Hamlin out for six weeks

Denny Hamlin is expected to need at least 6 weeks of recovery time. He is not expected to need surgery.

Many people point to Elliot Sadler as the obvious choice as a fill in, due to his current driving duties for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide series.

Fontana Notes – Biffle, Logano, SAFER barriers, Tony Stewart

1) Biffle finished 6th, well ahead of Fontucky Master Jimmie Johnson, who came home 12th.

And it looked like he was having a decent day. I missed the boat on that one, I guess there is a reason the people paid to do pre-race analysis talked about Biffle.

Although he had to cut Matt Kenseth’s tire and pass the Hamlin/Logano wreck to get it.

2) Logano definitely drove it in too hard, and over drove the corner and caused that wreck. However, what sent Denny to the hospital was a LACK OF SAFER BARRIER ON A WALL. Haven’t we learned this lesson before? Vegas w/Jeff Gordon?

As the rule goes, if there is a chance that a car can hit any spot on the race track, it will.

We’ve seen that at Daytona this year, and at Bristol a few times with Michael Waltrip and Mike Harmon.

3) What the heck is Tony Stewart eating? Whatever it is, it’s making him angry and obese.

Also, I guess in his mind, he’s the only one who can throw a block?

EDIT: Just saw this yahoo sports article. Headline says it all:

Tony Stewart, blocking aficionado, is ticked at Joey Logano for blocking.

Danica in the All-Star race?

I saw a twitter campaign start today for voting Danica into the All-Star race.

Since Dale Jr. won a race last year, he won’t need to be voted in, so Danica won’t have to battle him for the votes.

Does anyone else even stand a chance?

Poor Bill Elliot doesn’t even have a car number.

Live stream of the race

Looks like ESPN has a racecast and a live blog with video.

Also, the PRN network is streaming live as well.

But it doesn’t look like there’s a race buddy for the Sprint side of things, only Nationwide. And how is ESPN carrying live streams when the race is on FOX?

I’m confused.

Racebuddy!

The nationwide race will have race buddy coverage! This was the thing where you could watch the in-car camera from multiple cars, and get live audio streams and all sorts of things.

Racebuddy

Does anyone know if this is happening on the cup side tomorrow?

Allmendinger is returning

For those who care, last week, AJ Allmendinger announced that he was going to be driving for Roger Penkse in the Indy 500. He will also drive another Indy Car race at the Barber Motorsports Park road course.

And, he’s back in the #51 cup car this weekend at Bristol.

Wonder what Mayfield is thinking right now.

Vegas – now with more passing.

Jayski reports that the number of passes for the lead on Sunday was the highest at Vegas since 2007.

The official race reports reads 22 lead changes among eight drivers, with the 22 lead changes being the most at Las Vegas since 2007, the year before the Gen-5 car (Car of Tomorrow) was introduced at intermediate race tracks. Beyond those numbers, NASCAR’s loop data (stats measured at the 10 scoring loops around the 1.5-mile track) showed a phenomenal 2,342 green-flag passes throughout the race, compared with 1,301 last year. In addition, there were 31 green-flag passes for the lead (including intra-lap passes scored at loops other than the finish line), the most since NASCAR started recording loop data in 2005.

NASCAR Spokesholes

NASCAR has fined Denny Hamlin $25,000 for “actions detrimental to stock-car racing.”

What comments were these?

“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Generation-5 cars,” Hamlin said. “This is more like what the Generation-5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you.”

That seems to be pretty tame. But Robin Pemberton, VP of competition, said:

“We give (drivers) quite a bit of latitude, but you can’t slam your racing, you can’t slam your product,” Pemberton said. “That’s where it crosses a line.”

Please. NASCAR has handed out secret fines for all kinds of stupid things. And, ohh by the way, fining Hamlin and making a big deal out of it is bringing these comments further out into the open. I was not aware of them (I missed post race interviews) until today.

Hamlin says he won’t pay the fine. NASCAR is talking about garnishing winnings, but who knows how this will play out.

“We communicated to teams about three years ago, I think it was in 2010 in January, that you can voice your opinion about a lot of things in this sport,” said NASCAR spokeshole Kerry Tharp. “And we feel like we give our competitors a great deal of leeway when it comes to that. However, denigrating the racing is an area that we’re going to have a reaction to.”

Soooo, you said something once 3 years ago, and expect the drivers to toe a very precise line? Hamlin provided pretty much the only action on or off the track this week, so you feel the need to fine him?

I don’t know what asshats actually are, but right now NASCAR and its spokesholes Robin Pemberton and Kerry Tharp seem to be providing a clearer picture.

Phoenix raceday update

Roof cams are gone for 2/3rds of the season, starting at Phoenix! An article on nascar.com (shudder) says that removing roof cams will reduce turbulence in the pack, and thus reduce the advantage of clean air. The following quote tends to counter the argument that removing roof cams was beneficial to cars in traffic, but I guess we should assume that John Darby meant the opposite of what he actually said:

“It’s not just about having them all the same, it’s removing stuff like that that gives the leader even more benefit than he used to have.”

Full article here.

In other news, earlier this week on the track schmak podcast, we made picks for Phoenix, so how did they fare?

Rob picked Mark Martin, who is a master of Phoenix, having won poles and races over the years.
He is again on the pole for this race.

My pick, Danica Patrick, is most famous for getting wrecked by Jeff burton and laying down oil
all over the track last year. This year, she “got loose” in qualifying and will start 40th. Her other rookie of the year competition, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., qualified in 12th.

But I have hope. Mark Martin could blow an engine. Or get between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.

Phoenix Nationwide

Speaking of Phoenix, did you know that Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Jeffrey Earnhardt were racing in the nationwide race?

Now you know.

Allmendinger in the “Fired Penske Driver Car” at Phoenix

Jayski reports that AJ Allmendinger will be in the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy at Phoenix International Speedway (no relation) for the first time since playing musical drivers with Regan Smith and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last year, Allmendinger was suspended and then fired from the Penske #22 Dodge after testing positive for a stimulant, later confessed to being Adderall.

Post-firing and recovery program, Allmendinger ran two races in October 2012 (also in the #51 Chevy) to fill in for driver Regan Smith (who was vacationing in the the #88 Chevy while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sidelined by concussion).

Tears of Redemption

Our prognostication was in fine form last week, as all but one of our top seeds did well this week.

How will we fare at Talladega? Who knows, it’s a crapshoot.

But more importantly, Trach Schmak takes an superficial in-depth look at the officiating of this week’s race at Richmond.

Picks for next week:

Rob: Clint Bowyer

Coach: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

P.S. Listen to the “bonus” section of the podcast for the source of the title.