Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and the entire Hendrick Motorsports team on their third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in as many years! Carl Edwards’ team did everything they needed to do to beat you, but you did everything you needed to do to beat them, and it worked.
Congrats, also, to Clint Bowyer, the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, and to Johnny Benson, this year’s winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series!
Countdown’s on…Â 91 days to the 2009 Daytona 500…
Via Jayski, ESPN reports on David Letterman’s Top Ten list becoming a Top Twelve for a night, with NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship drivers telling of the
top 12 perks of being a NASCAR driver:
- No. 12 — Matt Kenseth: “Crazy gas prices? I don’t care; I’m not payin’.”
- No. 11 — Kevin Harvick: “Bring your helmet to Taco Bell and they’ll fill it up with guacamole, free.”
- No. 10 — Jeff Gordon: “Don’t have to shave your body like Olympic swimmers â€¦ although, why not?”
- No. 9 — Greg Biffle: “Hasselhoff promised me one of those talking cars.”
- No. 8 — Tony Stewart: “I use old checkered flags to make fabulous throw pillows.”
- No. 7 — Jeff Burton: “There’s nothing like going through a car wash at 190 miles per hour.”
- No. 6 — Denny Hamlin: “GPS underpants.”
- No. 5 — Clint Bowyer: “Sorry, I forgot my joke — I was thinking about Jessica Alba — man, she’s hot.”
- No. 4 — Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “Run out of olive oil? A little Quaker State will spruce up any salad.”
- No. 3 — Jimmie Johnson: “Traveling to exotic locations like Martinsville, Virginia, and Dover, Delaware.”
- No. 2 — Carl Edwards: “At high school reunions, it’s fun to ask, ‘So what do you do for a living?’ “
- And the No. 1 perk of being a NASCAR driver — Kyle Busch: “After a race, your ass vibrates for days.”
For the fourth time in as many years, a NASCAR national racing series is changing its name.
Following the Winston Cup’s changeover to the NEXTEL Cup in 2004, and then to the Sprint Cup next year, along with the Busch Series transforming to the Nationwide Series next year as well, comes word from SceneDaily that the Craftsman Truck Series will have a new name in 2009.
Feb 16, 2007 Motorsports
Following the Duel, Jeff Gordon’s car was found to be lower than legal by over an inch during post-qualifier inspection. Citing it as a part failure, NASCAR punted the car to the rear of the field for the Daytona 500 on Sunday, but allowed the team to keep the win and money. Seems a perfectly reasonable compromise to me — it wasn’t their fault, but the car did technically fail.
Watching the on-board video of Michael Waltrip turning Dale Earnhardt, Jr. into the infield, I’ve gotta think it was a miscommunication between Waltrip and his spotter. He moved toward the #8 car immediately after the spotter called “Little hole behind the 8,” which he must have took to mean that he was clear behind the 8. He wasn’t, and the rest is history.
Oh, but for a working clutch.
James Hylton, 72, was attempting to make his first NASCAR Nextel Cup race since 1993, and his first Daytona 500 since 1983. Running 8th (and in position to transfer to Sunday’s race) with 10 laps to go in his Duel, a late caution came out, and Hylton fried his clutch on the resulting restart, finishing 23rd and failing to qualify for the 500.
I was quite impressed to see both Michael Waltrip’s Toyota and Juan Pablo Montoya in his Dodge each lead for a few laps. I’m not sure yet about the Toyota teams, but JPM is definitely going to go places in NASCAR.
Finally, some celebrity picks for this weekend’s race, courtesy of Sports Illustrated’s SI.com.
The Daytona 500 is on FOX this Sunday at 2PM EST.