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
Tuesday March 4, 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!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday June 8, 2010
ONE: Kentucky Speedway Already Has a Cup Race
It just happens to be a Nationwide Series race. But as this weekend’s 300-miler at Nashville Superspeedway shows, even when there’s only a handful of Cup regulars instead of 12-15, they’re still going to dominate the event. Just look at this weekend; Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, and Paul Menard were 1-2-3. Now, all three of them will be back in the field this Saturday night… plus Joey Logano in one of JGR’s vaunted Toyotas.
If the weekend’s race at Kentucky plays out anywhere remotely close to the one on Saturday night did, it will be all Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, and Logano at the front. Joe Gibbs Racing’s crew chiefs will get their standing 10-minute appointment on screen, but don’t forget those drivers, too! The commentators will gush praise on how hard it is for these guys to jump on corporate jets, land on private airstrips, and be escorted over to the racetrack, where they get to race a car that another driver put the time in to practice and set up. What a hard-knock life they’re leading.
What’s proving hard-knock for NASCAR, though, is selling this type of racing to fans; only 17,500 of them showed up in Nashville to see Keselowski and Edwards throttle the field. Anyone else find it funny how the Cup regulars that are there to save the series are failing to do it?
So Bruton, take your time with the infrastructure improvements and trying to get a Cup race. You’ve already got one.
TWO: Speaking of Joey Logano, Sliced Bread Grows Up
The incident that brought it out of him was far from malicious, and his father stole an inordinate share of the limelight. But Joey Logano proved himself to be a Joe Gibbs Racing driver after the conclusion of Sunday’s race, which saw him verbally abuse Kevin Harvick, physically struggle with his crews to get after the driver of the No. 29, and emerge from his hauler nearly half-an-hour later still ready to go after Happy. Frontstretch writers at the track said that “they’d never seen Logano more angry in his entire career combined.”
It’s about freaking time. For all his talent, for all his potential, Logano has been getting pushed around on the track; see Harvick punting him at Bristol. And even though his reaction after Sunday’s race was nothing more than a verbal tirade and finger pointing a la Jeff Burton, it was the first time in his career that Logano’s competitive side got out and went crazy. This is a violent, rough and tumble sport, and talent will only take you so far. The other part of the Logano equation emerged this weekend, and that’s bad news for the competition. Look for the young driver to have a fire lit under his No. 20 for weeks to come after this episode… and for those around him to think twice before putting a bumper to the Home Depot ride again.
THREE: Speaking of Joey Again, His Comments on Delana’s Firesuit are Spot On
While Logano’s willingness to stand up for himself has been applauded for the most part, a lot of writers and fans alike have commented that Logano’s willingness – especially as a single guy with a dad who still accompanies him to the racetrack – to bring Delana Harvick and her dress attire into the mix in Sunday’s post-race fallout was inappropriate.
Well, anyone saying the comments were inappropriate is flat wrong. Frankly, Logano deserves a pat on the back for having the guts to say something that has been on a lot of fans’ and writers’ minds for a long time… just how much power does Delana weld? And why the hell does she wear that firesuit?
Delana’s got every right to wear a firesuit and support her husband from the pit box on race day. But as both an owner and an active participant on the No. 29 team, she’s a public figure and open to scrutiny just as any other team member is; and a lot of folks, this writer included, do find her Sunday costume to be, well, a bit comical. I mean come on, it’s a costume! Can you imagine if Jessica Simpson showed up to watch Tony Romo wearing shoulder pads? She’d be more of a laughingstock than she was for wearing that pink jersey while her-then lover botched yet another playoff game.
Fact is, Logano came up with the zinger of the year so far, and he was spot on. He called out the one woman on pit road that shows up looking like a cheerleader, much like Ms. Sprint Cup and ESPN’s pit reporters. Only difference is, those women are paid to look like cheerleaders.
FOUR: Bigger is Better
One of the unexpected announcements following Pocono came with regard to the other 2.5-mile oval on the NASCAR circuit… the hallowed ground that is the Daytona International Speedway. Even after increasing the size of the restrictor plates for the season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR announced Monday that upon returning to Daytona in July, the Cup cars will go from a 63/64-inch plate to 66/64-inch plates, a last hurrah of sorts as this summer’s 400-miler will mark the final NASCAR event run on Daytona’s legendary old surface before repaving commences.
Not much needs to be said here…it’s a great change. The bigger plates earlier this season made a noticeable difference in the quality of racing seen in the 500… take away the damned pothole, and we had a classic on our hands. More throttle response is never a bad thing either. Bigger plates, Greg Sacks, Steve Park…we’re in for an old-school kind of weekend in Daytona come July, and this writer for one can’t wait.
FIVE: Robby Gordon Motorsports Obituary Released Saturday
This past Friday, when Ted Musgrave pushed up the track in turn 3 on his qualifying attempt wheeling the No. 7 Toyota, Robby Gordon Motorsports missed their first race since the team’s owner/driver failed to qualify seven times in his debut season with his own operation back in 2005. Following this misfortune, Gordon issued a statement while he was busy racing off-road in Baja, thanking Musgrave for his efforts as well as reaffirming his team’s commitment to all of their motorsports ventures.
In short, this is the farewell tour, Robby fans.
The last five years have seen the ever fiery Gordon trump the odds as perhaps the most successful owner/driver in a single car since Alan Kulwicki and Bill Elliott. He’s never obtained their level of success, yet still proved competitive in the face of opponents with ten times the money and resources. But between aligning his RGM operation with a BAM Racing team that hadn’t even seen the track since 2008, running cars with blank quarterpanels and, on Saturday, feeling the need to issue a statement to confirm his team’s commitment to its efforts is about as proof positive as it comes that all is not well in that camp.
Between the economy and the dominance of the superteams, these are perilous times for single-car teams not just in Cup, but anywhere in big time stock car racing. With Gordon nonetheless pursuing off-road racing while his Cup program is faced with a go-or-go-home situation, it does a lot more than suggest that maybe even the tireless Gordon has had enough time playing NASCAR’s game.
Just like James Finch, the Mullet brothers at CJM Racing, and so many others that have tried to succeed on their own in NASCAR, Gordon may well be on the way out for good soon enough.
It’s just sad to see it happen at Pocono. Back in 2005, Gordon’s team entered their races here with a roar, with the driver using Menard engines that used high gears for Pocono and even had Gordon shifting on the track’s long straightaways when no other driver in the field was doing so. It didn’t prove to mechanically work, but Gordon defiantly stuck with those Menard engines for a good while.
Instead of defiance, however, RGM appears to be headed out with a whimper. Here’s hoping he finds some fireworks at Sonoma before it’s over for good.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Can you not find your OWN headline Picture? At first I believed Matt’s column was still featured.
I for one would much rather see 10-12 Cup drivers in the Busch series then only 2 or 3. Not saying they are good for the series, just saying 10+ can at least make it exciting.
Joey’s fire was good too see, just to bad HE DID NOT WATCH replay and see he that HE HELPED cause the wreck.
Are you going to start making fun of the TITLE SPONSERS spokeswoman for wearing her FIRESUIT in victory lane?
Hopefully nascar hits Front Row motorsports with MAJOR penalty for having bleeders on the 38 tires and this helps Robby. But with nascar hatred of Robby I could see Front Row getting only a warning.
Here we go – get your replies ready!
I would like to speak out in favor of the top 35 rule:
1) NASCAR doesn’t make their rulings or mold their rulebook around Robby Gordon as some think. In fact, as non-competative as RGM is, I’m pretty sure they don’t give a crap about “actions detrimental to Robby Gordon”
2) There are 4-5 competative owners that cover the top 20 competative teams. Outside of these teams, NO ONE has a shot at winning. Why shouldn’t those teams be guarenteed to make the race each week? Do we need more S&P cars in the race?
3) We had S&P cars before the top 35 rule.
4) Successfully owning and driving for your team is a ridiculous amount of work. See History minus Tony Stewart. That’s not the fault of the top 35 rule.
Last) Single Car teams haven’t been relevant in NASCAR for 15 years now. The top 35 rule is newer than that.
So, it takes some drama out of qualifying. If you don’t get your kicks from driving or watching cars run as fast as possible around a track, ALL OUT for two laps, you shouldn’t be watching racing.
You are as revelant to this web site as you believe Robby Gordan is to nascar.
Oh wait, that statement didnt make any sense wcfan. Nevermind, I take my BURN back.
Nothing wrong with Dansmom that a brain transplant wouldn’t cure!!
Hey WC, how was Joey supposed to watch the replay in his car during the race? I know Toyota has some state of the art technology in their street cars, but I don’t think the #20 is equiped with a TV and DVR to check out repays of the race he was currently running.
After talking to Coach Gibbs and nascar, Joey should have seen AT LEAST ONE replay( I understand that with TNT’s poor coverage this may have been tough) showing that it took two drivers to cause this wreck.
Joey is too good of a driver to live in the past!
“Gotta go back in time”
So Mrs. Harvicks’ attire has been on the minds of writers huh Bryan . If thats true , i’d have to wonder about you . Men who obsess over womens clothes are in fashion design . You might be in the wrong business .
Wilbur is only at the track to keep Mr. Ed’s stall clean after he throws his temper tantrums…
I dont have a problem with Mrs. Harvick wearing a firesuit while she’s in the pit area. For one, its a uniform as well as a safety item, so she’s showing her commitment to the team by wearing their colors. Two, she’s a lot safer wearing a firesuit than she is wearing street clothes. Why do you think the pit reporters are wearing firesuits, too?
Just how much power does DeLana w[i]eld? I’m not sure why you think that’s a valid or important question…
As she’s running the business end of KHI, I think it’s safe to say that she’s the most successful female owner in NASCAR since Teresa Earnhardt.
And since she’s already selling “I wear the firesuit in the family” T-shirts, I’d say she got a kick out of this.
Just last week one of your fellow writers blasted Ashley Judd for wearing street clothes in the pits at Indy! Pit reporters wear firesuits, pit crews wear firesuits – and having at one time been up close – I think Delana looks damn fine in her firesuit!
by the way, if Joey Logano wants to be taken seriously as a NASCAR driver – maybe he should change his name to Joe !!
I was sad to read this morning that Robby Gordon died.
I also thought it would have been bigger news. Haven’t seen it on other sites.
Comparing Delana Harvick to Jessica Simpson is laughable. Simpson is/was a trophy girlfriend. Delana is wife/business partner with a savvy business sense (see her new T-shirt line). She apparently takes her racing seriously. It is her job. Secondly, Joey did not grow up. His father urged him on. Daddy must wear the firesuit in that family. Maybe Joey would have garnered more respect if he quit while he was ahead. The stupid interview after he had time to review the replays was childish.
Yes delana should take off the firesuit but she wears to keep that smoking hot body covered up it’s just not right
At Pocono, seven start and parkers told the story. When I see Bobby Labonte starting and parking something is very wrong. If this continues, they need to change the number of cars in field from 43 to 36. And after Jeff Burton retire I will have to root for a young driver. It’s Joey Logano. He’ll toughen up more as time passes. I love the fire he showed at Pocono. One thing people have to understand is that Harvick thrives on the bully reputation he’s achieved. He lokks to get inside other driver’s heads and is successfull at doing so. As far as him and
It is not too late for Smoke to invite Delana to race in the “Prelude To The Dream.” She already has the firesuit and she can take her turn at putting Joey into the fence
Wow Bryan, your comment about Delana Harvick couldn’t have been more foolish? Your comparison to Jessica Simpson wearing shoulder pads makes no sense. Now it would if, Delana wore a fire suit, gloves, Hans device and a helmet. But she doesn’t she wears a fire suit. Nothing different really then someone wearing a Romo jersey or fans with there drivers pit jacket and sweatpants with there drivers # on it and a hat with there drivers colors on it? (Oh I’ve seen it). I guess you want to see women in stylish fashion, bet you could not have been more excited about “Sex in the City 2” coming out!!!
And your observation that Lagano having the finest “Zinger” of the year so far. As I said yesterday, the delivery was horrible, it sounded like someone wrote it for him and he rehearsed it in the trailer for 30 minutes and he still couldn’t make it sound like it was original? A good zinger can’t be rehearsed, you want the best zinger for the year award it has to be said right when the driver gets out of the car. Please, best zinger. My friends and I were laughing when he said it after the race just not at the “best zinger” as you call it, no we were laugh at Lagano trying to sound tuff and or funny?
dansmom, your comment about Robby at 1:44 renders you irrelevant on this site, and as a person. What a disgusting and unfunny comment. You should be ashamed, but I suspect you are not, as you got a reply as desired.
It should be called the death of Frontstretch. The same toads from the Internet, who spend more time burning each other than discussing the topic, have arrived. It was nice while it lasted.
I just found this gem from “DansMom” in the Daly Planet comments….Dans Mom said… Nooooooooooo. Why can’t DW just go away. He has as much to do with Nascars declining ratings as Brian France himself. Why do they keep putting this self absorbed schill on the air?
June 8, 2010 1:41 PM
Major tool, troll and hypocrite.
More…Dans Mom said… I thought the TNT broadcast was top notch and far better than the horrible product that Fox puts out. No DW droning on all about himself and Toyota was refreshing, and the race had a lot better flow on TNT. I hope Fox was watching and taking notes.
Now if we can just get back to old school racing and real stock based cars to go along with the refreshing TNT coverage.
June 7, 2010 1:58 PM
Wait wait wait… Robby Gordon isnt dead?