This Week in NASCAR [Phoenix]

Daytona was last weekend, it's on to Phoenix

2/28/14 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [Phoenix]ICYMI, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his second Daytona 500 last weekend.  It wasn't a fluke win, it wasn't a fuel mileage win, and it wasn't won because of another driver's crash.  It was an honest win, in a race that saw over 6 hours under red flag conditions due to rain.  Jr. was dominant all night long, with only Greg Biffle seeming to have anything to challenge.  

Jr. celebrated by doing a Polish victory lap, much as Alan Kulwicki would have, driving around the track backwards, waving to the fans.  Then, after arriving in Victory Lane, Dale Jr. did something no other driver has done.  He ignored the Fox announcer standing at his window and before speaking to any media, made his way through his crew, one by one, thanking and hugging each and every crew member.  Other drivers make a point of thanking their crews publicly in their post race interviews, but Jr. showed it.

No wonder he is NASCAR's most popular driver.

It was a busy week for Dale Jr. with appearances on David Letterman, Today and ESPN, and in each appearance he was able to joke, laugh and enjoy himself.  He even officially activated his twitter account.  The account was created a few years ago, to ensure he would have @DaleJr as his handle, but he had never activated the account.  Even without activation, he has 221,000 followers.  With activation, in less than a week, he now has over half a million followers.  Above is one of the firt photos he tweeted.

In any case, the celebrations that involve Daytona are done, and the teams are in Phoenix.  Luckily, the Polar Vortex that seems to be affecting a lot of the country will not touch Phoenix, although the temperatures will not be in the 80's as they were in Daytona.  

This week we will see the first example of NASCAR's new qualifying procedure -- the knockout.  As Phoenix is only a one mile track, teams will qualify in two rounds.  The first round will be 30 minutes.  After a ten minute break, the fastest 12 cars will retake the track for an additional 10 minutes and the fastest car will be the pole sitter.  Teams will be slotted into position based on their speeds during those sessions.  While the qualifying isn't an actual race, given that the fastest times "win", it can be perceived as a race of sorts. What we don't know yet, and won't know until we see the qualifying in action, is how dangerous it can be.  Hopefully we won't have cars getting wrecked during the qualifying, but we all know anything is possible.  

Practice at the track for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup cars get underway this morning, so at this point I have no idea who the fastest cars might be.  We'll have updates on that this evening.

Finally, I will leave you with this video.  Please enjoy it.  It is self-explanatory, but just goes to show what fun a NASCAR driver can have, away from the track.



The Sprint Cup race airs at noon, Phoenix time, Sunday on FOX.

 
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3/1/14   |   JenX63   |   33178 respect

Debi_L wrote:
From what I understand, and I don't have FoxSports 1 or 2 so I don't get the content you guys in the States do, there is only one engine allowed now.  If they change engines after qualifying, they go to the back.  Now I may be mistaken, and I'll look for more on that on Sunday, but I do remember hearing something about that at Daytona (which may be completely not applicable because Daytona is so different from everywhere else)

thank you, it's prolly in the preview stuff i ff through last week....:)

2/28/14   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Hey, got a question and I haven't read or I missed it. How does this new qualifying affect engine changes? Will there still be "qualifying"  ready and "race" ready engines?

From what I understand, and I don't have FoxSports 1 or 2 so I don't get the content you guys in the States do, there is only one engine allowed now.  If they change engines after qualifying, they go to the back.  Now I may be mistaken, and I'll look for more on that on Sunday, but I do remember hearing something about that at Daytona (which may be completely not applicable because Daytona is so different from everywhere else)

2/28/14   |   JenX63   |   33178 respect

Hey, got a question and I haven't read or I missed it. How does this new qualifying affect engine changes? Will there still be "qualifying"  ready and "race" ready engines?