Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:48 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 3:02 pm

Earnhardt Jr.'s odds are good to win Daytona 500

By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are the odds-on favorites to win the Daytona 500 based on and its prognosticators:

Odds to win the Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 -- 10/1

Kevin Harvick #29 -- 10/1

Kyle Busch #18 -- 10/1

Tony Stewart #14 -- 11/1
Carl Edwards #99 -- 12/1

Jeff Gordon #24 -- 12/1

Jimmie Johnson #48 -- 14/1

Kasey Kahne #5 -- 14/1

Brad Keselowski #2 -- 18/1

Denny Hamlin #11 -- 20/1

Kurt Busch #51 -- 22/1

Matt Kenseth #17 -- 22/1

Clint Bowyer #15 -- 22/1

Jamie McMurray #1 -- 22/1

Jeff Burton #31 -- 25/1

A.J. Allmendinger #22 -- 25/1

Greg Biffle #16 -- 25/1

Joey Logano #20 -- 30/1

Paul Menard #27 -- 30/1

Juan Pable Montoya #42 -- 35/1

Marcos Ambrose #9 -- 35/1

Mark Martin #55 -- 35/1

Martin Truex Jr. #56 -- 35/1

Ryan Newman #39 -- 35/1

Trevor Bayne # 21 -- 40/1

David Ragan #34 -- 40/1

David Reutimann #93 -- 50/1

Regan Smith #78 -- 50/1

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #6 -- 50/1

Casey Mears #13 -- 50/1

Aric Amirola #43 -- 60/1

Danica Patrick #10 -- 75/1

Michael Waltrip #40 -- 75/1

Bobby Labonte #47 -- 100/1

Dave Blaney #35 -- 100/1

David Gilliland #38 -- 100/1

Bill Elliott #97 -- 150/1

Tony Raines #26 -- 150/1

David Stremme #30 -- 200/1

Elliott Sadler #33 -- 200/1

J.J. Yeley #49 -- 200/1

Joe Nemechek #87 -- 200/1

Kenny Wallace #09 -- 200/1

Landon Cassill #83 -- 200/1

Michael McDowell #98 -- 200/1

Mike Wallace #37 -- 200/1

Robby Gordon #7-- 200/1

Robert Richardson Jr. #23 -- 200/1

Terry Labonte #32 -- 200/1 

Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:57 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 12:59 pm

Poll Position: Are Gatorade Duels anticlimactic?

Thursday's Gatorade Duels will set the field for Sunday's Daytona 500.(US Presswire)

Has the top 35 owner rule rendered the Gatorade Duels anticlimactic?


The Top 35 rule has impacted qualifying across the entire Sprint Cup Series schedule and basically turned time trials into a placement exercise of simply where drivers start in the field.

By guaranteeing drivers a spot in the lineup, the "do or die" mentality of qualifying for most teams that show up has disappeared. That drama was a major element of the Daytona Gatorade Duel races until a few years ago when the Top 35 ruined the doubleheader.

Before guaranteed owner points came into the picture, the Thursday races before the Daytona 500 were one of the highlights of not only Speedweeks but for some the entire season. Drivers needed to finish inside the first 15 to punch their ticket to the 500 or pack up and head home, a format that set up tremendous excitement and was a fan favorite -- responsible for 100,000 or more packing the Daytona grandstands for the weekday matinee.

Today's 150-milers are pale comparisons to what was one of Daytona's best traditions.


To be completely anticlimactic would mean the Duels carry no significance, which isn't the case at all, but the top 35 owner rule has certainly ruined the simplicity of things.

Oh how I long for the days when the top 14 or 15 drivers from each qualifier made the Daytona 500. Nowadays you almost need a Masters in Calculus to figure out how driver outside the top 35 can make it to Sunday's main event.

Consider that there are in actuality 39 positions locked up -- the top 35 in owner points from a year ago, the three fastest non-top 35 drivers from qualifying and a champions provisional -- heading into Thursday's Duels leaving 10 drivers -- none of whom you'd put much stock in actually winning the Daytona 500 -- vying for the four remaining spots in the field.

And what of the drivers that are locked in? For them, the Duels are a test session as much as anything. The funny thing about the Daytona 500 is that so much effort goes into setting the field for a race where starting position means very little.

That's not so say the races aren't exciting for fans, it is a race at Daytona after all. But the importance and gravity is lacking.

How about awarding points to the winners of each event? Not a huge amount, maybe a 5-point bonus to the winners.

And while I understand what NASCAR is trying to do with the top 35 rule, I'm wondering if it make sense to just start fresh each season. In other words, when it comes to the Daytona 500, nobody is locked in.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:39 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:39 am

Chili Bowl Nationals coming to CBS

Posted By Brian De Los Santos

Good news for fans of the Chili Bowl Nationals -- it will be aired April 14, 2012, on good 'ol CBS.

The event was originally scheduled to air in January on the CBS Sports Network, which is broadcast on DirecTV and Dish Network. However, during the taping of the race in January, a decision was reached to allow the Chili Bowl to be aired nationwide across all formats on CBS.

This will mark the first time the Chili Bowl will be aired on one of the "Big Three" television networks.

The Chili Bowl Nationals are held every year in the first weeks of January in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dates for the 2013 event will be January 8-12.

Click here for more information about the Chili Bowl Nationals.

More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Chili Bowl
Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:30 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 4:40 pm

Mayfield indicted on stolen property charges

By Pete Pistone

WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC, is reporting that suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was indicted today for possession of stolen property, in the aftermath of a Nov. 1 raid on his Catawba, NC home. 

The "Sirius/XM Speedway" program says Catawba County Sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at Mayfield's home last Nov. 1, after receiving a tip that there was stolen property inside the residence. Once inside, deputies discovered approximately 1.5 grams of methamphetamine and a number of items believed to be stolen.

He was charged only with possession of methamphetamine at the time, pending verification that the items were indeed stolen. Sheriff's deputies also confiscated approximately 50 guns.  

Mayfield’s attorney said at the time that his client was unaware of more than $100,000 in stolen property found in an out-building and storage trailers on his property, or the drugs discovered in a safe in his home. Authorities have continued to investigate the case, saying additional charges were likely. Today, Mayfield was indicted on three counts of possession of stolen goods and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses. He remains free on $3,000 bond. 

Mayfield was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR after failing a random drug test in May of 2009, but has steadfastly maintained his innocence, claiming his test results were falsely skewed by his use of Adderall prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder and the over-the-counter allergy medication Claritin D. He has accused NASCAR of altering the results of his drug test and failure to follow proper drug screening protocol.

More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:03 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 6:12 pm

2012 Gatorade Duel starting lineups

Starting lineups for Thursday's Gatorade Duels. Green flag for Duel 1 scheduled for 2:19 p.m. ET; Duel 2 approximately 4 p.m. ET.


Gatorade Duel 1 Lineup
Pos. No. Driver Make
1 99 Carl Edwards Ford
2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
3 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford
4 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford
5 21 Trevor Bayne Ford
6 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet
7 43 Aric Almirola Ford
8 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet
9 34 David Ragan Ford
10 22 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge
11 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge
12 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
13 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet
14 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet
15 30 David Stremme Toyota
16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet
17 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet
18 32 Terry Labonte Ford
19 140 Michael Waltrip Toyota
20 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota
21 98 Michael McDowell Ford
22 83 Landon Cassill Toyota
23 38 David Gilliland Ford
24 37 Mike Wallace Ford
25 7 Robby Gordon Dodge

Gatorade Duel 2 Lineup
Pos. No. Driver Make
1 16 Greg Biffle Ford
2 13 Casey Mears Ford
3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
4 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
5 55 Mark Martin Toyota
6 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
7 17 Matt Kenseth Ford
8 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet
9 20 Joey Logano Toyota
10 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet
11 26 Tony Raines Ford
12 18 Kyle Busch Toyota
13 109 Kenny Wallace Toyota
14 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet
15 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet
16 33 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet
17 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota
18 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet
19 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota
20 97 Bill Elliott Toyota
21 93 David Reutimann Toyota
22 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Toyota
23 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota
24 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota

Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:47 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 6:18 pm

Edwards quickly erasing 2011 memories

By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There doesn't appear to be any lingering atmosphere over Carl Edwards after last year's championship disappointment.

Edwards kicked off his season in the best possible way by winning the Daytona 500 pole on Sunday.

The effort to claim his first pole in "The Great American Race" should immediately erase any doubts about Edwards being able tp pick up where he left off in 2011.

“This is very special," Edwards said giving credit to the Roush Fenway Racing organization.  "It’s not a driving accomplishment, this is a team accomplishment, this pole.  Any one of the drivers that would have gone out at the time I went out and would have been driving that 99 car, the Fastenal Fusion, the would have run the same lap time that I did, so this pole and these qualifying sessions at these restrictor plate tracks shows you what the guys are doing at the shop.  It shows you the engine capabilities and the engineering and the decisions by guys like (interim crew chief) Chip (Bolin) and (crew chief) Bob (Osborne), so this is about the team.  Today, there’s a lot of pride in this for everyone."

While Edwards continues to maintain not losing any sleep over the way his 2011 season ended with teh tiebreaker loss to Tony Stewart for the championship, he does admit the Daytona pole is the perfect way to begin the new campaign.

"It feels really nice," said Edwards.  "This is our second pole in a row, so it feels nice to pick up right where we left off."

But Edwards is not putting any more thought into points or positions or coming up short in his bid for last year's title.

In his mind it's a fresh start and one that's begun on a very imprtant positive note.

"I’ve been telling everybody – it seems like every media question and all anybody says is, ‘How great would it have been to have one more point and how did you deal with that this off-season?’  I think this is nice to come here and show everyone that, hey, it isn’t just talk," he said.  "

"Everybody at Roush Fenway went back and worked hard and kept their heads down and dug, just like Chip said, they’re the best racecars we’ve had in a long time, so I thank Jack Roush for that and I thank Chip and Bob and Robbie Reiser and Doug Yates and everybody who builds these racecars for not letting the disappointment of not winning that championship slow us down, but, instead, giving us real motivation.”  

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:22 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 8:22 pm

Clint Bowyer's car fails qualifying inspection

By Pete Pistone

NASCAR Budweiser Shootout - Practice
(Bowyer's tenure at Michael Waltrip Racing got off on the wrong foot at Daytona)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Clint Bowyer will be forced to the rear of one of Thursday's Gatorade Duel at Daytona qualifying races after his car failed inspection Sunday.

Bowyer's Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota was found to be too low on the front left side during two inspections after qualifying for the Daytona 500. Bowyer's twenty-second fastest speed of the session will be thrown out and he will start last in his qualifying race.

"Really very surprised that we were, I don’t know if we got something stuck in the bleed hole in the shock, but the front just didn’t come back up,” said the team's Director of Competition Scott Mille. “It’s all the same stuff that we ran in practice, and it was coming back up. We’ll go over there and get to the bottom of it and see what happened.”

NASCAR said no further penalties will be levied for the infraction.

Bowyer begins his first season with MWR in 2012 after leaving Richard Childress Racing at the end of last year.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:15 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 4:36 pm

Daytona 500 qualifying provides relief for some

By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Several drivers can enjoy a few days in the Florida sun while other will spend their time worried about prospects for the Daytona 500 after Sunday's qualifying session.

There are, of course, pole-sitter Carl Edwards and second-place qualifier Greg Biffle, the only drivers locked into their starting positions for the 500. But defending Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, David Stremme, Tony Raines and veteran Terry Labonte can also breath a sigh of relief as they punched their ticket to next week's season-opening race.

Bayne's speed of 193.615 mph - the ninth best lap of the day - earned him a chance to try for a second straight win in "The Great American Race."

"This Wood Brothers team worked so hard this off-season to find us some speed and it showed today," said Bayne, who didn't take part in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout because the team didn't want to risk losing a potent race car. "To be able to know today we're in the race is a load off everyone's mind and now we can concentrate on getting our car race ready for next Sunday."

Upstarts Raines and Stremme also used speed to guarantee themselves into the 500, major accomplishments for drivers with two of the smaller teams in the garage area.

"We have like eight full-time crew members," said Stremme of the Inception Motorsports team. "I can't tell you how huge this is for us to get into the 500."

Labonte will use a past champion's provisional to take the green flag for the FasLane Racing organization.

On the other side of the coin are those who will now need to race their way into the biggest event of the year through one of Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150-mile races.

Kenny Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott and Dave Blaney - the Tommy Baldwin Racing driver who lost his Top 35 guaranteed starting spot in the team's "collborative partnership" with Stewart-Haas Racing that locked Danica Patrick into the 500 - are among those that will need good showings on Thursday or their Florida week will come to an end.

Daytona 500 qualifying speeds
Pos Driver No. Make Qual. Speed (mph)
1 Carl Edwards 99 Ford 194.738
2 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 194.087
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 Chevrolet 194.028
4 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford 193.999
5 Casey Mears 13 Ford 193.844
6 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet 193.803
7 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 6 Ford 193.665
8 Martin Truex Jr. 56 Toyota 193.665
9 Trevor Bayne 21 Ford 193.615
10 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet 193.607
11 Mark Martin 55 Toyota 193.503
12 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet 193.449
13 Aric Almirola 43 Ford 193.382
14 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet 193.374
15 David Ragan 34 Ford 193.249
16 Matt Kenseth 17 Ford 193.245
17 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet 193.224
18 A.J. Allmendinger 22 Dodge 193.121
19 Brad Keselowski 2 Dodge 192.992
20 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet 192.914
21 Joey Logano 20 Toyota 192.868
22 *Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 192.843
23 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet 192.777
24 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet 192.6
25 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet 192.583
26 Tony Raines 26 Ford 192.534
27 David Stremme 30 Toyota 191.963
28 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota 191.873
29 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet 191.84
30 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet 191.738
31 Kenny Wallace 9 Toyota 191.567
32 Terry Labonte 32 Ford 191.522
33 Dave Blaney 36 Chevrolet 191.506
34 Kurt Busch 51 Chevrolet 191.363
35 Elliott Sadler 33 Chevrolet 191.27
36 Michael Waltrip 40 Toyota 191.18
37 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota 191.16
38 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota 191.127
39 Regan Smith 78 Chevrolet 191.063
40 Michael McDowell 98 Ford 190.99
41 Landon Cassill 83 Toyota 190.605
42 David Gilliland 38 Ford 190.046
43 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota 190.022
44 Bill Elliott 97 Toyota 189.95
45 Mike Wallace 37 Ford 189.853
46 David Reutimann 93 Toyota 189.235
47 Robert Richardson Jr. 23 Toyota 188.438
48 Robby Gordon 7 Dodge 188.229
49 J.J. Yeley 49 Toyota 187.954

Note: * - Clint Bowyer's car failed post-qualifying inspection and his speed will be disallowed.

More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or