Joey Logano ‘very surprised’ Michael McDowell didn’t push him at end of Daytona 500

3 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Joey Logano questioned fellow Ford driver Michael McDowell’s decision to help a Toyota driver Kyle Busch in the final lap of Sunday’s Daytona 500.

McDowell said the decision was easy. He felt Busch had a better chance and that the “Fords weren’t that friendly to me this weekend.”

Logano went to McDowell’s car on pit road shortly after the race to express his displeasure. The short conversation proved unsatisfying to Logano, the reigning series champion.

“Typically you kind of expect manufacturers to work together like the Toyotas do or the Chevys do, and just was expecting that, as well, in that moment coming to the checkered flag,” Logano said of McDowell’s move, which helped Busch finish second while Logano placed fourth. “I was very surprised by his decision.”

McDowell, who finished fifth for Front Row Motorsports, was unapologetic about his late-race move.

‘I just told him that my team doesn’t pay me to push Joey Logano to a win,” McDowell said after his second career top-five finish. “That’s not what I get paid to do. At 200 mph, I made a split-second decision on what was the fastest car and who had the best shot at winning the race and that’s where I went.”

“I would have loved to work with Joey, but he was moving left to right. (Busch) had a big run, a lot of momentum and Joey had a lot of damage, the back of his car was completely smashed, no rear bumper, parachute hanging out it. Joey wasn’t going to win the race. I wanted to put myself in the best shot to win the race. And the Fords weren’t that friendly to me this weekend.”

Said Logano: “At that point, (McDowell) wasn’t go to win. He’d have to pass Kyle.”

McDowell also was frustrated with Ford driver Clint Bowyer, who attempted to pass McDowell late and came up the track, triggering a nine-car crash that set up the final overtime finish.

“The Bowyer wreck was all his fault,” McDowell said. “He flat out tried to shift me out and cleared himself and he wasn’t clear. That’s what is so frustrating. You’ve got guys that say, ‘Hey, why don’t you go with me … well because every time I’m in the front you shook me out and so what makes you think I’m going to push you to a win when you leave me high and dry the whole entire day?”

Said Bowyer of his move on McDowell: “Hey, it is the Daytona 500, I had to go for it. I had a big run on (McDowell) and knew that I had to make quick work of him because in the mirror they were going three-wide and losing their minds so you knew that was going to come down on you. So I decided to lose my mind too.”

As for the finish, McDowell said: “I think for a small team it’s awesome. There’s no doubt about it, but I’d be lying to you all if I told you I was over the moon excited. I’ve been in the Cup Series over 10 years now. I have one goal and one goal only and that’s to get a win. I was close to getting there tonight or at least had a shot at it and wasn’t able to get it done at the end. I’m happy with the finish.  I’m proud of the team, but that wasn’t the goal.”

NASCAR America presents the Motorsports Hour, 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NBC Sports
Leave a comment

This week’s episode of NASCAR America presents the Motorsports Hour airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Marty Snider, Danielle Trotta, Parker Kligerman and Steve Letarte will discuss multiple auto racing disciplines, including NASCAR and IndyCar.

If you can’t catch either of today’s shows on TV, watch online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. throws perfect strike for Red Sox

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the Boston Red Sox nearly 10 games behind their No. 1 rivals, the American League East-leading New York Yankees, they could use some additional pitching help.

A good southpaw would be a big help.

They got some help on Wednesday – for one pitch at least, that is – as Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. threw out the first pitch prior to the game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

Scouts likely had a few raised eyebrows when Stenhouse threw a perfect strike.

 

I’ve thrown out first pitches at some minor league games, but Fenway Park puts it at a whole ‘nother level,” Stenhouse told NESN.com.

But Stenhouse, wearing a No. 17 jersey, delivered when it was his turn atop the mound. In a sense, it was a home game for Stenhouse, as Red Sox owner John Henry is a part-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.

Stenhouse and teammate Ryan Newman, who was also in uniform for the game, were in Boston on their way to this weekend’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Stenhouse is currently 19th in the standings and with seven races left to make the playoffs, he knows how significant this weekend will be for him.

It’s very important,” Stenhouse told NESN. “New Hampshire could be one of those turning points. We’re 19th in points and need to get to 16th. Or we could win and just lock ourselves in that way, too.

Hopefully, we’ll have a fast enough car and play the right strategy to put ourselves in a position to win. These next few races are definitely critical to us to make sure we do our part. We’ll need somebody else to falter a little bit, but we’re going to go out and do our job and see how things play out.”

And if Stenhouse doesn’t make the playoffs, he might want to keep that pitching arm warm and loose, just in case the Red Sox really need him.

 

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Ryan Vargas set for Xfinity debut at Iowa Speedway

JD Motorsports
1 Comment

Ryan Vargas, a member of the 2018-19 NASCAR Next class and 2019 Drive for Diversity program, is set to make his Xfinity Series debut next weekend at Iowa Speedway.

JD Motorsports announced Wednesday Vargas will drive its No. 15 Chevrolet in the July 27 U.S. Cellular 250, which will air on NBCSN.

Vargas, 18, competed full-time in the K&N Pro Series East last year for Rev Racing. Vargas was let go by Rev Racing in December and has spent this season racing late models and competing for the Irwindale Speedway track championship.

The race at Iowa will mark Vargas’ national NASCAR series debut. Vargas said making his Xfinity debut at Iowa “just makes sense” given his seventh-place finish there last year in the K&N Series.

“Last year, I felt that I was able to run my best race all year at the speedway, and to have the chance to drive for a well-respected team owner in Johnny Davis really adds to the excitement heading into the weekend,” Vargas said in a press release. “I think if we can keep all the fenders on my No. 15 Chevrolet and run as many laps as possible, the weekend will be a success. At this point in my career, I want to learn as much as I can so I can keep moving up the NASCAR ladder, so I am not necessarily worried about what the results show.”

Vargas will be sponsored by Cranio Care Bears, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Craniosynostosis, a condition that causes problems with a child’s brain and skull growth. Vargas underwent surgery when he was 11 months old to correct issues from it.

“It means a lot to me to be able to help bring awareness to this great charity in Cranio Care Bears through the sport that I love so much,” Vargas said. “I know that I will have a lot of little supporters cheering me on that look up to me as a role model in the Cranio community, and I want to show them that anything is possible, even with the condition.”

 

and on Facebook

Updated entry lists for NASCAR at New Hampshire

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will be in action this weekend at the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

The Gander Outdoors Truck Series is off until July 27 at Pocono Raceway.

Here are the entry lists for the Cup and Xfinity races at New Hampshire:

Cup – Foxwoods Resort & Casino 301 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

There are 37 cars entered.

Quin Houff will be back in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.

Andy Seuss is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Ford and will make his Cup debut. Austin Theriault will also make his Cup debut in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Chevrolet.

Click here for the full entry list.

Xfinity — Roxor 200 (4 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 41 cars entered.

Cup regular Paul Menard will be driving the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang.

Ryan Truex will be making his third Xfinity start of the season in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

Tyler Matthews will make his third Xfinity start of 2019 in the No. 15 JD Motorsports Chevrolet.

Harrison Burton makes his third start of the season in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Kaz Grala is entered in his fourth race of the year in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet.

Canadian driver Alex Labbe makes his third start of 2019 in the No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet.

CJ McLaughlin will make his Xfinity Series debut, driving the No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet.

Click here for the full entry list.