NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
The Yellow Stripe · Danny Peters · Tuesday September 29, 2009
The setting of the Chase field post-Richmond marks a clear delineation in the season between the haves and the have nots. And judging by the fevered TV coverage of the top 12 drivers, you’d have been forgiven if you wondered if the other 31 were even competing. But as a long list of DNFs and poor-handling performances show, not only are they around, they can’t wait for the season to end and jump out of the public spotlight to regroup. So, with two months and eight races still to go, here are ten drivers who can’t wait to see the back of 2009 already no matter what happens from here:
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Hands up those who predicted Junior’s season would be quite this bad? Not so many of you, huh? It’s true that anybody can have a bad season — heck, the Cubbies have had a hundred of them — but the futility felt by the denizens of Wrigley Field must compare, in part, to that felt by Junior Nation. To say this year has been horrible for Junior barely does justice to the hot mess his season has become. Just two top 5s, three further top 10s, four DNFs, and an average finish of 21.8 is not what was expected – not even by those who don’t rate NASCAR’s favorite driver. Tony Eury, Jr. was reassigned back in June, and new crew chief Lance McGrew has failed to make magic as of yet. Like it or not, the simple truth is that the season can’t end soon enough for the wheelman of the No. 88 Chevy.
It’s hard to believe that Kenseth’s third place finish at Dover this past weekend was his first top 5 since he won at Fontana. After two wins to open the season, including the emotional, rain-saddled victory in the Daytona 500, Kenseth’s season plummeted downhill, and in the end it was no real surprise he missed the Chase. Statistically speaking, 2009 will likely go down as his worst season since 2001. Still, the bright side is he’s won almost $5.5 million bucks. Not bad for mediocrity, huh, dear readers?
I have to say I was shocked Kyle didn’t make the Chase. I really thought he would rally and grab the last spot, but kudos to Brian Vickers who got it done when it counted, denying Busch the last Chase berth on the last race at Richmond before the cutoff. All told, it’s been a strange season for the petulant six-year veteran. On the one hand, there are four wins to talk about, but in 18 of 28 races he’s finished outside the top 10 — including five efforts of 30th or worse – and with a points system that rewards consistency, that record just isn’t going to get it done. Still, as Denny Hamlin pointed out at Chase Media Day, the experience should make Kyle stronger in 2010 and beyond. If he can cobble together a more sensible schedule that doesn’t involve running so many races, fewer distractions should leave Busch back near the top (or atop) the points next year. There’s plenty more to come from Shrub, that’s for sure: just not this year.
The poster child for failed expectations in 2010, Ragan was expected to challenge for the Chase in 2009 and the majority of pundits picked the Unadilla, GA native to make the elite field. It started well enough at Daytona with a sixth place run, but from there it went steadily and inexorably downhill. In fact, it’s been such a bad season that Ragan has not recorded a single top 10 since Daytona after managing 14 in 2008. Roush Fenway Racing, it’s fair to say, has had its issues this year and Ragan, with an average finish of 25.2, has suffered perhaps more than his other four teammates. The only positive note is that Ragan has recorded two Nationwide wins this season (at Bristol and Talladega), showing there’s still talent behind the wheel. Still only 23, as with Kyle Busch, there should be plenty more to come from Ragan and he is no doubt hoping 2009 can be chalked up as a blip in the road.
After making the Chase in each of the three previous years, 2009 was supposed to be the year that Harvick pushed on and staked a claim for a championship. Clearly, that was a pipe dream as Harvick has suffered and stumbled through an absolute nightmare of a season. Just five top 10s in 28 races tells its own story, and at times, his frustration has been plain to see. But then again, Harvick’s never been one to keep a tight rein on his emotions. With just 95 laps led all year, and a winless streak that dates back to the 2007 Daytona 500, the season can’t end soon enough for the nine-year veteran of some 314 Cup races.
Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing stablemate has also endured a tepid year. Burton flirted with making the Chase, but no top 10s in the last 12 races prior to the resetting of the points killed any faint vestige of hope. Losing crew chief Scott Miller in the RCR reshuffle couldn’t have helped, but the cold hard fact is that it wouldn’t have made any difference in 2009. Heck, Burton could have had the world’s greatest head wrench atop the war wagon and he still wouldn’t have made the Chase. At 42, in a sport that is becoming increasingly the preserve of drivers just out of diapers, you wonder how many good years Burton has left — making 2010 a critical season for his future, no doubt.
Martin Truex, Jr.
Swept up in the Joey Logano crash (wow, that rook sure knows how to grab the headlines), Truex Jr. experienced another frustrating weekend at Dover. With just three top 10s and a high finish of 6th at Darlington, 2009 has been nothing short of a disaster. The transition to MWR should be a smooth one, though, and having the experienced Pat Tryson as crew chief will be a boon. Expect Truex to rebound in 2010 and remind folks just why he made the Chase in 2007. One thing’s for sure; it can’t get any worse.
Let’s not forget that Bowyer finished 3rd and 5th in the last two seasons, but as for teammates Harvick and Burton, it’s not been the best of years. Starting again with a new team, colors, and sponsor (to make space for Casey Mears) Bowyer has probably punched above his weight given the relative quality of his equipment this year. With 12 top 10s on the season, just two fewer than the combined total of the other three RCR wheelmen, Bowyer was even in contention for the Chase until he wrecked at Bristol (although it always felt like a long shot). He’ll be keen to salvage something from his season at his home track of Kansas this weekend; whether he has the horsepower to do so remains to be seen.
Blaney has an average finish of 41.3 this season – including eight last place finishes. This is to be expected since he’s been starting and parking for much of the year for Phil Parsons’ Prism Motorsports team, but even so check out the horror show that is his 2009 season statistics. Wow….Blaney has completed one race all year, a 28th place run in the rain at the Coke 600, and at 46 years of age the clock is fast expiring on his Sprint Cup career. It’s an ignominious end for a driver who’s widely regarded as one of the good guys.
Yes, Kahne is still in the Chase but does anyone (even those related to him) seriously expect a rebound over the final eight races? It’s true just making the Chase and winning two races represents a fine effort for the soft-spoken Budweiser pitch man. But 189 points off the pace after two races is not the plan Kenny Francis and Co. drew up. It’s not, of course, helped by the shenanigans and uncertainty that surrounds Richard Petty Motorsports and the proposed merger with Yates Racing. Let’s hope Kahne finds some solidity next season, because if anything ever fell into place, he has the talent to become a Cup Champion.
©2000 - 2008 Danny Peters and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
If there was ever a testoment to how bad Jr. is its this year. I think it would be hard to pick any full time driver put him in HMS stuff and have him run that bad.
Now can you really say that JR. is anxious for 2010 to start?
Hell, he was “anxious” to start the 2009 season after dumping on DEI!
Yes, Jr. DEI WAS supplying you “inferior equipment”!
Yes Jr. your career and reputation as a “competitive race driver” suffered because of DEI!
Yes, Jr., Teresa really was “against” you!
Yes, Jr., your “Jr. Nation” called Teresa every name in the book because you laid the blame at her foot! THEY EVEN THREATENED HER! (because of your words)
Yes, Jr., we know you would rather be racing, than “out drinking with your buddies”, or “gang” as you call them!
Yes Jr., you really can’t wait for 2009 (err, sorry, 2010) to start!
Reminds me of a line from the song, “I’m Henry the Eighth the I Am”! And that verse is “second verse, same as the first”, in Jr.s case, “2010 same as 2009”!
THE JR. NATION SEEMS TO BE SHRINKING!
You and I agree on a lot of things. Bashing Junior because of his name ain’t one of ‘em. Even if he was the worst driver in Nascar history, you can’t fault the guy for trying to make it in the sport. You can’t fault him for having so many fans and for being the most popular driver. And you can’t fault him for leaving DEI and going to Hendrick, where championships are bought and paid for on a yearly basis.
C’mon, Turnip… the guy’s just trying to make a living doing what he loves. We should all be so lucky.
Just think, Junior could be driving that 42 car right now.
He may be a little bit better next year simply by virtue of not missing his pit box so often, but I seriously doubt he’ll ever finish top ten again. Quite simply, for whatever reason, that team isn’t gelling no matter what they try, and he’s signed through 2013 I believe. By that time, sponsors aren’t going to be so quick to sign on with a guy that’s rarely in the top ten and he’ll end up with a lesser team.
Hey Carl D. your opinion and response is respected!
But not sure I was bashing Jr. “because of his name”, I think what I said was EXTREMELY ACCURATE!
He dissed DEI! He dissed Teresa, He walked away from DEI in a huff! He “crucified” Teresa from the git-go, (then when things got really bad in the threats department for Teresa, he tried changing the “story”!)
Remember him saying that DEI was way behind times, but then comes out later and says yes, they have as much equipment to build and test cars as everyone else does, (maybe Hendrick not included)?
And his Sis leading the way to his move out of DEI?
And his statements that he “wants to run up front”?
Thats where I am coming from. never bashed him for his name, only the results he “PROMISED” to obtain by moving to HMS!
Sure, he is just trying to make his own way, but he “used” his popularity, and name, to gain employment at HMS! Right?
Actually, I know things change, but had he worked “with” DEI, as opposed to making a power play, he might be in better shape today. He could be good for the sport, but going to the #1 team in motorsports, and being what, 21st in points?
Something is going on!
Again, let me know your thoughts, I appreciate the comments, keeps me “kinda honest”!
Funny isn’t it! None of you Nascar pro’s ever want to talk about anyone but JR> what about Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, and poor Kyle, even he didn’t make the chase, but all you want to bad mouth is JR. Well JR Nation is still well and alive and we will back him to the end! Go pick on someone else for a change.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Jr. can’t drive the COT. Why? Because he has no dirt racing experience. Until he get some, he won’t like or get used to the way the COT drives and feels. Jr. can’t slip it through the corners, he feels he’s wrecking when he does. Watch the other contenders drive the COT through the corner and you will see the butt hanging out lap after lap. Until Jr. can be comfortable doing that he will never be good in the COT. Oh and by the way I have been a Jr fan since the Busch days.
I think we both agree that Junior’s move to HMS was, for better or worse, a business decision, and I’ll even agree with you that Junior did use the media somewhat during negotiations with DEI. However, I don’t agree that he used his name to obtain employment at HMS. Once Junior announced that he would not be returning to DEI, I’m sure Hendrick was foaming at the mouth to sign a guy who attacts sponsors like roadkill attracts flies.
I also don’t think that Junior “promised” anybody anything as far as results go. I’m sure he assumed he’d have the best equipment and the best technical and financial support. That he’s not made the most of it may be a valid criticism of his talent, but not his character. If he has popped off at the mouth a few times when a microphone was stuck in his face, well, he’s no different than any of the other drivers in that regard.
But we can agree to disagree. I respect your opinion as well.
I’m going to say something that may not be popular. Dale Jr. is an excellent driver. Anyone at the Cup level is, period. Heaven knows, I sure couldn’t do what any of them do. However, he is not, and probably will never be, the caliber of driver that Dale Sr. was. All the articles about why he is not doing well this year, or any year, may be due to that simple fact. And I don’t mean this as a slam to Dale Jr. I like him. But ask Kyle Petty about some people, fans and writers, having unrealistic expectations.
Hey LC – I would almost agree with your idea about Junior not having dirt track experience being the reason he can’t drive the COT as well as others (like Shrub & his brother seem to hang it out there on every turn). But I say almost because at the halfway point last year, he was in second place! I just can’t figure out what went wrong between then and now.
And Dave – I agree, you can’t drive at this level without being a great racecar driver. You don’t sit in the Top 40 on the all-time wins list for the Cup series with 18 wins by being a slouch driver. Like Marilyn said, more than a few drivers this year have had difficulties (Harvick, Burton, Labonte, Truex – driving DEI cars).
Looking forward to 2010, hoping Junior (and a few others) have a better year than they did in 2009.
Hey Mike in SoCal, yes he was 2nd in points but you see he was at a level the other drivers where not at,be it by luck or skill at that time. I submit the other drivers have become more than used to the COT ( although many have not, it’s not just Jr. having a problem with the COT) and have honed their driving skills to a much higher level than Jr has ever attained with this car. Hence his apparent lack of talent ( which isn’t the case)and his real world lack of success with the COT this year. If you listen to Jr on the scanner he continually wants to make the car do what he wants it to do. If you listen to Mark Martin on the scanner he continually talks about the way the car handles and talks about what can be fixed and what he feels can’t be fixed and he usually accepts it from there. In other words we have one driver adapting to the car (Mark) and another one trying to get the car to adapt to him (Jr).My comment about the dirt experience lies in the fact that dirt guys are basically out of control on every lap, they are used to that feeling, they adapt to the car and drive it accordingly. Jr. isn’t used to that out of control feeling and tries every race to get the feeling he is looking for. So they adjust and adjust and adjust to find the right feel for Jr. and usually fail. What he has to do is realize what the car is what can be fixed and accept what can’t be adjusted out of the car. Then he needs to learn how to control that out of control feeling and drive it to the front. If he had dirt experience he would be at home in the COT.
Hey LC – I agree – Junior’s start to last year could’ve been luck & circumstances, and that some other drivers and crew chiefs have gotten a better handle on the COT than the 88 crew now has. Let’s hope that in 2010 that situation changes. It was great seeing Junior up in the mix at New Hampshire, would’ve loved to see what he could’ve done at Dover if he didn’t get stuck a couple laps down when that caution came out when he was on pit road. Gonna be fun watching him at Lowe’s, Texas, and of course Talladega. There’s still a chance he can get a win this season, I think.
Funny thing how this works. Kenseth, Busch, Harvick, Burton, Truex, Bowyer, and Kayne were mentioned in this column, but the only comments have been about Earnhardt, Jr. Sorry if he rubs you the wrong way, but he is the face of Nascar, the most loved, the most respected, and the most watched. He has had his own channel on Hotpass since the year began, and continues to. That should tell you the world loves Dale Jr. Jealousy is a cancer to the human heart.
Maybe Joonyer got all the comments BECAUSE he is the face of Nascar. Maybe fans are staying away and not tuning in BECAUSE Joonyer is the face of Nascar and they are sick of the hype.
I don’t hate Jr. and followed him from his early days in the Busch series back when he was just the son of Dale Sr. I hopped off that wagon when all the “Fans” jumped off the Jeff Gordon bandwagon and picked a new young pretty boy to follow. It always amazed me to be at qualifying and see a sea of red get up and leave after their boy Jr. qualified. They were there to see Jr. and didn’t give a rats arse about any of the other 50 drivers trying to qualify. These same fans did the same thing back in the ’90s but they were all wearing rainbows at the time.
Gee, did I cause all this commotion? (I love it)!
First for Carl D., see if I can “splain” this. Your comment “ However, I don’t agree that he used his name to obtain employment at HMS.”
MMMM, if his name was not JR.! He would not have Jr. Nation following him! He inherited a built in fan base when his Father passed away! And in my humble opinion, if indeed he was NOT an Earnhardt! He would not be the most popular driver!
It is hard to differentiate between the name JR., and the name EARNHARDT!
Impossible in my opinon, one rides on the other.
And oh yes, did he ever use the media during his “negotiations”!
Now, the “rub”! When Jr. was making ALL the commotion at DEI, his little Sis was the one giving press statements, and giving EVERY indication she was the “CHIEF NEGOTIATOR” for JR.!
I truly and honestly believe she was TOTALLY responsible for all the negative DEI statements, however, JR. never stepped in until it was way too late!
Now little Sis has disappeared from sight!
And for all you other writers, I also support, somewhat, that driving the POS requires some dirt track “constantly out of control” experience!
Lets make no mistake here, the POS is a CRAP race car, some drivers adapted, some did not!
And hey LC, I love your comments, right on about the “adjusting” of the race car during the race!
Lots of good comments here today, BUT I wish we were talking about how good NA$CRAP racing is, rather than picking on, or writing about a single driver!
It really is all about the name “Earnhardt”. If his name were “Dale Skinner, Jr.” or “Dale Hornaday, Jr.”, he would be fighting for a ride in the truck series… if he were lucky.
Good article Danny! One thing though, Matt Kenseth had top-5 finishes in the first Texas and Dover races this season also, though his streak of no top-5’s had reached 14 races before this past weekend.
Anyone ever consider JR’s problem may be ‘ole Ironhead karma. “Boy, I gave you everything you needed. An up and coming race team with the potential to be at the top. A chance to provide for the family and the family of your team mates. A chance to truly carry on the Earnhardt name and make something of yourself. Instead you go runnin’ off at the mouth about the team, your stepmom, and anyone else who didn’t suit you. Then you go and run off to that crook Hendrick. Well, my boy, you made your bed now, so sleep in it”.
Nice! Very nice!
And how so very accurate!
Jr. is not a problem solver!
Jr. is a problem maker!
First of all Kelley is Dale’s older sister, not his little sister.
2nd – When so-called Jr fans made rude statements about Teresa, Jr was the one who said to lay off her.
Yes he has used the media but nowhere near the way many in the media have used his name. He used the media for his greatest accomplishment – getting the rights to his own name from Teresa and DEI.
As for me, I’m a Junior fan for who he is on and off the track. I have a lot of respect for how he has handled himself through this difficult year. I became a race fan after the death of his father so there’s no connection to being his fan because of his father.
And for loyalty, I will stand behind Junior the same way I stand behind my beloved Cubs…for as long as it takes.
I’m with you Bobbie!
Like Bobbie I bacame a Jr. fan a week after his father died. I had never seen a race before that and I haven’t missed a race since then. Jr. has alot of fans because he is Dale Jr. not Dale Sr.
Funny thing, is Turnip Douglas, Dale Jr doesn’t owe you one damned thing.