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.
Racing to the Point · Brett Poirier · Tuesday February 26, 2013
Right after Danica Patrick posted a lap of 196.434 mph to sit on the pole for the Daytona 500, a team in the Frontstretch fantasy league popped up named, “DanicasBackstretchTurboButton.”
I laughed — less because of how funny the name was, and more because I couldn’t believe somebody had even taken a shot at Patrick for winning the pole. That was only the beginning. Leading up to the 500, a story that a number of media outlets put out was whether or not Danica had an unfair advantage because of her weight.
So to win the pole at Daytona — a track the driver just flat-foots — she must’ve either had a turbo boost, probably part of some NASCAR conspiracy, or her car must’ve been a lot lighter than the competition?
This criticism got me thinking. Maybe NASCAR gave her a different size restrictor plate, maybe she is on Adderall, maybe there was a toxic chemical spill and she developed some type of super power that wills the car to move faster.
In any case, I’ve got to get to the bottom of it because there is no way a woman could drive a qualifying lap at Daytona as fast as a man, right?
Patrick has been put through the wringer in recent years for crashing cars, poorly executing intentional wrecks of other drivers (Landon Cassill), parking cars that still ran (Saturday’s Nationwide race) and earning just underwhelming results. But if we learned anything in the last nine days, she’s even going to hear it when achieving the smallest amount of success — and the Daytona pole is big media, but small potatoes compared to a trip to Victory Lane.
Meanwhile, if Patrick runs in the back, crashes or fails to switch ignitions, as she was accused of Saturday in the Nationwide Series it’s easy to ridicule her for being a sub-par driver. If she starts winning poles, or out-racing some of the big names in the sport, like she did at Daytona, then the conspiracy theories will come out of the woodwork.
She can’t win.
Let’s analyze the weight issue for a second. Patrick supposedly had an unfair advantage over NASCAR behemoths and former sumo wrestlers i.e. Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, etc. Patrick’s representatives say she weighs in at 110 pounds, about 20 to 40 pounds less then the aforementioned men.
“What’s a shame is everyone is pointing at Danica going, ‘Oh, she’s 40 pounds light,’” NASCAR Sprint Cup series director John Darby told ESPN. “But what about Mark Martin (125 pounds)? … There’s half of the field that doesn’t weigh more than horse jockeys anymore.”
Darby added, “When you’re talking about Martinsville, yeah, you can talk about an advantage to being lighter. Here, most of the cars are heavier than what they should be anyway. But once you get a little girl that kicks everybody’s ass, everyone is (questioning it).”
And Darby nailed it, that’s really what it comes down to — a much bigger issue. In 2013, many people still can’t get over a woman having success at the top of a sport against men. How many women really get the chance? Unlike football and basketball, etc., the car is the great equalizer in racing. If a woman is in good shape, and has the ability behind the wheel, she can compete against the men. Well, that’s as long as she can deal with all of the crap that comes with it — ignorant team members in the garage (how else would the weight story come to light?) and ignorant fans in the stands ready to bash every accomplishment.
Patrick isn’t the first woman to come along with driving ability. NASCAR has seen quite a few over the years, but most vanished quicker than a fart in the wind, or never had enough on-track success for anyone to care. Before Patrick, Janet Guthrie and Louise Smith were the only two women to make double-digit starts in the Cup Series. Many other women have attempted a full-time schedule, only to race in one or a handful.
Patrick is here to stay, though, and now a fan base that really hasn’t had to accept women in Cup racing has to deal with it.
Danica isn’t exactly Jackie Robinson, but she is a trailblazer of sorts. Fans aren’t throwing rocks at her car from the stands — at least, not yet (although, someone did throw a shoe on the track last year when she was leading the Nationwide race at Montreal.) She does, however, have a tall mountain to climb with a cold wind in her face.
On Sunday, she was up to the task. She became the first woman to lead a Sprint Cup race in 64 years and had the highest finish (eighth) ever for a woman in the Daytona 500. But one run isn’t going to quiet her critics (at least one will say it must’ve been the turbo button on the backstretch.)
And, unfortunately, she might not be able to quiet them for some time. Outside of the superspeedways, it is going to be a tough road for Patrick in Cup this season. She is yet to show she can race for top-20 finishes consistently at short or intermediate tracks, and hasn’t raced a Cup car at most venues. The struggles will come. So, fans will get plenty of chances to bash her, and as long as she’s a backmarker they won’t really have to deal with the larger issue at play — much like they didn’t with the women who came before her. After all, when you believe someone doesn’t belong, it’s much easier to point and laugh at his or her failures than it is to recognize the successes and accept him or her as an equal.
It’s when Danica figures this NASCAR thing out — and it may not be for a few years, if ever — that things will get really interesting. There are only so many conspiracy theories out there, and she has shown already that she won’t be dragged down — not even when people suggest the most ridiculous things, such as the backstretch turbo button.
The whole concept sounds like something from “Back to the Future” to me. If only Danica could sit in her silver DeLorean and exclaim, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
Then she could speed up, hit her backstretch turbo button, and bring a garage area and a fan base that is behind the times with her into the 21st century.
©2000 - 2008 Brett Poirier and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
It’s not a hate for Danica or for a woman in Nascar, it is a hate of the hype on the part of Nascar and Fox to garner ratings. There was a great piece linked on Jaski yesterday about how the IRL drivers had enough of the All Danica all the time hype back in 2005 and started to speak out about the fawning from the media and sanctioning body that took away exposure to the rest of the IRL racing drivers. I see the same thing this year in Nascar, All Danica All the Time.
I agree with the previous post. I think that the fans are sick of her being forced down our throats.
Well, it’s easy to see that Brett has been forced to drink the sanctioning body’s Kool-aid.
It could just as easily be said that NASCAR and the media have a bias against any other female driver except Danica. Johanna Long is a driver that has actually had to race in less than top tier equipment yet gets no respect from you guys. Whereas Danica received top notch Andretti-Green IRL stuff, JR Motorsports in Nationwide and now Tony’s stuff yet has almost nothing to show for all that she’s been given, yes, given, not earned. Yet the fawning continues and it’s not going to end anytime soon, so more fans will be chased away and NASCAR won’t understand why.
As Harvick intimated, maybe you guys ought to stick to the TMZ type stuff as that seems to be what you’re best at.
Long-time nascar fans know that there are LOTS of great drivers who have tried very hard to get a great ride. And those drivers have been passed over because of Danica’s sex appeal.
There are plenty of drivers who have done more in a shorter amount of time than what Danica has done.
The pushback on Patrick is similar to what would happen if any of the ‘funded’ drivers bought themselves a top ride and started getting hyped on TV as the second coming of something. Fans want drivers to have earned their ride and the attention they receive, and we don’t see that having happened with Patrick.
It isn’t that Patrick doesn’t have some talent, but she hasn’t shown that her talent is equal to the combination of car and exposure she gets.
Kudos to the previous statements. I can’t say it any better. SICK, SICK, SICK.
You can like the person and hate the hype. She won the pole, not the race. She deserved the spotlight during speedweeks, but not the entire stage show.
Patrick won one Indycar race in 116 starts with no Indy 500 wins. Unimpressive. She finished 10th in the Nationwide series last year… out of 13 drivers that started all 33 races. Unimpressive.
I’m sorry, but Danica Patrick hasn’t proved herself worthy of the constant media attention she gets. Unless you count her love life.
Poor article there Brett Poirier. Lots of strawman arguments.
Danica is a symptom of the dying body & soul of Nascar. All she is, is a loud distraction away from the exodus of fan and drop in attendance. Nobody cares about her the same way nobody cares about Scott Speed. Gender has nothing to do with it. The problem is that desperate-for-new-demographics coverage of Danica comes at the further expense of covering the actual race.
Nascar is dying. The economics are broken. The manufacturers don’t see the point. The drivers are company men.
We’ve had enough. Stop trying to paint that with the brush of sexism.
She had almost made a believer out of me by staying in the top 10 all day but when she was interviewed after the race I remembered why I really don’t like her. She acted like a spoiled brat. The point of her interview was that she didn’t do as well as she should have because no one would help her….Maybe she knew she had a little something extra under the hood and she was supposed to win but she was mighty ungrateful. She is not a class act and therefore won’t generate much support from the old school Nascar fan. She should watch Mark Martins interview at least a hundred times and she if she can learn something about how lucky she is to even have been in the race.
Her being a woman isn’t an issue. It’s the fact that she gets fawned over for less than average finishes in way above average equipment. For instance, I damn near muted the 500 because Jaws wouldn’t shut up about how friggin’ awesome she is!
You know who should be in that 10 car? Regan Smith. He has a great opportunity in the 7 in NW, but he’s a Cup level driver, as he showed in the 88 for two races and could really do that SHR team proud. But it goes to Danica beacause some people think she’s pretty hot.
I hope she does well, because it’s great exposure for the sport, but I wish she would put up some results to back up the media attention.
Danica is an OK driver that just happens to be female and better than average looking. If she was ugly, she would not have a Cup ride this year. Can anyone seriously argue that?
I think we will quickly see that she hasn’t earned her ride in the Cup series after a few non-plate races (in which anyone can do well if they don’t get caught up in a wreck). And I highly doubt that Stenthouse Jr. will ever be even close to not being Rookie of the Year.
Danica has yet to prove herself as serious NASCAR driver… at any level. She has been driving the top of the line cars and hasn’t been racking up wins, not even top 5’s.
I would really like to see Jennifer Joe Cobb compete in the same quality rides that Danica has had. I think that she could be a serious contender.
Most of you are right in that she didn’t deserve to move up the NASCAR ladder so fast…but now she’s here. Are we going to hold a grudge against her forever or are we actually going to give her a chance to prove herself? I’m tired of the hype surrounding her, but I’m sure she is too.
Yet nobody complains when it’s ALL Dale, Jr. all of the time, even when he isn’t doing anything. I would like to add that there are MANY male drivers that can’t consistently run in the top 20 every week either – but nobody says anything about that.
You completely missed the point to be quite honest. The subtitle says it all: “Brett Poirier on why racing’s first female struggles to be first in the hearts of hardcore NASCAR fans.”
She is not the first female driver in the sport. It is the messiah depiction writers like yourself give that makes Danica a turn off for fans. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman. If she earns success as a driver, then that is wonderful – she earned a title as a great driver. But the messiah depiction needs to be balanced back into reality.
LOL Robin, you should view some other NASCAR message boards (especially from a few years ago), your Dale Jr. observations might change.
The issue is not the fact that Danica is a female. The fact is that Danica’s accomplishments are not worthy of all of the attention that she is getting.
As others have mentioned previously, there are several other female drivers in NASCAR. The only difference is that they have not gotten the chance to have top-flight equipment like Danica. If they did get that opportunity, I fully believe that they would be serious contenders and NASCAR fans would fully support them.
I fully believe that Danica is only getting the attention due to her looks. I love when she talks about wanting to be taken seriously, but then you see her in a bikini in a Go Daddy ad.
As has been previously mentioned, I would like to see just one race where Johanna Long and Jennifer Joe Cobb are put in the same level of equipment as Danica Patrick has. Especially Johanna! Bet a lot of eyes that seem to have blinders on would be opened wide. And it wouldn’t be in Danica’s favour.
Silly article, many of the fans already HAVE a favorit driver. Very good points made by the posters. Robin, Dale Jr doesn’t get enough coverage? Really? Obviously you haven’t listend to DW when he’s fawning over Junebug! Danica ran a smart race on Sunday, but the media hype for the past several years has made it difficult for me to become a fan. Plus, I’ve been watching this sport for years and already HAVE a favorite driver – I’m not going to jump on the Danica bandwagon simply because we share the same gender. I’m watching Johanna and Jennifer Jo’s progess with a lot more interest since they are having to work with a lot less $ and equipment for their racing.
Robin, my apologies, I read your post wrong!
Read Robin’s post because she gets it.
Well the only good thing about Danica mania is we don’t have to listen to DW drooling on nonstop about Kyle Busch.
The #1 pit stall, and with the top 10 ten position drivers not wanting to pass each other during the race, all Danica had to do for a top 10 finish was to stay in line. Driving the best equipment in Na$crap, she whipped up on hard charging 9th and 10th place drivers, Michael McDowell and JJ Yely, who were driving start and park equipment to finish 8th.
Interesting that Pastrana doesn’t suffer the same scrutiny for having a top ride with not much credentials to justify it. Is it because he’s a man? ESPN fawns all over him as they did on Saturday. So why the double standard?
didn’t like her in irl, don’t like the princess, in nascar! she has a brash personialty.johanna long can drive circles around her! most of the fans are so sick of hearing d.w-mikey-an larry, we mute the sound! nascar is slowley dying!