Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
The Yellow Stripe · Bryan Davis Keith · Monday October 8, 2012
So here’s a question. If Furniture Row Racing asks nicely, can they get Regan Smith back for a few more weeks? After all, the rumor mill is swirling that one Kurt Busch may be facing his second suspension of the 2012 season after the weekend’s race at Talladega. Busch, who got dumped in traffic after running out of fuel in the draft, ended up driving his wrecked car away from first responders, who not only had their equipment stashed on the roof of the wrecked machine, but were also visibly working and communicating inside the race car.
Frankly, if NASCAR can suspend Kurt Busch because he got annoyed with a reporter, they damn well better park the guy after Sunday. I don’t care how impassioned a speech Busch gave post-race about how his competitive streak compelled him to try and wheel his wrecked race car back to the garage so his team could work on it. There is absolutely no excuse for driving away from the scene of a crash once the first responders get there. Putting their safety at risk (and yes, it was at risk, watch the replays of the response team having to rush away from the moving car) and strewing their equipment all over the backstretch is more unacceptable than any words directed towards reporters ever could be.
No need for a column-long analysis here. And frankly I couldn’t care less that Busch didn’t listen to NASCAR’s command to stop. But driving off with rescue workers’ hands in the race car, that boils my blood (I’m admittedly biased, coming from a family of first responders).
While Busch’s remarks regarding his competitive streak and his apparent sainthood as a race car driver echoed with all the sincerity of a Bobby Petrino press conference, he did hit the nail on the head in post-race remarks Sunday when he noted that he’s put himself into a lot of the situations that have cratered his career. Case in point, Talladega.
Then again, there is apparently no need for Busch to learn a lesson and stop doing stupid things. Despite the fact that Busch has demonstrated zero improvement in terms of maturity or composure even after losing a premier ride at Penske Racing solely because he was a hothead, he’s been a full-time Cup driver all season long, and now has a fully sponsored ride in place for 2013.
The story behind Busch landing Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 car is questionable enough. He’s replacing Regan Smith, the one driver that managed to lift a team that’s been a model in futility on the Cup circuit into a Southern 500 championship team just a season ago. Veteran Kenny Wallace couldn’t do that. Veteran Joe Nemechek couldn’t do that. But for all that accomplishment, Smith was shown the door for a driver that, albeit a Cup champion, has made headlines for nothing short of his language or antics over the past year.
Why should Busch change his behavior? He was stupid enough to run his mouth at a respected member of the media corps scarcely six months after getting the old heave-ho at Penske Racing for doing the exact same thing, yet his team voted to keep him on-board. (Author’s note: I don’t for one second believe that Busch should have been suspended for his remarks at Dover this spring, but I don’t want to be the guy trying to sell sponsors on a driver dumb enough to make the same mistake on camera twice either).
His talent as a race car driver sold Furniture Row Racing on replacing the most successful driver the team has had at any level in their history. Never mind the fact that that talent translated into nothing more than has already been done with Phoenix Racing equipment. Sure, Busch won a Nationwide race for the team. So have Jeff Purvis, Randy LaJoie, Jimmy Spencer, Jamie McMurray, Johnny Sauter and Mike Bliss.
Sure, Busch had moments of brilliance with the team’s Cup level program. That’s hardly unique either. Johnny Sauter led the Coca-Cola 600 with the former No. 09 team. Both Mike Wallace and Johnny Sauter scored top 10 finishes with the team on downforce tracks (Richmond, Phoenix). Wallace nearly won the Daytona 500 with the team. Brad Keselowski won at Talladega with the team. Flashes of brilliance have long been a staple for Phoenix Racing, even if they were sandwiched between loads of start-and-parks or 26th place finishes.
And leaving the No. 51 team, Busch leaves the squad 27th in owner points. A whopping three positions better than what Landon Cassill managed to pull off a season ago.
That’s what Furniture Row Racing is signing up for. A driver that for all his talent has demonstrated a complete inability to improve a mediocre ride. A driver that for all his talent has proven unable to live down the bad habit of overdriving a car to the point of wrecking it. A driver that secured next to no sponsor dollars even over the course of nearly a full season with Phoenix Racing. And a driver that despite ending on bad terms with two of NASCAR’s powerhouses still apparently requires the team he races for to act as an apologist.
One can only hope NASCAR has the balls to park this guy even without a shocking videoclip of a tirade to go with it this time. Because if the story of Kurt Busch is any indication, NASCAR’s ownership circle isn’t going to teach him anything.
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©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Lets not get carried away. In REAL racing, your local tracks the worst thing is to be brought in on a hook. You want to drive it back, fix it and finish. Same here. Lighten up, he didnt endanger anyone and if I owned a team i would applaud his efforts. You safety-crats are suspension happy.
Remember when he hit Stewarts car in the pits and almost killed that crew member?
Kurt needs to be banned from nascar. He’s has mental issues and needs help.
WOW lets just send him out to sea in a row boat. Henry you are so exagerating what happened. But using your thought process how long do we suspend Tony Stewart for causing a 25+ car accident? This sport would be so much better with 10 Kurt Busch’s then with 5 more bland one’s like the 48.
Give me a break. I’m far from a Kurt Busch fan, but MANY, MANY, MANY drivers have gotten out of their cars and realized they aren’t as bad as they thought and jumped back in and took off, yes while the safety crew was already there. I give them credit, they get there VERY quickly, they are almost always there before a driver gets out of the car. He was calm on the radio when he asked his crew “why did we run out of gas”, so he wasn’t in a rage. He was just trying to get it back to the pits. And you can blame him all you want, but I would think common sense should have told the safety crew that “Hey, driver’s getting back in the car, hey, car starts up! Duh, I wonder what that means??????? It means, he’s leaving!!!!!! BACK AWAY. Hell Dale Earnhardt got back into his car after flipping it at Daytona and drove back to the pits and finished the race. What did the safety crew do, they got the heck out of his way. And Busch didn’t speed recklessly back to the pits or out of control with flat tires as he would have done if he were pissed off. He slowly worked his way back to pit road. Of course he couldn’t hear Nascar without his helmet on. I’ll be the first to say Kurt has gotten himself into much trouble this year, but you can’t hang a guy every time just because of what he did in the past. He did nothing wrong here. it’s not his fault the safety guy put his bag on top of the car. Kurt was being a race car driver and doing all he could to get back in the race and this wouldn’t have remotely been an issue if it were any other driver that had done it, that doesn’t have Kurt’s history. If Nascar suspends him, it’s solely out of spite and uncalled for in this particular case. This is a very clear and easy NO CALL.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Dittos Nick 1
I normally enjoy reading all articles on this website. However, this article is the most stupid thing I have ever read. Sure Kurt has made some mistakes, but this so called reporter is playing like GOD and thinks their opinion is the only thing that matters. I am currently a first responder and I have to use common sense everyday. I will be the first to say if I am working a crash scene and something happens to put my life in jeopardy then I am getting away quickly. Not standing around when a driver who is obviously not injured gets back in their car and starts the engine and then proceeds to drive away. Then look for “reporters” like yourself to state what grave danger they were in. It is for so called reporters like you that NA$CAR is going down the drain. Anyone who has access to a key board thinks they are correct in everything they write.
Well we all might not be able to agree on whether or not Busch should be suspended, but can we all at least agree on the fact that he is one of the biggest dickheads to ever put on a helmet?
Bill B…. I agree. And the other one is his brother.
How’d he drive back to the garage area if he ran out of gas?
It’s a matter of perspective why people are watching. The same thing can be viewed in many ways.
You can watch Talladega for the packs, the drafting, the big wreck. NASCAR and the tv networks advertise all of them. You can like a driver because he/she is levelheaded, logical, wild, very determined, slightly crazy, etc.
Not everyone is going to agree. At least in my perspective, what Kurt did was not safe for the safety workers there to HELP him. How would you like to be the safety worker in this situation? Kurt’s record of foul behavior over the years could fill a multi-chapter book. It might be time to take a vacation.
But are his meltdowns and spontaneous actions what fans and what NASCAR want in a sport dulled by marketing? Kurt is the entertaining crazy character in the story. It comes down to perspective. What comes first for NASCAR, the business or the sport? Is it about creating characters or dangerously racing cars? It’s morals and safety vs. marketing and entertainment. It’s ultimately up to NASCAR how the company wants to present itself.
What Montoya did driving extremly fast by service vehicles (ie jet dryer) when he knew something was wrong(ie vibrations) was 1000 times more dangerous than getting back in a car, starting it up and slowing driving away. I would sure have the smarts to back away if the car refired or if I saw the driver getting back in. Maybe we should consider displinary action of the safety workers who were not paying attention.
Jason, vibrations can be caused by so many things in the car. He was already at the bottom of the track on the double yellow lines. I doubt Montoya (or anyone) could predict how that situation unfolded next.
Meanwhile, Kurt is sitting at a stop with safety workers all around his car. Obviously, he gave them no warning since the backpack was still on the car. It’s pretty easy to imagine what would happen if you just take off while the safety workers are getting organized around your car.
David, as for Kurt being able to drive the car back to the pits after it ran out of fuel; he explained that on the MRN interview. The ECM has a limp mode where it will run on reduced fuel pressure (I think of 20 psi). Not enough to race at 200 mph, but enough to fire up the car and make it back to the pits.
There is plenty of Rainbow Punch- the drink of nascar- for all who will continue to sip.
Wow! Strong feelings and very different perspectives of one event!
I don’t like Kurt Busch. I think he does a lot of flying off the handle without engaging his brain first. This incident wasn’t an indication that he’s changed much. Having safety workers respond quickly is a plus in any accident, so in a best case scenario, we would hope he would thank the safety workers and tell them he was going to take the car back to the garage. But since the gears in the his head must have been disconnected from the cognitive ability section of his brain as usual, he just jumped in the car and took off.
Is this a call for suspension? I guess that’s NASCAR’s call (not that they always make the best calls), but as mentioned above, the car started up (which to me would be a clue that he’s going to move), so I would hope the safety guys had a clue that movement wasn’t far behind.
Was it a great move? No. Was it suspension material? I don’t think so. Sounds like a misunderstanding to me, despite the mental midget display.
If Kurt had enough gas to get back to the garage, why did he sit there waiting for safety crew? And, why did he take his helmet off? Don’t most drivers try to get the car started right after spinning/crashing? I can’t remember who it was on fire (under car) after a crash, but he kept driving until CC told him to stop and get out.
I hope nascar treats Kurt like real life probation violators. Off to jail, or in his case out of a race or two.
ha ha ha suspend Tony for the helmet throwing incident and his Bone headed driving at dega , just think how his jaws would be flapping if he was wrecked he would be calling for MORONS to be parked and blah blah blah NA$CAR is a joke and only the golden boys get to do what they want
When Earnhardt did it they thought is was the second coming of Christ get in the real world no harm no foul
seems like a lot of folks are missing the point here. this is not an isolated incident. Kurt is a multiple time violator of na$cars rules and policies and has put peoples safety in jeopardy more than once with his childish antics. not to be overly dramatic, but does someone have to die before he gets set down by na$car.
I just realised why I watch very little Nascar anymore. The people running Nascar are just like the mama-boys that want Kurt draged and quatered. Maybe Nascar can put the drivers in bubble suits and let them ride around the track on wittle tricycles and go vroom vroom vroom.
Since the discussion has grown to include Tony Stewart, Here are his comments from Sonoma last year, reprinted by Art Garner in his column yesterday:
“If they wanna block, that’s what’s gonna happen to ‘em every time, for the rest of my career. I’m not gonna tolerate it. I don’t race guys that way and I’m not gonna let anybody race me that way. So if they block, they get dumped.”
“There are 42 guys out there and they know now how I race and what I expect. I don’t race ‘em that way, I don’t block guys and I’m not gonna block guys. If they block me, they will suffer the consequences.”
Apparently if Stewart blocks them, they will also suffer consequences..
Maybe you are right Sue but you have to admit, he is a prick. Right?
hy doesn’t everyone just shut up about Kurt Busch and let him drive? He can’t even go to the bathroom, it seems, without someone complaining about something.
I was watch that part of the race and tv did not show what happened. If he climbed back in the car, said he was taking it back to the pits, started the engine, them get out of the way. We won’t see any video of it. If somebody at the car didn’t think he should bother tying to repair it it’s not their call. I’m not a fan of his, but this is way over blown and one sided.
While NOT a fan of Kurt’s this inciDENT warrants no more than a fine of some type..That said he was on probation at the time so maybe more is warranted but this would be 1 of the smaller ones (crashing Tony on pit road was big)
I thought Kurt ran into the back of Ryan Newman in the pits at Darlington, not Tony Stewart?
Kinda funny, all these opinions but in reality Kurt endangered NO-ONE and made his team proud. I guess all you whiners enjoy the no action races with drivers who shrug and say “it was a good points day”. Sorry but Kurt isnt pne of those. Good for him. Me neither
Funny, if you take the top 2 stories from Talladega Sunday – Tony Stewart wrecks the field blocking, and Kurt Busch driving away trying to get a better finish – switch the names of Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch in each story, you suddenly have a hero trying to finish the race in a wrecked car, and a d!(khead who wrecked the whole field cause he can’t drive and should be parked. not the first time Tony has talked out both sides of his mouth (first Daytona 2006 with Kenseth, again this year with the “I don’t block bs”) KB is unfortunately the new Robby Gordon – the guy that does the same thing as Tony stewart but actually gets the repercussions and punishments.
As far as Busch goes, the furnature row team willingly hired him so they deserve just what they are going to get with him. As for Nascar, they have been using rules and discipline for publicity purposes rather than for racing purposes for years now and they are getting what they deserve.
Kurt should have told everyone around his car that he was going back to the pits and to get out of his way so they don’t get hurt. Or maybe they should have figured it out for themselves. Best of luck Kurt.