David Ragan — Tough luck strikes again. He failed to finish all four races at Daytona and Talladega this year because of accidents. No other Cup driver this season failed to finish all four of those races because of an accident.
Car owners — Fourteen of the 40 cars were eliminated by crashes and several more were damaged. As Ryan Newman said: “Just a financial disaster, I guess you could call it, when you come here. We all expect that, but it just kind of gets old after a while.”
Hey Mom, Dad? Can I still drive in the Daytona 500?
TALLADEGA, Ala. — Brendan Gaughan plans to run next year’s Daytona 500 but the 44-year-old admits that after flipping in Monday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, he might need to get the permission of his parents.
“You might have to call Michael Gaughan or Paula Gaughan right now to ask that question because I think right now neither of them are very happy at the moment,” Gaughan said after emerging from the infield care center unscathed after his crash.
“In 22 years of NASCAR racing — I’ve flipped a ton in the desert — I’ve never flipped a stock car until now. So my mother and father might be a little upset. I’m 44, but I still have a mommy and a daddy. I think they’re probably a little hot right now but I’ll cool them down.”
Gaughan was a victim in an 11-car crash that brought out the caution on Lap 183 of the 188-lap race when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch got together at the front of the field. The contact sent Busch up the track into Gaughan’s car and Brad Keselowski’s car. Gaughan’s car turned left, got hit by Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto and rolled over once before landing on its wheels. Gaughan finished 27th.
Asked what he saw of Gaughan’s aerobatics, DiBenedetto said: “I was like, ‘Oh crap! He’s going upside down.’ My nose got into him and then I just saw him flip over me.”
Told he had nailed the landing, Gaughan joked: “No, they said the Russian judge, politics, he docked me a couple of points. He said I didn’t put them all down at the same time. Politics are nasty right now, so screw them.”
But the incident didn’t take away Gaughan’s love for racing at these tracks. He was making his fourth Cup start of the season. He’s run both Daytona and Talladega races this season.
“I was having a great time,” Gaughan said of before the wreck. “We were up front. I show up, what, four times a year and people think I’m crazy for loving this racing, but I love racing at Daytona and Talladega. I enjoy the crap out of this.
“When I come with the Beard family and the Chevrolet that they give me with that ECR engine that Richard (Childress) gives me and a little bit of help, we come to be here for the win. We had a chance to win. That’s all I can ask for.”
While Gaughan could joke about it, Ryan Newman, wasn’t happy to see a car get airborne even if contact played a role.
“Just happy that he got out of his race car,” Newman said of Gaughan. “It’s still disappointing to me to see that after 50 years we’re still flying race cars.”
"Mother, it's OK. It's just a flip. It didn't hurt. I promise!" 😂
The hurt feelings and damaged cars from revenge were so numerous this weekend, one could have mistaken the postrace atmosphere at Watkins Glen International for that of the Bristol night race during its peak in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“I couldn’t hear what he was saying, his lips were quivering so bad that he can’t even speak,” Johnson said. “I guess he was nervous or scared or both, I don’t know what the hell the problem is. He just drove through me and spun us out, and it clearly has big implications on what we’re trying to do for the playoffs right now. Clearly not happy with his actions there.”
“We’ve had a rocky relationship over our racing career,” Allgaier said after he finished the race in third. “Unfortunately, I’ve been on the receiving end a number of times of him running into me. He flat wrecked me in the Bus Stop back there. At some point you just get to a point where you’re tired of getting run into. I ran back into him. I had no intention of putting him in the wall. I wanted to spin him out for sure. I wanted him to kind of have the same feeling that I had a few laps before whenever he spun me out.”
Said Chastain: “It’s better if I keep my opinion to myself.”
There’s one road course left on the Cup schedule: The Charlotte Roval (Sept. 29).
On any given day, Truex and Johnson are two of the more mild-mannered drivers in the garage.
That says a lot about the power of road courses.
On the final turn of the final lap of the inaugural Cup race on the Roval, Johnson locked his brakes while trying to pass Truex for the win. That sent Johnson’s car spinning and into Truex’s car, which also went around.
After Ryan Blaney slipped by for the win, Truex rammed into the back of Johnson’s car and turned him around.
“I was not mad at all about Jimmie trying to win,” Truex said the next weekend. “That’s his job. That’s what we all try to do every single weekend. He was trying to win the race. I get that.
“I was mad that he screwed up.”
While you have to wait two months for Cup to return to a road course, the Xfinity Series will satisfy your needs for two of the next three races. First up, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this Saturday (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
A year ago, Chastain and his JD Motorsports crew members got into an expletive-laden scuffle with Joey Gase following the race at Mid-Ohio.
The ruckus was a result of Chastain pushing Gase deep into a corner on the last lap and spinning him.
“I don’t really appreciate that a whole lot,” Gase said afterward. “He’s (JD Motorsports team owner) Johnny Davis’ golden child. He can’t do anything wrong. It’s always the other guy’s fault. I passed him clean through the Keyhole, he left the door open. In the esses, he hit me six times and pushed me off the track. He races everyone hard, but if you race him that way, it’s a problem.”
“He knows I’m not going to be there next weekend to retaliate and give him the payback,” Tagliani said. “It’s just really unfortunate to win like that, but also to see him celebrate after a win like that … but he knows he wasn’t going to win unless he pushed us off.”
Let’s try this again. The Cup Series will run today at Daytona International Speedway after rain postponed the race from Saturday night. The race will be on NBC (1 p.m. ET).
After qualifying was cancelled Friday due to weather, the field was set by owner points. Joey Logano will start from the pole and be joined by Kyle Busch on the front row.
Will today’s race see the dominance of Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing continue? Is today the day a new winner emerges?
Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.
(All times are Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given 12:52 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 1:04 p.m.
PRERACE: Garage opens at 10 a.m. Driver introductions are at 12:20 p.m. The invocation will be given at 12:43 p.m. The National Anthem will be performed at 12:44 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 160 laps (400 miles) around the 2.5-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 50. Stage 2 ends on Lap 100.
TV/RADIO: NBC will televise the race. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 1 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 86 degrees at the start of the race. There is a 42% chance of scattered thunderstorms.