Kevin Harvick: Sonoma Win? Check

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Sonoma down, only threemore tracks to go. Kevin Harvick now only has three active tracks on the NASCAR Monster Energy circuit where he hasn’t won: Kentucky, and oddly enough, Texas and Pocono. With his win at the piece of land known as Sears Point, the 2014 champion now has 36 career Cup wins and cements his place in the playoffs.’s further evidence of how far Harvick has come. When this observer started opining about NASCAR in 2007, he saw Dale Earnhardt’s successor win a dramatic victory in 2007 at Daytona. After a solid year, he went cold for a while. 2008 and 2009, and Kevin Harvick was stuck on 12 career wins. Once he got back on track in 2010, the former Xfinity Series stalwart hasn’t gone a season without at least winning one.

Another interesting facet of Kevin Harvick’s success is how steady he’s become. Look over his career stats. There’s really no place where he’s patently awful. Remember this too: Sonoma is not his first career win on a road course. Harvick has tasted victory at Watkins Glen, and has raced well on the road courses that have been a part of the Xfinity Series. The fact that Sunday’s win in Sonoma comes in Harvick’s home state makes it all the sweeter.

The door is wide open on road courses. If you’ll remember last week, we came up with a pretty lengthy last for contenders at Sonoma. It will be the same at Watkins Glen in August. Racers have made a more concerted effort to add road course proficiency to their satchel. Short tracks, super speedways, intermediates- Kevin Harvick is capable at all.

For all the talk about the young guns, Kevin Harvick serves notice that his versatility is a feather in his cap. Knowing his capacity for hot streaks, look for Harvick to run up there with the likes of Larson and Truex. We got the makings for one hot summer.

 

 

 

The post Kevin Harvick: Sonoma Win? Check appeared first on NASCAR.

Source: http://www.allleftturns.com/kevin-harvick-sonoma-win-check/

Iowa, Sonoma Make For A Great NASCAR Weekend

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen enough, but I’m excited about this weekend’s NASCAR schedule. Why? It has to do with the “where” on the schedule for all three of the national touring series.

The Xfinity and truck series is topped this weekend at Iowa Speedway. This track needs to go on to the Monster Energy Cup series pronto. Is there anyone who disputes that there are more short tracks needed? Rusty Wallace helped play a part of the design of the track, patterning it after Richmond. No wonder I like this track.

The lower two of the national series have been racing at Iowa for some time. Everything about this track gives you the feeling of a classic NASCAR race, something the Cup series desperately needs. The Newton, Iowa track has that hometown feel because well, Newton is a small town.

That is going to be the challenge in terms of getting the Cup series there. It is said the capacity at Iowa is about 30,000. On the other hand, I may suggest there have been a few bigger tracks where- if they’re being honest- the race barely drew that many.

Speaking of short tracks, there are some who say that Sonoma is the new Bristol. What? I know, I know- Sonoma is a road course; but have you seen a race here? Around those tight turns you frequently get full-contact racing. It gets a little messy sometimes with some of the pile-ups, and invariably, fuel strategy often plays a bigger role than some fans like, but oh, baby, the racing is rarely disappointing.

While some liken NASCAR road racing to a pig doing ballet, racing at Sonoma provides drivers a challege. You win here, and you know you’re good. We still have a road course ringer or two coming out to race for points-starved teams, but over the years, many of the mainstream NASCAR stars have put a concerted effort into becoming better road course racers, and it’s paid dividends.

Some say Sonoma should get a second date. It’s an idea whose time has come. It seems fitting there should be a road course in the playoffs. There’s little doubt the fans would support it.

 

The post Iowa, Sonoma Make For A Great NASCAR Weekend appeared first on NASCAR.

Source: http://www.allleftturns.com/iowa-sonoma-make-great-nascar-weekend/

Will Sonoma Serve As a Slump Buster?

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Next stop: the road course at Sonoma. It’s wine country, but for some drivers, racing at a road course like Sonoma makes it more like whine country. Road courses can be kryptonite for many. For example, as great as Dale Earnhardt was, only ONE of his 76 victories came at a track of right and left turns.

It’s weird to see so many top racers with zeroes in their 2017 victory column. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Matt Kenseth are a good place to start for fielding an all-star team. Could Sonoma cure those zeros in the victory column? It might.

To say Kyle Busch is slumping is overstating things a bit. He’s getting the finishes, but one thing or another is keeping out of victory lane. Racing at Sonoma could be the place where the 2015 champion could break through. Busch is a contender just about anywhere, and this road course has been one of many scenes for his success.

While it may be a stretch to say Busch is slumping, it’s not an overstatement in the case of Kasey Kahne. Mired at 21st in the standings, he’s done a bigger disappearing act than DB Cooper. Sonoma could change that. Driving for Richard Petty, Kahne was a 2009 winner in the Toyota Save Mart 350. A former open wheeler, he’s got the skill set to perform well.

A couple of other drivers that haven’t hoisted trophies in a while are Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray. You don’t think of Bowyer as a road course ace, but he’s actually won at Sonoma before. His roller coaster career has been spent on teams with fluctuating fortunes like RCR and Michael Waltrip. We won’t even get into his ride of misfortune at H Scott Motorsports, while waiting for the 14 ride to open up. Bowyer is a wheel man capable of winning just about anywhere. The dirt track mentality actually works well at Sonoma, a road course that often races like a short track.

Meanwhile, Jamie Mac has had the knack for scoring random wins at random places. His resume may not be dotted with gaudy numbers, but he’s managed to somehow pull off the big ones. Were it not for Juan Pablo Montoya darned near pulled off a Sonoma win in 2007. McMurray cut his racing teeth on go karts, so he got a taste for road course racing back in his early days.

There are plenty of other winless drivers quite capable of scoring that elusive win at Sonoma. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin may not be the first names you think of when it comes to road course expertise, but once again, these are drivers capable of winning anywhere. If not for Tony Stewart, Hambone would have won it last year. Harvick is a very technique-savvy driver. Don’t be shocked if he pulls it off. Like many of these aforementioned drivers, Hamlin has come close to victory, only to have it elude him.

Of course, there are plenty of other drivers who have enjoyed better fortunes who may well win Sunday at Sonoma. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. immediately come to mind.

It’s wide open as to who has the best chance. Gone are the days where few series regulars had an aptitude for road course racing. Gone are the days when teams needed to have Boris Said and Ron Fellows to score a respectable finish.

This race should be fun. You have the elements of the course itself to offer challenges, plus all the tight turns that give racing here that short track feel.

 

The post Will Sonoma Serve As a Slump Buster? appeared first on NASCAR.

Source: http://www.allleftturns.com/will-sonoma-serve-slump-buster/

The rights of summer

  It seemed like it took forever, but summer is finally here. The official “car season” is in full swing and all is right in the world of car junkies. If you are like me, your attention turns to the road and your keen eye for vintage iron is alert to the classics that have awoken from their dreary winter slumber. For the most part you recognize the local cars […]

The post The rights of summer appeared first on Old Cars Weekly.

Source: http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/blogs/tire-tracks/the-rights-of-summer

Places to stop on the way to the Iola Car Show – Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum-Fountain City, Wis.

Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum is one of the largest museums of its kind in the country and happens to be less than three hours away from the Iola Car Show. This museum may be on the inbound or outbound routes of many car show travelers. If not, it’s certainly worth a side trip to see. Elmer and Bernadette are starting their 24th year of welcoming old-car enthusiasts to their place. […]

The post Places to stop on the way to the Iola Car Show – Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum-Fountain City, Wis. appeared first on Old Cars Weekly.

Source: http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/blogs/gunners-garage/places-stop-way-iola-car-show-elmers-auto-toy-museum-fountain-city-wis

Places to stop on the way to the Iola Car Show – The Automobile Gallery–Green Bay, Wis.

The Automobile Gallery (www.theautomobilegallery.org) by Red Lewis opened on Jan. 4, 2016. Although it has been in operation for well over a year, many car enthusiasts who come to the Iola Car Show haven’t seen it yet. The Gallery is only a short hour’s drive to the east from Iola.. Businessman William “Red” Lewis completely updated Joseph G. Denil’s circa-1958 Cadillac dealership to give The Automobile Gallery a unique home. […]

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Source: http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/blogs/places-stop-way-iola-car-show-automobile-gallery-green-bay-wis