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.
Brock Beard · Monday July 19, 2010
As some of you may know, my NASCAR weekends begin on YouTube where I produce videos that introduce the starting lineup for each Cup race. In Grid No. 1, I set the field for the 50th Daytona 500, using a format similar to the grids from old CBS broadcasts as I tried my hand at impersonating Ken Squier.
Even though the four-minute slide-show was my first attempt into video editing, the positive response I received from viewers took me aback. Not just what they were saying in each comment, but who was saying them. I had hoped my videos would attract older fans who remembered Squier’s booming calls, but I was surprised that they mostly struck a chord with younger fans, some of whom were half my age. In the two-and-a-half years since, these younger fans have not only been tremendously supportive of my work, but have kept me honest, verifying my statistics and historical references. It is because of them that “Brock’s Starting Grid Network,” or BSGN, has grown.
As it turns out, contrary to whoever came up with Digger, NASCAR’s young fan base not only has tremendous respect for our sport’s history, but knows a heck of a lot more about it than many of us believe. In the Internet age, there’s really not much difference between a conversation one has with a Cale Yarborough fan or a Tony Stewart fan. Message boards and statistical databases are filled with just as many discussions about classic races as today’s. Sites like this one likely owe many of their hits to younger viewers. And YouTube’s racing community has flourished as these same race fans have shared their collections of classic race broadcasts from the pre-“Boogity, Boogity, Boogity” era.
But the fact that race fans are particularly attracted to classic racing clips on YouTube should furrow some brows at the NASCAR Media Group, who jealously hold NASCAR’s footage rights. Not from a legal standpoint, but from a critical one. Because the fact that fans young and old have had to take the initiative and make racing history available for everyone to enjoy points to a complete failure on NASCAR Media’s behalf to do the same.
Had it not been for fans’ herculean efforts on YouTube, many would be left with what little NASCAR Media, through the networks, has released to the public. Aside from what few races the organization has made available, the footage fans do get from them is flawed in three glaring ways:
1) THERE ARE NO UNIMPORTANT LAPS
For example, as pleased as I was that I could download the 1989 Southern 500 onto my iPhone from NASCAR’s website, I could not help but be disappointed that Darrell Waltrip’s failed bid at the Winston Million was almost completely edited out of the 45-minute clip. Even the old ESPN intro – the one where DW is found in a safe, saying “I’ve always wanted to know what a million dollars looked like,” is dubbed-over.
Such abridging also makes fans miss out on interesting in-race segments. Hidden among my own collection of classic races are a plethora of fascinating features. A clip of Alabama’s “Richard Petty Fans” music video was played during a long green-flag run in the 1992 DieHard 500 at Talladega, ESPN’s Larry Nuber gave a great summary of the restrictor-plate controversy during the first caution of the 1988 Winston 500 at Talladega, and the career of a young Dave Blaney was discussed in-depth during his Cup debut in the 1992 AC-Delco 500 at Rockingham.
Not to mention all those great 20-minute no-nonsense introductions that ESPN, TNN, ABC, and the other networks hammered-out through the mid-90s. Want to see the ESPN crew send a hollowed-out VW Bug tumbling down the banks at Bristol? Watch the opening minutes of the 1988 Valleydale Meats 500!
Not only should NASCAR Media make these full broadcasts available, but they should strive to find footage that fans haven’t seen yet. I know from browsing YouTube that there exist “Wild Feeds” of classic races, unedited broadcasts that don’t miss a single lap, complete with the back-and-forth between the guys in the booth during commercial breaks. It saddens me thinking of all the piles of cobweb-riddled spools of such broadcasts that NASCAR Media has in its safes, waiting to be enjoyed once more.
2) EARNHARDT AND PETTY DIDN’T WIN ALL THE BEST RACES
Although the importance of Earnhardt and Petty to NASCAR history cannot be overstated, they can be overexposed. Outside of those 276 combined victories, several other colorful drivers helped define this sport in their own special way: figures like Neil Bonnett, Morgan Shepherd, and Ricky Rudd.
To its credit, ESPN Classic has come the closest to rising out of this rut, offering re-broadcasts of such races as Dave Marcis’ last win at Richmond in 1982 and the legendary roller-coaster ride that was the 1992 Hooters 500 at Atlanta. However, on top of being condensed with the classic “SpeedWorld” intros almost invariably removed, ESPN Classic sets aside very little time for NASCAR in their broadcasts. When they do show a race, the network is often indifferent to some of the sport’s lesser-known, but equally-great races.
Consider, if you will, the 1992 Goody’s 500 at Martinsville. No, not the “Mr. September” race of 1991, but the same fall race run the following year. One week after Alan Kulwicki crashed at Dover, dropping him 278 points out of the championship lead, it was in this race that “Special K” started to claw his way back into contention. Kulwicki finished 5th that day while point leader Bill Elliott’s engine failure trapped him in 30th. Rusty Wallace led for much of the race, but Geoff Bodine took the checkered flag, fending off brother Brett in the closing stages. But the best storyline belonged to polesitter Kyle Petty, whose fleet Mello Yello Pontiac spun twice, stalled on pit road, yet still made up three laps to finish 4th. It was a race stuffed with great racing and great stories as well.
But I guess I can see why the networks don’t pay it much mind. Following an engine failure that day, Dale Earnhardt scored one of his three last-place finishes of 1992.
3) LESS IS MORE
I’m looking at you, SPEED Channel. Over the years, SPEED has hammered together some good documentaries on NASCAR history: this year’s series on the Hall of Fame inductees was particularly well-produced. However, when it comes to showing highlights from old races during these documentaries, SPEED seems a little too eager to bring in the foley artists. A clip of Dale Earnhardt and Bill Elliott trading paint after the 1987 The Winston is emphasized with the sound of a metal door closing while cartoonish tire squeals are dropped onto every short track clip.
This is probably the most intrusive problem of all because today’s race broadcasts are utterly consumed by sound effects and flashy graphics. In the last decade, we’ve gone from the simple “boop-boop-boop” FOX used when the green flag dropped to the overly-elaborate whooshing graphics and synthetic air wrench bursts of the “new” ESPN. There seems to be a movement afoot to desensitize fans to such excessiveness so that we don’t notice them being dropped into a black-and-white replay of the inaugural Daytona 500. Even Dale, Jr., whose respect for NASCAR history is well-known, couldn’t keep his editing staff from throwing all those annoying “pop-up” messages into his “Back in the Day” series.
But it wasn’t always that way, and that appears to be part of why YouTube fans love seeing these old clips in their purest form. Watch any unedited Cup broadcast from before 2001 and you’ll find that when catchy original theme music wasn’t leading you into or out of a commercial, you were left to enjoy the simple pleasure of the cars whizzing by and the enthused play-by-play of the broadcasters. It was simple then, both relaxing and exciting, and you’ll find that comment after comment is posted online, wondering why today’s broadcasts don’t follow suit.
In the end, when fans live in a world where even Dale, Jr. can’t get a copy of his dad’s first Cup win at Bristol in 1979, NASCAR Media needs to change its business model. I fail to see why a group which has good quality, unedited broadcasts of every race ever filmed – some of which fans haven’t seen in decades, if ever – would not be more proactive about using these resources to bring attention back to the sport.
With much of this footage already produced for television in the past, graphics, sound effects, and editing are unnecessary. As a result, it would not only cost little to post NASCAR Media’s archives on YouTube, but the organization could earn income through ad space, benefitting NASCAR along with its fans.
But most importantly, making NASCAR footage accessible will attract fans of all ages and experiences. Just like the Hall of Fame, such videos have the potential of keeping our sport’s history alive, both for the enjoyment of its older fans and for the curiosity of its newer ones.
©2000 - 2008 Brock Beard and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Last year, when Speed was showing some Hall of Fame related documentary, they mentioned the NASCAR tape library. Speed also mentioned how the NASCAR guys were getting assistance from the NFL Films guys to restore and digitize the NASCAR tapes and film.
When NFL Films was mentioned, I wondered why NASCAR couldn’t take a page from the NFL and get full races, or good documentaries out on home video, or even on the ‘net.
The NFL knows it’s stuff. There’s no shame in swiping their ideas when it comes to preserving and releasing old footage that a decent amount of people would want to see again.
ESPN Classic’s NASCAR races are cut down into a two hour block… take out the commercials and random crap ESPN throws in, that’s about one hour, twenty five minutes of what was originally a four hour broadcast. That just isn’t cutting it.
One of the few things I love doing when on the internet is to surf through YouTube and catch some of the edited versions of some of the classic races people have posted. The Riverside 500’s from 1963 to 1966, the 1956 Southern 500 in three parts, and so on! there are a number of these old races! Some are even amateur videos that people found and posted! Even though the videos are edited down to like 10- or 15-minutes, it’s still really cool to watch them!
I really miss the days when the “Wild Feeds” were on the big dish. I don’t think I had to watch a commercial during a race from the late ’80s all the way to 2000, and the banter from the booth crew during commercial breaks was priceless.
The fact is not every race Earnhardt won was a classic. Some of the greatest races he ran were the ones he didn’t win. The 1994 Goody’s 500 from Martinsville comes to mind. NASCAR really needs to start their own network like the NBA and NFL have. Besides all the Cup races, there are the Busch and truck series events, old shows like Inside Winston Cup and other touring series stuff I’m sure they could broadcast on the cheap.
Like others on YouTube, I too post old races on video. Mine are mainly focused on racing on the west coast: http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwoodAcresRaceway