Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
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2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Five Points to Ponder · Danny Peters · Tuesday February 18, 2014
ONE: And We’re Back
The NASCAR offseason is just about the shortest in all of professional sports. So why does it always feel like ages between the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the start of Daytona Speedweeks?
I’ll leave that answer to those more qualified in the study of neurosciences in the human brain, but I for one was itching for some on-track action after what was for much of the country a bitter, frigid winter. Unlike in years past, the offseason was chock full of announcements, from new qualifying formats to a completely new way of crowning the champion — replete with snazzy monikers for the different Chase segments — and not to mention a slew of other stories (the return of the No. 3, for example) and other controversies.
All this change bodes well for what might be the most unpredictable season we’ve ever had. Yes, we can all make predictions about who might be the champion and who’ll be racing for a title in the final race, but no one has any idea how this new format will play out — and that should spice things up considerably. The Sprint Unlimited was a robust appetizer, the Budweiser Duels will ratchet up the excitement a notch on Thursday afternoon and then it’s the big race this Sunday. Can’t wait.
TWO: Pole Conspiracies
I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next, but those suggesting that NASCAR somehow contrived to fix Daytona 500 qualifying so that the No. 3 Chevrolet of Austin Dillon would start the race on the pole need to get a life — and quick.
Sadly, it’s a repeat of 2013, when there was all the whispering about Danica Patrick’s pole-winning qualifying run. It truly is fatuous nonsense. Why on earth would NASCAR do it? What is the upside in a race where qualifying means essentially nothing? Yes, seeing the legendary number atop the scoring tower for the most storied race in the sport is fantastic and historic. It’s also not going to put one more butt in a grandstand seat or garner one more set of eyeballs on the TV broadcast. At best, it’s a minor sideshow that will be forgotten by about the second lap.
And, just for the record, Dillon is the fifth rookie to start the 500 on the pole, following Patrick, Jimmie Johnson, Mike Skinner and Loy Allen. Richard Childress Racing cars have always been fast on restrictor plate tracks and this run is just another example of that long tradition of excellence for Richard Childress Racing at Daytona and Talladega. Nothing more, nothing less.
THREE: Smoke Signals
Wasn’t it great to see Tony Stewart back on track in the Sprint Unlimited after a 15-race, seven-month absence from serious competition? Stewart is one of the true great characters of NASCAR and his absence was sorely felt last season by fans, media, officials and competitors alike.
Stewart’s night ended early in the Unlimited, though as part of a nine-car melee on lap 36 of the 75 scheduled laps. “I was a little nervous about it because I knew we were going to hit nose-first, but it doesn’t feel bad at all,” Stewart said post-race — and that is good news. Crashes are as inevitable as death and taxes, so at least he’s got the first one out of the way early on.
Now his thoughts will turn to winning the big race for the first time in 16 attempts. As you would expect, Stewart is confident. “I always like my chances here,” he said. “You can’t win 19 races here and not win the big one at some point.” Don’t be surprised if he finally gets it done on Sunday — and what a popular result that would be.
FOUR: The Great American Race
Sunday will mark the 56th running of the Great American Race, a tradition that stretches all the way back to the roots of NASCAR in 1959. Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 in what was a hugely controversial finish; initially, the judges gave the win to Johnny Beauchamp, only for the Petty patriarch to be adjudged the winner after three days of review and assessment.
Since then, the roll call of Daytona 500 winners reads like a history book of NASCAR Hall of Fame types, as is right and proper for such a prestigious event. It’s been the first race of the season since 1982 (a fact I’ll admit I didn’t know before I began writing this article; I had erroneously assumed it was longer). It certainly is a strange thing to have the first race of the season be the biggest and to have the largest purse. But on the other hand, it starts the year off strongly, and that’s important this time more than most with the myriad of changes. Bring it on. Enjoy the race, folks.
FIVE: Seventh Heaven for Johnson
And finally this week, it’s the time of year where we all make predictions and prognostications as to how this season might transpire.
As I mentioned above, this season is harder to call than perhaps any since the Chase began in 2004. No one has any idea exactly how the new format will break down with the three elimination points and the winner-take-all race at Homestead.
All that being said, my tip to win it all this year is Jimmie Johnson. Not exactly a brave forecast, I know, but something in my water tells me this year is the one during which Johnson joins Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt atop the list of most championships. I know Johnson divides opinion — with the vanilla label bandied around him like it’s a bad thing. But for me, Johnson is hands-down the greatest driver of this era (and that’s saying something, with the level of competition), arguably the greatest of any era. Winning a seventh title will cement a legacy that already needs no embellishment.
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©2000 - 2008 Danny Peters and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
..Danny Peters, I don’t know what to say about your innocence as to how marketing and hype works. It’s Brian’s passion and the Daytona 500 pole is a big deal to him getting the world to notice his storyline. Last year “first female”..this year “the number 3 is back”. Dave Moody in his blog, he basically accused millions of independ thinking Americans as being tin foil hat nuts, well from reading some of the Kool Aid, drinkers rants claiming Nascar is above board, I would have to say some of you “journalists” wear the tin foil hat if you believe for one minute that these divine remarkable stories of rookies at the season opener at Daytona are legit. GEEZ.
Come on man. RCR led the testing in January with the 3 car being the fastest. All the RCR cars are up front. To say its fixed is well…..dumb!
‘get a life’, seriously? Come out of your little bubble and enter the real world especially the NASCAR world where BF is in charge. He’d do anything to provide a little uumph to his fading show.
Just take a look in the last few years…..the 10th anniversary of Dale Sr.‘s death and guess what Dale Jr. wins the pole. After a two years of hype, Danicant Patrick enters the Cup arena and guess what, she just happens to win the pole. Finally, it’s the big, “emotional” return of the #3 to the Cup series. And wouldn’t you know it, wonder of all wonders, it wins the pole at Daytona.
Yup, it is really is hard to believe that some think that NASCAR is rigged.
How can you say winning the pole doesn’t mean anything? The top 2 cars are GUARANTEED to start there, no matter what happens in the qualifiers. If the 3 gets taken out in the qualifier and he isn’t on the front row he doesn’t make the race. Where did the 3 finish in points last year? Not good for Brian.
Anyone want to bet a certain Hendrick car can’t be passed again this year and wins the 500?
There’s no evidence at all for the tin-foil brigade, is there?
Nascar pole conspiracy? I doubt it.
It was supposed to be a 3 and 88 front row this year but Dale Jr. screwed up.
You media who blindly drink the Nascar kool-aid without question even though past precedent has proven Nascar’s various manipulation techniques over the years need to “get a life”. Sorry Mr Peters, but most of us have a brain and can see right through Mr. France’s agenda.
And trying to tell people what to think doesn’t win you any fans. I will have a hard time taking any of your articles seriously in the future.
It’s lunacy to try to argue with lunatics.
Jimmy Johnson the best of all time….BS!! Chad Knaus is the best crew chief of all time and without him JJ is just another driver with one or two championships!!
LOL, Danny, don’t you remember the amount of press that NASCAR got last year because Danica was on the pole? It hit ALL the media markets, including those who don’t care a whit about NASCAR. The return of the “3” is big news for NASCAR and it will also hit all of the media and Dillon is locked IN on the front row.
I like RCR and it’s fine but telling everyone that people who question it need to get a life is laugable.
There’s plenty of things wrong with NASCAR, and I have ZERO doubt that they use caution flags to modify the outcome of races.
But fixing Qualifying seems rather beyond them.
This just sheds light on the fact that so many have watched NASCAR walk the fine line between sport and WWE for so long that everything is suspicious. I would say this is reaping what they sow given their lack of transparency, heavy handed tactics and inconsistency over the years. Now people are asking why are fans so quick to question the legitimacy of NASCAR? Come on, how can we not?
You guys thinking the 3 car gets to stay on pole no matter what have no clue of the rules. If the car gets obliterated in the Duel Thursday night than the back up car will start the parade/warm up laps on pole but will start in the back by Stewart and Danica. There are no guarantees other than NASCAR manipulating something to get some result good or bad.
Brian, it is you who has not a clue and are missing the point..we are aware of the back of the pack rules..look at the big picture Brian.
And the word around Brian’s Big Top Circus Tent is that the front row was suppose to have Dillon and Jr. PT Barnum France is none to happy about that, no doubt.
I didn’t bother to waste the time reading Moody’s article – the title told me it would be another diatribe against the fans. Over the years, his disrespect for the fans has turned me off enough that I cancelled my Sirius radio subscription because there was no value to listening to any of it other than the race coverage. His paycheck comes from NASCAR’s related enterprises, of course he’s going to say its the fans that are crazy.
As Bill B pointed out, NASCAR has created the credibility issue that exists between the sport and the fans and yet seems baffled that the fans are no longer willing to simply believe and accept whatever they are told.
The Daytona pole would be very easy for NASCAR/BZF to manipulate. They hand out the restrictor plates. 1/128 bigger holes are going to gain a few ponies under the hood. With NASCAR’s recent track record no tin foil hat is even needed to believe they would be more than willing to give the sentimental 3 a bit of an advantage on pole day.
Danny, spends some time reading up on the history of Nascar before you tell folks what to think. But then “…a new job, working at an ad agency for Sprint brought him in contact with NASCAR” will make one want to put a positive spin on anything as long as a paycheck is involved. GinaV24 and RickP have nailed it. If you can’t see the emotional upside to these two contrivances as anything but beneficial to Nascar, maybe you need to cover another sport. I’m really tired of Nascar manipulating the Daytona 500 Pole to milk every bit of attention they can, first with DP and now the #3, all under BF. Go back and read RickP & GinaV24’s comments. They ring true.