NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process
posted by Mike Neff
Thursday December 5, 2013
The Sanctioning Body Also Creates New Award For Outstanding Contributions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2013) – NASCAR today announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport.
In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 – all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees.
“We’re very proud of how the NASCAR Hall of Fame has evolved and believe the first five classes reflect the strength of the nominating and voting procedures, with voices from every corner of our industry included in the selection process,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer. “Based on feedback from voters, industry leaders, media who cover our sport and the fans, we believe the changes announced today are a strong recognition of the uniqueness of our sport and will make the overall selection process even stronger in how we honor those who have driven NASCAR to great success on and off the track.”
Following is a summary of changes:
Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change.
Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement
Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award – Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR – will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR.
Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees
For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots – the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot.
The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process
Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year’s ballot or current year’s ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel
As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year’s voting panel.
That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday November 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2013) – In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.
“NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans – much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”
The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.
NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.
The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.
The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.
On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey’s Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).
Iowa Speedway’s ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.
2014 IOWA SPEEDWAY EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Friday, July 11 – American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Friday, August 1 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Stewart-Haas Racing announces reorganization of their Competition Department
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Stewart-Haas Racing is expanding to four teams in the Sprint Cup series for 2014. As a result, the organization is realigning some personnel into new roles within their competition department. The new assignments for 2014 include:
1) Greg Zipadelli has been named Vice President of Competition and will oversee all four Sprint Cup teams. The crew chiefs of the teams will report directly to Zipadelli.
2) Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Engineering. The role will involve Borland overseeing the organization’s technical initiatives and a myriad of research and development projects. As Borland moves into his new role he will become a mentor for the crew chief of the No. 41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch.
3) Race Engineer Daniel Knost is being promote to the position of Crew Chief for Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Knost is an engineer with a Master of Science and PHD in Mechanical Engineering from VPI and Virginia Tech. Knost’s previous roles at SHR included running the team’s seven-post shaker rig, at-track race simulation support and race engineer for both the No. 10 and No. 39 teams.
4) Chad Johnston is going to take over the Crew Chief position for Tony Stewart’s No. 14. Johnston has spent the last three years as Martin Truex Jr.‘s Crew Chief at Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnston brings Hoosier roots to the organization like Stewart. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5) The Crew Chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 ride in 2014 will be Rodney Childers. Childers moved to SHR in October of 2013 from MWR where he was a Crew Chief for the No. 00 David Reutimann and then the No. 55 for multiple drivers. Childers Crew Chief resume extends back to 2005 when he was the head wrench for MB2/MBV Motorsports with Scott Riggs.
6) Tony Gibson will remain on top of the pit box for Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car for 2014.
Steve Addington is leaving SHR for other opportunities. The word is he will be the Crew Chief for the No. 51, working with his good friend Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion.
2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 12, 2013
Daytona 500 winner and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) driver Trevor Bayne has announced today that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bayne – 22 years old – has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic and has been cleared by doctors and NASCAR to compete behind the wheel.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang.
In 117 career Nationwide Series races Bayne has two wins, 18 top 5s and 50 top 10s with six poles. Bayne also has 45 career Sprint Cup series starts. In those starts he has the one win in the 2011 Daytona 500, one top 5 and three top 10s.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and, in extreme cases, paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and each person diagnosed with MS experiences the disease in a unique way.
Penalties Issued Following Sledgehammer Throw
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 31, 2013
Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway will likely be best known for Darrell Wallace, Jr.‘s historic victory. However, late in the race, a crash involving Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick, along with the pit road actions afterward, also made headlines.
Dillon got in the back of Harvick in Turn 2, spinning the Sprint Cup regular out, who then ran into the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon then responded with a number of unsuccessful attempts to spin out Harvick. When both drivers got to pit road, Harvick blocked Dillon’s stall and threw down his window net, prompting a scrum where a sledgehammer was thrown by a member of Dillon’s team at Harvick’s truck.
On Friday morning, NASCAR responded with penalties stemming from the pit road altercation. Marcus Richmond, crew chief of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, has been fined $10,000 for failing to maintain control of his crew. Meanwhile, crewmember Adam Brown was judged by NASCAR to be the person who three the sledgehammer at Harvick and was suspended indefinitely.
In their press release, NASCAR cited violations of multiple sections of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series Rule Book. The sections cited were 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 9-4A (Crew chief resumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, team owner, and team members in addition to himself).
There is no word as of yet from Richard Childress Racing as to whether they plan to appeal the penalties.
Marcos Ambrose to have new sponsor for Dover Cup race in September
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday October 29, 2013
The current economic environment has seen sponsors cutting back and even leaving the sport. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday evening that they will have a new sponsor on the hood for the Dover Cup race and an associate sponsor for half of the season. Stanley and their associated brands Mac and Dewalt will also be back for 2014 on the No. 9 Ford for Marcos Ambrose.
Brian Moffitt, the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports noted that the company is willing to run an alcohol sponsor on the No. 9 but will never do it on the No. 43. “Richard promised his parents that he’d never run an alcohol or tobacco sponsor on his car and that will hold true as long as we’re an organization.” When he was asked about how this came about he said, “This just kind of happened. There are relationships out there in the marketplace that are always talking with each other. We ended up going to Boston and having a discussion with the company and the next thing you know we are partners.”
Twisted Tea is a division of Boston Beer Company, most famous for the Samuel Adams beer brand. Jon London, the Boston Beer Director of Brand Development was on hand and loves the marriage between Twisted Tea’s customers and NASCAR. “We look at NASCAR and think that they, along with Marcos Ambrose, are just a great fit for the brand. Our drinkers love NASCAR and Marcos is a little bit different, our drinkers are a little different and Marcos is a lot of fun so he’s a great person to represent our brand.”
Moffitt also confirms that, while there are a few openings left on the 2014 calendar for RPM, both Ambrose and Aric Almirola will be back in 2014 and should have all of their races covered by the start of the season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. Scores Significant Victory at Martinsville
posted by Mike Neff
Saturday October 26, 2013
Darrell Wallace, Jr. etched his name in the NASCAR history book under two different columns on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace took the checkered flag first to become the second African-American driver in the history of NASCAR to win a National touring series race, and the first to win a Truck Series race. He is also the second graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to win a national touring race, following Kyle Larson’s victory at Rockingham Speedway earlier this season.
Wallace led a race-high 96 laps en route to his win. He led three times including the final 50 laps. Wallace outran Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney to secure his win. The average age of the top 5 at Martinsville was 23.8 with four of the five drivers being under 22 years of age. Wallace is the second non-Cup driver to win in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck following Brian Scott’s win at Phoenix last season.
Hamlin Picks Up a Pair of Poles in Martinsville
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway after setting a new track record with a lap time of 19.013 seconds, good for a speed of 99.595 MPH. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch ran identical second-place times of 190.61 seconds. Johnson will start on the front row after winning the tie-breaker, car owner points, where Johnson currently sits first. Busch will start third, and Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick complete the top 10.
The pole is Hamlin’s 17th in 288 races. It’s also his fifth of 2013, a career-best for Hamlin, whose season was interrupted by a back injury earlier in the year.
In all, 18 drivers broke the previous track record, set in the spring race this year by Johnson. Bowyer broke the 100 MPH mark in practice, but no driver was able to duplicate that in time trials. The Sprint Cup drivers will have a pair of practice sessions on Saturday before Sunday’s 500-lap event.
Seven Chase drivers qualified inside the top 10, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards clocked in in 12th and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers include Ryan Newman (17th), Kasey Kahne (25th), and Greg Biffle (33rd).
Hamlin wasn’t done after his Sprint Cup qualifying effort. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers took their time trials after the Cup teams had their shot, and Hamlin duplicated his earlier effort, snagging the pole for the Kroger 250 in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Johnny Sauter, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Ty Dillon round out the top 5 for Saturday’s race.
2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule announced
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
NASCAR announced the 2014 Camping World Truck Series schedule today at Martinsville Speedway. The series will run 22 events in 2014 starting at Daytona on February 21st and concluding at Homestead on November 14th. The schedule includes stops at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Gateway Motorsports Park next year. The series will once again turn right and left at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park along with slinging mud for the second consecutive year at Eldora Speedway.
2014 Camping World Trucks Series Schedule
Feb 21 Daytona
Tweet Lands Another Driver In Trouble
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Corey LaJoie has been placed on probation after posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter last week. He will have to attend sensitivity training as prescribed by NASCAR.
In their statement, NASCAR stated that LaJoie is being penalized for “an insensitive and intolerable communication” posted on Twitter on October 15. The tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should conduct a cavity search on a man wearing a turban.
Wednesday afternoon, LaJoie tweeted out a statement.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie tweeted. “It was an immature & insensitive comment. I am upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
This incident marks the second time this season that NASCAR has penalized a driver for comments on social media. Earlier this season, Nelson Piquet, Jr. was forced to attend sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in the comments section of an Instagram picture that Parker Kligerman posted.
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Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Sunday April 3, 2011
There has been considerable debate lately about wins: which ones should count toward the record books and which should not. At the center of it all is Kyle Busch, who scored his 91st NASCAR touring victory at Fontana and who has made it a personal goal to try to equal Richard Petty’s storied mark of 200. That pursuit ignites a certain controversy, especially as this march nears the halfway point of his stated goal at just 25 years old – making that pursuit more realistic than it ever has been.
But should all touring series wins be counted when looking at a driver’s career total?
I’m inclined to say no. Why? For the same reason we don’t count Babe Ruth’s minor league home runs when we talk about his career, but also for another, one that doesn’t take other sports into account: if touring series wins were as important in the scheme of NASCAR as Cup wins, Richie Evans would have been a first-round Hall of Fame inductee, and Kyle Busch would have a hell of a long way to go. Evans has 478 known wins in NASCAR’s Modified division, and by some accounts, more than that, as record keeping for the series was not always reliable. He also had nine championships, eight of those coming consecutively.
Take that, Kyle Busch.
There is a certain hypocrisy among the racing media on this subject. While touting Busch’s accomplishments, they overlook those of Evans who, if touring series victories really counted, would be the winningest driver in the history of the sport by more than double Petty’s total. On the other hand, if you want to discount Evans’ wins for being “only” in the Modified ranks, then Busch should be respected for his other accomplishments but the focus should be on his 20 Sprint Cup trophies.
So, which is it?
Nobody disputes Busch’s ability. Love him or despise him, the talent is real. That’s not, nor has it ever been the question. It’s a whole lot more complex than that in truth. How far are we willing to go? That’s the real question. If the new benchmark is going to be wins in any division, are we willing to let Evans supplant Petty as the King of NASCAR? Because if we’re going to talk about Busch possibly approaching Petty’s mark, then we must be willing to talk about Evans in the same sentence, and acknowledge that Busch will likely never come close to the all-time touring win total.
On the other hand, if we’re not willing to put Evans at the top of NASCAR’s pedestal, then we need to treat Busch the way others have been judged. 20 wins at his tender age are hardly a poor total; the majority of Cup racers never attain that number, and Busch is likely to at least double, and more likely to triple that number in his career. But right now, is Busch a better driver than Jeff Gordon? Than Jimmie Johnson? Than Dale Earnhardt? Because that’s what the numbers tell you. If touring series wins count, Busch has surpassed Gordon and Johnson and will likely surpass Earnhardt’s 99 sanctioned touring series wins before this year is out.
If touring series wins count, Richie Evans is more than twice the driver Richard Petty was – he is NASCAR’s winningest driver. And Evans, by the numbers, is more than twice as good as Richard Petty: 2.39 times as good, to be precise. Setting 478 as the benchmark makes the names NASCAR has long touted as the best pale in comparison – so are fans and the media really willing to take that leap and elevate Evans to the top of the heap? And what about Jerry Cook and his 342 Modified wins? Are fans and media ready to make Rome, New York (the hometown of both Evans and Cook, whose rivalry was legendary in its own right) the symbolic home of NASCAR legend instead of Randleman, North Carolina?
Are fans and media really ready to raise Kyle Busch (as well as others like Mark Martin and Kevin Harvick, who also have the bulk of their wins in series other than Cup) so high on the NASCAR pedestal? Because in order to do that and have it be legitimate, the entire face of NASCAR as we know it has to change – and are we really ready to end the reign of The King?
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With all due respect to Richie Evans et.al. his win total includes Friday/Saturday night regular show short track feature wins, which carried points counting toward the modified division championship back in those days. He does not have 478 “touring series” wins and is not even close to Petty’s (and Busch’s) accomplishments…
NASCAR is trying to generate headlines with Busch’s win numbers. It’s hype, plain and simple.
As Kyle Petty said, “When he gets 200 Cup Series wins then come talk to me”.
Never will the “Court Jester” surpass the King.
Mad Man, exactly! This is pure hype to make one of NASCAR’s top four chosen ones (the other three “chosen ones” drive for The Felon, and no, Mark Martin isn’t one of them!) record look better than it really is. If they want to count all series totals, then they better go right back to the beginning. I’ll use Curtis Turner as an example (and Mad Man will probably be the only one , besides me, who will know about this). Turner’s “Cup” record only shows 17 wins. But back in the mid-50’s, NASCAR ran a separate convertible division from 1956 to 1959. During those 4 years, Turner accumulated 38 wins. But if you look back on the records, Turner still only has 17 wins. If Kyle’s win totals are to include his Truck and Nationwide wins, then someone like Turner should have his win total changed from 17 to 55. After all, if you’re going to prop up a chosen one’s modern record, then all records should be re-adjusted. Fair is fair!
By the way, if you ever pay really close attention to Kyle’s Trck and Nationwide record, you can see why he wins so many races on NASCAR’s lower tier racing series’. Kyle is such an aggressive driver, many of these lower tier teams get out of his way because he’ll wreck them with no remorse! And most of those guys can’t affort to have some inflated ego like Kyle wreck their cars and trucks just because he can! So it’s easier to just let him go, unless they want the expense of being wrecked.
Many of you who keep supporting Richard Petty seem to forget many of his Cup wins were back when the races were 100 lap/mile races on the short tracks of the day with less real competition then is in the Busch series today.
I have read many books about nascars early days and interviews with drivers of the day, who talked about the drivers getting together and deciding which races the would race in. ( these drivers got together and decided they would not race against each other at every race, you race Friday and I will race Saturday type of deals)
Richard also was one of the first if not the very first to have big time (national/big money) sponsership when all the others only had local(small) sponsership.
So he was alot like the buschwackers of today.
Yes all the King’s wins were in Cup, but alot of them more closely resemble the Busch series of today more then the Cup series.
561 WOO Sprint Car Feature Wins
20 Woo Championships
500 Dirt Late Model Feature Wins
500 Late Model Short Track Feature Wins
Approx. 1000 Short Track Feature Wins
1972 67 Short Track Feature Wins
1973 57 Short Track Feature Wins
There are many other great racers out there. These are just some of the greats I have seen race who have many more touring series wins then Richard Petty. Just because cup gets the most coverage does not mean that they are the best drivers out there
Once again, Susan spews her pointless dribble. What you also forget Susan, is that, back in the day, the cup series, or Grand National as it was known as, the schedule was also 45 to 55 races, and started two weeks after the previous season ended. There was a “Northern Tour” where they raced something like 8 races in a two-week period throughout New Yourk and New England. It was just as hard on the drivers then as it is now. Plus, back then, the interstate system was only just being built, so travel wasn’t as easy as it is now. As for Richard’s so-called big time sponsorship, the money back then didn’t flow as freely as it does now, anf drivers didn’t become millionairs in their first year. I remember everyone making a big deal out of Fred Lorenzen becoming the first driver to win $100,000.00 in a season. That was 1963!
Only thing was that lorenzen had the reputation of only running the “big races” like the superspeedways, Martinsville, and Bristol. Yes, it was a lot different back then, and I’m not so sure it wasn’t a lot better. Back then, the drivers drove for the love of the sport. Now, it’s for the love of money! GGive me those old days any time!
Gee, between you, DansMom, and Randy-RandyGoldman, if there is anything that is pointless, it’s your nasty comments! Which begs the question, why do you read any column on Frontstretch if you have such a hatred for the columnists?
I will agree it was much tougher on the drivers back in the day and I know there were many years with 60+ cups races, but few drivers raced anywhere near all of the races because of lack of money(sponsership).
I get tried of the Petty supporters acting like he was just another drivers and it was all talent that won those 200 cup races. Richard had factory sponsership and then STP while most of the other driver(not all)still had Mom and Pop(local) sponsers.
He went from 21 wins in 1971, 10 wins in 74 and 13 wins in 75 to only 5 wins in both 77 and 79 and a total of 23 wins from 1976 until retirement in 1992 and no win for the last 8 years. What changed besides more money and big sponser entering the sport? I know radial tires and power steering are a few of the changes to the sport.
I will also agree that the racing back in the 70’s and 80’s (when I started watching, many ASA and midwest short tracks) was better then todays product, this was due as you stated because the drivers were racing for the love of the sport not money. There are only a few drivers in the major touring series(nascar, indy or F-1) who would be racing if the money was not there. This along with nascar chasing the bandwagon fan instead listening to the older longtime fan is a big part of the problem.
While I disagree with alot of what you say and wonder if at times if you are just trying to get people riled up. Today we are on the same side of this debate. And My comments about bandwagon fans was not directed at you.
Yes the races are alot closer today then back 15-20 years ago, but the lucky dog, debris cautions and controlling the outcome from the nascar booth are a big reason for that.
No I do not expect these drivers to do this for nothing but these are not the drivers we grew up watching that would race 5+ nights a week just to put food on the table. Look at Joe (start and park) Nemacheck and Dave Blaney there race teams made over $3,000,000 last year by ONLY RUNNING ABOUT 10% OF EACH RACE.
I have always felt that Petty being called the King was bogus and so is the hype of his 200 wins. He ran nothing races against nobody racers who had poor equipment while Petty had the best there was.
David Pearson is much more the King then Petty could ever dream off.
I can’t help but laugh at some of these comments that are trying to throw the King under the bus. They say things like the racing is more superior now and the drivers are as well….hah! I started following racing during the early sixties and I would bet the farm that 99% of todays drivers would have messed their saddle if they tried to run with 90% of those drivers from that era.
News flash…todays cars are much much easier to drive and money is what makes them easier and safer. Todays engineers have these cars where you barely turn the wheel and they are stuck to the ground like a train on rails by comparison. The King is King. Those guys really knew they could lose their life but the passion and bravery honed their skills not money,fame,fortune and a million dollar engineer.
It seems some of you don’t like Richard Petty. Well he is called the King for a couple reasons. 200 wins and 7 championships. Other than Petty only David Pearson has 100 wins and only Dale Sr. has 7 championships. These three are the best of the best. Kyle Busch is NOT in their league. Period, end of story. Susan asks if Peyton Manning plays football for the pure love of the sport. Well of course not, but you don’t see him playing games against High School teams and counting them in his win total either.
Saying Petty got all his wins because of inferior equipment is kind of hypocritical considering Kyle does that every week in the NW series does he not?
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Want to know more about Amy or see an archive of all of her articles? Check out her bio page for more information.