Loudon, NH (Sports Network) - The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are
running at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, while the Camping World
Truck Series competes at Iowa. The IZOD IndyCar Series has a doubleheader on
the streets of Toronto.
Sprint Cup Series
Camping World RV Sales 301 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, N.H.
Penske Racing drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano currently find
themselves outside the cutoff point for the championship Chase in the Sprint
With eight races to go before the start of the Chase, Keselowski is 13th in
the point standings, while Logano sits in the 15th spot. Keselowski, the
defending series champion, and Logano have yet to win a race this season.
Keselowski has appeared in the Chase the past two years. In 2012, he scored an
average finishing position of 7.8 in the last eight races of the regular
season. In 2011, Keselowski's average finishing spot was 8.6 over those same
races. He qualified for the Chase with a wild card two years ago.
"It would be really easy for me to say that we need to hit the panic button if
we didn't have speed in our cars," Keselowski said. "Speed is something that
can take months, or even years, to develop. That would make me really uneasy.
"But the fact is that we've been fast almost everywhere we've been. We just
need execution and luck. Take last weekend (at Daytona). We came off of pit
road after the final stop in second place, but we finished 21st with an intact
race car. Whether that was being in the wrong line for other restarts or
getting stuck three-wide with no help, those are things that are out of your
control, to a certain degree. We do have some very good racetracks coming up
for us, and I'm confident that our speed will carry us through to the Chase."
Keselowski is just 11 points behind 10th-place Tony Stewart, who moved up six
positions following his second-place run at Daytona.
Right now, Martin Truex Jr. (11th in points) and Kasey Kahne (12th) hold the
two wild card positions. Truex and Kahne have one victory each this season.
Keselowski has not won a Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire in the past but has
finished sixth or better in the previous three events there.
"(New Hampshire) has become a pretty good racetrack for me," he said. "Our
flat-track program at Penske Racing has been pretty solid as a whole. It's one
of the tracks where (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) has experience as a driver. It's
very hard to emphasize how much of a difference that can make. After testing
up there two weeks ago, I feel really good about our package for the race."
Logano, who is 16 points behind Stewart, is a past winner at New Hampshire. He
made series history at this track during his 2009 rookie season when he became
the youngest driver ever to win a race. Logano was 19 years, 1 month and four
days old when he won the rain-shortened event there. His first career start in
the series came at New Hampshire in 2008.
"To finally get your first Cup win, even in a rain-shortened event, was
amazing," said Logano, who hails from Middletown, Conn. "That's something they
can't take away from you. But I also remember coming here as a kid. The first
Sprint Cup Series race I ever went to was at this track. So I have a lot of
memories here. But I'd really like to win another race - a full-distance race
- and make even more memories here."
Logano had a disappointing 40th-place finish at Daytona. He made contact with
the wall after his right-front tire blew. Logano dropped five positions in
points. He had finished 11th or better in the seven races prior to Daytona,
which had moved him from 19th to 10th in the rankings.
"This is the time where you really need to step up and become a leader for the
team and make sure everyone keeps their spirits up," he said. "We were all
pretty bummed with what happened at Daytona, but even after the race, the guys
were positive. We all said that we've come back from a few points down already
this year, and we will do it again. That is the type of attitude this team
has, and that is what we need to keep doing. There is plenty of time to get
right back to where we were."
Forty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Camping World RV
Morgan Shepherd, entered in the No. 52 Toyota this weekend at New Hampshire,
is scheduled to make his first Sprint Cup start since 2006, which
coincidentally came at this track. At 71 years old, Shepherd would become the
oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR's premier series. Jim Fitzgerald
currently holds the record. Fitzgerald was 65 years, 6 months and 20 days old
when he competed at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway on June 21, 1987.
CNBC Prime the Profit 200 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, N.H.
Elliott Sadler became $100,000 richer after finishing third in last Friday's
Nationwide Series race at Daytona.
And if all goes well for Sadler during the next three weekends, he could
become a millionaire.
Daytona was the first of four races in this year's "Dash 4 Cash" bonus program
from Nationwide Insurance, which is the title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier
series. Elliott Sadler, Brian Vickers, Austin Dillon and rookie Kyle Larson
were those drivers eligible for a $100,000 bonus there. Sadler's finish at
Daytona was two and three spots in front of Dillon and Larson. Vickers placed
By winning the first Dash 4 Cash race, Sadler automatically qualified for the
program's second event this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Dillon, Larson and Sam Hornish Jr., who finished seventh at Daytona, are
eligible for the cash award in Saturday's race as well.
If Sadler wins the bonus at New Hampshire and Chicagoland (July 21) and then
scores the victory in the Indianapolis race (July 27), he will be awarded
$600,000, totaling $1 million in winnings.
"This is the third year in a row that I've won at least one of these Dash 4
Cash (races), and now we're eligible for New Hampshire," Sadler said. "We're
looking forward to going up there and seeing if we can make it two in a row."
Sadler's best finish in his past five Nationwide races at New Hampshire is
fourth, which occurred in 2005. He finished seventh at this track one year ago
when he drove for Richard Childress Racing. Sadler is in his first season
driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
"I've been pretty good there in the past, and I think that this weekend we
really have to focus on track position, because it is so hard to pass," he
said. "Pit strategy will definitely come into play."
Dillon collected the $100,000 bonus in the 2012 race at New Hampshire. He
finished third in that event.
"I have a lot of laps there from running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Division and running some NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races there,"
Dillon said. "I've always been very successful, but I haven't been able to get
to victory lane there yet. I feel like we've always been in the top five or
top six. Hopefully, we can break through there this year and get a win. We
earned the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus there last year, so
I think it's a good time to try to get to victory lane."
Forty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the CNBC Prime the
Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, who won at Daytona, and Paul Menard are
those Sprint Cup Series regulars entered in this race. Ryan Preece, Brett
Butler and Chad Hackenbracht are scheduled to make their Nationwide debuts at
Camping World Truck Series
American Ethanol 200 - Iowa Speedway - Newton, Iowa
The fourth time could be the charm for Chase Elliott in the Camping World
Elliott, the 17-year-old son of 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion Bill Elliott,
has been stellar in his first three career truck starts, all of them coming
this season. He has finished sixth, fifth and fourth in starts at
Martinsville, Rockingham and Dover, respectively. In fact, his average
finishing position of 5.0 tied him with Kurt Busch (2000 rookie of the year in
trucks) for the best three-race debut in the series.
On Saturday, Elliott is expected to make his fourth start in the series at
Iowa Speedway. This 0.875-mile racetrack might very well be where he scores
his first truck victory. Elliott picked up his first NASCAR touring series win
in 2012 at Iowa, taking the checkered flag for the K&N Pro Series race.
"I think this racetrack is a lot of fun," Elliott said. "I think it puts on
some great racing, and the place is known for that in the past. I feel like if
we can get up there and just put together a mistake-free weekend and just have
everything go our way, I think we'll be just fine."
Elliott is driving the No. 94 Chevrolet in trucks this season, with Lance
McGrew serving as his crew chief. Elliott is scheduled to compete in the July
24 race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
When trucks most recently ran at Iowa last September, Ryan Blaney became the
youngest race winner in series history. Blaney was 18 years, 5 months and 15
days old when he scored his first truck victory.
Could Elliott top Blaney's record?
"I haven't thought about it a whole lot," Elliott said. "For me, we are just
there to win like everybody else is and try to do a better job than the next
guy. So I haven't really put a whole lot into my age and how old I am and how
old the rest of these guys are. Just more so our personal program and what we
need to do to be a little bit better."
Matt Crafton comes to Iowa with a 22-point lead over Jeb Burton. Ty Dillon won
two weeks ago at Kentucky and moved to within 40 points of the lead.
Thirty-five teams are on the preliminary entry list for the American Ethanol
IZOD IndyCar Series
Honda Indy Toronto - Streets of Toronto - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The IndyCar Series will hold its second doubleheader of the season this
weekend on the streets of Toronto.
Last month, a doubleheader was held at Detroit's Bell Isle Park. Mike Conway
won the first race (Saturday), and Simon Pagenaud scored his first career
victory in IndyCar in the second event (Sunday). It was the first time in
series history that two full-distance races took place at a venue on the same
The third and final doubleheader in 2013 will occur at Houston's Reliant Park,
which is a new venue on the series schedule this season, on Oct. 5-6.
Race 1 at Toronto is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, and race 2 is
slated for Sunday at the same time. If a driver wins both events here, that
person will collect a $50,000 bonus.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the defending IndyCar champion, won last year's race in
Toronto. Hunter-Reay posted his third consecutive victory. The Andretti
Autosport driver won at Milwaukee and Iowa prior to Toronto.
"Doing the doubleheader there will be interesting," Hunter-Reay said. "Like
Detroit, it's one of the bumpiest street circuits that we go to, which makes
it more of the physical ones. It certainly will present its own set of
"Toronto is where you can get a lot of passing done, but at the same time, you
really have to protect yourself for a double-race weekend. If you start
tearing off front wings early in the weekend then you're going to be in the
hole for Sunday."
IndyCar will use a standing start for race 1 at Toronto. Standing start is the
same starting procedure used in Formula One, controlled by a trackside
lighting system. Once the cars are in their grid positions following the
formation laps, five lights will come on one second apart. The fifth light
signifies the beginning of the race.
Race 2 will feature the traditional North American rolling start following a
few pace laps.
The last time an Indy car race had a standing start was at Long Beach (Calif.)
in 2008 when Will Power swept around the first three cars to take the lead.
Qualifications for the Toronto doubleheader will be the same procedure that
was used in Detroit. Qualifying for race 1 will follow the regular three-round
format, including the "fast six" final segment, for road and street circuits.
Race 2 qualifying will be split into two groups. Each group runs for 12
minutes, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time. Group 1 will consist
of odd-numbered positions on the practice time sheet, while even-numbered
positions will make up group 2.
The starting field positions for race 2 will be determined by the best time
ranking of the two groups combined, from fastest to slowest. The fastest
qualifier earns the pole position.
"Since we already had one dual in Detroit, we certainly understand how it
works," said Helio Castroneves, who is the current points leader. "But because
we've been through one, we know it's not going to be the same. I believe
people are going to re-adjust from one race to another.
"The Toronto track is a traditional place, very, very tight. The track is very
technical as well. Plus, we're going to be standing start (for race 1), so
it's also another trick, something else for us to think about. But at the end
of the day, we know what we need to do. Hopefully, we'll put ourselves in good
qualifying, so we can start at the front."
Castroneves holds a 23-point advantage over Hunter-Reay, while Hunter-Reay's
teammate, Marco Andretti, is 55 points behind.
After winning last Sunday's race at Pocono, Scott Dixon moved up to fourth in
the standings (-65). James Hinchcliffe dropped to the fifth position (-84)
following his 24th-place finish there. Hinchcliffe crashed into the wall in
turn 1 of the opening lap. The Toronto-native leads the series with three wins
this season (St. Petersburg, Fla, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Iowa).
"Last weekend (at Pocono) obviously didn't go very well for us, but we've had
strong cars on the street courses this season," Hinchcliffe said. "Even though
this isn't the place I've had the best luck, we're going to try to turn it
"The support back home has just been incredible this year. More than anything,
I want to give the Canadian fans something good to cheer for and something to
celebrate, because they are the best. An they've been so good to me over the
last few years, and I want to repay them. Hope for a good finish, get the
championship back on track, and hopefully, we can just go out and have two
Twenty-four teams are on the entry list for the Honda Indy Toronto (both
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