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: Chase Elliott took the checkered flag ahead of Chad Hackenbracht under caution to win Sunday afternoon’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Elliott took the lead in the final turn after spinning then-leader Ty Dillon to score his first career Truck Series win. Miguel Paludo, Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Ron Hornaday, Jr. rounded out the top 5.
Who Should Have Won: Chase Elliott. Elliott had a strong truck on Sunday afternoon and spent just three laps before racing to the top spot. With multiple drivers on varying pit strategies, the driver of the No. 94 Chevrolet dropped back as far as 15th through the mid point of the race, however he managed to work his way back into position to challenge Dillon for the lead. While it took dumping the leader to take the win, there’s little doubt that Elliott had a strong enough truck to complete that pass cleanly on the way to victory lane.
Elliott Wrecks Dillon to Win
In what you can only describe as an exciting couple of laps to close out the Truck Series inaugural visit to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott shared an impressive battle to the checkered flag on Sunday afternoon. But the victory wasn’t without controversy. Elliott dove deep into turn 10 on the white flag lap and sent Dillon spinning into the tire barrier, bringing out the fifth and final caution of the afternoon. In victory lane, Elliott explained what happened between the two drivers.
“We only have so many shots to win these things. I really hate to win them like that, I really do,” Elliott said. “That’s not how I race and that’s never been how I’ve raced before. I had a shot. I was up next to Ty and I knew he was going to try and chop me off. I tried to make up the difference. … Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get to victory lane.”
An emotional Ty Dillon was not at all pleased with the race winner’s move.
“He just doesn’t have any respect,” Dillon said of Elliott. “It was going to be an awesome points day for us, and I was racing hard, but man, you don’t just go through the grass and wreck somebody. Killed our truck. Killed our day. It’s just, here’s the point: You gotta be smarter than that when you run these races. You gotta earn respect”
Honestly, you can’t blame Ty Dillon for being upset. After all, he nearly had the race won despite his concerns that he was running out of gas with just two laps remaining. I may be in the minority when I say this, but I’m not all that impressed with a driver that has to dump a fellow competitor to get to victory lane. Say what you will about it—there’s nothing better than a little bump and run to loosen up the competition—it creates excitement. But to flat out dump someone, knowing full well what you were doing is a little disheartening. With all of that said, it will be quite interesting to see what happens between the pair if they find themselves racing together next Sunday at Iowa Speedway…
Papis, Skeen Tangle; Papis Gets Slapped
As the laps wound down Sunday afternoon, the action picked up and drivers were much more aggressive than they had been the entire day. Max Papis and Mike Skeen, who made his first career start, were no different. With Ty Dillon sitting against the tires on the final turn, Skeen’s truck went careening into the same tires a little further back in turn 10, clearly spinning off of Papis’ front bumper. It wasn’t the first time to two had made contact on the track, but it was the one that ended with both trucks significantly damaged.
Following quite a bit of gestures between both drivers on the cool down lap, things heated up once the pair got back to pit road. One of Skeen’s crew members immediately went after Papis on pit road, only to be taken down by a trio of NTS Motorsports team members, but it didn’t end there. Following his post-race interview explaining what happened, Skeen’s girlfriend approached Papis yelling and proceeded to slap him across the face."
According to ESPN’s Marty Smith, Skeen’s girlfriend slapped Papis hard enough to dislocate his jaw and leave his ears ringing long afterward.
“This crazy lady comes shouting at me, and I had no idea, didn’t even understand her, she just started shouting,” Papis said four hours after the altercation at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “And all the sudden, she took a full hand — and she slapped me so hard. I’m not kidding. My jaw got dislocated and my left ear is still ringing, big time.”
After being slapped, Papis looked stunned but didn’t react.
“What do you do? You don’t hit a lady. I was in disbelief. Complete disbelief,” he continued. “If she would’ve closed her hand it would have been a bad punch, because she hit me so freaking hard. I went to [Skeen] and said, ‘I guess we know who’s the man in the family here, because the guy didn’t even have the [guts] to talk.’”
Papis went on to say that he did approach Truck Series director Chad Little
“It needs to stay between the drivers,” Papis said. “I think NASCAR should do something about it. I don’t even like that [Skeen’s] team member pulled me out of the truck, much less this lady slapping me. Drivers can have arguments with each other — but it shouldn’t affect what other people do.”
Where do I start here? Clearly, Mike Skeen’s girlfriend was far from pleased with Papis, however after watching several replays, including the one from Papis’ in-truck camera, it’s clear to see that it was Skeen that drove across the nose of the No. 14 truck. So in other words, Skeen spun himself off of Papis’ front bumper. But if you put the blame for the wreck aside, it’s simply asinine for Skeen’s girlfriend to have gotten involved. Papis and Skeen should have settled the matter between themselves, regardless of how they handled it. Shame on the girlfriend for getting involved… no matter how angry she was after the checkered flag flew.
- Chase Elliott became the youngest driver to win in the Truck Series at the age of 17 years, nine months and four days. The prior record was held by Ryan Blaney, who won at Iowa Speedway last season at the age of 18 years, eight months and 15 days.
- Matt Crafton’s dream season continued at Mosport on Sunday. After starting 13th, Crafton ran outside the top 10 for much of the afternoon, but when the checkered flag flew and the dust settled, he headed out of Canada with a tenth-place finish. That run continues Crafton’s stretch of consecutive top-10 finishes, a count that now stands at 14.
- With everything that happened on the final lap Sunday afternoon, one story that Fox Sports 1 failed to cover with more than just a quick video was the post-race action between German Quiroga and James Buescher. Quiroga spun off of Ron Hornaday, Jr.‘s front bumper but assumed it was Buescher that sent him around. Clearly unhappy with the 15th-place finish he was credited with, Quiroga went after the defending champion while he was still in his truck and had to be held back by several NASCAR officials. It will be interesting to see what Quiroga has to say after he’s seen replays of the last-lap incident.
- With the Truck Series hitting a road course for the first time in 13 years, I approached Sunday afternoon’s race with quite a bit of excitement in hopes of what would come. Though I knew the excitement wouldn’t compare to the kind that Eldora brought in July, I was still hopeful. There were some decent side-by-side battles, however most of the race was spent in a single file line. But with that being said, the excitement actually was in the differing pit strategies and in the last few laps with Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott battling mightily for the win. I’m not completely convinced that road course racing is suited for the Truck Series, however I was impressed enough to ask NASCAR to continue to schedule the visit to Mosport—and perhaps even add one more road course. Can you imagine a companion weekend with the Cup Series at Watkins Glen?
Truck Rookie Report
No. of Rookies in the Race: 11 (add Chase Elliott, Chad Hackenbracht, Mike Skeen, Martin Roy, Derek White and Alex Guenette)
No. of Rookies to Finish in the Top 10: 3; Elliott, finished first; Hackenbracht, finished second; Wallace, Jr., finished fourth
Rookie of the Race: Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Note: Chase Elliott and Chad Hackenbracht are not declared for this year’s Rookie of the Year battle and as a result, are not eligible to win the Rookie of the Race award.
Biggest Winner: Though he didn’t gain any positions in the standings on Sunday afternoon, Matt Crafton walked away from one of the biggest wildcards that he and his No. 88 ThorSport team had circled on the schedule with a minimal hit. Having scored a tenth-place finish, thanks in part to several last-lap wrecks, Crafton lost just two points of his cushion over second-place James Buescher. With eight races remaining, the strength the No. 88 team continues to show has solidified Crafton as the driver to beat in this year’s championship battle. Assuming he can come out of Talladega in October mostly unscathed, it’s quite likely that Crafton will finally be able to celebrate a championship win in his 14th season in the Truck Series.
Biggest Loser: Rookie Jeb Burton has watched his deficit to leader Matt Crafton grow week after week, and Sunday was no exception. After starting 11th, Burton reported a loss of third gear on lap 18, forcing him to the garage area for a replacement transmission. When the driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet returned to the track 10 laps down, he was running lap times comparable to the top 5 trucks, but the damage had already been done. With no chance to gain ground on the competition, Burton was forced to settle for a 22nd-place finish, which dropped him to fourth in the championship standings, 65 markers behind Crafton.
Points Update: Matt Crafton maintained his position atop the standings again this week with his 14th top-10 finish in 14 races this year. He holds a 47 marker lead over James Buescher. Despite being wrecked out of the lead, Ty Dillon’s 17th-place result was still enough to move him up one spot to third. Jeb Burton, who dropped one spot, and Miguel Paludo, who jumped one position round out the top 5.
Timothy Peters dropped one position to sixth following an eighth-place finish, however he’s just two markers behind Paludo and seven behind Dillon in third. Ryan Blaney remains in seventh, followed by Brendan Gaughan. Darrell Wallace, Jr. jumped two spots on the strength of a career-best fourth-place result, and Johnny Sauter, who suffered yet another disappointing race, rounds out the top 10.
Up Next: The Camping World Truck Series heads to Iowa Speedway next Sunday afternoon for their second visit to the 0.875-mile oval. Last season, Ryan Blaney edged Ty Dillon by 0.168 seconds to score his first career victory in his third series start. The American Ethanol 200 Presented by Hy-Vee will be televised on live FOX Sports 1 beginning at 2:00 PM ET; it can also be heard on your local MRN affiliate or SiriusXM Channel 90.
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A good race overall, but I still don’t like one driver wrecking another driver to win, whether deliberate or not. However, I took a while to stop laughing when I read that Childress was “really upset” at Chase Elliott. My, my Richard, have we forgotten how someone who used to drive for you did that exact move numerous times to win, and how you called it hard racing, and he “just wanted to rattle his cage”. Aint’t karma a (adult female dog).
Now, sorry for bringing politics into the discussion, but I have to give a really loud shout out to Ron Fellows, or whoever it was, who picked the guy to sing the national anthems. He did a marvelous job on both anthems, and he didn’t give in to the politically correct crap that has taken Canada by storm, and sang our national anthem entirely IN ENGLISH! From one who is fed up with the Le Quebecois (5% of Canada) demanding the rest of the country that everything must be in French to appease them, a big Thank you!
I agree with Beth on this one. I wouldn’t be too excited about my win if I were Chase. He lost alot of respect by winning the way he did.
Why Nascar continues to allow this without penalty makes it hard to take them serious. It doesn’t take any racing talent at all to do what Chase did. It was not rubbing, this was a flat out punt into the wall. If you can’t pass someone without punting them, you either need to get more talent or settle for 2nd. I’m far from a Dillon fan, but punting someone for a win is a cheap shot move and the win should have been taken away.
chase might have gotten aggressive, but Ty did cut him off. If his nose wasnt already in there they wouldnt have made contact. Last lap of the race and somebody expects a driver to hit the brake? whatever, that kind of driving is what caused Indy car to go down the tubes. Oh and Skeen’s Girlfriend should have her pass pulled, let her watch races from the grandstand.
Was sitting there live in Turn 3. What an awesome weekend for Ontario, an awesome weekend for Mosport, and a really great pair of races (NCATS and CWTS.)
Dillon chopped Elliot off at Turn 8, which the announcers failed to mention; and he was sputtering in some turns due to fuel starvation. Elliot did what he had to, last turn, last lap. And he did it to a Childress car, which was hilarious irony and worked out just fine. The crowd (at least where I was sitting) went nuts.
And yeah, the Skeen incident was completely his fault, so I have no idea what his girlfriend was angry about.
Loved the race—bring ‘em back to us next year!