Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Amy Henderson · Monday June 28, 2010
Editor’s Note: Matt McLaughlin is on vacation this week. Senior Editor Amy Henderson filled in; look for Matt to return next Monday after Daytona.
The Key Moment: Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch put on a clinic of how to race at the finish, with Johnson using a bumper just enough to give the No. 2 a little wiggle with two laps to go – just enough to get by.
In a Nutshell: Johnson dominated all three practice sessions, then made little noise in the early going on race day. But in classic No. 48 fashion, Johnson found the front when it counted, winning his fifth race of 2010 and the 52nd of his career.
Dramatic Moment: The final laps between Johnson and Kurt Busch had the potential to turn into a wreckfest – and didn’t. Had either driver stepped over the line, both could have ended up in a steaming pile of car carcass. Instead, they were able to make the finish one of the best battles we’ve seen this year – all without the need for a fake caution or green-white-checkered.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week:
Will he or won’t he? While it’s pretty safe to say that Bruton Smith is posturing right now to improve the situation with local law enforcement over track security, nothing he’s said this weekend would reassure New Hampshire race fans. When asked about a possible date switch, for the first time Smith did not deny that New Hampshire Motor Speedway might lose a Sprint Cup date, saying that fans “shouldn’t believe rumors,” then five seconds later adding that a date switch required NASCAR approval. As of Sunday, he does not have that approval, but Smith did not elaborate on whether he has asked for a date to be moved to Kentucky Speedway.
Which is too bad, because the crowd at NHMS is one of the biggest I’ve seen at a Cup race this year. There were a few empty seats low down on the frontstretch and a few more in Turns 3 and 4, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t one of the best attended races, in terms of fan to seat ratio, that we have seen in 2010.
Roush Fenway Racing’s 2010 drought continued at NHMS with a vengeance. By lap 225, not a single RFR car was to be seen on the lead lap, and Carl Edwards, just two years ago considered the title favorite at midseason, lost a second lap under green by the time the checkers fell. Ouch. While the FR9 alone wasn’t going to be enough to turn things around, it should have at least slowed the bleeding a little. Instead, the Blue Oval teams are hemorrhaging worse than ever.
Editor’s Note: Looking for a Danica opinion? This article from Managing Editor Tom Bowles should give you all the Danica fix you need over at SI.
The Hindenburg Award for Foul Fortune:
After dominating the first part of the race, leading 110 laps, the FR9 in Kasey Kahne’s No. 9 gave up the ghost with just 63 laps to go. The new Ford engine is supposed to be durable, with a self-cooling element, but don’t tell that to this one. For Kahne, who entered the day 120 points out of Chase contention, it could be the kiss of death for any title hopes. The way the Fords have been running, maybe Kahne should find a ride in a Chevy…
Some Editor Adds:
Juan Pablo Montoya had a top-5 car for most of the afternoon, but played a little too rough with Clint Bowyer and roughed up his splitter. A few laps later, a clearly crippled car was slim pickins’ for Reed Sorenson to play Target practice and hit the bulls-eye of his former sponsor.
Martin Truex, Jr. never got to pay back Jeff Gordon – probably because they weren’t ever in the same straightaway. The NAPA Toyota slugged like a snail all day, finishing off the lead lap in 22nd.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award for Fine Fortune:
I bet Jeff Burton would like a do-over on that last pit call. He had the race won until the caution flew for Juan Pablo Montoya at lap 282, and stayed out while the rest of the field pitted – perhaps the only way eventual winner Jimmie Johnson might have gotten by. Had it stayed green in those critical laps, Burton had the upper hand at a track where he holds the all-time Sprint Cup win record. Burton’s decision wasn’t a case of luck – but Johnson’s benefit from it was.
Some Editor Adds:
Marcos Ambrose learned what happens when you don’t shut off the engine towards the end: you can actually move up the finishing order, not down it. Off the lead lap most of the day, he put a Lucky Dog to good use and rallied to 13th at the finish.
Clint Bowyer (7th) was lucky Mr. Montoya got wrecked before he came around for a little return visit.
What’s the Points?
Despite having only one win to Jimmie Johnson’s five on the year, Kevin Harvick continues to show everyone why the first half of the season is an exercise in consistency, easily maintaining the points lead with his fifth-place finish. Too bad NASCAR says in nine weeks that lead is worth as much as a $4 bill, and hands it over to someone else.
Jimmie Johnson gained 35 points on Harvick with the win. Five wins is all well and good, but it’s Johnson’s three DNF’s that keep him out of the top spot, leaving him 105 points behind. Kyle Busch hung on to third, while Denny Hamlin manages to hold down fourth by a mere two points over Jeff Gordon.
Meanwhile, back at the Ponderosa, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is banging rather insistently on the door of the top 12 as the Chase looms closer, sitting just three points behind Carl Edwards, whose freefall continues. If Earnhardt doesn’t want to be in the top dozen, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer are also within 20 points of Edwards. Kasey Kahne might as well give his Chase chances a decent burial along with his Loudon engine; he slipped to 20th in the standings, and now sits almost 200 points behind the Chase cutoff.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — For awhile, this was looking like a solid two-can day, owing to the lack of mixing it up for oh, about 200 laps. (At least NASCAR gets bonus points for not trying to fake it with debris cautions.) But thanks to Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson (and indirectly to Juan Pablo Montoya and Reed Sorenson), the great finish means this one’s worth at least three Captain and Cokes.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Ok, evidently its a good thing I recorded the race. Watched the first half of it and assumed it was going to be yet another contrived ending race.
I even got a comment in before Dansmom was able to post anything about how great Danica did this weekend…and I will shut up now before I get banned from reading any more of Matt’s articles
Funny you should mention Danica – but this weekend PROVED that NASCAR is anti-Danica.
This new “boys have at it” policy is SO discriminatory against women. NASCAR instituted this new rule so that male drivers can wreck Danica and not get penalized. Its not fair.
And Morgan Shepherd should be ashamed! Has he NO moral compass! If I was his sponsor I’d drop him like a solid rock! That just simply cannot be forgiven. Or at least dock him enough points that his season couldn’t be resurrected. I mean, who does this guy think he is…?
Amy, noel_w, and us other women on this site – we need to speak out against “boy’s have at it”!!!! “ DRIVERS have at it” would at least allow Danica to get some revenge or express her emotions freely post race. NASCAR wants to make Danica the next vanilla driver clone. I mean, at least they let her start this race. I won’t even get into the REAL reason she only drives a partial schedule. (Ever notice last weeks nationwide race, and ALL cup races only allow “gentleman” to start their engines?!?!) You’d think after all these years, NASCAR would be a LITTLE less redneck than that!
I’m just saying, this could turn into the biggest NASCAR lawsuit yet!!!
As for the cup race, it was great to have a champion in victory lane!
i must have watched a different cup race on sunday. seats looked pretty empty to me.
i thought how intersting it was when either jimmy spencer of kenny wallace equated danica’s run to the disarray of jr motorsports.
Thank you very much for mentioning the crowd size at the NHMS race. As a season ticket holder fearing that I’m going to be jobbed by Bruton in the coming months, it’s nice to know that others noticed the New England Region’s (and Eastern Canada) loyalty to this sport. Saturday’s Nationwide race drew more than Fontana’s Nascar race, FYI.
We should not have a date taken away if the fans are filling the place up, period.
I’m ambivalent about the 48, but he made some comments in the press room afterwards that were just outrageous.
He seemed to be just stunned that the #2 would nudge him out of the way…couldn’t believe it, and he was going to wreck Busch if he had the chance.
I guess winning 4 in a row means that he can’t be touched, even in with the most time-honored bump-and-run tactic that has been a part of racing from Day One.
From now on, it’s ABJ for me (anybody but Jimmie).
Paul, I fear that B.S. has already made his decision…we’ll get to see yet another cookie-cutter date added, and the good ol’ oval at NHIS down to one race.
Also heard Chad Knaus go out of his way to compliment NHMS, the fans, and Gappens – seemed to be sending a message about how the track deserved a date. Also, got scared by the lobster prize. :)
I was at the race, turns 3 & 4. A fair number of complimentary tickets in those sections (including ours). We kept the extra so we’d have room for our cooler and stuff. But we bought stuff there so we helped contribute to the SMI bottom line!
“A Few Empty Seats” ??? Must have looked a lot fuller at the track than it did on my TV !! Looked like about every other seat was vacant.
Yes… Jimmy winning 4 in a row does mean he cant be touched. He is the figurehead for the entire sport. He deserves the respect of the other drivers out there. When Kurt Busch steps it up and wins 4 in a row, he can do whatever he wants as well.
there were a lot of fans that were walking aroudn the bottom of the track.
I also think Amy’s comment is in relation to other tracks we have seen this year. You know, perspective.
Speaking of perspective. OF COURSE Chad Knaus thinks NH deservees two cup dates. One before, and one in the chase. The 48 team has that track figured out, and their future dominance depends on not only the chase line-up, but pre-race practices at those tracks in the regular season.
I agree. It looked like lots of empty seats to me but still better percentage-wise than most other tracks.
Too bad NH has less seats to fill (and no casino) which equals less potential revenue and will result in 1 fewer race. Economics 101.
DansMom is the perfect example why women should never been given ANY rights. A few of them, like her, run their mouth about things they nothing about. Every post she made here today and all others, can easily be refuted, but she continues to speak out the wrong end and learns nothing….Just keep on blaming your ignorance on women being repressed and we will keep on believing your stuff……….
Plus, who cares about the new england market? Everyone knows that Nascar was born in the south and thats where the true fans are.
New Hampshire got a second race at the expense of North Wilkesboro.
At least NHIS will still have one race left if a date is moved.
I find it odd how last year everyone claimed how BORING the racing at New Hampshire is and now everyone wants them to have 2 dates.
Some people just like to stir up trouble!
Is there some rule that even Matt’s fill-in can’t give a deserving grade to a race at New Hampshire? As much as I hate it when the best car doesn’t win (almost as much as I hate when the #48 does!), I’ll still admit that this was among the best races of the year. Five cold ones.
And I know you like Casey Mears, Amy. And as much as I’d love to see Reed make it in Cup, I don’t think he’s the right choice for the 83… but you have to figure that Tommy Baldwin, being a Modified guy from the northeast, treats NHIS like DEI treated restrictor plate tracks. Besides, considering Reed beat his teammate (and from everything else we’ve seen this year from that team), I’d say Red Bull’s problems are more than their driver.
I say we give a second date to Sonoma… now that’s real racing.
Dan’sMom – you and Danica give women a bad name. IMO Morgan Shepherd didn’t wreck the Princess deliberately — if you watched any of the race, any car running in that low line would slide up (especially if the car was tight). If you were on the outside, you got pushed up into the marbles — its the way this flat track has been for years. And Danica going down and stamping her foot and pouting was a really poor example of how a grown MATURE racer should act. Almost as bad a Kyle Busch and his tantrums.
And then you have Johnson who is shocked, shocked I say that someone would actually RACE him and bump him? OMG — how terrible?
You comments about Morgan Shepherd’s sponsor were hilarious. There’s something deliciously ironic about a driver hailed as Nascar’s “savior” getting spun out by guy who drives for Jesus.
BTW, the folks ragging on you about Danica should just shut up. Danica got a 30th-place finish, her best yet! She’s obviously improving. In fact, I don’t think a top-25 is completely out of the realm of possibilities before the end of the season.
Awww, did I miss a Danica foot-stomp. I love it when she does that.
Amy, did you actually watch the race on Sunday? Ryan Newman was never a factor, but stroked home in 6th place. Kyle Busch led many laps, and had a shot at the win until Jeff Burton took him out of contention. So who was actually closer to a double? Apparently you have taken the anti-Kyle Kool-aid that Matt started and Tom now requires of the FS staff.
On another subject, Harvick’s “points lead” is illusory. At this point, the Chase leaders are JJ and Hamlin with 50 bonus points each after the points are reset. There is no “regular season championship” in the Chase format.
Seeing as how Johnson was already leading there was no need to throw the phantom debris caution for a gwc. Didn’t the first “debris” caution look like a water bottle?
Let me get this straight…New England fans don’t deserve a race, only Southerners deserve a race, and you want to give a second race to Sonoma?
I guess I’ll need to check my Atlas, but last time I checked, Sonoma wasn’t in a Southern state. Or maybe you think Sonoma stands for South Noma?
Randy Trollman says, “Yes… Jimmy winning 4 in a row does mean he cant be touched. He is the figurehead for the entire sport. He deserves the respect of the other drivers out there. When Kurt Busch steps it up and wins 4 in a row, he can do whatever he wants as well.”
Now that is some very funny stuff right there!
California gets a pass because so many freakin awesome drivers come from that state. When was the last time someone any good came out of New England… and dont say Joey because he isnt even old enough to drink wine at Sonoma.
Last I checked Sonoma wasn’t a state either. California on the other hand… is.
If I were Danica, :), I would want to run ARCA for a year to build skills & confidence before tackling NW.
I give up.
OK, Randy, let’s have all the races either in the Deep South, then fill out the schedule with California races.
Then maybe you can bring back The Nashville Network and watch the race on tape delay after the Gomer Pyle marathon, because that’s where you’ll need to watch the races without a coast-to-coast track exposure.
Now run out and baste that possum you’re cooking on the grill before it gets all dried out.
I thought Danica did an outstanding job. The way she battled back from five laps down to four was just the drive of a lifetime.
Item from a newspaper
“Danica disappoints again
Not only did she finish a dismal 30th in the race — her best result in five Nationwide starts — but Patrick seems to be oblivious to how NASCAR works.
Her day went bad seven laps into the NASCAR Nationwide’s New England 200 after Morgan Shepherd bumped Patrick’s car and she ended up in the wall. Note that Shepherd, a born again Christian who has “Victory in Jesus” painted on his car, is not exactly a NASCAR bad boy. He is also 68 years old.
But that didn’t stop Patrick from bumping Shepherd as they lined up for the restart, something she repeated as they hit pit road following the race.
More troubling was Patrick’s reaction to the incident: She asked her crew chief if Shepherd would get a penalty for wrecking her. In NASCAR where frontier justice reigns?
If she wants to be successful in bringing Danicamania to stock cars, it really might be a good idea for her to watch a NASCAR race or two and learn a bit more about the series she wants to join.”
I think I look HOT when I stomp my feet and stick out my bottom lip!
I haven’t been reading any comments lately because of idiotic statements like those of DansMom. I thought perhaps things have gotten better; but, alas, they haven’t. She and her entourage are still spewing, so I’m gone again. Maybe I’ll check back later this year—maybe not, for I’m looking for intelligent comments. There certainly aren’t many here.
Haha… stupid… its spelled opossum and its delicious if cooked right.
Grizzly Adams did have a beard.
DansMom, your comments are honestly idiotic. NASCAR, if anything, wants Danica to succeed to prove women can participate in racing. This would help grow the fanbase. NASCAR is not conspiring against Danica and saying that all drivers can wreck her. The “boys, have at it” is just a term and is not meant to be sexist.
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