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 · Friday September 14, 2012
Love NASCAR? Of course you do, that’s probably why you’re reading a NASCAR column! But this week, I’m going to switch it up and talk another type of racing..Indy cars. Yeah, that’s right, those funny-looking pointy cars that sound more like mosquitoes than monsters..and go really, really fast. The bottom line is, if you love racing but aren’t watching IndyCar, you’re missing a whole lot. As NASCAR revs up its championship Chase this weekend, IndyCar will be deciding theirs once and for all. You say you need some good reasons to try out the season-ending, championship-deciding IZOD IndyCar Series race this weekend? Well, then, try these on for size:
1. There’s no Chase That’s right, there’s no points reset, no gimmickry, and yet the title contenders are separated by just 17 points. The championship will—yet again—come down to the last race of the season. It often comes down to the last lap of the last race.
Why? It’s simple, really: INDYCAR has created a points system that makes sense. It rewards excellence while still keeping the spread close enough for the season title hunt to be close and exciting, often to be decided in the final laps of the season. The winner of an event receives 50 points. Second place gets 40, third 35, fourth 32. Points are meted out in decreasing two-marker increments from fourth to tenth place (tenth is good for 20 points) and then in one-point margin down to the 12 points awarded for 18th position. Everyone who finishes 18th-24th gets 12 points, and everyone from 25th place on back gets 10.
The points system evens the playing field while rewarding winning with a substantial advantage. Nobody is guaranteed a start, though it’s rare for teams to go home. A bad week doesn’t spell total disaster, but mediocrity isn’t rewarded and the only way to get an advantage in the championship is to win races. And best of all, fans are treated to an exciting, down-to-the-wire championship battle without the sanctioning body having to interfere.
INDYCAR also has one other cool element to their championship. In addition to the overall points champion, both an oval and a road course champion are crowned, giving a nod to drivers’ performances on the two major track types, and rewarding the best on each. It’s a nice touch for a series that keeps versatility in the mix with its track selections.
2. Teams have some leeway with the cars In NASCAR, one subject of consternation is the lack of freedom teams have to work on their cars within the rules. INDYCAR also has fairly tight guidelines, but there are more areas where teams can work, meaning that a team has the chance to hit on a setup that will give them an advantage—within the rules. On an Indy car, for example, both the front and rear wing are adjustable. While teams do have to work within a specified range determined for each track by INDYCAR, they are allowed some freedom to change the angles throughout a race. This allows teams to add downforce or reduce drag. At some tracks, there are also optional wicker strips that teams can elect to use (or not) on the wing. Traction control is allowed, which takes away the possibility of a team using it illegally, such as exists in NASCAR (despite actual stock cars having traction control these days).
The other competitive tool that IndyCar teams have that NASCAR teams do not is use of telemetry, during both practice sessions and races. NASCAR teams are only allowed to use telemetry in test sessions. If, for example, an Indy car driver suffers a tire problem, the team and driver know which tire is the problem. Teams don’t have to guess at how much fuel is in an Indy car; they know. They know how the engine is running and how the brakes are working. That lets them make decisions for on-track adjustments.
I’m not advocating that NASCAR make the jump to the use of telemetry during races, but the difference that having it makes in the racing is interesting, and the amount of technology on the cars is sure to please technophiles while keeping the gearheads interested…it’s something unique to open wheel racing that makes it different…and exciting.
3. Tires that force teams to use strategy Tire strategy was once a much bigger part of NASCAR than it is today, where at many tracks, the tires last for a fuel run or even longer. IndyCar teams, though, have to make critical decisions about the rubber that hits the road at every track…and they have to be able to change that strategy on the fly.
Unlike NASCAR, which uses a single tire compound at each track, IndyCar racing has two types of tire at every race. One type, the “black” (tires are marked with a colored stripe on the side wall, making it easy for fans and officials to tell at a glance which type a car is currently running), are designed to last longer, but have less grip. The “red” tires, on the other hand, have better grip but give up sooner. Teams have to use each type at least once in every race, and must build their pit strategies around using each type. And that’s if it doesn’t rain. Indy cars do race in the rain on road or street courses, but not on ovals, and making the switch to rain tires is another choice teams make. Treaded rain tires produce slower speeds, so put them on too early or leave them on too long and a team risks slowing down or tearing up the tires, but hold off too long and they risk spinning on slicks.
All of this adds up to excitement on the track in the form of passing, or of a team trying to stretch a red tire or coax speed out of a black. Tire strategy played a big role in the closeness of the championship battle as Will Power’s team elected to put rain tires on the car in Baltimore, but the rains never really came, and Power’s team was forced to give up track position to pit a second time to put slicks back on the car. Should Ryan Hunter-Reay squeeze past Power to take the title this weekend, one thing he can thank is a missed tire strategy…something that has all but disappeared from NASCAR today.
4. A lot is in the driver’s hands INDYCAR has been more proactive than NASCAR about making cars more difficult to drive (when drivers complained about pack racing at tracks like Texas, for instance, the sanctioning body made changes to the aerodynamic package that made the cars more difficult to drive, effectively putting the race more in the hands of the drivers and breaking up the packs). Drivers can also make several adjustments within the car. Like a NASCAR driver, an IndyCar racer can adjust brakes, but he (or she) can also change the fuel mixture to increase either power or fuel mileage. The driver can also shift the car’s weight from one tire to another on oval track.
One thing that has actually been taken out of the drivers hands is pit road speed. Indy cars are fitted with a limiter that drivers engage when they hit pit road and turn off when they leave. This eliminates speeding penalties, and the danger to crews, who, unlike NASCAR crews, go over the wall before the car enters the pits. If nothing else, this assures that the race will be settled through strategy and on-track prowess, not a speeding penalty.
5. Speaking of drivers—there’s something for everyone This isn’t different from NASCAR. The drivers in IndyCar are a diverse group both in nationality and personality, so any race fan should find someone to feel comfortable cheering for every week. From the outgoing and charming Helio Castroneves to the humorous Tony Kanaan, to the more reserved Scott Dixon. There are drivers from around the world who all bring unique qualities to the sport. Bottom line, if you can’t find someone to root for, you aren’t trying hard enough. Though IndyCar sometimes gets the reputation of being more for and about the “wine and cheese” crowd, in the series today, that is simply not true…there is a driver for every fan, and the fun part is getting to know them all.
6. Rules and consequences for breaking them are clear and consistent The big key here is that while many penalties are still up to the discretion of the sanctioning body (and in many cases they should be), INDYCAR doesn’t keep its rules under lock and key the way NASCAR does. In fact, the rule book is available on INDYCAR’s media site as a download, and any media member can download it and share the information with fans. That transparency is a good thing. One thing NASCAR has been oft criticized for is not making the rule book available, and from there it’s not a long jump for fans to wonder if there are different rules, or at least different interpretations of rules, for different teams. Having the rules out in the open eliminates that question.
Many penalties (or at least the minimum penalties) are listed in the rule book as well. For example, a car that doesn’t meet the minimum weight will receive at least a fine of $100,000. Drivers caught blocking (altering one’s racing line or using the racing groove to impede another driver is forbidden in IndyCar racing because of the danger it poses; open-wheel cars can’t use the chrome horn without causing major problems) will be black flagged for a pass-through penalty. Team orders, loathed by many NASCAR fans, are also forbidden by INDYCAR. Team orders result in a black flag for the offender.
Having the rules published and penalties consistent (though they do leave room for an increase for say, a repeat offender) is good for any sport. INDYCAR clearly recognizes that, while NASCAR fails to grasp the need for transparency.
7. It’s affordable for fans While the cost of attending a NASCAR race has skyrocketed, IndyCar remains a more affordable option. This weekend’s finale at Fontana offers tickets ranging from $30 to $65. Hotel rooms in Fontana can be had for under $100 a night. Contrast that with the Cup finale, where tickets start at $50 and run up to $135 each. And a hotel in Miami? Some of the same hotel chains that can be had in Fontana for the regular rate will run fans double the normal price, per their website. So, an Econo lodge for the IndyCar finale, in Fontana, will cost $101 per night—and that’s one of the more expensive hotels available. In Homestead, on the other hand the Econo Lodge runs at $235 per night. No, that’s not something NASCAR can control, but if race fans want to treat the family to a race weekend, overall, the IndyCar event gives the most bang for the fewest bucks.
8. It’s racing Finally, the cars look different and they surely sound different, but the engines still throb in time with the hearts of drivers and fans alike. It’s racing…and if you’re a race fan, you’re cheating yourself out of a thriller if you aren’t watching. More racing…what race fan wouldn’t want more racing?
The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Fontana this weekend to decide the championship in what promises to be an exciting race where cars can pass each other and drivers will battle for 500 miles before anything is decided. (That’s right. I said exciting racing. With passing. _At Fontana!_That’s something you don’t see every day.) IndyCar racing isn’t NASCAR racing, nor does it have to be in order to be an exciting, interesting form of racing in its own right. It’s not a case of either, or here…it’s two different series with two vastly different types of racecars and styles…but it’s all racing. It’s not a case of choosing one over the other…why do that when you can watch both? In any case, race fans should be tuning in to the IndyCar finale this weekend…it’s going to be quite a show. And did I mention there’s no Chase?
Connect with Amy!
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
It wasn’t clear in the section, but the Firestone Reds are only used on road & street courses. They are never used on Ovals. More to your point, they aren’t rocks and actually wear over the course of a run. Need proof? Watch Rahal the last 20 laps at Texas.
I am not a fan of the IndyCar points system. I love how mich the winner amd the podium get, but too many cars are awarded points. Why award points for 20th? What did you the driver really accomplish? How about just the top 15? If you need a seperate system for owner points, so be it. The same goes for NASCAR. How hard would drivers drive of there were no driver points outside of the top 15 or 20?
Great column Amy! This IndyCar fan appreciates your attention to our series today. It’s been a great season & anyone tuning in Saturday evening won’t be disappointed in the quality of the racing. Go RHR!
Good column, Amy!
Sounds like Amy needs to give up on NASCAR and report on Indy Car Racing, only. Also, she’s telling us to actually watch a race at Fontana? Who is this woman?!?!!?
I am very curious to see how the racing at the much-maligned Fontana speedway is with Indycars on it as opposed to stock cars. And at least the field is pretty strong (26 cars). Hopefully they won’t get too spread out.
I hope I can DVR both the Indycar race and the Truck series race at Iowa at the same time. I have plans for Saturday night, but I still need my racing fix, and I don’t think the snoozefest that Chicagoland will likely produce will suffice.
And a hello to my SoCal brethren Kevin.
Oops, sorry about not making the road course tires clear!
@Steve: I disagree on the no points part for both NASCAR and IndyCar. Especially in NASCAR, some drivers race as hard as they can all day, do not hold back, get every ounce out of their racecars…and still finish 25th. For the smaller teams, that’s reality, and I think it’s unfair to give them nothing for their efforts. I like the idea of the same points for all drivers below a certain point as that might encourage teams with top cars to run as hard as they can, but I just can’t get on board with giving those small teams who work so hard nothing for their efforts.
Also Amy, it keeps the rolling wrecks off the track towards the end of races since they won’t be gaining anymore points and have no incentive to be out there. Indy’s point system does it right.
It’s strange that things like different tires, telemetry and airfoil adjustments are prohibited by NASCAR in the name of keeping costs down. Yet Indycar costs as least half as much to run with all those additional tuning options.
Seems like NASCAR needs new accountants or they’re throwing money away on frivolities.
Indycar has had a tight points race for the last few years, so I think their system works. They have a third fewer entrants, and that makes it more workable. I’m also in favor of zero points for the bottom quarter of the field. The last ten cars in a NASCAR field are not running very hard, nor do they run all day. Maybe we can assign points if they complete at least 25% of the race.
Among the MANY reasons why NASCAR fans SHOULD NOT also be watching indycar this weekend:
2. Many indycar fans CLEARLY state that they HATE NASCAR! They insult NASCAR on websites such as trackforum.com, call us STUPID, DUMB, IGNORANT and other such things. Refer to NASCAR racing as “taxicab” racing, call out cars “Cabs”. Claim that NASCAR is not “REAL” racing, that NASCAR fans are not “REAL” racing fans, etc. State that our favored brand of racing is inferior to theirs! Refer to NASCAR as “NASCrap”. Why should we watch/support any racing series, with fans that think of us in that manner?
3. Many indycar fans state that NASCAR (and since NASCAR fans fall under NASCAR, by extention we fall into this classification) is the enemy! Why should we watch/support our enemy’s race! Mixing fans of the two series is akin to mixing oil and water!
4. For much of NASCAR’s existance indycar, by whtever name it has chosen to call itself, USAC, cart, irl, whatever, has tried to hurt NASCAR in anyway possible. One example, their big race was placed in direct competiton with the World 600, in an effort to hurt Charlotte. The two races had been run on seperate days before that move was made. Guess what? IT DIDN’T WORK! HA HA HA!
In conclusion, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, WHAT SO EVER, that NASCAR fans should also be watching indycar this weekend!
Lee, who peed in your cheerios? I and my entire family are and always have been fans of both series. So it is entirely possible for the fans of the two series to mix. I have never heard IndyCar fans or anyone else involved with Indy cars refer to NASCAR as the enemy or call NASCAR fans names. I have heard plenty of people call NASCAR fans names. They weren’t fans of IndyCar. They weren’t fans of racing at all. They probably got that impression however from hate filled narrow minded people such as yourself. the only people I have ever heard use the term NASCRAP have been NASCAR fans who are unhappy with decisions their own sanctioning body made. Your final comment is particularly amusing. The Indy 500 was first run in 1911. With the exception of some periods during early 1900s and most especially during WWII when there was no race, it has been run every Memorial Day weekend on Sunday afternoon. Of course if there is rain it has been moved to Monday because, like NASCAR, Indy cars can’t race ovals in the rain. The World 600, which cannot possibly be older than the Charlotte track that was built in 1959, was always run on Monday until the late 1980s or early 1990s when it was moved to Sunday night when lights were installed at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. IndyCar did not move their signature race in order to try to kill NASCAR’s. NASCAR didn’t even move the 600 to try to kill Indy. The two races, while now run on the same day, are not run at the same time. And if you are an open minded fan, or perhaps more correctly a RACING fan instead of just a NASCAR fan, it’s the best racing day of the year as you can watch Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR—a true race fans dream day!
Late ’80s to about ’95 was the heyday of open wheel. Indy tickets had a waiting list and it took years to get a pair, then years more to move up to decent seats.
Now I see a bunch of gimmicks in open wheel just like Nascar. I do like the racing much better than Nascar, but it is nothing like it once was.
I enjoy each series. Why? I’m a racing fan. BTW, it was a great race Saturday night at Fontana!
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