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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary W in Morning Formation.

    Rocky, I think in honor of the outstanding finish in Sunday's Daytona 500, tomorrow I am going to dig into the GW NASCAR memorabilia locker and find something special to raffle off on the Forums. Maybe this time we will do an autographed Richard Petty item.

    I'll see what I can find!
    Gary W

    -------------------------------------------------

    NICE !!! Thank you Gary, sounds great.


  2. #32
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    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Kyle Busch took the lead after the final restart Saturday night at Texas to complete his second NASCAR weekend sweep in a row.

    Busch ended Jimmie Johnson's three-race winning streak at Texas, getting his 36th Sprint Cup victory a week after also winning at Martinsville. Busch also won the Xfinity race at Texas on Friday night, his 80th win in that series that was coming off a two-week break. At Martinsville, he also got his 45th Camping World Truck Series victory. That's four consecutive NASCAR Series wins in a span of eight days.

    "It's pretty darn good, I'll tell you that," Busch said when asked what it's like to be him right now. "I've got a great wife, a great son and I'm having a blast, living the dream." On the first lap after the final restart, lap 302 of 334,

    Busch went on the outside of Turn 4 to shoot around Martin Truex Jr. for the lead. Busch led the rest of the way in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, winning by nearly 4 seconds over Dale Earnhardt Jr. with Joey Logano third. "The restart was going to be key. If I could just get out in front of him, I knew I could protect the rest of the race," Busch said.

    "They had a good restart, but we got a better one."

    It was Busch's second Sprint Cup victory at Texas, where in 2013 he also swept both spring races at the high-banked, 1 1/2-mile track. NASCAR's first night race of the season actually went into the next morning, ending a few minutes after midnight

    Texas time after the start was delayed for 1 hour, 50 minutes while drying the track after a couple of light rain showers during the afternoon. Johnson, who had won five of the previous seven Texas races, finished fourth.

    When the Sprint Cup Series returns to Texas in November, he will be trying to win the fall race there for the fifth year in a row. Chase Elliott, the rookie teammate of Earnhardt and Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports, finished fifth.

    Elliott has qualified fourth, but had to start at the back of the 40-car field after a transmission change in the No. 24 Chevrolet. The four Hendrick drivers finished in the top eight, with Kasey Kahne eighth.

    All four Gibbs drivers finished in the top 12, with polesitter Carl Edwards seventh, Matt Kenseth 11th and Denny Hamlin 12th. Edwards led 124 laps and was running second on a restart with 113 laps to go after pitting during a caution.

    Within a few laps after that, he had to go back in the pits because of a loose front right wheel and dropped all the way to 19th. He has won three Cup races at Texas, the last when sweeping the 2008 races.

    Truex led six times for 141 laps. The last restart followed an incident that involved 13 cars on the backstretch. Austin Dillon, on older tires, got loose with 40 laps to go when Hamlin came under him going on the backstretch.

    Johnson was coming up behind him and tried to avoid contact before tapping into the back of Dillon's No. 3 that then spun. Truex, who was not involved in the incident, and Dillon had stayed on the track running first and second when everyone else pitted during a caution five laps earlier.


  3. #33
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    4-23-2016

    NASCAR stumbles again, looks more and more clueless


    By PAUL NEWBERRY

    18 hrs ago


    At a time when other sports are leading the charge toward a brighter social future, the good ol' boys seem intent on returning us to a more divisive era.

    Might as well bring back those Confederate flags, while they're at it.

    NASCAR has been on quite a roll - from blacks-were-so-happy-during-segregation revisionist Phil Robertson delivering a political endorsement posing as prayer before a Texas race, to Tony Stewart being fined $35,000 for having the gall to question whether the governing body cared about the possibility of a tire flying into the crowd - and bumbling Chairman Brian France is taking the sport to entirely new depths.

    While not at all hesitant about joining white supremacist groups in publicly supporting Donald Trump for president, France took his sweet time getting around to addressing a new law in North Carolina that essentially formalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people.

    After no comment on the issue for the better part of a month, despite Charlotte being the sport's epicenter, France was finally given the chance to take a stand during a meeting Thursday with the Associated Press Sports Editors.

    France whiffed completely.

    He started out by bragging that NASCAR opposed a similar law in Indiana, before devolving into some tortured logic about why NASCAR wouldn't do the same in North Carolina.

    ''In this instance, we take the position that any discrimination, unintended or not, we're on the other side, we don't like that,'' France said. ''We are working, including myself, behind scenes to the extent, again, we're not a political institution, we don't obviously set political agendas and write laws, but to the extent we can, express our values to policy makers - in this case, North Carolina, we will and we do.''

    That mess of an answer was especially striking, given what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said when he spoke to APSE journalists. Silver made it clear the NBA would move next year's All-Star Game out of Charlotte without significant revisions of the law.

    NASCAR could deliver an even more forceful economic blow, given the organization has offices and its hall of fame in Charlotte, most of the teams are based in the area, and Charlotte Motor Speedway is host to one of the biggest races of the year on Memorial Day weekend.

    But France wasn't going there.

    Not even close.

    ''We try to be part of a solution, not part of a bunch of threats. Truthfully,'' he said, his nose likely growing on every word. ''But we're very direct about it and I think, we just do our part. We always like to think we take a lot out of the communities that run our events and do business in North Carolina. Case in point, when we're asked to put back into these communities, be a part of these communities, big decisions and small decisions, we want to be there doing that.''

    As if realizing he was getting backed into a corner, France concluded by trying to make the case that NASCAR really didn't have that much influence over the affairs of North Carolina, which would be news to taxpayers who helped fund the money draining Hall of Fame.

    ''We're just one small piece of the fabric,'' he insisted. ''We want to play our role but not overstate our role.''

    Of course, NASCAR was willing to take a much more decisive stand when Stewart, a three-time Cup champion and one of the sport's most outspoken figures, had the nerve to criticize a potential safety hazard. At a sponsor appearance Wednesday, Smoke complained about the organization not policing teams that don't apply all five lug nuts during pit stops, a tactic that gets their cars back on the track quicker but has led to a rash of loose wheels the last two races.

    Instead of thanking Stewart, NASCAR quickly doled out a ludicrous fine for criticizing the organization. Some of Stewart's fellow drivers were so outraged that they quickly agreed to go in together to pay the $35,000.

    What should make this lack of coherent leadership even more troubling to NASCAR fans is the sport isn't exactly thriving at the moment. Television ratings are slumping, fewer cars are entering races, and tracks are plagued by thousands of empty seats.

    Just this past weekend at Bristol, the bull-ring of a track that once had a wait list for tickets, the place looked about half full. Not counting rainouts, TV ratings were the lowest for the track's spring race since it moved to Fox in 2001, continuing a disturbing trend that began with the season-opening Daytona 500.

    Stock car racing has always been viewed through a regional, homogenous microscope, going back to his bootlegging roots in the Jim Crow South. France has tried to shore up that image at times, most notably working to stamp out the prevalence of the Confederate battle flag in the wake of the Charleston massacre. But these latest developments are indicative of a sport increasingly out of touch with the modern world.

    The NFL made it clear that future Super Bowls might not be held in Atlanta if the state approved a religious exemptions law, a stand that helped push the governor into a veto.

    The NBA is following a similar path in North Carolina.

    Then there's NASCAR, which is clearly heading in the wrong direction.


  4. #34
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    May 29th, 2016

    The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 today.

    Good Luck and be Safe to all.


  5. #35
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    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- An unfamiliar driver, an American no less, ushered in a new era at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by outlasting his faster rivals -- and his fuel tank.

    Alexander Rossi was the stunning winner of the historic 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing" on Sunday in a victory that allowed the long-suffering Andretti family to celebrate in the biggest race of their famed careers.

    Rossi was a 66-to-1 long shot and certainly not the driver anyone would have picked to win. But the 24-year-old Californian used fuel strategy to outsmart a handful of drivers who had the most dominant cars in the race.

    Rossi stretched his final tank of gas 90 miles to cycle into the lead as others had to duck into the pits for a splash of fuel in the waning laps. He ran out of gas after taking the checkered flag and his Honda had to be towed to the victory celebration.

    "I have no idea how we pulled that off," Rossi said. "It's an amazing result for Andretti Autosport."

    Rossi didn't have the speed of Carlos Munoz, who was charging hard over the final 50 miles. But Munoz also had to stop for gas and didn't have a chance to race his teammate for the victory -- even though Rossi was running on fumes and completed the final lap at a snail's pace of 179.784 mph.

    The Colombian settled for second in a 1-2 finish for Andretti Autosport. He seemed devastated after, particularly since it is his second runner-up finish in four years.

    "For half a lap short of fuel ... ," he said. "I will win the 500 one day."

    Munoz has contended at Indy before and he's proven to be fast at the speedway.

    Rossi? Well, not many know much about him at all.

    He's an IndyCar rookie who has chased a ride in Formula One his entire career. Stuck without a ride, he made the decision to return to the United States to race and became the ninth rookie to win the 500 and the first since Helio Castroneves in 2001.

    Rossi understood full well that it was strategy that got him this win.

    "I'll cherish the fact that at one point we were 33rd," Rossi said. "We rolled the dice and came through and made it happen. This is unbelievable. I have no doubt it's going to change my life."

    Although he's a relief driver for Manor Racing in F1, Rossi has no scheduled F1 races and IndyCar right now is his top commitment. He was lured back to America this year to drive for Bryan Herta in a partnership with Andretti Autosport. Herta was the winning car owner in 2011 with Dan Wheldon, the actual 100th anniversary of the first race in 1911, and now can claim a win in the 100th actual race.

    This Herta effort relied heavily on its alliance with Andretti, and the family was hoping Marco Andretti would give them their first Indy 500 title since patriarch Mario Andretti won in 1969.

    Instead, Marco Andretti never contended on a day at least three of his teammates were clearly among the best in the field. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Townsend Bell combined to lead 64 of the first 119 laps, but the Americans were knocked from contention when Bell clipped Castroneves as he left pit road. The contact caused Bell to crash into Hunter-Reay.

    Even with those two eliminated from contention, Rossi still wasn't a factor in this race.

    As the laps wound down, it clearly became a fuel mileage race and American Josef Newgarden and Munoz both swapped the lead repeatedly. But both had to stop for gas, and Rossi moved into the lead. It was all his from there as he easily coasted to the finish line.

    The win allowed team owner Michael Andretti to celebrate in the 100th running of a race that has tormented his family. Andretti earlier this month was voted by the 27 living winners as the best driver never to win the race, but he has now won the 500 four times as a car owner.

    "To get a 1-2 finish in the 100th running of the Indy 500 is pretty good," Andretti said. "I'm just so happy for everyone on the team. We are just so happy."

    Newgarden finished third and was followed by Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and JR Hildebrand as Chevrolet drivers took spots three through six.

    Newgarden, along with Hunter-Reay, Bell, Kanaan and James Hinchcliffe, had the strongest cars most of the race. It a tough defeat for Newgarden.

    "If I was in Alex's position, I'd be the happiest person in the world right now, I wouldn't care how we won the damn race," Newgarden said. "It just sucks it didn't play out the way we needed it to, fuel became a factor at the end. Everyone was on different strategies, and they played that strategy.

    "Those guys, to put it politely, weren't as strong as us. They didn't have as strong a chance to win, so they had to mix it up. It worked out at the end for them."

    Hinchcliffe, the polesitter who missed this race last year after a near-fatal accident in a practice session, faded to seventh despite being one of the best cars in the field.

    In front of the first sellout in Indy 500 history, Rossi stunned the more than 350,000 fans in attendance. He'd been in Monaco this time last year, unsure of what his future held.

    "I had no idea I'd be in IndyCar, I had no idea I'd be in the Indy 500," said Rossi, who becomes the 70th winner in race history and will become the 103rd face on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy.


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