Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
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Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
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Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
Johnny Sauter Penalized For Fuel Cell Infraction At Kansas
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Thorsport Racing, along with former Truck Series point leader Johnny Sauter are reeling this Wednesday after a major penalty involving their No. 98 Toyota. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the team was fined $10,000, crew chief Joel Shear has been suspended for four races and 25 owner points were taken away as a result of a faulty fuel cell, confiscated during pre-race inspection at Kansas. Driver Sauter was also hit was a loss of 25 points, completely reshaping the championship Chase heading into the next race of the season at Charlotte May 17th.
According to NASCAR officials, the team violated multiple sections of the rulebook. The key ones involve Section 20B-16 and 20B-16.1B, regarding the proper size and functioning of fuel cells. “Once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified,” the rules say, “Modifications of any kind will not be permitted.” The 16.1B portion refers to black safety foam, with a minimum height of eight inches that must be used as a safety mechanism when putting together the fuel cell itself. By violating that rule, NASCAR is insinuating the team modified or enhanced the cell in some way by cutting back / replacing that foam.
Section 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing was also listed as a rules violation along with 12-4K, which gives NASCAR Officials the leeway to penalize teams when they feel previously legal equipment was modified, in any manner after being initially inspected.
Thorsport, as of yet has not said whether they plan to appeal. The penalties mean Matt Crafton becomes the new Truck Series point leader, by 13 over Jeb Burton while Sauter gets pushed back into a tie for second place.
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Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday April 5, 2005
Shane Hmiel, You Are a Punk
All the changes NASCAR has made over the years have challenged my loyalty to my favorite sport. But the one reason it is still my favorite is the fact that other sports nowadays are filled with punks. Allen Iverson is a talented basketball player but I would never root for him. Why? Because Mr. Iverson is a 100% certified PUNK. I could go on and on but you get the idea. But now NASCAR has a young gun in the Busch series that is raising PUNK-dom to an all time high level in the sport. Shane Hmiel has turned into a disgrace!
Oh sure the kid has talent but the same can be said of thousands of guys racing on the local short tracks that never get handed the opportunity Hmiel has gotten. Just for fun I would love to see Ricky Bilderback, the short track ace from Rockford Speedway, take on Shane Hmiel in a match race. Ricky is so good that back in 2001 track president Jack Deery announced a “bounty” of $500 for any driver that could beat Bilderback! Put these guys in equally prepared cars on a short track like Rockford and I would bet on Ricky Bilderback… and he wouldn’t have to wreck Hmiel to beat him.
Everyone knows the history of Shane Hmiel’s mysterious drug suspension after a race in Richmond. Any other driver would have been virtually banned from the sport for such an infraction. But having access to DEI motors thanks to his Dad, Shane Hmiel has been in high demand. Yes he can get the job done on the track but at what price? NASCAR has always been about respect. Drivers earned that respect from their fellow drivers on the way up the ladder. Buckshot Jones had a reputation of being a rough and sometimes out of control driver but he was never a punk. Has there been a race in any NASCAR series this year where Hmiel hasn’t ticked someone off with his actions?
This latest incident in Bristol by Shane Hmiel deserves a quick and harsh punishment by NASCAR! It was not so much wrecking Dale Jarrett but Hmiel’s punkish attitude after the fact. Just imagine if he had flipped the bird at Dale Jarrett while DJ was dressing him down for his actions. But no in true PUNK fashion Shane Hmiel waited until DJ’s back was turned and then gave him the one finger salute. When asked after the race about Jarrett’s promise that his actions were, “Going to cost him one day,” Hmiel then added insult to injury. “He’d better hurry up,” Hmiel said about 48-year-old Jarrett’s threat to get him later. “He doesn’t have much longer.”
Where is the respect for a NASCAR champion? Can you imagine what the employer of Hmiel’s Dad would have said about that if he were alive to have heard that? NASCAR better sit this kid for a good long time so he can think about what his punk attitude will do to this sport! But since his Dad is so well connected I doubt they will do much more than give him a fine.
Rules Review After Five Races
Five races are in the books and it is time to look back at how well NASCAR’s changes have worked so far. There were three major rules changes for this season so let’s take them one by one. Once again this is just one “FANS” opinion and I would hope you will jump in with your comments if you agree or disagree.
Qualifying Rules- Top 35 Get an Automatic Starting Spot
In the ideal world I would love to see the fastest 43 drivers race every week. But we have to face the reality that this is a sponsor and personality driven sport. Asking a company to shell out over $10 Million every season they better be assured they will see their car race on Sunday. Overall I think this rule has worked out pretty good. In a few races we even had the fastest 43 drivers race, which is something we seldom saw with the old provisional rules. If I was to suggest a change I would lower the number to 30 but even using NASCAR’s 35 I think this rule has worked better than our old provisional system.
Spoiler Height- This rule change making the spoilers smaller has not been uniform across the board in how it affected teams. The Dodge teams got approval of their new nose based on the old spoiler height. Losing some spoiler has left Dodge teams scrambling to find the right balance on their cars. Eventually they will figure it out but they started the 2005 season behind the Chevy and Ford teams. NASCAR has done the right thing by resisting making any adjustment to the rule so far this year and I do hope they will stick with the same rule on spoiler height all season.
Gear Ratios- This was probably the least talked about rule change but has had the biggest affect on racing so far this season. The idea was to take away some of the big money teams advantage on motor design by limiting how many RPMs they could pull using the new gear ratio rule to set the limits. This rule change has backfired on NASCAR a bit with some teams that were strong in the motor department in the past by pulling more RPMs lagging a bit behind. Meanwhile the two teams with the most money to throw at the motor departments, Roush-Yates and Hendricks have benefited the most. Again I hope NASCAR doesn’t make any changes since Evernham and Gibbs are already closing the gap.
NASCAR is always tinkering with the rules but this time overall I think they got the rule changes right. Now if they can only find a way to dumb down the aero on these cars we might get back to even better racing!
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I love the commentary on the qualifying rules. Sure, we complained about them, before we saw them in action. But overall, I agree that it seems to be working better so far than the old provisional rules. It also seems that competition has stepped up in quals, making it a little more exciting (as much as it can be for just one car, two laps).
Sure we still may not understand it totally (the Monday Busch race starting grid explanation went WAY over my head), but that’s half of NASCAR. Each time something was implemented, fans knocked it without understanding, but sometimes, just sometimes, NASCAR gets it right.
Shane probley is a punk as you call him but Dale’s walking around the track with the camera’s on him are a tad old too…I do think maybe due to Dale’s age and all Shane should have shown him respect..By getting out of the car and meeting him halfway instead of saluting him as he walked off.
Hey Dennis, check out Allen Iverson this year. playing great and acting good to.
Enjoy your Odds& Ends. Terry
That wreck and Shane’s ensuing reaction were more due to Jarret’s actions than Hmiel’s. While I like DJ, he provoked the response he got. Maybe Nascar will fine Hmiel in this climate of right-wing conservatism, but that shouldn’t get him the backhanded knee-jerk reaction from all the fans. He didn’t make those cars in front of DJ tangle. Didn’t Jarret spin someone out? I think so. Truex deserved what he got but should have been parked and fined as he made the Spencer mistake of announcing it on the radio. And I don’t hear anyone complaining about Waltrip when he took out somebody during the race. Maybe that’s because he can’t drive and belongs somewhere other than Cup!
The fact remains that the Cup drivers are ruining the Busch Series. And now with the Czars of Nascar talking about a “Chase” for the series, the Thieves/outlaws/millionaire drivers of the Cup world can come and ruin the true intention of the development Busch arena. Remember, 7 of the top ten finishers on Monday’s race were Buschwackers. And Hmiel’s right, DJ better hurry up, he is getting old!!!
I was laughing and cheering as DJ walked over to Shane’s car…it’s so refreshing to see drivers show an honest emotional response to an incident, and that’s why we love Bristol…plenty of high tempers abound. I knew DJ wasn’t walking over there to punch out a man sitting in his car…so did the officials, who just walked along with him, rather than trying to stop him. Why not let him voice his opinion?
Shane’s opinion (bird, AND post-race), however, smacked of a complete and utter disrespect for those who could help him in his move into the Cup series…he’s going to find out the hard way that he’s cutting off valuable resources for himself.
I agree Dennis; if Shane keeps on going the way he is, he’s going to find out that even all Daddy’s connections can’t buy him respect.
You were talking about connections and how you have to be more than an average driver to get a seat regardless of your name…I don’t deny that Hmiel has talent, but he has no idea what to do with it…he’s either up front or in the wall, he’s rarely consistent. Even though he is a good driver, most teams wouldn’t put up with his crap if it wasn’t for the fact that apparently signing Hmiel gaurantees you DEI support.
And I would like you to clarify something, when you talk about Waltrip and Wallace getting their rides because of their names, you do agree that they have earned them and have talent, right?
Like you said, he has talent. Didn’t you see the way he ran Bobby Hamilton into that wall last year in the truck race? As to your last question, K.Wallace, M.Wallace and M.Waltrip are just average. But I would say that Waltrip is actually below average because of the quality of the organization for which he drives. Since joining DEI in ‘01, his average start is 18.4, average finish 20.6. You tell me that’s not average? And only 4 wins on restrictor plate tracks solely due to DEI’s technological advantage at those tracks. And who gave Waltrip his best start last year in the Busch series? Hmiel when he qualified 3rd for Waltrip at Nazareth. Yes, Mikey is average and got the ride because of his name, just like he gets the sponsors that way. Riding the coattails of his brother’s accomplishments. Granted, being the 2-time winner of the Daytona 500 has helped him. But if he wasn’t with DEI it would be hard to believe he would have even gotten those wins.
I watched the race again this morning. Hmiel got into the back of DJ, but then never let off! It was as deliberate of a spin as I’ve seen in a long time.
Oh, and did everyone forget about the other two cars that Hmiel ‘pushed’ out of the way in order to get behind DJ in the first place!
Even the announcers kept mentioning all the cars that Shane put the bump to in the LAST 20 LAPS!
Same kind of incident. Wreck up ahead. Someone checked in front of Waltrip and he hit them hard. Where’s his criticism?
You make a very good point, however I also believe if the Cup Drivers left the circut completly NASCAR would have a hard time filling out the field. “43 cars would probably become 35 or less.” Next thing you know it will look like the the Indy Racing League. Need I say more. You see Bush as a development series, I see it as entertainment. Now looking at your name it would seem you are a very strong Hmiel supporter. At first I too wanted to see him succeed but now considering his actions with DJ, I just like to see him wreck because at this point he doens’t deserve to win. Maybe someday but not now.
Hmiel haters will be Hmiel haters. Just like those that don’t like other drivers. Hmiel will get past it. The question is, if and when Jarret retaliates, will that make everyone happy and is it right? Bottom line, if anyone is happy because someone gets intentionally wrecked for any reason then they’re not a race fan. You should be at the demolition derby. If anyone thinks Hmiel wrecked DJ purposefully, then they’re not being realistic. They’re just looking for someone to hate. If one wants to see what it looks like to see someone get spun intentionally, just reverse the tape till you see Truex spin Bodine. And then go back some more and tell me Bodine intentionally ran Truex into the wall. Listen to what Truex said on the radio. Now that’s respecting a veteran driver.
Just like Bodine in Truex’s mind, Hmiel does not get the benefit of the doubt. He’s in the wrong, regardless of what really happened, put there by all the Shane shamers. Whatever.
It seems like this would be a more appropriate place for this type of debate. Thanks!
Here at Frontstretch we do allow EVERYONE to share their opinions with the fans. How have we censored you? I happen to disagree with you but I did respond via e-mail which shows, I hope, that we value your participation in the debate!
It appeared to me DJ was not happy about Hmiel’s driving from more than one incident. If anyone listens to DJ on the scanner or follows him – it takes more than a smack to get him fired up. He was upset at Hmiel for more than that. I am thinking he saw him on the track all day doing things.
I think Hmiel has a hell of a lot of talent but needs more lap time. The races in BGN are longer than he needs at this time. A couple years in the trucks would do him good. He is definately not ready to move to Cup. A driver can not drive as Shane does in Cup. Those races demand car control and driver control. He lacks that at this time. Maybe he is in too good of equipment. Give him Morgan’s car for a few weeks and make him realize that he has to first finish. ( BTW – I mean no disrepsect to Morgan, everyone knows he is underfunded.)
It is one thing to be an aggressive driver, but it is another to be a jackass and a druggie in the process. As hard as NASCAR and the sponsors work at projecting a clean cut image, it makes me wonder why they dont cut his garage pass in half and keep him away from a race car.
Thanks for your cooperation and for visiting The Frontstretch!
I can’t wait for him to make to Cup, then he can have a whole new fan base to tick off.
Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.