One year removed from a black-flag penalty that cost him a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win here, Johnny Sauter belatedly pulled into Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. Sauter passed ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton on Lap 146 of 167 and rolled to victory by a margin of 2.101 seconds in the 16th annual WinStar World Casino 400K. Sauter, who hadn't led a race since the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in February, decisively snapped a string of three consecutive finishes of 24th or worse. Sauter's shot at the win here last year went awry when he was black-flagged for moving out his lane before reaching the start/finish line on a late-race restart opposite Ron Hornaday Jr. While Hornaday celebrated his third career victory at TMS, Sauter retreated to his trailer after placing 22nd. "There's no sweeter vindication," said Sauter, driver of the No. 13 Toyota Tundra co-owned by Mike Curb, and Duke and Rhonda Thorson. "Last year was really tough to swallow coming down to a late-race restart, but I broke the rules. The season we've had this year has been bad luck after bad luck. I couldn't be prouder of (crew chief) Joe Shear and the guys at ThorSport. The driver's only a small part of the equation. That truck could pretty much drive itself."
Sauter credited Shear's setup with allowing him to lead on two occasions for 41 laps, 14 fewer than championship leader Justin Lofton. "Setups -- I've come here and been humbled when I've left, it was so bad," said Sauter, a 34-year-old native of Necedah, Wis., with Texas ties. "Grandma lives 20 miles down the road up there in Dallas, and I get to go there and eat chicken n' dumplings once a year. This track really puts an emphasis on handling. We just hit the setup right. Joe did a great job; right off the truck we were at the top of the board. We passed a million trucks, it seemed like tonight." --/-- Sauter scored his fifth career victory in his 93rd start at an average speed of 123.925 mph, while Crafton posted his 12th top-10 finish in 23 races at TMS. Crafton's third top-10 finish of 2012 marked the second 1-2 result for ThorSport, based in Sandusky, Ohio. "Anytime you can finish 1-2 it shows the equipment and the people we've got, how hard they work," said Shear, who oversaw the team's offseason switch from Chevrolet Silverado sheet metal to the Tundra. "We come here with Toyota and their support and I'm proud of all the guys."
Sauter's first victory of 2012 was his second top-10 of the season and sixth top-10 result on TMS' 1.5-mile
quad-oval. "Every win is special, and I've been fortunate to win some very cool races in the truck series," said Sauter, the 2009 Rookie of the Year. "This one is going to rank right up there, with the start to this season. Last year was tough. That definitely by far was the toughest loss. It's hard not to think about that because everybody's talking about it." --/-- With the exception of a fourth-place finish at Rockingham Speedway in mid-April, Sauter hadn't placed higher than 24th (three times) in the previous six races. "I'm competitive to a fault," said Sauter, who finished second to Austin Dillon in the truck series championship last year. "I get a little bit too wound-up. The way this season's gone has been very trying. I'm trying to keep everything in perspective. I got wound up with about 35 laps to go and Joe said to shut up -- and I never said another word."
Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Toyota, held off Joey Coulter, who posted his third top-10 finish in as many starts at TMS in his No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevy. Coulter was followed by Brendan Gaughan, a four-time winner at TMS, and Nelson Piquet Jr. Ty Dillon, Austin's younger brother, was the highest finishing rookie (seventh) despite late-race contact that sent Texas resident James Buescher into the Turn 1 wall while they were battling side-by-side for the lead on Lap 138. That incident brought out the race's seventh caution and allowed Crafton to inherit the lead, with Sauter in fourth. Lofton worked his way back to a ninth-place finish after getting caught in the pits when Bryan Silas' spin on the backstretch brought out the night's sixth caution on Lap 199. Lofton, who fell from the lead to 20th during that sequence, increased his lead over Timothy Peters to five points heading into the next event at Kentucky Speedway on June 28. (NASCAR Wire Service)
A Shorter, Faster Race At Pocono
It still measures 2.5 miles and has the same demanding triangular layout, but it's a decidedly different Pocono Raceway that hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend. Thanks to the track's first full repaving project since 1995, plenty of variables are likely to emerge in Sunday's Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR (1 p.m. ET, TNT). Another twist: the race will be the Eastern Pennsylvania track's first at a 400-mile distance after 37 years of 500-milers. Sprint Cup teams began two days of testing Wednesday and the new asphalt quickly produced unofficial speeds that eclipsed the track record. While the extended schedule will allow drivers to get familiar with the new surface, the additional track time will place a premium on crew chiefs' ability to adapt to Pocono's changing characteristics. "With an essentially new race track and new surface, there's a huge opportunity for someone to figure something out and dominate," said Carl Edwards, a two-time Pocono winner who ranks 12th in the standings at the halfway point of the regular season. "We want to be that guy. We don't want to go out there and have some preconceived notion or something. So we're going into it with real open minds and hoping that we can master that surface and take advantage of the unknown there."
One certainty is that the race will be 100 miles shorter than in years past. How it might affect strategy is another matter. "To me, the shorter the race, the more intense it is," said Ryan Newman, whose only Pocono win came in 2003. ". . . I think there's going to be some rewards in us having some shorter races and having some longer races -- it all depends on the venue, in my opinion. A place like Pocono with the long straightaways, it's nice for it to be a little bit shorter. I think it's a good change." One thing that hasn't changed in 11 races is the grasp on the series points lead by Greg Biffle, whose lone Pocono victory came in 2010. Biffle's consistency, plus a convincing win at Texas in April, have lifted him to a one-point edge over Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. The jockeying for a top-10 ranking to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs has also significantly tightened; just 17 points separate eighth-place Tony Stewart from 12th-place Edwards along the cut-off line. (NASCAR Wire Service)
Hall of Famer Cotton Owens Dies
Everett “Cotton” Owens, a 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee, passed away in his Spartanburg, S.C., home this morning, June 7, 2012, at the age of 88. Born May 21, 1924 in Union, S.C., Owens combined three unique skill sets – that of driver, mechanic and owner – and turned them into a NASCAR Hall of Fame career. Owens won nine times as a driver in NASCAR’s premier series competition including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course which marked Pontiac’s first NASCAR victory. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty.
But as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR’s early years. His eye for talent was among the best. He hired NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson to drive in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Famer, David Pearson. Twenty-seven of Pearson’s 105 NASCAR premier series victories were recorded in Owens’ car. The pair teamed to win the 1966 championship. In 1998 Owens was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers. He was elected to the 2013 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2012, and will be inducted on Feb. 8, 2013. Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family at a later date.
Statement from the family of Cotton Owens: "The family would like to express gratitude for the thoughts and prayers of precious friends and fans. While Cotton was a racing legend with an incredible racing "family" we mourn the irreplaceable great granddad, granddad, father uncle, brother-in-law and friend we have all lost. The family respectfully requests privacy at this difficult time."
Statement from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France: "NASCAR has lost one of its true pioneers, with the passing of Cotton Owens. On behalf of the France Family and everyone at NASCAR, I offer heartfelt condolences to Cotton's family and friends. "This is a sad day for the NASCAR industry, but we are all consoled by the fact that Cotton was voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame before his death. Today we have lost a portion of our past. But people like Cotton Owens are the reason our sport thrives today -- and can look forward to a promising future."
Statement from Winston Kelley, executive director, NASCAR Hall of Fame: “We lost one of NASCAR’s greats today. Our hearts go out to Cotton’s family, and we hope they find strength in the memories of his remarkable life and career. That career was topped off just a few weeks ago with his selection for the Class of 2013. In speaking to his grandson, Brandon Davis, he reiterated how much being an Inductee meant to Cotton and how much it lifted his spirit. “I vividly remember when I first started following NASCAR in the early to mid-60s watching his white and red No. 6 Dodge run up front with David Pearson and later Buddy Baker. I was just a child, but I still remember his car being a contender all the time. It was one of the ones to beat. In more recent years I remember how supportive he was of our initiatives. NASCAR recognized his knowledge and insights by inviting him to be an original member of our Voting Panel. You could always count on Cotton to be here for Voting Day and other hall events. He will be dearly missed.”
Statement from Buz McKim, historian NASCAR Hall of Fame: “Cotton Owens was one of the first heroes of NASCAR. He was exciting to watch, as he thrilled early-day fans with his patented broadsliding on dirt tracks. Not only a gifted driver, he was a fine mechanic and was a championship car owner. He also mentored many drivers, among them David Pearson. Another chapter of history closes today as the racing world has lost a great friend and pioneer, Everett “Cotton” Owens.”
Camping World Truck Series Qualifying Rained Out
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying for the WinStar World Casino 400 has been cancelled today due to continued rain showers at Texas Motor Speedway. The starting field for Friday night's WinStar World Casino 400 will be based off owner points, with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Justin Lofton starting on the pole and Timothy Peters on the outside. Plano, Texas native James Buescher will start fourth in the 35-truck field.
Kyle Busch Wins "Prelude to the Dream"
After knocking on the door to victory lane countless times in his five previous runs in the Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Kyle Busch finally broke through Wednesday night to score his first win in the all-star dirt Late Model race benefiting Feed The Children. “This is cool,” said Busch, who outlasted strong challenges from Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer before finishing 2.283 seconds over runner-up Tony Stewart. “This is what it’s all about when you go dirt racing. It’s a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about (team owner) Scott Bloomquist and all these guys. They give me great racecars every time we come here and I’ve torn them up a few times, including tonight (in qualifying). We were able to come back through, get a good heat race, get a good starting spot for the main event and run up front there with the leaders all night.”
Busch started the 40-lap feature event in second place and dueled with Kahne and Bowyer, who together led the first 24 laps (Kahne 1-12; Bowyer 13-21; Kahne 22-24) before Busch took over the lead on lap 25 when Kahne crashed into Bobby Labonte. Busch then checked out, beating three-time Prelude winner Stewart to nab his first career victory at Eldora. “When Kahne had his mishap, we inherited the lead and just were able to set sail from there,” Busch said. “I felt like Kahne had a fast car tonight. He was probably the class of the field. Bowyer was really hustling hard and making it work through traffic and got by him. Then we caught the lapped cars and everybody just slowed down, the pace slowed up and everybody got loose trying to slide each other. Crazy, freak deal there with Kahne sliding (into the No. 44 car of Labonte) in (turn) three. I don’t know if he didn’t see him, or what. They called the caution a little late and I bet he didn’t even have time to react. From there, we had 16 laps to go and it felt like the longest 16 laps of my career here at Eldora.”
Finishing third was Austin Dillon in just his second Prelude start. Four-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz finished fourth in his dirt Late Model debut. Stewart’s NASCAR teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman, finished fifth. Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedregon, Dave Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier completed the top-10, all of whom will get a tractor-trailer filled with food from Feed The Children delivered to their hometown or city of choice. Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway, took great pride in seeing the sixth different winner take the checkered flag in the charity race he created back in 2005. “We had another first-time winner tonight. That’s what the fun part is,” said Stewart, the three-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who like the rest of his Sprint Cup counterparts had to commute between a test at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and the Prelude To The Dream at Eldora. “There’s a lot of stuff going on. Five days in a row at Pocono, and for these guys to leave practice at the end of the day today, fly here and race, and then fly back to Pocono tonight and be back in cars at Pocono at nine in the morning, I think that speaks volumes to what this event is all about and what it means for these guys to be here. I know as a promoter and a fellow driver in the Cup series, I’m honored they were that committed to doing this with us tonight to benefit such a good cause as Feed The Children. Really, ‘honored’ is the best word I can think of to describe it. It’s truly an honor with the week we’ve got this week at Eldora and Pocono.”
High Speeds Highlight Test Session At Repaved Pocono
A new surface was on full display today at Pocono Raceway, where 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars were on track during a test session in preparation for Sunday’s Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR. Today’s test was the first full-field opportunity for the series at Pocono; seven drivers took part in a Goodyear tire test in April. A distinct venue nestled in the Pocono Mountains – three different turns and three straightaways at varying distances around its 2.5 miles – received a new coat of asphalt for the first time since 1995 during a paving project that began last September and ended this spring. “We’re in for a really good race come Sunday,” said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director. “Goodyear’s done an excellent job at matching the tire to the new surface. Basically all the way up and down through the garage we’ve heard zero complaints which is a good feeling. It will only continue to get better throughout the weekend, because more of the racing surface gets rubbered in, grooves get wider and offer the ability to the competitors to turn into some multiple lane racing, especially through corners where it counts come Sunday. So we’re pleased.”
Additionally, for the first time in the track’s history, the race is scheduled for 400 miles, down from 500. That also will be the case for the second race at Pocono in August. “They did a great job; (the) track was really nice and smooth (with) good grip,” said four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, a five-time winner at Pocono. “We have had some repaves where it is a handful and pretty slick. That was not the case at all today.” --/-- “You never know what to expect when a race track gets paved,” said Jeff Burton. “This pavement is unbelievably just nice, smooth. The quality of racing is going to be improved a great deal. [But] it’s still Pocono. It still has the same characteristics and the personality of Pocono, but just has more grip” --/-- Mark Martin was the fastest in today’s session with a speed of 175.380 mph, which bettered the top practice speed from last August’s race at Pocono – 170.026 mph by Ryan Newman. In all, 33 drivers eclipsed Newman’s 2011 number. Paul Menard put down 61 laps, most among all drivers. A brief rain shower shortened the originally-scheduled four-hour session by 35 minutes.
This weekend also marks the launch of the one-of-a-kind NASCAR hashtag product on Twitter throughout the race weekend in Pocono. Media and fans can log onto NASCAR.COM and visit www.Twitter.com/#NASCAR, where the brand new, complementary live event experience will provide users with a unique behind-the-scenes look at a race weekend. This new product, which will live on the Twitter platform, will showcase the most activity on Sunday for the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR. Twitter.com/#NASCAR will give fans a viewing experience supplemented with strong interplay between Twitter and TNT, and will feature the “best-of-the-best” tweets from industry stakeholders including drivers, pit crew members, NASCAR executives and even fans. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono concludes Thursday, June 7 with two sessions from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m. Coverage of Sunday’s Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR begins at noon eastern time on TNT. This is the first of six consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race broadcasts during the “NASCAR on TNT Summer Series.”(NASCAR PR)
David Reutimann Will Drive No. 51 Car At Pocono - In For Kurt Busch
David Reutimann will replace suspended driver Kurt Busch in the Phoenix Racing No. 51 Sprint Cup car this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Reutimann typically drives the No. 10 car for Tommy Baldwin Racing when Danica Patrick is not driving the No. 10 in Cup events. In other races when Patrick is entered, he has driven for BK Racing. Replacing Reutimann in the No. 10 car this weekend will be Dave Blaney, who normally drives the No. 36 car for TBR. Driving the No. 36 will be Tony Raines. Phoenix Racing owner James Finch needed a driver as NASCAR suspended Busch for his comments to Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass following the Nationwide race last Saturday in Dover. ...READ MORE AT...(sportingnews.com)
NASCAR Suspends Kurt Busch - Extends Probation
NASCAR has suspended driver Kurt Busch until June 13 of this year and extended his NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race June 2 at Dover International Speedway. Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; violation of probation; verbal abuse to a media member) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Kurt Busch had previously been placed on NASCAR probation May 15 for his actions during the May 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway. That probation was originally scheduled to end July 25 but has now been extended through the end of this year.
Below is a statement from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch regarding his one-week suspension from all NASCAR-sanctioned events and the extension of his probation until Dec. 31.
“I accept NASCAR’s decision. I put them in a box, they had to take action and it’s my fault for putting them in this position. I apologize for the comments I made to Bob Pockrass.”
Jimmie Johnson Cruises To Dover Victory
The Hendrick Motorsports juggernaut is back -- with a vengeance. Driving away from Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth after a restart with 31 laps left in Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson made short work of his Sprint Cup rivals. Johnson, who led 289 of the 400 laps, picked up his second victory of the season and his second victory in the past three points races. He also won the Sprint All-Star Race on May 19. Hendrick drivers now have won four consecutive races, including the All-Star event. The victory was the 57th of Johnson's career, eighth most all-time. His seventh win at Dover tied Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most at the high-banked, 1-mile concrete track. Harvick finished second, 2.550 seconds behind Johnson. Kenseth ran third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer. Greg Biffle retained his series lead by one point over teammate Kenseth with an 11th-place finish.
Johnson said afterward that leading the most laps doesn't guarantee success, but on Sunday, he need not have worried. "When you lead the most laps, sometimes at the end -- the way the cautions fall -- it can backfire on the dominant car," said Johnson, who wore a multi-colored wig matching the "Madagascar 3" paint scheme on his No. 48 Chevrolet at his post-race press conference. The way the cautions fell [Sunday], it allowed us to really flex our muscle and bring home the win. I'm proud of the effort. It was a brand new race car we brought to the track. We pulled it off the truck, and it was awesome all weekend long." --/-- Harvick recovered from a mistake on pit road to claim the runner-up spot. The No. 29 Chevrolet driver overshot his pit stall under caution on Lap 227 and had to be pushed into the box by his crew. The miscue dropped Harvick from third to 18th for a restart on Lap 232. "The car was good enough to be able to drive back through the pack, and for whatever reason, we were able to adjust our car well [Sunday] when we needed to and we were able to keep up with the race track and keep our car better through the day," Harvick said. "And I think that was a big key to getting through the traffic and putting ourselves back in position to at least have a chance."
Though Johnson won handily, his car might not have been the fastest. The No. 24 of teammate Jeff Gordon was at least its equal, but Gordon had to pit on Lap 250 because of a loose wheel. Gordon returned to pit road for his final stop on Lap 325 and was in position to challenge for the win until an untimely debris caution on Lap 339 temporarily trapped him a lap down and mired him deep in the field after he regained the lost lap on a wave-around. Gordon finished 13th. Those who have decried the recent lack of caution flags in Sprint Cup races got more than their fill on Lap 9, when contact between Tony Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet and Landon Cassill's No. 83 Toyota triggered a 12-car pileup off Turn 2. Regan Smith ducked to the inside and tried to power past Stewart but couldn't clear him. Nine other cars stacked up behind Cassill, Stewart and Smith, blocking the track and necessitating a stoppage of 19 minutes, 54 seconds while track workers cleaned up the mess. Smith blamed himself for the wreck, but Stewart was magnanimous in relieving the No. 78 Chevrolet driver of responsibility. "I got into the back of the No. 14 and started the whole thing," Smith said. "I'll take full blame for that. Somehow they got checked up in front of me. I just didn't have time to get slowed up with it. I hate that there are so many wrecked race cars here. It's not fun for anybody."
Stewart's take on the accident was quite different. "[Cassill] was trying to get back down to the bottom, and we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Stewart said. "It wasn't Regan's fault. He was right behind us, and he didn't have anywhere to go either. Just not a real good deal at the beginning of the race like this." --/-- Stewart returned to the track on Lap 74 and finished 25th, one position better than that of Carl Edwards, who blew a tire and slammed into the Turn 2 wall on Lap 164. Down 80 laps when he returned to the track after repairs, Edwards dropped from 10th to 12th in the standings.
Notes: Mark Martin finished 14th, marking the 30th straight Cup event in which the pole-sitter has failed to win. ... Johnson's victory broke a string of eight straight different Cup winners this season. ... Earnhardt gained one position, moving to third in the standings. He trails Biffle by 10 points. ... The engine in Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota expired after 202 laps. He finished 29th. (NASCAR Wire Service)
Joey Logano Denies Ryan Truex His First Win
Joey Logano smashed the glass slipper Saturday at Dover International Speedway. Charging forward from the seventh position after a restart on Lap 158 of 200, Logano overtook pole-sitter Ryan Truex for the lead on Lap 195 to win the 5-Hour Energy 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, leading a 1-2-3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing. In winning his fourth Nationwide race in 10 starts this season and the 13th of his career, Logano finished 1.526 seconds ahead of Truex, who was 11 days removed from an emergency appendectomy. When Logano came to the pits on Lap 152 after spinning Tim Bainey Jr. to cause the sixth and final caution on Lap 151 (an incident Logano attributed to a rookie not giving the leader enough room), Truex inherited the lead and appeared headed for a fairy tale finish until Logano caught him with five laps left. Brian Scott ran third, followed by Kurt Busch and Justin Allgaier.
Logano led 154 laps in claiming his third victory in his last four Nationwide starts. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota said his current success was due to improvements made during the offseason. "Last year we struggled a little bit, and we were able to really diagnose some of the things we could do better as a team," Logano said. "We also did a great job making our cars better -- better aero, better motors, all that stuff adds up. We're coming to the racetrack with a better package and are able to make small adjustments to tune it in better, and that all transfers to the race." --/--
Logano trailed Truex by more than two seconds with 12 laps left, but Truex was slowed by two lapped cars on Lap 195, enabling Logano to close quickly and make the pass. "We were pretty free that last run, and Joey was catching us on new tires," Truex said. "I don't think he would have caught me in five laps, but I just caught traffic at the wrong time. For some reason, those guys were racing each other 20 laps down in front of me, and I had nowhere to go, and that was the end of it." --/-- The surgery was not an issue for Truex at all. "From the second I got in the race car, I didn't even remember that I had surgery," Truex said. "That was no issue. That was the last thing that would come to my mind as I was racing."
The race was not yet 27 laps old when the championship battle turned upside down. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., running second to Logano at the time, lost control of his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford off Turn 2 and slammed nose-first into the inside wall on the backstretch. "I just lost it," Stenhouse said. "I wasn't up on the wheel and just kind of riding around until that competition caution (scheduled for Lap 40) and just got behind on the steering. "It was driver error, totally my fault." For the second straight week, Stenhouse took a major hit in the standings. A broken drive shaft May 26 at Charlotte cost him most of his championship lead. With Saturday's trouble -- even though he returned to the track on lap 94 -- Stenhouse finished 32nd and fell from first to second, 12 points behind Elliott Sadler (seventh Saturday) and two ahead of third-place Austin Dillon (sixth Saturday).
After the competition caution, which ran from Laps 42-45, the race settled into a long green-flag run, with Logano blitzing the field. After a cycle of green-flag stops that ended on Lap 123, there were seven cars left on the lead lap, and Logano had been out front for 120 of the 123 circuits. But when Timmy Hill spun in close-quarters racing in front of Sam Hornish Jr. on Lap 124, Sadler got a free pass back to the lead lap as the highest scored lapped car. Two laps after the subsequent restart, Hornish's Dodge broke loose under Danica Patrick's Chevrolet. Patrick clobbered the outside wall in a wreck that also collected Brad Sweet. Patrick took her car to the garage and was credited with a 30th-place finish. (NASCAR Wire Service)