Sunday, September 16, 2012

A sneak peek at the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule

   NASCAR hasn't released any of its "official" 2013 schedules yet, but The Charlotte Observer and have obtained a copy of the Sprint Cup Series schedule, which is expected to be released to the public this week.

   There are no major surprises in the schedule. It remains 36 points-paying races, beginning Feb. 24, 2013 at Daytona and concluding Nov. 17 at Homestead, Fla. The only notable change is a swap of the fall Kansas and Talladega races. The fall Kansas race is now Oct. 6, 2013 and the fall Talladega race is Oct. 20, 2013.

   There are no additional night races added to the schedule. The spring Kansas race - on April 21, 2013 - was rumored to change to a night race, but remains on Sunday afternoon.

   In addition, there are expected to be 33 Nationwide Series races in 2013 with no new venues added to the schedule.

   The 2013 Sprint Cup Series schedule

   Feb 24 Daytona
   March 3 Phoenix
   March 10 Las Vegas
   March 17 Bristol
   March 24 California
   March 31 OFF/Easter
   April 7 Martinsville, VA
   April 13 Texas
   April 21 Kansas
   April 27 Richmond
   May 5 Talladega
   May 11 Darlington
   May 18 All-Star race
   May 26 Charlotte
   June 2 Dover
   June 9 Pocono
   June 16 Michigan
   June 23 Sonoma
   June 29 Kentucky
   July 6 Daytona
   July 14 New Hampshire
   July 21 OFF
   July 28 Indianapolis
   Aug. 4 Pocono
   Aug. 11 Watkins Glen
   Aug. 18 Michigan
   Aug. 24 Bristol
   Sept. 1 Atlanta
   Sept. 7 Richmond
   Sept. 15 Chicagoland
   Sept. 22 New Hampshire
   Sept. 29 Dover
   Oct. 6 Kansas
   Oct. 12 Charlotte
   Oct. 20 Talladega
   Oct. 27 Martinsville, VA
   Nov. 3 Texas
   Nov. 10 Phoenix
   Nov. 17 Homestead

Post-race transcript of Ryan Blaney's first NASCAR win

   Media Center interviews following 18-year-old Ryan Blaney's victory Saturday night in the NASCAR Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway. Blaney became the series' all-time youngest winner. He also gave Brade Keselowski Racing its first victory.

   Ryan Blaney (No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM) Race Winner
   YOU ARE THE SEVENTH FIRST TIME WINNER IN THE SERIES THIS YEAR, THE 12TH DIFFERENT WINNER IN 15 RACES. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CAPTURE THIS WIN FOR BRAD KESELOWSKI RACING? “Well it definitely really special. Like you said, getting the first one for Brad Keselowski Racing, that’s great, that I could do it here. This Trucks team really means a lot to him and for me to do that for him really means a lot. We were good all weekend. We were not as good as the 7 truck (Parker Kligerman) leading up into the race. I think we could hang with the 7 truck in the race. He was a little bit better than us on long runs but it seemed like on restarts we were better than him for about five or seven laps and then at the end on restarts it kind of played to our advantage. I knew if we were just side-by-side with some second place guy getting into one, we were probably going to beat ‘em off of two. We were just strong on restarts all night. It was good to have Cooper Standard on board and here in Iowa where half my family is. Overall just a good night to have my family here; it was a good night so hopefully we can have some more.”

   Doug Randolph (Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM)
   WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU TO BE ABLE TO COME TO IOWA WITH RYAN IN HIS THIRD START AND CAPTURE THE WIN? “Well I mean it’s a great feeling. It was really fun tonight watching Ryan and he made some incredible passes. I really want to thank Brad for giving us all this opportunity. He’s really helped us. We know we’ve been behind with our program and he’s allowed us to continue to improve and make it better. I really enjoy and it’s pretty neat to be here with Ryan and Dave ‘cause my first crew chiefing job was with Dave and you know I felt like there was a lot of nights that we should have been sitting right here and it didn’t quite work out. I felt like a couple of ‘em got away and it’s great to come full circle and make it happen with Ryan.”

   Dave Blaney (Ryan Blaney’s Father)
   YOU GOT HERE THIS AFTERNOON RIGHT BEFORE THE START OF THE RACE. TALK ABOUT GETTING TO THE TRACK AND BEING HERE WITH RYAN AND A PART OF HIS FIRST WIN. “I was glad I could get over. It sounded like it went really well yesterday and this morning in practice and you know Ryan was fired up. Like Doug said, he did a tremendous job all night in traffic, ran really hard when he needed to and not so much when he didn’t. He just did it all right. You know Doug made a really good call on tires there midway through the race. It ended up being the perfect call and got him in position and brought it home.”

   Ryan Blaney: WHY WERE THERE SO MANY CAUTIONS TONIGHT? “You tell me. I couldn’t see ‘em all. All I knew is I’d run a lap, get away about three truck lengths and then a caution would come out. I’m not sure why there were so many at the end and so little there in the middle of the race. Guys just getting antsy I guess.”

   YOU LIKED TO RESTART ON THE HIGH SIDE. WAS THAT AN ADVANTAGE? “Well in the K&N car we always start on the high side. You can get over the bump better and you can kind of pinch that guy down in one and just limit his room to get a run off the corner. It’s really just getting over the bump a lot better than the guy so you choose the outside if you’re the leader there.”

   Dave Blaney: HOW SPECIAL IS IT FOR YOU BECAUSE ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST WINS CAME JUST DOWN THE ROAD HERE? “Well that’s true. My wife is from within an hour of here and her whole family is close and a lot of ‘em were here tonight. That’s a very cool thing. I’m just glad I was here to see it. You know I got to see his first K&N win at Phoenix last fall and this one. He does a really nice job and he’s coming along so quick it’s just cool to be a part of it. You know I can’t thank Brad Keselowski and everybody at Penske enough for having the faith in him to go ahead and run him in all this stuff and look at his future and Brad’s been instrumental in bringing Ryan along and help him get through the learning process here.”

   Ryan Blaney: HAVE YOU HEARD FROM BRAD YET? WHAT DID HE HAVE TO SAY IF YOU’VE HEARD FROM HIM? “I haven’t heard from him yet. Haven’t had my phone on me. Probably going to call him here in a little bit.”

   WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’RE GOING TO TELL HIM WHEN YOU TALK TO HIM? “Probably thank you for giving me this opportunity and letting me drive his truck. It’s been great getting in with Penske and getting in with Brad. I’ve learned a whole lot from him in just about a month and a half that I’ve been close to him. I think we just keep building on our relationship making his team better, me getting better and hopefully we’ll have even a lot better runs here, a lot better finishes here.”

   YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO RUN BOTH THE TRUCK AND NATIONWIDE RACES AT KENTUCKY. WHAT DOES THIS WIN DO FOR YOUR MOMENTUM HEADING INTO NEXT WEEKEND? “Well every time you win the week before it always boosts your team, boosts your self-confidence going into the next week. It’s really just a bonus and everyone is all fired up from the previous week. And as a driver confidence is a really big thing driving race cars. Your confidence level is just sky high when you win the week before. So I think it’s just always an added bonus being the winners the previous week and everyone always looks out for you.”