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'Gnarly' wind could play role in Kobalt 400
RELATED: Live weather updates " Saturday's practice reports " Starting lineup LAS VEGAS -- The expectation of high winds for the NASCAR race weekend in Las Vegas has been, at the very least, a talking point if not a concern for drivers. Local weather forecasters are predicting winds as high as 20-30 mph in the area Sunday with gusts even higher. There is actually a High Wind Advisory in the Las Vegas area lasting through the duration of the scheduled race time. "We have talked about it some," Team Penske driver Joey Logano said after winning the outside pole position Friday evening for Sunday's Kobalt 400 . "What we do hope is that it is a constant wind," Logano said. "The gusts of wind are what crashes cars. ... If it is constant it is OK. If you get big gusts, the car jumps out of the race track and leads you into the wall or spins you right out. It is going to be dangerous, treacherous for sure." Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski said he hadn't been too worried about the winds, but offered an explanation for the effect that form of weather could have. "I try not to worry about the things that affect everyone equally," said Keselowski, who will roll off fourth on the starting grid. "Wind is one of those things. I haven't thought about it." Pressed to explain his take on the forecast, however, Keselowski said: "The wind moves the car around dramatically, much like every aero force and the cars rely on three key aero forces: drag, downforce or side force. "All three of those are three dimensional. ... The wind, depending on where it strikes, where it blows you in what direction, can affect all three of those. Of course a headwind down the straightaway can add a lot of drag and make the motor feel a lot weaker. "A crosswind in a corner can add or take away from the side force on the car, and a headwind into the corner can give you a lot of added downforce or vice versa, a tailwind can take it away." Pole-winner Kurt Busch , a Las Vegas native, conceded he was fully anticipating the wind being an extra factor in the race. It hadn't picked up to the level anticipated for the weekend and showed no ill effects on speed Friday with four cars bettering the previous track record. Busch set the new track record of 196.378 mph in the first round of qualifying. "I'm looking at the forecast," Busch said. "It looks pretty gnarly for the wind. That's a West Coast term, gnarly, but the speed of the wind will push us big time, from what I'm gathering, from a southwest direction into Turn 3. When you have a tailwind multiplied by 30 mph that is a headwind of 30 mph down the front straightaway. That is a swing of 60 mph. "That is a significant difference that these cars are going to feel. We have tested Nashville a few times way back in the day where there was a crosswind of 40 mph. The downforce increase and decrease is staggering. We are all going to be out there struggling, fighting and trying to gain that grip with the tailwind." The wind had already picked up some during final Saturday morning Cup practices with drivers left to anticipate the situation come race day. "It is going to be just crazy to think about what that wind is going to do," Logano said. "It is not like we know what direction it is going to be blowing on the race track. I don't know at least. Maybe some weather guy can tell me. "I just think it is definitely going to be moving cars around and I am sure cars will crash for that reason if it is that windy and you get a gust at the wrong time when you are under somebody. It could be big."
Kahne, Edwards clash in Kobalt 400
Drivers' cars come together late in Las Vegas race Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Full Kobalt 400 results LAS VEGAS -- Carl Edwards apologized publicly and then again in a more intimate setting to Kasey Kahne , but the Hendrick Motorsports driver was still smarting after a shot into the wall ruined both his fast car and his good day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Kahne's No. 5 Chevrolet was a constant force in the top five Sunday in the Kobalt 400 , and that's where it was on Lap 195 attempting to make a pass on the outside when Edwards drove him into the wall. As Kahne bounced off the barrier, he maintained his line, caught back up to Edwards and sent the No. 19 spinning -- and eventually into the garage -- with a subtle, meticulous shot. "It's completely my fault," Edwards said from inside his car, in the garage, while his crew repaired damage. "Kasey did a good job. I just got sucked up into him there. That's definitely my fault and I feel bad for Kasey." Edwards followed those remarks with a post-race discussion on pit road, strolling over to the No. 5 car as Kahne and crew chief Keith Rodden debriefed. The conversation was short and direct, with Edwards again apologizing to a curt Kahne, who was fast all weekend but settled for 17th on Sunday. "Carl just came down and apologized," Kahne said after Edwards went on his way. "He said he hadn't done that before to anyone. We basically needed just about a full car length more there in order to make it, and he just never lifted and put us right into the wall. It ruined his day as well." Edwards was all too aware of the implications to his own car -- and finish -- as well. That much was clear when his No. 19 Toyota Camry, which had run in the top 10 all day prior to the wreck, was scored 42nd when the checkered flag dropped. "It's not just frustrating -- it's pretty stupid," Edwards said. "I just should have been a little calmer, but it's kind of fun racing up front like that and it got me going. … I was being too aggressive on that restart. I started to slide up and I should have backed out of it way earlier." For Kahne, it was a missed opportunity. His cars have been swift in all three races this year, but his third-place starting spot Sunday gave him the ability to chase leaders Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson all day prior to the damage. "We had a second-place car the first 30 laps of a run and a winning car the last 15-20 laps of a run," Kahne said. "The way it went down, I feel like we would have been able to race (winner Kevin) Harvick. He was unreal throughout the entire race, but I think our car was unreal, too." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
SMI to offer select $10 kids tickets for Sprint Cup races
CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2016) – In conjunction with a NASCAR industry-wide effort to offer free NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series tickets for children 12 and under next season, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: TRK) announced a company-wide Fans First initiative Monday to price select children's tickets at just $10 each to Cup Series events at its eight premier speedways beginning in 2017. "Coming to the races should be about fun, not finances," said Speedway Motorsports' President and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith. "Now a parent can get his or her child through the gates for an entire weekend of NASCAR events -- including pole night, a Camping World Truck or XFINITY Series race and a Sprint Cup Series race -- for just $10. This is one of the best, if not THE best, family values in all professional sports. "NASCAR fans have passed down their passion for motorsports from generation to generation for decades, and through this new Fans First initiative, we'll continue that legacy by introducing young fans to the sport and engaging them for years to come." With an adult ticket purchase, fans can buy up to two $10 tickets for children ages 12 and under to that same event in select seating sections. This offer is available at all of the 13 Sprint Cup Series events shown below next season. Tickets for many of Speedway Motorsports' 2017 events are already on sale. A complete schedule of the company's Sprint Cup Series races is below: March 5 : Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , Atlanta Motor Speedway March 12: Kobalt 400 , Las Vegas Motor Speedway April 9: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Texas Motor Speedway April 23 : Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway May 20 : NASCAR All-Star Race, Charlotte Motor Speedway May 28: Coca-Cola 600 , Charlotte Motor Speedway June 25 : Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sonoma Raceway July 8 : Quaker State 400 , Kentucky Speedway July 16 : New Hampshire 301, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Aug. 19 : Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, Bristol Motor Speedway Sept. 24 : New England 300, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Oct. 7 : Bank of America 500 , Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 5: AAA Texas 500 , Texas Motor Speedway Fans can obtain tickets to any Speedway Motorsports event by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or the individual Speedway Motorsports subsidiary facility websites.
Out Front with Miss Coors Light: Kobalt 400
Rachel Rupert catches up with Jeff Gordon after he captures his second Coors Light Pole Award of 2015 and his first career pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Labonte analyzes the Kobalt 400
Bobby Labonte breaks down which teams have work to do with the new rules package and reacts to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s strategy move in Las Vegas.
Denny Hamlin to start on the Pole in Federated Auto Parts 400
Denny Hamlin takes the Coors Light Pole Award at Richmond International Raceway at his home track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 .
Heads up: Dover and Las Vegas weekend
Here are the hot topics, trending news and key story lines to get you ready for this weekend's races at Dover International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway . WEATHER The weekend forecast for Dover, Delaware, looks like there's a chance for rain. Friday for Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole qualifying there is a 60 percent chance for precipitation. For the XFINITY Series race on Saturday, there is an 50 percent chance for precipitation with a high of 76 degrees. And for the Sprint Cup race on Sunday, there's a 30 percent chance for precipitation and a high of 76 degrees. For Las Vegas, site of this weekend's Camping World Truck Series events, it will be clear and 70 degrees for the start of Saturday's practices. And on Saturday it will be clear and 90 degrees for the start of the race. KEY TIMES Sprint Cup Series: The Sprint Cup Series holds its first practice Friday at 10 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App) followed by Coors Light Pole qualifying at 3:40 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App). The Citizen Soldier 400 is at 2 p.m. ET Sunday (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). XFINITY Series: The XFINITY Series opens practice on Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App) and qualifies Saturday at 11:45 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App). The Drive Sober 300 is on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Camping World Truck Series: The Camping World Truck Series is scheduled for a Keystone Light Pole qualifying session Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET on FS2, followed by the DC Solar 350 race at 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). CATCH DRIVERS LIVE We'll stream every driver press conference in the Dover media center at NASCAR.com/presspass. Click here for a full schedule. Click here to tune into the live stream . LAST TIME In September of 2015, Kevin Harvick punched his ticket to advance to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by leading 355 of 400 laps at Dover International Speedway , a career-best at any track. Harvick beat out eventual 2015 Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch by 2.639 seconds for the victory. YOU SHOULD KNOW • Chris Buescher (-30 from 12th place), Tony Stewart (-11), Austin Dillon (-5) and Jamie McMurray (-5) are all on the outside looking in as far as the Chase Grid standings are concerned. Of those drivers, Stewart is the only one who has won at the "Monster Mile" -- three times to be exact. Stewart's most recent win came in 2013. • With 10 wins, six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has been to Dover's Victory Lane more times than any NASCAR driver. Johnson is looking to punch his ticket to the next Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup round and a win at his best track could be in the cards. • Winning the opening XFINITY Series Chase race at Kentucky, Elliott Sadler continues his momentum to Dover where he has earned three top five and 10 top-10 finishes, two of which came in the last two XFINITY Series races at the 1-mile track. Sadler's experience in 17 starts at Dover could shine through on Saturday compared to the young guns he's competing against for the championship. • Of the Camping World Truck Series Chase drivers, only Johnny Sauter and Timothy Peters have wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Canadian Tire Motorsport Park winner John Hunter Nemechek has the best average finish of 4.0 out of the Truck Series Chase drivers. Behind Nemechek is Ben Kennedy with 5.0. Nemechek has run just one Truck Series race at Dover, while Kennedy has experienced two. In 15 starts, two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton has an average finish of 11.9, but is still seeking a win.
Stewart not interested in playing numbers game
RELATED: Updated Chase Grid " Who's on the bubble? " Series standings CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Crunch the numbers. Do the math. But don't bother telling Tony Stewart the potential scenarios required for him to advance to the Round of 12 in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . You'd be wasting your time and his time, too. The only scenario Stewart, 45 and three times a Sprint Cup Series champion, cares about is the one that ends with him and his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team celebrating in Victory Lane this weekend at Dover International Speedway . "All we can do is go out and do the best we can this weekend," Stewart said Wednesday during a daylong media stop in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. "It still amazes me how people can take something that's so simple and make it so complicated. 'Will we be watching where everybody else is?' "Well yeah, I can waste my time and do that but … I've got to focus on winning the race. Because if I win the race I don't have to worry about where they're at. But if I go and do everything I can to try and win the race and I finish second, then wherever they are is wherever they are. I can't control those guys on the race track so why focus your attention on it? It's a waste of time." The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is the final one for Stewart. He'll remain involved in the series as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing , which fields four Sprint Cup teams and one that will debut a NASCAR XFINITY Series entry next year. He's a track owner, team owner and competitor in other series -- some NASCAR-affiliated, some not -- as well. But his quest for a fourth title rests solely on the outcome of Sunday's Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). A 16-driver field that began the Chase two weeks ago will be trimmed to 12 after Dover, and Stewart will arrive Friday 15th on the Chase Grid. His approach to what could be his final race as a title contender will be no different than any other weekend. "There is no mindset to it," he said. "The most realistic mindset to go into it with is the same approach you go into it with every weekend of the year and that's to go try to win the race. If you don't, get the best finish you can get out of it. That's not glamorous and that's not what you want to hear … but it's literally that simple. Go try to win the race. Do everything you can to win the race. If you can't win the race, try to finish second. If you can't finish second, try to finish third. It is as simple as it can possibly get." That Stewart is in this predicament is something of a surprise, given the strong summer run that saw him collect six top-10 finishes, including a win at Sonoma , in eight races. The No. 14 team, headed up by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, seemed primed for a possible run at yet another title. RELATED: See all of Stewart's victories But the results of the most recent six races weren't nearly as impressive, with no finish higher than 16th. "These things are such science projects," Stewart said of today's cars, "and pretty much the whole (SHR) organization fights the same thing. It's whichever one can find the solution first." Teammate Kevin Harvick has guaranteed himself a spot in the Round of 12 with a win this past weekend at New Hampshire and Kurt Busch can advance either by points, depending on his finish, or with a victory. Teammate Danica Patrick is the only SHR entry not in the Chase field. RELATED: Harvick surges late for Loudon win "We're going to have to rely on Kevin and Rodney (Childers, crew chief), Kurt and (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) for sure and do the best we can," Stewart said. "We weren't totally terrible at the spring race but definitely have to be better than we were to get done what we need to get done." Scenarios? Talk to Stewart at Homestead, if he happens to be one of the championship four. That's when he'll be more aware of such things. "When you get to the last race of the year and you're racing for a championship and you've got enough of a lead that no matter what, if you finish from here on up, then yeah, you think about that," he said. "But that’s not the scenario we're in." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Best in-car audio from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400
Check out the best in-car audio from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 as Martin Truex Jr. wins the first race of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway.
Blaney backs up Penske's 1-2 punch in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- It was a happy day for Wood Brothers Racing driver Ryan Blaney as the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate finished sixth in the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , his best showing through three races in 2016. That it came on a day when Team Penske -- which has a technical alliance with Wood Brothers Racing -- finished 1-2 with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano made it more meaningful. Since the teams joined forces in late 2014, Blaney has gone from a developmental driver, to part-time, to full-time in the No. 21 Ford and has learned a lot from his Penske peers. "Our cars are extremely fast and the Wood Brothers do a great job, and we can't thank Penske enough for their support," Blaney said. "You see the 2 car won the race and the 22 finished second; we were right there. The teams are growing together and learning and so am I, so hopefully this is a good way to get our season going, here." Beginning in 2012, for 58 races Blaney piloted the No. 29 in the Camping World Truck Series, a truck owned by Keselowski. The Kobalt 400 victor began his mentoring of Blaney then. "He drove my truck for a while, so there was a lot of mentoring there," Keselowski said. "Mostly over the form of, 'Please don't wreck it, I can't afford to fix it.' Now I think he's got the right people around him with (No. 21 crew chief) Jeremy Bullins and the Wood Brothers and a lot of help and support there. I'm certainly willing to help him whenever I can, but I don't think he needs me. I just think he needs some time." Blaney started the 2016 season qualifying seventh for the Daytona 500 , a restrictor-plate track where he's shown strength. However, with his 19th-place finish there, followed by his 25th-place finish last week at Atlanta, his Las Vegas run was more on-par with where many expected the 22-year-old to be as a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver. "Especially after Atlanta last week, getting spun out on the last lap, that kind of got us down a lot," Blaney said. "To come here and have a solid run all day really ups the team's spirits." Blaney and the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing team head to Phoenix International Raceway next weekend, a 1-mile track that the driver has never raced at in NASCAR's elite series.