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
Tuesday March 4, 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.
The Yellow Stripe · Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday May 15, 2012
Two straight years, two melees on pit road at Darlington to end the “Southern” 500, two different Busch brothers involved.
This fight from this past Saturday was different. The crews fought, not the drivers. The signature video clip of one car getting drilled was not there. Chances are, Kurt Busch vs. Ryan Newman will not be the marketing campaign used to sell tickets to the 2013 Cup race at Darlington. But what this clash lacked in terms of celebrity, it more than made up for in terms of significance. Last year’s Kyle vs. Kevin clash was business as usual; two of NASCAR’s biggest hotheads acting like morons in front of millions. Nobody learned anything new: Kyle Busch was still a coward, so scared of paying for his actions that he ran through parked traffic to get away and Kevin Harvick entered another conflict hidden behind a gargantuan helmet that’d make a Victoria’s Secret model a competent boxer.
Saturday was far from a replay, and wasn’t a bout between two drivers with history and egos to match. The beef wasn’t between the drivers of the Nos. 51 and 39, but instead the No. 51 driver and the No. 39 crew. Newman’s pit mates were irate after Busch blazed through their pit stall even as crewmen and officials were still clearing their box after completing work on the No. 39 car. Tensions already high, Busch ran into the back of Newman’s parked car on pit road after the conclusion of the race, prompting numerous crewmen from the No. 39 to confront Busch’s team on pit road. Shoves were exchanged before the aggressors were finally restrained and pulled away, keeping likely Tuesday penalties to a minimum.
But NASCAR’s involvement, at this point is inconsequential. Though in terms of a scuffle, this one was tame, the damage done could well send shockwaves through a 2012 season that can only be described as vital for one Kurt Busch.
The Busch brothers both entered this season in dire need of a rebirth. Kyle finished 2011 on the sidelines, sponsors and team alike disciplining the driver after he slammed Ron Hornaday into the fence Truck racing at Texas, while Kurt was allowed to leave Penske Racing after an ugly tirade levied towards reporter Jerry Punch at Homestead.
This type of controversy isn’t new ground for either driver. It’s become a yearly thing to discuss “new Kyle Busch” until adversity comes and rears its ugly head. Kurt narrowly avoided jail after acting arrogantly in the face of one of America’s strictest law enforcement departments in Phoenix, a decision that cost him his ride at Roush Racing less than a year removed from a Cup championship. But unlike Kyle, who still has a big-time ride and his own race team, the rant at Homestead left Kurt with no options but an unsponsored mid-tier car at Phoenix Racing. He entered 2012 with three challenges: to stay relevant driving a 25th-place car, to prove that he could still bring in sponsor dollars after acting out in so virulent a manner that sponsor Shell/Pennzoil and Penske Racing both said heave-ho to a proven race winner in favor of an unproven commodity in A.J. Allmendinger… and to get the fans, media and garage alike talking about the “new Kurt Busch.”
Following this week’s latest episode at Darlington, any progress made in rehabbing his image is gone. A late-race spin relegated an otherwise strong run by Busch to a mediocre 21st — not a finish likely to draw a much-needed sponsor. The financial part of Busch’s uphill climb in 2012 is obviously not going well (funny or not, carrying a Ricky Bobby paint scheme at Talladega is not bringing home the big bucks it takes to Cup race competitively). But the biggest damage done was on pit road following the race, no matter how minor the contact between his and Newman’s cars appeared.
For one, Kurt Busch had no rational reason to hit Newman in the first place. The No. 39 crew was angry, but the No. 39 driver had nothing to do with that… or Busch’s spin. Yet, when the race came to a close, the No. 51 car ran into a parked Chevrolet on pit road! Of course, Kurt’s excuse was he didn’t see where he was going because he was taking his helmet off. Believe that one and feel free to swing by my apartment, I have a bridge to sell you.
Considering the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising that Newman was upset in post-race remarks, telling Dustin Long, “Kurt drilled me in pit lane and said that he was taking his helmet off and he didn’t see where he was going, which I’m pretty sure there were 42 other guys that are taking their helmets off and doing whatever for the last 10 years and that’s the first time that’s happened to me. Circumstances I think are that he lied and was so frustrated that he doesn’t know how to deal with his anger.”
Harsh? Sure. Justified? Absolutely. But Newman went further, into surprising territory. When asked if he was worried about Kurt as a driver, Newman remarked, “Everybody has for the last 10 years. He’s proven that. When you can’t keep a job, it’s pretty obvious.”
That remark borders on the shocking, mostly because it comes from a former teammate. It’s easy to forget it wasn’t but a few years ago that Busch and Newman were both teammates at Penske Racing. In fact, it was Kurt Busch that ultimately got Penske Racing back from single-car operations to a multi-car team after a bitter feud between Newman and Rusty Wallace had built a 50-foot wall between the Nos. 2 and 12 cars. Busch and Newman were never the chums that the Rocket and Smoke are today, but there was never a hint of bad blood, at least not to the degree that Newman alluded to Saturday.
Having said that “former teammate” bit, there’s another factor to consider here: Newman and Busch are under the same umbrella banner of Hendrick Motorsports now. So do the math… Kurt Busch hit a de facto teammate. Kurt Busch used the C-team car to hit a B-team car. The unsponsored driver hanging on by a thread hit a Chase contender and a race winner for the Hendrick organization. And the driver that’s already torched bridges with flagship operations at Ford and Dodge has now gotten into an ugly and unnecessary spat with a driver directly backed by Chevrolet’s big boss… and a three-time championship driver that has Hendrick’s ear.
All of this mess, again, for no good reason. It’s irrational, inflammatory behavior that does not have a positive spin to be put on it.
It’s “old Kurt Busch” all over again. Cup champion or not, a career can only take so much of that before turning catastrophic.
©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Good article. Kurt is like the boy that cried wolf, enough is enough. Anyone believing he or Kyle will ever change is a sap, I’m sorry to say. By the way, it should be three-time champion in the last paragraph I think, not two-time since I’m assuming you’re referring to Tony and he’s won in 2002, 2005 and 2011.
You only have part of the story. Newman’s pit crew decided they were going to take justice into their own hands and went looking for Busch. Busch’s crew chief recognized what was happening and warned Kurt to park well away from crew the area. I guess Busch decided to ignore his crew chief’s advice and decided he wouldn’t back down from the confrontation. Pushing and shoving and dented race cars ensued. I’m a Junior/Stewart/Keselowski/Johnson fan, so I don’t have a duck in the fight. Yet, I do think Busch gets unfairly maligned for marginal stuff. Sure, he shouldn’t take on law enforcement agents and he can be a hothead and sometimes seems to have a sense of entitlement. But, he’s also a great driver that makes the action on the track more enjoyable. Maybe he needs to be run out of the sport or aybe some in the media need to quit making mountains out of molehills and allow the drivers to show a bit of emotion, to get a little angry, and to show their ass as my wife likes to say. Kurt brings passion to the sport and I can’t remember him killing anybody in the decade or more he’s been in the sport. Newman seems to be afraid of a lot of things (plate racing and Kurt Busch tend chemical imbalances). Maybe he should take his engineering degree and find a career with less drama and more safety. I look forward to Kurt getting behind he wheel of a better ride with a better sponsor and I hope he is able to kick Newman’s butt on and off the track.
Great article bryan. Sorry Stephen, you are so far off. Mountain out of a molehill? What if Busch the Idiot ran over a crew member. Show emotion? Fine, do it like a man and get out of the car, take your helmet off and then handle it. Driver through pit road like a jerk, hitting parked cars and tearing up equipment is not acceptable. And I don’t mean not acceptable for just Busch the Idiot-it is not acceptable for any driver. So many of these drivers have a reputation for being “tough” and “fiery” and, accept for Andy Lally who no longer races Sprint Cup, I don’t think one current driver could fight their way out of a paper sack. Don’t mistake wrecking parked cars, tearing through a pit box, or yelling at pit rerporters as tough. And if you ever think Busch the Idiot could kick Newman’s butt, or anyones butt, of the race track you are delusional. Busch the Idiot reminds me of the kind of guy that started fights in high school with his mouth and then ran to hide behind some football lineman who he paid to protect him. I have no doubt that Busch the Idiot was a punk in high school, just as he is a punk today.
I TOLD YA!!!! I TOLD YA!!!!
I’m glad that someone in the media said it… If you wear a helmet to a fight, you look like a tool.
Busch was leaving Roush of his own accord, when the Phoenix thing happened.
I’m SO tired of the Bush brothers. Sure they are both good race car drivers but the DRAMA is distracting. I want to see racing, not some stupid FOX inspired “reality” show crap.
What’s forgotten in this is that just last week Kurt Busch was the talk of the track with his Ricky Bobby “ME” paintscheme and driver suit. He was hitting the right notes to make signing with an upper-tier team a possibility for 2013. Not any more. He’ll be lucky to drive part time for his brother in the Nationwide series, and drive a start & park in the Cup series.
Although that past champion’s provisional might prove to be his goose that lays the golden egg.
Enjoyed the column and found it fairly written.
but as for most of the other mob…. YEAH… let’s drive Kurt out of nascar….
Great… just what we need..
Might as well make the drivers as boring as the races well, except for the ones who make soft core porn ads. That’s what we want! That and more wrecks YEAH! and more cautions (just as long as we get to see the debris on tv.) Oh and while we’re at it let’s have more drivers like Jimmie and Kenseth. You know, those nice sportsman like family men and cousin carl who is always smiling so pretty (when he’s not in a car trying to kill someone.) Let’s face it, the guy (talking kurt here) has acted like a jerk for most of his career but he’s a good wheelman who brings something to the garage that’s currently in very short supply. I’m talking about desperation, a compelling desire to win (not points race,) verve, fire and passion. With tv ratings down 8 percent over this weekend last year… Have it your way…. more vanilla. I give up… take CRAPCAR and if that’s what you want it to be, i don’t want any part of it.
You probably find the the fuel mileage races interesting too. sheesh.
Well said MR Hood.. except for I don’t think kurt could or should try to kick anyone’s butt off the track (I believe mr spencer taught him that lesson)
To Stephen Hood,
Kurt’s an arrogant pinnus…but can wheel…although it sure appears that sooner than later his hissy fits are gonna allow him to move on over to the NHRA like he’s been mentioning for a few years…sadly, in corporate America, talent’s way less important than image/attitude & race cars run on $$$.
Kyle’s an arrogant pinnus but can wheel…hell, he’s probably got more pure talent than anyone we’ve seen in Nascar in a LONG time.
Harvick got out with helmet on…and he usually waits on a crew member to be near. Now call that what you want, but if that confuses you, you should probably spend more time at the racetrack, most drivers do it that way, even at the dirt track around my place on Saturday nights, seen it a bazillion times.
I promise I’m not trying to pick a fight with this next one, but no way I can skip it, as for…“I’m a Junior/Stewart/Keselowski/Johnson fan”?? Really?? Hamlin & Kennseth have won lately too, why not pull for them as well?? You must spend a fortune on hats & t-shirts! “hey man, who’s your driver?”…“Well, I don’t know, who’s leading”….c’mon, man.
I think you meant PENIS. And, yes, that is a fitting moniker for Kurt.
why do you have so much hate in your remarks how do you think you would react in some circustances be nice
I was a Texas Aggie fan and than I discovered NASCAR. I find with NASCAR I can root for 4 or 5 drivers and the chances of my week being ruined because my team didn’t win are less likely. Also, I like that a top 5 or 10 is often a win in the long term. As for Hamlin, I feel about him like I feel for Ryan Newman which is not much. My brother knows about my love for Hamlin so he brought me an autographed hat he picked up at Pocono which I now use as an oil rag. I’m neutral about Kenseth. I don’t throw things when he wins, but he does drive for Roush. As for Newman, his opinions are usually the opposite of mine, so whatever he says I’ll usually take the other side. Newman hates Talladega, I love it. Newman thinks Kurt is crazy, I say not so fast. Newman says Kurt is a douche, I say Newman’s a douche. I probably have some deep seated anger issues caused by a chemical imbalance and Newman makes them boil to the surface. For me Newman is the Mitt Romney of NASCAR. He has all the tools and the exterior packaging is appealing, but the substance is lacking. For me he is an empty fire suit.
Of course I’m only a fan. I don’t know Ryan or Kurt or Denny or Matt. What I know about them is filtered through the media. For all I know Ryan is a decent human being and Kurt is a sociopath and Hamlin walks old ladies across the street and sings in the choir at the baptist church. I like Kurt better than Newman so I made some comments in the Talkback on Frontstretch. I’m having fun, killing time, and enjoying NASCAR. No malice or real hatred.
Kurts actions are unacceptable as soon as pedestrians (pit road personal) are in danger…Simple as that..This man does not carry himself like a pro or with any class so why would sponsors jump to any one who is pissing people off & appears to have no understanding of how to get a crew to work for him..& Kurt was leaving Roush but he was punted by Jack before seasons end (& Crown Royal) after the police incident. I’m just sad that the gas man for the 39 team is going to pay the price for this & I wish he had got his hands on kurt (slap in the head seems to fix them up for the short term…kurt fired? ..No I think Mr Finch is to smart for that (the guy can drive) Suspension from Nascar YES..got to send a message on pit road safety…Newman= just a victim…Jus another opinion
Babydufus got it right. If you leave it up to the whining folks on this page Dale SR would have been banned from racing in the 80s, along with Rusty and a couple of others. Even golf has John Daly, give me a break. If I want to watch boring gentlemen, I’d watch tennis… Oh thats right they’ve even got Mcenroe! Face it you’ve gotta have emotion, it’s SPORTS!
Amen to that glenn.
WONDER what happen to my post??? Newman is a hot head just like KURT.
So, everyone knew that Newmans’ pit crew had a problem with Kurt. Where were the Nascar officials? Why weren’t they down on pit road to get things under control before they got out of hand? Must be the same bunch that knew Kevin Harvick was waiting for Greg Biffle at Bristol several years ago, then launched himself over the Biff’s car to get at him. Shouldn’t Nascar take at least some of the heat for this thing getting so out of hand? And there is never an excuse for endangering men working on pit road…especially when there are only 2 cars on pit road at the time.
The racing stinks so they give us bread and circuses. I mean really people, who gives a fat rats a** about this nonsense .
As boring as the racing has been this year, maybe NASCAR better consider sponsoring Kurt Busch next year to make sure there is Some excitement in each race.
Right on Don. Every week what is talked about after the race? Jet dryers getting blown up; who is mad at who; I (fill in the blank) vs. (fill in the blank) the new rivalry; D. Patrick invents the taking your hand off the wheel move, etc. Whenn was the last time the hype was about the product on the track? The racing stinks, so we need to focus on all the WWE garbage. I want good racing, the save the sideshows for the circus or WWE. Just saying.