Today, we lost one of the first ladies of NASCAR. Richard Petty, the King of NASCAR lost his Queen.
This week Adam and I were joined by Matt Weaver from PopularSpeed.com
We talked about 2 incredible races in Fontana, tire “issues” vs. team set-up decisions, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin being back out of the #11 car.
Plus, Michael Waltrip interviewing Donna Summer and my interview with Eric Stonestreet (Cam) from Modern Family.
All that – plus Matt filled us in on his “Going the Distance” stories and his post on the Rahal/Earnhardt ride swap.
All that plus a lot more.
You can listen to show one of three ways:
1) on iTunes: click here to listen on iTunes
2) right here on Q4G – just click play:
[ via NASCAR Wire Service - by Reid Spencer ]
In a race that saw tire problems turn the contest upside-down, Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Auto Club 400 in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of the year six laps past its scheduled distance.
The first driver on four fresh tires for a restart on Lap 205 at Auto Club Speedway, Busch passed Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart on the next-to-last lap, bringing rookie Kyle Larson with him.
Able to keep Larson behind him on the final lap, Busch crossed the finish line .214 seconds ahead of the 21-year-old, who had won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the two-mile track one day earlier.
The victory was Busch’s second straight and third overall at Fontana, his first of the season and the 29th of his career. Kurt Busch, who like Stewart took right-side tires only on the final pit stop on Lap 200, ran third, followed by polesitter Matt Kenseth and Stewart.
Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, AJ Allmendinger, Paul Menard and Carl Edwards completed the top 10.
“I knew four tires was going to win the race, so I’m glad (crew chief) Dave (Rogers) called that,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “There was some great racing up front between Tony and Kurt there. It was really interesting to watch that.
“I went into Turn 1 thinking I’m going to run the middle and then Tony started sliding off the bottom and I’m like, ‘Nope, not having it.’ I had to get some brake and cut my car to the left and drove underneath him and got him cleared off Turn 2, and I was able to keep Kyle Larson behind me.”
Though he ran second, Larson nevertheless earned Busch’s admiration in the process.
“Man, what a shoe that boy is,” Busch said. “If he would have gotten alongside of me, it would have been a whale of a race. I drove off into Turn 3, but I heard ‘Car inside’ on my left.
“If he drove it in further than I did, Jesus must have told him to stop… What an awesome race this track produced!”
Larson was surprised he was able to reach second place after restarting ninth in the bottom lane for the green-white-checker.
“I was thinking I was going to line up eighth,” Larson said, “but then the 40 (Landon Cassill) stayed out, and I had to line up on the bottom, and I was disappointed because the bottom had been getting jammed up once we got to Turn 1. I was surprised–I just watched it on TV and it was pretty wild–we were four wide there into (Turn) 1.
“Came out in fourth there, I think, and then got to second off Turn 2 the next lap and thought I might have a shot at Kyle, depending on where he’d go into Turn 3. But he was good enough to keep it on the bottom and stay ahead of me. But we’ll take second. Long race and definitely didn’t expect to run second, so I’ll take it and head back to North Carolina with a smile on my face.”
Until the final five laps, the race had all the makings of a routine victory by Jimmie Johnson, who had a commanding lead over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon as the event approached the regulation distance of 400 miles.
But Johnson, who led 104 laps, blew a left front tire and drove his car to pit road, handing Gordon the lead. No caution.
Brad Keselowski suffered his third left rear tire failure a lap later but stayed out of harm’s way. No caution. The same fate befell Marcos Ambrose on the same lap. No caution.
Finally, when Clint Bowyer’s Toyota spun on lap 198, thanks to a flat left rear tire, NASCAR called the caution that set up the two-lap dash to the finish.
The tire issues that surfaced during Saturday’s practice sessions—particularly in the left rear position—plagued drivers throughout the race, not just at the finish. Kevin Harvick caused the first caution on Lap 18 when his left rear tire blew.
Harvick charged through the field and was running third on Lap 138 when another blown left rear forced him to pit road. With tire debris strewn across the backstretch, NASCAR called a caution on Lap 141, with Johnson in the lead.
Keselowski, who suffered two flat left rears during Saturday’s practice, had two more during the race but both yellow flags rescued him in both cases. Twice Keselowski brought the No. 2 Ford to pit road under caution with the tire soft, escaping a failure at speed that could have damaged the car.
But the third failure, in the closing laps, dropped the 2012 series champion to 26th at the finish.
The race winner, though, had no tire problems and suggested that other teams might have been overly aggressive in lowering tire pressures.
go ahead, click that maximize-screen-size-button and take a 120mph ride in the Pace Car around Auto Club Speedway with Brett Bodine
Kyle Larson won the TreatMyClot.com Nationwide race at Auto Club Speedway after battling veterans Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick for a spectacular finish.
Larson’s margin of victory was 0.342 seconds. Larson is the first California native to win in Fontana and snapped a 9-race winning streak by the dominant Joe Gibbs Racing. It was Larson’s first win in the Nationwide series.
A caution for fluid on the track at lap 129 sent the lead pack to pit road. Kevin Harvick was first off and chose the top lane for the restart with 16 laps remaining. Kyle Larson, on the inside lane, got a push from Joey Logano and shot to the lead and never looked back.
It was a hard fought victory as Larson had to drive the wheels off the car to hold off Busch and Harvick. In victory lane said, “those last 10-15 laps were the longest laps of my life.”
With 13 laps to go, Kyle Busch made the bump and run move and took the lead for a moment – but Larson dove to the inside and slid in front of the #54.
Busch hit the wall with six laps remaining and lost reach of the #42. After the race KyBu acknowledged Larson’s drive saying, “He works hard, that’s why he’s in Cup.”
Once known for nap inducing racing – Auto Club Speedway has put on amazing shows in the past few years. Today’s race was an epic example with the lead spot being swapped back and forth in hard racing.
Joey Logano may have had the strongest car, leading six times for 96 of 150 laps. He finished 4th.
Chase Elliott was the top finishing rookie (6th) – a nice end to a long day. Elliott started with a bad set-up in his car and hit the wall after an incident with Dylan Kwasniewski on lap 74.
In an exclusive interview with Fox Sport, Pemberton told Jensen:
Although Pemberton declined to specify how many horsepower NASCAR is looking to cut, sources familiar with the discussions said the reduction would be in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 horsepower. Currently, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines make about 860-900 horsepower at most tracks.
Pemberton said the decision to look at reducing engine power is not specifically geared toward trying to improve the quality of racing.”
It seems this move is aimed at making the engines last longer and reduce the cost of engines for race teams.
The discussions are in the early stages at this point and any changes would require a long lead time for each engine shop to comply.
Jensen reported that NASCAR is also considering a reduction in engine displacement and changes to throttle body size.
Kyle Busch will start 39th in today’s Nationwide Race at Auto Club Speedway to issues in pre-qualifying inspection.
The #54 car failed inspection on its first pass through NASCAR’s inspection stations. The team was able to make adjustments to the car and finally pass inspection – but it was too late to make an attempt in round one of qualifying.
Kyle Busch was able to use points to lock himself into the race. Lacking that points lock, Busch would have been able to use a previous champion provisional – so, while starting at the rear of the field isn’t ideal, any danger of the #54 missing the show was non-existent.
Crew Chief Adam Stevens told Fox Sports the car initially failed for the wheel studs being too short. After that was fixed, they failed the second pass through because NASCAR said the car had too much skew in it. The JGR crew backed out the skew and passed inspection, but not in time for Busch to make a qualifying attempt.
The grief stricken families waiting for news of their loved one on Flight 370 have been forced out of their hotel on Friday. Their rooms had been booked months in advance buy the Ferrari Formula One team for the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix.
Bernie Eccleston, F1 Chief, confirmed to NBC News that the block of rooms at the Cyberview Hotel in Kuala Lumpur were being taken by the Ferrari team. “I feel terribly, terribly sorry for these people,” he said. “But it is up to the hotel. What would happen if you told somebody that they no longer had a booking? You would get sued, I’d imagine.”
Ferrari has yet to release a statement.
More than 3,000 team members, support staff and media travel to each Grand Prix race – this does not include the huge number of fans that are filling hotels in advance of the March 30th race.
Malaysian Airlines has transferred the families to another hotel – but it is about 30 miles from the headquarters that is heading up the search for the missing plane and providing updates to the relatives who are desperate for answers.