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 · Sunday September 26, 2010
Earlier this season, with reconstructive knee surgery only days away, Denny Hamlin turned in one of the most impressive short track performances the sport has seen in the last decade, stealing a thrilling victory at Martinsville that reversed the course of the 2010 season for the No. 11 team. Yet I, like many other writers, wrote off Hamlin the second he left Martinsville, heading for a surgical knife that would cut both his knee and championship aspirations to shreds. Surely, there was no way a driver coming off of knee surgery could last a full length Sprint Cup race. Surely, Casey Mears would be driving the No. 11 car for weeks, maybe even months.
I was wrong. As if there was any doubt to Hamlin’s talent behind the wheel, his six win 2010 campaign is nothing short of miraculous. From a gutsy performance at Phoenix that saw the Virginia native refuse to give up the wheel, even when running in the 30s multiple laps down to a win at Texas one week later, Hamlin has forced a lot of writers such as myself to eat crow as he enters Dover leading the Cup standings, a legitimate contender for stock car racing’s ultimate championship.
For any driver out there, the Sprint Cup is about as big as it gets, one of the most difficult pursuits in all of sports. And in Hamlin’s case, that difficulty cannot be overstated. Because while his immense driving talent has put an earlier article of mine to shame regarding the possible implications of his early season knee injury, his immense ego and immaturity threaten to derail one of the most remarkable seasons any driver has experienced during the Chase era. The biggest enemy of the No. 11 team heading into Sunday’s event has proven to be themselves; or, namely, their driver.
Friday’s press conferences set the stage, with Hamlin not merely speaking what he felt was “a lot of truth…not popular with the teams involved,” but instead calling out the integrity of both a competitor’s team and a respected organization. Following a heated press conference in which Clint Bowyer angrily and pointedly defended his No. 33 team following a 150-point penalty for rules infractions at New Hampshire, for some odd reason Hamlin felt the need to step in as if a defense lawyer, almost verbatim dissecting Bowyer’s case for his team. Hamlin went to painstaking lengths not only to describe the technical advantages surrounding the infractions found on Bowyer’s No. 33 car, but went even further to describe Richard Childress Racing as lucky to be in the Chase in the first place – an organization that, according to him, NASCAR had been warning all season long for being on the edge.
It’s not at all surprising that such remarks set off a firestorm both in the media center and the garage. Not only was this an example of two Chasers feuding in a way that NASCAR’s wannabe-playoff system has never entertained before, this was an example of a still young driver attacking an organization that has won more Sprint Cups than Hamlin has run full seasons in the series. And what’s more, Hamlin’s accusations that NASCAR had long been watching RCR and the No. 33 team for possible infractions were just that… Hamlin’s accusations. In fact, Greg Biffle within minutes of Hamlin’s statements stated publicly that he had no knowledge of NASCAR having RCR under surveillance for possible violations.
The stage was set for Saturday. Early in practice, Hamlin and RCR driver Kevin Harvick made on-track contact early into their practice runs, sending both cars to the garage for repairs. And, since the No. 29 and No. 11 are 1-2 in points, the two drivers just happened to be parked next to each other, making the ensuing conflict between drivers and crew chiefs that saw heated words exchanged and fingers pointed before NASCAR officials stepped in all but inevitable.
Said a dumbfounded Richard Childress after the episode, “you can’t win a pissing contest with a skunk”, referring to Hamlin – and retracting his Friday pledge to sly away from the controversy and not say anything negative about his detractors.
Well, skunk or not, heading into Sunday it’s abundantly clear that Hamlin has not only irritated the RCR camp, he has enraged them. When the No. 11 takes the green flag on Sunday, it’s no longer going to be a case of just taking it easy whenever he’s about to lap the No. 12 Dodge. Now, Hamlin has three cars to deal with on-track not only capable of keeping up with him, but out to get him. And he’s got no one to blame for that but himself.
The video record of Saturday’s record is incomplete. No one can say for sure what happened to instigate the on-track incident between Hamlin and Harvick. But that’s not to say there weren’t witnesses. Said one Nationwide Series driver I happened to be speaking to shortly after the incident, it was abundantly clear what had happened:
“Hamlin brake-checked him [Harvick].”
Whatever happened prior to the videotaped contact on track, it’s hard to argue with that assessment. And if that’s in fact what happened, as the video suggests, there’s a whole bunch of issues that need to be addressed. For one, it’s an example of the No. 11 driver being unable to let an incident go, instead choosing to pull a fast one on-track, and with a driver that’s got a long documented history of having a temper in Kevin Harvick.
It’s also an example of Hamlin not practicing what he preaches. For a driver who’s had no qualms the last several seasons calling out drivers such as Brad Keselowski for their willingness to use the chrome horn on the race track, here was a case of Hamlin using his car not to race, but to impede and annoy a competitor, to essentially turn the No. 11 into a chrome roadblock. And in practice, no less. It’s not like this is the first case of Denny choosing to play rough with his cars, either. Be it under green running over David Reutimann at Pocono August of last year or under yellow, slamming into Keselowski in a Nationwide Series race at Charlotte in 2008, Hamlin’s got himself a significant rap sheet for starting altercations on the track. He just doesn’t seem to handle it well when the shoe’s on the other foot.
Perhaps most notably, though, it’s yet another example of Hamlin’s Jeff Gordon complex coming to life. A driver who’s publicly made comments in the past about his frustrations that NASCAR seemingly would listen to Gordon more than listening to him, it suddenly makes some sort of sense that Hamlin would not only go out of his way to be belligerent and inflammatory in insinuating that wicked deeds were afoot back at RCR, but that he felt the need to insert himself into the entire Bowyer conflict in the first place. The funny thing, though, is how much will this whole episode really matter to Hamlin’s title chances anyway if he sat there and minded his own business? Assuming that Bowyer did cheat, the No. 33 car was illegal and had a huge advantage, Hamlin finished second to it by less than a second and holds the points lead over that team regardless. Bowyer’s team got caught, they’ve got their own mess to deal with, and it’s one that has stripped their team of much of the momentum they built at Loudon.
But Hamlin just couldn’t let this sleeping dog lie. He had to make the episode relevant to himself. He had to say his piece, and NASCAR just had to listen.
Problem for him is, RCR was listening too. And by lighting a fire under an organization that built its reputation on the back of the Intimidator himself, Hamlin has perhaps awakened the sleeping giant that even his driving talent can’t overcome.
Thanks to his mouth and his actions Saturday morning, RCR has every reason to be out for blood. Their integrity has been questioned. Their legitimacy as Chase participants has been questioned. Their sheet metal has been bent. And all of this by a member of NASCAR’s youth movement that needed to do nothing more than keep his mouth shut and focus on running well at a track that derailed his title chase one year ago, long before engine failures sealed the No. 11 team’s fate.
The stage truly is set for Hamlin to do something remarkable. To come back and win the Sprint Cup the same season as having reconstructive knee surgery would be an accomplishment worthy of ending Jimmie Johnson’s four-year reign at the top. It’s an accomplishment that would take an equally worthy gaffe to throw off course.
Declaring war on Richard Childress, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer just may be a gaffe that big. Because the last time Hamlin and Bowyer tangled on-track just happened to be at Dover. And while Hamlin drew first blood in wrecking Bowyer, Bowyer used his wrecked race car to make sure he took Hamlin with him.
History has a way of repeating itself.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Thanks Bryan for a fantastic story. The only thing that will stop Denny Hamlin and his mouth is to be accused by NASCAR of some infraction that he can’t get repealed and have to go through what a lot of the other Drivers have gone through, then out of embarrassment maybe he won’t be so quick to speak so harshly about another driver or owner or anyone for that matter. It shows he has such dis-respect for his fellowmen and really makes him look bad, and as a role model for his young followers it is totally irresponsible.
Isn’t it interesting that the very driver who chastises another driver for showing a ‘lack of respect’ should find it necessary to inject himself into a situation that has nothing to do with him. Calling into question the integrity of an organization that has been around longer than he’s been alive? I’m impressed that Denny could see, by the naked eye, something that Nascar had to tear the car completely apart to find. If he wanted to gloat, he should have done it privately. As it is, he comes off sounding like a petulant 3 year old who is a sore loser. It certainly doesn’t show any class.
I’ve got nothing against Hamlin, but this seems really foolish on his part.
He does make a legitimate point though, Bowyer shouldn’t even have a chance at the championship. Not because RCR has been toeing the rules line, but because he’d only had four top fives all year before Loudon.
Actually, I liked what Denny said. Please note I did not say “I agree with what Denny said.”
I like it because it is fine gamesmanship. I really believe that folks, including me, forget that racing has a mental side and now Denny is way down in RCR’s head. Good for Denny. Bad for RCR. Remember the old British Army battle mantra, “Keep calm and carry on.” Denny is carrying on and RCR is having trouble — like some columists?— keeping calm. Guess who wins that fight. Mr. Childress should know. His best friend did not invent the MindF***, but he wielded it with high ability superb style.
And Nascar has known Bowyer was cheating? And they did not stop it? How dumb you are, Hamlin. btw since you were racing faster than Bowyer, you must have been cheating too.
Spot on analysis. Harvick thrives on mind games and controversy. Hamlin is playing right into his hands. Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson must be smiling seeing his two main rivals involved in a feud.
You forgot to mention that before Hamlin ran his mouth Boyer all but accused the 11 aand 48 of getting away with cheating too. So Hamlin’s comments could be seen as payback for Boyers.
Nascar’s warnings are generally to let a team know that they are real close to being illegal and it happens all the time. Usually by the time it becomes public it’s been mentioned a few times in private.
Most likely RCR thought they had enough wiggle room and ignored Nascar’s warnings. Probably the only thing worse than being out of the spec tolerances was basically the ignoring of Nascars warnings.
I won’t stop laughing during the enire off-season, when these two MORONS wreck each other and open the door for either the #24 or #48 to win their 5th!!!
They’re both idiots! 1 and 2 in points smacking each other around in practice. They both could have easily went over the line and put both of them in back up cars. Do they just want to hand Jimmie Johnson another championship on a silver platter with a bow on it. On a positive note is was fun to watch!
A good review of Hamlin’s past on the track. He has thrown a rock at a bee hive and will surely get stung. Im just waiting for it.
Bowyer called out the 11 and 48 before Hamlin made his comments. The 33 is the car that failed inspection, not the 11 and 48. You also forgot to mention that Harvick hit Hamlin on pit road when they were lining up to go out for practice, and THEN they got together on the track.
I’m glad I read other stories about this, because yours leaves out a few important facts.
Go get ‘em Denny. Stir up RCR some more. Take each other out on the track. Anything to make those snoozefests that we have been calling races interesting.
As Sue has already said, Denny seems to have conveniently forgot is that both his car and the 48 failed post-race inspection, but were given a break by NASCAR and allowed time for the shocks to cool thus allowing his car to pass a second height test. Although, I wonder if it had been just his car and not the 48 if the #11 team would have been given a break. To me, this is the old “pot calling the kettle black” syndrome. But, you have to admit, it has spiced things up a little bit!
And Jacob, two words: No Way! The sport doesn’t need another title being handed to Felon Motorsports
Contrary to ‘racefan’, I appreciate your article. He neglects to mention that while you may have missed one piece of information, the mainstream version of the story he likes so much better leaves out a whole lot more of the story.
The BIG difference here is Bowyer called out a couple of drivers – a normal every day occurrence…..Hamlin the three year old called out an entire organization…a big no-no.
Pot calling the kettle black. Denny drove for a team in late model that had a reputation for cheating. He was thrown out at South Boston and Kenly that I remember. At Kenly he had heads that were wrong on both CC and illegal porting, and a lot more obvious than this 1/64th we keep hearing about.
Good article Bryan! I’m wondering who asked motor mouth Hamlin to give his opinion at a press conference to begin with? Surely, nothing about RCR pertains to him or JGR! To say that 60/100ths in rear quarter height made a decisive aero difference is absurd imho! If Bowyer would have beaten Hamlin for the championship with an oversized engine, or illegal tires, I could understand his reasoning for calling RCR cheaters. His crying that RCR cheated their way into the Chase is unfair. I think justice could be served best out behind the woodshed with a knuckle sandwich from any of RCR’s drivers!