NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-
Five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson claimed his second Daytona 500 victory Sunday afternoon. The new Generation 6 car showed a tremendous amount of speed but the action on the track was somewhat lackluster except for a last lap move by Dale Earnhardt Jr. who moved from fourth in the field to second place at the checkered flag.
Most of the headlines from Daytona Speedweeks focused on Danica Patrick who won the Pole position for the race in only her 11th career series start. Her record-setting day also included leading five laps and finishing 8th in the final run down.
The series moves to the one-mile paved oval of Phoenix (AZ) International Raceway next weekend for the second race of the season.
Various quotes from Daytona:
Jimmie Johnson (1st)- “It is just awesome,” Johnson said. “No other way to describe it. Four hundred starts and every one with Lowe’s and Hendrick. First to win in the Gen-6, and that car is a Chevy SS. It’s a very, very proud moment. Plate racing has been a little tough on the 48 the last few years.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2nd)- “Running second over and over is great and all for our team, a good start to the season, but I would love, even having to go through all the hassle that Jimmie is about to go through this week, it's worth it,” said Earnhardt.
Mark Martin (3rd)- “The spotters did have a discussion before the restart,” Martin said. “Obviously I knew Junior had a fast car and is one of the masters here, certainly would trust his judgment. I was in a position where I needed to pass a bunch of cars in order to get in contention to win. So we did that. If things would have got crazy enough, maybe we could have got the big trophy. That's how it went.”
Danica Patrick (8th)- “I would imagine that pretty much anyone would kick themselves and say what could I have, should I have done to give myself that opportunity to win. I think that's what I was feeling today, was uncertainty as to how I was going to accomplish that. There was plenty of time while you were cruising along. I was talking to Tony (Gibson, crew chief) and my spotter (Brandon Benesch) on the radio, ‘What do you see people doing? What's working? What is not?’ I was thinking in the car, ‘How am I going to do this?’ I didn't know what to do exactly."
For the first time in 2013, James Stewart managed to put together a complete program and the result Saturday night in Atlanta was rather predictable for Monster Energy Supercross fans who have followed his illustrious career.
Stewart remained flawless en route to claiming his 45th career victory in Atlanta, third most in Supercross history.
After claiming the desperately-needed win, Stewart remarked, "I struggled with the track all day to be honest, but I've felt the last three weeks that if I could get a good start, I could win this. I got a great start… I don't know when the last time was I've led a race. So I was a little nervous out there, but I calmed down. It's a great way to rebound after last week."
1.James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
2.Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
3.Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
4.Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
5.Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
6.Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
7.Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
8.Chad Reed, Australia, Honda
9.Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
10.Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki
AMSOIL Championship Snocross-
Saturday Seneca Allegany Air Force Snocross Pro Open Results
1. 68 Hibbert, Tucker Arctic Cat Pelican Rapids MN
2. 11 Tremblay, Tim Ski-Doo Ste Jeanne D’Arc Quebec
3. 53 Kamm, Kody Polaris Kenosha WI
Saturday Seneca Allegany Air Force Snocross Pro Lite Results
1. 42 Scott, Jake Polaris Port Jefferson Statio NY
2. 151 Carlson, Andrew Polaris Elk River MN
793 Alexandre, Renaud Ski-Doo Val-D’or Quebec
A look Ahead-
Grid numbers for the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype class have fluctuated over the years, with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona often providing the biggest car count.
DP numbers tend to decline after the Rolex 24, but it appears a pleasant surprise will be in store for those attending Round 2 at Circuit of The Americas this weekend as 16 cars are expected to compete in Austin, TX (Saturday, SPEED, 5:30 p.m. ET).
Provided the car count remains at 16, it would mark the largest turnout of DPs since the 2009 season finale at Miami-Homestead.
Tandem entries from Action Express Racing, Michael Shank Racing, Staworks Motorsports and Team Sahlen account for eight cars, while single entries from Bob Stallings, BTE Sport, Doran, Ganassi, Krohn, Spirit of Daytona, Wayne Taylor and 8Star complete the other half of the field.
“I think it’s probably two things working together here,” said GRAND-AM managing director of competition Richard Buck. “I think there’s renewed interest in the Daytona Prototype class with the changes on the horizon and the ALMS and GRAND-AM coming together, and the Circuit of The Americas track is also an amazing facility. Put them together and you’re going to get the kind of response we’ve seen.”