The last ride An era of Indy 500 history
closed with the passing of Joe Kennelly,
the last survivor of the riding mechanic
era, at age 97. Kennelly last rode in the
1936 race, with Johnny Seymour (LEFT).
You had to be good and lucky to win at Chicagoland, and Tony Stewart was both.
LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED
Tony Stewart started the Chase with his first win of the
year, as the title favorites rolled fuel economy snake-eyes
The Chase for the Sprint Cup got under way late,
thanks to a Sunday rainout at Chicagoland, but that
suited Tony Stewart just fine as he scored his first Cup
win of the season.
“I had a migraine all day [Sunday], so I am kind of glad we
didn’t race,” said Stewart. “It’s nice to finally get one of these this
year and I guess if you have to wait to get the first one, it’s all
right to pick it here.”
Fuel economy dictated the pace of the field up front, some
running slower than others in an effort to save enough to get to
the end. Roush Fenway’s Matt Kenseth, who had dominated
much of the race, and reigning champion Jimmie Johnson,
former Chase leader Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman
all ran out of fuel at the end, putting early dents in their Chase
hopes. A disappointed Kenseth suggested
it was time NASCAR acted to put an end
to such economy runs.
Jr. gets five more years at
Hendrick, despite slump
Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted his
performance at Hendrick Motorsports
so far has not been good enough, but
said he hopes to fulfill his potential with
the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup squad
after committing to it until 2017.
Lesley Ann Miller/LAT
NASCAR’s perennial most popular
driver is in his fourth year with
Hendrick, during which his team has
seen a number of changes, including
three crew chiefs. Despite making the
Chase this year, the 36-year-old hasn’t
won since 2008 and says he is not
content with his performance.
“I would give me barely a passing
grade at this time,” Earnhardt
conceded. “I feel like I’ve been given
some really good opportunities and just
haven’t been able to capitalize on it.
“I’d like to see how we can do over
the next 12 to 18 months, what kind of
growth me and Steve [Letarte, crew
chief] have. I really like working with him
and I’m satisfied with the performance
that he has and how he works and goes
about running his race team. I’m
satisfied with the way his cars drive.”
Managed competition gets another look