My time in the NASCAR world has been short, only four years. (Four years Sonoma weekend to be exact) Every year come Sonoma Speedway time, I allow myself to relax and to not stress out. I reflect on my 'NASCAR Days' and try to make the best of my Sunday. This year I wanted to tell you 'my story' even if it is a day after Sonoma. A lot can change in four years, and that can be really scary, but a lot of times it's for the best even if you don't realize it right away.
All my life my dad has watched NASCAR races. When I was a teeny-tiny child I would often ask, “Dad! When is the race on?” I'd get my answer and then proceed not to watch it. I just liked it because it made my dad happy. I was often told, “Jessy it’s not Sunday yet.” or “It’s winter. Racing doesn’t start until the spring goofball!” in response to my question.
Fast forward to 2015 and I was a moody fourteen year old locked away in her room nervous about the future and I couldn't care less about racing.
It was hard for me to find things I liked to do and even harder for me to find things to look forward to. So when my dad asked one day if I would join his fantasy NASCAR team I agreed. For those of you who don’t know, 'NASCAR Fantasy team' is just fancy wording for picking who you thought would do best in the race and comparing the results at the end with a group of friends on NASCAR.com. For me, that group was my dad and all of his work buddies. Once I agreed and February rolled around I picked a bunch of drivers I didn’t know and didn’t watch a single race for months. Finally, my dad told me I needed to give racing a shot or quit the team so we could find something else to do together.
I decided if I was going to take this ‘cars going in circles’ thing seriously, I would need a favorite driver. It’s no secret who that ended up being and a week later I sat down to watch the (then) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma. That was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I don’t know what clicked, but the green flag waved and I never looked away from the screen. I laid on the floor in front of the TV and refused to get up, not even during the commercial breaks. I was in love. I found something I actually liked and at the time that was a miracle. (As far as the fantasy team goes I lost the first year, horribly, in case you were wondering. But your girl came back strong the next season and beat the entire group of adults who had been watching for years ;) my dad even had a little wooden plaque engraved for me. Pictured below and the team name has been scribbled out for privacy of our friends)
It’s so hard for me to believe I started writing about NASCAR online at only fifteen. At the time I was the youngest at the website and I eventually began to expand my racing horizon. Soon I loved Trucks, Xfinity, Cup, ARCA, Super Late Model, K&N… anything with four wheels and I was invested in it. I had notebook after notebook filled with teams, drivers, sponsors, numbers anything to help me memorize it all.
The end of 2017 rolled around and I took a chance and started this website. Around that time I was also recruited by another racing website set to start writing at Daytona the next season. Now I write for all three websites and try my best to upload to them regularly.
In these four years I’ve seen many changes come to the Cup world and to my own world. I’ve made so many friends and met so many people. So much good has come from NASCAR for me. Of course there have been bad times (that is inevitable) I've experienced burnout, felt isolated at school for being so heavily involved in something that made me so different, but I didn't let that stop me. My love for racing shined through and I think I might just be here for the long haul. If there is anything I want you readers to take away from this article is that if you truly love your job, you will never work a day in your life.
Some goals for the upcoming years:
- Improve the website's quality (colors, photos, editing)
- Post more regularly
You'll be hearing from me again soon my dear readers!
*Don't forget to leave me a comment! They all make my day! (The comment section does NOT post your email only the nickname you provide!)
Joey Logano won from the Pole at Michigan International Speedway after a rain delay. The race was pushed to Monday at 5 o’clock PM EST. Logano said after the Monday afternoon race that Edsel Ford told his Ford drivers ‘not to lose’ in Michigan this past weekend. The two previous drivers to win in Ford country were Kevin Harvick last year in 2018 and Clint Bowyer in 2017.
Of course, the ever smiling No. 22 driver also threw credit at his team and thanked the fans.
The race went into Overtime near the end for a spin from Erik Jones in the No. 20 but Logano was still able to score the win. Watch the final lap:
Wondering what Logano has to say about positivity? He had a nice interview with Andrew Kurland below:
Who will take the victory next weekend in Sonoma? Tune into FS1 at 3 PM (EST) to find out!
Championship Standings After Michigan: (Via NASCAR.com)
1 Joey Logano (2 wins)
2 Kyle Busch (4 wins)
3 Brad Keselowski (3 wins)
4 Kevin Harvick
5 Chase Elliott (1 win)
6 Martin Truex Jr (3 wins)
7 Denny Hamlin (2 wins)
8 Kurt Busch
9 Ryan Blaney
10 Alex Bowman
Driver who won Stage One: William Byron (No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports)
Driver who won Stage Two: Bubba Wallace (No. 43, Richard Petty Motorsports)
Driver who won Stage Three: Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing)
Fan Vote Went To: Alex Bowman (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports)
It’s All-Star weekend, one of the best weekends in NASCAR. Drivers had to compete to win a million dollars tonight. But before we could race for a million dollars, the rest of the field (twenty-four cars) needed to compete in the NASCAR Open and the fan-favorite needed to be voted in. To advance drivers needed to win a stage. The first two stages were twenty laps, and the final was ten laps. Every stage had to finish under green- there could be unlimited attempts at a green-white-checkered finish to each stage. (This was shown in practice in stage one, and stage two)
Drivers who were already in the All-Star: Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Truex, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones and Clint Bowyer.
Stage One Highlights: Halfway No. 21 Paul Menard had a lot of smoke in the cockpit. Five to go No. 53 BJ McLeod's engine blew up. Same caution No. 37 Chris Buescher had a broken track bar. Stage finished in overtime due to fluid on the track. No. 46 Joey Gase out after fuel Pressure issue. Daniel Hemric lead the most laps. Fight to the finish with No. 24 William Byron won the stage.
Stage Two Highlights: Four wide early in the stage. Lots of aggressive bump drafting. Daniel Hemric No. 8 into the wall with No. 47 Ryan Preece after contact. After they hit the wall Preece spun him. Stage two went into overtime. No. Bubba Wallace won stage after heavy contact with No. 41 Daniel Suarez (Sends 41 around).
Stage Three Highlights: No. 42 Kyle Larson won stage three.
Will we see a repeat winner take the million? Or will a new driver emerge as this year’s All-Star?
(Alex) Bowman the Showman finished Monday’s rain delayed race in 2nd place. This is his second time in 2019 finishing in the runner up position, this time behind Martin Truex Jr.. The first time was last weekend in Talladega.
Following the Gander RV 400 at Dover the pilot of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy posted this video on Twitter:
Prior to the previous two weekends, Bowman’s highest finish in the Cup series this season was 11th. Which the Tuscan, Arizona native finished in twice, the Daytona 500 and in Las Vegas.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. took to twitter following the race as well:
The No. 88 team has been on a roll the past couple of weeks. Where will Bowman finish in Kansas? Is there a win on the horizon for the No. 88 team? Tune in to FS1 at 2pm Sunday, May 11th to find out!
Brad Keselowski dominated the STP 500 on Sunday, that is no secret. The race began with Darrel Waltrip’s signature start... with a bit of a twist, “Boogity, boogity, boogity! Let’s go racing hotdogs!” due to the famous Martinsville hotdogs. Keselowski took the lead after his teammate and pole-sitter Joey Logano lead the first five laps. After the No. 2 had the lead the sky was the limit for Keselowski.
His biggest competitor was Chase Elliott. Elliott was the only one to take the lead from Keselowski and it was only for fifty-four laps. Keselowski did his usual burnout with the checkered and American flag- a fan favorite. He did two total, before smoking out the front stretch. After the burnouts, Keselowski did not climb from the No. 2 car and when Matt Yocum came to the window Keselowski said, “I don’t know where I’m supposed to be!”
During the interview Keselowski said of his No. 2 team, “Thats what this team does, they never give up and I’m really, really proud of them!”
2nd place went to Chase Elliott after a long hard fought battle with Keselowski. Elliott was racing Keselowski for the lead most of the race, and Keselowski even admitted that Elliott had a faster car than the No. 2 for parts of the race.
NASCAR Cup Series Standings After Martinsville (NASCAR FS1 Broadcast):
Kyle Busch (Two wins)
Brad Keselowski (Two wins)
Denny Hamlin (One win)
Joey Logano (One win)
Martin Truex Jr.
Harrison Burton is the driver of the No. 18 Safelight Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). This is Burton’s rookie season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Since his debut in Martinsville 2016, Burton has competed in several truck series races and is still hunting down his first win (NGOTS).
Friday Burton left Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 2nd place in the points standings. The 18 year old originally qualified in 3rd place and spent most of the race in 2nd fighting boss man (and eventual winner of the race) Kyle Busch for the lead. On the final restart Burton was was able to make it up to 5th place before the checkered flag, a handful of laps later. His KBM teammate Todd Gilliland, finished the day in 7th place, while (as stated above) Kyle Busch took the win.
Current Top 10 in Points: (via NASCAR.com)
Grant Enfinger (117)
Harrison Burton (111)
Austin Hill (108) 1 win in Daytona
Stewart Friesen (103)
Brett Moffitt (102)
Johnny Sauter (102)
Matt Crafton (96)
Ben rhodes (96)
Todd Gilliland (96)
Sheldon Creed (91)
Atlanta Motor Speedway brought a foggy, misty Saturday evening Gander Outdoors NASCAR Truck Series (GONTS) race. The first two stages both went to Kyle Busch, who was fighting to become the driver with the most wins in NASCAR Truck Series history. He was tied with Ron Hornaday for 51 wins, Hornaday had 360 total starts, Busch 145 so far.
The race went red with nine laps to go for rain, and Busch was still in the lead. Many fans thought the race wouldn't go green again, but they were wrong. Busch held the field off to win his 52nd race. He also had 115 top tens in the series and 6,497 laps led total.
Busch's KBM teammates finished in 8th (Harrison Burton) and 9th (Todd Gilliland).
Busch will make his 500th career start tomorrow for the Cup Series, tune in to see if he gets another checkered flag!
Harrison Burton (18) won his Daytona International Speedway Debut for ARCA team Venturini Motorsports. The young Burton initially qualified in 5th place but several cautions and restarts later he was in the lead. This is Burton's 3rd win the ARCA Series, the other two coming in Toledo, Ohio and Pocono, Pennsylvania.
It's no secret that Burton has a wonderful support system behind him, during the final laps of the race his family was jumping around the pit box.
Burton's father also had a lot of high praise for his son in the media center:
Burton gave several interviews that highlighted his humorous and care free personality.
Burton is competing in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series opener, once again in Daytona where he and his team will work for another win.
Speedweeks is finally upon us, NASCAR has officially posted the whole schedule. The final Clash practice and Daytona 500 practices are on Saturday, but if you need even more of a racing fix, give the ARCA race a try. It is scheduled for around 5pm EST that day. (Though I’m not sure where/or if you can watch it live but you can definitely follow along on twitter!
Once Saturday has come and gone the next day of racing will be Sunday February 10th, for the clash and Daytona 500 qualifying. Drivers participating in the 2019 Advanced Auto Parts Clash are: Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez, and Martin Truex Jr..
The next day of racing will be the Gander RV Duels on Valentines day. Then Friday the 15th will be practice for the 500, Xfinity and Trucks and finally the NextEra 250 truck race.
Saturday February 16th will be the final 500 practice, and Xfinity qualifying and race. Then Sunday will be the long awaited Daytona 500!
Make sure you tune in to Fox 2:30pm EST Sunday the 17th!
Every race fan knows that in Homestead a champion is crowned for the NASCAR Cup Series. This year and last year NASCAR has been sponsored by Monster Energy which means the Cup Series has been called the Monster Energy Cup Series (MENCS) for two years. It was a long fight for the 2018 champ, yes during yesterday’s race but also his career. Mark Martin called this driver the greatest thing since Sliced Bread before he’d even turned a lap in the K&N series. That driver is Joey Logano. Logano has been racing in the Cup Series since he was 18 years old. Joe Gibbs Racing picked him up in 2008, and Logano got his first two wins with them before moving to Team Penske in 2013.
Since the move to Penske, Logano has picked up nineteen Cup Series wins, and has a total of eighty-eight top 5’s and one-hundred-thirty-eight top 10’s. This was Logano’s third time being in the championship four. The first time in 2014 Logano finished in 4th, then in 2016 he finished in 2nd. He completely missed the playoffs in 2017 but this year he finally completed his life long dream- he became a champion.
The winning move came with less than ten laps to go when Logano was able to clear Martin Truex Jr. and speed away. Logano managed to hold onto the lead long enough to win both the race and championship. When the race was over Logano did his signature "Logano Loop" burnout.
The new champion was immediately surrounded by his team and people he kept hugging as soon as he climbed out of the car. Teammate and 2012 champ Brad Keselowski was one of them.
Not unlike many of Logano's fans, the driver himself was in tears during the beginning of his interview.
During Logano's interview you could see the moment it all began to set in because he got very excited and playfully shoved Marty Snider who was interviewing him.
It took the NBC group a bit of time to wrestle Logano on stage but he did eventually arrive. There he was awarded the trophy and was able to celebrate with his team and family. His parents, sister Danielle, wife Brittany, and ten month old son Hudson were all there to celebrate. As soon as Brittany was on stage she set Hudson in the trophy, and as it would turn out the young Logano would end up in the cup several more times that night.
Logano is a very family oriented person, and mentioned multiple times during interviews that night just how special it was to him to have his family there with him to celebrate, but in case you're still wary- this picture speaks volumes.
As Logano celebrated he took extra care to make sure it was known that this was not his championship but his entire team's championship. He always said 'we' or 'us' unless talking about something that went down behind the wheel. Logano also made sure to thank the fans for their continuous support as well.
Don't be fooled, when a driver wins the championship they don't get just the trophy and champion honors, they also get a really rad boat. Rutledge Wood was talking about the boat and said that he looked over at one point during the commercial break and Logano was climbing over the side to sit in it. Wood also commented about the new entourage following Logano around the track. He then took the interview a step farther to address how inspiring this all was.
A few days prior to the championship finale Logano was raising money for his charity the Joey Logano Foundation who's mission is to give second chances to those in need. Logano was able to raise 170,000 dollars last week. He then went on to win the Comcast Community Award for his efforts.
During the interview Logano talked about how anyone can donate money, but not everyone can donate time. Before the NBC post coverage ended the always humble Logano was sure to mention how while this championship is huge and amazing, but in the grand scheme of things there are more important things than him winning a championship.
Another MENCS season is in the books, and the Daytona Clash is only eighty-four days away and counting!
It's been a long season, but I think we can all agree that it's over way too soon! Off Season dreads aside, tonight we announced the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Champion! The first thing Logano said when he got out of the car was, "We did it! We won the championship I can't believe it!" Logano was absolutely elated during his interview. "This team, Roger Penske, Todd Gordon, the pit crew- oh my god amazing."
Logano is a first time champion, and the 33rd MENCS Champion. "I couldn’t be more proud of them." Logano said of his team.
"We won the championship Marty [Snider] oh my god!" Logano exclaimed and then lightly shoved him. "What was going through your mind?" Snider asked. "Screaming just a. Lots of screaming. I’ve worked my whole life to get here." Logano's signature smile had been in place since he got of the car. Teammate Keselowski found Logano among the mass of people and told him congrats before he hugged him.
"I knew I was getting past that car no matter what." Logano said about the last few laps when he had to get past Truex for the win. The driver of the 22 went on to compliment his pit crew more. "Each and every individual on that team is the best in their position and they proved that today."
On stage when Logano was announced as the 2018 champion he said, "Its a dream come true to even hear those words along with my name." Then, "I'm not a champion these guys are champions." Logano was lucky enough to have his family with him on stage, his wife Brittany, son Hudson, sister Danielle and his parents. When Brittany came up the first thing she did was put Hudson in the MENCS trophy.
Congratulations to the 2018 MENCS Champion Joey Logano!
Thank you to everyone who followed my articles this season. I hope you all had as much fun as I did, and I will see you in the next article!
"I wanted to know what winning feels like. And it feels really really good."
*Quotes from NBC post race broadcast
This afternoon Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that 2017 K&N East Series Champion Harrison Burton would be driving full time in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019. Burton will be driving the number 18 Safelight Toyota Tundra and responded to the announcement on Twitter.
Burton's first truck race with this team was in 2016 at the Martinsville Speedway fall race in late October. Since then the young driver has driven the number 51 Dex Imaging Toyota in the select races he's had with KBM. Burton currently has won a pole, and has four Top-5's and seven Top-10's in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
There is still one more Truck Series race on Burton's agenda before he can officially move to the number 18. He will compete in the 2018 Homestead-Miami Speedway race this Friday night.
The race will be on Fox Sports One at 8:00 PM (EST) Friday night.
We had a rough start to the early part of this weekend. What a day, what a race! We got what we needed out of today. ISM's elimination race produced the championship final four. Joey Logano was locked in prior to the start of the race due to his win at Martinsville. Logano was not able to finish the race today after spinning early on in the race. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. were able to get in on points. Kyle Busch won his way to Homestead. Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott, and Kurt Busch were all disqualified.
"This was Kyle Busch's eighth win this season, tying him with Harvick. This was also Busch's one-ninety-fourth NASCAR win. This put Busch at number eleven of all time Cup wins. He has fifty-one Cup, Ninety-two Xfinity and fifty-one Truck wins.
"We had a rough start to the early part of this weekend. What a day, what a race! We got what we needed out of today." Busch said to Rutledge Wood at the start finish line.
Of his Joe Gibbs Racing team, Busch said "This is an awesome team, awesome group of guys."
Kyle Busch went on to thank the veteran's serving the country and making the sacrifices they do.
Busch was asked "How much Miami Mojo does this win give the eighteen team?" "Uh I'd like to think it gives us a lot but talk is cheap." Busch said with a laugh.
The final race of the season is in Homestead next Sunday, where the Championship Four will battle and produce the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion. Don't miss it, and Happy Veteran's Day!
*Quotes from NBC post race broadcast.
The triple A Texas 500 was Kevin Harvick 8th win this season which ties him with Bobby Allison with most wins in one season over the age of forty. This is also Harvick's forty-fifth career MENCS win. Harvick lead one-seventy-seven laps.
"You have locked yourself into the championship four" Rutledge Wood said at the start finish line. "Yeah just really really proud of the guys at Stewart Haas racing… everybody who helps us on this thing (The four car)."
Harvick smiled at the camera. "The expectations are to win. We don’t race for points, we race to win… we aren't here to count fingers and toes. We want to earn it."
At the flag stand Harvick picked a kid up from the grandstands, and brought him onto the track. Then took a picture with him in front of the track. Harvick also gave him the checkered flag. "People always give you grief for not stopping for the fans… but I love stopping for the kids. Sorry adults." Harvick laughed. “Sometimes you forget what it means to sitting in that car for people outside of the sport… That moment is hopefully going to be with that kid forever.” That will definitely be an unforgettable moment for that kid! Its moments such as those that really make me so proud of this sport.
Harvick said it again in Victory Lane, “We don’t come here to count fingers and toes… we come here to win.”
Kevin Harvick and the four team will be racing in Phoenix (ISM Raceway now!) next weekend. Harvick is in the championship four!
*Quotes from NBC Post Race show!
Not a lot of people are gonna be happy with the way that the end of the race went but: fans constantly say they want more action. Well, there's your action. In the post race show Kyle Petty said something I absolutely agree with. "If I can get to his bumper on the last lap, he's mine. That's always been in this sport. That was Richard petty and David Pearson, Lee Petty and Buck Baker that was Dale Sr. and Terry Labonte and Rusty Wallace - and that happened today here. It's no different than anything we've seen. Joey Logano drove a great race... He expected that Martin was gonna turn him around. Somebody was gonna get into him."
Petty then added, "It was very clean until the last lap. But the last lap, is for everything." Like Petty said, this happens in our sport, they raced clean until the very end and it's not new. It's the last lap and at the end of the day the fact is: Logano did not wreck Truex, he only pushed him.
Joey Logano lead a total of three-hundred and nine laps at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon. When asked what was going through his head during the end of the race Logano said, "Miami. Just thinking about Miami."
Logano went on to speak about the 22's condition during the final leg of the race. "Our car wasn’t as good there that last run... just doing everything I could be defensive." Then about the finish, "You're gonna have some bumping and grinding at the end."
On his move at the very end of the race the driver of the 22 said, "That's NASCAR racing that's what the fans come here to see." While reflecting on the year so far Logano mentioned it had been a tough year but he was so glad to have his second win. It just so happened to be at Martinsville, where Logano is now finally the proud owner of a Grandfather clock.
“Like I said, it’s racing.” Logano said. "He raced me clean and I laid my bumper to him, I don’t expect him to be happy but… this is our shot, maybe our only shot we gotta take it.”
Will Logano win again this season? What will happen in Homestead? Continue to tune in to find out!
*Quotes from NBC post race show
I'm a junior in high school but that doesn't stop me from keeping up with and bringing you the latest from NASCAR!