Team Interstate Finds Speed in Daytona, Pomona and Arlington
If Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited was any indication, NASCAR’s 2013 season will be one of excitement and really tight racing. The race had a new name and a few new wrinkles, but one thing was remarkably consistent with years past: Unpredictability.
Only 19 cars lined up for the non-points event, which was run in three segments: The first segment of 30 laps, followed by a segment of 25 laps and finally a 20-lap race to the finish. Unfortunately, by the time the first segment of the race was complete, only 12 cars would remain on the track. A large accident on lap 15 took out seven cars, including those of Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.
The only Team Interstate driver who escaped the early accident was Matt Kenseth, who was racing in the safest spot on the track – the No. 1 position. Kenseth proved to have perhaps the strongest car on the night, although his teammates never really had the opportunity to showcase their new 2013 Camrys. Kenseth took his first lead of the night on lap five and would lead the next 24 laps before giving way to Tony Stewart just before the conclusion of the first segment. Kenseth would regain the lead again on lap 62, but found the inside lane was difficult to maintain the momentum and was unable to hold on for the win. He would finish the night in fifth.
Kevin Harvick captured the win.
Daytona Speed Week
The 2013 season officially kicks off with next Sunday’s Daytona 500, but Team Interstate will be in action all this week in preparation.
The starting row was decided Sunday during qualifying runs, with Danica Patrick capturing the pole position for having the fastest car. It was the first time a woman won the pole for any of NASCAR’s top-division races. Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a woman in Sprint Cup, twice starting ninth in 1977. Jeff Gordon will start on the outside pole.
While Sunday’s time trials locked in the front row, the remaining positions will be determined by Thursday’s Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile heat races that set the majority of the 43-car Daytona 500 field. Hamlin will compete in the first Budweiser Duel race and start fourth. Busch and Kenseth will start fourth and fifth, respectively, in the second Budweiser Duel race.
The top-15 finishers in each Duel race – excluding the already locked-in front row – will earn spots in the Daytona 500 and fill positions 3-32. The remaining positions will be filled based on qualifying speeds, owner points and past championships.
NHRA Pro Stock: Edwards Wins the Pole
At the hit of the throttle, the Camaro had parts failure in the clutch, leaving Edwards only to watch McGaha advance.
“Though we didn’t have the results we hoped for today, in the big picture we are excited about the 2013 season,” Edwards said. “We were on the pole of the first race of the season, which is a great way to start the season. This Chevy Camaro has some great potential and we know if we didn’t have parts failure, this weekend could have been much different.
“I am glad we only have a few days between races, because we feel great heading into Phoenix next weekend.”
Watch highlights from Edwards’ pole position press conference in the video below:
AMA Supercross: Brayton Scores Top 5 Finish
After spending the first six weeks of the season on the West Coast, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series traveled to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Saturday.
Team Interstate/JGRMX rider Justin Brayton showed his speed in the qualifying heat and started the main event in sixth position. He held steady throughout the event’s 20 laps and finished fifth, his second top-5 finish in a row.
Teammate Josh Grant, who injured his ankle and shoulder two weeks ago in Anaheim, came determined to race, but a few laps into the second practice he realized he needed more time to heal. He will continue to rehab his injuries this week and attempt to race in Atlanta next Saturday.