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!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday June 21, 2011
ONE: Red Bull Leaving Sprint Cup is a Big, Big Deal
Red Bull Racing’s Sprint Cup team, a two-car operation that has been around since Toyota’s much-maligned entry into Cup racing in 2007, is not returning to NASCAR for 2012. Countless dominoes fall as a result; the full-time pit crew positions offered by each of the two teams are on the chopping block, Brian Vickers needs a new ride, and one of the premier rides available for 2012 in Silly Season is gone. The team has made public that they are seeking outside investors for 2012, with FOX Sports reporting that the team had gone a long way negotiating with Clint Bowyer to take over the No. 4 for Kasey Kahne next year.
The fact that the team is seeking outside investment does mean that their two current Cup programs may not be shuttered for 2012. But, obviously, with this kind of financial uncertainty, it is highly unlikely that signing an all-star name like Bowyer is in the cards for the operation. That leaves flagship driver Brian Vickers relying on a rich backer coming forward…and if team general manager Jay Frye’s past history with big-time financial rescuers is any indication, that’s not an enviable situation to be in. Anyone remember a bloke named Bobby Ginn? How’d that deal work out?
The scenarios swirling around Vickers as well as development prospect Cole Whitt are endless and tantalizing for analysis. But the point that can’t afford to be lost in this discussion is how a corporate entity like Red Bull is deciding to pull out of a sport they’ve spent five seasons being a major presence in. Being both a billion-dollar company and a peddler of energy drinks, Red Bull has no shortage of dollars to put into this type of advertising and targets a demographic that NASCAR sponsorship goes hand in hand with: young males. And yet, they’re pulling out, even after having endured driver-by-committee last season after Vickers struggled with blood clots and that God-awful 2007 season that saw both Vickers and Allmendinger plagued by dozens of DNQs.
Now, Red Bull is shedding ownership of the team, their sponsorship future in the sport unclear. A huge, international company with a product completely in line with NASCAR’s fanbase is pulling up the tent and moving on. Losing Red Bull Racing is a tremendous blow to the Sprint Cup field, and is going to send shockwaves through NASCAR’s business community. This will be the story of 2011 for a long time to come.
TWO: Another Energy-Drink Backed Machine to Look Out For
Any weekend the Sprint Cup Series heads out to Sonoma, it goes without saying that Robby Gordon is a driver to watch. Either he’ll win as he did back in 2003, or he’ll lose in the most entertaining fashion possible. Now, heading into Sonoma weekend, the stakes are about as high as they’ve been for Gordon and his No. 7 team. Sitting less than 30 points behind the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 entry that will not be at the track on Sunday in the battle for the last locked-in spot in the field, Gordon’s team is in position to lock itself into the Firecracker 400 weekend at Daytona even after a month solid of start-and-parking.
What’s more, in a year that’s been as friendly to single-car race teams as any in recent memory, Gordon’s Cup operation is in desperate need of a big result. The Speed Energy Drink money that kept the team afloat to start 2011 has all but dried up, and finding additonal backing has proven all but impossible for the No. 7 team. Though Gordon may have professed since last year his frustration and exasperation of dealing with playing David vs. Goliath on stock car racing’s premier stage, there’s no doubt that the existential situation his team finds itself in will be all over his brain when the green drops Sunday.
And given Gordon’s highly aggressive history on NASCAR’s road courses, it’ll be interesting to see if Gordon pulls a repeat of Boris Said’s bull-in-a-china-shop 2009 performance that saw his underfunded No. 08 machine run over half the field en route to to a disappointing 24th-place result. With a top-10 result this weekend, Gordon can lock his team back into the top 35 and generate momentum heading into a major race at Daytona. Whether aggression and frustration get the best of him, as they did Said two seasons ago, will be a show to see either way this Sunday.
THREE: Something Chevrolet and Ford Can Agree On
It’s become old news by now, but it’s certainly worth noting that Jack Roush publicly echoed his support for Richard Childress’ taking Kyle Busch behind the wood shed at Kansas. Unlike RCR, which has a long history of scuffling on track and aggressively dealing with its opponents, the same can’t be said for the Roush Fenway Racing camp, sans Carl Edwards anyway.
Then again, maybe it’s not too surprising. Sure, there isn’t an owner out there that hasn’t gotten a repair bill courtesy of Rowdy at some point. But Roush, like Childress, has been at this ownership gig in NASCAR for a long time. To have an owner whose only real connection to Childress is longevity speak in open support of Childress’ vigilante approach to policing the sport speaks volumes as to where the perception in the garage of what happened at Kansas really is.
And it also is significant in that it suggests there’s a growing coalition out there that’s had enough of Busch’s antics. The question every analyst asked after the Kansas throwdown was whether or not this was finally the incident that would get Rowdy to shape up, a moment similar to his older brother’s after getting decked by Jimmy Spencer back in 2003.
With the road course at Sonoma and Daytona on the horizon, that’s two venues that provide ample opportunity to play rough. Watch Busch closely the next two weeks. He behaves himself, a message very well may have finally gotten through. Because as Roush’s comments demonstrate, RC is not the only owner with a bone to pick with the Shrub.
FOUR: The ARCA Racing Series Title Will Be Decided This Weekend
Let’s be clear, that’s a figure of speech; this Saturday night’s race at the Winchester Speedway in Indiana is actually only the ninth of 19 races on the series’ schedule this year. But for the first time since Frank Kimmel left Tri-State Motorsports after the 2007 season, the 2011 ARCA title chase is taking on the look of a runaway. RCR driver Ty Dillon is coming off his fourth victory of the season at Michigan, with his points lead growing for the third straight race since New Jersey.
Dillon has won on a plate track, two intermediate ovals and a short-track. He’s winning absolutely everywhere, while his closest challenger in Frank Kimmel is having a hard time taking the step from a top 10 car to a top 5 car. Sooner or later, Kimmel has to break through and snap a three-year winless streak, both to make up ground on Dillon and snap the momentum that the No. 41 team clearly has.
The short track at Winchester is just the type of venue for that to happen. Kimmel’s reputation as one of the greatest in ARCA history is owed in no small part to his prowess on short tracks across the Midwest, and after losing ground three consecutive races the time for a momentum shift is here. It’s a short-track weekend with big implications for the rest of the year. Shame it’s not being televised.
FIVE: Stop with the Damned Repaves!
Michigan International Raceway plans to join the ranks of the repaved after this summer’s Cup race, and the question that has to be asked is…why?! Sure, the track has gotten bumpy with age. It’s called character, and strangely enough tracks with character put on better races. Atlanta and the old Daytona say hello.
For all the talk of bumps, MIS is far from falling apart. The asphalt’s not chunking, tires are more than capable of lasting a run…it’s raceable. Now take a look at what recent repaves have done. Charlotte Motor Speedway gets repaved, the Humpy bumps disappear, the levigating disaster of 2005 sets a record for yellows in a Cup race, and to this day the track has teams racing on rocks shaped as race tires. Darlington Raceway gets repaved, and suddenly it’s possible to win the Southern 500 by staying out on old tires. Daytona International Speedway gets repaved, and the racing goes from some of the most compelling the Cup Series sees all year to the joke of a dance party that played out back in February (imagine if Trevor Bayne hadn’t won what would have been said about that 500).
Take a hint, Michigan. Leave the asphalt alone. Use that money to fill some more grandstands. There’s plenty of seats to fill.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Couldn’t agree more about MIS. Leave it alone, because repaving simply means that the ticket holders will find an unpleasant request down the line, higher seat prices.
As for Kyle Busch. Sorry, I came into Nascar on the back of Tony Stewart in his rookie season of ’99. I hear the same things said about Rowdy that were said of Stewart back then, and believe me, Smoke had even more venom directed at him, by media on a laundry list of dirty deeds. Now that Stewart has become an owner and must mind his P’s and Q’s and sponsors, he’s not nearly as much fun, and the media is wishing he would get down and dirty again, so I say long live the Bad Boys of Nascar….
Not to mention the obvious, but since Richard Childress’s meltdown, Kyle has beaten RCR’s star driver two out of two times. Kyle seems to have developed what all great athletes have – the ability to focus and compartmentalize the BS off the track (field, BB court, etc.) and keep his eye on the task at hand. While Kevin, for example, is so wrought up with beating Rowdy, he can’t even beat the people he should be beating.
As for Jack Roush, he and Richard and Dick (the Felon) Hendrick all come from the same generation, which means they are growing quickly into cranky old men. What NASCAR needs is owners like J.D. Gibbs who understand the competitive fire in their drivers and appreciate it.
Jack should take his plane out for another spin and land face-down again. Such is the fate due old men trying to play in a yong man’s game.
And Kyle should not change his driving style one iota. Autin Dillon cost Richard a helluva lot more from his incompetence than Kyle did from his fender rub with the turck driver whose name I have already forgotten.
Did anyone ever tally up the costs in torn-up equipment Dale Sr. caused? They probably would have if he had not died a saint before they got around to it. See you in hell, Dale and BRYAN DAVIS KEITH III, ESQ.
“Jack should take his plane out for another spin and land face-down again. Such is the fate due old men trying to play in a yong man’s game.”
Bill S., could you be any more offensive than wishing another human being dead? Those cranky old men are part of the reason Nascar is here for you to watch today. You should be ashamed of yourself for typing anything remotely as hateful as that remark.
Wow, Bill S, I hope you live long enough to find yourself an “old man”. Maybe then you’ll have a different point of view on things. Bad karma to wish someone dead – no matter if you agree with them or not.
As someone with years of experience in dealing with the young and old men, Bill S., you better remember the young man will fight you but the old man knows he can’t last as long so he will do WHATEVER is necessary to win!! Bet on it!! And with your attitude I am sure you will find out the hard way!!….Enjoy my friend!!
RE: red bull “If you can’t beat em ..Quit”…Love Europeans coming here to learn what it takes & then realization that they can’t do it …Stick to F1 …You know where a guy waves a flag to order a pass (oh & in the pits to) Ha Ha
Oh, get off your high horses, people. If Kyle died in a race, you would say he had it coming. You are such freakin’ hypocrites.
And don’t forget that Dale Sr. contributed to his own death. Dale did “whatever” was necessary to win, Johnboy, and it got him dead.
And what makes you think I am young? I lived through Kennedy I and II, MLK, Woodstock, Vietnam, the moon landing, the Green Bay Packers first Super Bowl and the Ice Bowl before there was a Super Bowl, and the Cuban missile crisis. And I remember them all because I was old enough to remember every detail.
As for Jack, there really is no fool like an old fool. Except the fools on FS.
Bill S So you aren’t young and you have lived thru Kennedy1 and2 etc . I sure wouldn’t brag a bout it cuz you sure have’nt gotten any smarts!! The remarks you have made today are terrible !! Period end of story!! You do not need to reply and tell me what you think of me. I’m sure we all know! By the way. I thought some of the rest of you had some very good remarks FS Staff, I think most of us are here because we want to see what you are writing about each day. Some ( like Bill) I don’t have a clue!!
Dear Bill S. Please take a week off and let the rest of us get a break from your grandiose, grandiloquent and grand guignol BS. Wishing Cat in the Hat to auger in is low class, Bill S. Not long ago you were giving some one a hard time for wishing a driver dead—seems like hypocrisy to me for you to be blasting people for being hypocrites.
Certainly the old-timers contributed to the sport. But they were by no means the saints their fans make them out to be.
Let’s start with Richard Petty. Responsible for the Past Champion’s Provisional. Instigated the first offficial “Big One” when he started a wreck on LAP ONE of the 1990 Pepsi 400, which took out 22 cars. Arrested for reckless driving and hit and run in 1996.
Junior Johnson. Felon. Cheater. Treated his wife of many years, Flosssie, the same way the disgraced Senator John Edwards treated his wife Elizabeth, complete with “love child.” And his preoccupation with his extramarital adventures led to his falling out with crew chief Tim Brewer, which in turn led to the No.11 team experiencing an awesome display of mechanical failures at the end of the 1992 season, thus handing the championship to another driver and team.
Rick Hendrick. Felon. A la Lindsay Lohan, served his sentence under house arrest in his mansion.
Jack Roush. Pilot extraordinaire. In latest crash, not only risked his own life and his female passnger’s, but since the airfield where he landed was, for that week, the busiest airport in the world, put untold lives at risk. He blames mechanical failure, but it doesn’t really matter. He was responsible for the airworthiness of his plane and its pilot.
Richard Childres, guilty of assault and battery; could have been chared with a felony if Mr. Busch had chosen to file charges. However, the statute of limitations on civil assault and battery in NC is three years. Think about it, Kyle. If you owned RCR, you could fire Harvwreck’s ass.
Quite a murderer’s row of thugs for NASCAR fans to be proud of.