July 25, 2014

Magic Mile Power Rankings: Indy

  Race 20: Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Well, it's been nearly two weeks since the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolled into New Hampshire Motor Speedway. And what a weekend it was for Brad Keselowski, who not only won the Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13, but became the first driver in track history to also win Saturday's Sta-Green 200 Nationwide Series race. The historic weekend was worth a week off, but the season runs straight to the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 16.

Now is also a perfect time to readjust the power rankings. Looking back at the last five weeks, here is the new format for the MMPR:
Win - 10 points
Top-5 - 5 points
Top-10 - 3 points
Most Laps Led - 2 points
Pole - 1 point
21-30 - Minus-1
31-40 - Minus-3
41-43 - Minus-5

Moving forward, the most recent five races will be counted. This should be a more effective system in determining the hottest, most consistent drivers in the Sprint Cup Series. Let us know what you think!

Here's a look at the MMPR (last five weeks' point total in parentheses) heading into Race 20 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday:

July 23, 2014

FANTASY: Beating the Brickyard

Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Fantasy Preview

NASCAR has been racing at the most historic
racing venue in the world for over 20 years. (Getty)
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got a well-deserved break last weekend, and as has become the case for us at NHMS in recent years, so did we.  It was a successful Camping World RV Sales 301 race weekend that saw the Sprint Cup Series tie a historical record with the 13 consecutive different winner at our track.

After which, both NASCAR and the staff at NHMS had the opportunity to recharge with an open weekend.  Both will now put their focus toward a strong Chase performance and end to the season.

For the boys and girl of the Sprint Cup Series, that starts this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Here's a look at the fantasy starts and parks for the weekend:

Green Flag: Jeff Gordon

Not even a gas deficiency at NHMS could knock him out of the points lead.  Gordon should continue to set the pace for the series at Indy, where he has four wins and 16 top-10s in 20 starts.  Based on that success, this could be the week he goes from being a consistent point-getter with a single win to a multiple race-winning championship favorite.

July 18, 2014

Rookie Stripes: The Hot Pass

Brad Keselowski drives his Redd's Apple Ale car into
victory lane following his win at NHMS on Sunday. 
This past weekend at NHMS was incredible. As a part of the Communications team, I helped manage the track’s social media accounts during NASCAR weekend at the Magic Mile. Needless to say it was the best experience I’ve had to date at the track and one I will never forget. I was in and out of the media center, scrambling for Wi-Fi as I live-tweeted the races and snapped photographs for Instagram. To highlight it all, here are some superlatives that I would like to hand out from the weekend that was at NHMS..

Best Performance: Brad Keselowski

Whenever anyone at the track looked up at the leaderboard from Friday until Sunday, there was a high probability that Brad Keselowski was at the top. He dominated the weekend in both the Sprint Cup and the Nationwide Series. He was the fastest in the second and final (third) practices for the Camping World RV Sales 301, won the pole for the Sta-Green 200, and took home the checkered flag in both races.

A few two-tire and fuel only stops from a few of the leaders in the Sprint Cup race mired Keselowski back in traffic but within a matter a laps he would weave his way back to the front. Keselowski added to an incredible streak at Loudon, becoming the 13th different winner in the last 13 races. After the convincing show he put on Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised if Keselowski is the one to break that streak when the Sprint Cup Series returns for the SYLVANIA 300 in September.

July 2, 2014

FANTASY: Daytona Fireworks

Coke Zero 400 Fantasy Preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 in February. (Getty)
It's pretty fitting that the Independence Day weekend race in NASCAR takes place at Daytona International Speedway.  It is the only night, restrictor plate race on the schedule.  Both of those elements makes for an exciting race, and together, they lead to a real firework-style, spark-flying, boom-and-bang experience.

The track is unpredictable in its nature, as "The Big One," can take out several drivers at any time, but fantasy NASCAR team owners will need to take their chances this weekend.  Let's wave the flags on some of the options:

Green Flag - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Daytona 500 win in February was no fluke for Dale Jr.  He has three wins at the track and his average finish of 13.4 is second-best to just Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Junior's been consistent all year, and while Daytona is no guarantee, he will do well if he can avoid trouble.

June 30, 2014

FanFest: The Official Start to NASCAR Weekend

July 10: Free event kicks off Camping World RV Sales 301 weekend

Honk! Honk! NASCAR will arrive during FanFest. (NHMS/Bellman)
Before the command to fire engines, before the sunrise on race day, before the practice and the qualifying, before all that, NASCAR weekend starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

It happens each Thursday of an NHMS race weekend with the WOKQ FanFest.  The free event is the official kickoff to a four-day party in Loudon twice a year.  Its message is simple: welcome to our track, NASCAR fans.

WOKQ FanFest is located right in the Midway of the S2 Display Lot, which means it's easy to access and there is plenty going on in the busiest pedestrian crossroads on property.  The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with the famous Sprint Cup Series Hauler Parade beginning at 6 p.m.

It's at that moment, around when the 24 and the 48 and the 88 haulers roll down the Midway and through the tunnel that we all know NASCAR has arrived.  The entire field will follow them, so whether you're a fan of Kasey Kahne or Casey Mears, you'll be able to confirm that your favorite driver's car is on property for the Camping World RV Sales 301.