This Week in NASCAR [Charlotte Chase Edition]

Dale Jr. Celebrates, Travis Kvapil overnights in jail, and the Chase goes on...

10/11/13 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11846 respect

Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [Charlotte Chase Edition]It seems we can't have a race week without some kind of drama.  Sometimes it is team drama, a car part unapproved, perhaps a crew change, or a penalty, but every week seems to have something. 

This week was no different.  Even as Hendrick Motorsports, JR Motorsports and Junior Nation prepared to celebrate Dale Jr's 39th birthday, news hit the wires that one of Dale Jr's crew members, in the engine department, no less, had been found to be in violation of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy.  That crew member was suspended immediately by NASCAR and just as quickly fired by Hendrick Motorsports.  Immediately social media came alive, with many criticizing HMS for lack of support for that crew member.  Demands for the employee to be supported and enrolled into the Road to Recovery program were rampant.  In my opinion, HMS probably did exactly what each and every employee knows will happen if they fail a random test - termination.  In some workplaces, support may be offered, especially if that employee has been with the company for a number of years.  However, NASCAR has a very strict policy in place, and i believe employees are probably required to sign a contract, signifying that they understand they will be immediately fired, should substance abuse be found.  I simply cannot imagine anything different.  

If that former employee chooses to enter the Road to Recovery program, I'm sure he will receive support from his peers.  If he seeks support from Hendrick, I believe he will find support.  We can't possibly know for sure, but I wish him the best.

Thankfully, good news this week, that Dario Franchitti has been released from hospital after treatment for a broken ankle and two broken bones in his back.  He will continue to be monitored, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Earlier this week we were also given the news that Travis Kvapil had been jailed overnight and charged with assault on a female and false imprisonment.  Apparently a disagreement between he and his wife got out of hand.  Kvapil's team owner, Ron Devine has apparently chosen to keep Kvapil in the driver's seat of the 93 BK Racing entry for the weekend.
Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [Charlotte Chase Edition]
As indicated, however, the Chase does continue.  Jeff Gordon, granted a position in the Chase after team communications revealed team orders, has set out to prove he belongs there.  This week, he followed Kevin Harvick's example, and set the fastest qualifying time for Saturday night's race.  Kevin will start alongside him, with Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson in the second row.  The rest of HMS make up the third row, with Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya in the fourth.  As mentioned above, Dale Jr celebrated his 39th birthday this week, with wishes from fans across the world.  Saturday will mark his 500th NASCAR Sprint Cup start.  

Matt Kenseth currently leads the Cup points, but he will really have a lot of work to do this weekend, as he was unable to get better than a 20th place qualifying position.  But this is Matt, and he has overcome a lot worse than that so far this year.  

The Charlotte race is a favorite of Jimmie Johnson, and his team has had a great deal of success here, with five wins at the Fall race over the last ten years.  The race is a typical Saturday night one, with the race starting during daylight hours, and continuing into full dark.  As you have undoubtedly read elsewhere, keeping up with the changing track conditions is the biggest challenge.  In past years the team able to make changes to their car to meet the track changes has been the one to cross the finish line in first place.  Kasey Kahne has also had good results at the track, with four wins, while Kevin rounds out the drivers with multiple wins, in this Fall race.  A number of drivers have won here, and any one of them could get a repeat win, or a first time winner could be crowned.  It could be a Chaser, or a non-chaser.  One thing seems to be a certainty, however, Jimmie Johnson will definitely be one to watch.  
Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [Charlotte Chase Edition]
Finally, as October is Breast Cancer awareness month, I want to send a shout out to Kyle and Samantha Busch.  Love or hate Kyle, his wife, Samantha, is a mover and a shaker.  When one of their employees was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, Samantha decided to do something about it.  She and the Kyle Busch Foundation have raised enough money to ensure many women in the North Carolina area they call home will receive the treatment needed to treat their cancer.  Their efforts continue this weekend, with Kyle's pink car.  You can find out more about "Project Pink: Protect Your Pair" here.

Practice for both Nationwide and Sprint Cup will get under way and continue throughout the day.  Who is your pick to win?
Thanks to https://www.facebook.com/DaleJr  and http://www.kylebuschfoundation.org/ for the photos.
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10/13/13   |   JenX63   |   32618 respect

Eric_ wrote:
From what I heard about this race:

1.) Most of it was boring until the post-"debris" caution end.
2.) The debris wasn't shown.

My question is does a good finish make up for the boring 3 hours that preceded it.

YES! (yes it does) you are welcome

10/13/13   |   JenX63   |   32618 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Conspiracy-shmiracy.  I don't care much, as long as Matt keeps the lead, and JJ was thwarted.   I truly do not want to see JJ get another championship.  Especially after Chad's rant on the team radio last weekend.  Spoiled brat.

oh you! made me ell oh ell

10/13/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

From what I heard about this race:

1.) Most of it was boring until the post-"debris" caution end.
2.) The debris wasn't shown.

My question is does a good finish make up for the boring 3 hours that preceded it.

10/13/13   |   Debi_L   |   11846 respect

JenX63 wrote:
hmmm, Congrats to Brad
I guess I should be happy it wasn't the other....i wonder if the conspiracy theorists will be out about that "debris", seems it cost Jimmie the race... indecision
Yeah Matt, hanging on to the points lead.... cool

Conspiracy-shmiracy.  I don't care much, as long as Matt keeps the lead, and JJ was thwarted.   I truly do not want to see JJ get another championship.  Especially after Chad's rant on the team radio last weekend.  Spoiled brat.

10/13/13   |   JenX63   |   32618 respect

hmmm, Congrats to Brad
I guess I should be happy it wasn't the other....i wonder if the conspiracy theorists will be out about that "debris", seems it cost Jimmie the race... indecision
Yeah Matt, hanging on to the points lead.... cool

10/12/13   |   Debi_L   |   11846 respect

Bad Brad gets his first win of the season, after a late caution.  Great racing between he and Kasey Kahne, who finishes second and Matt Kenseth keeps the lead in the points, finishing third.

10/12/13   |   Debi_L   |   11846 respect

Sucks that there are only a dozen cars on the lead lap, and several cars multiple laps down.  I'd rather a close race than one where the leaders just keep passing cars, over and over again.

10/12/13   |   Debi_L   |   11846 respect

Hendrick seems to be strong at Charlotte tonight, but as soon as I get home and am actually watching the race, of course Jr. starts to slip back....

10/12/13   |   Debi_L   |   11846 respect

Kyle Busch won the Nationwide race tonight (big surprise) and donates his winnings to the Protect Your Pair fundraiser.  Class act.

Austin Dillon still has an 8 point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. 

10/11/13   |   JenX63   |   32618 respect

whatcha want to bet, Nascar will stick their noses in and make a rule for next year about hitting girls....off the track that is....

Kevin to win...I sure hope Matt makes it out of here with the points lead

10/11/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Kvapil keeping his ride this week is just bullcrap. The team couldn't find someone who isn't an alleged wife-beater to finish 32nd in that car?