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.
Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday August 31, 2010
ONE: For Boris Said, This Win Was Too Little, Too Late
It was truly a feel-good story. Journeyman Boris Said, the road course tutor of over half the Sprint Cup Series field, scored his first Nationwide Series victory on Sunday in a photo finish with accomplished road ringer Max Papis. The win also marked a triumphant return for Scott Zipadelli to the pit box, a huge triumph for a RAB Racing team struggling to stay on the track.
Yet, despite all of that, Said showed next to no emotion at all in Victory Lane, short of exclaiming, “Finally!” as he first emerged from his car. Taking a seat on the hood of his Ford to speak to ESPN, sitting on the pit wall after his TV interview rather than exchanging high fives with his crew, Said, if nothing else, seemed exasperated after scoring his first NASCAR victory since 1998. It’s hard to blame him, because for as long as he’s been trying to win at the Nationwide and Cup level, Said’s victory came way too late, and in the wrong situation to boot.
After struggling royally in the first few races of 2010, Said lost his ride driving the No. 26 Latitude 43 entry in the Cup ranks. With the loss of that ride, he’s also fallen off the radar screen inside the Cup garage. Couple that with the fact that he won driving for a team with which he decidedly doesn’t have a future (RAB needs sponsor dollars above all else, why else would they take back John Wes Townley?), and Sunday’s win appears insignificant in the grand scheme of his career.
Said undoubtedly knew this the second after he took the checkers on Sunday. Here is a driver that has constantly taken licks — be it Tony Stewart punting him in the Cup race at Watkins Glen earlier this month, or finding himself involved in just about every incident endured in Sonoma’s Cup race one year ago. He is also a driver that has come close so many times in much more opportune situations. He had to be wondering why this first win didn’t come back in the 2005 Cup race at Watkins Glen; if only he had not spun his tires on a late restart, his car had enough to give Tony Stewart a challenge while in the midst of a partial schedule for MB2 Motorsports. Or how about in 2006, where Said came within a few car lengths of knocking off Denny Hamlin for a Nationwide Series win at Mexico City while driving for Ray Evernham’s team.
“The win finally came.” The Said heads should rejoice and celebrate an admirable performance by their driver. But that epithet is all this win will likely ever go down as in the stock car career of one of America’s best road racers.
TWO: Sliced Bread Smashes Loaves
As for a driver on the other side of the career pendulum, Joey Logano enjoyed another strong road course showing with a sixth-place result in Montreal. But boy, it wasn’t pretty. On lap 12, Logano dove into the grass on a restart, making hard contact with Jacques Villeneuve in a move that resembled Robby Gordon’s failed attempt to pass Kurt Busch at the Glen in 2007. Problem is, there were over 60 laps to go in the race when he made it. Logano’s bumper wasn’t done; on lap 33, the No. 20 car drastically overdrove a hairpin turn and tagged Max Papis, sending the No. 33 into a spin. Beyond the most notable two incidents, Logano made more, consistent inappropriate contact over the course of the event.
Again, sixth place in a rough and tumble event like Sunday is an excellent result. But overdriving, impatience, and a generally unpolished performance is a departure from the cool, methodical driver that made such waves as a rookie when he first hit the NASCAR scene in 2008. In fact, when coupled with his recent run-in on the Cup side with Ryan Newman, Logano’s rap sheet is starting to grow substantive.
Is this a product of his environment at JGR, where the youngster’s mentors are Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch? Possibly. But the Logano case is an interesting one as well in that many of his recent incidents seem a product of pushing cars too hard more than anything else. Personally, as much as I’d love to say that Hamlin and Busch are proving to be a bad influence, part of this recent rash of incidents on Logano’s part is likely stemming from driving equipment that’s the best in the business from the second he joined big-time NASCAR. Now in his third season, Logano’s expected to be winning consistently, given the hype he came in with. And while it’s a tough argument to say that his tenure with JGR has been anything but a success, you can’t help but wonder if learning the sport in cars which most drivers would kill for has rubbed off the wrong way on young Mr. Logano.
THREE: Finally, a Favorite Emerges: Mr. Showtime
Anyone following the ARCA Racing Series this season is being treated to one of the most turbulent, suspenseful points chases seen anywhere in recent memory amongst stock car racing series. With only five races remaining in the 2010 season, the top four in the standings are separated by only 25 points, with the top 7 within 155 markers. It’s been this close for much of the season. The only difference is, after Chicagoland this past weekend, a favorite has finally emerged for this crown.
That man is Patrick Sheltra, currently second in the standings but riding a wave of momentum that has seen the veteran ARCA competitor score back-to-back victories at Chicagoland and the week prior on the dirt track of Springfield. Early in the season, Sheltra and his No. 60 team stayed relevant in the points chase through leading the ARCA tour in top-10 finishes; their biggest problem had been taking that final step from consistent to consistently challenging for wins. Now, they’ve done it, and at a perfect time in the season to build momentum.
Looking at the final slate of races, there’s no reason to think that Sheltra’s hot streak is about to stop. The longtime dirt late model competitor proved he can handle a 3,300lb stock car on the dirt as well at Springfield, and ARCA’s next stop is another dirt race at DuQuoin. From there, it’s off to the short track of Salem, where Sheltra scored his first career win last year; Toledo, where he first took the points lead this season on the back of a top-10 finish; and Kansas, the sister track of Chicagoland, where the No. 60 was dominant. The only question mark is the one-mile Rockingham oval; but Sheltra finished second there before, and given how new Rockingham is as a track to the ARCA tour, there’s no one team that’s going to enjoy an advantage of experience.
They call Sheltra “Mr. Showtime.” It’s his show to lose.
FOUR: Nationwide Series Purse Cuts to Hurt TV Revenues?
NASCAR’s latest desperate move to stem the bleeding on ISC’s revenue sheets was to announce 20% purse cuts to 2011 Nationwide Series races in an effort to make the events more profitable for track operators. Question is, did they stop to think how this move would impact TV revenues?
I’m referring to the TV revenues that NASCAR has adamantly denied they earn, but most definitely do: the full-field bonus. Because one thing’s for sure… NASCAR doesn’t go out of its way to encourage teams to show up as late entries just because the goodness of their heart seeks to spread purse money to smaller teams.
How do purse cuts and this TV money correlate? Car count. Right now, the only reason the Nationwide Series is able to reach a full field is thanks to start-and-park teams. With the purses already down 10% and more this season, and set to go down another 20% next year, plus the fact that used Nationwide CoTs aren’t going to come cheap, suddenly the profit margin that has allowed these teams to proliferate and prosper starts to disappear.
Let’s look at some math here. One year ago, prior to the first round of purse cuts, MSRP Motorsports was making $7,000 in profit for each race that their two cars qualified, as reported by Frontstretch at Charlotte last season. Take the purse money that team’s No. 90 car earned that race, $14,902, and double it to account for two cars. We’re talking, as a result, costs of $22,804, which earned the team $29,804. Now cut the purses by 10% to reflect 2010, and the take becomes $26,823 and change. Profit is down from $7,000 to $4,019, or 57% of what it was. Now fast forward to 2011, and cut the take by 20%. Suddenly the take is $21,458, and based on that team’s 2009 business practices even start and park is no longer profitable.
Those guys do nothing but start-and-park. Imagine what that change is going to do for teams such as K-Automotive Racing, JD Motorsports and Jay Robinson Racing, who run start-and-park cars to fund already cash-strapped full-time efforts.
I can’t wait to see what NASCAR does to encourage teams to roll out to fill the field next year.
FIVE: Race Length Isn’t an Issue
Dustin Long wrote an interesting article in the Roanoke Times this week detailing how NASCAR’s Cup races continue to be longer affairs than even the average MLB game. With a combination of the CoT, 1.5-mile race tracks, and a points culture mentality leaving drivers to all but cruise through the middle portions of races, Long reported on a growing school of thought that NASCAR would do well to shorten their events… and in doing so re-engage younger, info-crazy fans.
My take? There’s no reason to shorten races… if the product is good the whole time. Instead of looking for excuses to essentially turn Cup races into segments, how about addressing the cars, the schedule, and the culture, and making racing something compelling to watch for 500 miles again?
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Maybe the ARCA series needs to implement a “Chase” to make the POINTS battle more interesting.
Make the racing better (no more Car of Terror or Chase) and they will come.
Actually there are a number of very good reasons to shorten the races . And i see nascar doing just that before long . On the other hand , reading the anouncement of nascars’ creation of a new marketing department gives little hope for the sport improving . That anouncement is overflowing with ad-speak and official but very much superficial verbiage , so much so that it’s almost unreadable . This is one press release that’s very well worth finding and reading . It’s hilarious . A marketing department thats over the top with self importance . And one that has failed to notice the timing of new and improved marketing about ten years ago coincides perfectly with the biggest downturn in popularity that nascar has ever seen .
I don’t agree with the author on the length of races. NASCAR has to adapt to their consumers, and I don’t think the casual fan has more than a 3 hour block of time to watch a race. That being said, I do agree that the racing itself needs to be compelling for most of the race duration.
<Quote from Mike> “I don’t think the casual fan has more than a 3 hour block of time to watch a race”
The casual fan is what is killing the sport. Nascar has bent over backward until their heads are up their arses to accommodate the ‘casual fan’ who doesn’t have the attention span of a flea. Added to that is that the ‘casual fan’ would like to see compelling racing or at least some kind of dog and pony show to keep them interested until the wrecking has begun. The ‘casual racefan’ seems to be who Nascar thinks has all the disposable income and the ‘casual racefan’ is the market where Nascar thinks all their time and energy should be directed. Well, until the ‘casual racefan’ starts buying all the empty seats that the ‘forgotten racefans’ have stopped buying, Nascar will continue its downfall into oblivion. Sunday (or Saturday in some instances) is RACE DAY, not a 3-hour block of time. When I start sectioning my life into 3-hour blocks of time, I’ll know the end is near. The only blocks of time I give away are 8 hours Mon-Fri and for that I’m paid a salary. The rest of my time is dedicated to life to spend in blocks as large or small as I wish. Put away the iPhone, iPad, iBook, iPod, and whatever i device you have attached to yourself and enjoy something without a deadline attached to it. There’s a reason why those devices beging with “i”… to appease the selfish generation. Enjoy!
AnnieMack, while you have some great points, that ship sailed along time ago. I personally think that the racing product would be a lot better if we didn’t need the casuals but NASCAR can no longer survive economically without them. Especially when a full-time sponsorship costs 10 to 20 million dollars. Sponsors won’t put up that kind of money without all those casual eyeballs watching the TV.
That might make for a good Frontstretch article: “Why NASCAR needs the casual fan”
Another article might be “How do we maintain the attention of the casual fan?”
AnnieMack, I have two words for you: RIGHT ON!!!!
One point about shortening the races…
Bill, all I can see happening with your scenario is MORE of the cup guys running the NW races. When I go to see a minor league baseball game, I don’t expect to see major league players hogging all the play. Same thing for NW. Stay in your own league and let the new guys develop a career. If the cup guys weren’t permitted to race NW, then I’d be all for having them race on the same day and I’d certainly buy a ticket for that.
Could not agree more about the causal fan and na$car$ marketing to them while FORGETTING THE ONES WHO SUPPORTED them for 20 + years are they main reason nascar is facing the problem of today.
The COT, Chase and Lucky Dog are all to please newer fans, while not listening to the OLD SCHOOL Fans who have said from the beginning that we were not interested in these changes. (It took me 5years of beating my head against the wall, to finely bite the bullet and drop my Bristol Tickets). Many of Us Old School fans have had our Tickets for years and hated to give them up. But nascar is more interested in the new money.
I find the new marketing arm interesting, too as I find interesting who was thrown under the bus in its creation. I find it all interesting because here is “management” again blaming the messenger instead of itself, and thinking “if we only sell harder and be more trendy.” That is the attitude that begat the wing and a lot of other bad stuff. The band, it seems, just plays on and on and on…
An appropriate song for the old time fans begins “to dream the impossible dream.”
If you are interested…