Falling Up

Is Paul Menard’s deal with the Wood Brothers good for NASCAR?


I have a problem with Paul Menard. Not Paul Menard the man, Paul Menard the race car driver.

This week’s announcement that Menard would be taking over the legendary 21, Wood Brothers Ford, when Ryan Blaney moves to his home base at Team Penske in 2018, really rubbed me the wrong way. The reason? I believe this is a bad look for NASCAR as a sport. But before you get too upset with me, let me list the reasons why I feel this way.

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Overtime line, 3 p.m. start time lose, Kahne and IMS win at Brickyard 400

2017-July23-kaseyKahne-hero.jpgKasey Kahne leads Brad Keselowski late in the Brickyard 400 on the way his first win after a 102-race winless streak.

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Kasey Kahne won his first race since August 2014 Sunday when he took the checkered flag in the 2017 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After lackluster racing over pretty much the entire course of the race’s history, Sunday’s race was not only certainly the most exciting Brickyard 400 ever, but also one of the best races so far this season. On the eve of NASCAR likely changing the rules package for Indy next season based on the success of the Xfinity Series package just a day prior, it appears as if maybe it doesn’t need it.

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Xfinity at Indy — NASCAR got it right

2017-July22-xfinity-rules-main-922x510William Byron leads the Xfinity field into the first turn at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — There has been a lot of experimenting the past several years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when it comes to NASCAR.

It turns out the racing just isn’t that great for a stock car on a track that was built more than a hundred years ago for open-wheel cars. But NASCAR has raced at Indianapolis since 1994, and it’s too important of a place to leave the schedule any time soon. And you’re not changing the track — the only one where Indycar doesn’t just beat NASCAR attendance, but blows it away.

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The SuperSpeedway Power Rankings – July

The SuperSpeedway Power Rankings are moving to a monthly format. Here’s July’s rankings for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

1 Martin Truex Jr. (LM 1)

It’s going to take a lot to move Martin off the top spot. He’s bad fast week in and week out and now leads the regular season standings. He’s almost a lock to make the final in Miami.

2 Kyle Larson (LM 2)

The penalties have hurt. But the 42 team is still just a dangerous as ever. It’s going to be a two-horse race the rest of the way. 

3 Jimmie Johnson (LM 3)

Jimmie has not been overly impressive other than his wins. Those wins lock him into the third spot by default. This next month will tell us all we need to know about how legit the 48 team is. 

4 Kyle Busch (LM 4)

Just. Win. Kyle. It’s time to get it done. The 18 team is far too good to be win less. 

5 Kevin Harvick (LM 5)

Happy got his win at Sonoma! That was a huge boost for the 4 team and SHR. They are still not where they need to be but they are on the edge. 

6 Denny Hamlin (LM 10)

New Hampshire was a big deal. JGR need Denny’s win in a bad way. Are the floodgates officially opened?

7 Chase Elliott (LM 6)

MIS is coming. MIS is coming.

8 Jamie McMurray (LM 7)

I think this guy is going to be right there competing for the win in Indy. Good not great.  

9 Ryan Blaney (LW 9)

My pick to win Indy! Silly Season note: I really wish he would stay in the 21 car. 

10 Brad Keselowski (LM8)

I don’t even know what to say about Brad anymore. Check back next month to see if he’s still on the list. He’s hanging on by a thread.

Also considered
Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman

Crafton wins fifth-annual Eldora Dirt Derby — Full Results

Eldora Final-1815

ROSSBURG, Ohio — Matt Crafton isn’t a dirt racer, but he was able to hold off some tough challengers to take the win in the fifth-annual Eldora Dirt Derby Wednesday night.

Crafton passed Stewart Friesen late in the race to take the win.

Crafton started the race winning the first stage when the caution came out immediately after he passed Friesen to take the lead. Crafton said the truck was good at the beginning of the race, but he asked for some adjustments at the first stage break.

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Final field taking shape for 2017 Eldora Dirt Derby

ROSSBURG, Ohio — The heats are in the books at Eldora Speedway. Now all that remains is the last chance race to set the rest of the field for the fifth-annual Eldora Dirt Derby.

Stewart Friesen kept his perfect night alive by earning the pole position in the main event with a win in the first heat.

Matt Crafton made a late pass after Chase Briscoe had problems to take the outside starting position with a win in heat race number two.

Kaz Grala earned the win in the third heat to take the third starting position. Christopher Bell will start fourth with a win in the fourth heat and Ty Dillon will start fifth with a win in the fifth heat.

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