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 · Monday February 8, 2010
Dear Race Fans,
I suppose the 2010 season has officially kicked off. The Budweiser Shootout, at least, is behind us and in a scant three days, the field for the Daytona 500 will be set. The whole season – 38 weeks’ worth of racing – stretches ahead in front of us. But there are no points winners yet, and nobody has succumbed to mechanical failure and heartache. It all feels like new, and anything can happen as the eternal optimism of a clean slate lies before us.
However, it’s not going to be a perfect year – far from it. The issues and problems that NASCAR is facing did not go away during the offseason, no matter what you might have heard. The race tracks on the schedule, the teams at the top of the pecking order, and the Chase and the top 35 rule have not changed.
Still, the weight of those issues shouldn’t alter the fact this season feels like new. It feels fresh every year when spring comes to Daytona Beach, in full bloom before it arrives in the rest of the country a month later. Hope springs eternal in tandem with the weather, and there’s a sense of anticipation that will not be felt at any other time this year.
But if you’re not feeling that way … then something’s different inside of you. For some, it will never be the same as it once was – too much has changed, gone wrong, been fixed with a Band-Aid instead of a body cast, and will never be the same again.
That’s understandable. I see it every day: the “fixes” that haven’t worked, paired with fans’ frustration over a Chase system that just doesn’t seem to want to listen. This sport’s gotten too big, too fast, and cannot go back to the smaller, more intimate circle of friends in many respects. There is no Fountain of Youth: no matter what happens from this point forward, NASCAR cannot recover its innocence any more than anyone else can.
Sure, you have every reason and right to be bitter. It hurts to see the sport move further every day from its tradition-steeped roots, to know once-thriving racetracks lie dormant, and to watch drivers be pushed aside for younger ones, especially when it’s clear that their ability to race hasn’t diminished. It’s no easier to witness talented young drivers stand on the sidelines as some with less potential take up spots with a name, the family business sponsoring the car, or a pretty face. It’s hard not to be bitter in times where the rides go to those with the dollars – not the driving expertise.
Maybe, you have watched less and less as the years have taken the sport further from what it was in the beginning. While some changes were necessary (surely no fan begrudges anyone the safety advances the decades have brought), others seemed simply an attempt to make the racing something it is not and has never been. Many of you are leaving something behind that you barely recognize anymore.
But others haven’t been fans that long. You never really saw the sport until it was thrown into the mainstream, and you were transfixed at first. All that color and sound and speed – everyone around you, it seemed, wanted to watch this once fast-growing sport. Just not anymore; and now, like many trends before, you’re losing interest, as the racing isn’t enough to make you want to stay home on Sunday.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that February day, nine years ago now, when, for numerous fans, the sport as you knew it ended with a last-lap crash that took one of the sport’s most popular personalities – and one of its greatest drivers as well. For those fans that lived through it, things have never been quite the same since that day. It took a long time before I stopped looking for that black No. 3 on the racetrack, and I often wonder how the sport would be now if things had turned out differently.
For all those reasons and more, for all types of fans it’s just not the same – and it never will be. So, what now? Does that mean that any of you, whether you have followed the sport for six years or sixty, should stop wanting it to be better? No. The moment fans stop wishing for change is the moment that change will cease to happen. But despite your best efforts, some things will not change, and there is nothing you can do about that. In fact, many things should not change, because they keep the drivers safer, and that is something you need to accept.
So where do we go from here? As the new season starts, race fans, I ask one thing of you. Don’t try to take the optimism I have for the new season from me (however misguided it may prove to be). Don’t try to take that from anybody – it should come from inside yourself. And as hard as it may be to watch sometimes, as bitter as you may be (and as I said before, with good reason), please don’t get down on those if us who want to believe that NASCAR can and will get better. That hope is what carries us through, in good times and bad, during this nine-month marathon. Be as pessimistic as you want, but don’t attempt to make everyone feel like you do. I still love the sport, despite the bruising it has given my heart on many occasions. That does not mean that I am a fan of the sanctioning body or the way they run things. That, in turn, doesn’t mean that I won’t applaud them when praise is due. I may be a member of the media, but I don’t have a company line to toe. Like many fans, I love racing. I will not, nor should I be expected to, apologize for that.
As the new season begins, remember that every driver is tied for first in points. So spend at least double the time you take putting down other drivers to cheer for your guy instead. Most drivers don’t care if you talk trash about their competition, but it means more than you know for them to hear that people are pulling for their success. Remember, the fan sitting next to you isn’t a bad person because he or she cheers for a driver you don’t like. In fact, he or she has more in common with you than you give them credit for. That person loves the sport, too, and believes in their driver enough to be there in the stands along with you. So use your energy to cheer your guy home – energy spent on hoping some other driver has a bad day is simply wasted.
The bottom line in this life is that you have two choices about any situation that comes your way: make the best of it and realize that this, too, shall pass, or complain and do nothing else until you drive yourself mad with anger and hurt feelings. Some fans choose the former, and still enjoy what they can in the sport. Those fans hope for change and want things to be better, but they still watch, dream, and cheer for their driver to cross the finish line first. But others select the latter path, and some of those seem to be supremely unhappy unless you can drag the rest of us down with you: berating the sport (often correctly, but also often misguidedly), degrading others for their optimism, and booing other drivers more than you cheer for your favorite.
Race fans, as 2010 begins, I hope that the racing is better than in 2009, whatever your definintion of “better” may be. I hope that you find the excitement that you once saw in the sport, or that the excitement has never dwindled. I hope your driver crosses the finish line first. But as the year unfolds, your reactions to adversity are defined solely by what’s within each of you – not with NASCAR, not with the race tracks, and not with any driver in the field.
So the next time the chips are down, I hope that you will ask yourself, what kind of race fan am I? And what kind of fan do I really want to be?
I hope you make the right choices.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I’m the same angry fan I have been since the advent of Fox taking the broadcasts to the lowest common denominator. The same fan who has utter contempt for the Child King Brain France. I am the same fan who longs for a return of a real stock based race car. I am the same fan who hates seeing another media phenomanon (Princess Penelope Patrick) foisted on the sport in the quest for growing ratings at the expense of actual known talent.
I am one of the angry fans who has made Nascar at least take a look and think about un-doing some of the boneheaded changes they have instituted. I am one of the angry fans who will stay angry until more is done to reverse the inept changes made by Brian France.
Without angry fans change does not happen. If all fans put fingers in their ears and sang LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA so as not to hear any criticism of the sport thinking all is sunshine a lollypops the product on the track would continue to get worse. We disgruntled fans do a service to the sport, and someday you will thank us.
You said it all Bad Wolf!!!Well said!
If you don’t like NASCAR then don’t watch. Which begs the question: why would a NASCAR columnist write an article geared towards an audience that doesn’t like NASCAR?
If NASCAR is so bad – why are there record number lead changes in races, closer margins of victory, more competative teams, and more HP and speed than ever before?
And if you hate the chase – watch the Nationwide Series. See how exciting THAT points battle is.
Bad Wolf has said it all!! And like last year, DansMom has not learned a thing…..
“It’s hard not to be bitter in times where the rides go to those with the dollars – not the driving expertise.”
Not many drivers out there with more expertise than Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. And – if NASCAR really targeted drivers with expertise, they’d try to get some IRL and CART drivers – oh, yeah they already do.
I happen to agree with DansMom on this. The Cup points battle has been closer in the last couple of years with the Chase than the Nationwide and Truck battle has been without the Chase. (except for 2008 between Hornday and Benson). Last year we knew Hornaday and Busch were going to win by September. The Cup battle was just getting started in September.
Hey dansmom. According to the tv stats alone about 30 million less fans watched nas$car last year. That’s why we’re seeing some changes. Hopefully we’ll some more reverse changes in the near future. For you to tell me, a nas$car fan for 30+ years, to tell me to watch something else if I don’t like it, you obviously don’t get the point. All we want is good racing. And with the rules changes this year and the deletion of the wing soon, we’ll get it. I don’t know your age (never ask women their age), but I hope you’re not a new fangled fans of just a few years. If so, I can’t take you seriously at all. We’re all entitled to our opinions whether you like it or not. I’m actually optimistic this year which I haven’t been in a while, but I reserve and deserve to say whatever I want about the state of nas$car.
Let me add this. Before Saturday I was very skeptical of Danica Patrick coming to nas$car. I wondered how she would be able to handle a big nas$car type vehicle as opposed to an indy car. She impressed me enough to arouse my curiousity and not in the way that the go daddy commercials are supposed to. She deserves any cudos she gets for her debut. I’m still not totally sold on her, but this is a step in the right direction. Go girl!
I won’t begrudge anyone their optimism for the start of the new season.
This new feeling is the same every year. 2009 was a bad year they can’t take it back they know it we know so they should stop defending it. They know what we want and have heard what we are complaining about so they should fix it. Na$car should stop the arrogance that they know what we want more than we do. They know the fixes they just won’t do it.
As usual Kevin in SoCal is drinking the France Kool-Aid. You left out the part about how two years ago the Cup points would’ve been much closer with the old system than the farcical Chase. Also left out the part about how the media coverage has devolved in concert with the Chase. As well as revenue. All of the goofballs who think everything is swell as it is have no concept of what NASCAR was or could be without inept leaders like Kim Jong France at the helm. The whole reason that FRANCECAR is changing rules is due to the fact that they’ve alienated a large percentage of their historical fan-base to chase fickle soccer moms/dads with reality-themed broadcasts and lame cartoon characters. Now they need us back because the numbnuts in charge is ruining the bottom line. You optimistic fans can thank us naysayers for the mediocre, albeit improved action this year. Don’t forget to purchase your Digger dolls and t-shirts.
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