Breaking his 30-race dry spell at Dover on Sunday, Tony Stewart later revealed that as the owner of his team it did cross his mind that pushing for a win might wreck his car, leaving him with repairs to pay for. But with a couple of laps left in the FedEx 400, when crew chief Steve Addington reportedly told him to ‘use it up’, he passed Juan Pablo Montoya to cross the finish line in first place. While it was generally expected among fans that Jimmie Johnson would continue his winning streak, he notched up a penalty for prematurely pulling ahead of Montoya off a restart with just 19 laps to go. Johnson was moved to the back of the field and finished the race 17th. Third place was taken by Jeff Gordon, with Kyle Busch in fourth and Brad Keselowski in fifth.
Johnson voiced his displeasure at the penalty, explaining that he had tried to give the position back to Montoya after the restart, and ran half-throttle for the first half a lap before pushing ahead. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president disagrees with Johnson, saying that the penalty was ‘a very easy call’. Up until the penalty it appeared that Johnson had a good chance of taking the victory at the so-called ‘Monster Mile’, despite the fact that he had started 24th and had some difficulty moving up in the field initially. An early pit-stop by Johnson on Lap 71 allowed him to regain lost time before the caution for debris in Lap 80 and after that he moved up rapidly in the field and was in sixth place by the time a caution for debris was called in Lap 160. A seventh caution was called when Denny Hamlin’s tire blew on Lap 382 and Montoya took two tires before beating Johnson to the pit road exit, with Johnson passing the start/finish line ahead of Montoya and collecting the race-changing penalty. While emphasizing that he disagreed with the call, Johnson noted that his team will ‘just come back and try to win in the fall’.
The Malaysia Grand Prix is the second event on the 2013 Formula 1 Grand Prix calendar, with drivers covering a distance of 310.408 km – 56 laps of the 5.543 km circuit. The lap record at Sepang International Circuit is 1:34.223, set by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2004. For more information on this event visit www.formula1.com
Dates: 22-24 March 2013
Venue: Sepang International Circuit
Many think of Kyle Busch as the driver they love to hate. He is often moody and seems to wreck an obscene number of cars, yet somehow his driving still packs a punch and every so often he bursts ahead of the pack and surprises everyone with some superb driving. True to form, Busch took the checkered flag at Infineon Raceway this Sunday to grab his fifth victory of the year.
Kyle Busch had been suffering from a terrible two-week slump that had him in bad spirits before the race started. The Toyota he was racing ran so poorly during practice that he thought he’d wreck, not win. His poor qualifying run left him at 30th on the grid and it seemed that he was set to suffer through yet another bad day of racing. Yet he set his mind to doing his best despite his mood and circumstances, and it seems that his steady determination paid off. Busch steadily moved through the field until at last he was able to snatch the lead from defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya. He managed to sneak his way into first place shortly after an early restart and he held the position for the rest of the race – despite having to fend off a pair of challengers later on after some of the other restarts. By the end of the race he cruised into Victory Land for the fifth time this season – his previously grumpy and depressive mood suddenly replaced by sheer joy. After celebrating his win with his traditional burnout, he climbed from his car to bow to the crowd who was cheering fanatically.
Former team mate Jeff Gordon, who finished in third place, said that he was really impressed with Kyle. Previously he hadn’t thought him a good road racer, but now it seems clear that he admires the talent he showed by getting his car to the front of the pack and maintaining the position for the duration of the race. It seems it must have taken quite a bit of effort to take first place. The Joe Gibbs Racing crew that worked with Busch’s car have been wrestling with the car since it was unloaded on Friday. The team made some massive changes to the car after the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday to try and get it ready in time for the big day, but everyone was still dubious as to whether or not it would perform at a satisfactory level. But as Kyle Busch tore through the field and claimed his victory, it was clear that they had managed to get some things right. The win marks Busch’s 11th overall victory of the season as well as his second road course victory this year.
The Sprint All-Star Race was first held in 1985 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Previously known as the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the race has been held there every year, with the exclusion of 1986, and is the most anticipated event of the racing season. It is a race like no other, as no points are given and who ever makes it across the finish line first is the winner of approximately $1million. Drivers take more chances, and battles between drivers that lead to crashes are a common sight. It is a racing event filled with adrenalin, thrills and excitement.
After changing names from The Winston to the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and finally the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, one thing has remained the same, the champions and eligible drivers of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race come to Lowe’s Motor Speedway to do whatever it takes to win. The 2008 Sprint All-Star Race will be no different. Different drivers make the cut each year; but the challenge and non-stop action is always guaranteed.
To be eligible to race in the 2008 Sprint All-Star Race, drivers or owners need to fall within the required criteria. Firstly, to qualify, drivers must have won races either within the previous year or in the current year, and drivers who have won Cup Champions within the last ten years are also eligible for the Sprint All-Star Race. Drivers who have won the Sprint All-Star Race in the last ten years, as well as the winner of the Sprint Open are also eligible to take part. This year, drivers such as Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Tony Steward and Juan Pablo Montoya have earned their place in this prestigious event.
A few changes have been made to the 2008 Sprint All-Star Race. The track has a length of 1.5 miles and drivers are required to complete a course of 150 miles, giving the race a lap total of a hundred laps. The race will therefore be divided into four segments of twenty five laps each, making the changes in fuel and tire wear add to the challenge of the race. Another change, is the fact that all drivers are forced to take fuel and change tires between the third and forth division, not giving them the “stop and go” option during this pit stop.
The changes to the racing format for the 2008 Sprint All-Star Race are going to add to the already heart stopping action that is seen here every year. On the 17th of May 2008, the showdown between the champions will commence and spectators will have to hold onto their seats as the racing action heats up the track.