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 August 2, 2013
NASCAR fans are in for some changes in 2015, when the new television contracts will mean the season will be split between FOX and NBC Sports Network. The races, particularly those on NBCSN, will no doubt have a new look for fans.
With that big change on the horizon, the time is ripe for NASCAR to capitalize on it in a big way with changes of their own, adjustments that could pique fan interest and increase their audience at a time that’s going to be a crucial juncture for the sport. Think about it; the timing couldn’t be better. The sanctioning body would have more than a year to really seek fan feedback, analyze what would make the most sense, and implement a plan to move ahead. There are several key areas that can, and should, be easily addressed in the next year…
For starters, there needs to be a road course in the Chase (though it can easily be said that this would be a great time to get rid of that format as well, since fans have not warmed to it. In fact, most say they hate it.). There just does. If the Chase is supposed to be a ten-race test of who is a true champion, then the road to the title needs to take some right turns. It also needs another track that’s not a 1.5 or 2-mile, mass-produced multiplex; my vote is for moving Richmond into the last ten.
Which brings us to tradition. NBC offers the perfect chance to throw a bone to the diehards who are still around, moving the Southern 500 back to the Labor Day weekend date that it deserves. Try this on for size: Darlington on Sunday night under the lights as the last race of the regular season before the Chase. That’s right; let the Lady in Black be the final hurdle teams have to overcome to make the championship field. Then, take a week off and start the Chase at Richmond. Add a September race at Watkins Glen to the mix while leaving off Chicago and Kansas. All four tracks are owned by the same company, International Speedway Corporation, so moving them around would, in theory, be a simple matter. The other eight Chase tracks are a decent choice, though an argument could certainly be made for taking the restrictor plate race off the table as well; it’s more of a game of luck than one of skill.
As nice as it would be to see tracks like Iowa or Rockingham on the Cup schedule, the simple truth is that neither track is currently suitable for that level of competition. They simply don’t have the capacity for a Cup crowd or the infrastructure to support the addition of seats without other, major work. The same applies to Eldora; while a dirt race is certainly an appealing idea, the reality is a bit more complicated. Running the Trucks and even Nationwide on a dirt track is feasible. A Cup race is just not; there just isn’t a facility that could handle it. After years of neglect, North Wilkesboro also isn’t a viable option.
But even working with what they’ve got in terms of tracks and races, there is a lot NASCAR could do to make fans sit up and take notice. They just need to stand up to the track owners and do it.
While making the rule book available is a start, it’s time for an overhaul of the rules in terms of infractions and penalties. The former need to be clearly defined (why can one driver say it was hard to pass but not another?), and the latter need to be clear, consistent, and predetermined.
For example, there should be a graduated system for penalizing race weekend inspection failures. Fail the first tech, before the car even hits the track? That’s just not even in the same ballpark as failing postrace inspection; the penalties should be just as different. If it doesn’t hit the track, the team never raced an illegal car; losing a practice while they fix it and have it reinspected is punishment enough.
On the other hand, a car that’s illegal after a race is a whole other ball of wax. There’s no way an illegal car should ever beat a legal one for any position. The team with the illegal car should have its finish stripped, receive no points or prize money from the event, and not be credited with any finish in the race. NASCAR’s old excuse that fans need to know the winner before they leave the track doesn’t hold water. Most race fans aren’t completely inept; they are capable of understanding why the finishing order was changed if a car fails inspection. That NASCAR doesn’t think they are is an insult.
The bottom line is, the severity of a penalty should be tailored to when the infraction is discovered. A car that never took to the track isn’t even in the same realm as one that’s raced in terms of how wrong an infraction really is. Penalties can no longer be one-stop shopping, because one size most definitely does not fit all.
OK, not everyone can be Clint Bowyer. And really, can you imagine 43 Clint Bowyers in the garage, all at once. That might be a little much…
In other words, drivers all have different personalities. Some, like Bowyer are outgoing and even outrageous, while others are more reserved. That’s all fine. Some people like vanilla… others like a little spice. Whatever floats your boat. But where NASCAR (and the sponsors in the sport, to be fair) errs is in not letting all the drivers show their personalities all the time.
No driver should be afraid to speak his or her mind, as long as what they say is constructive. Certainly, stating that passing is hard in the Gen-6 or any other car is not wrong. Fans can see that for themselves. It wasn’t as if Denny Hamlin said that NASCAR’s top execs had their collective heads… um, in the sand, or something. He never said the racing was bad, or that the sanctioning body was bad, or that the race cars were bad.
NASCAR would also do themselves a favor if they found a way to market more Cup regulars, not just the biggest names. Why not use drivers like Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, or JJ Yeley, for example, in advertisements and promotions? There are many drivers like those three, who aren’t exactly household names but are personable and marketable. So why not use that to everyone’s advantage?
The Nationwide and Truck Series
If NASCAR did a better job of promoting these series and, more importantly, their drivers, they wouldn’t need the argument that the Cup drivers in lower series are a draw. Actually, what’s proven to be a draw in recent years is not the drivers, but the venues. Rockingham draws great crowds with very few Cup drivers in the field. Eldora didn’t sell out in a few weeks because of the Cup drivers who might be in the race. Race fans care about racing. Good racing is the key to long-term interest in these series… and that will come on short tracks and venues that Sprint Cup currently doesn’t visit.
Also, it’s just not good racing when one or two drivers are winning every week. Many fans simply don’t bother watching these series because they feel like the outcome is predetermined. That’s not a good thing. No fan should have to feel like they already know the ending to the story before they open the book.
And there are solutions that don’t completely exclude the Cup drivers. They could be limited, either by the number of races they can run or by the number of Cup drivers in any given race. The NNS and Truck Series schedules could simply include more races at venues where the Cup Series isn’t racing that week.
Another viable solution would be to exclude a driver from running for the same car owner (or a closely linked team) in more than one series. That would stop the drivers and teams who are simply outspending the others to rack up a few more trophies. A few drivers could (and some no doubt would) run for other owners, but even that would limit the trophy hunting because it’s unlikely that a driver’s Cup owner would let him race for a direct competitor of the team in another series. For example, you probably wouldn’t see a Roush Fenway driver running for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. That would limit the drivers to smaller teams running the same manufacturer they race in Cup; it could be mutually beneficial for the teams and the series while limiting the ridiculous (and downright obscene) dominance of a few drivers in series they’ve outgrown.
With the new TV package several months away, the timing would be perfect for NASCAR to make some changes that would help drive the sport forward, keeping the interest of current fans while staying appealing for newer ones. By addressing the schedule, the rules, and how they market drivers and series, the sanctioning body could drive the sport in a direction so many want to follow. The sport is bleeding, from attendance to their pocketbook and they have the perfect reason, right now, to make wholesale changes to the racing without making new rules that nobody wants.
The time is ripe. NASCAR just needs to reap it.
Connect with Amy!
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Started reading this article and realized it was a waste of time. Great artice, full of good ideas but we all know that it won’t happen so why hope.
The problem I have with NASCAR is the fact that they alienated a lot of us fans in the Southeast when the sport became the flavor of the month across America.
We lost 2 events at Wilkesboro, Rockingham, then Darlington & Atlanta lost 1 date apiece.
Now, when the casual fans NASCAR desired so much went onto the next big thing, King Brian thinks he can just waltz in and throw a truck race to Rockingham and move the California fall race to Atlanta and all will be well. Problem is, they turned die-hard fans into casual fans, and the casual fans are now watching something else.
When you completely alienate who made you what you are, it’s really tough to expect those same people to be rushing back to the track to hand you money only to let you do the same exact thing in 10 years.
Very good article. I agree with the schedule.
But I still see the day when the Chase goes bye-bye. It’s failed it everything it was supposed to do…in fact, it’s driven fans away.
I completely agree with the inspections and rules overhaul. Much needed and long overdue.
The truck series is all but dead…thanks to Nascar itself. Put them boys back on the short tracks…and nothing BUT the short tracks. Make it exciting again like it was when it was started.
My two cents: Get rid of the road courses; market the drivers to a broader audience – not just people who are already fans of NASCAR; get rid of the Chase. Since NBC (which is owned by COMCAST) is putting so much money into this venture, I would hope that there would be some changes.
I love the idea of mixing up the Chase tracks and bringing the Southern 500 back to labor day weekend. Starting in 2015 NASCAR should institute a policy that every few years (3-5?) there will be certain tracks rotated in and out of the Chase. That gives the tracks some flexibility and mixes up the Chase. Tracks like New Hampshire, Chicago, Dover, Kansas, Texas and/or Charlotte should be rotated in and out periodically. I understand because of weather late in Chase and logistics some tracks might have to stay in, but I see no reason why 3-5 tracks can’t be rotated every few years.
The racing in general is boring, I remember Petty winning all the races and Big E and the Kid, but TV was not so dominate back then ,if JJ and Chad. goes on another winning streak the skid to the rating will be something no one wants, BUT ABOVE ALL HERE COMES THE NFL , Nascar please put new management in place if you don’t lots of bad thing are going to happen think about it the NFL is playing with idea of adding two games by removing two preseason games, there are a lot of bad ideas out their, but theirs a lot good one to management of the sport is critical
NA$CAR will never make a change unless Brian thinks it will bring in more money. As long as Brian and his toadies think the “product” is fine, nothing will change. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says or writes.
First, about the drivers, NASCAR has to get it through their thick heads that these people are just that: DRIVERS! They are not celebrities! Stop ramming them down our throats as celebrities. And I hate to say this, but don’t entice someone to come into the sport who isn’t completely committed to the sport. Travis Pastrana is a prime example. He isn’t even dedicated to the manufacturer he represents! He drives a Ford, but he is in a Dodge Dart commercial extolling the virtues of that car as the best he has ever driven. Say what? When the dummy did that, Ford should have demanded Roush kick Pastrana’s sorry behind out of the #60! Then there is the Queen Of marketing, Princess Sparkle Pony. I know lately, there has been a wave of attacks calling Johanna long a worthless talent. I beg to differ. She has talent, a lot more than PSP! The only difference is that Johanna never did semi porn commercials, therefore, the ADD guys won’t look at her.
Now, everyone says, let the drivers show emotions. They can’t stand that “vanilla” driver who is dominating the sport. To these people, I call you all out as hypocrites. You say that, but, if any driver does do anything that is emotional, you are ready to lynch the guy. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are two prime examples.
Oh yes, the dreaded Chase! I agree, get rid of it. make it a year long championship. However, I think this year will be the one we are glad for the Chase, as that arrogant twerp in the #48 has an almost two race lead! he has his 6th championship, which will kill the sport for good, so why bother watching any more races this year!
Here is one thing I agree with Jeff Gordon on. have some of the races mid-week. Run the Bristol, Richmond, and other lit-up races mid-week, and compress the schedule from late March to the middle of September. This should keep the crybabies happy that complain about the season being too long.
One last point. Back in 1985, Bill Elliott had a dominant car. Bill France Junior stepped in and made rule changes to take Elliott’s domination away, saying having one car beating everyone week after week isn’t good for the sport. Hey Brian, listen to what your father said, and take a good close look at your buddy The Felon’s one team. take their advantage away!
Sorry for the long rant. This is just my opinion, which my wife is always telling me is wrong, but here it is none-the-less!
FYI my comment about the wave of attacks saying that Johanna Long is a worthless talent is from comments on another website yesterday. The column was about Hendrick (fronted by Tony Stewart) choosing the Pitroad Princess over Ryan Newmen. I posted that Johanna has more talent than Danican’t, and several people responded saying that Johanna is nowhere near the talent level of Danican’t, and that she has done nothing to prove herself. Give her the right equipment, and she will, guaranteed!
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.