2013 Daytona Duels

Some interesting things occurred at the 2013 Daytona Duels at Daytona International Speedway.

In race number 1 Danica Patrick started from the pole position and quickly went backwards through the field.  She said she lifted off of the throttle at the start so that the others wouldn’t get a run on her.  Her car was set up too tight, but corrections were made during her pit stop.

Kevin Harvick won Duel 1 in his Chevrolet from Richard Childress Racing.  He also won Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited race.  Greg Biffle finished in second in a Ford, Juan Pablo Montoya grabbed third in a Chevrolet.  It was a great run by Montoya who had problems early in the race.

The only driver in Duel 1 who didn’t make the starting line up for the Daytona 500 was Brian Keselowski.  He was driving Jimmy Means’ Chevrolet, in a last minute deal.

The NASCAR shills at Speed tried to make the races more exciting by talking about the transfer spot.  The only race that really mattered was if Keselowski could drive his way into the transfer spot.  He didn’t have any 2012 car owner points, and he was the slowest qualifier on Sunday.

There was also the matter of Denny Hamlin losing traction in turn 2.  He bumped Carl Edwards who went nose first into the outside wall.  He collected Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith in the accident.


If you love the Daytona 500 you’ll love my book Daytona 500 Stories.  It chronicles the story of every Daytona 500 from 1959 until 2012.  Lots of facts, figures, and trivia on the Great American Race.

Don’t forget about my latest book NASCAR’s First and Last Dirt Races.  The Strictly Stocks were the forerunner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.  The first Strictly Stock race was held in Charlotte, North Carolina in June 1949.  The last dirt race in the NASCAR Grand National history occurred in September 1970 at Raleigh, North Carolina.  A fascinating look at both races and the men, and women, who drove in them.

Please go to www.amazon.com and look for these two books.  Or you can look up my name J Louis Frey on Amazon.


In Duel race number 2 it was Kyle Busch who took the checkered flag first.  He beat Kasey Kahne and youngster Austin Dillon to the finish.  Busch drove a Toyota, while Kahne and Dillon drove Chevrolets.  There were no cautions in the race.

I can NOT believe NASCAR didn’t display the caution when Ryan Newman spun and contacted the outer wall in the tri oval.  Newman nearly ran into the back of Jamie MacMurray who was slowing down to make a pit stop.  Newman swerved to the right, locked his brakes, and bumped the wall.  NASCAR always throws the caution flag for a similar incident.

Mike Bliss was the slowest guy in this race, he was taken out of contention early.  It wasn’t in an accident, it was that his window net became unattached and fell down.  NASCAR considered that a safety violation.  Bliss ended the race at least 5 laps down.

In an interesting bit of information, the drivers who qualified for the Daytona 500 by car owner points from 2012 were not lined up by those points.  They were added to the starting field by their qualifying speed on Sunday.  Also, all of the past Cup champions in the Duels made it into the line up.  So the 43rd starting spot will go to Travis Kvapil as the next driver by car owner points in 2012.

Trevor Bayne, one of the fastest cars during qualifying on Sunday, will use a back up car for the 500.  He will have to start from the rear of the field.

Right now the edge goes to Kevin Harvick as the winner of the Daytona 500.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer

Wednesday Practice

Here are some notes from the Wednesday practice session for the 2013 Daytona 500.

After Sunday’s qualifying Danica Patrick earned the pole position.  It marks the first time a lady has earned the pole for a NASCAR Cup race.  Jeff Gordon earned the outside pole, both drivers had Chevrolet power from Hendrick.

Monday night the NASCAR All American Series held a race on the Superstretch at Daytona International Speedway.  Kyle Larson booted CE Falk from behind as they came to the checkered flag.  Larson won the race but probably didn’t win over many fans with his actions.

Tuesday night at the same track former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Steve Park booted race leader Mike Stefanic from behind.  This occurred in the second turn on the final lap and Park held on for the win.  In the second race of the evening featuring the K&N Filters East cars, Canadian Cameron Hayley won.  The 16 year old banged fenders with Gray Gaulding, who is 15.  Hayley’s Ford beat Gaulding’s Toyota to the finish line.


Check out my books at www.amazon.com.

The e-books include “Daytona 500 Stories,” “Wicked Fast Talladega,” “The Daytona 100-1959,” “My Trophy Girl Tales,” and my latest “NASCAR’s First and Last Dirt Races.”

You can also get these books for your Iphone at www.smashwords.com.


During the first Wednesday practice Michael Waltrip, in a Toyota, had the fastest time.  In the second and final practice session Kasey Kahne was fastest in a Chevy.  Drafting speeds were Waltrip 198 mph, Kahne 197 mph in the 90 minute sessions.  Brian Keselowski was the slowest in both sessions, 183 and 186 mph.

Dale Earnhardt Jr had an engine failure in his Chevrolet during the first session.  Ryan Newman made contact with Carl Edwards during the first session.  Newman spun out and suffered some damage but will not go to a back up.  Both Earnhardt and Juan Pablo Montoya will start from the rear of the field because they replaced failed engines.

Patrick will lead the field to the green flag in Duel 1, Gordon will lead Duel 2.  Both drivers are guaranteed to start the Daytona 500 from the front row.  The first 15 finishers in each Duel will qualify for the 500, starting positions 2-32, excluding Patrick and Gordon.  Then the next 4 fastest cars from Sunday’s qualifying will earn positions 33-36.  The last 6 starting spots, 37-42,  go to highest car owner points from 2012 that haven’t qualified.  The last spot, 43rd, goes to the most recent former Cup champion.  If this doesn’t apply then 43rd will go to the next highest car owner points from 2012.

The Daytona Duels will begin at 2 pm on Speed.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer

Tommy Baldwin at Daytona

Tommy Baldwin has made numerous announcements and changes to his racing team starting at Daytona.  Baldwin himself will become the crew chief for driver Dave Blaney.  He was Blaney’s spotter on race day, but will move to the pit stall for 2013.

Baldwin changed his car number from number 36 to his father’s car number 7.  Robby Gordon used car number 7 for the past number of years, but will not be competing this season.  Baldwin expects his teams to be more competitive in the future.

In an effort to become more competitive Baldwin has added personnel to his team.  He has added a Competition Director, Charlie Langenstein, and Joe Lax as a crew chief for JJ Yeley.  Yeley will drive a 2nd entry at the restrictor plate race tracks of Daytona and Talladega.  His car number will be 36, the former car number 35, with sponsorship help from Golden Corral restaurants.  Yeley also has sponsorship from Accell Construction for 6 races, and United Mining Equipment for a few races.


If you love NASCAR and stock car racing you’ll love the books from auto racing writer and author J. Louis Frey.  His books include “Daytona 500 Stories, “Wicked Fast Talladega.”  His latest book is titled “NASCAR’s First and Last Dirt Races.”

Just like the title indicates, it is the story of the very first Strictly Stock race at Charlotte, North Carolina.  It occurred on June 19, 1949.  The next year Bill France, NASCAR’s Founder, changed the name of the series to the NASCAR Grand National division.  The last Grand National race on the dirt happened on September 30, 1970.  It is a great story with plenty of facts, figures, and trivia.

Pick up your copy of this e-book at www.Amazon.com, then type in “NASCAR’s First and Last Dirt Races.”  You can even borrow the book for FREE.


The Florida Lottery will sponsor Blaney for the Daytona 500, the July 4th race, and the season ending race at Homestead.  Also SANY America will be the primary sponsor for 14 races and associate sponsor for 22.  Both Baldwin cars are Chevrolets.

Baldwin has also teamed up with Scott Lagasse Racing to field a NASCAR Nationwide team for second generation driver  Corey LaJoie.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer

NASCAR’S First and Last Dirt Races


I am super pumped about my new book titled NASCAR’s First and Last Dirt Races.  Here is a copy of the books cover.  NASCAR started in 1948, but the book tells the tale of the first Strictly Stock race in 1949.  The next season Bill France, NASCAR’s Founder, renamed the series the Grand National division.  That was the name of the series when it held its last dirt track race in 1970.

You can buy the e-book here.


That first race was held in Charlotte, North Carolina on a new 3/4 mile dirt track on June 19.  The last dirt race was held in Raleigh, North Carolina on the fairgrounds track on September 30.

The first race featured a future three time point champion and a trio of 2 time point champions.  In both races the pole position winner led laps and then became the first to retire from the race.

At least one guy was present at both of them, the first as a spectator and the second as a driver.  Both races had drivers making their very first starts.  One guy flipped his borrowed car in the first race.  Bill France was in charge during both races.

NASCAR’S First and Last Dirt Races

Daytona’s Battle At The Beach

Have you heard about the latest races that were added to Speedweeks at Daytona.  The newest races are called The Battle At The Beach and they will be held at Daytona International Speedway.  I love the idea of grass roots racers coming onto the Daytona International Speedway and racing.

The Battle at the Beach is going to be held on Monday February18 and Tuesday February 19.  The inaugural events will take place on the backstretch of the 2.5 mile speedway.  The new temporary track will be a 4/10 mile course that no one has seen or practiced on.  These races will be contested the day after Daytona 500 qualifying.

The 3 NASCAR series taking part in The Battle will be the Whelen Modified Tour, the K&N Pro Series, and the All American Late Models.  The Modifieds and the K&N series will race for a winners purse of $20,000 each.  Their feature events will be held on Tuesday evening.  The starting fields will be 32 cars each with a minimum pay out of $1500.


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The number again is Toll Free 1-866-780-7682.


This race replaces the former Toyota Shootout that was held in November at Irwindale, California.  All three divisions will race in 150 lap features.  The races can be seen on Speed live both nights.  There are no time trials but heat races will be run for all divisions.  Line ups for the heats will be determined by practice speeds, with the fastest cars starting up front.  Some drivers have a guaranteed start no matter what happens during their heat races.

Rising star Kyle Larson will be racing a Whelen Modified at the Battle of the Beach.  Keep your eyes open for other prominent drivers who will appear.

Monday night will be the All American Late Models racing with 4 heats, and a last chance qualifier.  The Mods and Pro cars will have 2 heats each on Tuesday, a last chance qualifier, and the features.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer

Daytona 500 Pillow Talk

Now that Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse are now “an item”, I think it is time for some Daytona 500 pillow talk.  Danica recently announced that she is leaving her “old man” Paul Hospenthal.  He is 47 years old and Danica is 30 years old.  She is “dating” a fellow competitor from the NASCAR Nationwide Series, she said his name is Richard.  It turned out to be Ricky Stenhouse Jr, her 25 year old boyfriend.  Both Patrick and Stenhouse are moving up from Nationwide to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  That should make for some interesting “pillow talk” after the races.  Patrick and Stenhouse are competing for the Rookie of the Year award for the 2013 season.

Timmy Hill will make it a threesome, I mean for the ROTY in the Sprint Cup.  Hill will drive 20 races for Frank Stoddard in car number 32, a Ford with sponsorship from US Chrome.  Patrick will compete for Stewart-Haas Racing in her Go Daddy sponsored Chevy.  Stenhouse will drive number 17, formerly Matt Kenseth’s ride, out of the Roush-Fenway stables.  That car is the defending Daytona 500 winning team.


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Brian Keselowski will be competing in the 2013 Daytona 500.  Brian will team up with the Means-Hamilton team, driving their Toyota.  He will use the car number 52 that is typically associated with co-owner Jimmy Means during his NASCAR driving career.  Keselowski qualified for the 2011 Daytona 500 with the help of his brother, Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, when they were driving Dodges.  Brad’s car owner Roger Penske has switched over to the Ford nameplate for this year’s campaign.  Brian will announce a sponsor for the race in the near future.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer


Here Comes Daytona 2013

There are only 45 days until the Daytona 500, here comes Daytona 2013.

The NASCAR edition of Speedweeks starts today.  Testing takes place Thursday

thru Saturday at the track.  It will be televised at 1pm each day on SpeedTV.

Over 30 teams will participate in the testing sessions.  Regan Smith will drive

for Phoenix Racing.

The 24 Hours at Daytona is scheduled for January 26-27.

The ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway will be held on Saturday

February 16, also on Speed.  Defending race champion Bobby Gerhart is entered. 

Other drivers to take note of are Chris Buescher, James Hylton, Milka Duno, and Clay Campbell.

The Daytona Shootout will also be contested on Saturday night the 16th.

The race has a new name, it will be called the “Sprint Unlimited.”

Pole position qualifying for the Great American Race is set for Sunday

February 17 at 1pm on Fox.

Thursday February 21st will be the Daytona Duels at 2pm on Speed.

Friday night is the NASCAR Truck race at 7:30pm on Speed. 

Saturday is the Nationwide Daytona race, it is 1pm on ESPN, February 23rd. 

The 55th annual Daytona 500, The Great American Race, will  be televised on

Sunday February 24.  The race starts at 1pm on the Fox network.

Michael Waltrip, winner of the 2001 and 2003 Daytona 500s, will race

for the Swan Racing car number 30 Toyota. 

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer

Indoor Daytona 500


The Indoor Daytona 500 will be contested this week.  You may know the event by its’ official name, The Chili Bowl Nationals.  It is an indoor midget car race at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The first race was held in 1987 and the defending race champion is Kevin Swindell. 

Race teams were allowed into the building on Sunday.  The track is a quarter mile temporary clay speedway.  There was a practice session on Monday, Tuesday is Qualifying Day, and also an Invitational Race of Champions.  There are qualifying races on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Saturday is the 27th annual Chili Bowl Nationals finals.  There is also a huge trade show going on from Tuesday to Saturday inside the facility. 

Drivers that are looking for a victory in 2013 are Sammy Swindell, JJ Yeley, Bobby East, Cole Whitt, Tony Stewart, Kevin Swindell, Bryan Clauson, Jason Leffler, Brad Sweet, Kyle Larson, Jac Haudenschild, and PJ Jones.  There were at least 275 entries for the affair from 32 US states, and countries like Canada, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand.

I can wait to see the results from the event.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer


Happy New Year

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year.

Just a reminder that the Daytona 500 will be contested in just 52 days.  It will happen on Sunday, February 24, 2013 on Fox at 1pm. 

Qualifying takes place on Sunday, February 17 on Fox at 1pm.  The Duals take place on Thursday, February 21.

Remember that defending race champion Matt Kenseth will be driving for a new team.  He left Roush-Fenway Racing and is now driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.  Kenseth goes from Ford power to a Toyota. 

Last years race was postponed until Monday night.  Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked into the jet dryer, causing a huge fire and red flag condition.  The race was restarted and was concluded in the early morning hours of Tuesday. 

The top 35 cars are already locked into the field from last year’s point standings.  There is also 1 spot reserved for a past champion also.  That leaves 7 spots open for everyone else.  The three fastest qualifiers from Sunday that are not locked in will earn their way into the Great American Race.  Finally, the two cars finishing the highest in each 150 mile Dual will punch their ticket to the 500.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer 

Yeah, He Deserved It

The recent free for all that occured at the Phoenix International Raceway was interesting.

Lots of guys got into trouble with NASCAR and yeah, they deserved it.

Jeff Gordon was tired of getting run into by Clint Bowyer.  This wasn’t the first time it has happened.  So Jeff waited for Clint in the third and fourth turn and wrecked him.

Clint Bowyer-Yeah, he deserved it.  Although Joey Logano and Aric Almirola were also caught up in it.

Jeff Gordon was fined $100,000 and 25 points for his actions, plus he lost the respect of many drivers and fans.

Jeff Gordon-Yeah, he deserved it.

Brad Keselowski just missed getting involved in the crash.  However, after the race it was discovered that Brad had tweeted during the ensuing red flag period.  He had done the same thing during the season opening Daytona 500 and got a lot of attention for it. 

Remember it happened during the red flag for Juan Pablo Montoya’s run in with a jet dryer?  NASCAR then mandated that no electronic devices were allowed inside of the race car.  The reason is because a driver or crew person could use a “device” to alter the electronics or interfere with other systems in a car.  Even if the device was inoperable it was still a rule violation.

NASCAR fined Brad Keselowski $25,000 and placed him on probation until December 31, 2012.

Brad Keselowski-Yeah, he deserved it.

Jeff Gordon’s Crew Chief, Alan Gustafson, was also placed on probation because he is responsible for his car and crew.

Alan Gustafson-Yeah, he deserved it.

Clint Bowyer’s Crew Chief, Brian Pattie, was fined $25,00 and placed on probation until December 31.  Just like Gustafson, he is responsible for his car and crew, he approached Gordon’s crew and started a fight.

Brian Pattie-Yeah, he deserved it.

Finally Happy Birthday Terry Labonte-Yeah, he deserved it.

Can’t wait for Homestead to see what happens.

See some racing,

J Louis Frey

The Armchair Racer