Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ New Lenox native Marla O’Guin earns her spurs as mechanic on prominent Funny Car team ]]> Lead story image

Marla O’Guin is a “jump in and go for it” person. She was like that as a high-school freshman at Lincoln-Way Central when she tried out for the soccer team. “I didn’t know how to play the game,” she said. “I didn’t know the rules. My friends were playing.” She made the team. O’Guin — then known as Marla Weidenaar — was a junior at Central in 2005 when after one visit to Route 66 Raceway, she became fascinated with the idea of being a mechanic on a nitromethane-powered car. Today she’s on one of the NHRA’s most notable teams. … ]]> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 02:09:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chase Elliott wins third race, takes Nationwide points lead ]]> Lead story image

Chase Elliott didn’t have a particularly good Friday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet during practice for the Nationwide Series race ­Saturday. “Our car had speed at times; we just weren’t as good the whole time as I wanted to be,” he said. The 18-year-old has a ­pretty slick crew chief in Greg Ives. “We made some really good adjustments overnight,” Elliott said. “I can’t thank Greg and everybody enough.” He showed his appreciation during the race, which he led for 85 laps en route to capturing his third win of the season and vaulting past Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:30:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Easy Ed’ takes to pole-sitting duties ]]> Lead story image

INDIANAPOLIS — Every night last week had something different in store for Ed Carpenter. There was the appearance with golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, whose spirits brand sponsors his car, at a liquor store Monday. There was a celebrity bartending turn at a posh steakhouse Wednesday. There were more appearances around Indianapolis on Thursday and Friday. It comes with being the hometown hero, the kid who spent his childhood racing around Gasoline Alley, went to school at Butler University and dreamed of winning at the Brickyard. It also comes with sitting on the pole for the Indy 500. But if there is … ]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:27:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Matt Kenseth sitting pretty with Sprint Cup win at Chicagoland ]]> Lead story image

If history is any indication, Matt Kenseth is on his way to the 2013 Sprint Cup championship. For the first two years the Chase has opened at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, the winner of the GEICO 400 has gone on to win ­NASCAR’s Sprint Cup title. And that’s why Kenseth’s victory Sunday night is significant. “It matters because every single point is important from here to the last lap at Homestead [Miami in November],” Kenseth said. “So you want to enjoy this and then go to New Hampshire [next week] to get as many points as you can.” Kenseth entered … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:35:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Race car driver Gary Bettenhausen dies at age 72 ]]>

Officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway say race car driver Gary Bettenhausen has died. He was 72. ]]> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:46:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds victory lane at Daytona 500 after long absence ]]> Lead story image

Kelley Earnhardt Miller couldn’t bear to watch the last lap of the Daytona 500. After so many heartbreaks and close calls for her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., she lowered her head and told her husband, L.W., to let her know what happened. ]]> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 10:20:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500 after long rain delay ]]> Lead story image

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Through rain and wrecks, on Daytona’s longest day, this was a drought Dale Earnhardt Jr. was determined to end. NASCAR’s most popular driver won the Daytona 500 on Sunday night for the second time — a decade after his first victory — while snapping a 55-race losing streak dating to 2012. The victory ended a streak of futility at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished second in three of the previous four 500s. “Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said Earnhardt, … ]]> Sun, 23 Feb 2014 23:10:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Motorcycle rider Eric Palante found dead in Dakar Rally ]]> Lead story image

Belgian motorcycle rider Eric Palante has died at the Dakar Rally, organizers said Friday. ]]> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 12:34:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Doctors’ orders: Dario Franchitti can no longer race ]]> Lead story image

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti said Thursday that doctors have told him he can no longer race because of injuries sustained in an IndyCar crash last month. ]]> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 14:36:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ British racer Sean Edwards dies in training crash ]]>

BRISBANE, Australia — Sean Edwards, a promising British driver and the son of former Formula One driver Guy Edwards, died Tuesday in a crash during training. He was 26. Edwards, the Supercup Championship leader, was in the passenger seat as an instructor at a private training session at Queensland Raceway, Porsche Motorsport said. The car was being driven by a 20-year-old local driver when it crashed into a tire wall and caught fire. The driver was seriously injured. Sean Edwards was recently involved in director Ron Howard’s movie “Rush” about the 1976 Formula One season. Guy Edwards was one of … ]]> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 11:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Clint Bowyer finds some peace as he returns to Kansas ]]> Lead story image

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Clint Bowyer slid out of his No. 15 car in the parking lot of BB’s Lawnside BBQ, just south of downtown Kansas City, and greeted good buddy Guy Fieri with a hearty handshake. The Sprint Cup star and Food Network icon were filming an episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” but they kept running into a problem: The guys working at the auto repair shop next door wanted to meet Bowyer and kept wandering into the shots. “They had to ask all the guys next door to go back inside,” BB’s owner Lindsay Shannon … ]]> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:52:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ NAPA parts with Michael Waltrip after NASCAR Chase scandal ]]> Lead story image

NAPA Auto Parts said Thursday it is dropping Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the year in the fallout of the team’s attempt to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. ]]> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 10:28:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Matt Kenseth’s big win to kick off Chase lost in shuffle of NASCAR’s less-than-memorable week ]]> Lead story image

It seemed fitting that the GEICO 400 was red flagged for a five-hour, 10-minute rain delay Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. The first race of 10 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship didn’t end until almost midnight, and no one seemed to be around to watch Matt Kenseth get his sixth victory of the season and increase his points lead atop the standings. Considering the week NASCAR had to deal with and the penalties, infractions and do-overs that were announced during Chase week, fans and even drivers had a hard time paying attention to what was going … ]]> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 19:40:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kyle Busch easily wins the Nationwide race at Chicagoland ]]> Lead story image

Kyle Busch has an excellent chance to pull off a trifecta of victories this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. But even after winning the NASCAR Nationwide series’ Dollar General 300 Saturday in record fashion, Busch pooh-poohed his chances in Sunday’s first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. “They’re not as good as I’d like it to be,” Busch said. “We couldn’t find the feel or grip I was hoping to have (in the Cup car during practice). It’s going to be a bit of a challenge. I think we’re a top 10 car right now, but … ]]> Sat, 14 Sep 2013 22:03:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ NASCAR brass gives its drivers directions on how to race ]]> Lead story image

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and president Mike Helton think their latest trick should fix what has been a drama-filled week, as the sport kicks off the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with Sunday’s GEICO 400. France and Helton met with drivers, owners and crew chiefs Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet to announce new rules that will go into effect starting with the GEICO 400. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president for competition, was also at the meeting. France said the main thing the three of them tried to get across was that drivers and teams are … ]]> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 06:56:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ A small consolation, but Truex turns the fastest lap in practice ]]>

Martin Truex Jr., the driver that has garnered the most sympathy in NASCAR’S big brouhaha this week, seemed to take his anger out on the track Saturday. Truex, who originally made the Chase and then got bumped after a 50-point penalty, laid down the fastest speed in the morning Sprint Cup practice session. Truex drove an average lap of 182.383 mph. Truex’s average was just ahead of the newest member of the Chase, Jeff Gordon (182.328). On Friday, Truex qualified 14th for the GEICO 400 and that run gave the Michael Waltrip Racing driver a brief pick-me-up — until he … ]]> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 06:56:30 -0500