NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Nuts for Nationwide · Bryan Davis Keith · Friday April 15, 2011
It’s perhaps fitting that as the Nationwide Series heads to Alabama to tackle the high banks of Talladega, one of the stories garnering attention from the series and its last outing has to do with something, well, Indian. After all, there’s no other circuit on NASCAR’s national touring slate that is rumored to be built on an Indian burial ground.
The story is the old “Indian trick,” which longtime series stalwart Means Racing was attempting to utilize in running the distance at Texas last weekend; that is, to take the less worn left front tire and put it on the right front of the car. Whether or not that tire swap was responsible, Chris Schendel and his No. 52 car were on highlight reels for days after cutting a tire in turn 1, pushing up the track and smack into the path of Kyle Busch, ending Busch’s shot at the win as he was running down race leader Carl Edwards. (For the record, kudos to Allen Bestwick for breaking this little tidbit…it’s not often you’ll see an ESPN staffer digging for such nuggets in the back of the garage.)
And while Kyle Busch was uncharacteristically subdued in dealing with the wreck that resulted from Schendel’s blown tire, the same could not be said for his fanbase. One of his more vocal fans went as far as to comment on a recent Frontstretch article that the No. 52 team’s actions merited a severe penalty, stating “suspension for the season or life would not be unreasonable.”
Funny…sounds resourceful more than anything else.
Maybe that’s a stretch. But it’s not a stretch to say that it sounds refreshing to hear that the Means operation is, even if with a bag of tricks, finding a way to turn laps and run the distance in Nationwide Series competition. After all, the longtime No. 52 team failed to complete any of the 10 starts they made in 2010, with nine of those outings ending less than 20 laps into the scheduled race distance. To put things in even more perspective, the team completed only 146 of 300 laps at Bristol last month before bowing out with overheating issues; those 146 completed laps surpassed the number of laps they completed in 10 Nationwide starts last year. Indian tricks or no Indian tricks, there’s not a negative spin out there to put on a small-time team turning more laps.
Besides, scraping by on worn out parts and rubber comes with the territory in today’s Nationwide Series. Specialty Racing lasted over two seasons only by racing motors with 1000+ miles on them. Brian Keselowski’s K-Automotive outfit last season described their thought process as “maybe this part can go one more race…for six races.” For teams without sponsorship, corners have to be cut when trying to keep up in a world of brand new race cars needing not only to be built but developed, motors whose expense can rival even those of a Cup program and tires that cost $1600 a set.
And for all those screaming foul, hell even those lamenting the fact that Kyle Busch was unable to challenge for another minor league trophy this past Friday in Fort Worth thanks to the misfortune of a backmarker, that comes with the territory of today’s Nationwide Series as well. For years, it’s been force fed down the throats of anyone that implies otherwise that having Cup drivers on the track with Nationwide prospects is a good thing, that development drivers and series regulars can’t help but benefit from having the greatest drivers in stock car racing deliver a royal ass-kicking week after week.
For this rationale to hold water though, there has to be a corollary. That being, those same star Cup drivers have to share the track with the rookies, the backmarkers, the have-nots. They must share the track with the youngster more likely to go over his head, the backmarker that’s 15 mph off the pace, the have-not that has to throw his left front tire on his right front just to keep going. Through fault that’s sometimes all their own, other times that of circumstance, these type of teams are the ones that suffer more misfortune than any other on the racetrack. Just like Friday’s incident involving Tim Schendel.
Friday’s incident was, in the most grounded terms, a racing incident and nothing more. But in a way, seeing Kyle Busch and the Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut fall victim to an underfunded team’s troubles just trying to make laps was a case of true poetic justice. Here, the posterchild driver and program of today’s Nationwide Series, with scores of trophies and millions of sponsor dollars constantly fielding cars “a monkey could win in,” lost a strong chance to add to that trophy haul because of the limitations and struggles of not just Means Racing, but of a type of competitor and operation they’ve mercilessly beaten into submission the better part of the last decade. For all the crowds and attention their involvement [allegedly] have brought in to support the Nationwide Series as a whole, there’s no argument that the influx of big-budgeted Cup programs into NASCAR’s AAA has exponentially expanded the chasm between the haves and have-nots.
It’s true that Means Racing and the No. 52 team have never been rolling in resources, but the ability of a team such as theirs to court sponsor dollars needed to buy decent equipment, and, well, right side tires, in a still struggling economy is drastically impaired when they’re going against factory-backed superteams. Face it, it makes better business sense for a sponsor to jump on board the Kyle Busch/Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski “we need to win minor league races to keep our apparently insecure sense of confidence as race car drivers tour” than to give Tim Schendel some decent rubber.
But ultimately it’s the decision to continue pursuing these campaigns, both by the superteams and by drivers like Busch, Edwards, etc., that has ultimately created a back of the Nationwide garage so absolutely desolate in terms of resources that full-time race teams are resorting to the “Indian trick” less than a quarter of the way into the 2011 season.
Looking at it that way, even though there was no intent there, even though the Schendel episode was a freak accident and nothing more, it was awful satisfying to see a likely byproduct of the mess the big guns of the Nationwide Series have sown come back to bite them on Friday night. To see Kyle Busch (and for the love of God Busch fans out there don’t go screaming “Busch hatred,” it could have just as easily been Edwards or Keselowski, or even Joey Logano) lose a shot at victory thanks to a problem culture they’ve created and perpetuate weekly, was odd, unpredictable…and just.
Just isn’t exactly a word one expects to hear in racing very often. Gotta wonder what the voice Bobby Isaac heard has in store to top that one this weekend at Talladega.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
ROWDY WILL GET THE NEXT ONE!!!!
Though I think there was the usual Busch bashing in the article, the overall theme is spot on. I’ve been a proponent for eliminating Cup drivers from competing in Nationwide or NCTS. Eliminating Cup drivers from acquiring points for the Nationwide championship has done very little especially at tracks where both series run on the same weekend.
I don’t know what else could be done. Even if Cup drivers were removed, the big dollar teams would still have better equipment, the engines being the main thing. Maybe running spec engines so the various drivers and crews would all have the same HP and allow them to work on the handling and exhibit the drivers’ skills more?
Let me get this straight…. the only way Rowdy loses a Nationwide race is by divine intervention from ancient Indian spirits. I guess that’s plausible. Nothing else seems to be stopping him.
HAHA, Susan’s upset because her boy got taken out of a minor league race. Pretty comical.
Although I don’t think the Means team will be laughing. Kyle and his superteam will have another freshly painted car to go this weekend. Means may not.
And sorry, not buying the loss of sponsorships if Cup drivers were gone. Sponsorship would actually come back if the playing field were even. There would be more competition, different winners and sponsors will see its worth their while.
Attendance will also return. Attendance is terrible for NW races right now and you can beleive its not the economy.
But those of you, like Susan drinking Brian France’s Kool-Aid beleives the series is just great right now, because he told you the series would die if we didn’t have the Cup guys. If he actually watched a race, he might know what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t and his theory is a bunch of crap.
I for one would rather have Cup guys run in the Busch series every week and know that I had to beat them to race, then have someone like Mark Martin show up ONLY AT THE BIG MONEY RACES and take winnings only from the BIG MONEY purses.
A big part of the problem is the extremely small purse in this series approx. $75,000 to win and only $12,000 to start.
It will take Means Racing the better part of ALL YEAR to pay for the car they wrecked last week. So this series needs the BIG MONEY (Cup or Non Cup) drivers, but BIG MONEY TEAMS that can use this series for R&D and crew training. Because there is very little money to be made in this series.
I have a solution to the problem. Let’s make everyone happy. We let the Cup drivers race. Even gain points. But they’re not allowed to drive their Cup Team’s cars. They have to drive one of the Underfunded cars and get them sponsorship. For instance, Brad K. has to drive Brian K’s #92, with no help from Penske racing, and so on for other drivers and their respective makes. If the Cup guys want to run, make THEM run in substandard equipment and see how good they really are. Maybe even get some cash for those teams. And we let the Superteams develop their drivers, like this series is meant to do. If Kyle Busch wins in a Toyota held together by spit and bailing wire in NW. Then I will stop griping, because it will at least be interesting.
Why would anyone put a left tire on the right side? Left side tires are smaller in circumference to allow for stagger. With the same tire on both sides there is no stagger and the car will probably plow like a garbage truck, overheat the right front and blow. That’s tight, which means you see the wreck out the front windshield.
I think the guy for Means is Tim Schendel, but it no big deal.
Kyle said on WT that he wants a Nationwide team for 2012, but he will not run more than five races, because his stuff is so good at Gibbs. If he is willing to put his name out there, run the KBM stuff. Especially if Radcliff goes up to Cup with Hamlin, a good possibility.
How much different would the cars be if he has a deal similar to SHR in Cup with Hendrick? He would need to work up to it like KHI but he would have Toyota’s full support.
It is like the reverse Mark Martin, who stunk with his stuff in 1992, sold it to Roush for 1993 and did damage for 7-8 years.
At least he would bring some validity to driving practically full-time in the series, because that is his team.
NASCAR is trying its best to kill teams in Cup, so the fact that NW is going to hell is no surprise.
Gibbs and KHI are the only teams with full sponsorship all year in NW. Turner is spending his money for a number of races to keep four teams out there at times.
I’m confused. When did it change in the NW series to have so many CUP guys run it to make it viable?
I remember watching the Busch series in the 90’s with one or two CUP drivers in them. Ratings were good and the stands were full. Of course back then, the rising stars were forming. Jr, Kenseth, etal. How are the NW drivers ever going to get a chance to move up if there are CUP driver butt’s in the seats?
I agree that sponsors would come back if the field were more on an even keel. I also blame TV. They should to take the initiative by showing more of the Odd Wads, the actual racers of the NW series instead of the CUP drivers running up front.
Here’s a fun fact. Bobby Labonte is the only CUP champion who has won the Busch series championship. I wonder who breaks that record? My hope is no one.
I just saw Countray’s post as I was going to send this. Brilliant idea. Take a bow.