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.
Nuts for Nationwide · Bryan Davis Keith · Friday July 3, 2009
After Brandon Whitt decided to step down as the driver of the No. 61 Specialty Racing Ford in the Nationwide Series ranks last week, ARCA Re/Max Series standout Matt Carter was tabbed as the team’s new driver.
And just as his former ARCA owner, Larry Clement, couldn’t control his enthusiasm about having Carter return to his ARCA team for that series’ upcoming race at Iowa Speedway on the Inside ARCA radio program Wednesday, Specialty Racing owner/crew chief Doug Taylor was equally high on the new talent behind the wheel of his Ford.
“We’re really excited,” said Taylor of the team’s driver change. “ [Matt’s] background as far as helping with the chassis setup and all of the other things involved with driving the car is working really well.”
“He brings a wealth of talent.”
Carter should be just excited to have landed in the ride he has after the No. 46 team he drove for in ARCA last season was shut down due to a lack of sponsorship, because he’s landed in a great situation in the Specialty garage. The team has made strides with regard to its chassis technology over the last season and a half, and has managed to secure assistance from Ford with chassis and body work.
Plus, besides the obvious advantage of having a seasoned Nationwide Series crew chief atop the pit box, Carter is also joining a team that has proven itself to be unwavering in its loyalty to its drivers. This is the same team that, upon making its return to full-time competition last year, brought back the same driver who took them to Victory Lane…a decade ago…in Kevin Lepage, and kept him in the seat even after Lepage triggered one of the ugliest wrecks in recent history at Talladega, drawing the ire of many in the Nationwide garage. In the end, only the dismissive attitude of potential sponsors towards a driver of Lepage’s age led the No. 61 team to replace the veteran with former Truck Series regular Brandon Whitt.
And that same loyalty was shown by the organization towards Whitt. Whitt’s departure from the seat of the No. 61 team was not a force-out, but rather a personal decision of his own…and an amicable split on both sides.
“We really had no intention of leaving Brandon behind,” says Taylor. “It was kind of his decision to stay out of the seat for a while. I would always leave an opening for Brandon, had no problems with the job he did.”
“I was hoping to get Brandon in the spotter’s stand to help us, but he wanted to take his time off and look at his life and make sure this is what he wants to do. So we’re going to give him that time, and see what happens.”
As for the team’s new driver, though the deal between Specialty and Carter is currently on a race-to-race basis, the mission remains the same: run all the races, and find sponsorship.
When asked whether or not the team was looking for a road course specialist to fill the driver’s seat with races at Montreal and Watkins Glen looming on the schedule, Taylor asserted that the team “want[s] to run [Carter] in the rest of the races [in 2009].”
But for now, the focus is on Daytona. And not surprisingly, the outfit is thrilled to be heading to the circuit’s most hallowed race track.
Considering the team’s chances this Friday night, Taylor remarks “We’ve got a great drafting car. I wish it was a better qualifying car…I don’t expect the car to qualify well. [But] right now, this car has drafted in the top 5, top 7 in every race we’ve ran it with our previous driver. We’re excited. [Plus] Matt’s run three ARCA races and ran well in those, finished third in one and ran real well.”
The strategy for the weekend harkens to another former plate race winner: “We’ll probably ride around in the back…I don’t want to use the term like a Dale Jarrett, but he would sit around at the back of the pack and then with about 20 to go he’d be right up there chomping at the bit to win the race. I think that’s our best strategy. We’ve got a car that pulls up real well, so we can sit at the back of the fast pack, maybe have a chance of staying out of trouble.”
“The truth about Daytona and Talladega is its like a flip of a coin, the racing gods do have an effect on the outcome, but we’re excited, the car is fast in the draft and that’s what it takes to win the race.”
“We feel like we’ve got a car like Brad Keselowski in the Cup Series…it’s capable.”
There are no qualms in this outfit to speak of themselves amongst some of the sport’s bigger names in Jarrett and Keselowski. But this bunch isn’t satisfied emulating the big boys…they want to race them.
And, perhaps surprisingly, just as Taylor can’t wait to start his team’s new future with Matt Carter behind the wheel, he also can’t wait to see Nationwide’s future, the Car of Tomorrow, wheeled onto the track.
When asked about rumors that the Nationwide CoT would be raced in a limited schedule in 2010, Taylor said “I can’t wait. It’s going to save us money. I’ve got nine cars right now, and we’re running frugally to keep at nine cars. With the COT, I see it being at least three complete cars and at least two back-ups, with it being a shell with the crush panels and the paint worked out on it.
“It [only] takes about a day to assemble it at that point, so if we had a major catastrophe one weekend, we could be ready for the next one with two cars by having three or four complete cars and maybe a backup or two without suspension and seats, wiring in it.”
As for the expected financial repercussions that implementing a new race car would impose on Nationwide teams, Taylor did not seem overly concerned…because he sees the savings from the car being all but instant.
“NASCAR has taken the development out of it for us. We built a CoT Cup car, as far as the chassis, and we got to the point where it was ready for a body in at least 150-200 man hours less, and the cost of the chassis was the same. Right there, I save money. I can take the car straight to the body shop without putting suspension on it, that’s another 100 hours of labor to get the suspension in it.”
“As far as the body and development goes, the window is so narrow from the best to the worst. For instance, Hendrick’s best car will run at Daytona, and their worst will run at a road course, but they in fact won a speedway race in a road course car last year. It narrows that gap for us underfunded teams tremendously, the cost of putting the body on it isn’t going to be any more.”
Further, the limited schedule currently rumored for 2010 (restrictor plate and road course races) is one that would instantly prove beneficial to teams needing to cut their stables of cars down.
“If they take away the speedway car and the road course car, those are oddball cars, and that’s the part of the fleet that we have to have six to eight extra cars for those five races. Theoretically we should be able to take that, as a Nationwide team, take the same cars to all five of those races. The only two that are close would be Watkins Glen and Montreal, [but] realistically we could build two CoT cars and run those five races, and have a start on the fleet for say, 2011.”
Perhaps more important than any of that though, is as mentioned above…this team wants to race the big boys. And Taylor sees this CoT as a way to make such a dream viable.
“If I’ve got to race with Carl Edwards or Kyle Busch every week with this current car, constantly at the wind tunnel, constantly developing this current car, which we plan on doing when we get sponsorship, its going to cost me more.”
“I know with the current car, in order for me to get up with Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and the guys who are winning regularly, I have to spend upwards of a million dollars in development of the current car, whereas I really believe with the CoT standards you could be within a small percentile of that.”
It’s hard to argue with a lot of the points Taylor makes in supporting NASCAR’s new car, but his viewpoint is not one being shared unanimously across the Nationwide Series garage. While there seems to be consensus that the drivability of the new car is dramatically improved over the Cup Series CoT (Nationwide drivers Kenny Wallace and Jeremy Clements both spoke with praise to Frontstretch writers regarding the car’s handling), there are a number of drivers and teams out there who do have concerns about a potential new car coming to fruition in a brutal economy.
Says Jeremy Clements, who’s currently running a partial-schedule with a family run team, “The only thing I think about, is that all those cars they’re [NNS teams] racing now are going to be obsolete. That’s going to cost owners a lot of money, and right now they can’t find money, so I definitely don’t think it’s a good time to do it. They’re going to have to buy all new cars and spend a lot of money to do it right now, and I don’t that’s logical with the way the economy is.”
Peyton Sellers, driver and co-owner of Cardinal Motorsports, echoed Clements’ sentiments.
“The [Sprint Cup] All-Star Race is one of the best races we’ve seen out of the COT car in general and it’s taken them over two, two and a half seasons now to get them racing as good as they have [that] Saturday night. And I just don’t see the Nationwide Series…I mean we’re having start and parks show up now. I don’t see how you could throw another car on somebody and mandate it. All the JTGs, Baker/Curbs, your independent Nationwide teams, they can’t afford to do that.”
“[But] it’s going to take a Richard Childress to shut down his Nationwide operation and say we’re not doing it anymore, or Jack Roush. It’ll take something like that to happen before NASCAR opens their eyes and says maybe we can’t sustain this right now.”
Sellers and Clements do have a point, as their teams operate in a different manner from Specialty Racing. Unlike the former two teams mentioned, Specialty is more than their Nationwide team alone, a full-service race shop that has in the past worked with ARCA operations and others to keep their crew at work.
And as admirable as Specialty’s commitment and performance has been racing as an underfunded, unsponsored Nationwide Series team, there are other squads out there whose belts are even tighter, especially those who instead of building their own cars rely on being able to buy used machines. For those teams who are filling spots in the field week in and week out and competing while doing it, the CoT roll-out plan could very well prove unsustainable.
But, whatever is to come of the CoT’s implementation in the Nationwide ranks, I as a writer will openly admit that Taylor’s stance on the matter is one that has opened my eyes. As a writer who as early as last week questioned NASCAR’s judgment regarding the roll-out of this new car, I’m definitely starting to re-evaluate my stance.
The views of Doug Taylor and his Specialty Racing crew are those that I put a great deal of stock in. I believe them when they say they’re going to stick with their drivers and crew, because they have. I believe them when they say they’re going to show up and race, sponsor or no sponsor, because they have.
And thus, I believe them when they say that there is some way for this new car to come into the Nationwide ranks and do what its supposed to: save teams money and encourage more competitive racing.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I have known Doug Taylor for just over 40 years and raced with his father when Doug was in his teens. He had a valuable, practical education in the sport and has literally done it all. If he says the CoT is what is needed to make Nascar able to continue as the premier auto racing experience, I believe him.