Changes Expected for NASCAR's Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, NASCAR 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.
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 changes are expected to take place beginning 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 · Thursday March 17, 2011
It all comes down to money. Racing costs a lot of it. Teams need someone to spend it. And sponsors are the ones to do it-in return for TV time. It’s been that way in racing for years. In the beginning, teams raced with small, local sponsors, because the audience was decidedly…well, local. Races weren’t shown on TV except for the odd clip on Wide World of Sports, right between the bowling clip and some guy wiping out on skis. So local businesses advertised on racecars to draw the local audience to their doors. When the modern era brought more coverage, national sponsors became the norm. Racing got them something valuable: TV time. Overall, it came at a cheaper rate than actually buying commercial airtime, and the added bonus is that they got more time than the 30-second commercial slot.
The Nationwide (then Busch) Series was perfect for a variety of sponsors in those days. Smaller companies which perhaps couldn’t afford the more expensive Cup cars could easily cover a Busch team with cash left over. Even if the TV coverage wasn’t on a major network, they got a return on their investment. Everyone from Nestle (there is something funny about seeing a racecar adorned with the word Crunch, incidentally) to Slim Jims to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company could hawk their products on the side of a car and know the world was watching. Or at least enough people to make it worth it. The Cup teams cost a lot, the Busch teams cost a lot less, and those sponsors could still get a competitive car. At least that’s how it used to work.
Until the Cup teams got in on the act.
It started innocuously enough. Sort of, anyway; one of the cars was fluorescent green and orange and you could probably see it at midnight on a moonless night inside a cave, but it was kind of an anomaly at the time. It was the beginning of something different, though. It was the Roush Racing entry of Jeff Burton, sponsored by Gain detergent. Following on the heels of Roush’s Winn-Dixie-backed entry for Mark Martin, the entry wasn’t even full-time. But it was the start of a slippery slope. Fielded by one of the wealthiest owners in the game, the cars were fast, and the drivers at the top of their game. Sponsors were willing to pay a bit more to be on them, not only for the star power, but because this combination of elite equipment and elite driver were almost guaranteed to run up front, giving the sponsor a solid return for less cost than sponsoring their Cup cars. But the Busch Series teams still did okay in those days at the beginning of the millenium, their drivers won a good half of the races and always won the championship.
But as sponsors wised up to the fact that you could buy a winning car with a Cup star in it for (relatively) cheap in the Nationwide Series, everything changed. The Cup owners landed deals for their Busch teams that would have financed a small-time Cup team easily in those days, and in the process, so began the slow squeezing of the sponsors who were the mainstay of the series-the smaller companies who, remember, couldn’t afford a Cup car. Because now, the cost was that of a Cup car. So Nestle and Slim Jims and Vermont Teddy Bear all went away.
At the same time this change was happening, an influx of casual fans to the sport created the perfect storm that brought the series to its knees, finally driving away even title sponsor Anheuser-Busch, which was eventually replaced by a cut-rate deal with Nationwide. And those fans, by and large, weren’t interested in learning the names of two series worth of drivers. It was easier to follow their favorite in either series he ran. And the sponsors loved it. It was still cheaper than a Cup deal, and they could get the Cup guy for a lot of races, maybe even the whole year-maybe even win a championship. Boy would that be worth some airtime. But they paid more than the old series sponsors ever could. So they left, and teams left with them, even championship stables crumbling in ruin in the wake of the lazy and uninformed.
Fast forward to 2011, and the landscape in the series is bleak. Even the Cup-backed, Cup-driven teams are struggling to find backing, at least in part because they managed to price everyone out of the game, including themselves. Unless you’re a Cup superstar, there’s little TV time to justify the investment. And so the Nationwide teams, the teams who want to race in that series as its own entity and not as a warm-up for Sunday, struggle to stay afloat from week to week. It’s not even the Cup drivers that are the problem, per se. In the 1990’s and before, the Cup guys ran the series-but they most often did so for independent or self-owned operations. But as the owners got greedy, they made the drivers greedy, and greed is killing the series.
Take RAB Racing. RAB is still an upstart in the series, but they’re building it right. They won Montreal last year with Boris Said, their first and only win. This year, with veteran NNS driver Kenny Wallace, the team has two top 10s in three races and sits 14th in owner points-Wallace is eighth in driver points. This is a solid Nationwide Series team. Yet, according to Wallace, they still need primary sponsorship for more than a third of the races this year. Fourteen races have yet to be picked up.
Keep in mind that Wallace should be a sponsor’s dream. He’s outgoing and willing to go the extra mile for his backers with appearances and advertising. He’s a three-time Most Popular Driver in the Nationwide Series and is the only Nationwide regular to hold that honor (Brad Keselowski also has three, but won one of them as a Cup regular running both schedules). Wallace also has 161 top 10 finishes in the series. This guy shouldn’t have any trouble finding backing, right?
Yet the team has that glaring void of 14 races to fill.
Wallace works daily to change that. His many fans will even sponsor the ride in Charlotte this fall-for $20 fans can get their names on the car, a meet & greet with the driver, and photos. When Wallace first ran a fan-sponsored car in 2009, it was an instant success-the names included, among other notables, that of five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Wallace is well-liked and well-respected in the garage, and it showed. So Wallace and RAB will do the same thing this year-because it means there aren’t fifteen unsponsored races.
And RAB Racing is by no means alone. Phoenix Racing, once a series staple, has been reduced to a part-time schedule with Landon Cassill. Even the Cup teams are struggling-despite being second in points, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has sponsorship for only eight races. Joe Gibbs Racing’s development drivers are woefully short of backers as well.
Why are these teams having so much trouble? The sluggish economy is partly to blame, of course, but the bigger part of the problem falls squarely on the shoulders of the television broadcast team. In most races, a large percentage of the field gets less than 30 seconds of airtime-at a cost far higher than simply buying a 30-second commercial slot in the broadcast. At Las Vegas, for example, Wallace got no independent mentions despite running in the top 10. He was mentioned as someone passed him or if he was racing with a Cup team for a spot, but only in the context of the Cup driver. What kind of incentive is that for a company to fork out a couple million dollars?
That’s right, none. If you can find one, watch a race broadcast from the 1990’s-you will see far more equitable coverage of teams, especially those running well. All that time translates into dollars for a sponsor-dollars that are getting harder and harder to find as a handful of drivers get the lion’s share of coverage.
All of this leads to where we are now on the slippery slope, and that’s pretty near rock bottom. The Nationwide Series, once a thriving series with its own identity, flounders in the shadow of the Cup Series to the point where ESPN has all but said that they will cover the Cup guys to the point of ignoring the Nationwide championship battle if a Cup driver is winning (and one usually is). The greed for a win is at a fever pitch among Cup drivers and owners, and it’s killing the series slowly as backers see little reward and a lot of risk. It’s all about return on investment, and right now, there isn’t a return.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Thank you. Your dead on Amy with your articule. During the off season, I was hoping that NASCAR would do the right thing and correct the issue with the Nationwide series. Unfortunatly, they totally blew it with the “you can only run for one championchip rule”. From my last count, a sprint cup driver has won the first three races. Great job NASCAR for fixing the problem. I stopped watching the Nationwide series because it’s boring watching a couple of guys win every race because they have twice the budget then the other teams. Whats more annoying is the media heaping praise over these drivers like they did something that special. I can beat my six year old in chess, but the wife doesn’t slap me on the back and tell me how great I am. The series is a joke and has become an extended practice for the cup guys.
To take it one step further, greed is killing NASCAR, period. The main culprits are the Ivory towers of NACAR in Daytona. We have lost the grass roots beginnings of NASCAR because of greed. North Wilksboro could not accomodate enough paying customers, so they lost their dates. the same has happened with Rockingham. If you are looking for the seeds of greed in this sport, look at the top.
Great article, Amy. And great comment by madhat about the chess thing. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: I’m SO sick and tired of hearing all the hype about PeeWee Herman (Oops: sorry – Kyle Busch) and his total number of wins in all three series! Just imagine if Hank Aaron had competed in AAA-ball at the same time as the majors: Would he be lionized like Kryle? Or lambasted for “picking on the little guys”? Hank Aaron is considered great because he did it all in the BIG LEAGUE. And I’d be willing to guess that he has been quite satisfied with the money that he made there, too. Same cannot be said for the “Buschwhackers”.
Danica comes in with Go (pimp) Daddy and easily has a car that the can beat over half the field. Then the broadcasters fall all over themselves saying what a great job she is doing.
You certainly hit this one straight between the eye’s!I’ve been in and around this Nationwide series since the 60’s when it was the Late model Sportsman deal in the Carolina s and Virginia. At one point when the cup drivers came down into that series they generally got their butts kicked by the likes of Ellis, Sr, Ard, Hutchins, Cagle,Jarrett, Gant, and others simply because they came with equal equipment. They came without the cubic dollars, the cup technology. Any wins that came their way were earned not bought. Then the NASCAR greed entered into the deal. Seeing only the dollar value of a double show with the names of the sport headlining both shows. Of course it has to be said that NASCAR has never thought about losing the lower series teams, drivers, sponsors, owners. They have always only seen today’s profit. They have never understood the importance of all of the series in tomorrows racing. Add to that the mindset of a cup driver dropping down into the Nationwide or truck series with high dollar technology and dollars and thinking how great they are in stealing the thunder from the series regulars, from those putting their all into the series they can actually afford, most of the time. I have never understood the happiness they demonstrate with a win when the field was no where near equal. Where the budgets were millions of dollars apart. Dollars, not drivers ability. Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards are little more than school yard bullies. They aren’t that much better, they just have more money. They are racing with cubic dollars and not cubic inches or cubic talent. NASCAR has never had any understanding of reality or appreciation of who brung em to this dance. It has always been about money, nothing more. We the fans have never stunk up the show, NASCAR continues to and wonders why they are losing fans. To the Ivory Tower in Daytona! We the fans and our dollars made NASCAR what it is ,but, also what it will be. NASCAR thinks nothing of blowing off it’s past history, the drivers that they’ve ignored in hard times, the fans that made them, but, they just might be blowing off tomorrow with their short sightedness and arrogance. The fans have stopped drinking the kool aid. We want the full meal back.
Its hard to say who is the most responsible, the Cup Owners, or Nascar. But this trend isnt new. You see it at your local short track where there is competition to have the newest fanciest and most importantly longest trailer. And the same thing is happening in Cup. They’ve already driven the smaller teams out, and nobody is coming in . As the shiny toys get more expensive the need for an influx of money to pay the bills gets greater. Soon no sponsors will be able to afford an entire race schedule. At some point there will be consolidation even among the mega teams. And where will the blame be put? Probably not where it should be, which is really the team owners. They have let it get this way.
Does anyone else notice a similarity between today’s NASCAR and the former CART series?
Great article Amy. It’s my contention that the problem started with the TV deals and one network in particular….FOX. The broadcast team is only there to shil for whomever shells out the most money. The problem with NASCAR today is that it less about automobile racing and more about $ promotion. And finally, Rob’s comment about the similarities between NASCAR and CART is spot on.
all this is nothing but a lot of bs and it is with all the [old poops] head people that can’t see what made this a great sport. now its nothing… needs to look back not forwards.sorry for the drivers. pretty boys,lucky dog and that stupid chase, and brain is a nut.
I like how alot of you bash the buschwackers for having all the money and technology in one breath and then want to praise Richard Petty for his 200 cup wins. Yes they were all in a series but in the 60’s and early 70’s he had all the money and technology, so he was basically a buschwacker.
I will agree that greed is a big part of the problem. I have said for many years that nascar needs to take the Busch series and Trucks back to the short tracks that helped build nascar.
If you took those series to North Wilkesboro, and Rockingham for a companion event you would sell 50.000+ seats and have a GREAT WEEKEND of racing. I say less cup/busch weekend and more busch/truck weekends would do more to get cup guys out of the lower series then only racing for one championship. Some of these drivers just like to race and if they are at the track what else is there to do.
WOW, you make EXCELLENT points in a well-written article, Amy. We could only hope that the those who run NASCAR would read and think carefully about the points being made. Also, many good responses by others.
wcfan said: I like how alot of you bash the buschwackers for having all the money and technology in one breath and then want to praise Richard Petty for his 200 cup wins. Yes they were all in a series but in the 60’s and early 70’s he had all the money and technology, so he was basically a buschwacker.
That’s crazy – There were teams other than Petty that won plenty of races. What money and technology? They had the smarts on improving their cars within (and bending the crap out of) the rules…..good old fashioned ingenuity…and so did some of the others. And, Petty did not run in lower divisions – stealing their candy.
I liked your article, but your forgot? to mention the millions of sponsorship dollars nascar has pocketed using the “official blah blah of nascar” shill. Go look at the list of these sponsors well over 100 the last I saw. nascar says either pay fox to be talked about or pay us and we will help you sell something.
@ Susan: Did I watch the Nationwide race today? No, I did not. Would I have watched without the Cup guys in the race? Absolutely! The outcome is too predictable. I prefer to not now the outcome before the race. I rarely watch a NNS race anymore, because the networks don’t show the Nationwide drivers even if they’re running as well as the Cup guys. It’s boring. So I usually just check later to see how the real Nationwide teams did and call it good. I like my Cup races on Sunday.
That should read “I prefer to not know…” There’s something stuck under my “k” key!
@ Susan – Once again, you are set in your mindset and fail to see the other side of the coin. Today’s race was painful to watch. How exactly is Busch the savior of the series? He puts none of his money into the series, rides around with equiptment better than everyone else and wins every other week. How is leading 10,000 laps supposed to be impressive with those circumstances?
You also believe nobody would be interested in the Nationwide series without Cup drivers. The stand alone Truck series race at Darlington attracted 20,000 fans in the stands with just 1 Cupper in the field. 33% capacity in a series that nobody should care about.
Your post, designed to bash Amy for her views, actually supported her point. The Nationwide series used to have its own culture and fan base. In the 2000’s Cup owners took advantage of the series to give sponsors a 2 for 1 special. They spent the most, were on tv the most, and attracted the most sponsors. If you bother to look at anyone besides Busch & the Cuppers, it’s obvious how difficult things are for the series regulars today. The conditions grow worse year by year as once competitive teams struggle to survive and eventually close. The fan base has diminished in disgust and has been replaced by fans, such as yourself, that have no respect for the series.
looks like Susan is also having a hissy-fit!! How professional of you!What a moron!
@Susan. It’s your prerogative to make vacuous comments on columns, of course, but before you do, you might want to consider the cogency of your remarks. I don’t cover Nationwide Series races. On the occasion that I do, I fastidiously watch the race in its entirety. When I’m not working, it’s a choice to watch the race. Do you honestly believe that sportswriters watch every event in their assigned sport? I can assure you that that is usually not the case; a baseball writer, for example, does not watch a 162-game season for 30 teams. He or she watches the events necessary for the assignment, though he is certainly entitled to watch other events for personal enjoyment. Journalistic ethics would require a writer to have full knowledge of an event we write about and probably the other events that directly affect that event; the rest is gravy that we enjoy if we wish. It is most certainly neither unprofessional nor unethical to choose to watch or not to watch a sporting event that the journalist is not providing coverage for. Just thought I’d clear up that misconception.
Are web sure that Susan is not just Randy Goldman in drag? She is just as much, if not more, obnoxious as him.
I guess if you don’t have good points to make Susan, you just resort to name-calling. Now, that is a definitely hissy-fit that you are throwing there. Grow up please!
Please explain to all of us why in the world you read this page if all of the writers are as bad as you say?
Oh oh, Susan has sand in her vagina again.
Susan – I am not Matt McLaughlin. So try again.
Susan, in defense of Amy, I don’t think she needs to cover any Nationwide race this weekend or any other weekend to determine what everyone else has known for about 5 years now. Cup drivers are killing the series.
You obviously aren’t a fan of Nascar racing but a fan of a particular driver only. This is where you lose your credibility….That and insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with you.
And you must be new to this sport too because the NW series (also known as the Busch series which you probably don’t remember) did just fine without any Cup guys racing on a weekly basis. It actually provided great racing every week.
Your comments about the incompetence of the NW regulars is ignorant. Its a development series, not the Cup series. You seem to think both series should be on the level of Cup.
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