Canada Kicks Ass
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - 2012


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Gunnair @ Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:26 pm


New look for the 55 of Mark martin for 2012.


ShepherdsDog @ Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:30 pm Dinoco?


Gunnair @ Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:31 pm

•Kurt Busch out at Penske? UPDATE mutual agreement to part ways: Penske Racing officials are meeting Monday to determine the future of driver #22-Kurt Busch. Penske officials were contacted by on Sunday, but would not confirm or deny the meeting over Busch's status, while the Charlotte Observer reported that Busch has been fired. Busch has been involved in several behavior incidents on the track this season, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch made an obscene hand gesture leaving the track after his transmission failure early in the race. He also had a profanity-laced tirade at ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch and his camera crew in the garage moments later, which went viral on YouTube. NASCAR later penalized Busch $50,000 for the two incidents. Penske officials, along with team sponsors Shell Pennzoil, publicly reprimanded Busch afterward. Sources confirmed that Shell Pennzoil officials have spoken with team owner Roger Penske and expressed concerns about Busch continuing as the driver. Penske spokesman Bud Denker and Walt Czarnecki, the executive vice president of Penske Corportation, said they will stand by their comment made after Busch was fined by NASCAR that they will not comment further until their internal review is complete. Kurt Busch had an earlier incident with reporters this season at Richmond in September, the final event before the Chase started. He had to be restrained from a reporter on pit road. Busch also tore another reporter's interview transcript in half after being questioned about recorded comments that he denied making. Last week in Las Vegas, Busch said he was seeing a sports psychologist to deal with his anger issues.(ESPN)
AND Speculation points to David Ragan as the leading candidate for the job. Ragan spent the 2011 season with Roush Fenway Racing, but his future has been in doubt since the team lost sponsorship for next season. He earned his first career Sprint Cup victory this season, at Daytona International Speedway. Other candidates for the job include David Reutimann and Brian Vickers  two drivers who drove in the Sprint Cup Series this past season but are without a ride for 2012  and Sam Hornish Jr., who has previously driven for Penske at the Sprint Cup level.(FoxSports)(12-4-2011)
UPDATE Penske Racing announced today that it has reached a mutual agreement with driver Kurt Busch to end its driver/race team relationship, effective immediately. The team will evaluate its options for the driver of the #22 Sprint Cup Series car in the future while Busch will seek new opportunities with another race team. "I appreciate the victories that Kurt has brought Penske Racing and our sponsors over the past six years," said Roger Penske. "While I am disappointed that Kurt will not be racing for our team in the future, both Kurt and I felt that separating at this time was best for all parties, including our team and sponsors. I wish Kurt the best in his future racing endeavors."
"I am grateful to Penske Racing for six very productive years," said Busch. "Together we won a lot of races -16 in all. Leaving a great organization and a lucrative contract is not easy, but it's an important step for me and allows me to take a deep breath to work on things that can make me a better driver and a better person. I want to personally thank Roger Penske for the opportunity that he has given me."(Penske Racing)
AND been told Ragan has been released by Roush Fenway Racing and Ford to pursue other oppurtunities. Supposedly he was in line to run the #51 Chevy in 2012, but now hearing he will sign a one-year deal to run the #22 Dodge for Penske.(12-5-2011)
AND III: Penske was out of the country and unavailable to comment directly. But Bud Denker, a senior vice president for Penske Corporation, said the split was best for all parties. "Kurt had some concern with our performance,'' Denker told "Obviously, we had concerns with his on and off the track behavior. We agreed to take the high road for both of us. We agreed that separating at this time was best for all parties, including Kurt and the sponsors.'' Denker would not comment on whether Penske Racing had to meet any financial obligations to Busch, who had several years left on his contract. But he said "we have no further obligations, financially or contractually.'' Denker said while Shell Pennzoil was consulted in the decision, "it was ultimately our decision.'' "It's important for people to understand the nature of what we've done,'' Denker said. "It's a mutual separation. Kurt came to the conclusion and we have as well that it's time to move on. Kurt has been a terrific driver for us. He's a friend. We have been working with problems and issues in the past. It's well documented by everyone. As we looked at 2012 and beyond it was time to move on based on that incident at Homestead.'' Denker said it was a difficult decision, noting Busch has done a great job promoting sponsors for Penske Racing.
One of the criteria Shell Pennzoil had when it signed with Penske Racing last season was to have a championship-caliber driver. That prompted the move of Busch from the #2 Miller Lite car to the #22. Denker said Busch's replacement "may not be a championship driver right now,'' but said Shell is behind anybody they choose. He acknowledged that David Ragan, who won at Daytona in June, might be a possibility. Ragan remains under contract with Roush Fenway Racing, but he doesn't have a ride for 2012 because he lost sponsor UPS. Initial inquiries, multiple sources said, have been made. "It could be David, it could be others,'' Denker said. "We have not started that process yet.''(ESPN)(12-5-2011)

All that drama is to say, bu bye Kurt you big baby. Have fun at Pheonix Racing!


Gunnair @ Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:36 pm

Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Darian Grubb has been named crew chief for its #11 FedEx Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. "Darian is a great addition to our organization and person to lead our #11 FedEx team," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Obviously he has proven the ability to guide a team to a championship and we are excited to have him working with Denny (Hamlin) toward achieving that goal here at Joe Gibbs Racing." Grubb is coming off an impressive championship run with driver Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing which included winning five of the 10 Chase races en route to capturing the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. He spent the past three seasons as crew chief for Stewart on the No. 14 car after the driver left JGR to start his own race operation. Prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Grubb spent six years with Hendrick Motorsports; rising through the organization's engineering ranks and gaining invaluable crew chief experience. "I'm thrilled to join Joe Gibbs Racing," said Grubb. "The chance to work with Denny is something I'm excited about. When you sit down with Joe and J.D. Gibbs you can't help but be excited about this opportunity and the team aspects of JGR. There is no question about the level of support you get here and I'm looking forward to working with everyone across the entire organization."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-9-2011)

Not quite sure what Stewart was thinking of, but letting Grubb go, irrespective of his finish seemed a foregone conclusion.

Funny that - win the series and fire the crew chief that got you there.

Anyway, good for Hamlin. Add to that the end of the Joe Gibbs Toyota engine program and Hamlin might have a better chance next season.


Gunnair @ Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:47 pm

Naughty or nice, NASCAR karma comes around

By Joe Menzer, NASCAR.COM

Just when it seemed it really might not matter who's naughty or nice in NASCAR, two events occurred to restore at least a portion of faith in the old adage that personal behavior truly does mean something.

Kurt Busch was out of a job at Penske Racing and Darian Grubb, who had been inexplicably muscled out of his at Stewart-Haas Racing after helping Tony Stewart win the 2011 Sprint Cup championship, found a new home as Denny Hamlin's crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Busch, Penske and even Dodge officials were quick to point out that Busch's departure was "a mutual decision," and to some degree that was true. But it's obvious that it never would have happened if Busch hadn't embarked on a series of personal tirades in and out of his No. 22 Dodge throughout the season -- blistering a wide variety of Penske and Dodge personnel, not to mention members of the media and fellow driver Jimmie Johnson, whom he frequently saw as in his path and somehow at fault when race days did not go as he had planned. The proverbial final straw came during the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he was caught on video delivering a lengthy one-finger salute as he pulled into the garage area, followed by an obscenity-laced barrage directed without provocation toward Dr. Jerry Punch, a respected, veteran member of the media who was attempting to do a brief, live television interview.

Grubb, meanwhile, did nothing but keep his head down and continue working long hours without complaint even as his season with Stewart did not get off to the start that either crew chief or driver had envisioned. Unbeknownst to Grubb, at least initially, Stewart made the decision before the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup commenced that a change atop his pit box was in order.

And that was when the whole thing started to get weird, with Busch's fate and that of Grubb suddenly becoming intertwined.


As often is the case in the Sprint Cup garage, one domino falling led to another and ultimately another, and so on. The fallout from the Busch-Grubb situations still isn't completely settled, as Busch has yet to secure a ride for 2012 and beyond.

As the 2011 Chase approached, Stewart heard through the garage grapevine that Steve Addington, then Busch's crew chief, was unhappy. Gee, figuring that out after all the verbal abuse Busch heaped on over a two-year relationship was akin to a 21st-century scientist establishing a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Once Stewart started courting Addington to replace Grubb, the wheels were set in motion for everything to fall apart, then fall back into new places. Even though Grubb suddenly helped Stewart find the magic to win the first two races of the Chase, it was too late. Stewart's mind to move in another direction at season's end was made up.

Conventional wisdom dictated that once the incredible run for the Grubb-led and Stewart-driven No. 14 Chevrolet team continued, which it did right through a championship-clinching victory in the season finale, Stewart would somehow change his mind and keep Grubb employed at SHR. But Stewart already had promised Grubb's job to Addington, who was determined to leave Penske and the clutches of Busch.

Grubb was a class act, a nice guy to anyone who asked, all the way until the end of his run at Stewart-Haas Racing -- even when it appeared he was being wronged.

Five times in the 10 Chase races Grubb loyally accompanied Stewart to Victory Lane and sat next to him during post-race interview sessions in track media centers. On at least three of those occasions, if not all five, Grubb either knew that he would be out of a job at season's end or at least suspected it.

Yet he said nothing. He was increasingly coy about his job security as the weeks passed, but said nothing concrete until after the championship was clinched. Grubb was a class act, a nice guy to anyone who asked, all the way until the end of his run at Stewart-Haas Racing -- even when it appeared he was being wronged.


Grubb's misfortune proved to be Mike Ford's when Joe Gibbs Racing decided to dismiss Ford as Denny Hamlin's crew chief and replace Ford with Grubb. Yes, JGR officials said they were going to make a change anyway with the No. 11 Toyota team. But Grubb's availability made it easier for them to make sense of dismissing Ford, who nearly guided Hamlin to a championship only a year earlier in 2010.

Meanwhile, Busch remains stuck in racing limbo. He has apologized some more for at least some of his actions, but seems determined to make certain everyone knows he wasn't "fired outright" for them. He wants it on the record that it was a mutual decision between himself and Penske Racing for him to climb out of the seat of the No. 22 Dodge, despite the fact that he had been slated to earn millions driving it through the 2015 season.

Whatever. The next time a driver willingly climbs out of a top-notch ride like the one Busch is abandoning at Penske without having an equal ride lined up will be the first time.

At this point in time, it does not appear Busch has that next equal ride lined up. It could be coming. Maybe there is another monumental shift left in the Sprint Cup garage before this ordeal is completely played out.

And make no mistake, Busch is an outstanding driver. Talent-wise, he's probably one of the top six stock-car drivers in the world. As far as his ability to communicate with and work in harmony with other people on a regular basis? It would be difficult for him to find a room full of seven people where he could rank in the top six.

So the moral of the story here is simple and one that has survived the test of time through the ages. Play nice and in the end you will be given your just rewards. Play naughty and you never know what might happen, but the end is likely to be ugly.

Then, if you want to stay in the game, you have to start over.


DanSC @ Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:26 pm

I'm genuinely very excited about the upcoming NASCAR season, even though I follow the Le Mans series, Aussie V8s, Grand Am Racing, etc. more closely. NASCAR will use fuel injection for the first time in 2012, and it will be very interesting to see which teams can master the new engines and which fall behind.

I'm not getting my hopes up, but I'm hoping this will start a trend back to stock cars; mostly because I want a modern Superbird.



Gunnair @ Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:33 pm

DanSC DanSC:
I'm genuinely very excited about the upcoming NASCAR season, even though I follow the Le Mans series, Aussie V8s, Grand Am Racing, etc. more closely. NASCAR will use fuel injection for the first time in 2012, and it will be very interesting to see which teams can master the new engines and which fall behind.

I'm not getting my hopes up, but I'm hoping this will start a trend back to stock cars; mostly because I want a modern Superbird.


They just left the wing to go back to the spoiler. They won't go back.

I agree about the fuel injection. This will be a very exciting season.


Gunnair @ Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:29 am

Zipadelli Named Competition Director for Stewart-Haas Racing: Greg Zipadelli, winner of two championships and 34 victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been named competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He will work with Vice President of Competition Matt Borland and oversee the #14 and #39 teams, while also building the #10 team for which Danica Patrick will run a 10-race Sprint Cup schedule with in 2012. Zipadelli comes to SHR from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) where he served as crew chief for the #20 team since 1999. It's where the 44-year-old from Berlin, Conn., began a 10-year tenure with Tony Stewart, the co-owner of SHR along with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. From 1999 through 2008, Zipadelli was Stewart's crew chief, with the duo winning Sprint Cup titles in 2002 and 2005 while claiming 33 victories and 10 poles. When Stewart left JGR following the 2008 season to form SHR, Zipadelli stayed and spent three years as the crew chief for Joey Logano, where he helped deliver Logano's first career Sprint Cup victory on June 28, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. "We're very proud to have Greg Zipadelli join Stewart-Haas Racing," said Stewart, the three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion. "Greg and I have a long and successful history together. I know him and he knows me, and we both know what it takes to build race teams. We took our time in searching for a competition director because it's an important role with a lot of responsibility. Greg knows all that goes into the job, understands the importance of teamwork and communication across all levels of the organization, and is ultimately someone I have a great deal of trust in."
The addition of Zipadelli to the SHR family is a reunion on two fronts  Stewart, of course, but also with Steve Addington, who spent 2004-2008 at JGR and is now Stewart's crew chief at SHR with the #14 team. (Tony Gibson serves as crew chief for the #39 team and driver Ryan Newman.)
"Joe Gibbs always says that you win with people, and Tony Stewart is a winner," Zipadelli said. "We won a lot together at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it was a sad day when he left. But Tony had an unbelievable opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing, and he's obviously made the most of it. To become a part of what he's already built, but to do it in a new role with a new set of responsibilities, was a challenge I wanted. I really appreciate Joe and J.D. Gibbs for all that that they've given me over the years and for allowing me to seize this opportunity."(Stewart-Haas Racing)(12-16-2011)


Gunnair @ Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:00 pm

Penske Racing has named AJ Allmendinger as the driver of the team's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger, who has competed in the Cup Series since 2007, is coming off a strong season that saw him finish 15th in the series standings while battling for a position in the Chase for the Championship. The 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 results in 2011 while driving the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
"AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team," said Roger Penske. "He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons and working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow him to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012."
"Shell and Pennzoil are extremely pleased by Penske Racing's selection of AJ Allmendinger to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge," said Lisa Davis, President of Shell Oil Products U.S. "AJ has consistently demonstrated great potential and continuous improvement as a driver, and with Penske's track record, our employees and customers can look forward to seeing him contending for wins and ultimately a championship in the NASCAR Cup Series. We know he will represent our brands well on and off the track and we look forward to a successful 2012 with AJ behind the wheel."(

Wow.... didn't sdee that coming


Gunnair @ Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:10 pm

Lots of beatin' and bangin' in the shootout! Four to go!


Gunnair @ Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:12 pm

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Gordon barrel roles!


martin14 @ Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:13 pm

way to go Jeff Gordon !!!

way to take out the Crybaby !!



Gunnair @ Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:15 pm

Jeff came out the worser for it! 8O


Gunnair @ Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:19 pm



Gunnair @ Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:28 pm

Kryle wins! God damn it! :twisted:

Well, he drove a hell of a race though!



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