Tag Archives: Jamie McMurray

2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona – NASCAR Style

Every year at this time NASCAR fans long for the new season to begin. A sure sign that the NASCAR season will be soon is the running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. It is that time again and the long cold winter with NASCAR is about over.

This is the 54th annual running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. This race features some of the stars of all forms of racing. This year is no exception. We have three NASCAR drivers entered into the race.

AJ Allmendinger will share driving duties for the DP Class No. 60 Tire Kingdom Honda HPD Michael Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian with  John Pew, Oswaldo Negri Jr. and Olivier Pla. This line up of drivers except Olivier Pla and team are the winners of the Daytona Prototype Class in 2014. Olivier Pla replaces Justin Wilson who died in August of last year after being struck in the head by debris from another wreck in an Indy car race.

The Rolex 24 is such a tough race to win. Every year teams show up and they have a lot of speed in their racecars. In the end, the race itself is the toughest thing. If you don’t get to the end of 24 hours, then you don’t have a shot to win so that’s the focus.”  Allmendinger added, “No matter what, it’s going to be difficult. There are a lot of cars here that have a lot of speed but I really do think we have the best line up, the best team and the best car and if we get to the end of the race we’ll have a great shot to win.

Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson will share driving duties for the DP class No. 02 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing with Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. This line up of drivers and team are the winners of the Daytona Prototype Class last year. Last year Jamie McMurray etched his name into the record books by becoming the third driver to ever win both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Daytona 500. The other drivers just happen to be racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.

Both of these teams have been the class of the field in recent years leading NASCAR fans to think that this race is dominated by teams that have NASCAR ties. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. Most of the teams have the best drivers from all forms of racing. Click for a full entry list for the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The Rolex 24 is a very interesting race in that several different classes of race cars race at the same time. Imagine if NASCAR held a very long race in which there were Sprint Cup Cars, Xfinity Series Cars and Camping World Truck Series trucks on the track at the same time. It makes for some interesting racing watching those cars that are out classed get passed by those that obviously have a large advantage.

When you consider the strategy that can be played by those drivers who are not too tired by setting up passing those slower cars; the interest level gets raised a bar or two. Then those drivers who are not fresh try a similar move and disaster strikes. That in a small nut shell is what this 24 hour race is all about. I recommend watching as much as you can.

If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway it will be televised on a combination of the TV and the Internet. It will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Saturday January 30th 2016 from 2-4 PM ET then on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) from 4-10 PM. At 10 PM the race moves to the internet streaming live at imsa.tv until 7 AM Sunday. FS1 will pick up the coverage again at 7 AM ET until 10:30 AM ET when the race switch back to FS2 until 1 PM. The race will finish on FS1 until 2:40 PM ET. This race is a timed event so it will finish promptly prior to 2:40 regardless of the laps run so plan accordingly to see the finish.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 304272LAT Photo USA for IMSA

2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona TV Schedule
Start End Network
Saturday January 30th.
2:00 PM 4:00 PM FS1
4:00 PM 10:00 PM FS2
10:00 PM 7:00 AM imsa.tv
Sunday January 31st.
7:00 AM 10:30 AM FS1
10:30 AM 1:00 PM FS2
1:00 PM 3:00 PM FS1
* All Times ET

 

The Chase for the Sprint Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway

The regular season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is over. 26 races with 11 individual winners, eight who won multiple times, the Chase Contenders have been decided. The first of the three elimination rounds in the NASCAR playoff format begins at Chicagoland Speedway.

There are 16 contenders for the Championship. Their standings in the points have been reset based on the number of races they have won during the regular season. Those drivers with no wins start with 2000 points. Those drivers with wins get an additional 3 points for each win.

1 Jimmie Johnson 2012
2 Kyle Busch 2012
3 Matt Kenseth 2012
4 Joey Logano 2009
5 Kevin Harvick 2006
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr 2006
7 Kurt Busch 2006
8 Carl Edwards 2006
9 Brad Keselowski 2003
10 Martin Truex Jr 2003
11 Denny Hamlin 2003
12 Jamie McMurray 2000
13 Jeff Gordon 2000
14 Ryan Newman 2000
15 Paul Menard 2000
16 Clint Bowyer 2000

The Challenger Round begins at Chicagoland Speedway then moves on to New Hampshire Motor Speedway the next week and then Dover International Speedway the week after. The four Chase contenders who are lowest in points after Dover will be eliminated from the Chase.

The “Rub” as they say is that any of these drivers who win a race regardless of their point standings gets a pass on this round. If that driver happens to be one of those lower in points then it is possible to be 12th in points and still miss the next round. It is highly unlikely but can happen that the three races could be won by a driver at the bottom of the standings so 10th place may not be safe either.

Looking at the reset points Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer really are starting in a hole even though it is only three points. Three points equals three positions on the race track. There are no bonus points for leading laps, only for winning races. It makes these races much easier to follow.

The new Chase Format puts an emphasis on winning but in reality due to the elimination feature teams must be on top of their game each and every week. Brad Keselowski put this feeling into perspective.

We are ready to go. We have some momentum with the top-10’s lately but we need to turn some of those into wins and we know that. We have 10 weeks though to make that happen. We want to be in the Chase and we want to not take that for granted but on the other side we aren’t just happy with just being in it. We want to do more than just that. That is what we are here to do, to make some noise and hopefully bring home a second championship.

Keselowski knows how it works as much as anyone. He opened the Chase at Chicagoland last year with a three wide pass to win and guarantee himself into the Contender Round. He followed that up with a win in the last race of that round at Talladega to move himself into the Eliminator Round. He wasn’t able to back that effort up in that round and was seven points shy and eliminated from the Championship.

Click on this link to read more on Strategies to Win the Championship.

None of these drivers are going to win the Championship at Chicagoland Speedway but they can dig themselves into a hole. A big hole, one of which the only way to crawl out of is by winning one of the next two races.

Let the Challenger Round begin. It is going to be a great one.

If you cannot get to Chicagoland Speedway for the myAFibRisk.com 400 it will be broadcast on NBCSN on Sunday September 20th starting at 3 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 312197 Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

NASCAR Race to the Chase Final Report Card

The 2015 NASCAR Race to the Chase for the Sprint Cup is now in the record books. This is the second Race to the Chase for this format. Did the teams learn anything from last year? Did the results of the completion under this format change? This article will build upon what was found last year.

This year we had 11 different winners, eight of which won multiple times compared to 13 winners and seven multiple last year. Just like last year that statistic doesn’t lend itself to indicating a larger “Win and You’re in” mentality. In reality the only driver to “Win and in” was Kyle Busch who missed 11 regular season races due to injury and boy did he win. Busch won four races and will be seeded tied for first in the standings after the reset when the Chase starts. Other than Busch all the other winners ended the regular season in the top 11 in points and would have made the Chase under the previous format.

Year Winners Multiple Winners
2015 11 8
2014 13 7
2013 13 6
2012 14 7
2011 15 5
2010 11 6
2009 13 7
2008 10 4
2007 14 5
2006 11 7
2005 12 6
2004 12 7
Average 12.42 6.25

In the end not much has changed. Jamie McMurray was the only one who would have made the Chase under the previous format on points alone. Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard made the Chase via points but only in the four expanded positions.

Each and every driver who made the Chase worked hard the entire season. Other than Kyle Busch the first 15 drivers in points made the Chase. The one and only benefit of this new format is injured drivers are no longer stuffed into cars in order to get the points and make the Chase. That is the best thing ever to happen in NASCAR.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway, Sunday September 20th for the myAFibRisk.com 400. If you cannot get to Chicagoland it will be broadcast on NBCSN starting at 3 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 312201 Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

 

24 Hours of Daytona, NASCAR Style

In years past there used to be preseason thunder, NASCAR testing at Daytona International Speedway, to take the lid off of the off-season. This year that distinction is left to the 24 hours of Daytona, the ROLEX 24 at Daytona to be exact.

In years past there were many NASCAR stars entered in the race. This year from my tally only Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger are entered in the race.

The No. 02 Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will be piloted throughout the 24 hours by an all-star driving team of Scott Dixon Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray.

Jamie McMurray drove the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates last year with Scott Pruett, Memo Rolas and Sage Karam but they blew an engine and failed to finish.

Kyle Larson drove the No. 02 last year with Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Marino Franchitti but they had problems and did not finish the race. In spite of that they did come in 43rd overall even though they had a great car. Such is the nature of this endurance race.

AJ Allmendinger will be a part of the No. 60 Ligier JS PS2 Honda HPD fielded by Michael Shank Racing w/ Curb/Agajanian team with fellow drivers John Pew, Oswaldo Negri Jr, and Matt McMurry .

Allmendinger and his team last year finished the race 47th. They finished the race but were not very fast throughout.

Both teams are driving what is called a Daytona Prototype cars, a very high tech race car specifically built for this style of racing.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway is a very interesting race in that several different classes of race cars race at the same time. Imagine if NASCAR held a very long race in which there were Sprint Cup Cars, Xfinity Series Cars and Camping World Truck Series trucks on the track at the same time. It makes for some interesting racing watching those cars that are out classed get passed by those that obviously have a large advantage.

When you consider the strategy that can be played by those drivers who are not too tired by setting up passing those slower cars and the interest level gets raised a bar or two. Then those drivers who are not fresh try a similar move and disaster strikes. That in a small nut shell is what this 24 hour race is all about. I recommend watching as much as you can.

For a more enhanced entry list to the Rolex 24 at Daytona visit http://www.imsa.com/sites/default/files/races/entry_lists/2015%20TUDOR%20Championship%20ROLEX%20Pre-Event%20Entry%20List_v2.pdf?invalidate-cache=1405248398

If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway it will be televised on a combination of the TV and the Internet. It will be broadcast on FOX Saturday January 24th 2015 from 2-4 PM ET then on Fox Sports 2 from 4-8 PM. It will move to Fox Sports 1 from 8-10 PM. At 10 PM the race moves to the internet streaming live at imsa.com until 7 AM Sunday. The race will finish on Fox Sports 1 from 7 AM until 2:30 PM ET. This race is a timed event so it will finish promptly prior to 2:30 regardless of the laps run plan accordingly to see the finish.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 293368 Chris Trotman/Getty Images