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 March 15, 2007
To the victor go the spoils. That's been true since man first discovered that if he could outrun his neighbor and steal his mammoth steak, he didn't have to risk death or dismemberment to bring down his own. The spoils have evolved since then-mammoth steak was messy-but the adage has remained. In NASCAR it is alive and well and killing the underdog.
The garage is segregated by point standing. If you have ever watched the haulers enter the track and park, you have probably noticed that one truck is always first and that's the reigning champion. Next comes the current point leader, and so on down the line until the last-place team has parked. If it ended there, it would be fair and right. After all, the champion gave a whole season of sweat and tears to get there and the team deserves some bragging rights.
But it doesn't end there. NASCAR has said that they want to reduce costs for smaller teams, that they want to level the playing field, but what happens next every race weekend tilts the smaller teams right off the field. Every car has to go through technical inspection before it's allowed on track for practice. That makes sense. Once again, the cars roll trough the line in preordained order: defending champion, point leader, on down the line.
The inspection process is not always quick. It's not often completed before practice begins, and that means the teams who are already struggling do not get the entire practice time. It's not unheard of for a few of the last teams to miss practice altogether. Look at the practice stats sometime. Specifically, look at the number of laps each team is running. It often tells the tale.
Dale Jarrett made headlines this week complaining about this practice, but it isn't new, and it hurts teams already struggling to catch up with the frontrunners. Practice time can mean the difference between racing on Sunday and watching from home to teams not locked into the top 35, or between racing into the top 35 or being on the outside. In an era where a team's survival depends on sponsor dollars and television exposure, not making races can be a death sentence for small teams.
Could this be fixed? Sure. NASCAR could do a couple of things to make the process fair and equitable to every team. First, and simplest, they could start inspection earlier. Teams should be prepared for it off the truck, or close to, and if a team isn't ready, they should go to the end of the line. If the process started early enough, it could be finished before practice, and everyone could get more track time. (Although, not all the cars are allowed on track for practice the moment it begins. They're sent out in groups in-surprise!-the order of defending champion, point leader, and so on.)
Jarrett said as much recently, as the former champion (and recipient of first-in-line privileges) is 32nd in owner's points and now in the position of the other guy, near the end of the tech line every week. "It’s something I haven’t looked at over the years because I haven’t been in that position,” Jarrett said. “I can now have a little sympathy with those guys that have been back there in the past. They don’t get a lot of practice time. It’s hard enough for them to try to make the races as it is. I honestly think it’s a situation that practice should not start until everybody’s through inspection. If that means practice starts late and we have to run late – I know we have a lot dictated by TV and radio now, but if you’re going to run a fair process, everybody should be able to have the same amount of time to practice. Do we have to start earlier? I know it’s long days already for the NASCAR officials and for the crews. But I know from the crew side of it, they would be more than willing to go in 30 minutes earlier if we needed to do that to ensure that everybody was going to get the same amount of practice time.”
If starting inspection earlier is truly impossible for some reason (there are all-night donut shops, so nobody's breakfast would be disrupted), NASCAR could run the tech line the way they handle qualifying order: as a lottery. Even if the defending champ was given a "provisional" and got first dibs every week, shaking up inspection order would make the process fair from week to week.
NASCAR is sending a strong message to teams and fans that they don't care about the smaller teams, and the current inspection/practice policy only strengthens that conception. The teams that are adversely affected end up in a vicious cycle: in a points hole and unable to make their cars good enough with limited practice to dig out of it. Surely there is a fix to this problem. The victor can have the spoils, but ensuring that the same select teams will always be the victor goes against everything NASCAR should stand for.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Finally someone says what the fans have been saying and feelingâ€¦ Itâ€™s racing! Not advertising. Let the best 43 cars and drivers on the field. The worlds premier RACING series and 35 drivers and cars can wreck or qualify with low times and still race every week. It is not fair to the drivers, fans, owners or their pocket books to â€œgiveâ€ 35 spots to teams that have no insentive to quilify good because they KNOW they are in the show. Finacially covered It is wrong, wrong, wrong, and is sure as hell is not racing. The teams that go home also have huge â€œexpensesâ€. Why should the fan watch Qualifing? So we fans can see what cars are going homeâ€¦ We have elevated the game from tuning in to see who will win, to tuning in to see who is going to loose this week. What is wrong with this pictureâ€¦? Is the reverse competion racing. We use to watch to see the competion between 43- 55 drivers; what a novel idea. But then we fans only have small pocketbooks, unless you add all our money together. Thenâ€¦ we have what NASCAR is â€œreallyâ€ racing for.
Thanks for the enlightening article. I knew about the silly entrance rules, but not about the tech inspection. NASCAWWF has a reputation of favoritism, whether itâ€™s a particular driver or automaker, or simply through itâ€™s silly rules for racetrack entry, etc. They are naturally going to favor the big teams with big dollar sponsors, because the dollar dictates their every move. It would be a shame for whomever is the current poster child, if they didnâ€™t get enough practice and failed to make the race. Therefore, if Michael Waltrip continues to do poorly, look for a rule change soon.
Finally someone says what the fans have been saying and feelingâ€¦ Itâ€™s racing! Not advertising. Let the best 43 cars and drivers on the field. The worlds premier RACING series and 35 drivers and cars can wreck or qualify with low times and still race every week. It is not fair to the drivers, fans, owners or their pocket books to â€œgiveâ€ 35 spots to teams that have no incentive to qualify good because they KNOW they are in the show, financially covered. It is wrong, wrong, wrong, and is sure as hell is not racing. The teams that go home also have huge â€œexpensesâ€. Why should the fan watch Qualifying? So we fans can see what cars are going homeâ€¦ We have elevated the game from tuning in to see who will win, to tuning in to see who is going to loose this week. What is wrong with this pictureâ€¦? Is this reverse competition racing. We use to watch to see the competition between 43 â€“ 55 drivers; what a novel idea. But then we fans only have small pocketbooks, unless you add all our money together. Thenâ€¦ we have what NASCAR is â€œreallyâ€ racing for.
And if they havenâ€™t seen the numbers on the latest viewing polls, they are going down. The fans are very tired of the chiching, chiching, chiching. But then, that seems to be a taboo journalist topic also; with a free press.
Every time I hear someone complain about this I wonder, ...
Why werenâ€™t you complaining about it when it was only affecting â€œfield fillersâ€ who werenâ€™t going to run more than a few laps anyway?
And what time does inspection start now? I havenâ€™t been there to see it myself, but my understanding is that its pretty much the crack of dawn anyway. Whoâ€™s going to pay for the second shift of officials to work the oâ€™dark-thirty hours AND how does it help the little teams to make them spend an extra day at the racetrack with all those associated expenses?
This is racing. Its about competition and competition means winners and losers.
All this fuss about practice time is just another excuse to attempt to replace competition with socialism.
Why should the successful teams be robbed of the fruits of their success? How do you justify it?
Next thing people will complain that when qualifying is rained out its the points leaders who get in and start asking for a random draw for that.
With so many teams trying to get into the show it is time to scrap time qualifying, protecting the top thirty five and the use of provisionals. Suggestion to NASCAR. Cut the protection from the top thirty-five in points to the top twenty-five. Let in the top twenty-five in points start the race in the same order they finished the week before. For the next twenty-three spots let any team that shows up to the track try to race their way in in a qualifying race. The qualifying races will be a far better TV draw than time trials, with every sponser getting some exposure during a race even if a team does not make the big show for the week. Racing in the middle of the pack will improve as teams fight to stay in the top twenty-five. The practice of not having faster teams in qualifying in a race because somebody is ranked 35th or has a provisional would end.
Is there only one inspection line? Why not two, or three? Let NASCAR or the track invest the funds to open more inspection lines and more inspectors. Could have the champion, point leader, etc go through one, have the last in points on up go through another, and maybe another one for re-inspects only.
â€œto â€œgiveâ€ 35 spots to teamsâ€ â€”â€” You BIG DUMMY, they donâ€™t give anything, the teams EARNED their top 35 spot by PERFORMING the year before(2006)!!!
Great Article!! Too bad Nascar canâ€™t read. Their minds are made up on all matters. Blatantly prejudiced at times, but thatâ€™s the way the dollar and big teams bounces. No equity in this game. Forget the little guy, go for the corporate money.
When the idea of locking the top 35 in points into the field was first announced, I thought it was a terrible idea. I still think so.
Think about this (very unlikely this could happen but) you have 48 cars at the track. 35 are locked in and 8 will have to qualify own time from the 13 remaining. 10 of those cars qualify 1 â€“ 10. That would mean that two of the top 10 cars in qualifying would be sent home. Is that fair?
All teams should have equal practice time leading up to qualifying and after that up to the race. The reason this will never happen is because you have Bozo the Clown (Brian France) running the show. Mike Helton is just a mouthpiece for Bozo, so you can pretty much tell what Bozo is thinking by listening to Helton. As is usually the case with Bozo, its all about $$$. Bozo could care less if the lower teams have adequate practice time; as long as they and more importantly, their $$$ show up, all is well. Whether they qualify or not is immaterial, because the Top 35 teams are where the majority of the commercial advertising that accompanies the races resides. In short its all about the money and nothing else. If it wasnâ€™t then there would still be races at tracks that actually have racing (Rockingham, Darlington, etc..) instead of cookie cutter jobs and snoozefests. Case in point, Fontana, the most worthless track on the circuit, where drama has to be manufactured by timely Bozo-instigated yellows. In short the $$$ are going to ruin the National Association $tock Car Advertising Revenue.
M.B, a couple things..alot of us were complaining when the top-35 rule first came around and we still are..whether or not its â€œfield-fillersâ€ or a top driver this is a sport and therefor should act like a sport by giving everyone an equal shot. This ties in with your comment â€œThis is racing. Its about competition and competition means winners and losers.â€ The winners and losers should be determined on the track, not in the office of Mr. France..they should be determined by everyone running there best qualifying lap and setting the field that way..not a welfare system that was designed so that the advertisers wouldnâ€™t get upset. The top-35 never, ever had anything to do with rewarding teamsâ€¦ever..all about the bottom line.
Recent articles from Amy Henderson:
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with Cessna, Textron
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