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 November 8, 2011
ONE: Why Does Title Contender Status Matter?
Let’s get the whole Kyle Busch/Ron Hornaday deal out of the way. Yes, there is precedent that NASCAR followed to a T in parking Kyle Busch for the weekend. Yes, there is no defense for Busch doing what he did—making contact under yellow is one thing, but running a truck at nearly full speed into the fence at a high speed oval like Texas is taking that even further towards unacceptability. And yes, this Busch incident was a feud that’s been building for years. It was only a matter of time before the sanctioning body stepped in, right or wrong.
That being said, the point being raised time and time again in the never-ending discussion regarding the incident – one that’s overshadowed even Tony Stewart’s miraculous Chase run – is not any of those elements above. Instead, it’s the fact that Kyle Busch ruined Ron Hornaday’s chances at another Truck Series championship by taking him out the way he did on Friday night.
Sure, it happened. Kyle’s temper tantrum caused damage that the No. 33 team was never going to recover from. But let’s not forget that even before the retaliation, Hornaday smacked the Turn 2 wall hard on his own accord. The night was over for KHI’s flagship truck even before Kyle did his best impression of himself. Busch may well have nailed the coffin shut, but there was already a body in it. That’s a moot point in the grand scheme of things.
Which is… what difference does it make that Ron Hornaday lost his shot at a championship because of this whole episode? Why does the points standing of who Busch slammed into the fence have any bearing on this case? Is NASCAR really officially stating what they’ve denied forever? That the front of the field really does get treated differently? Let’s not forget Kyle pulled this same kind of unnecessary roughness crap Truck racing last year with Jennifer Jo Cobb, and nary a peep was uttered.
This whole episode screams of nothing more than NASCAR playing both interventionist in the era of “Boys, Have At It” and trying to cash in on populist rage by appearing the anti-Kyle. In the grand scheme of things, what did Kyle lose from this deal? $50 grand, probation (whatever the hell that entails) while gaining some angst in the Mars camp. It’s not like he was actually in the Cup title race; this incident didn’t affect Stewart-Edwards. So NASCAR drops the bomb and gets to act like they give a damn that their spoiled brat star did something bad, said spoiled brat doesn’t get hit with much of anything in the form of a penalty, and the anti-Rowdy legions get to gloat for a weekend.
Nothing’s changed here. The big boys that run up front get treated differently. NASCAR inconsistently claims consistency. And the culprit walks away with a slap on the wrist.
TWO: The Rubber Works of Phoenix
In one of those rare instances where the sanctioning body seems to have learned a lesson, NASCAR has a squadron of drivers scheduled to make hundreds of laps apiece over the course of this week to rubber in the new asphalt of the reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway. Considering just how ugly the initial races on repaved, reconfigured ovals at Las Vegas and Charlotte went, this rubber work should seem a foregone conclusion.
But is it really going to make a difference? In terms of reducing tire failures, one can only hope so. The excessive brake heat generated on flat tracks like Phoenix already wreaks havoc on the beads in these COTs (just ask Trevor Bayne and David Ragan in the spring’s NNS and Cup races.) And nobody has to be reminded of what happened when Charlotte was “levigated.”
Still, let’s give the rubbering plan the benefit of the doubt, and assume that having a worked in racing surface even before competition starts will keep tire failures down to a minimum.
Are there chances of Goodyear bringing a rock hard tire compound to the new Phoenix, just as they have to every other repaved track in recent memory? All signs point to yes.
Are there chances of a rock hard tire wearing enough to make the on-track product at Phoenix sizzle? Forget about it.
It doesn’t matter the size of the track, or the design, or if the test drivers make 1,500 test laps around Phoenix prior to the race or 15,000. A rock hard tire that’s meant to do nothing but protect the exclusive tire provider of NASCAR from experiencing an embarrassing rash of flats on national TV will do nothing to promote good stock car racing, nor end the never-ending stream of track position-dependent events that have plagued the 2011 Chase.
All that testing means nothing if Goodyear doesn’t grow a pair and bring a tire that’s going to wear. And if past history means anything, there’s about as much a chance of that happening as there is Ryan Newman winning the Chase this year.
THREE: MWR’s Not Even Trying to Keep “The Franchise” on the Payroll
David Reutimann’s out, Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip are in the No. 00 car for 2012; so the story goes for Michael Waltrip Racing heading into the offseason. Cold or not, there’s an argument to be made for that to happen. Reutimann has been an also-ran for the entire 2011 campaign, an unacceptable state of affairs for the Aaron’s Dream Machine given how long and deep the partnership between the lease chain and the MWR organization is. What’s more, with Martin Truex, Jr. and the team’s flagship NAPA ride struggling, the No. 56 needs a teammate fast that can help right the ship.
But look at the numbers. The replacement for the driver 28th in points is one that’s 21st in points driving for powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports, combined with another who is semi-retired that last cracked the top 25 in points back in 2005. One of those two may well be a future Hall of Famer, but they may as well rename this ride the Aaron’s “I Had a Dream” Machine.
Bad 2011 season or not, Reutimann is the guy that put Michael Waltrip Racing on the map. He’s got the only two race wins in team history under his belt, and has been the face of the organization through thick and thin. Remember what he once had to work with; MWR’s namesake failed to qualify for 11 consecutive races in 2007 and Michael McDowell made the highlight reels solely for wrecking spectacularly at Texas. However, those wins apparently had no value at all to MWR, who obviously made no effort to keep Reutimann in a seat.
The evidence? There’re still races to be filled in the No. 00 for 2012, and Reutimann didn’t get offered a partial schedule. Bobby Labonte is keeping the No. 47 seat despite JTG/Daugherty Racing’s technical alliance with MWR, even though Labonte sits even lower in the point standings than Reutimann. As it stands, the former Franchise isn’t even going to get a shot at bringing some sponsor dollars to the team’s currently parked Nationwide Series entry — the same car he drove to a runner-up points finish back in 2007.
Performance doesn’t make too much of a case for Reutimann against his release from MWR. Still, this change is a surprisingly callous move by an organization that owes a lot of the progress it’s made to Reutimann. His maturity brought respectability to a team that bears the name of a glorified TV salesman; and now, his reward is a pink slip.
FOUR: For God’s Sake ESPN, Take it Easy on Ricky
I received a number of fan comments in a recent Nationwide Series Breakdown column noting that ESPN seemed to be rooting for Elliott Sadler to steal the NNS crown from Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., continually covering the improvements that KHI’s No. 2 team was banking on while citing Stenhouse’s “rookie” credentials left and right. That slant came to light in a very ugly way this Saturday at Texas. Time and time again, with Stenhouse running in the top 10 and enduring only marginal losses to his points lead despite Sadler’s top-5 day, reference was made to Stenhouse getting unsettled in the car and not having the experience in racing for a title (anyone forget that he was a title contender heading into the ARCA finale at Toledo back in 2008?)
Never mind that, as mentioned in this week’s Nationwide Breakdown, new cars and new setups that have had Sadler and Co. convinced that they’d get the upper hand in this weekend’s races played out at Texas just like it did at Dover in OneMain Financial’s title race… it didn’t work. Never mind that the No. 2 team still hasn’t won a race in 2011.
For crying out loud, it’s a great title fight. Veteran vs. development driver. Ford vs. Chevrolet. The outspoken Virginian versus the intense Mississippian. Why does ESPN feel the need to constantly slant this story?
FIVE: Axing of Road America Truck Race a Big Deal
Despite rampant rumors to the contrary, the expected Truck Series race date at Road America will not come to be in 2012. Unfortunately, the commitment of television partners to other racing obligations took precedence (that Saturday sees the Nationwide Series and Grand-Am Series already racing with committed schedule dates). That left the Trucks with only the option of racing Friday afternoon, which made no sense seeing as how the majority of the fan base would be at work during that time.
Sure, that means that SPEED and ESPN are not available. Completely understandable. But that explanation is ignoring an inconvenient truth… that FOX isn’t going to pick up a Truck race to make it happen. It wasn’t all that long ago that the FOX network was televising two Truck races a year, attempting to cash in on an ever-growing segment of motorsports.
Fortunately, the Truck Series has continued to garner solid ratings on SPEED. But there’s something to be said about FOX not continuing their Truck telecasts… and not being available to make a return to road course racing happen for this series. Just another example of how the stock of what was once America’s fastest-growing sport continues to cool.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
It’s similar to someone like Boris Said racing in the Cup road course race. He can bump and bang and make very questionable moves because he doesn’t care about points only the win. Meanwhile the rest of the guys on the track have to continually worry about the big picture.
Pardon? The damage to both trucks was completely fixable, and we’ve seen Hornaday AND Busch win in trucks held together with bubble gum and duct tape. Both of them hit the wall flush and would’ve been fine. Hornaday might’ve still managed a top 10 after repairing that damage.
Right on John – I think that either Bush or Hornaday could have made repairs to their trucks and come back and won.
To me, now that Hornaday was not injured is the fact that he could of had a Truck Championship taken away by the actions of Busch. How can that be rectified? I don’t think it can. Not only is the money for a championship substantial but the prestige of a championship is something money can’t buy. And what Kyle did could have very well cost Hornaday a championship because I agree with the other posters the damage was not that bad before Kyle wrecked Hornaday. Remember folks, some people have compared Kyle’s Penalty with other drivers. The thing that should be noted here is that time and time again Kyle has wrecked numerous drivers in all three series and has gotten away with basically a slap on the risk. That’s why we are here today, Kyle has not been punished like he should of been in the past or else we wouldn’t be at this point. And, to add insult to injury, a $50,000 fine and probation for two more race weekends is nothing for Kyle. Kyle probably makes ten million dollars a year, do you really think a $50,000 fine means anything to him. Come on Nascar, get real! This past weekend happened because Nascar and Joe Gibbs let it happen because they haven’t given Kyle any meaningful punishment to make him stop. There is no one that I know of driving now who has wrecked as many drivers as Kyle. And, as has already been said, Kyle has altered the championship race in a series that he was a guest in. Why would Nascar tolerate any driver much less anybody with the record of Kyle getting away with that? Kyle should have sit out the rest of the year and been placed on probation for the entire year of 2012. But, Nascar didn’t do the right thing. Now, next year when Kyle’s probation is off he can go back to wrecking championship contenders in a “racing” incident and the worst he will get will be probation and a $50,000 fine. Fine, Nascar and Joe Gibbs, you have created this monster by letting him get off with no meaningful punishment for so long when the next incident happpens and take my word it will happen, what are you going to do if he injures or kills someone which could very well happen? Again, except for sitting out the weekend, this other punishment is nothing to Kyle. Take my word Nascar and write it in the book, you have not seen the last of Kyle Busch and you had better hope no one gets hurt in the process because the blood will be on Nascar and Joe Gibbs hands because ya’ll have not gotten him under control with these meaningless penalties.
Reutimann’s better off to be gone from MWR…thats where drivers go to worsen their career,while Mikey draws a paycheck for numbskull antics on television.
So, when are we going to start crying for the permaban of Brian Vickers from NASCAR and start petitioning his sponsor to drop him? He wrecked out a championship contender as well, plus a few others to boot.
If we’re inconsistent on this issue, we’re no better than NASCAR, you know.
This whole Hornaday/Busch issue is another reason why Nascar needs to ban Cup drivers from the lower series. Busch didn’t care because he wasn’t racing for points.
And like you said, Nascar gave him the most politically correct penalty without it affecting him much. His sponsors are a different story but in Nascars shoes, everybody wins. If he was a Chase contender, he would not have been parked for the Cup race. I would put a weeks paycheck on that.