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 · Friday October 10, 2008
On one side of the garage, there’s a driver who is thrilled when he wins and gracious when he’s not. He owns up when he causes something on track. He’s kind and funny with the fans, and has worked his butt off to get to the top level of the sport. He contends for championships and champions kids. Say hello and you’ll be rewarded with a bright smile.
Elsewhere in the garage, there’s a driver who often acts surly and rude. He takes out a volatile temper with a racecar and makes moves on track that he doesn’t care if someone else gets taken out on the other end of. He makes snide remarks and some off the cuff statements that are downright scary. He has been known to shove another driver in the garage.
I’m not talking about Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. Nope, not Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch either. Or Junior and Kevin Harvick. I’m talking about Carl Edwards…and Carl Edwards. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
One Edwards is a truly nice guy. When he was walking through the garage at Michigan this summer, he saw a kid in a wheelchair with a Carl Edwards flag attached. Edwards stopped and talked to the boy, 15-year-old Cody Byrnes. He promised the boy that if he won the race on Sunday, he would give him the trophy. And he delivered on both parts of the deal. Byrnes sleeps with the trophy on his bedside table, and Edwards probably sleeps a little better at night knowing that he was truly a hero to one child on that day.
Two weeks ago at Kansas, after making a move for the win so bold it bordered on outright crazy, Edwards had to settle for second when he couldn’t make the move stick, drifting up into the outside wall which killed his momentum and allowed Jimmie Johnson to take both the checkers and the point lead. Most drivers would have been disappointed, as Edwards no doubt was, but he hid it well. Edwards was the first person to congratulate Johnson on the win, commenting on how much fun he’d had racing Johnson for the win. He was smiling in his postrace interview, joking that it didn’t do nearly as much damage to his car when he’d tried the move in a video game. He was just a racer enjoying a good race.
Edwards is involved with several charity events, including Tony Stewart’s annual Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway, which raises money for Victory Junction Gang Camp, which he has won. He has given away other trophies. He genuinely enjoys meeting and taking to his fans, and he’s not afraid to make fun of himself—he has a few stories from his substitute teaching days that are roll-on-the-floor funny, including an unsuspecting trip to the restroom only to discover that the students had directed him to the girls’ room. He made up business cards to advertise himself as a driver—and forgot to change his cell phone number even after he became a household name, until a close up of one of the cards made its way to the Internet and Edwards got a lot of very interesting phone calls. What he counts as his favorite personal car is an ancient Mazda that doesn’t even start without a push to get it running. He’s got the smile and personality like the kid next door.
But the kid next door has a mean streak. He tries to hide it, and he often can, beneath a smile or behind a closed door. But there’s a temper there, and it can be ugly. At Pocono in 2006, Edwards was the innocent victim of a tiff between Stewart and Clint Bowyer. Stewart got into Bowyer, sending the No. 07 into Edwards’ 99, resulting in a lot of damage to Edwards’ machine. Edwards retaliated by spinning Stewart hard on pit road, into traffic…and worse, risked sending Stewart or another driver into an unprotected pit crew. That’s nothing new, but there is no circumstance in which it is ever acceptable. Edwards said he spun Stewart to the right, away from the crews in an attempt to protect them, as if that somehow excused the act. And then he went on to say to a group of reporters, “Let me just say this: If it weren’t for respect of the sport and the people watching and his team and everything, he’d be out there bleeding right now.”
Huh? Those words came from the mouth of the driver called “Cousin Carl” for his Opie Taylor-like demeanor? Indeed they did, adding to the complexity of the man, though not in an overly positive way.
And then there was the incident at Michigan in 2006, where Edwards was leading in the final laps of a Nationwide Series race when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. got a run, and Edwards got loose. Earnhardt got into the bumper and Edwards spun out, losing the race win and giving Edwards every right to be upset. What Edwards did next, however, was potentially dangerous and another piece of the driver’s darker side. While Earnhardt was making his cool-down lap, he had a hand out the window to cool off and acknowledge the congratulations of fans and drivers. Edwards sped off of pit road and rammed the side of Earnhardt’s car, narrowly missing the hand of the unsuspecting Earnhardt. The injury that was narrowly avoided can’t be imagined as anything but ugly and possibly career-threatening.
And there was the half-mock swing taken at teammate Matt Kenseth at Martinsville last year. While Edwards didn’t hit Kenseth and had a grimacing smile on his face, Kenseth did not take the incident as a joke, and one television commentator called the incident “scary.” And there was the incident this week in the garage at Charlotte with Kevin Harvick. The latest stems from last week at Talladega where Edwards got into Greg Biffle and set off a 10-car pileup that collected Harvick, a championship contender, along with Edwards and Biffle. Harvick called Edwards a “pansy” for some of his racing strategy, and one thing led to another, with Edwards leaving a sarcastic note on Harvick’s airplane and searching out Harvick in the Nationwide garage on Thursday. The two exchanged some heated words and then Harvick turned to walk away. Edwards grabbed his shoulder and spun him around before being restrained by Harvick’s motor home driver.
So which side is the real Carl Edwards? Perhaps it’s both. The “Opie” persona that Edwards has taken on and honed suggests that he’s just a nice kid, but gosh darn it, he can’t help get mad at those other boys sometimes. The angry actions suggest a darker, more complex side to Edwards. Behind the grin and the mop of blond hair—Tom Sawyer all grown up—there’s a hungry, angry streak of emotion that won’t take a blow to either racecar-bedecked body or dignity. That streak will not tolerate anyone making a dent in racecar or persona, and it will not tolerate the persona telling it to turn off and take a hike. And so a piece of Edwards peeks through when the racecar or the calm exterior is cracked. Perhaps if the Opie persona weren’t there, the piece wouldn’t seem so cold, so angry and mean, but rather just a temper. Perhaps the good in the driver makes the bad seem worse than it is. Or perhaps that hungry, angry streak uses the good in the driver as a convincing disguise for its ugly volatility. Whatever the case, the real Carl Edwards has proved much harder to know than on first glance.
And on the verge of a breakthrough season and with the championship in sight, the real Carl Edwards might be worth getting to know.
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Why is it so difficult to accept nice people get angry too. Really silly article is putting it nicely.
There’s more and more evidence every day that the ‘nice guy Carl’ is more of a facade.
And even if you accept the fact that he’s a super nice guy with a ‘temper’, you have to admit the anger is a little out of control. Every driver out there has been spun out at a crucial point one time or another, but most don’t have a record that includes ramming people on a victory lap, spinning people intentionally on pit road, etc.
Carl doesn’t give away some of his trophies; he gives away all of his trophies… …including his first Daytona win in 2004, and several Nashville guitars.
Your description of the Pocono incident is sadly lacking in factual content. There was no dispute between Bowyer and Stewart. Stewart simply felt that a rookie had no business racing with him and intentionally and blatantly wrecked Clint.
He took out Carl in the process and then gave Carl the one-finger salute. That’s what got Carl hot. When Carl spun Tony, it was artfully done, and he put Tony’s car exactly where he intended to, on the far side of pit road, well away from any possibility of getting into the pit side of pit lane.
If you had actually watched the Michigan race you refer to, or bothered to review any of the dozens of replays of the incident, you’d have noticed that Carl didn’t “get loose” and slow down; he was still passing cars when Junior got a run, hit Carl, turned him sideways, and without lifting, then hit him again… …still not lifting to give him a chance to correct, Junior stayed on the gas and pushed him the rest of the way around.
You’re entitled to your opinion of whether retaliation was justified, but Carl had far more provocation in each one of these incidents than you suggest.
Carl didn’t “ram” Junior when he came back on the track; it was a perfect side-to-side slam…
Try placing them side-by-side and you’ll see how absolutely silly the hysteria over any possible injury to Junior’s hand was.
And then there’s the recent Harvick incident.
Can you possibly actually believe that?
You couldn’t possibly have a preconceived notion or point to make that motivates you to say that kind of silly stuff, could you?
I suppose accuracy in your descriptions, or any effort to verify what you wrote, though, would weaken the presentation of your preconceived theme.
Other than that… …nice article.
I have also heard a lot of the garage talk about Carl’s “strange” personality. It’s been going around for about two years now.
Too many different people have commented on it for there not to be some truth to it.
I had some comments to make but Buz pretty much said everything I wanted to say. Good job Buz!!!!
If Have-A-Wreck Harvick would have called me a “pansy” on nantional television I would have done a hell of a lot more than spin the little wussy around after he walked away from me. What’s missing in this article is the fact that Edwards was man enough to go talk to Have-A-Wreck face-to-face instead of in front of a camera. The little slap fest that Hava-A-Wreck and JPM had not too long ago was a laugh and made me realize just what a little girlie-girl Kevin is. As for Kenseth, it’s pretty sad when even Jeff Gordon can make him piss in his pants. Kenseth and Harvick are made of the same cloth; lace!! As for Carl’s on camera personality opposed to off camera…what do you folks want? Another Tony Stewart, who whines and cries at each and every turn when something doesn’t go his way? Sorry folks but that gets old real fast. And how many of you fans weren’t cheering when Jimmy Spenser punched Kurt Busch after the Michigan race a few years back? And what about 2-Ton-Tony’s supposed punch earlier this year in the NASCAR trailer? Everyone seemed pretty happy to hear about that. I’m a Jeff Gordon fan myself and would never cheer for a driver of a Ford, but I give credit where credit is due and Carl Edwards seems to about the only real man in the garage these days. All the older fans of NASCAR who misses the drivers that take matters into their own hands when they’ve been dissed by another driver should absolutely love Carl Edwards. Oh, and Buz….great response to Amy.
A personality is comprised of a plethora of emotions, traits, feelings, and mannerisms, to mention just a few. And most people have a very complex personality and demonstrate it in varying ways. Carl is no different. But keep this in mind. These men are under a microscope virtually every minute of their lives. They are watched so closely that even the simplest of acts are talked about without end. There was a man that used to race in NASCAR that had a heart of gold. Just ask anyone. He constantly gave of himself and later in his life had the ware with all to do so. He was constantly supporting this charity of that charity. It seemed like money was no object to him when it came to helping out. But put him on a race track and Katie bar the door. I think he used to say things like; “awe it was just a racin’ deal” or “I was just trying to rattle his case a little” and he was loved to death by millions and bitterly hated others. Hmmmm…… Give Carl a break. He is just human…. just like the rest of us. Yes, perhaps he needs to get things back in perspective and remember that everything he does, says, and represents is there for the whole world to see.
Gee, I have suddenly become a Carl Edwards fan!
Thanks for all the info, my type of driver!
No vanilla here for sure!
Amy are you kidding?????- This is Nascar racing at it’s best. Carl has shown us all some great races this year. Just because Carl shows his emotions you want to knock him down. Maybe you should do a little more research when writing your articles. Race car drivers are human and have emotions too. I guess you have missed the times when Harvick has gotten into fights. Carl brings us back to the day of great racers like Cale Yarborough, The Allisons, Buddy Baker and Petty. They werent afraid to show their emotions either.
Buz sure saved me a lot of writing. You should be embarrased to publish such an article with partial as well as incorrect “facts”. Also, you obviously have not followed Mr. Harvick’s career. I’d list the drivers he has had issues with, but I don’t have an hour to do so. I know I act differently at my job than I do in my social life, as do most people. Guess I’m a Jekyll/Hyde too. Very unprofessional article.
I respect Carl Edwards for owning up to his mistake and for trying to talk to Kevin Harvick about his comments. Kevin hasn’t had any reason this year to be in the press so he has to do something or say something to get some attention. His comments after Dega were silly and Carl wanted to talk to him about it. So what? These things happen in the garages every day, it’s just when a known and well liked driver like Carl is involved that the press jumps on the story and makes a big deal out of it.
Way to stand up for yourself Carl! Good luck this week!!
There are people like this all over what you see is not necessarily what you get both guys are wrapped pretty tight. This kind of stuff is not rare or new in Nascar the big difference is now the eyes of the world are squarely trained on each and every move. What used to be a boys being boys squabble is now turned into a bigger deal than it should be. I remember when the crews used to get into scraps routinely after races and it might have been more healthy that way than everyone standing there reading from a bland corporate prepared message and letting it eat at them. Most likely Edwards knew he was most likely going to get into with Harvick when he walked into his garage area it doesn’t sound like he was going there to make peace and that’s fine lord knows Harvick is no stranger to driver altercations. Strangely enough it sounds kind of novel these days to have two drivers who aren’t following the script for a change, the only thing I see that was bad I see was when Harvicks transport driver jumped into the fray. Really too bad the two of them just didn’t settle it right there and be done with it.
Wow! The only things I dislike about some of the post here is the bias toward a favorite driver people are using.
I didn’t read this artical as an attack on Edwards, or praise to Kevin Harvick. In fact Harvick is a very small part of the article.
I think the point is the almost “extreme” personality changes in Carl from one mood to another.
I think Amy pointed out a lot more positive than negative.
Carl is not a bad guy. I didn’t read that all. He does a lot of good for people and rarely shows anger on camera. But! He has shown it on the track and in the garage.
There are many drivers with the “in you face” additude. Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, and Kevin Harvick all show it on camera more often than not. You rarely (if ever) see their “good guy” Opie Taylor side (like Carl DOES have) if they even have one.
On the other hand you almost always see a calm reserved demeanor from guys like Bobby Lobonte, Jeff Burton, and Matt Kenseth on camera.
Most of the other drivers lean one way or the other.
Again I think the point is Carl can be either.
I think it is a very good article pointing that out. Not an attack. Just an observation put into words, but shared by many in the garage.
Excellent article Amy.There have been public peeks at the temper that lies underneath. But which driver in the biggest leauge of auto racing doesn’t have one.
I feel, and I’m not a Carl Edwards fan, that he has the character and maturity to be a great Nascar Champion, although niether are required to win said championship. And many that have won it in the past have been known for thier tempers and immaturity at times.
Carl Edwards is sponsors “wet dream”. He understands marketing and see the big picture. He came up with a new way to celbrate a win stand out from everybody else. Every interview the sunglasses go into a pocket, the TV interviews always get a pat on the shoulder and a thank you as they send off to the booth, he knows when to show graciousness and frustration with out whinning or pointing finger and is quick to point the finger at himself and be accountable for his actions good or bad. He keeps his fitness at the highest level and never needs a shave or a haircut. But his understanding of “How the game is played” is what has created this Dr Jekly and Cousin Carl persona.
In the end Carl Edwards fans will be fans that can explain or counter any point that is made against him, just as die hards fans say the same of Tony, Dale and Robby. The rest of us will see Carl Edwards for eveything that he is and determine our level of respect based off the total sum of all of his actions.
Hey Buzz, you wouldn’t work for the Obama campaign would you? That was the most ridiculous spin I have seen this side of Keith Olbermann’s man-love for B. Hussein.
The incident where Carl hit Junior’s car on the cool-down lap was wrong, dangerous and shameful. No spin can change that from what it was.
I also noticed that you pointedly left out the incident Carl had with Kenseth. I guess video proof precludes your ability to spin that into something it wasn’t.
Carl finally ran into someone who refused to be physically intimidated by him. In fact, it sounds like he was so surprised that there was a reaction that he ended up sprawled across the hood of the 33.
NASCAR eats this stuff up and thinks it is good for the sport but I wonder how Carl would fair in an NFL-grade drug test? I suspect a positive for Anadrol and some type of stimulant.
Buz nice comment and Tucker you don’t gain creditability by accusing someone of drug use over the internet. Instead I’m much more inclined to believe you have no morals or values to speak of. Get some help dude!
Before I even turned on the borrowed computer I’m using I told my husband that I could name at least one female Nascar writer who would be hyperventilating about the Harvick vs Edwards incident from yesterday.
Instead of all those dire things, consider this, …
Perhaps two highly-competitive guys, one of whom has reason to believe himself wronged and both of whom have reason to believe themselves insulted, got into a minor scuffle in the process of working out the dominance issues involved in every interaction between male human beings.
Its a pity there isn’t any film because it was probably every bit as amusing as when Harvick and Montoya had their scuffle after that wreck last year.
Women work out their dominance issues via gossip, sneering, backbiting, and subtle, verbal insinuations.
Men work theirs out through body postures, direct verbal confrontation, and direct physical scuffles.
Guys aren’t women. They don’t act like women. Women ought not to be reacting to a guy who exhibits guy behavior the way they would react to a woman exhibiting that behavior because it doesn’t mean the same thing.
Buz and a few others, Amy hit the nail on the head with this article. As a matter of fact, she was being kind to Edwards. I could add a few other times his darker side got the best of him. He has good qualities, but they are often overcome by his cockiness and disregard for other drivers. Someday he will pick a fight with the wrong person and he’ll wind up being, the mop that scrubs the floor.
I think Tony Stewart was right when he called Edwards Eddie Haskell. Although I would say Eddie Haskell with a mean streak. Carl doesn’t seem to know how much is too much when he feels he has been wronged.
As I read it, Amy has been “NA$CARIZED”!
If it ain’t vanilla, plain old vanilla, it ain’t any good!
Heaven forbid a NA$CAR driver show emotion or create a stir!
Heavens, what is racing coming to?
Carl caused a wreck, he admitted it, & apologized for it. Harvick chose to shoot off his mouth. Did you forget he has a history of attacking other drivers in victory lane? If Harvick chooses not to accept the apology, & continues to be a Butt. Then INMO Carl has every right to take exception. In my racing days, if you had an on track incident, & wanted to fight,( it happens) No one was going to stop you. You just had to be careful, not to let your mouth overload your ass. In today’s NA$CAR drivers can mouth, & posture all they want. Knowing it’s not going any further. Trust me Harvick doesn’t want a piece of Carl. He just wants to shoot off his mouth. Then of course you folks egg it on, so the media’s hands aren’t entirely clean in all this either.
Carl admitted he messed up and caused another “Big One”. He apologized. I think Kevin Harvick had every right to be upset. Kevin gave his candid opinion of Carl’s Talladega performance. An apology shouldn’t be made conditionally. Evidently, Carl’s apologies are contingent on how well they’re received.
He!!, this makes me like Edwards even more. Carl is a real person. He has a temper, but is and can be a nice guy on many occasions. NA$CAR tries so hard to promote this wholesome, perfect image of all its drivers and seeks to quell any attempts at true personality. No fighting, no disagreements, plug all sponsors, button your shirt up, be a yes man, blah, blah. Edwards doesn’t march to the beat of Brian’s drum, and everybody freaks out. Who cares, none of us are perfect. The guy wants to win badly and I applaud him for it. And Harvick is a d@mn punk who runs his mouth on camera, but sure isn’;t backing any of it up. Notice it was his crew guys grabbing at Carl, and not him. And last time I checked, Harvick had been good for a couple of wrecks this year; the bonehead move at Sonoma coming directly to mind. Harvick’s no saint, he just likes to grandstand in front of the camera because its the only time most folks talk about him during a racing broadcast. Finishing 8th or 12th every week doesn’t get you a lot of air time.
I will start by saying that I didn’t write this column to bash Carl. I found it interesting (and the comments here and on other boards support my theory) that there is one group of fans who only see Carl’s public “Cousin Carl” persona and don’t think he could do any wrong, and then another group that thinks he’s a dangerous jerk with anger management issues and no matter what a good guy he is off the track doesn’t change that. Either way, there are two sides to Edwards that many fans don’t like to acknowledge. While I do think that at least part of the “golly, gee, whiz” public persona is contrived, I also think that he is a genuinely nice guy. And that he has a dangerous temper. But there’s more to him than a lot of people, for whatever reason, want to see.
WELL SAID AMY!
I know several people in the garage area and most all of them will tell you he hides it very well.
I also agree with you that he is a nice guy. A lot of people with anger problems are nice guys….When! they are not angry…
Amy, I’m aware that each of us have the right to our own opinions, but to say that Carl “has a dangerous temper”; don’t you think you’re going a bit far with that? What, did he turn you down for a date or something and you’re taking revenge by being able to write whatever it is that you want? As for what folks are writing about your article maybe you should re-read what has been said. You state that there are two groups of people who see Carl as either Cousin Carl or a Dangerous Jerk. Going back and reading each and every posting, I would say that there are only two that think he is the greatest thing since safer barriers, six comments that think he’s worse than the COT and fifteen (15) who agree that there’s more to any one person than total good or total bad. If you want to write an article about “dangerous” drivers then you should have also mentioned Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and the current all time dangerous man, Tony Stewart. Again, I’m not an Edwards fan but I respect any man that’ll do his talking face-to-face. There’s not another driver on the track that does this as well as Carl. Could it be because he can back himself up without having any help from others? Amy, take your picture of Carl off your bedroom wall and go for someone who you may actually have a chance with….according to the Rolling Stones article, Tony love to #*&% women; maybe you’d have a chance!
Good article Amy! You definetly received heavy response. Spencer Tracy would be proud of how “Cousin Carl” has taken on this role and preserved its integrity.
More importantly, the fans of NASCAR (not NASCAR but the fans) finally again have a guy who has charisma but has the paradox of Jeckyl and Hyde personality. It makes people who might not like him still tune in to see what he’s up to next.
I have an idea instead of these garage speculative dustups someone should put on a celebrity boxing pay for view proceeds to benefit Victory Junction or other various charities of the drivers choice, if they think they are tough then put the gloves on boys and be tough for a good cause. Not the typical sissy drivers fight helmets on, pushing and shoving each other, crew members involved just man to man. End of the season pay for view grudge match proceeds to charity of your choise.
Frontstretch should delete your post and possibly ban you from ever posting here again.
We all have our favorite drivers, opinions about NASCAR and what is written here. I believe in free speach, but I think most everyone that has commented on Amy’s article today would agree you have “crossed the line”.
I think there is no room here for the kind of stuff you just posted.
24-4-5 ? Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Carl left a note for Kevin, how manly is that? BTW. You really are an ass for personally attacking Amy.
Awww, gee, shucks, I’m hurt…I think I’m going to bet on Carl to win this weekend…Let’s go racin’ ladies and gentlement!!!
I think anyone that has come down on Carl Edwards should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they’ve never felt intense about something and flown off the handle. If someone slandered you or made you look like a total ass would you sit back? He apologized people for a mistake. I think we all agree it wasn’t intentional. Have you ever made a stupid mistake? Look in the mirror and ask yourself before you come down on someone else.
And by the way, any of you that have read Amy’s articles have pretty much figured out Amy doesn’t like Carl!!! It’s obvious and that’s cool. We like who we like. I just thought if you were a writer for a web site like this you’d have to be a little less biased about your opinions!
Funny When Tony pulls a stunt like these Buz and the rest Moan and groan BUT when it comes to Carl JERK WAD Edwards it’s just he’s having a bad day BTW great article Amy and spot on
you people sound like a bunch of obama fanatics! edwards is a closeted fool and until he comes to terms with his own sexuality and leaves his mom alone, only then will he be at peace with himself and can get down to racing like a man.
Any man would take offense to being called “a pansy”! Furthermore, any Missouri man is going to take even more offense because it is the same as being called a p**sy. Those are fighting words in good ole Missouri. Harvick is lucky Carl didn’t beat the total crap out of him. That in itself should show you Amy that Carl is very much in control of his temper. Any given male in Missouri would have beaten Harvick to a pulp! I myself take offense to the “Cousin Carl” comment. There is nothing about Carl that reflects “Opie”. I suggest you look for a new job or maybe improve your writing where it isn’t so negative. Try writing the article again and look into the facts a little closer.
Mr. Lewis are you waiting to come out of the closet yourself?? How laughable of a comment – are you sick or just stupid?!?
Very well said RaceFan.
24-4-5’s verbal attack on the writer of the article was way out of line.
Using the race car as a weapon is dangerous.
M.B. Voelker’s take on the whole thing was insightful.
You know it seems to me that some people accuse Jr fans of being outrageous and blind to reality. Seems some Carl fans here, most noteably “Buz” are drinking some Carl kool-aid. Thanks for the laugh everyone.
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