Doug "Fireball" Turnbull's Race Blog 

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Friday Roval primer – lots of unknowns

  • 2:08 pm Friday, September 28th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

At the time of this writing, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has practiced once on the new Charlotte Roval, the Xfinity Series has logged two Thursday test sessions and is in midst of practice one, and rain has popped up on and off both days. The cars with speed are becoming apparent (Austin Cindric, Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric, and Ryan Preece for NXS and Kyle Busch and Erik Jones in MENCS). But how these races will play out absolutely is not certain.

A handful of NXS cars got varying degrees of wreck damage Thursday, with Turn 5 being the [More]

Elliott perseveres through trials, finds new level of clutch in first Cup win

  • 11:13 am Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

The wait is over. Chase Elliott has won his first-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. He held off 2017 MENCS champion Martin Truex Jr. in a thrilling finish in the Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen Sunday. His win came in his 99th career start, just over halfway thru his third full-time season with powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports. That may not be exactly the fairytale Elliott imagined when he dreamt of becoming a Cup star like his father. But both William Clyde Elliott’s, son and father, had to suffer some near-misses before their Victory Lane kisses.

Each driver [More]

Scanner Chatter: David Ragan and Erik Jones

  • 2:22 pm Friday, July 6th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

NASCAR is racing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend with tonight’s Xfinity Series Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, MRN, Sirius/XM 90) and Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at 7 p.m. (NBC, MRN, Sirius/XM 90). This kind of restrictor plate racing can produce random winners and till different names to the front of the pack. With only six different winners in Cup this season, many drivers circle this race as a ticket into the Playoffs.

Unadilla, Georgia’s David Ragan nearly won this race in 2017 and scored his first-career MENCS win in the 2011 Daytona summer classic. His only other [More]

Dominance isn’t a bad thing, if there’s a tango

  • 10:25 pm Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

The biggest story in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season has been the absolute beatings that Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, with a taste of Martin Truex Jr., have laid on the field. Really, in almost any metric, no other team is close to the trio in 2018. Whether Harvick and Busch are atop the scoring pylons in practice, qualifying, and the race is a toss up. And Truex Jr., who grabbed the series by the tail and whopped it against the side of a trash can last season, is the only other driver to win multiple races [More]

Analyzing the Kenseth curveball and what the move says about Bayne

  • 3:26 pm Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Roush Fenway Racing and Matt Kenseth grabbed the news cycle by the horns this week, announcing that the champion driver will return to the organization that brought him into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Kenseth will drive an unspecified number of races in the team’s No. 6 Ford Fusion, splitting time with Trevor Bayne. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts will sponsor Kenseth in at least some races. Bayne will continue to run the races sponsored by Advocare.

Team president Steve Newmark and team owner Jack Roush both said that Kenseth is coming back to evaluate the state of their mediocre [More]

Memories of Captain Herb highlight final Labor Day race weekend at AMS

  • 9:16 am Thursday, April 12th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

This is a re-post of my blog post just after the Atlanta Motor Speedway Labor Day weekend race in 2014, the first after the passing of Captain Herb Emory. Four years to the day after his passing, please enjoy the memories and thank you for Remembering Captain Herb. 

A banner at the United Against Mouth and Throat Cancer tent, an organization that provides free screenings in the Atlanta Motor Speedway Fan Zone outside the Hampton, Georgia track, had a banner that read “Remembering Capt. Herb Emory.” That was a theme for the entire NASCAR race weekend at AMS.

Conyers driver Chris Cockrum [More]

AMS throws a cold glass of water on the youth movement

  • 11:21 pm Sunday, February 25th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Atlanta Motor Speedway is almost every driver’s favorite track. You hear that everytime NASCAR’s circus pitches tents in Hampton, Georgia. Drivers love the 21-year old surface at the legendary 58-year old track, because it causes tire wear and forces drivers to search all over for grip. Old pavement puts the race back in the drivers’ hands and every driver I spoke to – from young William Byron to Sunday’s race-winner and longest-tenured Cup driver Kevin Harvick – say it’s fun.

But since drivers matter so much, NASCAR’s youth movement had to sit on the carpet and hear from the teachers [More]

AMS Friday notes: Busch up front, Truex in the back, and an interesting proposition from Dylan Lupton

  • 7:16 pm Friday, February 23rd, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Busch takes MENCS pole, Truex Jr.’s team in hot water

Kyle Busch claimed his first-ever Atlanta Motor Speedway pole in Friday qualifying. Busch actually was fastest at AMS in 2016, but NASCAR disqualified his time. His 184.652 mph lap in Round 3 this year put the No 18 Snickers Toyota on the front row for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, alongside seven-time AMS pole winner Ryan Newman.

Kevin Harvick, who dominated last year’s race, was fastest in Round 2 and starts 3rd. Brad Keselowski, who won this race a year ago, was another fast Ford, but could only muster 5th [More]

Elliott says Earnhardt Jr. played big role in reviving the 9 car

  • 10:00 am Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

22-year-old Chase Elliott is driving the No. 9 car in 2018 and the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a lot to do with it.

Elliott’s arrival full-time in NASCAR came on the wings of Earnhardt Jr., in the form of the 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule in the No. 9 NAPA Chevy for JR Motorsports. One championship and two seasons later, Elliott found himself replacing the retiring Jeff Gordon in the legendary Hendrick Motorsports No. 24, as a teammate to Earnhardt Jr. Now entering his third season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Elliott remains with his same race [More]

2017 Georgia NASCAR drivers review and 2018 preview

  • 11:42 am Thursday, February 1st, 2018 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

The 2018 season was one of almost utter exuberance and certain, sighing heartbreak for the Georgia drivers gang – and several drivers struggling with middle or back marker teams. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each driver in NASCAR’s top series fared and what they look forward to this quickly approaching season.

Chase Elliott:

Wins: 0, Top 5s: 12, Top10s: 21, Poles: 1, Rank: 5, Avg. fin.: 12.0, DNFs: 4, LLFs: 27

That goose egg in the win column should not be of worry; Elliott notched five runner-up finishes (four in the Playoffs), out performed all of his teammates (including seven-time [More]

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