It was “Miller Time” at Fernley 95A Speedway last Saturday as Miller Brothers Racing dominated the Modified events. Robert Miller won the A Mod main and his heat race while brother Randy did the same in the B Mod division. And Rick Miller (no relation) won his Hobby Stock heat but finished fourth in the main, which Tom Haxall won. Shane Ussery took both heat and Main wins in Gen-X. The event was a daytime race, run early to allow competitors to attend the night race at Lovelock.
Last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup daytime race at Homestead/Miami turned into a night race after the start was delayed for track drying and lightning later caused two red flags. They finally got the whole race in plus two overtime sessions. A late caution erased a big lead by Chase Elliott and sent all the lead lap cars to the pits for fresh tires. Denny Hamlin got the jump on the second and final overtime and beat Elliott to the flag to take his 40th career Cup win and third victory this season.
This weekend it’s Talladega, with up to 5,000 fans scheduled to attend. Twelve of the 40 drivers entered have posted wins at the 2.66 mile oval, NASCAR’s longest track. Brad Keselowski leads the pack with four wins, followed by two-time ‘Dega winners Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, and Jimmie Johnson. Drivers with one victory are last fall’s winner Ryan Blaney, Elliott, Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch. According to the oddsmakers, Logano is the favorite at 8-1 with Elliott next at 9-1. Hamlin and Keselowski are 10-1, Blaney and Busch 12-1, and Harvick 14-1. Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. haven’t won at Talladega, but are 16-1, while past winners Almirola and Stenhouse go off at 20-1. Sports books are now open, so place your bets. The NASCAR Cup Geico 500 will air on FOX at noon Sunday, with the Unhinged 300 Xfinity race slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday on FS1.
There are new voting rules for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, with only three inductees for the class of 2021, two Modern Era selections and one Pioneer Era selection among drivers whose careers began over 60 years ago. The Modern Era inductees are Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mike Stefanik, while Red Farmer is the Pioneer Era honoree. Earnhardt, as befits his 15-time Most Popular Driver history, garnered 76% of the vote. Stefanik, nine-time champion in Modified and Busch North series, received 49%. Farmer, a founding member of the Alabama gang, got 71% of the Pioneer Era vote. The induction ceremony will be held next winter at a date to be determined.
Concerns about COVID-19 have caused NASCAR to move the annual All-Star race on July 15 to Bristol from its normal venue at Charlotte. As if the All-Star race wasn’t
already a free-for-all, putting it on the half-mile high-banked Bristol bullring is going to be off the hook. There are 15 drivers already locked into the race by winning a race in 2019 and 2020, or winning a past All-Star race. They are Alex Bowman, Blaney, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Eric Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr. A win by a driver not already eligible between now and July 15 will include that driver. A win in any of the stages of the All-Star Open will move that driver to the All-Star race, and one driver will be selected by fan vote. To vote for your favorite driver, visit www.nascar.com/fanvote and follow the links and instructions.