Nationwide Series -- Race No. 24 -- Food City 250
Bristol Motor Speedway (0.533-mile oval) – Bristol, Tenn.
Fast Facts for August 21, 2009
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Left-side – 475, Right-side – 475
Left-side -- D-4158; Right-side -- D-4252
Left-side -- 87.4 in.; Right-side -- 88.6 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 26 psi; Left Rear -- 26 psi;
Right Front -- 42 psi; Right Rear -- 40 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 20 psi; Left Rear -- 18 psi;
Right Front -- 41 psi; Right Rear -- 38 psi
Notes: While teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same left-side tire code (D-4158) at Bristol this weekend, they will be running distinct right-side codes . . . Nationwide Series teams will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Camping World Truck Series teams ran at Bristol on Wednesday . . . Bristol is the only track at which Nationwide teams will run this left-side tire code . . . this will be the fourth straight race at Bristol that Nationwide teams will be running this left-side code, dating back to March 2008 . . . the right-side tire code that Nationwide teams will be running this weekend is the same one that Sprint Cup teams ran at Indianapolis last month . . . Nationwide drivers Jason Keller and Steven Wallace tested this tire set-up at Bristol in July . . . also attending that test were Casey Mears in the No. 07 Cup car, and Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday in their Camping World Trucks . . . Bristol is unique in that teams will be required to run inner liners in only their right-side tires this weekend . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Ragan wins at Bristol: #6-David Ragan won the Food City 250 at Bristol Motors Speedway for his second win of the year and the second of his career. The race finished under a caution because of a wreck on the last lap of a green-white-checker finish. #6-Carl Edwards finished second. The rest of the top 10: #88-Brad Keselowski, #33-Kevin Harvick, #16-Matt Kenseth, #38-Jason Leffler, #29-Clint Bowyer, #15-Michael Annett, #98-Paul Menard, and #26-Michael McDowell. Points leader Kyel Busch was caught in an early accident and finished 28th. There were 9 cautions for 60 laps and 10 lead changes among 7 leaders.(8-21-2009)
Bristol Race Fast Facts:
David Ragan won the Food City 250, his second victory in 92 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second victory and 11th top-10 finish in 2009.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in six races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Carl Edwards (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 11 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his 19th top-10 finish in 2009.
Brad Keselowski (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Michael Annett (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 248 points over Carl Edwards.
|1||9||6||David Ragan||Discount Tire Ford||254||190||5||$50,545||Running||1||56|
|2||2||60||Carl Edwards||Save A Lot Ford||254||175||5||$37,350||Running||2||51|
|3||1||88||Brad Keselowski||Degree Chevy||254||170||5||$40,293||Running||3||43|
|4||11||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless Chevy||254||170||10||$28,775||Running||2||91|
|5||4||16||Matt Kenseth||CitiFinancial Ford||254||155||$24,650||Running|
|6||26||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips Toyota||254||150||$32,018||Running|
|7||3||29||Clint Bowyer||Holiday Inn Chevy||254||146||$24,110||Running|
|8||13||15||Michael Annett #||Pilot Travel Centers Toyota||254||142||$30,238||Running|
|9||43||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards Ford||254||138||$22,150||Running|
|10||19||26||Michael McDowell #||Fischer Honda Dodge||254||134||$29,143||Running|
|11||41||32||David Reutimann||Dollar General Stores Toyota||254||130||$21,700||Running|
|12||25||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing Ford||254||127||$30,168||Running|
|13||10||5||Ryan Newman||Fastenal Chevy||254||124||$21,900||Running|
|14||30||28||Kenny Wallace||US Border Patrol Chevy||253||121||$27,903||Running|
|15||37||87||Mike Bliss||NEMCO Motorsports Chevy||253||118||$28,608||Running|
|16||17||27||Jason Keller||Kleenex/Food City Ford||253||115||$27,823||Running|
|17||8||66||Steve Wallace||USfidelis Chevy||253||112||$27,778||Running|
|18||33||72||Benny Gordon||VSI/Samuel & Sons Ford||252||109||$21,565||Running|
|19||20||62||Brendan Gaughan #||5 Hour Energy ES Chevy||252||111||5||$30,198||Running||1||10|
|20||40||81||Sean Murphy||D.H. Girffin Companies Dodge||252||103||$28,158||Running|
|21||22||40||Scott Wimmer||Westerman Companies Chevy||251||100||$27,593||Running|
|22||38||23||Ken Butler #||Aaron's Dream Machine Chevy||251||97||$27,548||Running|
|23||42||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's Chevy||250||94||$28,238||Running|
|24||5||99||Trevor Bayne||Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota||250||91||$27,453||Running|
|25||39||24||Eric McClure||Hefty/Food City Ford||249||88||$27,543||Running|
|26||32||73||Derrike Cope||FlipNBags/EZPCBackup.com Dodge||236||85||$20,860||Running|
|27||6||12||Justin Allgaier #||Verizon Wireless Dodge||226||87||5||$27,268||Running||1||2|
|28||15||18||Kyle Busch||NOS Toyota||195||84||5||$20,755||Running||1||1|
|29||7||20||Brad Coleman||BigSpot.com Toyota||177||76||$27,188||Running|
|30||16||11||Brian Scott||Ridemakerz.com Toyota||162||73||$27,443||Accident|
|31||18||77||Peyton Sellers||SFP Chevy||161||70||$20,635||Accident|
|32||23||01||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Sun Drop Chevy||137||67||$27,058||Accident|
|33||21||09||John Wes Townley #||Zaxby's Ford||133||64||$27,038||Suspension|
|34||36||52||Brad Teague||Scag Mowers/Greg's Pizza Chevy||79||61||$20,550||Ignition|
|35||12||1||Reed Sorenson||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort Chevy||52||58||$20,535||Accident|
|36||27||07||Chase Austin||Dynamic Technology Chevy||51||55||$26,983||Accident|
|37||14||10||Kasey Kahne||McDonald's Toyota||30||52||$20,495||Overheating|
|38||29||49||Mark Green||GetMoreVacations.com Chevy||25||49||$26,923||Brakes|
|39||28||47||Coleman Pressley||ConstructionJobs.com Toyota||23||46||$26,898||Overheating|
|40||31||78||Kevin Lepage||Derrike Cope Inc. Dodge||13||43||$20,405||Ignition|
|41||24||05||Casey Atwood||31-W Insulation Chevy||12||40||$26,848||Transmission|
|42||34||91||Terry Cook #||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||3||37||$20,355||Brakes|
|43||35||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||2||34||$20,314||Ignition|
|5.||Justin Allgaier #||25||2843||-1057||24|
|9.||Brendan Gaughan #||25||2649||-1251||24|
|10.||Michael McDowell #||10||2608||-1292||24|
|13.||Michael Annett #||20||2389||-1511||24|
|16.||Scott Lagasse Jr.||5||2194||-1706||21|
|20.||Danny O'quinn Jr.||0||1985||-1915||24|
|28.||John Wes Townley #||5||1282||-2618||18|
|33.||Ken Butler #||0||1060||-2840||13|
|43.||Robert Richardson Jr.||0||823||-3077||10|
|50.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||5||731||-3169||6|
|52.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||10||634||-3266||6|
|54.||Terry Cook #||0||624||-3276||15|
|57.||Bobby Hamilton Jr.||0||600||-3300||6|
|59.||D J Kennington||0||558||-3342||6|
|70.||John Borneman III||0||361||-3539||4|
|75.||Ron Hornaday Jr.||5||293||-3607||2|
|82.||J C Stout||0||196||-3704||4|
|102.||J R Fitzpatrick||0||109||-3791||1|
|103.||J J Yeley||0||100||-3800||1|
|3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||3,597||-303|
|23||Curtis Key Sr.||40||2,156||-1,744|
|36||Mary Louise Miller||70||1,320||-2,580|
|51||John Borneman Jr.||83||361||-3,539|
Keselowski on pole at Bristol: #88-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 120.566mph. #60-Carl Edwards will start second. The rest of the top 10: #29-Clint Bowyer, #16-Matt Kenseth, #99-Trevor Bayne, #12-Justin Allgaier, #20-Brad Coleman, #66-Steve Wallace, #6-David Ragan, and #5-Ryan Newman. Did Not Qualify: #96-Dennis Setzer, #0-Kertus Davis, #70-Shelby Howard, #31-Travis Kittleson, #42-Scott Lagasse, #89-Morgan Shepherd.(8-21-2009)
|1||88||Brad Keselowski||Degree Chevy||15.915||120.566|
|2||60||Carl Edwards||Save A Lot Ford||15.931||120.444|
|3||29||Clint Bowyer||Holiday Inn Chevy||15.933||120.429|
|4||16||Matt Kenseth||CitiFinancial Ford||15.943||120.354|
|5||99||Trevor Bayne||Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota||15.950||120.301|
|6||12||Justin Allgaier #||Verizon Wireless Dodge||15.953||120.278|
|7||20||Brad Coleman||BigSpot.com Toyota||15.987||120.023|
|8||66||Steve Wallace||USfidelis Chevy||15.992||119.985|
|9||6||David Ragan||Discount Tire Ford||16.010||119.850|
|10||5||Ryan Newman||Fastenal Chevy||16.046||119.581|
|11||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless Chevy||16.072||119.388|
|12||1||Reed Sorenson||Miccosukee Indian Gmng&Rsrt Chevy||16.077||119.351|
|13||15||Michael Annett #||Pilot Travel Centers Toyota||16.080||119.328|
|14||10||Kasey Kahne||McDonald's Toyota||16.100||119.180|
|15||18||Kyle Busch||NOS Toyota||16.111||119.099|
|16||11||Brian Scott||Ridemakerz.com Toyota||16.112||119.091|
|17||27||Jason Keller||Kleenex/Food City Ford||16.125||118.995|
|18||77||Peyton Sellers||SFP Chevy||16.126||118.988|
|19||26||Michael McDowell #||Fischer Honda Dodge||16.134||118.929|
|20||62||Brendan Gaughan #||5 Hour Energy ES Chevy||16.146||118.841|
|21||09||John Wes Townley #||Zaxby's Ford||16.169||118.672|
|22||40||Scott Wimmer||Westerman Companies Chevy||16.177||118.613|
|23||01||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Sun Drop Chevy||16.180||118.591|
|24||05||Casey Atwood||31-W Insulation Chevy||16.180||118.591|
|25||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing Ford||16.181||118.584|
|26||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips Toyota||16.198||118.459|
|27||07||Chase Austin||Dynamic Technology Chevy||16.209||118.379|
|28||47||Coleman Pressley||ConstructionJobs.com Toyota||16.219||118.306|
|29||49||Mark Green||GetMoreVacations.com Chevy||16.221||118.291|
|30||28||Kenny Wallace||US Border Patrol Chevy||16.249||118.087|
|31||78||Kevin Lepage||Derrike Cope Inc. Dodge||16.257||118.029|
|32||73||Derrike Cope||FlipNBags/EZPCBackup.com Dodge||16.265||117.971|
|33||72||Benny Gordon||VSI/Samuel & Sons Ford||16.282||117.848|
|34||91||Terry Cook #||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||16.288||117.805|
|35||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||16.328||117.516|
|36||52||Brad Teague||Scag Mowers/Greg's Pizza Chevy||16.332||117.487|
|37||87||Mike Bliss||NEMCO Motorsports Chevy||16.379||117.150|
|38||23||Ken Butler #||Aaron's Dream Machine Chevy||16.406||116.957|
|39||24||Eric McClure||Hefty/Food City Ford||Owner Points|
|40||81||Sean Murphy||D.H. Girffin Companies Dodge||Owner Points|
|41||32||David Reutimann||Dollar General Stores Toyota||Owner Points|
|42||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's Chevy||Owner Points|
|43||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards Ford||16.352||117.343|
Keselowski fastest in Brsitol practice: #88-Brad Keselowski was the fastest in the only practice session for the Food City 250 at Bristol. His top speed was 121.697mph. He was followed by #11-Brian Scott, #29-Clint Bowyer, #18-Kyle Busch, #60-Carl Edwards, #10-Kasey Kahne, #33-Kevin Harvick, #12-Justin Allgaier, #66-Steve Wallace and #20-Brad Coleman. Slowest were #76-Ryan Hackett and #24-Eric McClure.(8-21-2009)
|1||88||Brad Keselowski||Degree Chevy||15.767||121.697||95|
|2||11||Brian Scott||Ridemakerz.com Toyota||15.820||121.290||131|
|3||29||Clint Bowyer||Holiday Inn Chevy||15.878||120.846||75|
|4||18||Kyle Busch||NOS Toyota||15.908||120.619||75|
|5||60||Carl Edwards||Save A Lot Ford||15.909||120.611||110|
|6||10||Kasey Kahne||McDonald's Toyota||15.936||120.407||78|
|7||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless Chevy||15.957||120.248||78|
|8||12||Justin Allgaier #||Verizon Wireless Dodge||15.973||120.128||158|
|9||66||Steve Wallace||USfidelis Chevy||15.987||120.023||135|
|10||20||Brad Coleman||BigSpot.com Toyota||15.998||119.940||96|
|11||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips Toyota||16.016||119.805||132|
|12||6||David Ragan||Discount Tire Ford||16.021||119.768||122|
|13||16||Matt Kenseth||CitiFinancial Ford||16.031||119.693||74|
|14||99||Trevor Bayne||Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota||16.034||119.671||81|
|15||40||Scott Wimmer||Westerman Companies Chevy||16.048||119.566||69|
|16||32||David Reutimann||Dollar General Stores Toyota||16.059||119.484||78|
|17||77||Peyton Sellers||SFP Chevy||16.059||119.484||130|
|18||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards Ford||16.075||119.365||125|
|19||91||Terry Cook #||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||16.095||119.217||50|
|20||5||Ryan Newman||Fastenal Chevy||16.101||119.173||102|
|21||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||16.103||119.158||10|
|22||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's Chevy||16.134||118.929||80|
|23||1||Reed Sorenson||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort Chevy||16.148||118.826||88|
|24||09||John Wes Townley #||Zaxby's Ford||16.163||118.716||126|
|25||27||Jason Keller||Kleenex/Food City Ford||16.168||118.679||83|
|26||07||Chase Austin||Dynamic Technology Chevy||16.174||118.635||126|
|27||89||Morgan Shepherd||Lagina Plumbing/Eldora Speedway Chevy||16.181||118.584||62|
|28||72||Benny Gordon||VSI/Samuel & Sons Ford||16.191||118.510||46|
|29||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing Ford||16.207||118.393||72|
|30||73||Derrike Cope||FlipNBags/EZPCBackup.com Dodge||16.216||118.328||42|
|31||15||Michael Annett #||Pilot Travel Centers Toyota||16.217||118.320||89|
|32||31||Travis Kittleson||Bob Steele Chevy Chevy||16.235||118.189||92|
|33||42||Scott Lagasse, Jr #||Smith Ironworks Dodge||16.241||118.145||50|
|34||81||Sean Murphy||D.H. Girffin Companies Dodge||16.242||118.138||75|
|35||62||Brendan Gaughan #||5 Hour Energy ES Chevy||16.244||118.124||129|
|36||49||Mark Green||GetMoreVacations.com Chevy||16.264||117.978||19|
|37||70||Shelby Howard||ForeTravel Motorcoach Chevy||16.283||117.841||84|
|38||96||Dennis Setzer||ConelyAuto.com Dodge||16.288||117.805||47|
|39||0||Kertus Davis||NuTone.com Chevy||16.298||117.732||57|
|40||52||Brad Teague||Scag Mowers/Greg's Pizza Chevy||16.319||117.581||29|
|41||78||Kevin Lepage||Derrike Cope Inc. Dodge||16.326||117.530||30|
|42||26||Michael McDowell #||Fischer Honda Dodge||16.335||117.466||66|
|43||28||Kenny Wallace||US Border Patrol Chevy||16.352||117.343||45|
|44||87||Mike Bliss||NEMCO Motorsports Chevy||16.365||117.250||87|
|45||47||Coleman Pressley||ConstructionJobs.com Toyota||16.376||117.171||59|
|46||01||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Sun Drop Chevy||16.415||116.893||51|
|47||05||Casey Atwood||31-W Insulation Chevy||16.448||116.659||69|
|48||23||Ken Butler #||Aaron's Dream Machine Chevy||16.450||116.644||116|
|49||76||Ryan Hackett||www.JandRsupply.com Ford||16.489||116.368||43|
|50||24||Eric McClure||Hefty/Food City Ford||16.553||115.919||87|
|1||0||Kertus Davis||Nutone Heating and Cooling||09 Chevy||Johnny Davis|
|2||01||Danny O'Quinn Jr||Sun Drop Soda||09 Chevy||Lori Morgan|
|3||1||Reed Sorenson||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort||09 Chevy||James Finch|
|4||05||Casey Atwood||31-W Insulation||07 Chevy||Wayne Day|
|5||5||Ryan Newman||Fastenal||09 Chevy||Rick Hendrick|
|6||6||David Ragan||Discount Tire||09 Ford||Jack Roush|
|7||07||Chase Austin||Dynamic Technology||09 Chevy||Armando Fitz|
|8||09||John Wes Townley||Zaxby's||09 Ford||Jay Robinson|
|9||10||Kasey Kahne||McCafe'||08 Toyota||Todd Braun|
|10||11||Brian Scott||Ridemakerz||09 Toyota||Bryan Mullet|
|11||12||Justin Allgaier||Verizon Wireless||09 Dodge||Tad Geschickter|
|12||15||Michael Annett||Pilot Travel Centers||09 Toyota||Bob Germain|
|13||16||Matt Kenseth||CitiFinancial||09 Ford||Jack Roush|
|14||18||Kyle Busch||NOS||09 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|15||20||Brad Coleman||BigSpot.com||09 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|16||23||Ken Butler||Aaron's||08 Chevy||Johnny Davis|
|17||24||Eric McClure||Hefty||09 Ford||Ed Rensi|
|18||26||Brian Keselowski||Fischer Honda||09 Dodge||Dusty Whitney|
|19||27||Jason Keller||Kleenex-Food City||09 Ford||Mike Curb|
|20||28||Kenny Wallace||US Border Patrol||09 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|21||29||Clint Bowyer||HOLIDAY INN||09 Chevy||Richard Childress|
|22||31||Travis Kittleson||Bob Steele Chevy||09 Chevy||Stanton Barrett|
|23||32||David Reutimann||Dollar General Stores||08 Toyota||Todd Braun|
|24||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless||09 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|25||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's||09 Chevy||Bob Jenkins|
|26||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips||08 Toyota||Ralph Braun|
|27||40||Scott Wimmer||StopRepairBills.com||09 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|28||42||Scott Lagasse||Smith Ironworks||08 Dodge||Chip Ganassi|
|29||47||Coleman Pressley||ConstructionJobs.com||09 Toyota||Jodi Geschickter|
|30||49||Mark Green||Get More Vacations.Com||09 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|31||52||Brad Teague||Scag Mowers/Greg's Pizza||08 Chevy||Jimmy Means|
|32||60||Carl Edwards||Save A Lot||09 Ford||Jack Roush|
|33||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing||09 Ford||Charlie Shoffner|
|34||62||Brendan Gaughan||5 Hour Energy ES||09 Chevy||Rusty Wallace|
|35||66||Steve Wallace||US Fidelis||09 Chevy||Rusty Wallace|
|36||70||Shelby Howard||ForeTravel Motorcoach||07 Chevy||Mary Louise Miller|
|37||72||Benny Gordon||VSI and Samuel & Sons||09 Ford||Frank Varischetti|
|38||73||Derrike Cope||FlipNBags.com||08 Dodge||Derrike Cope|
|39||76||Ryan Hackett||www.JandRsupply.com||08 Ford||Ray Hackett|
|40||77||Peyton Sellers||SFP||09 Chevy||William Spencer|
|41||78||Kevin Lepage||Derrike Cope, Inc.||08 Dodge||Darren Cope|
|42||81||Sean Murphy||D.H. Girffin Companies||09 Dodge||Pat MacDonald|
|43||87||Mike Bliss||NEMCO Motosports||08 Chevy||Andrea Nemechek|
|44||88||Brad Keselowski||GoDaddy||09 Chevy||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|45||89||Morgan Shepherd||Lagina Plumbing-Eldora Speedway||09 Chevy||Cindy Shepherd|
|46||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports||08 Chevy||Marcia Parsons|
|47||91||Terry Cook||MSRP Motorsports||08 Chevy||Randy Humphrey|
|48||96||Dennis Setzer||ConelyAuto.com||09 Dodge||Kay Keselowski|
|49||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards||09 Ford||Max Jones|
|50||99||Trevor Bayne||Aaron's||09 Toyota||Michael Waltrip|
Settled In: McClure Content On And Off The Track
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 17, 2009) — Eric McClure’s (#24 Hefty Ford) climb in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has hardly been a steady one. In each of his three full seasons in the series, the Chilhowie, Va., native who #resides in Abingdon, 30 minutes from Bristol Motor Speedway, has been with a different team. In addition to racing, the graduate of Emory and Henry University used his Communications degree to build and present a successful sponsor proposal.
In 2006, qualifying was angst-ridden. His team was outside the top 30 in owner points; he missed six races and was replaced for the three road course events.
Last year brought improvement. He made every race he entered, pushed his team into the top 30 in the owner standings for the majority of the year and was 21st in the driver standings. He also posted his career-best finish, 15th, at Talladega Superspeedway. But he again watched the three road course races.
This year, he’s with Rensi-Hamilton Racing, a move that has helped solidify his career and comfort zone as well as bring stability to one of the series’ flagship organizations that was struggling financially prior to the start of the year.
Series veteran Bobby Hamilton Jr. approached McClure late last year about joining the team, which had planned to be a two-car outfit in 2009. But Hamilton was unable to secure sponsorship so McClure has become the face of the organization. When Hamilton is at the track, he works diligently to assist McClure.
The result: McClure has been in the top 30 in owner points all year. His goal of residing in the top 20 in driver points is coming to fruition – he’s currently 19th. His three top-20 finishes this year are a career-best. He ran his first road-course race at Watkins Glen and is preparing for Montreal in two weeks.
“I’m finally in a situation that allows me to progress as a driver,” he said. “I’ve got a good, experienced team that can help me and they stand behind me 100 percent. They knew my past coming in and have worked with me and we’ve seen progress. I feel I’m where I should have been in my first season.”
Off the track, the doting father of two daughters — Maybreigh and Maryleigh (who has her first birthday party Saturday) is expecting a third child next spring. McClure, 30, found out wife Miranda was expecting again three weeks ago, just prior to driver introductions at Iowa Speedway.
“(My career is) still a battle,” he said. “It doesn’t come easy for me all the time. I’ve learned a lot about myself and try my best. That has made this year more enjoyable.”
Keselowski Relishes Role Of “Lurker”
One of Brad Keselowski’s (#88 GoDaddy.com Chevy) favorite words is “lurking.” That’s how he described his dash for the win at his home track, Michigan International Speedway, last Saturday “lurking” behind Brian Vickers, the 2003 series champion, and current standings leader Kyle Busch (# 18 #Toyota) during the final lap of the race.
Now, Keselowski is lurking again, in the minds of his competitors as the defending race winner of the much-anticipated Bristol night race as well as in the thoughts of Carl Edwards (#60 Save-A-Lot Ford).
Keselowski bettered 10 double-duty drivers last year and moved into second place in the standings with the win, three points ahead of Edwards. He would hold that spot for one more week before Edwards made his late-season charge toward eventual series champion Clint Bowyer (#29 Holiday Inn Chevy). Keselowski finished third.
This time around, it’s Edwards who’s backpedaling and Keselowski who’s churning. Edwards’ Lap 4 accident at Michigan — only the ninth DNF of his 164-race career — has #only put any challenge he may mount against Busch in peril, but he’s got to be concerned with Keselowski overtaking him as well.
The highest-standing series-only regular, Keselowski (third) is 50 points behind Edwards. His third win marked the most in one season for a series-only regular since 2006, when Martin Truex Jr. won six en route to his second consecutive series championship.
Hard To Argue: Bristol Is Harvick’s House
The way Kevin Harvick (#33 Rheem Tankless Chevy) sees it, his success at Bristol is pretty simple.
“I grew up on a half-mile, high-banked racetrack,” he said. “I k#Bristol is a lot more banked but it’s kind of the same mindset for me driving around the track. It’s short-track beating and banging and it’s a lot of fun. I seem to have a lot of success every time I go so I’m always excited to go back.”
Harvick, a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, won at Bristol in March, taking advantage of a late-race error by Kyle Busch’s pit crew. The victory was his fifth there, moving him out of a tie with Morgan Shepherd (#89 Lagina Plumbing/Eldora Speedway Chevy). The win was even more special since it was in his own Kevin Harvick Inc. equipment, his first in the series in his own ride.
Is a repeat in the offing?
Harvick’s been solid lately. He’s had top-five finishes in his last two races and said he felt his crew was coming together at the right time following the Michigan race.
Also, factor in his performances this year at tracks one-mile or less in length: four top-five finishes with the lone hiccup of a 30th-place result at Iowa. A broken oil line was the culprit, cutting into what was a top-five run at the time.
This is the same chassis that ran at Iowa and also at Gateway International Raceway where Harvick led a race-high 105 laps before running out of fuel late and finishing 17th.
Last year at this race, KHI driver Cale Gale won his first career pole and went on to finish fourth, also a career best.
Bristol may truly be Harvick’s “house.” On Thursday, race sponsor Food City will present Harvick with a crystal piece and make a donation to the charity of his choice for his contributions to NASCAR on the track and off.
In conjunction with that celebration, the mayors of Bristol, Tenn., and Bristol, Va., will present Harvick with a proclamation and keys to both cities.
Top-10 Journey Continues For McDowell
It’s been somewhat of a bizarre path, but Michael McDowell (#26 Fischer Honda Dodge) has managed to work his way back into the top 10 in driver points – and he may still be a factor in the series Raybestos Rookie of the Year race.
McDowell knew he’d have partial sponsorship for the first 17 races of the season for JTG-Daugherty racing in the #47 Toyota. At the end of that string after the July race at Daytona International Speedway, he was 11th in the driver standings – he’d been in the top 10 four times in that span – and was third in the rookie rankings.
He was able to hook up with MacDonald Motorsports for the next three races after Daytona in order to keep building on his driver and rookie rankings.
Three races ago, he was on the move again, this time working with Brian Keselowski, who has moved out of the driver’s seat of the #26 and atop the pit box.
The duo has had success – the car is in the top 30 in owner points and McDowell has moved back into the top 10 in driver points. As recently as four races ago, he was 106 points out of 10th. He also tied his second-best series finish – eighth – at Iowa.
McDowell will be in the #26 again this week and also is scheduled to compete in the car in Montreal. Beyond that, keep up with McDowell’s Twitter account (Twitter.com/mmcdowell 47).
IN THE LOOP
Will Busch’s Dominance Carry Over To Bristol?
Kyle Busch’s finishes at Bristol in the NASCAR Nationwide Series might be a little misleading – at least that’s what some of the statistics suggest.
Much has to do with the 42nd-place that resulted in a DNF in last year’s March Bristol race, but finishing in the top 10 in six of the last seven race still hasn’t given Busch a Driver Rating that ranks in the top five.
Over his last eight Bristol races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Busch has a Driver Rating of 104.3, an Average Running Position of 12.5, a series-high 202 Fastest Laps Run and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 77.7.
Uncharacteristically, Busch’s Driver Rating ranks lower than a number of his competitors. Of those expected to compete this week, Ryan Newman (#5 Fastenal Chevy) is at 123.7, Kevin Harvick (110.0) and reigning series champion Clint Bowyer (108.2) all have better ratings than Busch.
Newman is entered in all four NASCAR events being held at Bristol this week.
But Busch’s momentum might blow all previous statistics off the page. Though his streak of 10 consecutive races finishing first or second ended with a third-place finish at Michigan, his statistics since the streak began on June 6 have been stunning.
Over the last 11 races this season, Busch has an average finish of 1.8 – compared to an average start of 12.2. Additionally, he had an Average Running Position of 4.2, 345 Fastest Laps Run, a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 94.9, 797 Laps Led (36.3% of the total laps) and a Driver Rating of 130.5. Only once this entire season has Busch’s Driver Rating been under 100.0 – at his home track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he scored a 60.3 Driver Rating in a 39th-place finish. That was also the only race he hasn’t led a lap this year.
Busch’s prime competition might be Bowyer, who hasn’t run in the series since the July race at Daytona. He picked a good time to return.
Bowyer is strong at Bristol in the series finishing first, second and third, respectively, in the last three NASCAR Nationwide races there.
Over that span, he racked up phenomenal statistics: a Driver Rating of 132.9, an Average Running Position of 2.9, a Pass Differential (passes minus times passed) of plus-18, 106 Fastest Laps Run, 246 Laps Led, as well as running all 721 laps in the top 15.
NNS Etc: Bristol Edition
Driver Team Points
1. Justin Allgaier Penske 205
2. Brendan Gaughan RWR 188
3. Michael McDowell MMS 177
4. Scott Lagasse Jr. CJM 153
5. Michael Annett Germain 152
6. Jon Wes Townley RAB 106
7. Erik Darnell RFR 104
8. Ken Butler III R3 67
2009 Manufacturers' Championship Standings
Following Race 23 of 35 at Michigan International Speedway
Up Next: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
What surprise does this year’s race in Montreal have in store?
The NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge on Sunday, Aug. 30 will feature its strongest field in its short three-year history.
ESPN2 will have the pre-race show beginning at 2 p.m. ET with the race broadcast set for 2:30 p.m. ET.
At the 2007 inaugural event, a late-race tangle between Marcose Ambrose and Robby Gordon led to Kevin Harvick’s victory. But #before Gordon did burnouts along the frontstretch with Harvick, figuring he was the winner.
Last year, Ron Fellows, a native Canadian, won the history-making race at famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The event was the first points-paying event in NASCAR national series competition to be run in the rain.
This will be the first race scheduled for a Sunday for the NASCAR Nationwide Series since April, 2008 when the series ran at Autodromo Herma#Rodriguez in Mexico City.
In preparation for the race, Jacques Villeneuve, who will drive the #32 Toyota for Braun Racing at the track named for his father, will test this week at Carolina Motorsports Park.
The Race: Food City 250
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
The Date: Friday, August 21
The Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
The Distance: 250 miles / 133.25 laps
TV: ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET
Radio: SIRIUS NASCAR Radio / PRN, (local WFHG-AM 980)
2008 Winner: Brad Keselowski
2008 Polesitter: Brendan Gaughan
Event Schedule (all times ET): Friday – Practice, 9-11:50 a.m. Qualifying, 4:10 p.m.
1 Kyle Busch 3,816
2 Carl Edwards 3,477
3 Brad Keselowski 3,427
4 Jason Leffler 3,203
5 Justin Allgaier 2,756
6 Steve Wallace 2,673
7 Jason Keller 2,612
8 Mike Bliss 2,595
9 Brendan Gaughan 2,538
10 Michael McDowell 2,474