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Keeping Pace

Archive for November 2009


The NHRA has released its 2010 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series schedule and to this point Spokane County Raceway is not shown as a stop for the Northwest swing.

2009 Season Review: Jac Haudenschild

Jac Haudenschild finished the season ninth in World of Outlaws point standings on the strength of 31 Top-10 finishes with 14 of those being Top-Fives, with the Carnahan Motorsports team for whom drove finishing eighth in car owner points.

Racing to history: Johnson wins fourth straight NASCAR title

The most dominant driver of this decade won a record fourth consecutive championship Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he raced hard to finish fifth when 25th place would have gotten the job done.

NSCS Recap: Hamlin wins final NASCAR race of 2009

Denny Hamlin’s fourth victory of the season was his second in the Chase. Surging into the lead after a restart on Lap 222 of 267, Hamlin crossed the stripe 2.632 seconds ahead of Jeff Burton, who posted his second straight runner-up finish and his fourth straight top 10.

Johnson’s Four-Peat Ranks Him With Sports’ Greatest Of All Time

After capping off his fourth consecutive championship season, Jimmie Johnson has put his Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team in an echelon that includes few others.

Busch Wins NASCAR Nationwide Series Race After Clinching Title

Two laps after a restart on Lap 163, after pitting for new tires, Kyle Busch passed Carl Edwards for the lead and held it the rest of the way, despite a caution for Jason Leffler’s contact with the wall on Lap 184.

2009 Season Review: Brian Ellenberger

The native of Butler, Pennsylvania visited countless tracks for the first time and gained priceless experience each and every time he and his team rolled through the pit gate. After the nearly 10-month and 70-race season he was awarded the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, named after the late driver who also hailed from the state of Pennsylvania.

NCWTS Recap: Harvick roars past Peters in overtime finish

The victory was Harvick’s second in a row, his third in six starts this year and the sixth of his career. Matt Crafton finished second and Colin Braun third, as both drivers also passed Peters, who ran fourth, on the final two-lap dash.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News & Notes - Homestead-Miami

Jimmie Johnson, following his seventh victory of the 2009 season at Phoenix International Raceway, carries a 108-point lead into Sunday’s Ford 400 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The lead isn’t insurmountable as Mark Martin still can deny Johnson a record fourth consecutive championship — but all the leader has to do is finish 25th or better to lock up the title.

News and Notes From The NHRA Heading Into A Short Winter Break

With the 2010 season kicking off in just over 12 weeks the drivers and teams of the NHRA Full Throttle Series will have little time to enjoy their recently completed season.

Northwest I-5 DIRTcar Late Model Tour Champ Jeremy Shank Looks For Final ’09 Flourish At Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Reigning Northwest I-5 DIRTcar Late Model Tour champion, Jeremy Shank, would love to cap his career year with a high-profile victory during the inaugural Silver State DIRTcar Championships this weekend (Nov. 20-21) at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kudos To Kyle: Busch To Be Crowned 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion

Although Kyle Busch was unable to secure his first NASCAR national-series championship last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway — despite a 272-point advantage going in — how he didn’t clinch was a microcosm of his season, arguably one of the greatest in series history.

Hornaday Seals Place In History, Wins Fourth Title Heading To Season Finale

This fourth title breaks his tie of three with friend and former competitor Jack Sprague. Sprague is the 1997, 1999 and 2001 series champion. Hornaday’s three previous titles came in 1996, 1998 and 2007.

2009 Season Review: Craig Dollansky

Craig Dollansky was victorious for the first time in 2009 at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York in late July and followed that up with a victory in the opener of the inaugural Ironman 55 at I-55 Raceway in Missouri and also triumphed at River Cities Speedway in North Dakota.


The win capped an intense week – and year – between rivals Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon as Schumacher had to completely rebuild his team this past offseason after former crew chief Alan Johnson left to form his own team with Sheikh Khalid bin Hamed Al-Thani and hired Dixon as his driver.

NSCS Recap: Johnson Widens Chase Lead With Win At Phoenix

A week after teasing his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors with a 38th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway—his worst of the season—Jimmie Johnson regained control of his championship quest.

Schumacher takes two-point lead over Dixon into final Sunday

After Larry Dixon took the points lead with the quickest pass in the third qualifying session, Tony Schumacher stole it back in the fourth session with the second-quickest pass in Top Fuel history, a 3.772 second run at 320.58 mph, to take a two-point lead into Sunday’s final eliminations.

Carl Edwards Win Postpones Kyle Busch’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Clinching Party

Carl Edwards won Saturday’s Able Body Labor 200 to postpone Kyle Busch’s formal NASCAR Nationwide Series championship clinching party for one week.


Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army team entered the day with a two-point lead, but he lost traction on Friday’s qualifying run, opening the door for Dixon and the Al-Anabi team which will now enter Saturday’s final day of qualifying with a one-point lead over Schumacher.

NCWTS Recap: Harvick Rallies To Win Truck Race; Hornaday Clinches Fourth Title

Ron Hornaday broke a tie for most series championships with his close friend Jack Sprague, who is not active in the series this year. And even at 51, Hornaday is confident he can add to his championship total.

Championship is close to reality for Edwards

For Mike Edwards, the championship run has been a special one because of what it means not only to him, but to the rest of the Young Life/A.R.T. team.

World of Outlaws 2009 Season Wrap-Up

Joey Saldana capped of the best season of his World of Outlaws career last Saturday night by scoring his 20th A-Feature win and 21st overall victory. He was triumphant in two of the three World of Outlaws events at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway this season.


Darrah joins KKR teammates Brad Sweet and Joey Saldana.  Sweet is currently battling for the USAC Mopar Midget National Championship, 14 points shy of first in the driver standings. Saldana, who drives the No. 9 Budweiser / CURB Records sprint car, won a series-leading 20 races in the 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, including the finale at the World Finals last weekend to finish third in driver points. 

By the Numbers: 2009 World of Outlaws Season

Donny Schatz became just the second driver to ever win four consecutive titles, joining 20-time champion Steve Kinser and also became the only driver other than Kinser to win at least four titles with the series.

McClenathan’s championship bid comes down to one final race

Having notched just one victory this season compared to the five each for the Nos. 1 and 2 in points, Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon, No. 3 Cory McClenathan is right in the mix as the 24-event season comes to a conclusion at the 45th annual NHRA Finals this weekend.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News & Notes - Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson will need to average a fourth-place finish over the final two races, or fifth and a lap led in each of the final two races, or sixth and the most laps led in each of the final two races. If he does that, he will clinch the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship no matter what any other driver does.

Hight, Prock look to lock up first championship

For Robert Hight a successful weekend at Auto Club Raceway would be a culmination of a dream that he thought had already come true on one level when he joined John Force Racing as a crew member.

Busch Has NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship In Sight Heading To Phoenix

After adding to his track record consecutive win streak at Texas Motor Speedway last Saturday (now at four), Kyle Busch led the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings by 272 points over second-place Carl Edwards (No. 60 Valvoline/O’Reilly’s Ford).

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes – Phoenix

Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards Chevrolet), coming off a second-place finish last week at Texas, still has a chance to win his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title and deny Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 VFW Chevrolet) his fourth, heading into the final two races of the 2009 season.


All four pro classes will crown their champions at the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Night of Champions Wraps up 2009 World of Outlaws Season

Donny Schatz’s championship run made him the only driver other than 20-time series champion Steve Kinser to win four championships and just the second driver to win four consecutive.

NSCS Recap: Kurt Busch Wins At Texas Motor Speedway

Capitalizing on superior fuel mileage, Kurt Busch drove his No. 2 Dodge to victory in the Dickies 500, after disaster struck Jimmie Johnson like a lightning bolt and made a race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after all.

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Johnson Take Danica Detour

We have tried to create stories out of other things, like incidents on the track, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race schedule, and potential team and sponsor changes for next season. We juggle numbers and create scenarios and throw the word “if” around a lot. Still, we keep coming back to Jimmie Johnson–until now!

A Historic Night: Saldana Wins 20th Race of 2009 While Donny Schatz Captures Fourth Consecutive Title

Joey Saldana’s win was his second of the season at the state-of-the-art four-tenths-mile and he joins an illustrious list of drivers that have won 20 or more A-Feature events in a season with the World of Outlaws, as only 20-time series champion Steve Kinser, three-time titlist Sammy Swindell, two-time champ Mark Kinser and Doug Wolfgang have accomplished that feat prior to Saturday night.

NNS Recap: Busch’s Nationwide Win Sets Up Try For Triple

Kyle Busch came close to a triple in February, when he won the truck and Nationwide events at Auto Club Speedway in California and finished third in the Cup race. If he completes the weekend sweep at Texas on Sunday, he’ll do so in crew chief Dave Rogers’ debut on the pit box. Rogers replaced Steve Addington as Busch’s Cup crew chief after last Sunday’s race at Talladega.

Keeping Pace: Jason Meyers Wins Opening Feature of the World Finals

For Jason Meyers it was his second career win at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway and his second during the World Finals,


The NHRA Full Throttle season prepares to wrap up 2009 but the series is already looking ahead to next year with the release of its ‘10 schedule.

NCWTS Recap: Kyle Busch The Victor At Texas

Kyle Busch led the final 50 laps of Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway and won his fifth straight race in as many starts in the series.

Donny Schatz Fastest in both Rounds of World Finals Qualifying

Donny Schatz circled the four-tenths-mile in 13.794 seconds to best a stout 57-car field, the largest in World Finals history

World Finals Continues to Get Bigger & Bigger

Three-time and defending series title winner Donny Schatz is locked in the closest point race in the 30-plus year history of the series, leading Jason Meyers by just 19 markers and Joey Saldana by 46 points, with two rounds of qualifying and two A-Feature events remaining on the docket.

NASCAR Camping World Series West Completes Strong 2009 Campaign

Although Eric Holmes led the championship standings through the first half of the season, Jason Bowles came on strong late in the year and clinched the title in the season finale by a 123-point margin.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News & Notes - Texas

As series teams prepare for Sunday’s Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson is staring down some personal and historical benchmarks.

NASCAR Nationwide Series News & Notes - Texas

Kyle Busch, the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings leader, is edging closer to claiming his first national series title.

NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel points leader Schumacher loses tight race in Vegas quarterfinals

Following his second round departure, Schumacher’s lead in the Top Fuel standings suddenly came under serious attack by both Larry Dixon and McClenathan.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes - Texas

Last year’s race saw both championship contenders — Ron Hornaday Jr. and Johnny Benson — involved in accidents. When the checkered flag finally waved, the pair went to the season finale separated by just three points.

Ashley Force Hood still in NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car title race

Each season Ashley Force Hood has improved in the point standings and this year she is in contention for her first title in only her third year driving a Fuel Funny Car.

NASCAR Nationwide Series New Car Goes Through Final Test Paces At Talladega

Following its debut next summer at Daytona, the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car also will compete in points races at Michigan International Speedway in August, at Richmond in September and at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October. Full integration for the new car into the series is targeted for 2011.

West Champion Bowles To Run Phoenix Nationwide Race

Jason Bowles, who parlayed a victory at Phoenix this spring in the NASCAR Camping World Series event to his first championship, the chance to take the next step and run in the Able Body Labor 200 is an opportunity too good to pass up and will depart the champion’s week celebration in Charlotte early to take part in the Nationwide event.

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series At a Glance: World Finals

The finale of the World Finals will air LIVE on SPEED on Saturday, November 7 beginning at 8 pm. Eastern, with Bobby Gerould and Brad Doty on the call, with Shane Andrews and Erin Crocker reporting from the pit area.

Hight Extends Funny Car Points Lead With Las Vegas Victory

Robert Hight, Spencer Massey, Larry Morgan and Andrew Hines were winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the fifth of six events in the Countdown to 1, NHRA’s championship playoffs.

Jamie McMurray Grabs The Win At Talladega Superspeedway

Jamie McMurray, odd-man out in Jack Roush’s compliance move to fielding a maximum of four teams in 2010, crept home the winner in a green-white-checker finish that only made it three-quarters-of-a-lap before a wild crash brought out a caution flag making McMurray the winner.

Several Northwest Division championships undecided as season nears close

Northwest NHRA racing may have closed out the season but regional drivers are still fanned out across the Western United States hunting for championships.


Mike Edwards, who earned his 21st No. 1 effort of his career with a track record performance of 6.623 at 207.75 in his A.R.T. Pontiac GXP, needs to lead the second place driver by at least 151 points following eliminations to secure the title.

Aric Almirola Pushes Kyle Busch To Talladega Win

With a push from teammate Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch surged past Todd Bodine in the final quarter-mile of Saturday’s Mountain Dew 250 fueld by Fred’s at Talladega Superspeedway to win his sixth race of the season and the 15th of his career.

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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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