Race Weekend Central

Happiness Is… Change, Being Invited & Lameness

2014 Michigan Ii Cup Clint Bowyer Car Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. © 2015)

With the Chase now set to begin (finally) this Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, the focus can shift from who’s making the playoffs to who’s going to win the championship.  The hype and hoopla surrounding this newer format of NASCAR’s postseason has been with us this entire season.  In fact, it feels like it’s been all …

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Pace Laps: Congenial Richmond, KyBu Nationwide, other stuff

2014 Richmond Ii Cup Pack Racing Ii Cia

(Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Cup:  The Race That Wasn’t – No one did anything surprising in the race at Richmond.  Well, that’s not correct.  The idiot who climbed the catchfence in turn 4 surely did something surprising.  While many people have done idiotic things at a race track, it’s doubtful that anyone anticipated a fan climbing the fence bordering …

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Happiness Is… Drama, Not Fighting & Intelligence

2014 Daytona Ii Cup Kyle Larson Jamiemcmurray Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photography © 2014)

One race to go until the Cup playoffs begin. That seems like a mismatched sentence, putting together autosport and hockey, but alas, that’s how things are now.  This whole season has seemed like one big Chase storyline, beginning with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Daytona 500.  Almost immediately after he crossed the finish line, it felt like …

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Open Wheel Wednesday: Andretti Amiss, Ganassi Strong, Power Prevails

2014 Indycar Auto Club Will Power Roger Penske Aussie Flag

Matt:  So, just to start off, can we all agree that Fontana in its current state is pretty much the perfect IndyCar track? Toni:  I certainly agree. I think it’s such a great way to end the season too. A great 500-mile event. Huston:  Interesting way to begin…but yes, the match between the cars and …

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Pace Laps: Kahne In, Harvick Cruises, IndyCar Adieu, and More

2014 Atlanta Cup Kasey Kahne Victory Credit Cia

Kasey Kahne stepped up in a big way late in Sunday's Cup race. (Credit: CIA)

Cup: Sweet Relief for Kahne          By racing for the Cup juggernaut Hendrick Motorsports, there are high expectations for Kasey Kahne.  That his brethren at the organization have all earned three wins apiece makes his season look all the worse.  In fact, with only two top-5 finishes in 2014, Kahne was looking like …

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IndyCar MAVTV 500:Will Power Clinches First Championship

2014 Indycar Auto Club Will Power Trophy Kiss Credit Huston Ladner

The MAV TV 500 from Auto Club Speedway In a Nutshell: For the ninth consecutive year, the last race of the season determined the IndyCar champion.  This time, Will Power, three times a runner-up, hoisted the Astor Cup by finishing ninth.  Tony Kanaan held strong all night, seemingly in the top five the whole event, …

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Castroneves earns Pole, Power 21st; Other Post-Qualifying Thoughts

2014 Indycar Toronto 2 Power Castroneves

The qualifying session for the IndyCar series race at Auto Club Speedway took place in the heavy heat in the middle of the day in Fontana, California.  Helio Castroneves, going out last, earned the pole position with an average of 218.640 mph.  The track temperature during the session hovered around 136 degrees. Qualifying was based …

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Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

2014 Bristol Ii Cup Denny Hamlin Damage Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

The schedule came out this past week and it gave everyone who follows NASCAR something to gripe about.  In truth, all the criticisms are valid because NASCAR, due to the way the business is run, is unable to make serious changes that would make people feel happy, though that can be a moving target. The …

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Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

2014 Indycar Sonoma Dion Franchitti Credit Linn Ladner

The Verizon IndyCar championship will be decided this weekend.  The race, being held at Auto Club Speedway, on Saturday night, is likely to be captivating, with a battle down to the end between Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves.  Should they both find a banana peel on the racetrack, Simon Pagenaud is lurking, sitting …

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IndyCar Recap: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

2014 Indycar Sonoma Scott Dixon Trophy

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma started under rather inauspicious circumstances, as a massive earthquake nailed the Napa/Sonoma area around 6 am.  The IndyCar series let it be known that the event would go on as scheduled.  Hence, as the on-track festivities began, with the IndyLights race and the air show, one would never know …

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Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

2014 Indycar Milwaukee Parade Laps

Photo Credit: IndyCar

So, let’s rewind for a moment and go back to Michigan. OK, that may not be the best way to put it, as most fans are happy to put Michigan in the rear-view mirror and look toward Bristol, where the hope is that the track might restore some of its past flavor and produce some …

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Open Wheel Wednesday: Is Will Power the un-likable Favorite?

2014 Indycar Milwaukee Will Power Woohoo

Will Power is entering this weekend's race at Sonoma fresh off a victory at the Milwaukee Mile.

Will Power somehow extended his lead from four points to 39 over Helio Castroneves at Milwaukee.  Somehow?  Well, Power has frequently struggled when racing on oval tracks, something he has frequently admitted.  At the Milwaukee Mile, however, he displayed a rare sense of calm and confidence, earning the pole and then leading for much of …

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