(NASCAR)–Columbia NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, the right front corner of his car held together by numerous strips of tape, has rallied from a lap down at the halfway point of the Daytona 500 to finish fifth. Edwards narrowly escaped major damage when pole sitter Chase Elliot spun in front of him on the 20th lap but became a casualty several laps later when two other cars crashed in front of him and Trevor Bayne rear-ended his car, forcing the right front into the outside wall. Edwards’ crew restored the critical aerodynamics of the car’s right front and right rear fenders with layers of black tape and got him back on the track in 39th position, a lap behind the leaders, and continued to work on the fender in later pit stops.
Edwards was the first car a lap behind when another wreck brought out another caution flag. NASCAR rules allow the first car a lap down to get back on the lead lap and Edwards took advantage of the opportunity, quickly moving through the draft to eighth and then to fifth in the final laps when the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers took control of the race.
Teammate Matt Kenseth led the latter stages, closely pursued by Martin Truex Jr., who drives for the Gibbs-affiliated Furniture Row team, and defending NASCAR champion Kyle Busch. With half a lap to go, however, another Gibbs car driven by Denny Hamlin got a push from Kevin Harvick to get past Kenseth and edge Truex by inches. Harvick finished just ahead of Edwards as Gibbs or Gibbs-affiliated cars finines 1,2,3, and 5. Kenseth, who almost hit the wall when Hamlin got past him, was shuffled back to 14th.
Joplin’s Jamie McMurray ran in the top ten for a good part of the race but faded to 17th at the end. Sometime-Missourian Clint Bowyer was never a factor in the race and finished 33rd in the 40-car field.
NASCAR heads to the high-speed oval at Atlanta next weekend.
(photo credit: MotorSports)
(IndyCar)—IndyCar teams are preparing for their series opener March 13 on the street course of St. Petersburg, Florida while the series builds toward the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. The first 500 was run in 1911, but no races were run in 1918, 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945 because of wars.
The race also will mark the fiftieth anniversary of racing at the Speedway by Roger Penske, whose cars have win 16 of the 500s, including last year’s event when Juan Pablo Montoya led the field. Part of the dual celebration at the speedway will include an exhibit in the Speedway museum of 22 Penske cars that have won the 500 as well as stock cars, Formula One cars, and sports cars backed by Penske.
(Formula One)—Formula One opens its season in Australia on March 19 with its first American team in years. Gene Haas, the co-owner of NASCAR’s Stewart-Haas racing team expects his cars to run at the back of the field for some time while the team develops its cars. The Haas cars will be powered by Ferrari engines this year.