Saturday, August 3, 2013

Yes, Brad Keselowski's team is focused on the No. 48. There's a reason, too

   Former Cup series champion Dale Jarrett recently said on ESPN that he thought reigning champion Brad Keselowski and his team might be focused too much this season on Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 team, which could be distracting them.
   Keselowski's crew chief, Paul Wolfe, was asked about the issue on Saturday and basically agreed but with an important caveat.
   Here was his response:
   "Whether or not that is a problem, I don’t know. I think the reason you look at them is because, let’s face it, over the last five or six years they have been the team to beat. So when you are trying to reach a goal, you need to pay attention to what is going on around you. We definitely have focused on them," Wolfe said.
   "Now obviously, we were able to beat them fair and square in the Chase last year so that definitely gives us confidence and I think that is why we’ve set the bar higher for ourselves and we know that is the team we need to beat to be able to win another championship. I think that is where some of that focus was but as I said, now we are at a point where we need to get the best we can out of what we have to work with right now and that is what we are going to do for the next six weeks.”

Crew member dies at Southern National Motorsports Park near Raleigh

   Mike Sabiston, a crew member of New Day Motorsports, died Friday, Aug. 2, after falling from the lift gate of his team's hauler in the infield at Southern National Motorsports Park near Kenly, N.C., about 40 miles southeast of Raleigh.

   According to speedway officials, the remainder of the day's activities at the track were canceled after the incident. Saturday night's Pro All Stars Series South race remains on schedule.

   "We at Southern National Motorsports Park are saddened to report a member of our racing family was in a tragic accident while working with his team unloading their car. The owners, staff and all racing teams at Southern National would like to send our prayers and deepest sympathy to his family," said a statement posted on the track's Web site.

   New Day Motorsports, which fields a car for driver Brandon Ward, withdrew from the event.

   "Mike was a longtime friend and supporter of New Day Motorsports and was an integral part of our racing family. He was certainly loved by us all and deeply appreciated," said a statement released by the team.

   Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth, and Harrison Burton, son of Cup driver Jeff Burton, are among the drivers scheduled to compete in Saturday night's race at Southern National.

   The team's statement said funeral arrangements were incomplete.