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 · Monday October 29, 2012
ONE: ESPN’s “Miracle” Grasping at Straws
Considering Martinsville was the hardest track left on the schedule for Brad Keselowski, given both his limited experience at the speedway and the strength of fellow title contender Jimmie Johnson’s setup at the paperclip oval, there was definitely a reason to celebrate finishing sixth on Sunday. Keselowski scored his career-best result there, kept heavyweight Johnson within two points despite giving up a win this late in the Chase, and even survived a late-race gamble to stay out that nearly backfired when all but two cars opted to take tires during the final cycle of pit stops.
Having said that, ESPN’s post-race interview was certainly making Keselowski’s performance out to be a bit more…dramatic…than it was. It was called the “Miracle At Martinsville,” all because Keselowski climbed from 32nd to finish sixth.
Let’s be clear: Sunday was a big-time performance by the No. 2 and Penske Racing. They survived despite a bad gamble, they delivered at a track that has not been their forte, and Brad is in a virtual dead heat with Jimmie Johnson with three races to go. Plus, crew chief Paul Wolfe has yet to run his mouth in a way that would get Chad Knaus angry. But… a miracle it was not. 500 laps at Martinsville is one of the longest races in terms of opportunities to make up track position, especially when one does not run into serious trouble over the course of an afternoon. The reality is, Sunday was a tame Martinsville race, especially when compared to the spring’s melee of a finish, and Keselowski’s result was a performance expected of a true title contender.
So impressive, yes; but there was nothing miraculous about it. Hearing the afternoon described as such in the post-race reeked of desperation from a broadcast network more than anything else. For crying out loud, it’s the circuit’s best track. Is it that hard to find something else to accolade accurately?
TWO: MWR’s Limited Slate for Vickers Short-Sighted
On the plus side, and on the strength of another solid performance at Martinsville on Sunday, it’s good to go into this week knowing that Brian Vickers will be racing Cup (albeit in a limited schedule) again in 2013. MWR announced that the driver lineup for the No. 55 team will be about identical to this year’s, with Mark Martin running most races, owner Waltrip appearing in some plate events and Vickers filling in the rest.
It’s good to see MWR keeping Vickers in the fold, as his performance as essentially a relief driver in 2012 has been as strong as seen in recent memory by a driver in a limited role. But having said that, keeping Vickers confined to a schedule that’s not even a third of the slate is a short-sighted move by MWR, and even sponsor Aaron’s. For as much of a draw as Mark Martin remains both on and off the race track, his career is nearing the end. Meanwhile, Vickers has shown a level of talent and hunger that can make serious noise at the Cup level every time he’s raced in 2012; plus, sponsor Aaron’s has lacked a long-term driver face since Michael Waltrip’s semi-retirement.
The way Vickers is driving — with five top-10 finishes in eight Cup starts — he’s going to be getting looks across the Cup circuit. But by playing the Mark Martin game, MWR is playing Russian Roulette with a big name in the wings that’s set to be a long-term solution for the organization. Instead of committing to the future, they’re leaving him free to be poached for another year while relying on the veteran that’s counting down the clock.
And don’t forget, the last two teams Martin has joined since leaving Roush… his best results came in year one.
THREE: Regan Smith’s Uphill Climb
Considering how late in the year and unceremoniously he was let go from Furniture Row Racing, landing a full-time Nationwide ride at JR Motorsports could almost be considered a promotion for the Cup journeyman. Though he’s being demoted by series, after spending a number of years as a Cup regular, Smith is moving to a ride that has proven capable of winning races. (Just ask Brad Keselowski.) Coupled with the fact that Danica Patrick’s focus is shifting to Cup next season, plus Cole Whitt’s uncertain future (depending on sponsorship), Smith will also be the operation’s focus heading into 2013.
It’s a great situation for the veteran to find himself in; already a Cup winner, he will immediately be a championship contender and under the Hendrick umbrella should a chance to move back up come available. The only snag point? JR Motorsports has had only one driver in its history able to sustain success in its cars, one Brad Keselowski. Aric Almirola never won for the organization, then fell out of title contention in his season with the No. 88 team before finding any sense of consistency. Kelly Bires, Mark McFarland, and Shane Huffman all washed out. Cole Whitt has had a disappointing 2012 after his rip-roaring rookie season in trucks a year ago. Danica Patrick has hardly proven a superstar.
On paper, this is a great move for Smith and a great hire for JRM. Problem is, that movie’s played here before.
FOUR: History Says Phoenix The Deciding Race
There are three races left in the 2012 Chase. With only two points separating Five-Time and the challenger, it’s a virtual deadlock and reset heading into Texas. So who’s got the advantage?
Texas has proven Chase kryptonite (or the closest thing the Chase has to it) for the No. 48 team. Be it the ugly ninth-place run the team had in 2010 that saw them lose the lead to Denny Hamlin — leading to the infamous pit crew benching — or the year that Johnson was severely damaged scarcely after the race had started, courtesy of contact with Sam Hornish, Jr., Texas has not proven a 1-2 connection for a team that has dominated the Martinsville event preceding it.
On the other side of the equation, the No. 2 has got to be looking at Homestead like a deer in the headlights. Keselowski has never finished in the top 10 at Homestead, while Johnson and Co. wound up in the runner-up spot at the track the last time they had the title on the line.
That leaves Phoenix as the wild-card race that will likely decide this Chase. Johnson finished fourth in the spring, Keselowski finished fifth. Johnson has never run outside the top 15 at Phoenix in his career, while Keselowski has only finished inside the top 15 twice, albeit in far fewer starts.
It’s the perfect metaphor for their competition: the new young gun trying to buck history against the big powerful champion. And it goes to show that in a race this tight, the stats may as well get thrown to the wind.
No need for science to come to the sport’s rescue here. Just sit back and hope a repaved track and two intermediate ovals can put on a show worthy of the tight point standings.
FIVE: Greetings From the Other Keselowski
One of the better Twitter exchanges I’ve seen in a while came courtesy of Jeff Gluck and Brad Keselowski’s outspoken brother, Brian, who took to the social media outlet to commend Gluck for effectively using sarcasm to represent his brother and his title contention in 2012.
No point to ponder here, other than Brian Keselowski’s disappearance from the garage this year has been overshadowed by his brother’s monster season. If the sport has to put up with two Busch brothers, it’d be nice to have two Keselowskis.
Three races left in the 2012 Chase.
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Mad at ESPN for their coverage of Brad K’s finish?
OH cry me a F’n river of tears!
We who don’t worship at the feet of Hendrick and the 48 have been forced to watch the love-fest the media put out on “5-time” and told repeatedly that “one day” we will look back and MARVEL at his heavenly run.
Uh, NO, we won’t.
Yet let Brad K., or anybody else really, have such an outstanding run at Martinsville with so much at stake and we’re supposed to just yawn and think nothing of it?
Jeez man. This slowly sinking sports NEEDS more Brad K’s, Kyle’s, and Bowyers to help keep fans around. Too many have left already.
As a life-long Martin fan, I of course want to see him back in the car… Especially since he remains competitive.
But looking at the situation logically, too, he provides a valuable asset. Without a doubt Martin joining MWR was the single biggest reason the whole team took a sudden leap forward in competition, with his leadership qualities and, more importantly, feedback on setup and strategy.
Clearly MWR’s effort has been behind the duo of Bowyer and Truex; that’s their focus. It sucks for Vickers, but hey, all he needs is to pull off one or two wins next year (very doable) and suddenly his name is back on everyone’s radar.
And hopefully Mark will win just one more race and call it a day in style. ;)
Mark Martin has retired so many times it’s pathetic. Go away Mark, it’s time. And to say he’s the biggest reason MWR is doing so well is short-sighted at best.
Not a miracle? Well JJ started on the pole at a short track and finished first. Brad started 32nd and finished 6th. Pretty damn close to a miracle if you ask me, and I’m not even a Brad fan. It would be pretty sweet if the media could get it’s head out of JJ’s you know what. Fans are drowning in the media’s slobber-dripping prose about Jimmie Johnson.
Mark and JJ both suck !
1.) Last week we heard endlessly of Jimmie Johnsons miraculous recovery at Kansas, so while I agree with the desperation part, I think Kes’s recovery is just as noteworthy.
2.) Very shortsighted indeed. Vickers has been around a while, and is still young. He has Cup and Chase experience. Michael could have 3 legitimate contenders.
3.) You can’t compare Smith to Whitt, Almirola and the other. Smith has Cup experience and has won in Cup. Those other guys have no experience in Cup and are/were still learning at the time they had that ride. I think its a smart move by Smith. He’s under the Hendrick umbrella and with Gordon, Johnson and Jr getting up there in age, he could be just biding his time.
4.) Careful Bryan. Nascar will lower the boom on you if you print that the deciding race is not in Homestead.
I think Brian did the right thing. There are no open rides available that would be better than where he is at. If he felt he could do better than 8 races he would not have signed already. Same with Regan Smith going NW racing next year. Plus if someone gets hurt they have a driver ready to jump in and not miss a beat. Go MWR!