Tag: Dover International Speedway

Gordon Retiring? No, That’s A Myth

The biggest news out of last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway was Jeff Gordon and his back problems. Many news outlets jumped to the conclusion that Gordon is now going to retire because of the issue and this weekend has been no different.

Various outlets have taken parts of Gordon’s conversation with the media when it comes to retirement and spun it into a sensational story. The reality is Gordon, the current Sprint Cup Series point leader, is not going anywhere any time soon.

Here’s what he said about his back and last weekend in full text, so you can draw your own conclusions:

“The issues that I’ve had in the past never really were like what I dealt with last weekend. That’s the first time that something like that happened in the car, on qualifying day, into a race weekend. I’ve rolled out of bed and had things like that happen, and that’s just being tight and just not having the muscles with blood flow and being loose, and that’s part of just getting older. So, it was a little bit foreign to me to have that and that’s why I had to get out of the car. The treatment that I had was I had an epidural as well as another type of injection. I don’t know what they call it. It’s some type of Cortisone that’s fairly typical and common. I don’t know all the different stuff that was in there that made the pain go away and helped more of the inflammation, is I think what they were trying to accomplish. So, that’s the first time I’ve ever had to do that on a race weekend. I’ve done that before on a different part of my back that didn’t really do much for me. This one luckily did.

“I think that it really more pointed toward some things that I have to address throughout a race weekend and how I handle the downtime. I’ve been working a lot harder on my training and riding a bike and exercising and the problem with that is that it tightens everything up even more so than normal. If I don’t stay loose and ice and do other things that keep me loose when I get to the race weekend, what happened could possible occur again. So, that’s the biggest thing I’m focused on; not thinking or focusing on anything else. I can tell you if that happens many more times, I won’t have a choice (regarding retirement).”

I don’t see him hanging it up anytime soon, especially if he can stay competitive. It is worrisome that his back started having problems out of nowhere. The silver lining is now that it happened he and his team are aware and can work on solutions or ways to prevent it.

So-So Results For BK Racing At Dover

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The Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyotas of David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil and decent days Sunday at the Dover International Speedway in the AAA 400. Reutimann brought his BK Racing Camry home in the 28th position and Kvapil followed him teammate with a 30th place finish.

While a respectful performance for the team, it wasn’t quite what they had in mind.

“Our No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry was just too loose today,” commented Kvapil.  “The track didn’t react the way we expected it to, so it was difficult for us to get ahead of the changing conditions.  My BK Racing team worked hard making adjustments during every pit stop, and I appreciate their effort.  Lap times are very quick at Dover International Speedway, and once the leader passes by, it is hard to regain that track position.  While it wasn’t the finish we had hoped for, I’m proud of how hard our Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team worked this weekend.  We’re looking forward to getting to Kansas Speedway again next week.”

Reutimann echoed his teammate’s assessment of his car when it came to his #83 Toyota.

“Our No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry didn’t handle quite the way we wanted it to, but our team never gave up,” commented Reutimann.  “That ‘never give up’ attitude is really important, and I appreciate all the work that they put into the race today to help us improve.  Through that hard work we were able to both improve our car, and put us in the best position to regain track position.  There are still seven races left this year, and our BK Racing team won’t be giving up in any of them.  I’m looking forward to getting to Kansas Speedway next weekend.”

The team will look to bounce back this weekend when the Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.

Logano Continues Climbing Out Of The Basement

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Engine issues at Chicagoland put Joey Logano and his Penske Racing team in a deep hole for the Chase. They were able to get a little bit out of last week’s 14th place finish, he was aided by Kasey Kahne’s problems to get out of the basement to 12th place in points.

Sunday at the Dover International Speedway, Logano came home third in the AAA 400. It was his first top-5/top-10 finish since a second place finish at Atlanta four races ago.

“We are concerned about points because we’re in the Chase and we’re not out of it yet.  I just saw we’re 66 points back now so we gained a couple, which isn’t many, but these are the days we’ve got to have.  We’re back on track.  The last three weeks have been a little tougher for us and coming here to Dover, my favorite race track, this Shell/Pennzoil team did everything they had to do to get that Ford up front and get closer,” Logano told reporters after finishing the race.

The issue Logano had was a car that wasn’t good for the short term, but the long term runs. He was aided by a long stretch of green flag laps just before the end of the race.

“Our biggest issue is we didn’t take off with really good speed, but after 15-16-17 laps it came to me and it was really fast.  It just took a little bit too long there on the last restart.  I was able to get up to third, I was in the right lane, but by the time my car came to me I was too late.  We were the fastest car the last six laps, but it doesn’t really matter when you can barely see the leaders.  Unfortunately, that was our day, but, overall, we can’t be too disappointed with a third-place finish.  It’s just that you always want to be a little better,” Logano explained.

Building confidence is what Logano and his team need to do. Capitalizing on the momentum they get from the third place finish will be key to how they finish the Chase off.

“Momentum is built back up.  Richmond, Chicago and then Loudon weren’t our best races.  At Chicago we had a fast car, but we blew up there.  Really, if we had that Chicago race back, we’d be in the mix for this championship.  Unfortunately, those things happen, but we’re slowly but surely making up from that right now,” commented Logano.

The Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.

Kenseth Struggles Through For A Decent Finish

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Matt Kenseth and his Joe Gibbs Racing team brought a Toyota painted up with the slogan of “Let’s Do This” for sponsor The Home Depot. After winning the first two races in the Chase, it seemed like a fitting pairing. At Dover, he led twice for 36 laps, but in the end it was a seventh place finish for the championship leader.

“When you look up, it’s everybody that finished in front of you — it’s all cars that you’re racing for points.  Overall, for how bad I felt like we struggled with the car, that was a decent finish,” commented Kenseth after the completion of the race.

Despite being up front and in the top-5 for most of the race, it wasn’t as good of an outing as everyone else saw for Kenseth.

“We kind of missed it today, but there’s times we ran a lot better than that.  We got caught with being the last on two tires and restarting on the inside, which was really bad.  Still salvaged a respectable finish, but certainly I wanted to do better than that,” continued Kenseth.

His finish could have been better had it not been for a late caution that took fuel mileage out of the equation. Half the drivers seemed ok with it, put Kenseth down as part of the group that didn’t want to see the caution.

“No, I really wasn’t (happy to see the last caution) because we were running second I think and Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) said nobody could really make it.  None of the guys that were going to win the race were going to make it and a lot of those cars that I think were trying to make it were already a lap down, so I wish it would have went green to the end.  I think that would have got us a top-three or four,” explained Kenseth.

Kenseth and crew will look to rebound at the Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.

Kyle Busch Disappointed With Fifth At Dover

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After finishing the first two Chase races in second place, the expectation for Kyle Busch and his team was to get past second and into Victory Lane. That was not the case for Busch, as his efforts ended with a fifth place finish.

Despite finishing fifth, Busch dropped from second in points to third. He did gain two points on leader Matt Kenseth, but race winner Jimmie Johnson moved ahead of him.

“We were about a fifth to seventh-place car much of the day and we ended up fifth.  The Interstate Batteries Camry got what it could out of it.  Certainly, I wish we definitely could’ve gotten more.  We probably could’ve if I could’ve got the outside lane on the final restart I probably could’ve finished third, but we didn’t get that.  We had to fight through it and pass a couple cars the hard way and we ended up fifth.  It’s certainly the finish that our car was today.  It’s frustrating to be fifth, but yet you look at the grand scheme of things and it’s three straight top-fives to start the Chase so not bad,” Busch told reporters after the race.

For Busch, the car was just off a little bit across the board. There wasn’t one thing about it Busch could isolate as the issue.

“A little bit of everywhere.  I mean, we had fought the same exact things in practice.  We didn’t make any gains on it really this weekend, which is frustrating, but yet we knew we had a good car.   We had a top-five — fifth to seventh place actually. We got a fifth out of it, so we got the most of what we could with the Interstate Batteries Camry today.  Thank M&M’s, Toyota, Monster Energy, but it’s three straight top-fives to start the Chase.  It’s certainly appealing and you could be happy with it, but we’re a little disappointed at the same time.  We felt like we wanted to come in here, we wanted to run better, we could run better here, we have before and just could never really get the feel that I was looking for the whole weekend with the front tires,” explained Busch.

Crew chief Dave Rogers isn’t discouraged by Sunday’s results. “I think last year we proved ourselves and our fans that we can perform in these final 10, so you come into the Chase –obviously, winning the number of races we did, leading the number of laps we did this season, knowing we performed well the final 10 last season — you come into the Chase with a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum and it helps to have your teammate, the 20 car (Matt Kenseth), up there running too because it just emphasizes that you’ve got the equipment.  When two cars can do it out of the same stable, that shows that your Toyotas are really fast and that gives you even more confidence.”

Next up is the Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.

Great Run Comes Up Short For Earnhardt

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In the end Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had the fastest car, but couldn’t quite get past his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson at the end of the AAA 400 from Dover International Speedway. He had to settle for second place, but gained points in the Chase.

“We had an awesome car.  Two weeks in a row we’ve had two fantastic racecars.  We’re proud of Steve and Ken, my engineer, all the guys for bringing such good cars to the racetrack.  It certainly makes my job easier, gives us opportunities to win like this. Trying to look on the bright side.  A little disappointed we didn’t pull off the win.  Felt like we had the perfect strategy.  Had maybe the best car, arguably the best car, today.  With those four tires I thought we could get it done. We left everybody in the mirror.  We were clicking off some laps, but just not fast enough to get to Jimmie,” Earnhardt told media members after the race.

There were different points in the race when pit road cost Earnhardt time. The first was missing pit road and then getting stuck behind Mark Martin as he came into the pits.

“If I had not given up that track position, had a smart enough race to keep the lead when it counted right at the end, we might have won the race.  It would have been hard to get by us, just like it was to get by Jimmie. I think missing the commitment cone was a big factor in us not finishing one spot ahead of where we are.  But the other pit stop wasn’t that big a deal.  I came on pit road about as hard as I could.  The 14, Mark, was running maybe 5, 10 miles an hour slow in the first couple segments.  I don’t know that cost us a ton of time,” commented Earnhardt.

While some would celebrate his second place finish as an accomplishment, Eanrhardt disagrees. “I don’t feel like today was a highlight for us.  I think this is how it’s supposed to be every week.  I know that competition’s difficult and tough, Jimmie being one of the best drivers the sport has ever seen.  Running at one of his better racetracks, it was going to be a challenge.  But I felt like we had enough car and tires for sure to beat him.”

Next up is the Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.

It’s Go Time For Johnson And Team

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When the schedule came into August, Jimmie Johnson seemed to become human. A rough stretch of races made everyone not believe that Johnson would be a contender for the championship. Then once the Chase started, he scored a fifth place finish at Chicaogland and then a fourth place finish at New Hampshire.

The next race was the AAA 400 from the Dover International Speedway. Dover is only the track that Johnson had won seven times previously and one that he has on his favorite’s list. When it was all said and done on Sunday, Johnson walked away with his eighth career Dover win. That breaks a tie he had with Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for all-time wins.

“It’s really cool.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done what Richard Petty hasn’t.  To get this eighth win here is very, very special.  Truthfully it was the first thought that went through my mind when I crossed the finish line.  It wasn’t long after I thought of the impact of winning in the Chase, wondering where the 20 was. Big day.  I came so close in the spring to getting this eighth win here and had that slip away, it was nice to get it done today.”

With the victory Johnson moved from third to second in points, only eight points behind Matt Kenseth for the lead. He is poised to take over the top spot with a game plan of beating Kenseth and third place Kyle Busch, as they have proved to be the ones to beat in the Chase.

“We had to win here today.  I think any points on the 18 or the 20 would have been a very good day.  Max points, it’s an awesome day. Again, it’s just relative.  It’s a little early to play that game too much right now.  There’s a point in the season where you just worry about who’s leading, who’s behind you if you’re the leader, beating them.  So that mindset would have been there if we ran second to Junior today.  Still would have been happy to outrun the 20 or the 18.  We need to win at our best tracks, and we did that.”

Next week they’ll be going to another track that’s up Johnson’s ally. The Kansas Speedway is where in 14 starts, Johnson has two wins, six top-5s, 12 top-10s, and only one DNF.

The Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.