NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday April 5, 2005
Shane Hmiel, You Are a Punk
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
Qualifying Rules- Top 35 Get an Automatic Starting Spot
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!
©2000 - 2008 Dennis Michelsen and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
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.
i’m glad to see someone other than me noticed the bird flying after that accident,,what i don’t understand is why he’s not getting a fine like jr did when he accidently let a swear loose,,this kid did it on purpose!! nascar should do something i agree
Maybe Shane should talk to Kurt. Kurt’s smart mouth made him a villian and Jimmy Spencer a hero. I believe DJ is much more liked and respected than Jimmy so Shane better watch out. Hope he gets as many boos as Kurt next week. If I were Shanes dad, I wouldn’t be waiting for NASCAR to do something. He’s already have a smack up side the head. At least I have a new driver to root against.
The sad part is that Shane is the “proclaimed” replacement for Michael in the 15 Napa Chevy. his It’s really hard for me to understand how Napa could feel that Shane would represent their company better than Michael. Yes he’s a “young gun” but do you really want a loose cannon???? I for one am far more likely to buy a product from a store that has Michael as their spokesperson….. than a punk like Shane….go figure….
Shane has proven that even though the drugs may not still be in his urine, they are still in his brain. Every race this kid is involved in he hits someone, then hides behind his daddy’s name. He messed up this time though because Mr. Jarrett has as much or more respect as Daddy Hmiel does in the garage area. Shane, I’ll be sure and laugh about every DNF you have over the rest of your hopefully brief career.
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
You gotta be kiddin’ me!!
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!!!
Sure Shane didn’t cause them to check up in front of DJ, neither did DJ…but there’s a difference between accidental contact because cars are checking up and what Shane did…after punting aside 2 other drivers in the laps preceeding getting to DJ, he not only got into DJ’s left rear corner, but instead of turning and driving under him, he appeared to keep right on driving through DJ, almost on purpose.
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.
DJ help Hmiel to move up? Are you serious? None of those oldtimers are going to help the young guys. Yeah, they’re gonna help the young guys by showing them how to get their jobs. Be real! If they wanted to help they’d stay out of the Busch series and go the way of Martin, Elliott, T.Labonte and Wallace. And as far as respect, where was DJ’s respect to Hmiel. Its Bristol! Things happen. As far as connections, it sure got Jr. far but didn’t help Kerry one bit. And connections put M.Waltrip and K.Wallace in seats. Maybe its just that others don’t respect him. And why not the same verdict on others like Harvick and Stewart. Truex sure didn’t have any respect for Bodine yet there isn’t the crush of criticism for Jr’s buddy. Its not daddy’s connections because if Hmiel was an average driver, he wouldn’t have a seat. Oh, that’s right, this is a biased forum. I forgot. Look at the tape again. DJ checked up. Hmiel got into the back of him but checked up also, as evidenced by the fact that he didn’t lift Jarret’s rear end. Hmiel dove to the inside, both to pass, by taking advantage of the situation and to avoid the wrecking lapped cars in the upper groove. Jarret, to avoid the lapped cars, went low also but Hmiel’s nose was already there. Look at the tape. Did all of you have the same verdicts for Harvick and Stewart in the past? Or Jr? Most likely not. Say what you like, Nascar will not pull a very talented driver such as Hmiel, and all the condescension won’t get him out of a seat. Face it, its racing. Its Bristol. And Nascar loves feuds and controversy. Will Jarret get the same treatment as Hmiel if he spins Shane out later in the season? Probably not. Should he if that does happen, absolutely! Step on it Jarret, ‘cause as Hmiel said, “He said that he was going to get me and all that stuff. He better hurry up. He ain’t got much longer.”
hmielybug….You must be a nascar wanna be fan. You don’t seem to know what your talking about? Cup drivers staying out of the busch series? Martin and Rusty both have raced the busch series recently. And why not the same verdict for Harvick and Stewart? Maybe last week was the first race you’ve ever watched. But you may recall Harvick was suspended for one race for rough driving. And stewart had to take anger mangment classes. Also of course Jarrets car didn’t lift off the ground that happens when you hit a car square in the back. Shane hit Jarrets left rear corner so why would the car lift? You make alot of points,but none of them make sence…LOL…you probably think they put air in the tires don’t you? Maybe when Shane wins three daytona 500’s he’ll have the guts to give Dale the finger to his face.
I was surprised to see you write about Rockford Speedway’s Ricky Bilderback. It’s was nice to see someone from my local track get noticed. My nephew raced against Ricky and even had the championship few years back. How did you come to know about Rockford Speedway?
That’s right. Just a wanna be fan. Did just start last week. As a matter of fact, I was wondering why they don’t just put fix-a-flat in the tires. And please tell me, who is Hmiel’s dad that everyone thinks he’s getting a free ride? And 3 Daytona’s or none, why is it so respectable to yell and threaten someone while they’re strapped in a car? No doubt Hmiel should have reflected before acting. But not because of who he was involved with. Confucius says: When in a bind and going nowhere, its best not to share your bird, thus further showing the reality of that bind. And lets get one thing straight. The difference between rough driving and intentionally spinning someone is marginal at best. Who knows why Stewart was roughly driving Kahne into the wall last year? And his ager management class was an off track penalty. The photographer, remember. Harvick was parked for intentionally spinning someone in a truck race at Martinsville. There is no evidence that Hmiel was gunning for Jarret “a la” Truex vs. Bodine. He was moving quite a few cars out of the way, not wrecking them. It was obvious that Hmiel was faster and was just trying to help DJ retire to a more suitable environment for someone so aged. DJ did look hot though! Hmiel just wanted DJ to know that if its too hot, get off the track!!! LOL to you too!!!
Hmielybug, I just have to ask, how old are you and how long have you been a NASCAR “fan”?
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?
Nikki, if you want to talk about someone being in the wall, you have to be refering to M.Waltrip. As for K.Wallace, and M.Wallace, they’re average drivers. They’re not Earnhardt, Rusty, D.Waltrip, the Allisons, Baker, Yarborough or the like. Do you know what riding the edge is, Nikki? Hmiel pushes his car constantly. He’s always riding that line of fast and out of control. Nothing against the Wallce brothers, but give me a break. They’re not Rusty. And I do agree, Hmiel does use that DEI support. But then so does Jr. and so does M. Waltrip, and everyone else that has ties to any organization. What, should Jr. leave DEI? And some teams have DEI support. If they ask Hmiel to drive, do you think that’s a conflict of interest?
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.
And by the way, I have this nickname I fondly gave to Mr. M.Waltrip. It actually goes between his first and last name. When you say all three it pretty much portrays his driving. “Tayka” Smiles to all!!!
You are correct, as good as they are, Kenny and Mike Wallace are not Earnhardt, Rusty, D.Waltrip, the Allisons, Baker, Yarborough. Neither is Shane Hmiel. And he never will be!
Now how do you know that he won’t be that good? Come on now Nostradamus. He won’t always be condescended upon by others just ‘cause of one racing incident. All he needs to learn is to keep his car in better condition throughout the race. And watch out for those elderly drivers, they can be dangerous. But all kidding aside, Hmiel will learn and move forward. And when he gets to Cup, he can race the truck. As that’s what it seems DJ is driving sometimes. A big, brown, slow truck. If they were to ask Hmiel, “What can brown do for you?” he’d probably reply ‘Get outta the way, your messin’ up my paint job, my paycheck, my points, and my daddy’s reputation!!!
you still think they put air in the tires don’t you hmielybug?
First of all, Dennis is right. Shane is a punk.
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!
Absolutely, fgarc22!! But I still think it should be Fix-a-flat or maybe Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. And how about letting them add 2 wheels to the right side of the car about half way up the door which are perpendicular to the existing right side tires. That way they could lean on the wall as they go around. What do you think? Could work.
I’m getting a weird vibe in here that there are some of you who don’t particularly care for Shane. Is that a correct impulse? And was it that one incident and the way he put the bumper to Ol’DJ or do y’all just not like him?
hmielybug, you really are off on this argument. If the Bushwackers go home as you suggest, so do the fans. I do not know if you see the purses paid out to the Bush drivers each week but the tenth place finisher usually gets ten grand which probably doesn’t pay for the tires used during the weekend. Take away the Bush wackers and the purse will be even less. BB6, you comment is right on the money. Also if you notice Hmiel almost never finishes a race. He can put the peddle to the medal but in the end he has no real racing talent. You have to finish races to be a winner! Finally one of the announcers said after the incident with DJ that Hmiel might be gaining spots on the track but he is loosing respect. What could be worst than that for a driver?
Ah yes Jeff, look more closely. You are correct that there was a spin. But Hmiel punches the gas after DJ is already starting to spin to the left in front of the 32. And while Hmiel did get into the back, listen to the throttle from inside Hmiel’s car. Another thing, just after Hmiel gets into the back of DJ, DJ makes contact with the two cars on his right and moves down the track to his left. By that time Hmiel has already started to go under him and has his nose there. That’s what made DJ spin. Right front fender to left rear fender usually create a spin. So Hmiel put the pedal to the metal and drove through the ensuing accident, like many other drivers do when surrounded by debris on the track late in a race. Besides, Hmiel was racing for points, Jarret was, as he would probably say himself, playing with the kids. So one of the kids doesn’t let the adults push him around anymore. Question is, who’s scared of who?
I race sports cars and have had my sponsor for eight years. If I acted as Shane has over the past few years, I would not be in racing today. When racing, you need to be looking way beyond the hood of your car. Several people stated that DJ checked up. Well, if Shane was paying attention, he would have anticipated the need to let up and use his brake pedal as well, but he didn’t. His actions and words later show not just disrespect to DJ, his sponsors, his fans, but all of racing. It shows a driver that lack maturity, character, and most importantly in this sport, marketability. Shane is an average driver in very good equipment. What Shane needs most is to grow up, because Shane, you are no longer 12 years old!!
Come on Richard, we all know that the Busch series is a development series. True race fans will always be there. If all one follows is a particular driver, and that driver doesn’t race in the Busch, then no, he wont’ go for the race. But we all know that the purse doesn’t make or break a team. Its sponsorship. That’s why a car, wrecked on the first lap, will get back on the track and make laps. A few positions may be gained as well as a little more money, but usually that doesn’t cover the cost of just getting to that one race, so that argument is a little weak. Its sponsorship not the purse. And more and more, its the multi car operations taking over. Thank goodness some of them actually put air in the tires and race development drivers. The 7 Cup drivers that finished in the top ten of the Bristol Busch race should really feel good that they beat the development drivers. In fact, that should be the case at all Nascar Weekly Racing Series tracks. The Late model drivers should race in all the lower series and take that purse money just ‘cause they have the resources and more advanced skill level. Right!!! Next thing you know the Red Sox will be playing Tee Ball at a park near you.
And Frank, that’s a good point to look ahead. Did you see what Waltrip did when he ran into the back of whoever it was he hit.
Same kind of incident. Wreck up ahead. Someone checked in front of Waltrip and he hit them hard. Where’s his criticism?
you were right on in your email and i’m glad nascar did it,,maybe after this epsode they should retest him?
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.
I am a Hmiel supporter. I do not have a problem with the penalty or the fine. But I will say this about that incident, prove to me that Hmiel was the sole cause of the accident and that he intentionally wrecked DJ and I’ll concede that he was wrong. Other than that, you guys are just hating on Hmiel. Get real. Who didn’t get hit and do the hitting in either race? I’m just sticking up for Hmiel because the concensus is to label him as a wreck-to-win, got here with no talent driver. Everyone can have thier opinions about the situation but until you’re in that seat with DJ pointing and yelling at you like you’re a kid, in front of everyone under a red flag for a racing accident, I can’t blame him for his reaction. And it was just that. A reaction to an accident. The Bump and Run are part of Bristol and all other tracks in Nascar. Rubbin’s racin’. If one looks at the incar shot as DJ is talking to Hmiel, Hmiel is not disrespecting DJ. He’s got his side of the story. But at the end, DJ said he’s gonna get Hmiel and points his finger at him. Where’s the mutual respect in that?
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.
Come on guys its Bristol! Shane has known Dale all of his life,And has plenty of respect for him.It was simply the heat of the moment.If shane had spun Jeff Gordon,or Jimmy Johnson we would still be laughing.Im a fan of both drivers,but lets not forget Dale spun Paul Menard shortly before all this happend.Also remember Shane was the fastest car on the track allday.Must have been pretty aggravating.Oh well it’s Bristol.
Since this has gone beyond simple comments about this article, I would like to suggest that everyone who is still interesting in continuing this conversation start debating the topic on the message board. You can access it by copying and pasting the following link: http://www.frontstretch.com/forum/index.php
It seems like this would be a more appropriate place for this type of debate. Thanks!
Unfortunately Hmiel created for himself his own bad reputation. Now he is going to have to live with what he created. The announcers prior to the DJ incident mentioned that Hmiel was getting very agressive so when he hit Dale he only brought more of the focus upon himself. Park him!!!! Who cares? With the exception of a few of you posting here no one does. When you have a golden spoon placed in your mouth you should not spit it out because you think you are entitled to more. Shane, go pump gas for a living! Maybe than you will appreciate what you had and threw away.
IF THIS IS TRUE THAT HMIEL IS GOING TO REPLACE MICHAEL WALTRIP IN THE 15 CAR I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER NAPA PART AND WILL DO ALL I CAN TO DISGRACE NAPA PARTS TO EVERYONE. IF ENOUGH OF US DO THAT IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO NAPA. THIS PUNK IS NOT WHAT A SPONSOR NEEDS WITH HIS DRUGS AND SMARTA** ATTUIDE. WAKE UP NAPA AND SOME OF YOU OTHER SPONSORS. BRING BACK WARD BURTON
people like smellybug or whatever the name is are what’s ruining nascar. i used to love going to races, but now it is like going to a punk rock concert. guess i’m an old timer but i remember when you were laughed at for being a nascar fan, and now everybody is jumping on the band wagon! as for the hmiel and jarrett fued, i would love to punch out the little punk! jarrett is one of the most friendly and respected drivers on the circuit, and he doesn’t lose his cool over nothing. if all you have to do is knock people out of the way to win races, chances are a lot of us could go out there and compete. with these young punks today, there is no driving etiquette. drivers used to respect one another and race a clean race. not so anymore. what’s up with the drug screen anyway? the powers that be sure swept that one under the rug. and how about scott wimmer? dui and leaving the scene? no suspension? great image we have today in nascar. drivers being allowed to race after dui’s and drugs in their system, liquor and beer ads on the sides of the cars. infantile egomaniacs just out of high school and being put behind the wheel of an 800 horsepower stock car? for me, i’d pay money to beat shane hmiel senseless and make him beg me to stop. come back when you grow up kid, and the same for you too smellybug, or whatever your name is.
You know, I just stumbled on this sight today for the first time. Bummer people are so uptight about a racing incident. Its good that everyone here knows the truth, especially you Dennis. I’m sure if we all thought like you the world would be a better place. Yeah Dennis. You are exactly the reason things are the changing. If it ain’t your way you just as soon beat someone up. If someone doesn’t think like you, kill ‘em right? I guess if you did beat someone senseless you wouldn’t have to watch them race and beat the other has beens. You obviously don’t respect anyone or thier opinions. Do you think its your Nascar? You remind me of yesterday: old, useless, bitter, and better off gone. I’m sure if it was your way there’d be no diversity program in Nascar or in here either. Better off just like it was, right Dennis? Excuse me, I meant Dictator Dennis!
Dictator Dennis?? Hmmmmm
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!
Ooops maybe that was meant for the other Dennis…at any rate folks please move the discussion to the message board. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch and come back again real soon now..ya hear
I am a NASCAR fan first and then a DJ fan. I go to Bristol and enjoy the short track racing. The whole race appeared to be over aggressive from turn 1 lap 1. NASCAR could have sat many people out for “rough driving”.
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.)
Yo NAPA! Dump MW for Shane lakabrain? ARE YOU NUTS! Do that and I will drive 30 miles out of the way to patronize Advanced or Federated.
Between his erratic driving, illegal drug use and his punk behavior at Bristol, what company in it’s right mind would sponsor Hmeil? OF course, his current sponsor uses Dale Jr. as the spokesman, so maybe Win fuel is not worried about how marketable their driver is.
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.
All aside, Hmiel is a pink. BUT DJ, did go to his car, so DJ provoked the finger. Cause and effect? I don’t know. Just a thought. But Hmiel is an idiot and all the above reasons are why.
Sure GOKARTIN. He’s a druggie. That’s why he’s passed a minimum of 15 screens since his return to the sport. And there are plenty of “jackasses” in the sport. Just like the way DJ showed all of his class by respecting Hmiel’s racing line and alsmost wrecking him. And then to top that off, he threatened Hmiel strapped in his car. That’s the class of a true champion. Where’s your similar words for Truex and his choice words (not said to Bodine’s face either)? Or are you like the rest, just condemning Hmiel ‘cause you dont’ like him and can absolve the #8’s actions, one, ‘cause you like him and two, ‘cause you have no respect for Bodine? And wasn’t that a pretty image of the Cingular car spinning across the screen in the Cup race?
And Jggirl2448, tell me your drivers have never acted like asses out there. I do remember Newman getting spun last year and almost getting the same this year from that so called champion you cheer for during the race. And as I stated before, the 48 didn’t take any of the responsibility on his radio when respecting the 31’s track space on Sunday. It does take some class to admit when you’re wrong and the points leader has not done so yet this week. And neither has DJ, Truex, Sauter, or any of the others that raced hard during a bangin’ and temper flarin’ race that is the wonderful world of Bristol. I will say that it was real of you to say that DJ did provoke that salute and I have to stand on the premise that the only one that really acted like a punk was the one who failed at padding his stats by racing in a lower “development series.” I guess Hmiel did learn something from the fading champ, though. How to handle a racing incident and threaten another driver with the “I’m gonna get you” approach during a red flag! Or was that just an attempt to get his sponsor a little shameful air time by pointing and yelling at a fellow driver just becausehe knew his time on the track, as his career, was quickly fading and almost done.
Again, we ask that you move this discussion onto the message board if you would like to continue it further.
Thanks for your cooperation and for visiting The Frontstretch!
Nice race today. Busch race at Texas. Hmiel took out 2 more cars. Yes, he is a clASS act!!
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.