NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday July 26, 2011
ONE: Talladega Nights Storms Nashville…
In the form of an invocation that was missing nothing more than references to KFC and race sponsor Federated Auto Parts. There’s no getting around it; a pastor’s attempt at humor didn’t do NASCAR any favors, even with 18,000 fans seemingly screaming their approval from the grandstands in Music City on Saturday night.
Speaking as a longtime agnostic, the religious sensitivities/insensitivities that were tweaked by this pre-race prayer are really not of any concern to me. That being said, I am fully aware of just how significant the tradition of the invocation is to the sport, especially in this day and age. There’s no shortage of outspoken Christians behind the wheel, on top of the pit boxes and in the stands on any given race weekend. But NASCAR is also the only professional sport out there to make such an offering before every event. It’s one of the few remaining tangible connections the sport maintains to its past, to a fan base that it has done everything to squash and alienate over the last decade.
To see it reduced to a comedy routine completely worthy of ridicule, well… does any race fan out there concerned for the sport’s overall well-being want Talladega Nights to be the face of major league stock car racing?
TWO: Expect a long night for Travis Pastrana
Take away the name power and look at the numbers. Despite having considerable backing from Michael Waltrip Racing, an organization that’s had no trouble winning at the K&N Pro Series level (Ryan Truex won the series title both in 2008 and 2009), Pastrana’s average finish in four K&N starts has been 25.5, with only one of those results coming on the lead lap. Yet, the X-Man will still be making his major league, Nationwide debut on the tight confines of Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend, whether he’s ready or not. It’s certainly a far more suitable venue for a debut than Daytona was for Danica, but the deck is stacked even more than it was for the last big name jumping disciplines at this level.
Pastrana is driving for a team that hasn’t raced in over a month and hasn’t fielded a top-10 car on any track since Richmond back in May. He’s tackling a venue in Indianapolis that, surprisingly, is the tightest he will have seen outside of the exhibition race at Irwindale he ran earlier this year. And, frankly, K&N is nothing compared to what Pastrana will face in terms of competition at the Nationwide Series level.
This is yet another example of a short-sighted marketing move at the expense of actual driver development. Perhaps the driver with the background closest to Pastrana’s would be motorcycle extraordinaire Ricky Carmichael, who – even with the full backing of longtime sponsor Monster Energy – spent time in late model racing before making the move to NASCAR. Now, years later, Carmichael has proven to be a capable driver, but he’s still not setting the world on fire on-track or become a booming fan phenom off it. His performance, gradually improving has come from actual development as a stock car racer.
So it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to see Pastrana doing anything to excite his fans this Saturday night. Avoiding attrition and simply running at the finish will be an accomplishment for he and the No. 99 team at the end of 200 laps.
THREE: Just How Bad Will the Brickyard Crowd Be?
The projections have to be pretty God awful if the Indianapolis Motor Speedway somehow got a Sprint Cup Series autograph session together, and if NASCAR felt the need to send a memo to teams updating them on ticket sales for the coming race, as was reported by the Charlotte Observer.
The fact is, having a bad crowd at Indianapolis is going to be an issue of magnitude for a number of reasons. For one, given that the facility is all but surrounded by grandstands, no amount of shifty camera work by ESPN is going to hide wide swaths of empty seats. Not exactly a scenic backdrop for what is supposedly one of the sport’s crown jewel races, right? There’s nothing like photographic evidence to prove that something is wrong…
What’s more, though, is that IMS is proving unable to recover from the debacle that was the 2008 Brickyard 400. It was a race, if one could call it that, with such pronounced tire problems that the event was essentially rendering a stretch of 10-lap parades, with caution flags thrown frequently to allow teams the opportunity to continually refresh their rubber. 240,000 were there for that one. One year later, the crowd was down to 180,000. This past year? 140,000. Do the math: that’s a 42% decline in the past three seasons alone.
Those are scary enough numbers on their own right, but they get worse when compared to Charlotte Motor Speedway, a track that endured a disaster of its own in 2005 when levigating the racing surface turned the Coca-Cola 600 into the most caution-filled race in NASCAR history. In that one, tires failed nearly on cue every 20-30 laps, slamming cars into the fence with regularity. Yet three years after that ugly night, attendance for the 600-miler was down only 4%. Even by 2011 comparison, CMS is facing declines of 13%, not 42%.
The bottom line is when it comes to Indy, NASCAR’s somewhere it shouldn’t be. Even if that is the most famous race track in the world…
FOUR: Another Red Bull Cast-Off, Another Cinderella Story Needing to Happen
NASCAR Illustrated’s Joe Gunn did a fine piece earlier this week describing just how crucial it was for A.J. Allmendinger’s career that he qualified for the Daytona 500 in 2009 after losing his ride at Red Bull Racing the season before. Get ready for the sequel to that tale this weekend. Scott Speed, the driver that ultimately booted the ‘Dinger out of Red Bull’s second seat lost his ride in the No. 82 a season ago. Now, in danger of falling off stock car racing’s radar screen for good, Speed has landed a three-race deal with Max Q Motorsports, a team that has missed six of the last 12 Cup races after losing their top 35 slot earlier in the season. That contract will start in another big-name event, the Brickyard 400, this coming weekend.
There’s two ways this partnership goes, as Speed will have the benefit of an FR9 engine under the hood. Make the Brickyard, and the No. 37 team scores a much-needed big payday and momentum heading into Pocono and the Glen, two tracks that should favor the road racing background of Speed. Miss the Brickyard, though, and not only does Speed and team miss out on one of the season’s biggest paydays, they at best make only races at Pocono and the Glen. Qualifying on a roval and road course aren’t going to look as great an accomplishment if Speed can’t make the field on the one true oval in that slate.
Stock car racing’s going to see what Speed’s made of this weekend.
FIVE: Allen Bestwick to take a larger role in ESPN’s Booth
Rare good news on the TV broadcast front. Here’s hoping a long overdue move to put Bestwick up front is enough to bolster a stretch of the season Frontstretch readers as a whole appear to be grimacing at the thought of viewing on TV.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Oh, lighten up for crying out loud! I thought the Invocation was one of the best ever! How many previous Invocations do you remember? A comedy routine? Maybe, but hey, we had a Priest once who did a similar thing, obviously without the “smokin’ hot wife” comment, every weekend, and within about 5-weeks of his arrival, he had the church packed. Anyway, Reverend Nelms Invocation sure got the fans fired up. What with the way the economy has been, and could potentially become again, but even worse, and the wars, and the overseas shootings, and everything else, this Pastor brought smiles to a lot of people’s faces on Saturday night. And believe me, something like this is needed right now. If you thought it was out of place and irreverent, then that is solely your opinion! Lots of others, me included, think that NASCAR should hire Reverend Nelms to be the permanent Invocation giver! Me thinks you have no sense of humour, Keith!
And one more point, then I’ll go way! I’m not religious at all, but, I do know one thing, and that is this: the greatest gift God gave us was a sense of humour. Too bad there isn’t enough use of it these days!
I am a pastor and I found the prayer refreshing. The same pastor did the prayer before the truck race and he was much more traditional in his delivery. I liked that the NW prayer was playful and paid homage to the Ricky Bobby thanksgiving blessing in “Talladega Nights.” A bishop once told me that my congregation was a bit too serious and I needed to lighten them up. He said we needed to laugh more and he was right. There is a time for seriousness but I don’t necessarily believe that the beginning of a stock car race is one of those places.
My personally belief is that many of the invocations I’ve heard are off putting and seem to be slightly antagonist toward non Christians (and Christians as well). I’ve always wondered if there are any Jewish or atheist NASCAR fans and how they must feel about the invocation. I’m not really sure why the whole grandstand needs to be subjected to a Christian prayer. I am troubled by the mixture of faux patriotism and religiosity displayed at many of the events contrasted with the drunk fans lusting for carnage on the racetrack and bare breasts in the stands. I often tell friends who question my loyalty to NASCAR that a race is everything right with America and wrong with America going on simultaneously.
I do appreciate the good pastor’s irreverence although I hope it’s a one time deal. The prayer worked for me because it was unexpected and refreshing.
The thing with Indy is for the most part you can only see what is happening in front of you. The track is to narrow, it had its day, because it was Indy
As a longtime agnostic, you’re the type of guy who would address the pre-race invocation from the perspective of what it did for Nascar’s image. Religious people can debate amongst themselves whether the prayer was apropriate from a religious point of view. As a Christian, I will say that none of us know what was in the pastor’s heart when he offered the prayer, and furthermore it’s not for us to judge. As to what it does for Nascar’s image, I could care less; that’s not the point of the invocation.
I hope the Brickyard crowd is so awful that Nascar is forced to end this farce of a race. The racing sucks, the attendance is embarrassing, and yet they’re moving the Nationwide race to this track. Even agnostics and atheists ought to pray for this sport’s future.
I liked the invocation as well. Not sure why anyone would be upset about it. I’m sorry if you were, but I haven’t spoken to anyone who was. I thought it rocked!
I’ll say it again…it’s not too late to change the Br1ckyard to the road course. Then I would watch it.. otherwise, get serious.
I echo the previous writer about the brickyard, bad idea, bad racing, waste of time while good racetracks sit idle.
I find it funny that its an agnostic that found it in bad taste.
nas$car racing at Indy is pretty much a parade. All that’s missing are the floats and marching bands. And they’re moving the nationwide series race from IMS to that locale. Geez!
Sue, there is a such thing as knowing law and rule without knowing religion. I dont have to be religious to be a good person, and just because a person is religious doesnt make them a good person, either.
i THINK IT WAS VERY EMBARASSING TO NASCAR AND THIS SPORT THAT I USE TO LOVE. ITS JUST LIKE OUR COUNTRY IS NOW.[GONE TO HELL]
I think when Nascar moved the race at Indy, they would of been alot smarter if they would of moved it to the first race of the CHASE, and left Chicago where it was.
Lighten up! I’ve heard all the crotchety old fart preachers that I ever want to telling me that I’ll go to hell if I’m not in the front row on Sunday.
This guy was a breath of fresh air who apparently sees some good & some mirth in the world. I’d go to his church if it were near me.
For those of you who didn’t like it, spend your Sunday afternoons reading Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It will be right down your alley.
I’ll take the guy who believes there can be some fun in life.
I’m much more inclined to take the Carl Edwards approach to the invocation.
P.S. Do we ever get to see the “smokin’ hot wife”?
Want to know what I find REALLY funny??? An agnostic telling us Christians how to we should feel about a prayer to OUR God.
Believe it or not, his church has a website, http://www.familybaptistchurchlebanon.com. I found it by googling Reverend Joe Nelms. It says that his church “Is more than a church, it’s a family”. And I was reading on another website that was written on Sunday morning, that the churches website was getting so many hits right after Reverend Nelms gave his Invocation, that the site crashed!
I’m getting a real kick out of some of the really lame comments by people who have really got their pious shorts in a knot over this! Good grief! The only really sad point about it all is that the highlight of Saturday night’s race wasn’t the race, but the Invocation! When has that ever happened? Now, let’s hope people can get as fired up over something they should be screaming about, the repeated destruction of the National Anthem, week after week, by these so-called talented singers.
They showed a clip of the invocation the other night on our local newscast. Our local newscast never mentions NNS races at all, and only mentions Cup races when they are at Dover or Pocono.
I’m sure Nascar wants more attention, but I’m not sure if this is the kind of attention they want…
Hey Jeff Meyer, you know what I find really funny? Christians who tell us agnostics how we should feel about their God. :) :) :) :) :)
I agree to a point about the tire debacle at Indy has hurt attendance, but I think you are thinking a bit too hard on it.
The reason attendance is down is because the racing is god awful. Add in that you can’t see the whole track and it doesn’t prove worthy of someone buying a ticket. And moving the NW race over there next year isn’t going to help either regardless of what Brian France thinks.
I too hope they get a very small crowd on Sunday so they can move that race to a more worthy track.
I’ll happily support anything that makes fun of organized religions of any kind.
To Kevin in SoCal….I get the smiley faces! But just so others ‘get it’ too, I never once in my post told anyone how to feel about anything!
Sorry, this is not directly related to this article. But I need to contact someone who works for FrontStretch. I’m not complaining about anything, or anything like that. It is race related, and I would greatly appreciate it if Bryan Davis Keith would give me his e-mail address, please!
Nick, at the bottom of the article, underneath Point 5, and above the LIKE & SEND Facebook links, there is a link to Contact Bryan David Keith.