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.
Bryan Davis Keith · Tuesday November 13, 2012
ONE: Hello, Consistency?
Anyone that needs more proof as to whether or not name means something in the eyes of NASCAR got it this afternoon, with NASCAR bucking their typical Tuesday announcements to notify the racing world that when the Cup Series takes the green at Homestead, Jeff Gordon will be on the track. Despite premeditating a clear act of payback on the racetrack that collected championship contender Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola (not to mention very nearly wrecking points leader Brad Keselowski as well), Gordon got away with a points penalty that means nothing and a fine Hendrick Motorsports will scoff at.
All of this after Kyle Busch was parked by NASCAR because he got into a tussle with a title contender in the Truck ranks at Texas. If anything, Gordon’s actions were even more egregious, as he took out a series regular in his home series and direct competitor to the No. 48 car that he just so happens to own. No conspiracy theory here, Gordon and Bowyer definitely have some history, but in context the four-time champion did something that made Busch’s antics from a season ago almost tame in comparison. For that, he’ll pay a pittance and lose points that he doesn’t need (the No. 24 was mathematically eliminated from title contention even before the penalty).
I’ll say the same thing I do in every case such as this, the drivers need to police themselves and the sanctioning body needs to back off and not arbitrarily assign penalties for such actions based on the prevailing winds of the fanbase and media. But seeing as how NASCAR is never going to be hands off as they should be, there’s ample reason they should be criticized for not parking Gordon. The only message that can be taken from this action is that the higher a driver’s popularity and level of achievement, the more leeway they’re going to get.
Kind of like Tuesday’s election…hardly a shocking outcome, but depressing nonetheless.
TWO: It’s Official. Yellow Flag as Broadcast Item
Jimmie Johnson hits the wall but keeps going and the yellow flag comes out. Debris on lap 167 brings out the yellow for no apparent reason. The red flag comes out almost immediately after the Gordon/Bowyer brawl, as if to give the TV crews ample opportunity to provide blow by blow coverage of the pit crews going at it and Bowyer’s frantic charge through the garage towards the No. 24 hauler. But Danica Patrick blows up, drops oil all over the track and is smoldering down the frontstretch and the race stays green, with the end result a massive pile-up.
Though one side of me is absolutely thrilled NASCAR finally let a race finish under green, there’s the other part of the equation. The sanctioning body’s officiating is strongly contingent on made for TV moments. They break up a green flag runs to allow commercial breaks to punctuate a pit cycle. The yellow is held off to ensure that post-race interviews surrounding a championship gone wild and a massive fight get aired. Objectivity or even competency for governing the premier level of stock car racing in the world are not apparent here.
Between the Chase format and the stark reality of manufactured cautions, does a Cup championship really mean anything anymore?
THREE: Keselowski’s Pit Miscues Cause for Concern
The mission for Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 team got a whole lot simpler over the final 100 miles at Phoenix. No need to race for a win at Homestead; rather, stay out of trouble and run a conservative race to score Penske Racing’s first Cup title ever.
But having said that, it’s not a sure-fire road to the Cup, and that’s not just because the opponent is the formidable Johnson/Knaus duo. Rather, it’s miscues on pit road that have shown up repeatedly over the course of the Chase (at Phoenix, Keselowski stalled the car on pit road early to drop himself from 11th to 23rd, and had his crew drop him from first to fourth on another stop later in the event).
While the No. 2 team ended up passing plenty of cars and taking care of business regardless on Sunday, the reality is pit road mistakes put cars in traffic. Cars in traffic are far more likely to find trouble. In short, business as usual will have the Blue Deuce flirting with trouble it doesn’t need. Though the driver and team have had tremendous luck throughout the Chase in finding their way through traffic (see Talladega, the end of this Phoenix race), one does have to ask, will they go to the well one time too many?
The entire NASCAR community will find out Sunday.
FOUR: RCR in Danger of Losing Two Titles at Homestead
Though RCR returned to Cup victory lane on Sunday with Kevin Harvick’s late charge to victory, the team’s chance at a Nationwide Series title went up in smoke late in Saturday’s event after a misguided move by driver Elliott Sadler. For all the turmoil surrounding the Childress operation this weekend following reports that Kevin Harvick would be leaving the team’s No. 29 car for Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2013 campaign, the team’s Nationwide struggles could be pinned solely on the driver.
Problem is, that’s not the only team RCR has running for a championship this coming weekend. Currently, Ty Dillon has the No. 3 truck within 12 points of leader James Buescher. And it was standing alongside that truck team on Friday that saw owner Childress the most visibly agitated of the entire weekend regarding the current situation unfolding between he and longtime driver Harvick.
Regardless of how demarcated the operations are at RCR between the different race series, there’s obvious tension under the Childress tent surrounding this current Harvick situation. And given how tight the bond is known to be between owner Childress and his grandson drivers, there’s very legitimate questions to be raised as to how much this emotional instability could impact the No. 3 truck as it tries to defend the Truck Series championship Austin won a season ago. Sitting 12 points back, with both Buescher and Timothy Peters standing in the way, the margin for error is zero.
FIVE: Hello, Consistency?
Rewind back to Monday night NASCAR and the night of Montoya vs. the jet dryer. Brad Keselowski became the biggest Twitter fad NASCAR had ever seen thanks to his tweeting a picture of the inferno from his race car and becoming the first driver to tweet from the cockpit during the race. It was hailed by everyone at every level of the sport as a creative and telling example of social media and its ability to bring fans closer to their heroes.
Fast forward to Phoenix, and now Brad Keselowski is getting fined thousands of dollars for checking the same damn cell phone in his car under a red flag.
Were the 140 characters not witty enough this time?
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©2000 - 2008 Bryan Davis Keith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Agree with almost all of your points, BUT…
Point One: Let’s keep national politics out of race commentary. Or are some of your best friends team owners?
Point Five: You can fit a lot of electronics into a cell phone case. The ban is valid. The quiestion is, when were they banned? After the Daytona 500 NASCAR put out a statement saying that Keeselowski had done no wrong by having a cell in the car. You can pull a lot of rabbits out of a hat when you have a secret rulebook. This fine is because of Brad’s language in the post-race press conference and NASCAR should have the guts to say so.
Totally agree with everything you said Andy!
I’m a Jeff Gordon fan and I absolutely think he should have been parked in addition to the weak penalty he just got. So he won’t go to Vegas? Whoa, he’ll never do that again!
It is truly amazing that the caution flag gets thrown whenever a driver has a big lead (unless, of course, that driver’s initials are Dale Earnhardt Jr.), but a wrecked car could be sitting at the finish line and the official swallows their whistle. If the officials in NASCAR went on strike, would we even notice?
Nothing about Nascar has been consistent in a long, long time, unless you count the consistent failure of Brian France to manage the sport in a competent manner. I’m not even going to call out Robin Pemberton; he’s just a puppet on a string.
Respectfully, please keep your politics out of racing discussions. This is Frontstretch, not Politico.
To the contrary, I have no problem with Gordon taking Bowyer out. Tit for tat on the track, and not some silly yelling back and forth in the paddock is the way to let the drivers police themselves.
Yes, it was inconsistent with Busch, but NASCAR shouldn’t have suspended Busch. This time they got it right – although I wouldn’t have hit Gordon with as big a fine.
You have to wonder, some said that all it would take to turn Nascar around was for Jr. to win again – well he did and nothing happened.
Sorry Bryan I think you missed the root cause of Danica’s spin. ESPN clearly showed in a replay that Jeff Burton took her out. She didn’t “blow up”. And I’m no Danica fan, but geez, get it right, or don’t write it!
I just wonder which Hendrick teammate or associated team will get the call Sunday to take out the 2.
Point 2: “Between the Chase format and the stark reality of manufactured cautions, does a Cup championship really mean anything anymore?”
Sadly, no…which is why I don’t watch races anymore and now I just read the Monday recap column on this site.
Jim N, I’m surprised Bryan didn’t blame Danica for the whole thing. He has that much disdain for that woman. And you can bet that he will never give her credit for running a good race. She was set to have her best finish in Cup totally raining on his anti-Danica cruisade. And I won’t even mention the political comment that has no place here.
Anyway, back to Gordon. You guys seem to forget that Edwards almost put Kes in the grandstands at Atlanta and got no penalty. And the retaliation was premeditated. I’m fine with the no penalty. My concern is where do you draw the line. If a guy is still alive for the championship, there should be some repercussions for taking him out shouldn’t there?
Gordon was mad and wrecked Boyer because last Tuesday we signed off on becoming, officially, a Socialist nation instead of a Constitutional Republic.
As I said yesterday, hendrick has nascar in his hip pocket. As far as brian
How long will it be before all non-Hendrick/Chevy drivers get fed up with this stuff from Nascar? There will soon be 8 major Hendrick cars in cup with Stewart-Hass running 4 cars.
When is enough enough? When will the non-Hendrick fans have enough?
None of this latest B.S. is shocking. It’s just more of the same. Like the next four years of Obama only MORE. And you will PAY for it.
I wonder what the penalty would be if the name was Robby Gordon instead of Jeff Gordon?
First off, I’d like to agree with the others — I have NO interest in any of the politics of the people who write for or frequent this site. When I want to have a discussion on politics, I’ll visit a political blog, not a NASCAR one.
For all of you moaning about the lack of a Gordon penalty — of course he didn’t get suspended. The guy’s a four-time champion. Comparing him to Robby Gordon? Please. There IS no comparison. Hyperbole much? The number of cars R. Gordon takes out in the course of a race is roughly equivalent of the number J. Gordon has taken out in his career.
Honestly, some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories (Gordon taking out Keselowski? Why would he ever do that? Gordon is not, nor has he ever been a dirty driver. He’s been known to use his bumper, but it’s often justified given the situation. We could certainly compare Harvic, Stewart, Earnhardt Sr., etc) are so far out there that their authors have lost credibility.
Please don’t forget that the Bush brothers have had anger management issues their entire career. When they do something stupid, no one is particularly surprised. This is a good sign that they NEED to be suspended in order to get their owners and sponsors involved to stop their dangerous behavior. What are the odds Gordon does something stupid like this again? He has enough self-respect that he’ll end up making an apology and admit his own foolishness. When have the Bush brothers ever done that with any kind of sincerity?
Let’s dial it back a bit and try to be realistic about this. It was a cheap shot that was ultimately a stupid move based on when it came in the race and what was happening on the track. No doubt, when Gordon cools off a bit, he’ll admit his own boneheadedness. No one got hurt, and he didn’t REALLY impact the outcome of the winner of the championship. At the end of the day, a whole bunch of scrap-metal will go to charity, and the Chase will go on (like it or not). If I were a Bowyer fan, I’d be as mad as can be. But I’m not. Instead, I can remember at least three incidents in which Gordon would leave his car and comment on Bowyers’ driving. This is something that’s been brewing for a while. It was only a matter of time.
Don’t worry, someone will make a similar stupid move (JPM), and people blow it out of proportion as well.
Bowyer said he was just staying behind Gordon and worrying about Kahne coming up as Bowyer was 3rd in points and Kahne was 4th. As Kahne closed in Bowyer decided to try getting by Gordon and in a racing incident they made contact and Gordon brushed the wall, stuff like that happens during RACING. Then Gordon tried to dump Bowyer and missed and got into the marbles and wrecked himself. Then Gordon wrecked Bowyer and Logano and Almirola which completely took Bowyer out of the battle for the cup as well as for 2nd in the standing against the car Gordon ‘owns’ AND allowed his team mate Kahne to move solidly into 3rd in the standings with Bowyer finishing 28th (16 points) instead of a potential top 5 (39 or more points). That’s taking someone out of a slim chance of the championship and a good shot at 2nd or 3rd and the two teams are either yours or a team mate all because you missed wrecking Bowyer and wrecked yourself.
And someone above refered to Pemberton as a string puppet, well, he is a hand puppet just like Helton and France and I don’t have to tell you where Rick Hendrick inserts his hand to make them respond. So there is no chance HMSCAR was going to suspend Gordon.
Hey Batman 1970, how’s it going at Nascar HQ.