Doug "Fireball" Turnbull's Race Blog 

Who replaces Dale Jr. as both the driver of the 88 and the face of NASCAR?

  • 2:15 pm Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Anyone interested in the topic of NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt Jr. heard the news about 9 a.m. today – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring at the end of this season. This announcement comes on the heels of his missing the final 18 races of last season with debilitating concussion-like symptoms and in annual succession of the retirements of Jeff Gordon (before 2016) and Tony Stewart (2017) – arguably NASCAR’s two most popular drivers behind Earnhardt Jr. The reasons Earnhardt Jr. has to retire – though he will articulate them later today – are obvious: after multiple concussions, he wants [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]

Scanner Chatter: Garrett Smithley at home with both his team and at AMS

  • 4:10 pm Friday, March 3rd, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

HAMPTON, Ga

Garrett Smithley has come from obscurity to security with JD Motorsports. He has begun his second year in the No. 0 Chevy, having run all but the season-opening Daytona race last season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Smithley’s strong 9th-place run last week in a wounded car gave the team a good boost to this weekend, where the Peachtree City native tackles his home track Atlanta Motor Speedway. He finished 24th in his underfunded ride a year ago, but says the new low-downforce package for the NXS cars is drastic.

“It’s like learning how to drive all over again,” he says [More]

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]

Scanner Chatter: Kevin Harvick on the big changes for his team and the sport in 2017

  • 10:09 am Friday, January 27th, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champ Kevin Harvick talks to WSB about Stewart-Haas Racing’s big switch from Chevy to Ford. Harvick highlights the challenges in the team building its own chassis  and the manpower in switching the cars’ bodies over.

Harvick also talks about NASCAR’s new segmented race format and how he thrives when dealing with change. He also shares who he’s rooting for in the Super Bowl – it may not be who you think.

Listen now.

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]

Atlanta Motor Speedway announces repave of 20-year-old surface

  • 1:22 pm Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 by Doug "Fireball" Turnbull

Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announce that following the March 5th Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, they will repave the 1.5-mile track surface.

Drivers and fans alike have applauded the multi-groove racing the Hampton, Georgia track has produced over the years, but two decades of racing and weather have aged the surface to the point of needing new pavement. Officials have said for several years that this was coming – the question has always been when.

AMS repaved and realigned the racetrack in 1997, between the March and November races, switching the front and back straightaways and [More]