Charlotte's Four Burning Questions: Translating Success And McMurray's Time To Shine
Matt Stallknecht tackles all the major storylines surrounding NASCAR's longest race of 2013.
Andy Hollis · Friday May 24, 2013
So as has been spoken, written, even shouted about, it’s the golden weekend for the motor sports calendar approaching – Monaco for the F1, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 600. A veritable festival of blaring cylinders, high-rollers and…ummm…Coca Cola. So what more to add to the countless column inches that are out there? Well let’s start with a couple of questions that have been rolling about in my head this past week:
1 – Do F1 fans support drivers or teams?
With all the recent kerfuffle over team orders, naughty drivers and strategic driving ‘for the benefit’ of the employer, I came to wondering whether the average Formula One fan tends to support a team or a driver.
Read more Formula 1 Friday: Two Questions ...
Jeff Meyer · Friday May 24, 2013
At first glance, you may think that I am jealous of people that are more talented than myself, or perhaps I dislike individuals that are multi-faceted but that is not the case.
The fact is, it is not the people I hate but rather the word! Why do we think we have to walk on eggshells when we (as a society) refer to any individual that is not white? Why can’t we call a heart a heart?! (I would have used the more familiar suit reference of the ‘little dark shovel thingy’ for that phrase but, OMG! NO! That might be racist!) I now present to you, direct from the offices of ‘NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications,’ the thing that has me riled up this week.
Kevin Rutherford · Friday May 24, 2013
NASCAR’s second-tier national series will have one of its own honored when the sport’s hall of fame inducts its newest class next year.
Jack Ingram will join Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty, Fireball Roberts and Tim Flock as part of the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.
Ingram, a frequent competitor in the NASCAR Busch Series at its start, won 31 races and earned two series championships between 1982 and 1991, with the bulk of his good fortune coming before 1988. For a time, Ingram was the all-time winningest driver in what became the Nationwide Series, until Cup regular Mark Martin eclipsed his total in 1997.
Summer Bedgood · Thursday May 23, 2013
So we learned something new over the weekend. Apparently math is not a strong point in NASCAR nation. Average finishes are not to be calculated lightly, or else black helicopters will fly and fly and fly. The tinfoil hats will start crinkling, and everyone will again live on a grassy knoll. There is no escaping it; everything is a conspiracy.
So when SPEED somehow miscalculated Jimmie Johnson’s average finish after the first four segments, everyone flipped the heck out when Johnson was placed fourth instead of 11th. It was just … craziness. In fact, I’m shocked there wasn’t a riot directly outside of the racetrack or NASCAR headquarters within about 10 minutes. Hysteria, mass chaos, gnashing of teeth. There was some dark stuff going down.
Jeff Wolfe · Thursday May 23, 2013
When it comes to Sunday, it is for auto racing fans, the best day of the year. Even if you’re not a huge IndyCar fan, you at the very least have to pay attention to what happens in the Indy 500, maybe at least check it a few times and catch the final 50 laps or so, assuming you also woke up at the crack of dawn to catch the Monaco Grand Prix. And sure those are big deals, but the Sprint Cup drivers take it to another level Sunday night by going 600 miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
So, obviously, endurance is a key for this race when it comes deciding who to pick. There are so many factors that can play into it. If a driver has a good handling car, there is less energy spent trying to point it where you want it to go. That’s easier on the driver and the engine, too. It’s the only race of the year where the engines have to last more than 500 miles (not counting Green-White-Checkered finishes). So, drivers have to take care of themselves and their car and just who is best at doing that may well be the driver who reaches the finish line first late Sunday night.
Huston Ladner · Thursday May 23, 2013
Did you miss Part I of Huston’s series on the Indianapolis 500? Click here to check out the early history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With the war over, a booming economy and the advent of television, the Indianapolis 500 sat in a prime position to grow. The evolution and innovation of the cars each year at the speedway had as much to do with the 500’s popularity. During this decade, drivers were regularly able to achieve speeds near 150mph stratospheric compared to what the average passenger car of the day could muster. The car bodies became more sleek, adopting the roadster look. There was one funny competitive aspect that plagued the race and that was that the Offenhauser engines dominated, winning every 500 in the 1950s.
Mike Neff · Thursday May 23, 2013
Jason Ratcliff has had an eventful beginning to the season. He’s led Matt Kenseth to the most wins in the series. He’s been handed the biggest fine in the history of the sport and suspended for six races. He’s gone before the appeals board and had that suspension reduced while the fine was left at the full amount. He spent the Darlington race communicating with his team via every means possible and he finally was able to lead his team in his first ever All-Star race.
Ratcliff spent a little time speaking with Frontstretch about modern communication, crazy ideas to make the All-Star race better and what to look for in the Coca-Cola 600. He also discusses how his team will approace the next 16 races before the Chase begins.
Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday May 23, 2013
Author’s Note: Just days removed from the massive EF5 tornado that wiped out almost the entire city of Moore, Oklahoma, my prayers remain with the survivors as they mourn their loved ones that were lost and try to rebuild once again. Anyone interested in helping out with relief for the town can click here to find out the myriad of options that are available. God Bless the people of Moore.
While the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, the Camping World Truck Series will be off before heading to Dover International Speedway next Friday night. And while they’re still less than a quarter of the way into the season, there’s always observations that you can pick up on, even in the infancy of the year. As Matt Crafton expands his points lead and continues to make a case for his first career championship, there’s plenty of other stories to keep an eye on the series moves on.
Huston Ladner · Wednesday May 22, 2013
The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most heralded races in the world. It is still able to draw fans from over 200 countries. The race is one of the few in the IndyCar series that lures in the non-racing fans, showing that the word Indy still has appeal. This Sunday, May 26, will be the 97th running of the historic race, so consider this an opportunity to gaze back and remember what makes it special.
Not long after the auto had been invented, engineers went to work in trying to figure out how to go faster. The lasting legacy of this quest for speed became the Indianapolis 500. While the the Milwaukee Mile, which opened in 1903, was America’s first formal track, it was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), which opened in 1909, that would captivate that nation. Oddly enough, the first event held at the track was a balloon competition.