Indianapolis-

It’s been a rough weekend for race fans her in Indy. It has been nonstop rain since Friday.

All track have been cancelled all weekend. However radar is looking better. Looking like we will have a race today keep in mind we only have to get 80 laps in to make the final regular season official

So much on the line for racers. Kyle Busch is starting on the Pole. This is a track he has dominated.

Nobody had any practice time this weekend. Track will be cool, so cars will be fast.

P1-Kyle Busch

P2-Kevin Harvick

P3-Martin Truex Jr

P4-Kurt Buch

This is a “Win Your In” Race.  Who will be the dark horse who will be throwing a “Hail Mary” Ryan Newman being one of those drivers along with William Bryon.

So here is a recap of what we have seen so far today.

Titan Jet dryers are moving around the 2.5 mile oval

Drivers Meeting Complete

Gates are open fans are entering

Cars for Martin Truex, Junior and Daniel Suarez failed pre-race inspection and will start from the back of the field

With no opportunity to qualify, drivers were assigned starting positions based on NASCAR points.

My official pick is Kyle Busch

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NXS: Rinnai 250 Preview

Thursday, Mar 02

HAMPTON, Ga.— The NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Rinnai 250, the kick-off to a double header day with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

44 drivers are coming to Atlanta in an effort to compete for 40 spots. Nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup drivers are scheduled to compete in the Saturday afternoon spectacular including Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

This will be the 26th race at Atlanta for the series. 16 drivers have won a pole. 16 drivers have won a race at Atlanta. Only five drivers have won the race from starting from the pole position with Ky. Busch being the last one to do so in last year’s race. In 2015, the race record was set by Harvick at 149.813 mph. In 2003, Greg Biffle set the qualifying record at 192.3 mph.

NXS drivers are excited to return to Atlanta for their only visit in 2017.

“Atlanta is one of the faster mile-and-a-halfs we go to. The pavement is extremely worn out, so finding a balance between saving tires and having that sheer speed the track allows you to have is key. I feel like we’ve got a great BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy and we’re looking forward to going back there. With the new rules package this will be our first test at the shorter spoiler and splitter, so there’s a lot of unknowns. Luckily we have three other great teammates that we’re going to be able to rely on and bounce information off of,” said Justin Allgaier.

"Atlanta is unique in that tire management is going to play a big role in having a successful race. We did a great job taking care of our tires last year, so we'll need to make sure to do that again this time around. Atlanta is also one of those tracks where it gets wider as the race goes on, which gives you a lot of options on where to run on the track. The top line really worked to our advantage last season, so it'll be important for us to be able to search and find the line that will give us an edge on our competition again,” said Brandon Jones.

“It’s a lot of fun to race at Atlanta. It’s a really fast track that keeps you on your toes all the time. We’re ready to get after it this weekend with our Leidos Mustang. My guys have been working hard in the shop and I’m confident that (crew chief) Seth (Barbour) will give me a solid Ford that will let us get out there and get the job done,” said Darrell Wallace Jr.

Drivers will have two practice sessions from Atlanta on Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST and 3:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1. Drivers will qualify on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m on Fox Sports 1. The Rinnai 250 will be at 2:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Performance Racing Network.

Fire up the scanners, it is time for Crew Chatter with Speedway Digest writers. This week we tackle Homestead-Miami with the question, “Now that the Championship 4 is set for all series, who has the best shot to become a champion in 2016?”

Brett Winngingham

This weekend will certainly be awesome. Why? Because we not only see a Chase format on Sunday, but also on Friday and Saturday. The Chase this year has certainly been one of the most competitive and Sunday will really show that.

With Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Busch in the Sprint Cup Series, I'm sticking with my pick at the beginning of the Chase and going with Joey Logano. Logano came into the season as one of the drivers to watch.

In the XFINITY Series, where you have Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier and Erik Jones, I'm going with veteran racer Elliott Sadler. That team has certainly been running better lately even though they will not have Kevin Meendering on the pit box this weekend

In the Camping World Truck Series, where you have Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters, this one is a little more difficult to choose from. I feel that it will be a battle all night long between Sauter and Crafton. So with that said, I think I'll go with Johnny Sauter.

Katie Williams

This one is going to come right down to the last lap and we may or may not even see one of the top four Chase contenders cross the checkered flag first.

I think Carl Edwards has the best shot. He won at Texas with the same tire they'll be racing with at Homestead. He's also a previous two-time winner on the south Florida Speedway. After losing out to Tony Stewart in 2011, he may be primed to be the champion this year.

Kyle Busch almost didn't get the chance to defend but when Matt Kenseth ran into trouble in Phoenix, it opened the door. Watching the points-as-they-run, it looked like Busch was too far down to have a shot, but when Kenseth suffered that disaster, it changed things didn't it. Kyle Busch had never won Homestead before a year ago when he had to do so in order to secure his title. To repeat, he may have to do the same or finish high.

Joey Logano got in by the skin of his teeth. If Kenseth would have won Phoenix, it would have been a different story for the No. 22 team. I think all they need to do is not make any pit-road mistakes. Logano is good on 1.5-milers, which is what Homestead is so he has a shot. I'm just thinking he needs a little luck on his side.

Jimmie Johnson is a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Here's the kicker. He won all those titles under the old Chase format where you only had to finish a certain way and you're the winner. He has never won Homestead although he too is good on mile-and-a-half tracks. This is his first time in contention under this fairly new format. It will be interesting to witness how this team handles it.

I think they all have a shot but it is not going to be a cake walk.

Davey Segal

I think you have to rely on past history as well as "what have you done for me lately" when going about answering this question. History says Jimmie Johnson will win. His six championships (five consecutive) have been unparalleled in this generation of stock car racing, and seeing him win a seventh would be so cool to see.

"What have you done for me lately" would go to Kyle Busch. He won this race and the championship (his first) last season and obviously knows what it takes to win a title in this type of scenario.

The hot hand is Joey Logano. Coming off his win at Phoenix, he proclaimed that his No. 22 team would win the championship. It's a very real possibility, especially considering he was perhaps a fully jack away from winning it all in 2014.

And then there's Carl Edwards. He has the best stats out of the four drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and is hungrier than anybody. After having the title ripped way from him in 2011 after tying Tony Stewart, he's back for more.

Who am I picking? I think it'd be hard to go against JJ. But I know one thing is for sure: the fans win this weekend. They're going to see a great show in the NSCS as well as NXS and NCWTS.

Caleb Whisler

In the NCWTS, I believe Johnny Sauter will become the 2016 champion. Suater has peaked at the right time when it comes to the season.

The Xfinity Series will be a little harder. I believe the race for the championship will come down between Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez. Sadler will have a challenge because his crew chief was suspended after Phoenix for not having two lug nuts properly secured. Suarez will be interesting to watch to see if he becomes the first international driver to win a championship in the top-three series.

For the Sprint Cup Series, all four have a great shot at winning the championship. Logano and Edwards are coming into Homestead “hot as rocks” due to their recent victories. Johnson and Edwards have experience to back up their drive for a championship. I believe the Ford EcoBoost 400 will come down to the last lap between these drivers. Who knows, we may even see a bump and run determine the championship.

BK Racing has announced that Matt DiBenedetto will not race in tomorrow’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

DiBenedetto raced in today’s O’Riley’s Challenge in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, but suffered a hard hit into the outside wall on lap 134 of the race. He entered into NASCAR's concussion protocol after not being cleared by physicians after the accident. 

 

The team did announce that Jeffrey Earnhardt would be the replacement driver for DiBenedetto. DiBenedetto qualified in the 33rd position for the AAA Texas 500. The team will have to start in the back of the field due to the driver change. 

Dibenedetto went to Twitter to explain the situation:


Opinion: It is On!

Tuesday, Nov 01

Joe Gibbs Racing did what they had to do over the past two race weekends at Talladega and Martinsville to ensure the shot to be crowned the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway later this month.

 

At Talladega Superspeedway, Joe Gibbs Racing was criticized for playing it safe by having three of their four cars ride around in the back in an effort to avoid the potential of the “Big One”. There efforts and strategy at Talladega was able to get all four of the cars into the next round in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

 

However, that strategy was deemed as a violation of NASCAR’s 100 percent rule that was implemented in 2013 after the Michael Waltrip Racing debacle at Richmond International Raceway.

 

At Talladega, JGR did what they had to do in an effort to get all four cars into the next round and a shot at a championship. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth came into Talladega above the cutline while teammate Denny Hamlin was below the cutoff. Hamlin stayed near the front and was able to advance to the next round. Edwards, Busch, and Kenseth stayed out of the way in an effort to avoid trouble in order to keep their spots in the next round. They did not violate the 100 percent rule because they did 100 percent of what they had to do in order to move to the next round.

 

However, at Martinsville, the JGR drivers were furious with each other about the lack of teamwork used in the closing laps in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.

 

“You can’t wreck each other and that’s all there is to it I guess. We worked so good together that we gave the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) car the win today. That’s how good JGR is. We had a great M&M’s Camry and we could have been a little farther up front, but we were held up there and we couldn’t pass and if I did try to make moves or try to make a pass, I got cutoff,” said Busch post-race.

 

At this point in the Chase, it is time for “every man to fend for himself.”

 

Just because you  are racing your teammate does not mean that they have to give up their position to help you, especially if they are in the fight for the championship. Everyone has the same goals when they have the chance to win a championship: win and you are in at Homestead.

 

I believe that team orders should no longer be in play when it comes to teammates in the battle for the championship.  Drivers have commitments to sponsors and their owner to have a shot at the championship.

 

Should they have worked together to catch Johnson and give him one last chance to make the final four?

 

Absolutely.

 

The Chase for the Sprint Cup is on. Drivers must do what is best for them when it comes to vying for a spot in the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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