Monday, February 29, 2016
Hey folks! Here's my take on the pre-Daytona 500 NASCAR activity. This means, unless there's an off-week, I'm all about NASCAR here until after Thanksgiving.
Saturday was the Sprint Unlimited. This is an exhibition race with 25 cars under this year's rules. The rules this year were 2015 and previous Daytona 500 pole winners, Chase drivers and past winners of the race were eligible with the remaining spots going to the highest ranked drivers in 2015 points not in already. Jeff Gordon retired last year, so Casey Mears took his spot. Tony Stewart was out because of a back injury, so Brian Vickers, his Daytona substitute driver, drove the 14 Stewart would otherwise have driven. There was practice Friday. Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin were the top drivrs. Denny Hamlin won with 39 laps led, followed by Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Kyle Larson and Casey Mears. Rounding out the top-10 were Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski with 26 laps led and Greg Biffle. Jamie McMurray was 14th with 14 laps led. Carl Edwards was 16th after an accident. Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola were also involved and finished 17th and 18th respectively. Ryan Newman was 19th after an accident on lap 69. Kasey Kahne wrecked on lap 64 and was 20th. A. J. Allmendinger crashed on lap 56 and was 21st. Polesitter Jimmie Johnson was 22nd after an accident on lap 43. Clint Bowyer crashed on lap 23 and was 23rd. Brian Vickers and Kevin Harvick were in an accident on lap 22 and were 24th and 25th, respectively. There was also Dayton 500 practice earlier in the day. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was fastest in the 1st practice, followed by Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, rookie Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne. Rounding out the top-10 were Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex, Jr. Joey Logano was fastest in the 2nd practice, followed by Brad Keselowski, rookie Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch. Rounding out the top-10 were Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, rookie Chase Elliott, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.
Sunday was initial qualifying, which set the front row and lineup for Thursday's Can-Am Duels. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the fastest, followed by Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, rookie Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne. Rounding out the top-10 were Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex, Jr.
Wednesday was more practice. Michael McDowell was fastest in the 3rd practice, followed by Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Casey Mears. Rounding out the top-10 were Paul Menard, Regan Smith, rookie Chase Elliott, A. J. Allmendinger and rookie Brian Scott. Rookie Brian Scott was fastest in 4th practice, followed by Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Paul Menard. Rounding out the top-10 were Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.
Thursday was the Can-Am Duels and more practice. Jimmie Johnson was fastest in the 5th practice followed by rookie Brian Scott, Aric Almirola, Ty Dillon and Ryan Newman. Kyle Larson and Michael Waltrip were the only other drivers in this practice. The Can-Am Duels, which set the Daytona 500 field, were later that day and that could've been why practice was so sparse. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the 1st Duel with 43 laps led, followed by Joey Logano, rookie Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin with 13 laps led. Rounding out the top-10 were pole-sitter rookie Chase Elliott with 2 laps led, Kasey Kahne with 2 laps led, Greg Biffle, rookie Chris Buescher and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Rookie Brian Scott was 20th, due to crashing out on lap 59. Paul Menard wrecked out after 58 laps and was 21st. Cole Whitt crashed on lap 47 and was 22nd. Kyle Busch won the 2nd Duel with 35 laps led, followed by Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Ty Dillon. Rounding out the top-10 were Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick, Brian Vickers, Matt Dibenedetto and Michael Annett. Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth was 16th after leading 23 laps. Aric Almirola led 2 laps and finished 19th.
Friday was more practice. Jimmie Johnson was fastest in the 6th practice, followed by Denny Hamlin, rookie Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Rounding out the top-10 were Trevor Bayne, rookie Chris Buescher, Michael Annett, Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer. 13 drivers were in this practice. Denny Hamlin was fastest in the 7th practice, followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. Rounding out the top-10 were rookie Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Jamie McMurray.
I've neglected my blog the past few months, but I've had other projects. I've been designing a website for an e-friend and have been helping one of my other e-friends with a massive project she decided to do and asked for help on. Come back for my Daytona race recap post.