Tuesday, March 3, 2009

NASCAR, NHRA head east

NASCAR and the NHRA made their winter visits to the West Coast. NASCAR will be in Georgia at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend after racing in Fontana and Las Vegas. The NHRA heads to Florida for the Gatornationals in Gainesville.
I'm still trying to figure out how Matt Kenseth can win the first two races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and be third in the Cup standings.
Kenseth ended up 43rd and last at Las Vegas, barely completing one lap before having to withdraw. He was trying to become the first NASCAR driver to win the first three races of the Cup season.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever dropped out on lap one before," Kenseth said after the race in Vegas. "It’s never really easy. We didn’t even really get to race (Sunday) and we qualified bad, so it was a pretty long weekend for nothing. It’s disappointing no matter what. I’m glad we did great the last two weeks, but, really, you take it one week at a time and shift your focus to that race each and every week, so it’s always disappointing when something like that happens.”

Jeff Gordon, winless since 2007, is leading, with Clint Bowyer in second. Bowyer in second place might be the most bizarre thing about the Cup standings after three races. Seeing Michael Waltrip in the top 12 is a little surprising too. But what has Bowyer done in the first three races, except complain about his garage spot at Fontana?
Nothing against Bowyer, but it's not like he's been much of a factor in the first three races. He had a good run in Vegas, but that's about it.
As for the NHRA, Ron Capps came out as the surprise leader in the Funny Car standings. He won the first two events of the year, at Pomona and Las Vegas.
Capps said the great start to the 2009 season started in the 2008 season finale in Pomona when Ace McCulloch started overhauling his car.
"When we left Pomona, even though we ran good, he completely re-did the tune-up on the car, went back to basics, and started from scratch, redid the whole car," Capps said. "When we showed up in West Palm for our first test session, we were the quickest car every session. Then when we went to Phoenix for pre-season testing, we wanted to test a lot of things. When we rolled into Pomona, we were a little bit apprehensive but a little bit confident. We weren’t sure how the weekend was going to go. To win there, it just proved that a lot of hard work paid off."
Antron Brown is atop the Top Fuel standings. Jason Line leads the Pro Stock standings.

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