Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Holding a Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Thursday July 12, 2007
You know the guy (heck, maybe you ARE the guy). He parades around the track with the little Jeff Gordon doll in the noose dragging behind, just hoping someone will kick it around. He (or she) boos Tony Stewart vehemently during driver intros. He calls Jimmie Johnson all kinds of unprintable things that have nothing to do with his racing ability. He is pretty vocal about whether Jack Roush is well, a nice guy or not. He has already decided that he will no longer be a Junior fan because Junior is going to drive for Hendrick Motorsports.
There is a small but vocal group of race fans who seem to have more fun hating one driver or another than they do cheering for the drivers they do like. They appear to attend races with the singular goal of booing a driver (or a select group). In fact, they boo louder than they ever cheer-at least until the guy they were booing gets in a crash. If-heaven forbid!-the guy they were booing actually wins-they shower him with beer cans, many with a good portion of the beer still inside. At Indy last year when Johnson climbed from his car to retrieve the checkered flag he'd dropped-a few cans were aimed at him-no helmet, no car. Those people are race fans?
I'll be the first to admit I don't understand this mentality. Not that there aren't drivers that I dislike strongly-there are-but I just don't get the animosity. Not only could booing during driver introductions be the last thing a driver hears other than the roar of the motor and a grinding crash, but it seems to be missing the point. Many of the drivers who are routinely booed, including the late Dale Earnhardt, have said that the boos merely pump them up to compete (pretty sure the guy booing Kurt Busch isn't trying to actually help him, but he just might be). In fact, Earnhardt said that he'd be more worried if the boos stopped-because that would mean people weren't watching him. That's right; to the drivers, silence hurts more than sound. The drivers who routinely get this treatment are also routinely winning races. Maybe the boos are fueled by jealousy. Hmmm…
Why someone would hate a driver so much it overshadows being a fan of someone, I have no idea. Nobody likes losing, but why does someone's hard work and winning have to be a reason for outright meanness? Is disdain for someone's car owner really a reason to wish him hurt (yes, I've heard that!)? There are drivers I don't respect because of their on-track tactics, but I don't understand the outright animosity for some, especially those who go out of their way to drive clean. There are car owners I don't like, but I would never quit cheering for my drivers if they went to their organization thinking it was their best career and life option. It's not like they ran off with your girlfriend, keyed your truck and killed your dog. (Incidentally that can be remedied, I hear, by playing country music backwards.) All they do is race, try to please their demanding sponsors and fans, and still try to have a personal life. That's it.
Not only is the booing ridiculous, dead silence would send a much more effective message, but the wearing of derogatory t-shirts and dragging around miniature effigies is also. I mean, that stuff is expensive! Personally, I'd rather spend $25 on an item in support of my driver than on a beanie, a t-shirt, and a piece of rope, all for some guy I don't even like! Ditto spending time on Internet message boards slamming them. Wouldn't that time be better spent on writing about how great their chosen driver is? Especially if their guy has haters of his own! What goes around, comes around, pal.
It kind of makes me worry about our society in general. When did being hurtful, in front of children no less, become not only apparently acceptable, but fun? Are we really so insecure in ourselves that we need to put other people down to feel better? Sure we've all made a remark about someone-but the fans I'm talking about do it not only in front of other fans and their children, but the drivers and their children. How do you think that driver's wife and kids feel when he hits the wall, and before he can indicate that he is even okay, people are cheering his misfortune, not even knowing whether or not he’s been seriously injured. Some have even gone so far as to say to a driver's family, "I wish he'd crash and burn" or the like. Is this what kind of people we're bringing up today?
Seeing little children doing this is even worse. Children, as the saying goes, have to be taught to hate. And, judging by the scene in the stands, legions of them are being taught just that. That's downright scary. This kind of behavior toward one person could easily blossom into a group of people and then what? Great parenting there. Aren't we better than that? Aren't we?
My advice to these bitter fans would be to be a decent example for the kids at the track. Cheer your guy loudly. Proudly display his merchandise, even drink a beer toast to his victory. But keep the boos, the derogatory comments, the little beanies and the beer cans to yourself. Remember who's watching, and act like responsible adults. Love your driver, even if nobody else does. Just don't hate mine or anyone else’s and have a little class and realize that he's human, too. And so are those kids who are watching and learning by example-and who want to be real race fans when they grow up.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I love it Amy!! And I know what you mean about booing drivers, having heard the booing ever since I started watching NASCAR back in 1994. It didn’t help that I was a Jeff Gordon fan during the time when he was winning races and championships, and now as a Kurt Busch fan I hear it all at the track and on the message boards everywhere. Shame on those “fans” who feel the need to act like children.
A most excellent article Amy. Fans’ whose main purpose is to hate a driver(s) moreso than to cheer for their favorite is probably the one thing that I have a hard time understanding in this sport. I have seen it in other sports but not to the degree I have in NASCAR. It’s just very sad that there are that many fans driven by negative, hateful feelings.
Very well said.
Earlier this year Kurt Busch was on Trackside. When the crowd started to boo him he turned to them and egged them on, saying, “I can’t hear you,” and “You can do better than that.”
Unfortunately, our society has, for the time being, rejected the concept of a common standard of decent behavior in favor of the selfish cries of “I have a right to my opinion,” as justification for any sort of tawdry, mean-spirited display of idiotic animosity.
What a great article! I’ve often thought the same thing. This attitude seems to be everywhere – in the workplace, TV, movies, music, sports, the school system, etc. If people would just put their effort into supporting the things they feel are worthwhile rather than fighting the things they don’t like, the world would be a much better place.
Hate brings viewers. To the track as well as the TV and internet forums. Very few want to see or read about something positive ALL the time. Hate is about the bad guy. We hate the Joker and the Riddler, but Batman wouldn’t exist without them. We are attracted to him or her. Hateful forum posts have more views and responces than the positive posts. Take a look at FS itself. These “bad boy” articles you fine folks write have more responces than the positive or even the informative articles have. Its the way we are wired. I’m not making excuses mind you, just pointing out my observations.
Pay real clear attention to the next race that JGordon crashes out of. The cameras will pan the crowd showing the cheers ONLY for this driver, no others (that crash out). NBC was famous for doing this. Why? Because he is hated so much. Hate brings viewers, viewers bring money.
Ah well, off to the go-cart track with my son I go. To cheer him and the other kids on, along with the other parents.
Worst thing about this is, the people booing, dragging effigies, throwing beer cans, and so on—don’t even know the maan they’re slamming. Never met him, haven’t spent any time with him, yet are sure they have a reason to hate him.
Wonder how they feel when someone judges them the same way?
My sentiments exactly. You don’t have to like every driver or your boss for that matter but you should show proper respect.
“I don’t like how this guy drives around in a circle for 4 hours risking his life. I am going to throw a BEER CAN AT HIM!!!!”
great article. what i don’t understand nor can i comprehend is the notion of “winning too much”. what’s that about? isn’t that the premise for those brave men/women strapping themselves into that hot car?! i think voelker stated it best regarding everyone would rather justify their opinion (negative or not) rather than something constructive for the benefit of people. having an opinion is one thing, but violently displaying and supporting that opinion seems quite barbaric. NASCAR, it has been said, is about the “good ol’ boys”, but many in the stands don’t fit that mold. personally, i find it difficult to hate someone i don’t like … i may not cheer for Tony, JG, etc, but i refuse to boo them at the track. it’s counterproductive to spend money to “support” the sport, but go out of one’s way to just breed hatred and anger. what a world!
Amy – good, bad or ugly, people are always going to boo and cheer. Fortunately, most fans are smart enough, and adult enough, to do this in the way it’s meant – in jest of their friends or family who are rooting for someone else. Anyway, what I really wanted to comment on was your remark about “playing country music backwards”; I think Rascal Flatts sings it best from their Me And My Gang album…check it out:
Ya get your house back â€“ ya get your dog back
Just a little humor – have a great weekend everyone and let’s go racing at CHICAGO!!!
So glad to see that all the PC people are getting their point across. Not only a rule book for NASCAR but also one for NASCAR fans. Everyone has to treat each driver equally. No having any fun with a little ribbing with signs or dolls or whatever. Someone might get their feelings hurt. Maybe after everyone has dulled up NASCAR you can move on to the NFL. Those poor big guys feel so bad when the opposing teams fans boo as they come on the field. Everyone should sit quietly and politely thru the whole race. An applause meter will be in each grandstand to make sure that each driver gets the same amount of “love”. Amazing that fans 20 and 30 years ago go could to races and behave without a rule book. Oh yeah, those uncouth people with the chicken bones HAD to GO. So glad you guys are here now to educate us.
Great article Amy. I don’t have any children, but I know a few families that will no longer allow their children at the racetrack because of the hateful, barbaric behavior that goes on there. The debris throwing is unaccepatable and needs to be harshly punishd. It’s a miracle that no one has been seriously injured.
As for the people who feel the need to wear hateful items and accesories – that speaks volumes about what kind of person they are. Do they know these drivers personally? No. Have these drivers done something to them personally to explain this hatred? No. I mean how dare these drivers be successful and win races! Some people would rather surround themselves with hate than enjoy the sport of racing. I will never understand it.
It’s like the so-called Jr. fans who are bailing on him and saying that he has “betrayed” them since he signed with HMS. Sorry, you were never really a Jr. fan then, you were an anti “fan” who hid behind the Jr. fan label. And Jr. doesn’t need fans like you. No one does.
Sam, sorry I had to respond to your comment. First, you are absolutely right. Second, to everyone who is posting, talking about how “bad” others are at the race track, I have to wonder…Are these same people as forgiving to others who aren’t the same color as them, or worship the same as them, or have the same sexual orientation, or are on the same political side, etc., etc., etc.? Cuz if all you “posters” can feel the same way about ALL the hate in the world, then maybe, just maybe, we have hope yet for the next generation. But if you HATE or BAD MOUTH any of the above examples, then you really aren’t any better than the beer-throwing idiots at the track. Just my opinion…think about it though….
I agree and disagree with some of the points being made. I donâ€™t see anything wrong with booing a driver you donâ€™t like during driver intros. I donâ€™t do it (at least not loud enough for anyone but me to hear), but I donâ€™t see the harm in booing during driver intros. NASCAR fans are, for the most part, a fiery bunch with a lot of passion for the sport, whether its for the drivers they love or the drivers they hate. I do think that, if your driver doesnâ€™t win, or a driver you despise does, why donâ€™t you just walk away? Donâ€™t stand there booing, cursing, screamingâ€¦just shake your head and walk away. Booing is a better alternative than the cursing, butâ€¦ Why canâ€™t you just wait until you get into your cars before cursing out the winner. There are kids all over the place, and they and other adults donâ€™t deserve to have their ears assaulted.
I do NOT understand people who cheer, whoop and holler when a driver they donâ€™t like is in an accident. Especially before even knowing how the driver in the cockpit is. Iâ€™ve seen it on TV and in person. A car goes spinning down the frontstretch and into the wall (whether its Gordon, Johnson, Busch, etc.) and 100â€™s of people stand up and start screaming and high-fiving each other. Itâ€™s one thing after the driver has gotten out of the car or at least put the window net down, but itâ€™s another when the car is still rolling out of control. But the truth is, also, that this doesnâ€™t just happen when itâ€™s someone not as popular with the fans. Iâ€™ve seen it happen many times when ANY car goes slamming against the wall. I understand itâ€™s the adrenaline and the excitement and all, but it really scares me that people can be that excited about watching a wreck. Maybe after the driver gets out of the car, because the truth is it can be an amazing sight (especially live) but itâ€™s frightening that people would be happily excited about it.
The throwing of any object on the track, at a car or at a driver at anytime is also a despicable thing to see, no matter who the driver is.
Those are my thoughts. (Sorry its so long)
It’s easy to understand all the “Haters.” You see them all around you. They are the roadragers, the child abusers, the bullies. The list is long. They are the multitudes of angry people that hate their boss/job, hate their ex-spouse, hate their present spouse, hate the person driving too slow in front of them, hate their parents, hate God, in general they just hate their life! All the ungrateful malcontents expressing their imagined (or real) Victimhood. As we all know it’s easier to blame someone else for your problems than to change your own life for the better, so maybe NASCAR has become the place that the losers can vent. If you can go and throw a beer can at Jeff Gordon’s car, maybe it’s better than going home and shooting your dog or something far worse.
I agree with Sam and Steve. You guys are forgetting the sheer Essence of SPORTS and and being competitive. That’s why fans follow professional sports. It gives the average joe a chance to be competitive in a different sense by following a favorite team or driver or whatever. Therefore, you dislike your favorite team or drivers’ biggest competitor. I’m sure you have all experienced the competitive nature and feeling when your driver passes the leader in turn four to take the checkered flag!! And, how good is that feeling when your driver does the aformentioned, but the leader is his biggest foe?!?!
And when did Americans become so sensitive? This article actually makes me want to vomit. Your kids are going to learn more bad behaviour and such at school than they will going to one, maybe two races a year. Also, parents should know that ANY sporting event is going to be filled with loud, drunk, obnoxious, swearing, cursing, spitting sports fans. You bring at your OWN RISK!! If you don’t want your kids to see it, then leave them at home. Don’t ruin everyone else’s fun.
Amy isn’t saying that you are not allowed to dislike drivers – she is talking about the people who have a blind hatred for drivers, who throw crap at people, and have temper tantrums and yell vulgar things at people in the stands.
Dislike whoever you want to. Just have the sense and maturity to act in a reasonable manner – don’t throw stuff at people and don’t taunt other fans because they like a driver that you don’t. Have some respect for others. If you want to throw cans and debris in your own home at your TV – have at it.
Amen, Alex! this shouldn’t be about whether or not it’s okay to dislike a driver, it’s more about a wake-up to those who cannot act in a mature way. yell, curse, spit, but don’t throw things at the people competing! rivalries are a beautiful thing … if they weren’t, would you honestly watch? it’s great to have passion for cheering for a driver and, for some, a passion for booing another. i believe that NASCAR has the most die-hard and loyal fans out there. there’s no strikes or lockouts, just balls to the wall racing … the way it should be.
William T., good retorte. I really liked your thinking of “parents should know that ANY sporting event is going to be filled with loud, drunk, obnoxious, swearing, cursing, spitting sports fans. You bring at your OWN RISK!! If you donâ€™t want your kids to see it, then leave them at home.” I just have one question, are you talking about professional sporting events or the elementary/jr. or high school football/baseball/basketball/volleyball/soccer game? lol…. Enjoy the race on Sunday my fellow NASCAR nuts!!
hahahah. Highschool, ofcourse!!
Oh yeah…..I am not one of those beer can throwing, cursing fans. Just wanted to let you guys know that.
Frankly, I am, however, entertained by some of the outfits and such that these types of fans wear.!! :)
Why do people spend so much more energy on hate than on cheering? It’s at least partially a function of today’s NASCAR where you have A teams, B teams, and C teams. If you’re a fan of, say, Wood Brothers Racing or Kenny Wallace, or Robby Gordon, what do you have to cheer for? Top 20s? A top 10 is a rare thing indeed.
But NASCAR fans are passionate, and that passion has to go somewhere, and so of course it goes into hate of the A-list.
Interesting concept, Skip. I suppose there is a natural rift between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” However, I’ve been a diehard Kenny Wallace fan for years and harbor no animosity for other drivers simply because they have better equipment.
And I’m NOT saying that fans shouldn’t show their passion for their drivers and even for those they dislike. I’m just questioning the motivation of those who expend more money time, and energy on deriding the guy they don’t like than they do on cheering for the driver they DO like. I just wonder what that says about our society and what it teaches our children. If they can learn to hate a person they don’t even know for no reason than because someone says to, what’s to stop them from learning to hate a group of people, be it based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc., just because they learn by example. After all a lot of “haters” choose to call into quesion a driver’s orientation as a derogatory put down-in itself showing others it’s okay to be homophobic. Kind of scary if you ask me.
I’ve learned that every time I cheer for someone, they have a bad day, so I just learned if I cheer for someone, chances are they will blow up or wreck… LOL! Maybe I should become a Gordon, Junior and Johnson fan! THe one race I misses watching is the one Casey Mears won! Am I cursed or what?
Thanks Amy. That needed to be said.
To me, part of the fun of this sport is that, with 43 cars starting every race, there are plenty of heroes and villains.
I pull for Chevy drivers and donâ€™t care much for those four-letter-word-starts-with-â€œFâ€ cars. Donâ€™t like Dodges much. And I care even less for those rice-burners.
I was a Terry LaBonte fan and didnâ€™t like that cheatinâ€™ little beady-eyed weasel with that ratty moustache that drove that nasty black 3 car. Iâ€™ve never cared much for Tony Stewartâ€™s behavior on or off the race track. And there was a while there where I rolled my eyes at the sight of â€œMr. Excitementâ€ on the track. But those guys are colorful characters who help make Cup racing so much fun. And nothing was better than the sight of a nice, billowing cloud of white smoke behind a black or orange car.
But I’ve been to races and seen young men stand and give obscene gestures to driversâ€”with young children sitting a few rows back. And weâ€™ve all seen the beer-can throwers whose drunken stupidity endangers other fans more than the target of their rage.
Sometimes dislike may be justified. My respect for Ray Evernham has plummeted and I donâ€™t think much of Erin Crocker. I donâ€™t like what Brian France and his hyper-rich family are doing with our sport. I have no use at all for the drug users. But you can go to just about any message board and find plenty of raw hate directed at people whose main offense was just to win more often than that posterâ€™s favorite driver. Letting competitive fires spill over into hate is just plain wrong.
I think we all ought to step back and see if we canâ€™t apply the â€œWarren Wallaceâ€ rule. You know, â€œI didnâ€™t say I wouldnâ€™t go fishinâ€™ with the man.â€
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