Hamlin Snags Coca-Cola 600 Pole With Track Record Time
posted by Amy Henderson
Thursday May 23, 2013
Denny Hamlin shattered the track qualifying record at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he rocketed to the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Hamlin had a lap time of 27.604 seconds, or 195.624 miles per hour. Several drivers drove past the old record, set by Greg Biffle in 2012, but it was Hamlin who came out at the top of the heap and holds the new record. Kurt Busch will start on the outside of the front row. Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, and Ryan Newman hold down sixth through tenth places.
The pole is Hamlin’s second of 2013; he also started in front at Fontana before an injury in that race sidelined him for over a month. Hamlin says that his back feels “nearly 100%” and that it doesn’t cause him pain while driving. He added that winning the pole helped solidify for him that he is back at a competitive level, but he wants one more thing before he’ll be satisfied.
“I think winning would do that. I think ultimately getting the big trophy on Sunday is the validation that you’re truly back,” said Hamlin after his lap. “For me, it’s going to take some wins and some really good consistency throughout these summer months to put ourselves in position to have a chance at a championship. That’s what we’re here for. Even these small victories though give me that confidence that I’m still capable, and I’m still able to do the job at 100 percent like I should be. Any kind of confidence booster for me — it’s always a plus on Sunday.”
The Cup teams are next on track Saturday at 10 AM for the weekend’s second practice. Final practice for Sunday’s race is Saturday afternoon at one o’clock. The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to start at 6 PM on Sunday and will air on FOX.
Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
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Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
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Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
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Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Saturday April 2, 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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