Sportsguy "Hutch" (David Hutcheson) loves the intense stuff like sports, flying and motorcycle riding (he's had three bikes so far and sold the last one so he could get back to aviation). He's found NASCAR drivers to be the nicest of the professional athletes he's covered for the media. As you can see (above, at VIR) Hutch loves a nice ride.
Biffle claims fourth career victory at MIS
Greg Biffle feels right at home at Michigan International Speedway.
He took the lead for good on a late restart and ran away from the field in the closing laps to win Sunday's Quicken Loans 400. The No. 16 Ford driver won his second straight race here and the 19th of his career. Four of those victories have come at MIS.
"It's definitely a special day," Biffle said after delivering Ford Motor Co. its 1,000th victory in NASCAR's three national touring series. "Just super-excited for Ford and sure excited to be No. 1,000."
The win secured Biffle a berth in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and moved him up a spot to eighth in the standings.
Second a week ago at Pocono, Biffle led the pack to the restart on lap 173 and outran Martin Truex Jr. to stay out front. He led a race-best 48 laps.
Owner Jack Roush's operations center is in suburban Detroit and he considers MIS his home track. He was beaming almost as broadly as his driver.
"We expect to be at our best when we come to MIS and I am glad we could pull it off," Roush said. "I was a little nervous for a minute there, but I am glad it worked out and glad we could give Ford its 1,000th win."
Sprint Cup Series points leader Jimmie Johnson was gaining on Biffle in the final laps but a cut right front tire took him off the track with two laps to go.
Kevin Harvick finished second and Truex, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five.
Johnson took second a few laps before his misfortune and Harvick backed out of the throttle to hold on to at least a third-place finish.
"It was the third set of tires we had and they felt a little wobbly," he said. "We just wanted to hold our track position."
Biffle still was impressed with Johnson, whom he finished second to a week ago at Pocono.
"The guy was 10 (on the restart) and was catching me with 10 to go," Biffle said. "That's a fast race car.
"We beat the 48 today and that says a lot. He was really, really fast."
Johnson ended the day 28th to wrap up a tough day for Hendrick Motorsports. None of the racing giant's four entries cracked the top 25.
Pole winner Carl Edwards, who trailed Johnson by 51 points at the start of the race, cut 20 points off the deficit by finishing eighth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead near the halfway point and appeared strong, but a blown engine ended his race on lap 131.
"It made a lot of damage there when it broke," he said after leading 34 laps at the track where he ended his 143-race dry spell a year ago. "I'm not sure they're going to be able to figure out what happened."
Jamie McMurray led 21 laps but fell out of contention when he blew a right front tire on lap 167.
The day's worst-looking wreck came shortly after the midway point when Kasey Kahne struck the wall near turn 2. The car caught fire as Kahne was getting out, but he stuck his arm back inside to trigger the fire-suppression system. He was not hurt.
Kurt Busch started on the outside of the front row and led the first 21 laps but spun and smacked the turn 2 wall two laps later.
Stewart ran his streak of top-seven finishes to four straight races and jumped from 13th to 10th in the standings.
Johnson dominates Pocono for third 2013 victory
--It’s not a good idea to rile up Jimmie Johnson.
A week after a penalty for jumping the final restart at Dover knocked Johnson out of a near-certain victory, Johnson absolutely scorched the field in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Party in the Poconos 400, beating Greg Biffle to the finish line by 1.208 seconds.
The win was Johnson’s third of the season, his third at the Tricky Triangle and the 63rd of his career. Johnson increased his series lead over second-place Carl Edwards (18th Sunday) to a staggering 51 points after 14 races.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran third, followed by Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman. Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano completed the top 10.
"What a race car!" Johnson said after climbing from the No. 48 Chevrolet in Victory Lane. "Not only a great race car but an engine. We had fuel mileage and plenty of power. It was awesome on the straightaways today to be able to do what I wanted around other cars.
"So hats off to chassis, aero and the engine shop for this awesome race car."
You might think winning at Pocono for the first time since he swept both races here in 2004 might assuage the sting of last week’s penalty. You’d be wrong.
"No, but it’s OK," Johnson said. "It doesn’t make up for much, but we know we’re a great race team. Things won’t keep us down. We had a great race car today and had a lot of fun. That was a lot of fun out there."
NSCS Recap: Tony Stewart takes advantage of
penalty to Jimmie Johnson in Dover win
A penalty to Jimmie Johnson was all Tony Stewart needed to break out of a four-month slump.
After Johnson was assessed a drive-through penalty for jumping the final restart -- a sanction Johnson protested vehemently -- Stewart passed Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 398 of 400 to win Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.
The victory was the first of the season and third at Dover for Stewart, who has notched 42 of his 48 career wins after May 31. Stewart finished .788 seconds ahead of Montoya, who matched his career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish on an oval track.
Jeff Gordon came home third, followed by Kyle Busch and reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Johnson finished 17th, the first car one lap down, smarting from a penalty he felt was unjustified.
But Keselowski's Ford failed the height-stick test in post-race inspection (too low in the front), with penalties expected after NASCAR's completion meeting during the coming week.
Stewart, whose struggles this year have been well-documented, was happy to take the win, no matter how it came his way. Coming on the heels of a seventh-place run last week at Charlotte, a 1.5-mile downforce track, Stewart was happy to point out the progress his team is making.
"It's definitely momentum," Stewart said. "We got two weeks of momentum under our belt now at two totally different race tracks. That is big. Momentum is huge in this sport. We've still got a lot of work to do. We won't sit… I guarantee you none of these guys behind you (his crew) will tell you we are exactly where we want to be right now. It's a good reward for how hard they have been working to get that first win of the year.
"Now it's trying to be more consistent and stay in the top 10 more and make our program better. It's proof that no matter how bad it's been this year, none of these guys have quit and given up. Just really proud of the effort this weekend; I think we probably made more gains from Friday to right now than any team in the garage did. I'm really proud of that fact."
If Stewart was elated after the race, Johnson was still fuming.
"I totally disagree with the call, but it is what it is, and we'll just come back and try to win in the fall," he said.
Johnson knew he had beaten Montoya to the start/finish line, not knowing whether something was wrong with Montoya's car, and said he tried to give the position back to the Colombian driver.
"I ran half-throttle for the first half a lap, waiting for him, and then at some point you've got to go, and you've got to race, and that's when I got back in the gas and took off," he explained. "I was hoping they would see that I was trying to give him the spot back."
Harvick Makes Special Visit to Fort Bragg
America’s most iconic beer paid tribute to America’s heroes on Thursday, as Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, made a special visit with military men and women stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Folds of Honor Foundation founder Major Dan Rooney and Rocky Sickmann, director of military sales for Anheuser-Busch and retired U.S. Marines Sergeant, joined Harvick at Fort Bragg while he visited the Warrior Transition Battalion’s (WTB) Soldier and Family Assistance Center. The Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Battalion provides command and control, primary care and case management for warriors who have suffered injury or illness while serving as a member of the U.S. Army.
“I’m always at a loss for words for how to express my utmost gratitude to the men and women who serve our country,” Harvick said. “I know the entire NASCAR community is behind me when I say I can’t thank these individuals enough for their dedication and service. Freedom isn’t free. It’s because of them that we can enjoy even the simplest things in life.”
While at Fort Bragg Harvick presented the installation with the firesuit he wore while driving the No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet to victory in the 2011 Coca-Cola 600. The firesuit was accepted by Major Jason Todd of the WTB on behalf of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) group.