Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Irwindale Speedway to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland won his first stock car race on pavement at Irwindale Speedway. He won a NASCAR Southwest Tour race, a West Series race and a All-Star Showdown race at Irwindale before moving to the Cup Series with Front Row Motorsports.
The track management at Irwindale Speedway cancelled the 2012 racing season and filed for bankruptcy last month.
A number of Cup and Nationwide series drivers raced at Irwindale Speedway early in their NASCAR careers.
Joey Logano won two All-Star Showdown races at Irwindale. Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears raced in the USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale.
Jason Bowles and Travis Pastrana raced at Irwindale before moving up to the Nationwide Series.
Go to ESPN Los Angeles for more on the NASCAR drivers who raced at Irwindale Speedway.

Photo: David Gilliland won late model, Southwest Tour and All-Star Showdown races at Irwindale Speedway.(Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

California dreaming in NASCAR

NASCAR has the Alabama Gang and North Carolina is where the blood pumps fastest. But California has produced the most drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Jeff Gordon, who grew up in Vallejo, Calif., is the most successful NASCAR driver in terms of wins. He has 85 in his career, the most of any active driver in the Sprint Cup Series and the most in NASCAR's modern era.
Jimmie Johnson, from El Cajon near San Diego, has the most Cup championships with five of any active drivers in the Sprint Cup Series.
Kevin Harvick from Bakersfield is the reigning race winner in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
The Sprint Cup Series makes its annual visit to the Fontana track this weekend.
Go to ESPN Los Angeles for more on the NASCAR races at Fontana and the drivers from California who are racing there.

Photo: Jeff Gordon, a three-time winner at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, meets with fans at the Lucky Strike bowling alley at LA Live. (Credit: Auto Club Speedway)

Piquet wins NASCAR East Series race in Bristol

Nelson Piquet Jr. became the first driver from Brazil to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race by taking the Widow Wax 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
Piquet won the pole and led a race-high 62 laps.
He is racing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and will be entered in two Nationwide Series races, at Road America and Watkins Glen.
The East Series race at Bristol featured Chase Elliott, son of Bill Elliott, Ryan Blaney, son of Dave Blaney and Travis Pastrana.
Go to the K&N website for more on the East Series race from Bristol.

Photo: Nelson Piquet Jr. (14) and Ryan Gifford race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

Friday, March 9, 2012

David Mayhew wins West Series race in Phoenix

David Mayhew, a driver from Atascadero, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series season opener at Phoenix International Raceway.
The race was short, only 50 laps, and Mayhew led every one of them. He also won the pole for the Walking Stick 50.
It was the fourth win of his West Series career. His previous three wins came in combo events with the K&N Pro Series East.
Mayhew was winless in 2011 after finishing as the runner-up in the West Series standings in 2010.
Go to the K&N website for more on Mayhew's win in Phoenix.

Photo: David Mayhew leads Dylan Kwasniewski in action at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Three minutes with four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon

Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon visited LA Live in downtown Los Angeles on Monday and talked about, among other things, how much the stock car series has changed since his rookie season.
He talked about momentum, how to get it and how much it helped Tony Stewart win the Chase for the Sprint Cup last year.
He said he has great respect for Stewart and his team for what they accomplished last season.
Gordon was very candid about what he needs to do to capture a fifth Cup championship and how his relationship with new crew chief Alan Gustafson has developed.
Gordon and the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will visit Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on March 25. Gordon is a three-time winner at Auto Club Speedway.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Matt Kenseth visit Pink's in Los Angeles before heading out to Arizona for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kenseth won his second Daytona 500 on Monday, a race delayed a day by rain and red-flagged for more than two hours after Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer safety vehicle and set the track on fire.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will visit Auto Club Speedway in Fontana from March 23-25.