Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Who…gets my shoutout of the race?
It’s really only a matter of time now. Often when a team is just behind the curve and finds that certain something that makes them a threat, when the win does come, it can trigger a string of top finishes. That’s exactly where Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is sitting these days. A win eluded him by less than a gallon of fuel at Charlotte, and Earnhardt came up swinging at Kansas, getting stronger throughout the race, and even after spinning the car on his own on lap 152, made it clear that he was going to be a factor in the race. Earnhardt’s second-place run was his best finish since Martinsville and his career best at Kansas.
He’s finished outside the top 14 just twice this year, while in 2010 he finished in that group just 12 times…one more than he has already done this year. Earnhardt was also the top-finishing Hendrick Motorsports driver on Sunday, something he’s done four times this year. At Charlotte last week, Earnhardt expressed his desire to be relevant in today’s NASCAR…oh, yeah, he’s relevant. And it’s for his prowess on the track, not just his popularity.
What… was THAT?
By now fans have heard all about the altercation in the garage between team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch after a Camping World Truck Series race. After Childress driver Joey Coulter raced (and beat) Busch for fifth place in the race, Busch caught up with Coulter after the checkered flag and rammed the side of his truck. During the on-track battle, Coulter raced Busch cleanly, but did get loose under him, rubbing the No. 18 slightly, but unintentionally.
Perhaps Childress felt he was doing what NASCAR won’t in punishing Busch for his post-race actions. Busch is on probation for ramming another Childress-owned car after the checkered flag, yet NASCAR determined that Busch did not violate his probation. Huh? A guy is on probation for hitting a car intentionally after a race, goes out and hits another car intentionally after a race, and it’s all okay? For the second week in a row, that leaves a bitter question that should never have to be asked: what if Harvick had been the one going after another driver after a race? Would he not be in violation of his probation either? No matter the answer, there should never even be a question-but yet again, NASCAR’s non-action has left that question to be asked.
Where…did the polesitter wind up?
After a tumultuous couple of months that saw the No. 22 of Kurt Busch on a backwards skid down the points chart, Busch snared the pole at Kansas and looked to be a strong contender for the win early in the day. Busch’s Dodge would fade at the beginning of a run, but when the race wore on, he’d be right back at the top. The car was clearly among the class of the field, something which hasn’t happened for Busch in some time.
Unfortunately for the No. 22 team, the fuel filling system didn’t want to cooperate, and there was trouble getting fuel into the car on pit stops, costing Busch valuable track position that he then had to gain back. The issue may also have contributed to Busch running low on fuel late in the race. While the team knew they’d have to pit for fuel, Busch ran dry earlier than expected, and the car stalled exiting pit road, costing spot after spot as the field went by. Busch was able to rebound to ninth as others were also forced to pit, while teammate Brad Keselowski took his Dodge to Victory Lane.
When…will I be loved?
It was another tame race this week-cookie cutter tracks will often ensure that, but there was a villain. It wasn’t a driver getting hotheaded or even a crewman making a bad decision. In this case, it was Mother Nature who made things difficult for the race teams. The heat in Kansas was brutal, with the sun beating on the track surface all race long. Last week at Charlotte, temperatures inside the racecars approached 130 degrees, but the race ran into the night, where the track cooled off, keeping drivers and crews cooler.
This week there was no such relief from the relentless sun, and it definitely took its toll on the drivers. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was vocal about it on the radio before the race hit the halfway point, and both Earnhardt and race winner Brad Keselowski looked a bit worse for the wear on Sunday. It’s yet another reason that the sport is so difficult, and why winners win. But it wasn’t just drivers. There were several reports of fans needing medical assistance due to the extreme temperature as well, and that’s not good for anyone, or for the image of the sport. But it does beg the question…
Why…isn’t this a night race?
One of the newest improvements at Kansas Speedway is track lighting. So why on earth wasn’t this weekend’s race a Saturday night special? A night race would have been a better choice for the fans in attendance. Between the heat and air quality, lots of fans were forced to seek medical assistance, which most likely resulted in some of them not being able to watch the race they bought tickets for. Considering that tracks aren’t exactly breaking the record books on ticket sales, can they really afford for fans to miss the event or to possibly decide not to renew their tickets next year because they were miserable in the heat? Bottom line, better scheduling on the part of NASCAR and Kansas Speedway would have made the STP 400 a more enjoyable and safer race for the fans. And isn’t that the point?
How…is the Chase shaping up halfway through the regular season?
Nothing is set in stone, of course, but with 13 races left until the championship field is set, the picture is getting clearer. It’s probably safe to call the top 5 (leader Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch) virtual locks to make the cut. The picture is still cloudier for sixth through tenth (currently Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, and Ryan Newman). Among that group, only Kenseth has a points win (Kenseth has won twice this year), and Busch, Stewart, and Bowyer have just five top 5 finishes among them. Denny Hamlin in 11th and Greg Biffle in 12th aren’t safe yet either, as NASCAR made changes that will give those spots to the two drivers in 11th to 20th with the most wins. Right now that would mean Biffle being left out in favor of Jeff Gordon, who won at Phoenix. If Brad Keselowski can gain just one points position, it would put him in the Chase mix as well with his win at Kansas. Looking down the road to Richmond, the usual suspects appear to be in position to make a championship run…but a few surprises are waiting in the wings.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Oh Amy, get off your high horse. Assault and battery is not praiseworthy, even from a hyporcrite like you. Joey Coulter cut Kyle off and caused Kyle to check up to avoid wrecking. Kyle bumped him gently (ramming?) on the cool down lap to say “I noticed that.” Coulter was fine with it. NASCAR was OK with both the on-track action of Coulter (which was only unintentional if you can read minds) and the routine off-track acknowledgment from Kyle. Childress lost his cool, as did all the rest of you Kyle-bashers.
Assault and battery is a significant crime in all states. Obviously, Kyle is not going to press charges, but he would be within his rights to do so. Maybe if you learned that hatred is a toxic emotion, you could be happier and be more effective at your job.
@ Bill S. Go back and reread that paragraph-I never said I believe Childress did the right thing-in fact, I think he should have handled the situation differently. My issue was with NASCAR raising questions about the probation situation…which indeed they do by not enforcing the probation. Childress should have demanded that NASCAR be the one to punish Busch. Coulter did nothing wrong (unless you count not just giving up a spot to Kyle as wrong, as Kyle clearly did). I didn’t read Coulter’s reaction as “okay with it” but that could be in interpretation; I wasn’t there to know if he was being sincere or sarcastic. Childress was clearly wrong, but so was Busch for hitting another car after the checkers-the same thing he’s already on probation for. Childress handled the situation badly, but that wasn’t the point of the piece. The point of the piece was that NASCAR should not raise questions about consistency of their policies…and two weeks running, they have.
Amy, NASCAR DID in fact review the situation and found NO violation of probation during or after the truck race by Kyle. As Marty Smith said on Sports Center, that kind of love tap is routine – until it involves Kyle Busch and then all the holier-than-thou types take offense.
As for the race itself, the last I saw, Kyle had a clear lead on Joey and I wondered what had happened on the last lap. The answer: Joey pulled inside of Kyle and then cut him off trying to clear him. A rookie mistake or a purposeful desperation move to impress the boss? I guess it really did impress the old blowhard.
It may have been a judgment call on NASCAR’s part, but well within their autority since there was nothing unusual or aggravating about this non-incident.
(I also remember Carl Edwards putting his hands around Kevin Harvick’s neck while on probation. No consequences from NASCAR. Were you outraged at that?)
And my impression, no, scratch that, my certain knowledge, is that Kyle is on probation for hitting a driverless car on pit road. In fact, the penalty for both Harvick and Busch specifically mentioned “actions on pit road.” And I am also certain that Joey was still in the car on the cool-down lap.
Your bias is SO obvious you should be prohibited from even writing about Kyle. Why don’t you punch him out yourself and take the consequences instead of hiding behind your computer and writing inflammatory rhetoric here?
Joey slid up in front of Kyle before clearing him, causing KB to check up to AVOID wrecking them both. Yes, it was just racing, but if Kyle had done that, it would be “dirty racing.”
Double standard in play, as always.
Joey said he thought Kyle was just “congratulating him” afterwards. Sarcasm, there. But also said he learned a lot from following Kyle. Only bad blood seemed to be on Dickie’s part.
Kyle has done it before; I seem to remember a certain pass for the lead at Bristol last year. Nobody wrecked, and it was good racing. (Of course, the guy he passed didn’t take it kindly, so Kyle proceeded to dump him, but the initial pass wasn’t dirty.)
Bill S., you said it all for me; thank you. I need to stock up on M&Ms
The reason I quit reading Mirror Driving is the same reason I probably won’t read any of your articles again. While I like Frontstretch as well as any of the racing sites, your “ga-ga” attitude toward objective reporting, just turns me off.
If that would have been anyone but Rowdy, people would have thought he was saying GREAT JOB, but let Kyle rub somebody and its Bloody Murder.
For those who care I have been a RCR and Dale fan since 1986 and a Kyle fan since he left the FELON.
If nascar moved the Cup race to Sat. night what do they do to the NSS race?
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