Doug "Fireball" Turnbull's Race Blog 

So many storylines cap the 2017 NASCAR season

  • 8:53 pm Monday, November 20th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

November 19, 2017 is the culmination of a year of domination, penalties, sentimentality, pessimism, optimism, the past, and the future. The nine month NASCAR grind exhaled fireworks, champagne, and confetti this Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Martin Truex Jr.’s championship coronation is compelling enough, after a dominating season with Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. And Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s exit from NASCAR as a driver is a perfect story to dominate the human interest thirst outside of the championship. But several other stories make processing NASCAR’s final weekend more complicated.

Matt Kenseth announced two weeks ago his intent to step away [More]

Blaney’s win another step in the rebirth of driver personality and changing of the guard

  • 9:46 am Monday, June 12th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Ryan Blaney’s masterful wresting of the trophy in Sunday’s Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway Sunday is arguably the most popular moment of the 2017 NASCAR season. Blaney joins Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Talladega and Austin Dillon at Charlotte to get his first-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in the last five weeks. Blaney’s famous No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford drew raucous cheering and a windfall of congratulations from both the at-track crowd and the millions watching from afar. And while Stenhouse Jr.’s and Dillon’s victories were both popular and long coming, Blaney’s had a different feel.

Stenhouse Jr.’s win [More]

Halfway to the playoffs – a look at the standings

  • 12:41 pm Monday, June 5th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Just. Like. That. February has become June and the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is over a third of the way done. The summer stretch is underway, so the sample size of racing is big enough to show trends. Which drivers and teams are really that good and which are in real trouble? Laser-focusing on each race can distract one from these trends, so we are taking a look.

Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson are in a class of their own – Truex Jr. and Larson should each have more wins, but their teams are for real this [More]

Race Capsule: Newman strategizes to victory at Phoenix, win slips away from Busch

  • 9:10 am Monday, March 20th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Ryan Newman was not anybody’s pre-race pick entering the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway. In fact, Newman wasn’t in the mix for the lead any of the race, until crew chief Luke Lambert’s call not to pit on the final stop gave the No. 31 car the lead with six laps to go. Newman held back the thundering herd and scored his 18th-career win, his first win in 129 races, and RCR’s first since 2013.

Flag to flag: Joey Logano (finished 31st), co-subject of the fight talk all week, started on the pole and [More]

Race Capsule: Harvick dominates Atlanta, Keselowski wins, many speed

  • 10:15 am Monday, March 6th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

As we saw at Daytona last week, leading the last lap is the one that really counts. Brad Keselowski overcame unscheduled pit stops for a loose wheel and a flat tire to stay in contention, then take the lead after race dominator Kevin Harvick sped on pit road. His 22nd-career win is his first at Atlanta Motor Speedway and he almost won the Xfinity Series race the day before. Here is how the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, a hard fought race on AMS’ 20-year-old pavement, played for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Flag to flag: This will be [More]

Saturday AMS notebook: Busch and Bell victorious in doubleheader

  • 10:45 pm Saturday, March 4th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Kyle Busch wins, car sins in Xfinity race 

After Cup drivers Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick won the first two stages of the Rinnai 250, Kyle Busch won the race on pit road after the final stops and easily won this race for the second year in a row. His No. 18 Toyota struggled with rear grip most of the race, but crew chief Scott Graves, working with Busch for the first time, made a final adjustment that kept Busch out front.

But the NOS Toyota failed post-race inspection, as NASCAR said the front right and left heights were too low. They [More]

Elliott shaking off Daytona, helping kids in Atlanta

  • 10:24 pm Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Chase Elliott unveils his new foundation at Children’s Egleston and talks about Atlanta Motor Speedway and his loss in the Daytona 500.

Race Capsule: Busch finally wins The Great American Race, as it slips away for several others

  • 10:04 pm Sunday, February 26th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Two years ago, Kurt Busch’s suspension from NASCAR kept him out of the Daytona 500. Now, newly married and back in a Ford, his success comes back full-circle. Busch’s 29th-career win is his most important. The only lap he led was the one that mattered. Here is how he and the Tony Gibson-led No. 41 team survived a wild race with cars sputtering to the finish line to win the 59th Great American Race.

Flag-to-flag: NASCAR’s debut of its new triple-stage, mid-race points-paying format was inauspicious at first. After major wreck fests in both the Camping World Truck Series and [More]

Elliott’s emergence and more to expect in the 2017 Daytona 500

  • 9:47 am Friday, February 24th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

NASCAR’s Great American Race will commence for the 59th time Sunday. As is the case every year, 40 teams roll into the start of the season with unchecked hope for not just the Daytona 500, but the entire season. Most of them think they have at least a chance to make the playoffs and win at least one race. Most will not. And Sunday’s 500 will not give a true look necessarily at who the season-long contenders are.

Restrictor plate racing bunches the entire pack and gives most entries in the field a chance to draft to the front. Those [More]

2016 Georgia drivers review and 2017 preview

  • 9:24 am Friday, January 13th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Georgia’s NASCAR drivers corps had mixed 2016 results. Three made the Chase (one in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and two in the Xfinity Series) and they won one race. But they also spent plenty of races toiling in underfunded rides and in the infield care centers of various tracks. We digest these results and look ahead to what could be a promising 2017 for Peach State pilots in NASCAR’s top three series.

Chase Elliott: The now-21-year-old Elliott will be the far and above flag bearer for the Georgia gang for years to come, as long as he keeps up [More]