This Week in NASCAR [July 13th Edition]

Could baby Otis help Kevin Harvick get his first win of 2012?

7/13/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [July 13th Edition]Kevin Harvick and wife, DeLana, welcomed Baby Otis (in reality, his name is Keelan)  into the world this week, and that may just be the event that will help Kevin get his first win of 2012.  It has happened before.  Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, just about every dad who has a new child suddenly gets the run of the week going and surges to victory.

It's entirely possible that Kevin may do exactly the same.  

AJ Allmendinger's Press agent, Tara Ragan, stepped up to the mic again this week and clarified AJ's situation, as much as she could.  Apparently, AJ tested positive for a "stimulant" although she did not say, or did not know, what type.  She says that AJ is gathering together all medications and supplements he takes to provide them to NASCAR to try to determine what was the trigger.  They adamantly claim he did not knowingly take a banned substance, and would never do so.  However, this is a slow process and Sam Hornish Jr remains in the car this weekend in Loudon.

There are only 8 races until the Chase and there are a few drivers who are in danger of missing the Chase all together.  Carl Edwards, for example, is well off the pace, back in 11th.  He has no win yet this season, and needs to pull himself together if he is even going to make the Chase, let alone win a Championship.  
Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [July 13th Edition]
We've reminded you constantly this season that Jeff Gordon has had nothing but bad luck.  He is mired back in 17th in points, also with a bit zero in the Win column.  He and his team need to figure out what the problem is and get it fixed.  His teammate, Kasey Kahne is only one position ahead of him, but Kasey has the win.  That may be the deciding factor 8 races from now, depending on what Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are able to do from here on in.

After the high banks of Daytona, the teams are in Loudon, NH, a 1 mile oval.  Some teams participated in a tire test here in May, so there may be an advantage, but like any short track, the beating and banging on the cars could have the most impact.  Not because of damage, but because of tempers.  Add in the hot weather, and the situation is ripe for another rivalry to form, or intensify.

Practice for the Sprint Cup cars is underway, and Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer are leading the pack, followed by Sam Hornish Jr in the 22 car, replacing the Dinger.

I'm off to my last day at work before vacation, but I'll catch up here a little later, with some more thoughts and picks.  In the meantime, feel free to post your own!
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

7/16/12   |   JenX63   |   32428 respect

That was a mind blower, if the miscommunication between Hamlin and his crew chief had not happened, the race was his. Congrats to Kasey.

7/15/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Top five - Kasey Kahen, Clint Bowyer, Dale Jr., Harvick and Biffle, but Denny is in 6th and the fastest car on the track.

7/15/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

It was Denny who called for the 4 tires, and the extended pit stop hasn't hindered him in the least.   He's movin' on up!

7/15/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Kyle Busch's pit road woes continue.  He has gone a lap down after overshooting his pit stall.  Meanwhile, David Reutimann's blown engine brought out the third caution.  Kasey Kahne now in first, as Denny grabbed four tires on his pit stop and dropped to 13th for the restart.  He's now up to 9th.

7/15/12   |   JenX63   |   32428 respect

It has been a pretty exciting weekend for race fans, until now.  Does anyone else think Jeff Burton might need a ride next year?

7/15/12   |   JenX63   |   32428 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Denny continues to gain ground on the rest of the field.  Wonder when we will have a 'phantom debris' caution?

Rain is suppose to be coming in, so maybe a rain shortend race?

7/15/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Denny continues to gain ground on the rest of the field.  Wonder when we will have a 'phantom debris' caution?

7/15/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Second caution comes out for debris and Kyle Busch stays out, putting him back in the lead briefly, but Denny Hamlin surges to the front again.  Looks like this could be a two man race.

7/15/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Sorry folks, for the lack of a Live Thread, but we can chat here - so far it looks as though Denny Hamlin now has the car to beat.  Kyle was leading early on, but a double penalty on pit road has put him back in 8th place for now.  He still has one of the fastest speeds on the track, so he won't be held back for long.

7/14/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

If Jeff Gordon is going to get a win it just might be this weekend as he has over the last two years (four races), only one driver has an average driver rating better than Gordon, and that is Smoke. Last time he finished worse than 15th at Loudon was back in 2005. He also has a triple-digit driver rating in eight of the last eleven races here. Oh wait how many times have we heard that this season where he has success at tracks but been a dud....... 

But in all seriousness though I think he has a real legit shot as he had three straight finishes of 6th or better before Daytona. I'll wait till the practice sessions tomorrow to decide who I'm taking for Sunday like always.

7/13/12   |   Debi_L   |   11774 respect

Eric_ wrote:
RE: Dinger. I've been wondering when they were going to say what he tested positive for, and given how vague "stimulant" is, I'm still wondering. In absence of more concrete information, I feel bad for him. It seemed like he was just earning the respect of NASCAR fans. Remember he was thrown to the wolves and had to learn stock cars AND oval racing (he ran Champ Car, at a point where they had all but dumped ovals altogether). Whatever happens, I hope Hornish can take this opportunity to earn some respect from the NASCAR-only crowd himself.

In other news, you'll be happy to know that Johanna Long is the newest Woman of Pressdog.

I'm truly thrilled to hear that about Johanna!  She deserves that. She has worked very hard to find her way in the "boys' sport ". 

As for the Dinger, I hope they get this figured out and he isn't another Jeremy Mayfield.  Would hate to see his career derailed by something like this. 

7/13/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

RE: Dinger. I've been wondering when they were going to say what he tested positive for, and given how vague "stimulant" is, I'm still wondering. In absence of more concrete information, I feel bad for him. It seemed like he was just earning the respect of NASCAR fans. Remember he was thrown to the wolves and had to learn stock cars AND oval racing (he ran Champ Car, at a point where they had all but dumped ovals altogether). Whatever happens, I hope Hornish can take this opportunity to earn some respect from the NASCAR-only crowd himself.

In other news, you'll be happy to know that Johanna Long is the newest Woman of Pressdog.

7/13/12   |   JenX63   |   32428 respect

Congrats to Kevin & Delana....I am staying with Matt for this weeks race. Still have that feeling and eventually he has to win one. (I hope)  Taking Brad as my dark horse, I really like that kid. Staying  neutral on the Dinger thing, but, if he drinks that 5 hour energy, that might be his problem. Truly hope things work out for him.