NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Friday October 30, 2009
Every day, you see it—race fans and media alike wondering about the lackluster performance of a few drivers who, by rights, should be at the top of their games. They drive great stuff, they have the talent, they have a record of past success and certainly aren’t over the hill. So people wonder—is it the crew chief? Is it the cars? Is it the water?
The Martinsville hot dogs?
I don’t think it’s any of those.
There are a variety of reasons that can add up, of course—the test ban, the cars, organizational changes—but for four drivers in particular, you have to wonder if it’s a case of burning the candle at both ends while standing in the middle. In the cases of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards it certainly gives pause—are these drivers simply spreading themselves too thin, losing focus in one area as they hone in on another?
For Earnhardt and Harvick, are business interests encroaching on race day? Both own successful race teams; Earnhardt owns a bar as well, and while he leaves management of that enterprise to someone else, he does spend some time there and he does have the business’s bottom line in mind. For Harvick, the race team he owns with his wife Delana is clearly a labor of love, and it’s been a success—Ron Hornaday won the Camping World Truck Series title in 2007 and is a near lock to do it again this year. Harvick also has five wins as an owner in the Nationwide Series—two driving his own car, two with Tony Stewart, and one with Bobby Labonte behind the wheel. He is likely to expand his operation to the Cup garage eventually.
Harvick has all but said that 2010 will be his last season with Richard Childress Racing, and whether he will race for himself or someone else remains to be seen. Wherever he lands, Harvick’s performance has declined over the last three years since his five-win season in 2006, which coincidently is when his own teams have really started to perform. Harvick made the Chase in 2006, 2007, and 2008, but missed miserably this year, where he sits 21st in driver points—the worst among the four Childress-owned teams. Is team ownership a contributor?
Earnhardt, as well, has begun to have success as a car owner. Brad Keselowski sits third in Nationwide Series points, best of any Nationwide-only driver. Next year, Keselowski will move on, but Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports has already signed Kelly Bires as a replacement and is looking for sponsorship and a driver for a second car. As an owner, Earnhardt has the world by the tail, with full support from Hendrick Motorsports. His Whisky River nightclub in Charlotte is flourishing. He enjoys the things his career has afforded him, as well he should. But maybe, just maybe, his stepmother Teresa Earnhardt had a point when she told the media that Earnhardt needed to decide between being a racecar driver or a celebrity.
Perhaps the impossible expectations of Earnhardt have taken their toll—maybe JR Motorsports and Whisky River are simply more fun for Earnhardt, more of a place to focus on as the intensity of the public eye never blinks. Maybe, as some have suggested, Earnhardt is eyeing a pullback from full-time Cup racing in the not-so-distant future.
Busch and Edwards eat, sleep, and breathe racing. In fact, the two of them, and Busch in particular, race so much that they can barely find the time to eat, sleep, or breathe. But how much racing is too much?
After spectacular Sprint Cup seasons in 2008 in which both drivers also mounted successful Nationside Series campaigns (Edwards won the championship and Busch finished sixth in the standings after running only 30 of 35 races) and Busch competed in 18 of 25 Camping World Truck Series races as well, both drivers chose to pursue the Nationwide Series championship this year, along with being heavily favored to contend for the Sprint Cup title.
And for both drivers, 2009 has been a disappointment. Busch, while leading the Nationwide points handily, failed to make the Chase despite four wins and has mustered just a dozen top 10 finishes in the Cup cars. Edwards has no wins this year after a spectacular nine-win season in 2008 that fell just short of the Cup title. He made the Chase on a lackluster 13 top 10 finishes, but has made no noise at all, and could be mathematically eliminated from contention within the next two weeks, sitting in 10th place, 413 points out of the lead.
Is it these drivers’ extracurricular activities that hamper their Cup series success? Probably not entirely, but you have to wonder if they don’t play a significant role. Is there such as thing as racing too much, so much that it spreads a driver’s concentration too thin on Sunday? Does having a “feel’ for another type of car make it harder to feel the CoT? It’s worth a second look by these drivers and their car owners—they can and should be winning races, but maybe they all need to refocus on that ultimate goal.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I think it’s interesting that you left Tony Stewart out of this article…he has more outside interests than perhaps any driver in Cup from 3 dirt tracks (one a premier in the country), to a PR company, to a remote control car company. Oh, and there’s that little thing he owns also…his own Cup team. And all of these are successful enterprises.
I don’t doubt that racing requires a lot of focus at this level, but sometimes drivers benefit from running in other series as well…maybe not so much with the new car being what it is, but drivers can get a feel for a racetrack too.
Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch both ran full seasons in Nationwide last year and had 16 Cup wins between them. I think the testing ban hurt these two guys more than anything else.
Maybe the reason Tony Stewart isn’t suffering the same effects from being spread too thin is because he’s fielding two Hendrick cars with Stewart-Hass decals. I don’t mean to belittle the hard work and focus that goes into creating a successful cup-level operation, but you have to admit that having Hendrick equipment has to cut down on the stress level to some degree.
And stress is what seems to be the big issue with Junior and Shrub. Junior has the stress of living up to the expectations generated by his name, his team, and his huge fanbase; and Shrub has the stress of living up to the success he had last year.
While it’s a valid question, how you get to your assumptions is way off.
Kevin Harvick WINS in his own equipment. But can’t run up front in RCR equipment. So either he’s rolling over on Richard or the cars aren’t good enough.
Once again alot of cars that were good last year aren’t so good this year. Why, I believe it all has to do with the testing ban and crew chiefs still trying to find the next .10 of a second that the car is in constant change wiht out the ability to test the changes.
One driver you fail to mention in this article which exactly the same assumptions can be used is Kenny Wallace. Since Kenny Wallace has worked for Speed his results have tumbled on the track. Now Kenny is great for the fans but seems a little ADD like and if anyone needs to slow down and focus on raceday my votes for Kenny.
no doubt in Earnhardt Jrs case he is distracted. He had success early but as his outside endeavours have increased his production at the racetrack has suffered. That’s why his Dad limited those same distractions. Not everyone can be Tony Stewart.
Even before Smoke owned half of SHR he had more stuff going on than all 4 of those guys you talked about. The guy owns 3 race tracks, has open wheel teams, a PR company, a trucking company and before he owned a Cup team he was racing at a dirt track almost every week. Granted not everyone can be a Tony Stewart but it isn’t like those 4 guys are the only ones who have alot of things going on besides being a Cup driver.
Hi everyone! Intersting comments today-thanks! While it’s true that Tony Stewart does a ton, he has, and trusts, management for his other enterprises, which I think makes a difference. Not everyone is going to react to stress in the same way, either. Kevin Harvick’s Cup numbers have declined steadily since his own teams took off, and I wouldn’t say he’s winning consistently in his own stuff, either. He has two wins in his Nationwide cars this year, but that is his total as an owner-driver in that series. While there has been some decline at RCR, this is not just this year, and there is a lot of outside influence on Harvick. I never said it was the only factor-but if you look at the numbers it certainly looks as though it could be a factor. And while it is true that Edwards ran the full Nationwide schedule last year (Busch did not, as noted above), I just think the stress on the driver has to catch up eventually. I work more than one job, and some weeks are pretty tough to be 100% at all of my commitments.
Doug-While you make a valid point about Kenny Wallace’s TV schedule, I can promise you that a change of focus is not the issue with his numbers. I know Kenny well, and can say with complete conviction that his television has not changed his focus on racing one bit. His performance over the last couple of years can be attributed to the equipment he is racing-his current team is running on less than a quarter of the budget of the bigger Nationwide teams. They do not have a large fleet of racecars or a large staff. Actually, their results are very good considering what they have to work with. In Kenny’s case, it’s not a lack of focus, it’s equipment. I can’t say for sure that it’s not lack of funds with the four I emntion, but I can say it IS the main culprit in this case.
Remind me where was Bobby Labonte’s win in the Nationwide series this year? I remember his winning Talledega last year but I’m stumped on this year.
Hey Kevin-Labonte’s win was not this year-the numbers I gave were KHI’s Nationwide win total for its existence, not 2009. Sorry for any confusion.
It comes down to over88ted drivers pushed by the powers that be as they draw in the 12-35 year old girls to the sport, not outside interists.
There is nothing wrong with Busch and Edwards that can’t be cured by getting rid of the chase, COT and letting them test.
hey sharon i think you missed the point of this article entirely were talking about drivers whose cup season is suffering because of outside influences not drivers like stewart who is flourishing despite all of his outside business interests… and btw good luck junior this weekend at talladega
Folks seem to forget that Haas’s cars were Hendrick engines/chassis long before Stewart was in the mix. They’ve run Hendrick equipment since 2003.
It’s not just the equipment that made the difference over there.
FS_Amy said: In Kenny’s case, it’s not a lack of focus, it’s equipment.
That’s the point with Kevin Harvick in the RCR equipment. All of RCR is off speed. The only win RCR has all year is Bowyer at Daytona in the NNS.
So you just punched a hole in your own bucket and it doesn’t hold water anymore.
BTW the forums are not up today. Any reason why?
Recent articles from Amy Henderson:
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with Cessna, Textron
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