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.
In a Nutshell: Kyle Busch took the checkered flag 0.057 seconds ahead of Aric Almirola to win the Mountain Dew 250 Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Busch led only ten laps on the night and received help in the form of a push from Almirola to score his sixth win of the season. Todd Bodine, Terry Cook and David Starr rounded out the top 5.
Who Should Have Won: Todd Bodine. It’s no secret that Todd Bodine and Germain Racing have restrictor plate racing figured out, having won the four previous restrictor plate races. The driver of the No. 30 Copart Toyota took the lead with one lap to go on a green-white-checkered finish, but the combined power of teammates Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola moved ahead on the final lap. Bodine led 24 laps Saturday afternoon after starting sixth and went on to finish third.
Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race:
1. What happened to points leader Ron Hornaday, Jr.?
Ron Hornaday, Jr. started in the 13th position Saturday afternoon but was deep in the field two laps down when the checkered flag flew. Early in the running of the Mountain Dew 250, Hornaday, Jr. teamed up with teammate Ricky Carmichael and quickly moved into the top 5 within the first seven laps.
Following a lap 38 caution, Hornaday, Jr. pitted for fuel and repairs to his truck but stalled when he tried to take off from that stop. He teamed up with Todd Bodine and the two drafted their way through the field and into the top 10. When Bodine had to move away from Hornaday, Jr, he dropped quickly back to the 18th position and radioed his crew that he felt they were in danger of losing the draft altogether.
On lap 91, Ron Hornaday, Jr. was one of ten trucks collected when Mike Skinner made contact with Johnny Sauter, causing heavy damage to the right front. Despite the late race accident, the No. 33 crew quickly worked to repair the truck and allow Hornaday, Jr. to get back on the track for the green-white-checkered finish.
To add insult to injury, the driver of the No. 33 blew a tire on the final lap but managed to limp his way around to the start-finish line to finish 17th, two laps down. Understandably, Ron Hornaday, Jr. sounded pretty disappointed after the checkered flag flew.
“It’s Talladega. I’m not really sure how we were involved in that wreck,” Hornaday, Jr. said. “Before I knew what was happening we were in it. I’m really proud of this No. 33 Copart team for never giving up and working to get the truck back out on the track to finish with so few laps left. We will just got to Texas next week and try to get back what we lost.”
As a result of the 17th place finish, Hornaday, Jr’s points lead shrank to 202 points, but he is still well in command of the standings and will likely earn a record fourth championship.
2. How did Mike and Chrissy Wallace fare in their historic race?
Father-daughter duo Mike and Chrissy Wallace set out to make NASCAR history Saturday afternoon when the two raced together in the Mountain Dew 250. It was the first time ever a father-daughter combination raced against each other in any of NASCAR’s top three series.
Chrissy Wallace started her No. 08 Fuel-Doctor.com Chevrolet in the 27th position, and her father Mike wasn’t too far behind in the 33rd position. The first caution flew on lap 7, and Mike and Chrissy chose not to pit when the rest of the field did. The father-daughter duo briefly ran 1-2 under that caution.
On lap 43, Chrissy Wallace found herself out front on a restart before Brian Scott took the lead from her. A little later with 32 laps remaining, Mike Wallace simultaneously started to lose his left-front fender and hood, resulting in a black flag. He retired from the race and was credited with a 28th place finish for the No. 48 Rockingham Speedway Polar Bear 150 Chevrolet, and his daughter Chrissy finished in the 13th position, a career best for her.
Mike Wallace may want to forget the race at Talladega Superspeedway, but it’s certain Chrissy should be happy after her performance Saturday afternoon. She hopes to gain more exposure to help find a sponsor to run full time in the 2010 season for Rick Ware Racing. And since her goal was to beat her dad this weekend, the 21-year-old driver has some bragging rights she can hold over his head.
3. Did NASCAR make the right move with the 2010 rule changes announced this week?
As the Camping World Truck Series moves closer to the end of the 2009 season, it’s time NASCAR started thinking about the 2010 season and rule changes. Earlier this week, several rule changes were announced that will go in effect in February for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
One of the most anticipated changes will likely be the implementation of double-file restarts “shootout style.” The format will mirror the ones used in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. For each restart, the trucks will be lined up the same way they are at the beginning of the race. Additionally, the leader will be able to choose which lane to restart the race in. Lapped trucks will have the option to stay on the track and be “waved around” to gain a lap. If a pit stop is needed by the driver, it will have to be done after the green flag flies.
Perhaps the most important change is the pit road rule change necessitated by the double file restart rule. For the second consecutive season, NASCAR is changing pit road rules and will allow drivers to take tires and fuel on a single stop in the 2010 season. Because teams will be able to get all service at once, one extra crew member will be allowed over the wall, changing the number from five to six.
In a related change, teams will now have the option to use a self-venting fuel can that teams can use in addition to the conventional fuel can. Additionally, Goodyear’s tire lease program will continue with a few minor changes. Tires will be allowed to be transferred between the different national series at companion events, provided they both carry the same D-codes. Goodyear also plans to provide extra tires for the teams, and they will be notified in advance of the availability of extra tires.
NASCAR made a very smart decision to get rid of a rule that never should have been implemented in the first place. The reasoning behind the change at the beginning of the 2009 season was to save teams money, but quite a few teams were burned by green flag pit stops that cost them finishing positions and ultimately purse money.
Overall the changes for the 2010 season are something to look forward to. With the implementation of double-file restarts and again allowing teams to service their trucks in one stop, the racing should be more exciting than ever. Add to that a few new teams hoping to run full time next season, and the championship race should be yet another close one.
Truck Rookie Report
No. of Rookies in the Race: 6
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 0
Rookie Of The Race: Johnny Sauter, finished 13th
“I actually cost the No. 88 (Matt Crafton) the race. If I wouldn’t have pulled up in front of him he probably could have won it. We struggled from the word go to the end of the race. It’s just frustrating. I hate it, but that’s the way it is. Just glad to get the heck out of here.” Johnny Sauter
Worth Noting / Points Shuffle:
Steve Park made his return to the Camping World Truck Series Saturday afternoon behind the wheel of the No. 02 KOMA Unwind / CorrieStottRacing.com Chevrolet. He started in the 31st position and finished 25th after losing his engine with 17 laps remaining.
Kyle Busch’s sixth victory this season allowed Toyota to clinch the Camping World Truck Series manufacturer’s championship. This is the fourth consecutive title for Toyota in the six years since they joined the series in 2004. Last season, Toyota didn’t clinch the championship until after the Chevy Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon attempted to qualify for his third career Camping World Truck Series race Friday at Talladega Superspeedway but didn’t get to race after his qualifying time was thrown out. The No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was found to be too low in post qualifying inspection due to an unintentional error in constructing the shocks.
Mario Gosselin debuted his new sponsor MyTireMonkey.com at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. He ran second quickest in practice and started his No. 12 Chevrolet in the 20th position. When the checkered flag flew, Gosselin had moved up to the sixth position, a career best finish for him.
Ron Hornaday, Jr. continues to sit atop the standings with a 202 point lead over Matt Crafton. Mike Skinner remains in third, 327 points behind. Todd Bodine and Colin Braun, who moved up one spot round out the top 5.
Brian Scott dropped one spot and finds himself just 30 points behind Braun. Timothy Peters remains in the seventh position but has moved within one point of the sixth position. Johnny Sauter remains in seventh, just 17 points behind Peters. David Starr and Rick Crawford round out the top 10.
“I owe everything to Aric Almirola [Saturday]. From that last pit stop to the end, I told him that, if he just stayed with me, they wouldn’t be able to beat the No. 15 (Almirola) and the No. 51 (Busch). Awesome job to Aric. He can take half of my pay after [Saturday]. I don’t get paid anything. I don’t know what Billy Ballew will work out with him.” Kyle Busch
“I’m just proud of Billy Ballew and all these guys on his race team, man. His 300th start—for him to win in that fashion, that was pretty cool. I’m just disappointed. I told Bill before the race started that I wanted it to be a 1-2 finish, but I wanted to be ‘1’ some kind of bad.” Aric Almirola, finished second
“We got used to winning for sure. We made the right move—we had a great truck and made the right move at the end and got the lead. We just didn’t have a teammate. I could have blocked him (Kyle Busch) coming to the checkers, but I didn’t want to be like Carl Edwards and end up in the fence. There’s nothing you can do but be happy with it, and we had a good day.” Todd Bodine, finished third
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I understand your “who should have won” point… it’s there because sometimes the guy who has THE truck gets wrecked or misses a lug nut or something.
However, when a driver gets passed on the racetrack, he should never be in your “who should have won” column even if he leads every lap except the last. Todd got passed on the track, Kyle passed him, therefore Kyle should have won.
Hey Beth, your: “Who Should Have Won: Todd Bodine.”
“Who should have won” is the first one across the finish line!
How can you pick one driver out of 36, presumably all there to win, and say “he shoulda won”?
And of course this begs the question to you????
“who shoulda won Sunday’s race”?!
I assume you have picked a likely candidate, and surely is not the driver who crossed the finish line first!
AND! You “congratulate” NA$CRAP for announcing rule changes for next year!
BUT! Do they EVER follow their own rules?
EXAMPLE: (glad you asked), Truck race, Saturday, all throughout the early part of the race, the announcers kept stressing how FIRM NA$CRAP was about DO NOT BUMP DRAFT! NA$CRAP kept stressing during the drivers meeting that the bumpers, front/rear do not line up, thus ZERO BUMPDRAFTING!
BUT! Halfway thru the race????
BUMPDRAFTING! ALL THE WAY AROUND THE TRACK!
And then the announcers come on and say stupid things like, “well, as long as you know what your doing”, or, “as long as you get your truck centered on the one in front”! ETC!
And you have the audacity to congratulate NA$CRAP for “implementing rules”?
I agree with both of the previous posts – where do you get off saying Todd Bodine “should have won?” Nobody slammed him into a wall, Kyle and Aric passed him cleanly. That’s what racing is all about. Not every two drivers who try to draft together pull it off as beautifully as Kyle and Aric did. Apparently it is a Fronstretch job requirement to hate Kyle Busch, but this is ridiculous. Kyle won; Kyle SHOULD HAVE WON. It’s really pretty simple – the car who crosses the finish line first SHOULD WIN.