s another opportunity for his team to find its footing. It represents a better than average chance than he’s had at winning in 2018, but it would be uncharacteristic for Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus to enter one of their best tracks with outsized confidence or expectations based on past results.

Dustin Long: This is a chance to take a step forward, to build on what they’ve been doing this season. This is merely part of the process. This won’t solve every issue but has the potential to provide some momentum.

Daniel McFadin: It’s obviously his best shot at a win. Since his win there last June, Johnson has two top fives, in the fall Dover race and earlier this month at Bristol, where he also won last year. Late cautions at Richmond helped him finish sixth and Talladega is its own thing. Even if he does perform well at Dover, there’s no way of knowing if it’ll be a sign of things to come.

Dan Beaver: The No. 48 team is still a long way from contending for a win, but if Johnson can get a top five – only his second of the season – this should be counted as a step in the right direction. That would be his seventh top-15 in the last eight races.

This weekend is the final Dash 4 Cash event in the Xfinity Series. Cup drivers have not been allowed to compete in those races. Cup drivers also can’t compete in the Xfinity regular-season finale and playoff races. Should there be further reductions on Cup drivers in Xfinity races?

Parker Kligerman: At this point, how much more can we limit them without entirely banning them? That’s the real question here. I will say it has been more of an incentive to watch, and I enjoy the races more knowing we may see a winner like Ryan Preece, but I don’t know if there is any more room to limit them without saying they simply can’t. 

Nate Ryan: It seems as if the reductions will happen naturally given the current trends, so it seems unnecessary to implement more restrictions.

Dustin Long: I’m leery of running Cup drivers out of all races because teams say it helps with acquiring sponsorship. I’m all for limiting the total number of Cup drivers in some Xfinity races as a further reduction down the road but not ready to ban them for every race.

Daniel McFadin: I’m for any restrictions that go toward an environment in which it’s not a big deal when a full-time Xfinity regular wins a race. Three through nine races is one better than this point last year, when the third full-timer didn’t win until the 14th race (William Byron at Iowa). I applaud NASCAR’s efforts, but there’s more that could be done.

Dan Beaver: It has been very refreshing to see the Xfinity only drivers compete. Giving them a chance to actually win races and stage bonus points makes their playoff more meaningful. Reducing the number of Cup drivers in a given race is not going to help with that, but it would be nice if NASCAR would make other “Free Zones” throughout the season – three or four races at a time, free from Cup drivers. That would also help with the developmental process for up-and-coming drivers.

Who wins first: Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson or Jimmie Johnson?

Parker Kligerman: Brad Keselowski. The Penske cars are looking great and I think Brad is operating at a high level with a lot of motivation right now. 

Nate Ryan: Denny Hamlin has yet to win at Dover or Charlotte, but he could break through at either this month — possibly even Sunday at the track he once dreaded. If not there, Kansas and Charlotte will present major opportunities.

Dustin Long: Kyle Larson is the one I’m keeping my eye on in the next few weeks.

Daniel McFadin: If Bristol was any indication, if Kyle Larson can finally put together a clean race, he’ll be the person to watch out for at Dover.

Dan Beaver: Team Penske has been on the cusp of winning all season and now that Joey Logano has shown the way, Brad Keselowski will soon follow. His second-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway made him best in class after Kevin Harvick’s dominance. The No. 2 team was only about one adjustment away from winning at Auto Club Speedway.

Daytona road course trophy: Handle with care

Leave a comment

A word of warning for the Cup Series driver who wins Sunday’s inaugural race on the Daytona road course (3 p.m. ET on NBC).

When you’re celebrating the victory, don’t get too excited with the trophy.

It could wind up all over Victory Lane.

That’s because the trophy waiting at the end of the 65-lap/234.65-mile-race is made out of glass.

More: Will chaos (and rain) reign on the Daytona road course?

Via: NASCAR

The 18” tall/4.5” wide trophy for the Daytona road course race was produced by the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. It’s the same institution that’s been responsible for designing the Watkins Glen International trophy since 2012.

Sunday’s race is being held in the place of the Cup Series’ annual visit to Watkins Glen.

Incorporating a blown glass cup, the trophy is inspired by the history of NASCAR and racing at Daytona.

“Thinking about the history of the track and long-held traditions, I was reminded that historically, trophies used to be cups and have evolved into sculptural forms,” said Eric Meek, Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs at The Corning Museum of Glass, said in a media release. “We took this trophy back to a more traditional shape. Daytona is the most historical track, and in thinking about a trophy design for a race held in this storied location, I was transported back to the golden age of speed. I wanted to design something that felt like a bit of a throwback – like it belonged in the era of streamline racers and the quest to go faster.”

NASCAR Pinty’s Series 2020 TV schedule released

Leave a comment

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series, which competes in Canada, will get its season under way this weekend after it was postponed back in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortened season will consist of three doubleheaders with twin 125-mile races.

The races will be held at Sunset Speedway (Aug. 15), Flamboro Speedway (Aug. 29) and Jukasa Speedway (Sept. 12).

More: Xfinity Series start time for Daytona road course

No NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion or Rookie of the Year will be crowned in 2020 due to the shortened schedule. There will be special recognition for the overall winner of the shortened season.

All races will air delayed on TSN and RDS in Canada and MAVTV in the United States. Fans in the United States can stream races after they air on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Here is the full schedule with TV information.

 

Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona road course: Start time, forecast and more

Leave a comment

Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona will mark the first time the series has competed in the track’s road course circuit.

Austin Cindric, who has won four of the last five races, is on the pole. He is joined on the front row by fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe.

Here are the details for the Xfinity race at the Daytona road course (all times ET):

START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:07 p.m by Dr. Jeff Jarvis, president of UNOH. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8:30 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 2:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3 p.m. by Chaplain Farzad Nourian. The national anthem will be performed at 3:01 p.m. by Temecula Road.

DISTANCE: The race is 52 laps (187.72 miles) around the 3.61-mile road course

PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, the entire field will go down pit road during a pace lap for pit road speed verification. If a driver stops in the pit box for any reason, pulls over or slows down, they will start at the rear of the field.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 15. Stage 2 ends on Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green followed by the race broadcast at 3 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App by clicking here.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 88 degrees and a 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Austin Cindric beat AJ Allmendinger and Chase Briscoe to win at Road America.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Xfinity starting lineup

Justin Marks planning to start new Cup team

Leave a comment

Former NASCAR driver Justin Marks is in the process of starting a new Cup Series team and competing as early as 2021, Marks detailed to the Sports Business Journal.

Marks, who has 80 NASCAR starts and last competed in 2018, is building a team called Trackhouse that would have a “cause-marketing focus around promoting STEM education” according to SBJ.

More: Bubba Wallace lands multi-year deal with DoorDash

Marks, who once was a co-owner of an ARCA Menards West team with the late Harry Scott, said a goal of the team is to “serve America’s minorities and underrepresented youth population”

Marks told SBJ he is in negotiations to acquire a charter for the team, that his family foundation will use investment capital to fund 50% of the team’s budget and that a “nationwide family entertainment business” will be a sponsor.

One of Marks’ partners will be Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing.

Click here for more from Sports Business Journal.