For once, NASCAR let them have at it, boys.
The sanctioning body announced Tuesday there would be no penalty assessed to Tony Stewart for hitting Matt Kenseth’s car with his helmet following their wreck Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
It was the right decision as the single act by Stewart had every racing columnist in the country proclaiming Bristol was back. In addition, the IRWIN Tools Night Race was replayed as one of the lead stories on ESPN’s SportsCenter throughout Sunday.
If NASCAR would have penalized Stewart, then Bruton Smith should have paid the fine.
Early Monday, there was already a press release by the Atlanta Motor Speedway promoting a Tony Stewart vs. Matt Kenseth ticket special for the AdvoCare 500.
Stewart fans who purchase three Lower Champions Grandstand tickets for Sunday’s race will receive their fourth ticket for only $14 while Kenseth followers can receive their fourth ticket for only $17. The ticket prices reflect the car numbers for both drivers involved in last Saturday’s much talked-about crash.
You can rest assured in the promotions leading up to next March’s Food City 500, the Stewart and Kenseth crash and
Stewart’s subsequent helmet toss at Kenseth’s car will be prominently featured.
On a side note, local fans who travel to Atlanta this weekend can attend a variety of sporting events. The Vols play N.C. State in their football opener on Friday, the Braves are home against the Phillies on Saturday and NASCAR takes top billing on Sunday.
Former Elizabethton resident Wade Day put on quite the driving display Sunday afternoon at Kingsport Speedway.
Driving the No. 96 Ford Fusion for the Highlands Motorsports team out of Bristol, Day started on the pole for the CARS Rev-Oil Pro Series Food Country USA 250 and led the first 68 laps of the race.
After an early jump on a restart, Day was sent to the back of the field. However, he quickly worked his way back to the front and by lap 135 had reassumed the lead from South Carolina teenager Gus Dean.
Day, now a resident of Seymour, dominated the rest of the 250-lap race with just five cars on the lead lap at the end.
“I just bided my time and got to halfway,” Day said. “We didn’t make any adjustments on the car, and when the track rubbered up, the car got better.”
John Harrell of Surgoinsville won an earlier 75-race feature for the Street Stock feature
Greeneville’s Allen Johnson is on the verge of securing the top spot for the NHRA Countdown playoffs at this weekend’s U.S. Nationals.
Johnson, leader of the Pro Stock point standings, heads to Indy fresh off his sixth final round appearance of the season in the most recent NHRA event in Brainerd, Minn. The driver of the Mopar Dodge Avenger is tied for the Pro Stock lead with four victories this season and has a class-best nine No. 1 qualifier awards, as he gears up for the six-race Countdown.
First up, Johnson will try to score a first victory in drag racing’s biggest event with final eliminations scheduled for Monday.
“We always look forward to going to Indy for the U.S. Nationals,” he said. “It’s a long weekend, and a little bit different of one than a normal event, but we always have fun there. The U.S. Nationals rank right up there, prestige-wise and money-wise, as the biggest event of the year. It would certainly mean a lot to win it.”
Johnson has reached the semifinals of the U.S. Nationals each of the last two years and five times overall in his career, as he chases his first win in the historic event. He was fastest in qualifying at Indy in 2008, and has been among the top-four qualifiers in each of his last four visits to Lucas Oil Raceway.
The 13th annual Mopar Thunder takes place at Bristol Dragway this weekend.
Everything begins Friday evening with Mopar vs. The World. During this event some of the fastest Mopars will take on all comers from other car makes.
Action cranks up Saturday with racing action that includes the Bonus Race and Slant 6 action, while Sunday features competition in Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman and Slant 6.
Also on Saturday, fans have will be treated to match racing from days gone by as the Southern Slingshots bring front-engine dragsters to the legendary Thunder Valley quarter-mile.
There is also a Mopar car show and a swap meet.
Gates open at 9 a.m. on Friday, and at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.