VIDEO: Proud Murdoch in tears on podium - Scotland's Ross Murdoch breaks down in tears following his win in the men's 200m breaststroke at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Renicks sisters claim golden double 28467118 - Sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks win Scotland's first golds of the Commonwealth Games with thrilling judo victories. Murdoch caps great first day for Scots - Swimmer Ross Murdoch secures gold to cap a stunning first day of Commonwealth Games action for hosts Scotland. Punished Priefer: 'I went way below the bar' (Yahoo Sports) - Minnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer says he ''went way below the bar'' with his homophobic remark in front of players that led to his looming three-game suspension. The Vikings reported to training camp Thursday, and Priefer reiterated his apology for the anti-gay comment he made nearly two years ago to agitate then-punter Chris Kluwe. The words led to a six-month investigation commissioned by the Vikings in response to Kluwe's complaint, and the punishment for Priefer was announced last week. Mangala 'signs' for Man City in video - Cavs sign Wiggins, who can't be traded for 30 days (Yahoo Sports) - Andrew Wiggins has an NBA home. The Cavaliers signed the No. 1 overall draft pick Thursday, a deal that prevents Wiggins from being traded for 30 days. Wiggins has been linked to a possible blockbuster trade with Minnesota for All-Star forward Kevin Love. The Cavs and Timberwolves have had talks about a trade involving Love for months, long before Cleveland selected Wiggins, the former Kansas standout, with the first pick in May's draft. I'm done with road racing - Wiggins - Sir Bradley Wiggins he will not ride the Tour de France again after describing road racing as having "no loyalty". Wiggins says he's 'done with the road' - Sir Bradley Wiggins he will not ride the Tour de France again after describing road racing as "cut-throat". Farah forgotten as Glasgow basks in golden glow - The day began with Mo Farah pulling out but ended with Scotland celebrating a golden day to savour. Murdoch upstages fellow Scot Jamieson -

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Fellow drivers have sent messages of support to Michael Schumacher [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 8:57 pm]
Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher remains in a Swiss clinic, still in critical condition from a ski injury that left him in a coma for six months. But his family has released updated information on his condition, as well as the letters sent to him by his fellow drivers. Schumacher has sustained blood clots on the brain, and was placed in an induced coma. But he has reportedly been able to respond to voices and communicate via blinking, according to his family. The improvements raise hope that Schumacher might continue to improve. Currently he remains bedridden. In the wake of his accident, several drivers reached out via handwritten note, and Schumacher's wife Corinna has released those notes, along with a letter of her own thanking fans for being so supportive of their family. "Dear Michael," Lewis Hamilton wrote. "You are always in my prayers. Prayers of hope that you pull through this difficult time. You have already achieved so much, given so much. May God watch over you and show you the way back to your family, fans and friends." Jenson Button took a longer view. "When I think of Michael Schumacher I think of two things," he wrote. "The first is of one my earliest memories of being in Formula One driving out of the pitlane in Melbourne and seeing Michael’s red Ferrari ahead of me scattering the leaves as he drove beneath the trees at the approach to turn three. Even in 2000 he was already a legend. The second thing I think about it is that familiar red car snaking about in my mirrors. Michael was such a formidable racer relentlessly competitive - Always There. He’s fighting his greatest battle right now and I know everyone at Formula One will hope that he will win again. I certainly hope he will." The family is hoping to be able to move Schumacher from the clinic in Switzerland to his home, which has been retrofitted to serve his medical needs. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Faceb

Here it is, the worst NASCAR sponsorship ad campaign ever [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 3:38 pm]
Look, we get it: sponsorship money is tough to come by these days in NASCAR. Sponsors hold all the cards, and teams and drivers have to hop to, behave, and generally boil themselves down into dull vanilla automatons in order to keep that sweet, sweet cash rolling in. But this ... this is too much. Kyle Larson, who's good enough to drive at the Sprint Cup level but not old enough to have any kind of weight to throw around, has consented to this Cottonelle "Don't neglect your bum" campaign. What's it mean? Cottonelle makes both wet and dry toilet paper. "Bum" is a chippy British slang for, uh, tailpipe. And now we know more about Kyle Larson's bathroom habits than we ever needed to know about anyone's, including our own. Only way this can be redeemed? If a subsequent ad reveals that there's an actual bum sleeping out back of Kyle's house that he's been neglecting. Short of that, we can declare this The Worst NASCAR Ad Ever. But, hey, anything for publicity, right? Poor Kyle. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

One year after devastating wreck, Tony Stewart returns to sprint car, wins [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 12:23 pm]
Whatever Tony Stewart's made of, it's way different from you and me. A year almost to the day after a sprint car wreck that crunched his right leg like a stomped pencil, Stewart climbed back into one of those open-wheeled crashes-waiting-to-happen and raced. Naturally, he won. And the legend of Tony Stewart grows ever larger. The wreck last year, which ended Stewart's season and hopes for a fourth NASCAR championship, was a defining moment in Stewart's career. On one hand, you had the sensible you're-a-businessman-and-this-is-a-business-man types lecturing Stewart on the fact that he now had responsibilities to others beyond himself: sponsors, investors, employees, et cetera. On the other, you had the hell-yeah-git-em-Smoke crew, backing any and every ridiculous chance Smoke took, and to hell with the pencilneck geeks who doubted him. You can guess where Stewart himself fell. Last July, after his second of three sprint car wrecks in just a few weeks, one in which he flipped in vicious fashion, Stewart lectured the media on how this was just how things were done. "You mortals have got to learn, you guys need to watch more sprint car videos and stuff," he said. "It was not a big deal. It's starting to get annoying this week about that. That was just an average sprint car wreck. When they wreck, they get upside down like that." One week later, Stewart was in Oskaloosa, Iowa, getting pulled from the wreckage of his sprint car, his right leg shattered. He would miss the next 15 races of the season and wouldn't get back behind the wheel of his day-job car until this year. Think for a second what would happen if LeBron James put himself out for the season playing pickup basketball, or if Tom Brady ripped a bicep whipping footballs at a dunk tank at a county fair. ESPN would explode with self-righteous indignation, and fans would turn on them en masse. But Stewart has reached that most hallowed of athlete levels, the point where anything he does, smart or stupid, falls unde

NASCAR introduces new paint scheme for Chase drivers [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 15, 2014, 2:36 pm]
NASCAR is very proud of its new 16-driver Chase format, and has rolled out a new paint scheme so that you can be proud too. With the new paint scheme, detailed above, drivers in the Chase will get a series of yellow enhancements to the splitter, the windshield nametag, and the roof number. That means you'll be able to spot the Chase competitors in a pack of cars at a glance, which, we will agree, is a pretty cool idea. Of note: there will be three "knockout" races throughout the Chase (Dover, Talladega, and Phoenix), and after each one, four drivers will get booted from the Chase. Accordingly, these four drivers will lose their special paint scheme. We can only hope that there's a solemn ceremony as the name is ripped from the windshield while the driver and his disappointed owner watch. The 10-race Chase begins on Sept. 14 in Chicago and ends on Nov. 16 in Homestead, Florida. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Keselowski rolls to Loudon win as Logano falls victim to Morgan Shepherd [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 13, 2014, 8:31 pm]
Brad Keselowski won his third race of the season at Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301 in Loudon, but the big story will likely be what befell his teammate earlier in the race. Five decades and 10 laps separated Joey Logano and Morgan Shepherd on Sunday, but that wasn't enough to keep Shepherd from wrecking Logano and ending the 22's promising run. Logano, in the midst of the best season of his career, was running second when Shepherd, never a factor in the race, took him out. Simply by starting the race, Shepherd, age 72, extended his own record for oldest driver to run at the Sprint Cup level. But that's a distinction that held little weight with Logano after the wreck. “The slowest car on the racetrack took us out,” Logano said. "I feel like there should be, like, a driver’s test before you get out in a Cup car and make sure you know how to drive before you drive one." Logano elaborated in a later interview. "You would think there would be some courtesy to the leaders," he said. "He gets out of the way on the straightaway and then goes into the corner and slides right up into the lane I was in ... It is just dumb that it happened. I feel like that should be stuff that shouldn’t happen at this level of racing.” Logano was referencing Shepherd's skill level, not his age, but it's likely that NASCAR will take a closer look at Shepherd's ability to compete at a reasonable level in the wake of the Logano incident. Meanwhile, Keselowski enjoyed a near-flawless afternoon. When he wasn't leading a lap, he was preparing to lead, cutting through the field time and again with little trouble. Keselowski has now won three races this season and appears as dangerous a championship contender as anyone on the track. He led 134 of the race's 301 laps, and his winning margin could have been measured in multiple seconds were it not for a last-second green-white-checker. The Kyles Busch and Larson finished second and third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman, but no

Brad Keselowski cuts hand on champagne bottle in victory lane [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 29, 2014, 3:43 am]
The next time Brad Keselowski visits victory lane, he's probably going to be wary of the champagne bottles. While celebrating his win in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky, Keselowski cut his right hand on a champagne bottle. He immediately went to the infield care center where he had four stitches to his wounded hand. Brad K just sliced his hand open on the champagne bottle in VL - gushing blood, ran to care center— Jim Noble (@Noble_Jim) June 29, 2014 The bandaged hand of @keselowski after cutting himself in victory lane. He said he took 4 stitches. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/86Pl0uqcYK— Ford Racing (@FordRacing) June 29, 2014 The cut obviously delayed victory lane celebrations – and stained his white firesuit – but after he got the stitches in his hand and a new firesuit on his body, Keselowski was back in victory lane, doing the required pictures and media appearances. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Tire troubles meant early exits for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 29, 2014, 3:31 am]
When Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson exited their cars Saturday night, they were not on pit road or in the garage after the race. The cars were against the Kentucky Speedway wall. Both drivers suffered tire failures early in the race and retired. Hamlin was first. He lost a right front tire on lap 29, one lap before a scheduled competition caution on lap 30. A summer thunderstorm swept through Kentucky on Saturday afternoon before the Quaker State 400, washing the track of a lot of rubber and why NASCAR scheduled the caution. However, Hamlin didn't quite make it. He finished 42nd. Larson was the next caution flag as his car hit the wall in turns one and two on lap 77. Like Hamlin, his car was pretty much destroyed and he was forced to the garage. Larson ended up 40th. Because of their poor finishing positions, both drivers fell in the points. Larson fell from 10th to 13th in the points standings while Hamlin fell from 13th to 17th. However, Hamlin is still in a better position to make the Chase. Since he won at Talladega in May, he's virtually guaranteed to make the Chase. Larson, meanwhile, is winless and would currently need to get in by virtue of his points position. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Brad Keselowski starts first and finishes first at Kentucky for second win of 2014 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 29, 2014, 3:00 am]
There was no disputing who had the best car on Saturday night at Kentucky. It was Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 car. After starting first, Keselowski was at the front of the field the entire evening, retaking the lead from Kyle Busch with 19 laps to go and driving away for the win. When we say Keselowski was at the front of the field the entire evening, it's not an exaggeration. There were 267 laps in Saturday night's race. Keselowski led 199 of them. Yeah, it was domination. After the race, Keselowski told his crew that he felt like the team was in championship form. Watching the race, it's hard to disagree with him. His laps led tally could have been higher too. Busch took the lead because the race's final caution flag happened during a cycle of green flag pit stops. Busch was on and off pit road before the caution was officially out, so he got to restart first while Keselowski, who hadn't pitted yet, pitted under yellow and restarted sixth. But driving through the field was ultimately no problem. "Oh yeah, It was kind of one of those races where you just know you have a really fast car and my Miller Lite Ford Fusion was hauling the mail," Keselowski said. "And you're just waiting for something to go wrong. And it did there on that last yellow, it just caught us out of sequence. And we restarted sixth and had a decent restart but I didnt think I was going to catch Kyle and the car was that great." Yes, yes it was. Keselowski led the race's first 78 laps and when he was passed for the lead, it wasn't under green. Teammate Joey Logano took the lead from him on pit road. And he was only passed for the lead once under green. That happened on lap 182, when Logano got by him shortly after a restart. The first time a Team Penske car led a lap? That was when Busch took the lead after the final caution flag on lap 214. Did we tell you how good Keselowski was? There's a good reason for Keselowski's championship form optimism. Not only is Kentucky his second win of the seaso

It's a Penske front row sweep at Kentucky: Keselowski starts first, Logano second [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 27, 2014, 10:50 pm]
Two weeks ago at Michigan, Brad Keselowski said the Hendrick-powered cars were "probably a full season ahead of everyone." Well, on Friday at Kentucky during qualifying for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race, Keselowski and Team Penske teammate Joey Logano had the fastest cars. The Penske duo, the best qualifiers in NASCAR this year, qualified on the front row, edging out Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Both Penske drivers were incredibly fast throughout Friday's three rounds of qualifying. Logano was fastest in the first two rounds while Keselowski was third in the first session and second in the second. The pole is Keselowski's third of the season in the Cup Series and was his second of the day. Earlier he qualified on the pole for Friday night's Nationwide Series race. While Gordon, Kyle Larson and three Stewart-Haas Racing cars (Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick) made the final 12 with their Hendrick horsepower, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson failed to advance from the first round. Johnson qualified 25th while Junior was 29th. Because of the short field entered in Saturday night's race, no drivers obviously did not qualify. There was one change to the entry list before practice began on Friday. BK Racing entered a fourth car for Mike Bliss with the No. 44 of Xxxtreme Motorsports withdrew for being too risque.* *OK, that's not true. The team tweeted that it had "in house politics that needed to be resolved." - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Clint Bowyer is chasing a win, but knows that points matter too [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 27, 2014, 5:28 pm]
Finding the right balance of weighting wins and points in the Sprint Cup Series has been hard at times. While ultimately, wins do matter when it comes to Chase qualification, points are pretty important too. Through 15 races, 10 drivers have a race win. That means six drivers are currently going to qualify for the Chase based off their points position. Could more drivers win? Sure. At the current rate, it's possible that more than 16 drivers could have wins. But given the pattern of repeat winners in the Cup Series – the last four races have been won by drivers already with a win – it's unlikely to happen. Clint Bowyer knows the importance of points. He also knows the importance of wins. He wants a win to get into the Chase, but wins certainly aren't everything. “I wasn’t one of the ones that was saying, ‘It’s all about winning, it’s all about winning,’" Bowyer said Friday at Kentucky. "Common sense tells you to look at the past history and the math shows you that points are always going to prevail. He who has the most points is always going to win the championship. You’ve always been able to race your way into the Chase and I think it still will today, but right now we need a win.  We’re at the point in our program with our 5-Hour Energy Toyota that we’re desperately in need of a win and we need to throw it all out there and go for it and try to get ourselves a win somewhere. We were definitely in the hunt and after one in Sonoma.  We had a lot of confidence going in out there and we had a fast race car and by all means we were chasing a win big time.” Right now, Bowyer is in the Chase. He's one of the six winless drivers who would make the Chase at this point, but he's not in comfortably. He's fifth of those six and 23 points ahead of Kasey Kahne and 25 points ahead of Tony Stewart. If he was in the top 10 in points, a win may not be as big of a priority. But Bowyer is 14th. Both Stewart and Kahne are powered by Hendrick equipment, engin

One of Brad Keselowski's truck crew members hitched a ride at Kentucky [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 27, 2014, 3:09 am]
Brad Keselowski's truck needed an adjustment during a pit stop in Thursday night's Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky. And the adjustment ended up giving one of his crew members an unexpected ride. The track bar wrench got stuck in the back windshield of Keselowski's truck and the crew member futily tried to remove it as Keselowski pulled away. #effort @NickBromberg: Brad Keselowski literally took his crewman for a ride https://t.co/kORx2axcmo”— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) June 27, 2014 Thankfully he let go – could you imagine the penalty for "taking a crew member down pit road and out on the race track?" – and there was no report of injury on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast. However, Keselowski had to go to the tail-end of field on the restart for taking the wrench with him out of the pit box. Kyle Busch won the race. Keselowski was fifth. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Happy Hour: Kyle Busch, road courses, rain, dancing and more [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 26, 2014, 9:05 pm]
Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. A little non-NASCAR for a second. Looks like F1 wants to do standing restarts in 2015. Yeah, I realize that restarts don't happen all that often in Formula 1, but what the heck? Standing starts are great for the beginning of the race, and they're going to be incredibly enjoyable for restarts. I'm not complaining about the potential entertainment, it just looks like a blantant attempt for more excitement. Onto the fun. Assuming Kyle Busch never wins a championship, who do you think would go down as the best driver to never win a title? Kyle Busch or Mark Martin? - Paul You have to say Kyle Busch, simply because of all of the wins, right? He already has Mark Martin's record for Nationwide Series victories and on his current pace if his NASCAR career spans 25 years, he'll have over 260 wins in each of NASCAR's three series. Sure, his 200+ wins may not be the same as Richard Petty's 200 wins, but if Busch gets to 300, that's in a class by itself. But that being said, if Busch gets to 300, he has a Sprint Cup title, right? The highest he's ever finished in the Cup Series standings is fourth while Martin has finished second five times. Do those five second place finish override Busch's hundreds of wins if he doesn't have five second-place finishes and never wins a title? Because of the Chase format (especially the new one), I don't think so. But it'd be an interesting debate. Ultimately, Busch is going to win one. I'll be utterly stunned if he doesn't. -------- @NickBromberg Do you think NASCAR will ever have a road course in the Chase or will "politics" always get in the way? — Chris Nulty (@RealChrisNulty) June 26, 2014 Yes, I think NASCAR does, because I think the schedule eventually gets overhauled. I don't think that overhaul will be next year or maybe

Jimmie Johnson went to the White House on Wednesday [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 25, 2014, 8:01 pm]
Jimmie Johnson got to celebrate his sixth Sprint Cup Series championship at the White House on Wednesday. He was honored by President Barack Obama in a quick six-minute ceremony. In his remarks, Obama, a noted Chicago sports fan, called Johnson the "Michael Jordan of NASCAR" and joked that he should give the driver of the No. 48 a lifetime pass to the White House because of the numerous titles. The Michael Jordan comparison works on multiple levels too. Not only is Johnson the best driver in NASCAR as Jordan was the best player in the NBA, but both won six championships in eight seasons. (What happens in the comments when Jimmie Johnson and President Obama are mentioned in the same sentence? Let's find out!) After also mentioning Johnson's charity work, Obama, crew chief Chad Knaus, car owner Rick Hendrick and Johnson's pit crew all took pictures on stage. Here are some more photos of the event. .@JimmieJohnson speaks to the media outside the White House. pic.twitter.com/SfM2M8Grf8— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) June 25, 2014 - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

The No. 77 is 'retooling,' which means there are only 42 Cup cars entered at Kentucky [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 25, 2014, 6:00 pm]
The No. 77 car owned by Randy Humphrey and driven by Dave Blaney has made four Sprint Cup Series starts this season. Its highest finish is 33rd in those four starts. No, the No. 77 has not been a barnburner in the Cup Series. This week, Humphrey told NASCAR.com that the team was "retooling" and hoped to be back at Indianapolis. After entering the first 15 races of the season, the team skipped Sonoma and, as of now, will miss three more races. Normally, the absence of a team struggling to make the field in the Cup Series isn't noticeable to most NASCAR fans. But it's notable this weekend. It means that as of Wednesday, the entry list for the Cup race at Kentucky on Saturday night has 42 cars on it. A full field is 43 cars. (Part-time teams like the Wood Brothers and Leavine Family Racing don't have Kentucky on the schedule.) If the race starts with 42 cars, it'll break a streak that's gone on for more than 12 years. The last time a race was run without 43 cars was at New Hampshire in 2001, when the race was run in November instead of September because of the Sept. 11 attacks. (The race, run on the Friday after Thanksgiving, was set by owner's points at the time of the originally scheduled and the No. 27 team had folded since. Thus, no replacement was found.) The last time a qualifying session was held with less than a full field in the Cup Series entered? You have to go all the way back to Dover in 1996, according to Jayski. Is the lack of a 43rd car a big deal? That's up for you to decide, though if you think it is, don't go reaching for the megaphone to exclaim that the sky is falling. It does mean that each of NASCAR's top three series will have had a short field in 2014 and it's become obvious that there are significant barriers to entry for new and/or underfunded teams trying to make it in NASCAR. But that's the case with or without one more car entered at Kentucky. NASCAR's national series, especially the Cup Series, are extremely close through speeds and scori

NASCAR World Cup 2014 Week 2: Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin are toast [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 25, 2014, 4:43 pm]
Matt Kenseth, you're Spain. Denny Hamlin, you're England. Like the two European soccer teams listed above, the two Joe Gibbs Racing drivers above are already out of the World Cup before the third group game. And their teammate Kyle Busch needs a win and some help to make it to the knockout rounds himself. It hasn't been a pretty stretch for JGR. Busch lost to Kevin Harvick by five spots at Sonoma, Kenseth lost by 23 to Tony Stewart and Hamlin lost by 18 to Marcos Ambrose. All three drivers are 0-2, but Busch could sneak in by beating Jamie McMurray by more than 21 spots at Kentucky and with a Kevin Harvick win over Casey Mears. It's not impossible, but it's not likely. The drivers through two rounds guaranteed to make the knockout round are Jimmie Johnson (Group A), Kevin Harvick (Group B), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Group C), Tony Stewart (Group D), Joey Logano (Group D), Greg Biffle (Group F), Jeff Gordon (Group H) and Kyle Larson. The drivers already eliminated are Aric Almirola (Group A), Busch (Group B), Kenseth (Group D), Justin Allgaier (Group D), Hamlin (Group F), A.J. Allmendinger (Group H) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Group H). The group in the biggest state of flux? That's our now-official Group of Death Group E, which has all drivers at 1-1 and within 15 positions of each other on finish differential. Here are the final round matchups. The standings are embedded in the post below Group A: Jimmie Johnson vs. Aric Almirola, Brian Vickers vs. Danica Patrick Group B: Kyle Busch vs. Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick vs. Casey Mears Group C: Dale Earnhardt Jr. vis Michael Annett, Austin Dillon vs. Martin Truex Jr. Group D: Matt Kenseth vs. Justin Allgaier, Joey Logano vs. Tony Stewart Group E: Brad Keselowski vs. Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard vs. Kurt Busch Group F: Denny Hamlin vs. Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose vs. Cole Whitt Group G: Carl Edwards vs. Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman vs. David Gilliland Group H: Jeff Gordon vs. Kyle Larson, A.J. Allmendinger vs. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. NASCA

NASCAR World Cup 2014 Week 2: The JGR cars are in trouble [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 25, 2014, 4:43 pm]
Matt Kenseth, you're Spain. Denny Hamlin, you could be England. Kyle Busch you could be Italy. Like the European soccer teams above, the Joe Gibbs Racing trio is are in World Cup trouble. Kenseth is already out, while Hamlin and Busch are longshots to make it in. It hasn't been a pretty stretch for JGR. Busch lost to Kevin Harvick by five spots at Sonoma, Kenseth lost by 23 to Tony Stewart and Hamlin lost by 18 to Marcos Ambrose. All three drivers are 0-2, but Busch could sneak in by beating Jamie McMurray by more than 21 spots at Kentucky and with a Kevin Harvick win over Casey Mears. It's not impossible, but it's not likely. Same goes for Hamlin. He'd have to beat Marcos Ambrose by 33 spots at Kentucky while Greg Biffle beats Cole Whitt. The drivers through two rounds guaranteed to make the knockout round are Jimmie Johnson (Group A), Kevin Harvick (Group B), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Group C), Tony Stewart (Group D), Joey Logano (Group D), Greg Biffle (Group F), Jeff Gordon (Group H) and Kyle Larson. The drivers already eliminated are Aric Almirola (Group A), Busch (Group B), Kenseth (Group D), Justin Allgaier (Group D), A.J. Allmendinger (Group H) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Group H). The group in the biggest state of flux? That's our now-official Group of Death Group E, which has all drivers at 1-1 and within 15 positions of each other on finish differential. Here are the final round matchups. The standings are embedded in the post below Group A: Jimmie Johnson vs. Aric Almirola, Brian Vickers vs. Danica Patrick Group B: Kyle Busch vs. Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick vs. Casey Mears Group C: Dale Earnhardt Jr. vis Michael Annett, Austin Dillon vs. Martin Truex Jr. Group D: Matt Kenseth vs. Justin Allgaier, Joey Logano vs. Tony Stewart Group E: Brad Keselowski vs. Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard vs. Kurt Busch Group F: Denny Hamlin vs. Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle vs. Cole Whitt Group G: Carl Edwards vs. Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman vs. David Gilliland Group H: Jeff Gordon vs. Kyle L

Power Rankings: How much does Carl Edwards vault up the standings? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 24, 2014, 6:01 pm]
Our Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it's the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. And you think we dislike your favorite driver, so it makes sense, right? Direct all your complaints to us at happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com. 1. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 1): Johnson finished seventh on Sunday and led a single lap. He was third late in the race, but the tires were simply worn and he held on for a top 10, though he was the lowest-finishing driver from Hendrick Motorsports. IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER SLUMP? Look for that piping hot take sometime this week. 2. Jeff Gordon (LW: 3): Gordon moves to second by finishing second. Had he not overdriven a corner with about five laps to go, he might have been able to catch Edwards, but we're going to consider this the road course version of what happened to Gordon at Kansas. While on his way to the checkered flag there, he cautiously slid through turns three and four, which made the margin of victory over Kevin Harvick look much closer than it was. 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 2): The penalty for Junior's best-ever Sonoma finish? Moving down a spot in Power Rankings. We are so cruel. Evil. Despicable. Every Sonoma race has a battering ram and that battering ram happened to be the No. 88 on Sunday. We don't say that with scorn, either. With the way that road courses have become, it's a product of the racing. It's not like Junior has a pattern of being destructive on road courses. 4. Carl Edwards (LW: 11): This is a season of bad "good" seasons. OK, maybe bad is an overstatement, but Edwards certainly fits the category we're trying to explain. What's been the storyline of Edwards' season outside of his contract status? The lack of speed he and his teammates have had. But here he is with two wins and he's sixth in the points standings. You can certainly be successful and not doing as well as possible -- Edwards is proof of that -- but it just seems like a bit of a disconnect. 5. Ke

Two-stop strategy works out for a win for Carl Edwards at Sonoma [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 22, 2014, 10:34 pm]
Tire wear was a big factor at Sonoma on Sunday. But ultimately, track position proved to be more vital. Carl Edwards worked his way to the front of the field in the second half of the race thanks to a two-stop pit strategy and held off Jeff Gordon for his second win of the season and Edwards' first-ever road course win. Track position is always important at NASCAR's road courses, and crew chiefs typically work the race "backwards" to stop for tires and fuel as few times as possible. However, the tires were wearing so quickly over the weekend at the wine country track that it was possible the additional speed gained from fresh tires an additional stop could override a driver on older tires who had stopped twice. Because of the timing of caution flags it didn't happen, as Edwards' final pit stop came before a caution flag on lap 72. As Edwards was still on the lead lap after pitting and drivers ahead of him hit pit lane under caution, he found himself near the front of the field. He took the lead off a restart on lap 86 and never lost it. Throughout the entire race, Edwards didn't have one of the fastest cars. But it was consistent, and that consistency paid off as Gordon wasn't able to completely close the gap that Edwards had opened up off the final restart. "Real tough. That last lap was ugly. I grew up watching Jeff Gordon do well here so to have him in my mirror is special," Edwards said. "This team has been working very hard. The whole group has. It's very special to be a part of something like this. And of course, Edwards' win adds kindling to NASCAR's most-burning off-track topic in 2014: Edwards' contract status. How does the victory affect Edwards' chances of re-signing with Roush, or does it have any affect at all? Edwards' contract with Roush Fenway Racing is up at the end of the season and if he leaves Roush, Joe Gibbs Racing is a likely destination, as the team has a capacity for a fourth car. Before the race on Sunday, JGR President J.D. Gibbs told the

Matt Kenseth crashed hard into the tires at Sonoma after contact from Dale Earnhardt Jr. [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 22, 2014, 10:09 pm]
Matt Kenseth hit the tire barrier so hard in the esses at Sonoma that the front bumper got ripped off his car. Shortly after a restart, Kenseth was battling for position with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the two made contact in turn four. Kenseth, who was on the outside of Junior, was able to save his car from spinning out on the initial contact, but as the two went side-by-side into the esses, Junior's car bounced off the curb to the right of the track and straight into Kenseth's car. It was a violent impact but Kenseth was able to walk away. Junior apologized for getting onto the curb on his in-car radio after the incident. Because they were in such close proximity to each other, Kenseth was simply a sitting duck when Junior's car ricocheted to the left. Kenseth entered the race second in the points standings. After finishing 42nd, Kenseth - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Greg Biffle says no deal is done for an extension at Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 20, 2014, 8:25 pm]
Greg Biffle said a contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing is not finalized. Earlier in June, the Charlotte Observer reported that Biffle would sign a contract extension with the team and an official announcement could come as early as the week after the June 8 report. That hasn't obviously happened. Biffle spoke about his contract with the AP on Friday at Sonoma. Biffle tells me: "My deal is definitely not done. I'm trying to negotiate an extension. Nothing has changed." #NASCAR— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) June 20, 2014 Roush President Steve Newmark alo said that the two parties hadn't agreed to anything officially yet. Working hard to put together a package for the 16 program in the future but nothing to report yet. Hope to have some news soon.— Steve Newmark (@NewmarkRFR) June 20, 2014 If Biffle stays at Roush Fenway, sponsor 3M is expected to stay with the team too.The team has Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signed for next season in the Cup Series, but the contracts of Biffle and Carl Edwards are up after the season. Edwards has given no indication of his future plans. After winning titles in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series, Biffle moved up to the Sprint Cup Series full-time in 2003 and Roush is the only team he's driven for. He has 19 Cup Series wins, though he hasn't been very close this season. While Biffle has been consistent in 2014, Roush has lacked speed. Through 15 races, he has just four top-10 finishes. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg





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