On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Jeff Burton spoke with Rick Allen and Frank Stoddard about the spectacle of racing at Bristol and just how difficult Joey Logano’s victory at the half-mile oval was.
When Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 was over, most drivers went out to dinner, attended Conor Daly’s post-race party – or just plain chilled out and relaxed.
But not Bryan Clauson.
Clauson put together his own version of “the double” Sunday, starting his day at Indy and finishing it not 600 miles away for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 – but rather with an evening sprint car race about 60 miles away in Kokomo, Indiana.
It was indeed a heck of a day and evening for Clauson.
First, he led the 500 for the first time in three career starts there, having the 32 other drivers in the field chasing him for three laps.
Next, Clauson finally finished his first 500 in the No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda for Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, amassing 198 laps in the 200-lap event. That was a significant improvement than his first two starts in 2012 (completed just 46 laps) and 2015 (completed 61 laps).
Running 500 miles at Indy didn’t leave Clauson too worse for the wear: he went out and won just a few hours later that evening at Kokomo!
As he was leaving IMS, Clauson, a native of Noblesville, Indiana – about halfway between Indy and Kokomo – stopped quick enough to tweet out his reaction to his finish at Indy.
And then with that, the 26-year-old Clauson was back on the road up to Kokomo Speedway.
Racing at Indy and Kokomo was just a warm-up act for Clauson, who is kicking off a stint of 40 races in 34 days, as part of Clauson and Byrd Racing’s “Chasing 200” tour.
Of course he and fiancee Lauren also had a banquet to attend on Monday night.
As part of his New York City media tour on Tuesday, Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi visited NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA show.
Rossi spoke with Carolyn Manno, and discusses winning the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, his choice of milk after winning and his Formula 1 past before shifting to IndyCar and driving the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda for Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian.
Rossi’s NAPA Auto Parts primary sponsorship will continue into next weekend’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, Rounds 7 and 8 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
The IndyCar circuit returns to NBCSN on June 11, at 8 p.m. ET, from Texas Motor Speedway.
Conor Daly may have been disappointed in his 29th place finish in Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
But you couldn’t tell by the 24-year-old Noblesville, Indiana native’s comments at Monday’s Indy 500 Victory Banquet.
Daly started his acceptance speech to receive the $336,243 he earned for being in the 500 by discussing his wardrobe – or lack thereof.
“This is my first purchased suit,” he said with a smirk. “I bought this with my own money. It’s a big achievement in my life.”
That comment drew applause and laughs.
Daly touched on the crash with Mikhail Aleshin shortly after the mid-point of the race that ended the day for both drivers, not blaming the Russian driver, then went into a routine that featured several funny one-liners, including:
* “I’d like to thank Christopher Columbus for coming over and discovering this great place.”
* “And I’d like to thank George Washington for establishing this wonderful country. And all of our veterans and just the great American country, because it’s awesome.”
Daly then talked about how he decided to mosey out to Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s legendary “Snake Pit” in the Turn 3 and Turn 4 portion of the infield.
Just before the race, too!
“I had never been to the snake pit before so I went out there before the race, oddly enough,” Daly said. “I carved out a 30-minute window to do some promotional activities and I wore my helmet and my race suit, safety first. That was awesome. I probably won’t be able to see it ever hopefully for a long time because I’ll be driving (in the race).”
And as for his close friend Rossi, Daly said, “Mr. Rossi, good job, my friend. You get a car and money and all kinds of cool stuff. Yeah, it’s awesome, so good job, buddy.”
When asked about his close friendship with Rossi when they raced against each other in the GP2 series, Daly noted: “We shared many a meal in the GP2 hospitality of dried meats and cucumbers and whatever the heck they had there that I thought were ridiculous.
“We talked many a times about where we were going to go in our careers. Sure enough, here we are, he’s an Indy 500 champion and I’m attempting to do something with my life. So, we’re getting there.”
Legendary drag racer Shirley Muldowney has made thousands of rides down a drag strip in her racing career, but nothing comes close to the ride she has undergone in the last week.
Muldowney, who became the first woman to win a national event race as well as becoming the NHRA’s first female champion (3-time Top Fuel champ), is expected to be released Tuesday from a Charlotte area hospital.
But that’s only the back story.
Muldowney was admitted into the hospital a week ago today, prepared to have her right lung removed last Wednesday, having been diagnosed with Stage 2 lung cancer. Only about 30 percent of Stage 2 survivors live another five years after surgery.
That’s when nothing short of a miracle happened.
When the five-hour surgery began last Wednesday, doctors quickly discovered that while there indeed was a tumor in Muldowney’s right lung, the entire lung itself ultimately did not require removal – just a small portion of it, including the tumor.
Then, when doctors examined the tumor, they found that while it was severely infected, it did not appear to be cancerous. A biopsy of the tumor after it was removed confirmed its benign state.
“The decision to remove only part of her lung happened during the surgery when they saw that the lower lobe was in good shape,” Muldowney’s agent, Rob Geiger, told MotorSportsTalk.
“Apparently, because the tumor was so infected, it presented itself as cancerous by exhibiting all the signs of cancer, i.e. it ‘glowed’ during the scan they do.
“They tried twice to get a piece of it to test tissue, but because the tumor was attached to her windpipe, they had to be extra careful and eventually elected to just leave it alone. Either way (if it was or wasn’t cancerous), it had to come out.”
Now, Muldowney is heading home to recover, but her outlook and prognosis is nothing short of outstanding.
“It’s a miracle, this whole thing the way it’s turned out,” Muldowney said, according to Geiger. “To go from hearing a cancer diagnosis and having an entire lung removed to the actual operation and the doctor sees it’s not as bad as they thought.
“I still have part of my right lung and the tumor was just severely infected, not cancerous. I’m so glad it’s over and the pain is over. The infection was so bad I would have died pretty soon if we didn’t do this. I’m lucky, very lucky.”
Geiger relayed a message Muldowney had for her fans:
“The fans and all of the friends I’ve made over the years have really been something,” Muldowney said. “I have received so many flowers my room is overflowing.
“I asked the nurses to distribute them around to other patients so they can enjoy them as well. Plus, I told them to put some on the nurse’s station for them to see.
“I’ve gotten so many cards and messages on the Internet and email, I’m going to have to live another 20 years to answer them all!
“The staff here … these people here are angels. The absolute best in the business. They are so wonderful and attentive. It’s been as good as it can be.
“I can’t wait to get home and see the dogs. They miss their mama, I’m sure.”
Muldowney, who had to cancel two appearances at upcoming NHRA events due to last week’s surgery, is hoping for a quick recovery. It’s not clear when she may return to public appearances, but Muldowney is ready to start working in that direction.
“I need to stay active,” she said. “I need to keep up and walking around. The doctors want me walking up to two miles a day by the time I hit eight weeks, so I need to stay on it.”