Hamlin Snags Coca-Cola 600 Pole With Track Record Time
posted by Amy Henderson
Thursday May 23, 2013
Denny Hamlin shattered the track qualifying record at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he rocketed to the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Hamlin had a lap time of 27.604 seconds, or 195.624 miles per hour. Several drivers drove past the old record, set by Greg Biffle in 2012, but it was Hamlin who came out at the top of the heap and holds the new record. Kurt Busch will start on the outside of the front row. Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, and Ryan Newman hold down sixth through tenth places.
The pole is Hamlin’s second of 2013; he also started in front at Fontana before an injury in that race sidelined him for over a month. Hamlin says that his back feels “nearly 100%” and that it doesn’t cause him pain while driving. He added that winning the pole helped solidify for him that he is back at a competitive level, but he wants one more thing before he’ll be satisfied.
“I think winning would do that. I think ultimately getting the big trophy on Sunday is the validation that you’re truly back,” said Hamlin after his lap. “For me, it’s going to take some wins and some really good consistency throughout these summer months to put ourselves in position to have a chance at a championship. That’s what we’re here for. Even these small victories though give me that confidence that I’m still capable, and I’m still able to do the job at 100 percent like I should be. Any kind of confidence booster for me — it’s always a plus on Sunday.”
The Cup teams are next on track Saturday at 10 AM for the weekend’s second practice. Final practice for Sunday’s race is Saturday afternoon at one o’clock. The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to start at 6 PM on Sunday and will air on FOX.
Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
Connect with Tom!
Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
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Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
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I was reading through some old (and not-so-old) racing columns and found one that I wrote last year that got me thinking. Actually, it was the comments that I got that got me thinking. I wrote about some of the issues that were making NASCAR less than popular with the fans. You can read about them here if you really want to. But it isn’t necessary.
What really piqued my interest was a comment that, in a nutshell, blamed about 95% of the problems in NASCAR these days on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Apparently, NASCAR lets Junior run rampant in the garage and on the track, giving him cautions for the asking and, more or less, fixing the races for his benefit or for any other outcome they would like to have.
OK, let me get this off my chest: the NASCAR universe doesn’t revolve around Junior. That’s not a knock on the most popular driver. It’s merely an observation about two factions of fans that I’ve encountered in recent years—those that love Junior, and those that hate him. Love him, and he’s all that and a bag of chips—the greatest driver on the circuit who can do no wrong and is continually shafted by the media and the officials when he should obviously be winning every week. Hate him, and he’s overrated with an inflated ego and NASCAR bends over backwards to accommodate his obviously mediocre talent, and, on top of all that, the fans who love him are obnoxious.
Even NASCAR got in on the “blame Junior” act last year, insinuating in a statement that TV ratings would be higher if Junior was running better. Well, gee, if you listen to the detractors, they did all they could to help the guy—throwing phantom debris cautions, letting Junior and only Junior pass below the yellow line on the plate tracks, making prank phone calls to Jimmie Johnson telling him the race was cancelled… It wouldn’t have surprised me at times to see accusations of little green men fixing the weather to get the guy a rain win.
Poor guy-it must be an awful lot of pressure to be told by one group of fans that the fate of NASCAR rests on your shoulders and by another that the fate of everything rests on your shoulders. It must be terrible to know that people are showering your competition with beer cans because they beat you. Or to hear that NASCAR is fixing races for you—as if that’s the only way you could get a win. You can’t win some days!
Based solely on numbers, Junior is certainly in the top tier of drivers today—17 points wins is nothing to scoff at, certainly better than mediocre, but it’s also hard to argue that he’s the best when both Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson, both of whom came on the scene around the same time, have double that number (Stewart is one shy of that). Have the phantom cautions over the years helped Earnhardt? Sure, but they have also helped other drivers. Kyle Busch could vouch for Junior not being the only guy to sneak in a pass below the line at Talladega. Junior hasn’t won a points race this year and the ratings have rebounded over last fall. Contrary to popular belief, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson aren’t having a slump this year because Junior is getting all the good stuff at Hendrick Motorsports.
Now, don’t go thinking I dislike Junior because I said it’s not all about him. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve liked Junior since day one because he’s a class act who would probably be fun to hang out with for a day. Heck, the guy is my neighbor. But I’m not looking at him as a driver or as a person through rose-colored glasses, either. He’s not perfect, and he shouldn’t have to be.
NASCAR has never been about one guy. There are guys that are popular and others that are kind of just there, but all of them have their fans and detractors. Most other drivers just aren’t this polarizing, nor their fans and those that dislike them such zealots. Junior, like every driver on the track every week, has a lot to bring to the table, and sometimes, he screws up. He’s neither lone hero nor archvillain.
Pinning NASCAR’s hopes, or their problems, on one driver, no matter how popular, is a disservice. It’s also short-sighted and narrow-minded. But most of all, putting all that on one man’s shoulders in unfair—unfair to Earnhardt and to his competitors. He’s a shining star in the NASCAR universe, but he’s not the center of it.
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13 NASCAR races, 13 straight weeks with a frontstretch.com article about Dale Junior. Can you come up with someone else to talk about, please? I gotta figure Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson or Tony Stewart or even Kyle Petty are doing something interesting this week. I’ve learned all but what color Dale’s toothbrush is from this website. Lets talk about someone else for a change, please.
Don’t Worry Kevin. Im a Jr fan, But in a year, you’ll have Lagano and Busch to be sick of, Unless youre one of those shrub lovers!
Could you please, please, get your facts straight????
At the Talladega race you mentioned where Jr.
“WON”, NA$CAR admitted after the race they did not penalize Jr. because they were afraid of the fan reactions if they took the win away!
NA$CAR themselves said they awarded the win ONLY because they did not want a riot in the stands if they black-flagged Jr.!!
Spin it the way you want!
But the truth will prevail!
Jr. is nothing but a second rate driver given the best equipment because of his name! Not his talent!
Top ten relevent cup drivers in the 21st century so far are 1) Jeff Gordon 2) Jimmy Johnson 3) Tony Stewart 4) Matt Kenseth 5) Kurt Bush 6) Dale jr. 7) Ryan Newman 8) Kevin Harvick 9) Greg Biffle 10) Kasey Kahne. HONORABLE MENTION: Jeff Burton,Kyle Bush,Carl Edwards,Denny Hamlin and Elliot Sadler.
Dale Junior is overrated by his fans but much more underrated by his detractors. The guy lost a championships by a couple of dozen points, has finished in the top 5 how many times, and has 17 wins.
While I agree that his fans are often obnoxious, I am far more turned off by those who hate him. What is there to hate about the guy? He is honest, he usually drives clean, and he admits to his mistakes.
Wow, what a terrible human being.
If Douglas truly believes Nascar fixed a race for Junior and admitted it, failed to penalize Junior when it should have and admitted it, then I have to wonder why he’s still watching such a farce. No self-respecting fan would watch if he truly believed it. The better Junior does, the more haters that appear to comment on articles about him and the more outrageous their claims become. It’s a lot of fun for his fans to watch so many go off the deep end and completely lose all common sense just because someone wrote a Junior article. People tend not to waste their hate on talentless flacks who don’t deserve the attention. So hate away. Those obnoxious fans truly live for it, and those less obnoxious fans find it endlessly amusing, too.
Dale Jr. is highly overrated. If his name was something such as “Dale Jones, Jr.”, then he would be nothing but some second-rate driver along the lines of some of these journeyman drivers in NASCAR.
Nice to see others are tired of hearing/ reading about Jr. I agree he is good drive but not one of the best. Doesn’t matter what equipment he has, he will never be the driver his father was.
What is there to not like about Dale Jr? Mostly its the way his fans hold him up on a pedestal and think he can do no wrong. They actually think the other drivers should move over and let him win every race. Just because of his name. His fans have ruined him for me. And the media pays him way too much attention for someone who hasnt won in two+ years. Jeff Burton didnt get this much attention when he had his five year long winless streak. And when he finally won, he was quickly forgotton about the next week. Also, half of Dale’s wins have come on the same three tracks. That’s not what I look for in a well-rounded driver. I have a huge list but I’ll end with this one, his deal over his car number. Its not his number, it belongs to the team owner. Rick Hendrick had to give up one of his long time car numbers to accomodate Dale. Did Casey Mears whine and complain about getting the #25 or now the #5 when he joined the team? Nope, he accepted what he was given and appreciated the opportunity. Dale threw a temper tantrum and cried that his step-mom wouldnt give him the #8. And again, his fans were making nasty comments and even death threats to her about it. I lost even more respect for him after that last year.
Jack, Dale has finished in the top 5 in points 3 times in 8 years. And the closest he’s finished was 5th in 2004, 138 points back. In 2006 it was another 5th, 147 points back. In 2003, he was 3rd in points, but 207 back. That’s a lot more than a couple dozen.
Of course NASCAR lets JR. Get away with things that noone else would be able to get away with. Just look at last week and how they reversed the penalty about endangering the safety workers. That was a huge load of B.S. right there. That would not have happened for anyone else.
Hey “Stormin”!! And that’s exactly what happened, and a day later NA$CAR fessed up as to why Jr. was not penalized!
As for me, I am what could be termed the “core fan”, a left over from many years ago!
And it breaks my heart that NA$CAR is changing the sport forever! And not for the better!
Oh sure, I could simply abandon everything and turn my back! But, maybe, just maybe, the sport is worth fighting for!
I know everything is not fair in any sport! How many times did MJ get away with things in the NBA just because he was the biggest draw? I just want to keep the sport of “Stock Car Racing” as honest as one person can!
A large responsibility, but someone has to do it!
Can you honestly say that you will continue to support NA$CAR even though the winner is not really the winner?
All Dale, Jr? Give me a break. Isn’t everyone talking about Kyle Bush? If Jr raced like Kyle, everyone would be in a snit. Emergency workers? Ha! Ha! I may be wrong, but on TV the incident they were talking about & showing was Jr coming down pit road and passing a “blower”. Didn’t see any safety workers anywhere around the blower. Another thing, Sr made Jr work for his opportunity in the sport. How many drivers can actually say that today? You shouldn’t hate Jr because of his fans…that would be akin to hating a school teacher because you didn’t like the students in her class.
Kyle Busch may not be your favorite driver, but a driver he is. The word driver says it all, it’s the man on the track sitting behind the steering wheel with his right foot on the floor. It´s not about how he looks or what he says before or after the race. Heck he could a deaf mute or a motor mouth it doesn’t matter. He could be a pretty boy or uglier than sin. Again it doesn’t matter. He could be born with a silver spoon or dirt poor, doesn’t matter. Kyle Busch has two things rarely found in today’s competitors which I admire. First he has The Fire in the Gut and second he has No time for Political Correctness.
He comes to win. His view is other drivers can concern themselves with top 5´s, top 10´s or selling T-shirts. When you see Kyle Busch drive you cannot help but remember drivers like Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Tim Richmond and yes even Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Kyle Busch is a throw back to the old days when driving was the only thing important. Not sponsorships. I doubt any sponsors would have been very impressed with Curtis Turner or Junior Johnson. But like Busch they were drivers and only drivers not corporate salesmen.
Just before he retired as a car owner I recall Junior Johnson’s expressing his disgust that he no longer could he select the best driver available, but a driver that the sponsor would approve. It goes to show what a sorry state of affairs NASCAR has arrived at. However, after reading many responses/comments here at Frontstretch, Its obvious many NASCAR followers cannot see that. So many are concerned with image, and/or popularity and not raw talent. If other things matter to you, aside from on the track driving abilities, then maybe you should switch channels from NASCAR to American Idol.
Does anyone really think Rick Hendrick hired Junior solely for his racing abilities? Remember Rick Hendrick is a businessman that owns racing teams. Hendricks first thoughts are money and profitability. Believe me a driver’s talent is a distant second.
Junior is a business man’s dream. It’s pretty simple, Junior will bring in the money and Kyle Busch will bring back the trophy or the steering wheel. If you are a businessman then go with Junior and the dollar but if you are a real racing fan you have to go with the driver who ever that may be.
I was thinking the other day about the direction of the sport. The drivers we have, where it’s going, and I was thinking about Dale Jr. I’m not a fan of his, but I don’t dislike him either. I think the problem is, there are very few fans in this range. You like him, or you don’t, but there aren’t many middle ground fans. Me personally, I don’t belive this day in age NASCAR could really say “hey, we fudged a race for a driver” and be okay with that. If that’s how you interpreted that, fine, but I’d love to see them saying they gave him something so the fans wouldn’t be upset. The guy has won races, finished high in the points, and did it with mediocre equipment. Just remember this for all you Dale Jr Haters: Dale Jr has never once claimed to be the driver his dad was. I don’t think that’s what his mentality is. And for all you Dale Jr fans: He’s a good driver, who has what it takes to win but he’s not the best out there.
Side Note: Someone above wrote something about Premier drivers, etc, and didn’t list Jr but put down Elliott Sadler? Not hating on Sadler, but he’s not a “premier” driver (or whatever you said) or near the driver Jr is.
Douglas, can you please somehow have some proof that Jr. passed under the yellow line to gain position at Dega? I have been a fan of NASCAR for many years, and I have seen more Fathers and sons in NASCAR than you can imagine. I think all this comes down to, is just jealousy. For all those who say Jr is over8ted, and his fans is what makes him so bad. Please listen to yourselves?
I guess in my way of thinking if your a fan and follow NA$CAR each and every race, then you would automatically know what happened at Talladega that year. NA$CAR published a statement a day later stating why they did not penalize Jr. for that infraction! It was more a matter of crowd control and they did not want the responsibility for the safety of all the innocent fans that would have been caught in the middle of flying debris and such from Jr. Nation!
If you want more information, please do the research!
Douglas, I’m going to go ahead and point ol’ Timmie in the right direction for the story. Most Jr. fans won’t do the research to find proof that Mr. Do No Wrong actually did wrong. So Timmie, here’s an address that will get you started on the road to realizing that Jr. does get special treatment. Copy and paste this, which is just one of many out there:
Hey “Ron”, big thanks.
My problem is I only have dial up available to me so doing research for past articles is really slow and cumbersome for me.
But I do think poor ole’ Timmie is just a part time fair weather fan that does not understand the methods NA$CAR uses to select winners!
MMM, does Mark Martin getting cheated out of a win at Daytona ring a bell? Wonder where that yellow flag went?
Thanks so much for the link Ron. Plus thank you too, Douglas for your reply. However here it would be hard to believe that only Dale Jr. has won a race for so called rules. I have seen quite a few win races with two left front tires on the front of their cars to give them momentum, and I knew that Dale Jr. spun out to keep from getting lapped one time. While I know he nor any other drivers are perfect. This one I did not know. While I know that all the drinking fans in the stands were not only Jr fans that were arrested at Talladega that threw things, only to see about 9 arrested. Some were Jimmie Johnson,Dale Jr., and Tony Stewart Fans, or at least had on their shits, hats or both. Now when people go just for that reason I do not even consider those fans at all. They were barred from Talladega, plus Darlington, which was the very next week turned them down as coming to there track. I do know they were in handcuffs, but sure can’t tell you how long they spent in jail. We can go back to the days of NASCAR, many drivers at one time or another have gotten a very raw deal. Yester year before all the media,you knew when you attended. Talking racing go back and check the Yellow Banana, that Jr. Johnson came up with and Fred Lorenzen drove. Wow how we needed the media back then for sure. Good going guys, and thanks again.
Why do you guys keep blaming Jr for the reporters choosing to write about him. As for nascar cheating for him; lets look at last year whwn they called cautions and race for Gordon and Johnson. Now lets be fair with our facts. Jr may not be the best driver but he is the most popular. As for him getting the best equiptment because of his name , have we forgot about his season last year???????????? And do you really think he gets better than Gordon and Johnson!!!!!!!!! Lets be fair and leave Jr alone. He can not control the reports nor the fans
Hey Timmie! We appreciate the note!
Like anything, guess we pick out when Jr. benefits! Although I do believe I try to be neutral as I like the racing, well, used to like it anyway, more than a single driver!
If we take the 2003 spring Talladega race as an example, what do you think would have happened if a Robby Gordon was the one that put his four wheels over the line and passed a car?
That pretty much sums up how I feel about NA$CAR! No such thing as “unbiased” application of the rules! Whatever rule they may have for any given weekend anyway!
BUT!! Not mentioned in that article was the fact that on Monday following the race, NA$CAR themselves said that they would not penalize Jr. at that point because of the crowd reaction if the win, or first place, was taken away from Jr.!
So in essence, the rowdy Jr. Nation supplied Jr. the win!
Wonder if Jr. even said thank you!
Douglas is a toad. NASCAR never said anything like that. Junior won the race fair and square. They DID, however, give a race to Jeff Gordon by running the last 9 laps under caution, because they felt it would be “too dangerous” to throw the green, and let the race finish under green. Douglas must have watched a race on the fairy channel and dreamed this one up.
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