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
Tuesday March 4, 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 · Friday March 28, 2008
It may be only five races into the NASCAR season, but there have certainly been a lot of things to think about: Toyota's surge from backmarker to contender to winner; last year's absolute domination of Hendrick Motorsports turning into not even being a serious contender to win in '08; the Car of Tomorrow; Robby Gordon's overturned penalty; Carl Edwards' uncontested penalty; and Jack Roush's accusation of Toyota stealing a "proprietary part," to name a few. The list is long and interesting.
What is even more interesting is the fans' reactions to each of these stories.
I don't get the extreme dislike of Toyota, but many fans want to run the manufacturer out of town on a rail in a scene reminiscent of a 1950's Western. Now, I will admit that I never understood the allegiance that many fans have to a manufacturer that supersedes their allegiance to a driver. To me, the drivers, well, drive the sport, and I could care less if they are driving a Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Dodge, or a 1968 VW Beetle. To me, Toyota is just another car maker—one that supplies many jobs to American workers at that. The dislike in some cases borders on xenophobia—which was definitely not one of the basic principles that America was founded on. As a country that was built by immigrants, often literally—it's suddenly not okay to accept a foreign company who manufactures much of their product in America while many American companies outsource to China or other countries. It's just-no pun intended—a foreign concept to me.
There have been two opposing sets of opinion on the Hendrick question, as well, and that's been an interesting story to follow from that perspective. On one hand, Junior Nation is celebrating Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s success as the top HMS driver so far this season. In the other corner, fans of Jeff Gordon and/or Jimmie Johnson are malcontents, wondering aloud if the best resources are being funneled to the Most Popular Driver instead of the best drivers at HMS.
It's been interesting to follow because neither side is entirely right or entirely wrong. Junior is a talented driver-his 17 points-paying wins at NASCAR's top level despite being saddled with what was, at least for the last three years or so, equipment that couldn't match the best teams' stuff prove that. He's the best restrictor plate driver on the track today, bar none. He has never struck me as arrogant or demanding, and despite the accusations that he would walk in and demand things from his three teammates, has shown no sign of that. Is he getting good stuff? Absolutely. It behooves Hendrick to give it to him, because like it or not, many, many fans want to see him run up front and fork over a lot of money on merchandise when he does. He is tough on his own crew, because he wants excellence on the track. But is he the most talented driver at HMS? Well, no.
On the other hand, Casey Mears, Gordon and Johnson are not suffering because Junior waltzed in and stole their toys. Both the No. 24 and 48 teams will admit they lost ground during the Chase working on the now-obsolete Monte Carlos because that was necessary to win the championship that Johnson ultimately brought home. Mears has suffered some incredible bad luck, including a crash during the Daytona 500— a race which he could have won otherwise, and being the victim of NASCAR's overzealous attempt to start the race on a still-wet track in California. Johnson had his best career run going at Bristol before blowing a tire. Johnson got setup advice for that race, and Atlanta, from Earnhardt, Jr., and both races showed a marked improvement for his team over a horrendous Las Vegas at Atlanta and over all his previous starts at Bristol. So both sides of this argument strike out.
The Car of Today has its advantages and disadvantages. All in all, some races are good and others are snoozefests-and we had that with the old car too. Personally, I've never had an issue with it. The fan reactions to its looks are where I'm lost. It's surely no uglier than the offset, distorted old car, which looked like it was being seen through a fun house mirror most of the time. Sure, the splitter is a little funny looking, but so was the monstrous valance on the old car. The wing-well, street cars-stock cars if you will-have wings these days. Unless you're in the market for a (very) used Monte Carlo, you're not going to find a car on a dealer's lot today with a spoiler-but a lot of them have wings. I do understand the reaction to the car on the level that it is a huge change, and probably too sudden-NASCAR might have done more for the teams, in the long run, by phasing it in on their original three-year schedule instead of two. But the hatred of its mere existence? Not worth the effort-it's not going away.
I'm also a little confused on people's reaction to the two major penalties handed down this year. Or at least one of them. The fact that many fans disagreed with Robby Gordon's penalty for running an unapproved nose-despite the fact that the only difference was the placement of stickers-is not really a surprise. Most fans love an underdog, and owner-driver Gordon is just that. I agree with the fans who stood up for Gordon, because in this case, it was like sending a guy up for ten years for stealing a pack of gum. Savvy fans also realized that there is a huge difference between an infraction that gives a competitive advantage and one that does not.
Which is why I am surprised by fan reaction to the penalty levied on Carl Edwards. Many fans seemed to be of the opinion that the infraction-leaving the cover off the oil reservoir in order to change air flow, adding at least 30 pounds of downforce to the car-was really no big deal. Still others rallied against the penalty because it was equal to penalties handed out last year for CoT-specific infractions, because it wasn't a CoT issue, just a performance issue. Meanwhile, fans overlooked the larger picture here-that this was a performance-enhancing tweak used during competition-something that none of last year's rulebreakers did-their cars all raced legal. To me cheating during a race is far worse than trying to slide something through inspection and hope it's approved. Is Cousin Carl really above cheating? Is any team?
Finally, so far, fans have seemed reluctant to buy into Jack Roush's tale of a stolen part-even those fans who would like nothing better than to see Toyota thrown under the bus. Why? Remember the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf? I think many fans see Roush as a grown-up version of him-he has a long history of accusations against teams who are bettering his own-he accused Jeff Gordon's then-crew chief, Ray Evernham, of soaking tires to soften them in the late 1990's when only Gordon could deny Roush's Mark Martin of a championship. Scuttlebutt also questions whether Roush had a role in the story that Richard Childress' cars had tires with pinholes in them to bleed air and affect air pressure during a race. Neither allegation was ever proven. So to many fans, Roush is once again trying to bring down someone because they are winning at the expense of his teams. It sure seems suspiciously like sour grapes based on what I have heard so far, so I'm not at all surprised by the public opinion on this one.
All in all, it's been an exciting season, and the fans have a lot to say about all the goings on in the sport these days. While some of it comes as a surprise to me based on history and the knowledge of racing that so many fans do have, other reactions are no surprise at all. Fan debate is good for NASCAR, and it gives fans something to discuss around the water cooler, so a little discrepancy doesn't hurt a thing-it just makes the race season that much more interesting.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Actually one of the Roush stories was proven , just not acted on . A manufacturer of tire softener came forward and produced invoices showing that the 24 team had in fact purchased tire softener. And chemical tests that were performed on some of the tires in question while not conclusive did turn up some residue . I know , Gordon and Evernham cheating !!!! Couldn’t possibly be true .
One only has to look at the toyota engine to see that the law suits will be coming, it has Ford Fuel Pumps and block design and Chevy Heads and cylinders.
So funny! “The Japanese are not good at creating”!! That’s 50’s talk!
Oh, as regards “American Made”, the business headlines in my local paper stated “Chevy quietly installing Shanghai-made engines”!
Further on the “American made” situation, in 2002 China exported to the US less than $2 billion in auto parts! In the year 2007, that figure was an astonishing $12billion! All to the USA!
AMERICAN MADE? HUH?
And, and by the way, the added HP is through racing development, not a “gift” from Brian and his fellow crooks!
Come on guys , a car is a car is a car . The Japanese are not racing in NASCAR . Joe Gibbs and Bill Davis are racing in NASCAR . They are great people , and certainly American . Let’s get over the
Wendel , are you suggesting that Ford stole their fuel pump design from Toyota , and Chevrolet stole Toyotas’ block and cylinder head designs ?
Good article. I like your insight. But remeber where the bucks stop. Some turn into Yen in Japanese banks. U.S. companies going outside of USA is nothing new. But that money finds it’s way back here. Brazil in the mid 60’s for exapmle to built the 65 galaxies with Y blocks….. The world was still round last time I checked. I cant stand Toyota. I never did like them. I do like the Japanese poeple but I don’t trust the ones at the top corporations over there. Theay are under handed and will try to trick you in a second. They have a low opinion of us, like we are cave men. I lost relatives in Peral Harbor and sure, thats part of my bitternes. Backing a Japanese car is just not right in my heart no matter where it’s built. Growing up, fast cars was American turf. I feel as if we as a nation have been dupted by the Japanese. I no fair weather For fan. True Blue here. Red White and Blue baby.
Keep up the good work. I love your articles.
Dang Douglas….still defending them japs huh? The Facts are this: camry had no body to use, thus the COT…second the japs can’t build and didn’t have a decent v8…thus the copying of chevy and ford….third they have NO brains…thus the acquiring of joe gibbs racy…. the 96 million as stated above was to get nascrap to make the needed changes to the rules and to buy anal lube for brian!!
“The wing-well, street cars-stock cars if you will-have wings these days. Unless youâ€™re in the market for a (very) used Monte Carlo, youâ€™re not going to find a car on a dealerâ€™s lot today with a spoiler-but a lot of them have wings.”
Amy, where in the HECK are you shopping for cars?!?
The only cars I see with wings close to those on the COT are the “riced-out” Hondas and Toyotas the high school kids drive around my neighborhood. And even then THOSE are bought at JC Whitney and Pep Boys!
Even Subaru, the KING of rear wings (remember the Impreza WRX?) doesn’t put them on their cars anymore.
Although you MIGHT have a point: The front wheel drive coupes and sedans most people drive DO look generic (I plead guilty, our ’06 Impala could pass for a Toyota or Honda with the emblems removed), so maybe the COT IS more of a “stock” car than the older cars. :^)
I just had to comment on REC’s posting: “I do like the Japanese people but don’t trust the ones at the top of the corporations…” Where you been, man?! Take a look in your own backyard! Do you “trust” the ones at the top of our (USA) corporations? Here’s a statistic for you: In 1976, the average American CEO’s salary was 36 times the average worker’s; By 1993, it was 131 times; by 2005, it was 369 times! Sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to have loyalty to ANY manufacturer – we follow drivers and teams!
If you go to a Japanese restaurant your food may be cooked by an American and some of the food may have been grown here but when your order is served it’s still Japanese food.
One can only still hope that your type (Bigot) will soon fade away. You’re dumb too…
Dang Johnboy60, did not think I was defending anyone, just stating facts! By the way, Shanghai is in CHINA! You know, where Bush borrows most of his money!
Oh, and I don’t think Brian needs any lube! he has a BIG one!!
Actually Amy, the fan’s reactions to Junior, Jeff, Jimmie, and Jack are exactly what I expected. Almost all NASCAR fans, except this one, are so in love with Junior that it borders on nausea. And don’t get me started on the media! Only one driver can win a race, particularly a race at Talladega! Come on! There are 42 other drivers out there every race, and most better than the beloved Junior. Same goes for Jeff and Jimmie. One would think these three Hendrick drivers were God! Which brings me to the one man who by mearly saying anything, even if it’s a comment about the sun shining, can insight so much hatred from fans. All this controversy about Edwards car at Vegas would never had happened if it was Jimmie who had the loose oil tank lid. But a Roush driver, well, call out the firing squad! Oh well, there’s nothing that can be done about any of this, as that’s just the way fans are today. But don’t worry! Maybe enough pressure can be put on Mr. Henry, and he’ll buy Roush out completely and the fans and media won’t have Jack Roush around to launch their hate-filled attacks against.
“To me, the drivers, well, drive the sport, and I could care less if they are driving a Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Dodge, or a 1968 VW Beetle” Just another fine example of what is wrong with NA$CAR fans of today. There is no other sport in the world, maybe other than bowling, where you cheer for a ‘guy’. You cheer for your team. If someone is let go or leaves the team, bye, bye! Your team is your team no matter who the players are. And as for the Cat in the Hat, hell, NA$CAR always has it in for someone. Stickers are not right?!?! It’s all about the dollars now at NA$CAR. Sponsor driven, not driver driven. Just ask Dougie Y if it ain’t. First time here and the last. Thanks!
Ken, it never fails,Some one that doesn’t like Jr. will show up at an article that is no doubt about him. If you don’t like him stay away from the article, no one is making you read it. Geez——-
December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy>>>is there anyone out there who still cares??? Now, I know there are those who will call me a hate-monger because I still loyally wave the Red, White, and Blue, and say my prayers to God. So be it, My 4 American made vehicles have a total of 600,000 miles on them and all still run just fine. I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing.
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