Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Tearing Apart the Trucks · Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday August 25, 2011
In a Nutshell: Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag 0.434 seconds ahead of Johnny Sauter to win the O’Reilly 200 Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick took the lead for the first and final time on a lap 98 restart and went on to lead the final 103 laps, scoring his third consecutive Truck Series victory. Todd Bodine, James Buescher and Timothy Peters rounded out the top 5.
Who Should Have Won: Kevin Harvick. Once again, Kevin Harvick had a strong truck underneath him in the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet. After starting sixth, Harvick spent much of the first half of the race heading toward the front of the field. And once he got out front, he never looked back. Despite a hard charge from Johnny Sauter on the final restart, Harvick pulled out to an insurmountable lead to score his 12th career Truck Series victory.
Questions and Notes After the Race:
1. What really happened between Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler?
Kyle Busch probably hasn’t had one of his best weeks. After going to court and facing the penalty for being busted driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone, the driver of the No. 18 Toyota headed off to Bristol Motor Speedway for the annual mid-week Truck Series showdown.
In a race that was definitely not without fireworks, Busch made several moves early in the running of the O’Reilly 200, and one of those moves had him cutting across the nose of Elliott Sadler’s No. 24 AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves Chevrolet. In return, Sadler gave the No. 18 Toyota a could of hard rear end bumps before the two split up until later.
It was the later incident that brought on the commotion and ultimate finger pointing. On a lap 98 restart, Busch wanted the high line and moved up the track to take it. The problem was that Sadler’s No. 24 already had a nose in the spot Busch wanted to occupy. The end result was Busch spinning out with heavy damage to the front end of his truck.
But that wasn’t the end. With obvious damage to his truck that needed major repairs (and would later turn out to be terminal), Busch stayed out on the track an extra lap just to ensure Elliott Sadler wouldn’t head to victory lane either.
When asked about the incident after the checkered flag, Sadler was quite gracious and described the incident exactly how it looked after watching multiple replays.
“Early in the race he really ran me high and ran me in to the wall and I let him go. That time, I honestly think his spotter just didn’t tell him I was on the outside of him and he came up. And I was there—I didn’t have time to check up or anything,” Sadler said. “He just wrecked himself, and I hate that he thinks it’s my fault. And I hate he came and wrecked us and tore up a good truck. We had a great chance to win tonight. I know he’s mad and upset, but I wish he’d just watch the tape and understand what happened before he came back and retaliated the way he did.”
And if the blatant retaliation wasn’t enough, once Busch finally spoke to the media, he implied Sadler took him out because he works for KHI before he went on to describe his version of what happened.
“Yeah, I’m sure he [wrecked me intentionally]. Where does his paycheck come from?” Busch said after he emerged from the terminally damaged No. 18 Toyota. “We were racing earlier tonight and I pulled a slide job on him and he ran into me three times after that. Then got clear of him for a while and on that restart there I was trying to slide him and get up to the top. The spotter said I was clear and I was clear at the time. Maybe I was too late. He wrecked us and I’m not going to put up with it.”
But the funny thing is that Sadler wasn’t even driving for KHI Wednesday night. In fact, it was his first start behind the wheel for Joe Denette Motorsports.
“That shows you how smart Kyle Busch is. He wasn’t even driving for us tonight,” KHI team owner Kevin Harvick said when asked about the incident in victory lane. “Joe Denette owns that truck and those guys came here to do what they had to do. We can get as dirty as Kyle Busch wants. If he doesn’t want to race like that, then we’ll race somewhere else.”
Regardless of who Sadler was driving for, Busch would have been smart to take a look at the tape before he started running his mouth. He took himself out and acted like Sadler had wronged him in some way. Sure, maybe Sadler could have backed off when Busch ran up the track on him for a second time, but after earlier contact I don’t blame him at all for holding his ground.
However, with all of that being said, Busch did claim that his spotter cleared him, and judging by the amount of Sadler’s front end that caught the right rear corner of Busch’s truck, it’s probably true. But that doesn’t give him a right to stay out on the track an extra lap just to spin the competitor he felt wronged by.
Ultimately though, I don’t expect anything more from this—at least not on Sadler’s part. The two do meet again in tonight’s Nationwide Series race, so there’s always a possibility for more to come of it. But with that being said, I’d like to think both drivers are smart enough to look at it as a Bristol thing and move on.
Start and Park Number Down at Bristol
In a refreshing change from last week’s VFW 200 that saw eight start and park teams at Michigan, there were only two start and park drivers this week—Mike Garvey and Brent Raymer, who ran a combined total of seven laps. But the bad part is that the two drivers who failed to make the field—Jennifer Jo Cobb and Norm Benning—each have run the full distance barring terminal damage to their trucks. In a nutshell, two spots were wasted on teams that wouldn’t even run a full ten laps of the 200 scheduled.
Buescher Scores 12th Top-10 Finish
James Buescher scored his 12th consecutive top-10 finish this season with a solid fourth-place effort. And despite having missed the race at Phoenix, he currently sits just seven points out of the championship lead in second. Though there are still many races left this season, it would be quite a story if Buescher were able to pull off the championship with a missed race on his resume.
Truck Rookie Report
No. of Rookies in the Race: 9 (add Ross Chastain, Josh Richards and a debuting Jeff Agnew)
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 3; Joey Coulter, finished sixth; Nelson Piquet, Jr., finished eighth; Parker Kligerman, finished tenth
Rookie Of The Race: Joey Coulter
“After qualifying so bad, we were worried about getting lapped really quick—being stuck back there behind slow trucks and your day is kind of done early. I just kind of kept rolling the top until it fanned out. That got us to mid-pack. There was a string of cautions as the race went on and different strategies played out. We were the last truck holding off on old tires—that was hard. Seems like rookie luck couldn’t get any worse when we were trying to do something right.” Cole Whitt, finished 12th
“It’s a shame for us—we had a good run going. We were going to stop one more time for more adjustments. We blew up. I just heard one big sound. It’s a shame, we were doing a great job here and just wanted to keep it up for the final laps. Something happened in the engine.” Miguel Paludo, finished 31st
Johnny Sauter expanded his points lead after a solid runner-up finish Wednesday night. He now leads James Buescher by seven points. Timothy Peters moved up a spot following his fourth top-5 finish in the last five races and now sits 15 points behind the leader. Austin Dillon dropped a spot to fourth after running out of gas on the final restart, and rookie Cole Whitt rounds out the top 5.
Joey Coulter moved up two spots after a sixth-place finish while Matt Crafton dropped another spot thanks to an unscheduled green flag pit stop that put him two laps down and left him to settle for a 21st-place finish. Parker Kligerman moved up a spot to eighth and holds just a one point lead over Ron Hornaday, Jr. who dropped to ninth. Todd Bodine rounds out the top 10, 72 points behind the leader.
Marks Joins ThorSport in Single Race Deal
Thursday afternoon, ThorSport Racing announced Justin Marks will join the team for the Atlanta 200 next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Marks, who made 12 starts with Turn One Racing earlier this season, will pilot the No. 98 Chevrolet with crew chief Dan Stillman atop the pit box.
“David Pepper [ThorSport Team Manager] and I have had history since 2007 when he spotted for me in ARCA. We’d always talked every year about doing something together and the opportunity presented itself this time,” Marks said. “GoPro made a decision at the halfway point of the season to concentrate on just a couple of races to round out the year and make the most of them, with one of those events being this opportunity with the No. 98 ThorSport Racing team.”
“I’m confident at the 1.5-mile tracks like Atlanta, so I’m focused on running as hard as we can. The goal for the race team is to take another step forward with the [No.] 98 guys and help them as much as possible to prepare for Dakoda’s [Armstrong] rookie of the year campaign next season.”
Dakoda Armstrong, who made his Truck Series debut behind the wheel of the No. 98 at Iowa, will attend the race to take notes and looks at Marks being in the truck as an advantage for the team he plans to run full time with next season.
“This opportunity will give my team an extra race and experience they need since I can only drive our scheduled seven races this season and stay committed to being a rookie for next year,” Armstrong said. “We’re fortunate to have Justin on board for Atlanta so the whole [No.] 98 team can run another race and hopefully gain extra points to get us closer to locked in at Daytona.”
“First off, I just want to thank the pit crew. They’re the ones that won this race tonight. They had a smokin’ pit stop on this Hunt Brothers Chevrolet. Gotta thank everyone from Rheem, Bad Boy Buggies, One Main Financial, Budweiser, Chevrolet, everybody who helps us on this truck. Three in a row, that’s pretty cool.” Race winner Kevin Harvick
“I’ve said it a million time, the points can change in a heartbeat. Could be me, could be (James) Buescher, could be (Timothy) Peters, could be anybody with this new system. It’s nice and it’s humbling. But tonight was about a major strategy with my team. Crew chief Joe Shear, Jr. just knew every lap on that fuel, and we were watching guys drop like flies. I was fighting our aero package and just trying to stay in there mid-race, but then I knew once we got clean air, we had a chance here. I’m so proud of the guys—we really busted tail to get this second place.” Johnny Sauter
“It was pretty interesting. About the tenth lap I lost the power steering so I’m a little tired. It was a great night with Valvoline on board again this year. Of course we have International Trucks, Monaco RVs and just great sponsors and great people to be involved with. We’ve had a tough year. A lot of mistakes that I’ve made—a couple runs that weren’t real good. We got some breaks at the end when guys ran out of gas. I hate it for Brendan (Gaughan). He had such a great run going in the South Point Casino Tundra, but we kept digging and got a third.” Todd Bodine
“It was eventful. I wish we could have got that fourth, but we just wore our right front out there. We couldn’t run the bottom—we could only run the top with our Crescent Hand Tools Tundra. Wrecked the primary in practice and the guys pulled this one out right here and the only two laps we had on the track, we qualified eighth. We look like your one-stop shop on pit road trying to throw some adjustments at it. The guys did a great job—not only here, but the guys back at the shop. We’ll carrry this momentum to Atlanta.” Timothy Peters, finished fifth
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First, I think Kyle made a bone headed move.
Johanna Long is so much more talented than Danica Patrick. And she is only 18 years old. She is somebody to keep an eye on.
Once again Kyle moved up expecting the other driver to give him the spot. When he didn’t Kyle got mad and went looking for revenge. Kyle better lose his sense of entitlement (like some other drivers) before it costs him more than a wrecked racer.