MOTORSPORTS MONDAY, PART 1 – NASCAR EDITION
Added by Philip Mathew on July 1, 2013.
For those who missed out on the happenings in the motorsports world, we are starting a new feature on Double G Sports, recapping the most important events and giving a sneak peek to the following week’s action.
Kentucky Speedway hosted the big three NASCAR series last weekend, with Ty Dillon (Camping World Truck Series), Brad Keselowski (Nationwide Series) and Matt Kenseth (Sprint Cup Series) coming out victorious. Thursday night’s UNOH 225 saw Dillon win his second career Truck Series race over Sprint Cup drivers Keselowski and Kyle Busch.
Defending race and series champion, James Buescher, finished fourth while Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five. Point leader Matt Crafton finished tenth and lost one point to second place Jeb Burton, who finished ninth. Burton stands 22 markers behind Crafton, with Dillon gaining three spots (sixth to third) and Buescher moving to fourth, passing Johnny Sauter. Along with Blaney in sixth, the four drivers are separated by seven points going to Iowa Speedway on July 12.
In the Feed the Children 300 Nationwide race, Keselowski led four times for 59 laps after starting 19th on the grid to take his 22nd victory. Busch led the most laps (74), but finished fifth and did not pose a challenge in the second half of the rain-shortened event to Keselowski.
Elliott Sadler finished second, Crafton (in his Nationwide Series debut) finished third, and Brian Vickers finished fourth. Pole sitter Austin Dillon, attempting to win three consecutive races at Kentucky, finished sixth.
Point leader Regan Smith had problems for the second consecutive week – mechanical issues relegating him to a 30th place finish and cut his point lead to 8 over Sam Hornish, Jr. and 11 over Justin Allgaier. Sadler and Dillon are 19 and 20 points behind respectively.
Kenseth used a fuel only call by crew chief Jason Ratcliff late to win the rain-delayed Quaker State 400 (moved from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon) to notch his series leading fourth victory of 2013. Jimmie Johnson led 182 of 267 laps, but spun out after making a poor restart.
Johnson’s car was the class of the field and he finished ninth, gaining 13 points on Carl Edwards, who finished 21st on the day after leading early. Jamie McMurray earned his first top five since 2011 by finishing second, followed by Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kyle and Kurt Busch.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. started on pole for the event, but a tire carcass came off Denny Hamlin’s car and rolled up the track and both Earnhardt and Johnson hit the debris. While Johnson’s car went faster after the incident, Earnhardt struggled with handling and finished 12th.
None of the top five in points changed this weekend. Johnson leads Edwards by 38 markers, with Bowyer a further three points back. Kevin Harvick is fourth, 66 points behind after a 10th place finish on Sunday. Kenseth is 82 points back in fifth, but the points will be reset before the Chase and his four wins have him in prime position for an elusive second championship.
The Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams will head down to Daytona for the annual Fourth of July celebration weekend. The Nationwide Series races are held on Friday night in the Subway Firecracker 250 before the Cup series takes center stage with the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night.
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