NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Thursday October 13, 2011
In a press conference today, Joe Gibbs Racing and Dollar General announced a sponsorship agreement for 2012. It will include primary sponsorship of Joey Logano’s No. 20 Sprint Cup car for 12 races and Brian Scott’s Nationwide Series car for the full season. The company will also provide sponsorship to either the No. 20 or the No. 18 in ten additional Nationwide Series races. Finally, the Dollar General colors of yellow and black will return to the No. 18 truck of Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series for ten races for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
On paper, it’s a great deal for both Dollar General and JGR. The Cup Series is undoubtedly a step forward for the company, which has been a longtime supporter of Nationwide Series teams, most recently the No. 32 of Turner Motorsports. It’s obviously a boon to JGR, especially Scott’s Nationwide operation. “We are thrilled to have Dollar General partner with us at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Gibbs on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Our goal is to promote the Dollar General brand by delivering victories on the track. This is an exciting day for JGR and NASCAR.”
Too bad it’s not so exciting for Turner Motorsports. One of the last competitive independently owned Nationwide Series teams, Turner currently has two drivers in the top ten in series points: Justin Allgaier in fifth and Jason Leffler in sixth. Reed Sorenson, who is third in the standings, was released by the team last week for performance issues (despite his points standing, the team did not feel that Sorenson was providing adequate feedback during races), and Leffler was told that he is free to pursue other options for 2012 as sponsorship dwindles and current sponsor Great Clips will be moved to another car within the team.
Sorenson’s third place standing is the highest of any independent Nationwide team (currently that’s MacDonald Motorsports), and Dollar General was a big reason for that. Sorenson and Brian Vickers have also brought Dollar General into the spotlight (the No. 32 is seventh in Nationwide Series owner points; the best of the independents, and ahead of the No. 11 that JGR fields for Scott in 16th). No independent Nationwide team has won the series championship since ppc Racing in 2000.
It’s a series in crisis, and what is needed more than anything, is for loyal sponsors to step up, and for those teams to get adequate coverage by the television crews and adequate promotion from NASCAR.
But the sponsors want the Cup drivers, say the masses. That’s true. But the drivers and teams are the ones who make it so. If those drivers didn’t make themselves available, the sponsors would have to look elsewhere. If the television coverage didn’t focus on the Cup stars even when they aren’t running up front, there would be return on the investment in a Nationwide team. It would take a concerted, community effort, but nobody is willing to do it, and with Cup teams actively poaching sponsors from the Nationwide-only teams, the future isn’t pretty.
Poaching sponsors is nothing new; it happens all the time in racing, but there’s something that just smacks of entitlement and greed when a Cup team woos a sponsor away from an independent Nationwide or CWTS team. It does make sense for the sponsor, there’s no denying that, but that’s in part enabled by a sport so enamored by a chosen few that they fail to promote dozens of drivers and teams, including some even at the Cup level in favor of the vanilla, over-exposed chosen few.
The deal between JGR and Dollar General is hardly unique, but there is one more aspect to consider. Gibbs’ team reportedly asked Home Depot to scale back their sponsorship of Logano’s Cup car in favor of Dollar General. That’s right; there was already a full year of sponsorship in place for the No. 20, yet Gibbs and Dollar General told them to cut back. That’s a slap in the face to teams at both the Cup and Nationwide Series level who struggle and scrape for sponsors, sometimes race to race. It would be nice if Home Depot would step up and sponsor another Toyota team for the money JGR told them to keep.
Turner Motorsports, of course would be an excellent choice in terms of both performance and poetic justice. They already have a relationship via Raceday on Speed with Kenny Wallace, a three-time Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver whose single-car independent team does more with less than perhaps anyone in the series, and for whom that money could go a long way toward buying the speed it takes to win. If the company wants to stay in the Cup Series, the No. 13 Germain Racing entry is a Toyota and is not fully sponsored, having to start and park several times during the year for lack of funds.
It’s not even a performance issue. Turner’s team is currently outperforming the JGR team of Brian Scott in the Nationwide Series. Joey Logano is a talented driver, but he’s not Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin. Logano and Busch are ineligible for points in the Nationwide Series, so wins will come, but championships will not, though they might have with Turner in a year or two. That makes the situation even sadder. Performance simply doesn’t matter to sponsors in NASCAR as much as being attached to a name.
There has been talk among fans that perhaps NASCAR should simply get rid of the Nationwide Series and redistribute the sponsor dollars among Cup and/or CWTS teams, but what kind of solution is that? Not only would there be a heavy toll on the NASCAR community with the potential for 40 entire teams being laid off and the end of numerous driving careers that don’t deserve to end in that way, it would be a huge historical loss to the sport to lose a series that’s been around for decades and boasts some of the sport’s most memorable names. But the bleeding of sponsor money to the big Cup teams has to be stopped.
I’m not naïve; I understand the business side of decisions like this. However, it’s an ugly side of NASCAR. It bares a part of the sport’s underbelly that is not only sordid and greedy, but also very vulnerable. When the poaching of sponsors is taken to the level that teams are actually turning away money while others struggle to survive, it’s not exactly a sign of a thriving sport. It’s a sign that changes need to be made, and soon. There needs to be a concerted effort between NASCAR and teams to make sure that that money is being spent well, and television networks to make sure that there is a return on a significant investment.
I’m sure is was a great day for Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Kyle Busch Motorsports. Too bad it’s such a bad one for Turner Motorsports. As the clouds gather, dark days look to be ahead for the Nationwide and Cup independents. Then again, the best time for poaching is the dead of night…
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
So, Amy says that sponsorships are business deals and that both owners and businesses need to do what’s best for them.
With that in mind, just what is she bitching about? Or is she just filling up space?
Does anyone ever pay any attention to what she says?
It’s always all about business.
Yes, and the rich get richer. Hard to believe anyone is still surprised at that.
Maybe these independent teams should protest… I can see it now… Occupy Victory Lane.
If Amy thinks it would be sad to see the Nationwide series go away because it has been around so long, she should take a peek at what is going on with NASCAR’s oldest division. The Modifieds!!
I thought Brian Scott brought sponsorship when he went to JGR. Where did that go?
And no way did JGR ask Home Depot to scale back their sponsorship of the 20. No way.
If it’s not the mega teams that gobble up the available sponsors, it’s NASCAR taking a big bite. Not a lot of difference between NASCAR today and the mega banks and brokerage houses. More than ever it’s the haves have and the have not’s never will. Four car teams with several satellite affiliations should never have become the norm and BZF should never have been given the head chair at the table.
….and the beat goes on…and the nationwide continues in it’s death throes. Just cancel the series. The only teams making money are the cup teams anyway. The series championship is a farce.
Business is business, thats the way of a Capitolist economy. From the purest racers viewpoint my problem is there is no way for a young person to have a shot at being successful in racing unless your parents have deep pockets . I was fortunate to race at the local level at a time when you could build your own equipment and be competitive but that day is gone. I got a big kick out of a story about how much Denny Hamlins parents sacrificed for Denny to start racing. Poor ol Denny had to drive a used Lexus to high school
Yeah I gotta agree with my homey so cal mike on this one…I read more than a year ago that Home Depot was withdrawing ALL sponsorship in racing. Sounds like two sides of the same coin one way or the other. One of the deepest pockets in racing is backing off at the least, if not leaving altogether. JGR saying they asked them to back off would be whitewash on the fact that they backed the wrong horse when they gave up on Smoke in favour of Logano.
Great article Amy. It always amuses me that the “holy roller” Joe Gibbs is always at the heart of controversy. What a “Christian” example!
Amy..A lot of opinion from you and not much fact. Where did you show that JGR activley sought the DG sponsorship and where do you source Home Depots being asked to cut back sponsorship?
Usually when you make a statement you imply that backing the wrong horse means you lose something. But as I see it, Home Depot will be gaining back 20+ million per year by leaving a sport with diminishing relevance as fans back away.
@Bill B , not sure about anyone else but I am one who has actively tried to spend the precious few dollars I do have on sponsors of NASCAR. It is in hopes that the racing that I have loved for 50 years will be around through my grandkids lives. Although Mr. France is working hard to end it, I am doing my part to keep it going.
It very definitely is a business, with the good and the bad that comes with that. That generally means that the big get bigger, and the little guy closes down.
NASCAR isn’t doing anything to keep the NW series alive anyway. Yeah, I know- killing it off would end up causing layoffs. No kidding, but this slow death thing isn’t much of an improvement.
What NASCAR has done is help kill off the independent and NW-only teams:
1) By not limiting the amount of races Cup regulars run, the Cup Regulars eat up the majority of good-paying finishing positions (and prize money)
2) By implementing a new and very expensive COT that a number of teams simply could not afford
3) By sucking up “Official *** of NASCAR” sponsors, some of which have exclusivity agreements that prevent other companies in the same field from sponsoring teams.
4) Lowering purses so that prize money doesn’t even cover tires for a weekend unless you get a top-15 finish (coupled with Cup-affiliated teams sucking up the T15 spots every week, and the top sponsors)
It would be nice to read ‘——— Co. sponsoring Nationwide team’.
There are companies that would like to be involved with NASCAR. Unfortunately, NASCAR likes to steal the sponsorship opportunities for themselves. NASCAR gives their sponsors exclusive rights which slams the door in the face of any similar companies trying to compete. In this economy, how does NASCAR justify turning away good money? Look at what NASCAR has done to Robby Gordon this season, like Robby is such a threat to NASCAR’s bottom line. Unreal.
Why not just do away with the Nationwide Series entirely? It has become nothing more than Cup Lite, and all the Cup-affiliated teams get all the wins, the glory, and the best of everything. NASCAR should only have the Cup and Truck Series.
As a sign of goodwill, I would want the Nationwide COTs’ to become the new Cup cars. Also, all the personnel members can sign on to current Cup Series organizations. In some cases, it would expand some teams from 1 or 2-car outfits to 4-car fleets.
There is a laundry list of big-name sponsors that I would love to see in the Cup Series: Staples, White Castle, T.G.I.Fridays, Mack Trucks, Craftsman, Dickies, HP, Applebee’s, Armor All, Briggs & Stratton, Texas Roadhouse, Parts Plus, Harley-Davidson, etc. Why do these powerhouse teams feel that its fun to fleece primary sponsors from struggling Cup operations, essentially leading them to shut down?
Also, exclusivity should be a federal crime. There was no reason for AT&T to be forced out of NASCAR like they were.
GO ROWDY! Drive that DOLLAR GENERAL truck like you stole it!!!
Recent articles from Amy Henderson:
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with Cessna, Textron
Want to know more about Amy or see an archive of all of her articles? Check out her bio page for more information.