Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Garrett Horton · Tuesday November 23, 2010
Good morning, race fans, and happy Tuesday to all of you! It’s hard to believe that the 2010 season has finally concluded. I don’t know about you, but this time of year always brings mixed feelings for me. I now have three months to actually be productive on Sunday afternoons; but at the same time, I am already looking forward to and eagerly anticipating the excitement this sport is set to produce next season. While we wait, though, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the best and the worst of what we just saw: the high points, low points, and everything in between that defined the sport of stock car racing these past nine months. So, as a tribute to one of my favorite movies, let’s delve into the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the NASCAR season that was:
Wing Be Gone! – Ever since the CoT debuted in 2007, the one thing that stood out more than anything was that damned wing. Replacing the spoiler, it was supposed to reduce the dirty air in traffic, thus making it easier to pass. But it failed to help aerodynamically, and most importantly, it was ugly as sin. That aesthetic change always made it difficult to relate to the new stock cars, becoming the scapegoat of a design that never caught on with fans. It took two-plus years, several tweaks, and a whole lot of complaining to force a change; but NASCAR finally listened, ditching the wing for a bigger, bulkier spoiler after the spring Bristol race.
Exciting Races, Exciting Chase – If you didn’t like the racing action this year, I guess cars going around in circles isn’t your thing. We saw one of the most exciting Daytona 500s in history (if you can get past the pothole issues), a record number of lead changes in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega, two fantastic Martinsville races – heck, even Fontana put on two good events. We had an exciting Chase as well. While it was a different story, same result, this ten-race playoff was the best one we have had since the inaugural edition in 2004, with three drivers all having a legitimate shot to win it all going into Homestead.
TV Ratings / Attendance Down – Declining television ratings and attendance haven’t been anything new; it has been going downhill for the past couple of seasons now. However, there were several races in 2010 that were well below a 3.0, losing over a million-plus viewers while posting a decline of well over 20 percent year-to-year – a disturbing trend that can’t only be blamed on the economy. Financial concerns might have a bigger impact on the decline in attendance, but when Bristol Motor Speedway, once the toughest ticket to get in all of motorsports, is filled with empty seats, it is a clear sign that all is not well with the state of our sport.
Johnson Wins, Again – Not to knock on our new five-time champ, but his dominance is the last thing NASCAR needed. Even though Brian France doesn’t believe it, we already have plenty of fans who hate the Chase and have discontinued watching races because of it. The fact that one driver has won the title for the past five years is not helping the cause. If you know how the movie ends, you will be less likely to watch, especially five times over. Some will argue that history is being made, Johnson’s talent making this historic run an accomplishment that will never happen again. That, I’ll admit, is very true; but history was made two years ago when Johnson tied Cale Yarborough’s record and again last year when he broke it. At this point, his reign at the top has become redundant. But let me make something clear here: I don’t blame Johnson or even the Chase for this lackluster dynasty. You race under the system you have in place, and the other Chasers need to step it up; instead, for years now we have seen all of them choke. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick kept the No. 48 honest for the first nine races, but it was their screwups on Sunday, more than Johnson’s success, that made the difference, a trend among challengers that needs to stop if the new Mr. Five-Time is ever going to give up the throne.
“Boys Have At It” Out of Hand – Overall, NASCAR’s decision to let boys be boys was a success. We saw the two Jeffs scuffle on the backstretch at Texas, Joey Logano and Harvick provided some post-race drama, and it improved racing in general. However, two incidents, both involving Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski, made the case for the opposition. Edwards twice took Keselowski out, both moves that saw safety compromised and nearly resulted in last April’s Talladega disaster that injured seven innocent fans in the stands. The first came in March, a tap which saw Keselowski go airborne into the catchfence in Atlanta while the second, last-lap skirmish near the finish line saw Kes T-boned at Gateway in a wreck that collected many innocent drivers. Edwards admitted to both incidents being intentional, and the seriousness of both wrecks led many to question the “Boys, Have At It” policy.
Start and Parks Gone Wild – Continuing a trend from 2009, we saw an increase of the start and park gang over in Sprint Cup. Underfunded teams have discovered a loophole in NASCAR’s system that allows them to run a handful of laps before retiring and earning a nice paycheck for their efforts (or lack thereof). The Nationwide Series remained the worst offenders, where several cars would park just several laps into the race, including 2000 Nationwide champ Jeff Green. But the start and park dilemma reached a low point in NASCAR’s top series, peaking when another former champ, Bobby Labonte, was resigned to such an effort once his team, TRG Motorsports, simply did not have the funds to run the entire distance.
“No” Rookie Class – Kevin Conway is your 2010 Rookie of the Year in Sprint Cup. Sadly, that’s not a misprint; for the season, he had just one top-20 finish, a 14th at the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, and one lap led. His only competitor, Terry Cook, attempted ten races and only made three of them, two of which were an aforementioned start-and-park. Between the lack of driver development in the Nationwide Series and sponsorship harder than ever to come by, the result became one of worst rookie classes in NASCAR history. Things don’t look much better for next year, either; as of now, there aren’t any drivers who have declared to run for ROTY in 2011.
Overall, it was a great year and I, for one, am ready for the 2011 Daytona 500. But whether you enjoyed Sprint Cup competition or not, it is the perfect time to take a step back, look at the big picture, and remember: there are more important things going on in the world. Be thankful for what you have, and don’t take the racing too seriously (I know I do, way too often). Happy Holidays to all, and I hope everyone enjoys the offseason. Until then, see you in February!
©2000 - 2008 Garrett Horton and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
The Good: It’s over
The Bad: brian france, Mike Helton, John Darby, the chase, and nepotism
The Ugly: Empty tracks, TV ratings, corrupt inspections, arbitrary rule “enforcement”, the lack of driver development in the ‘Series for Cup Drivers That Can’t Actually Compete At The Cup Level’, etc., etc., etc..
Jacob, AMEN Brother!!
Good recap, I agree Kevin Conway getting ROTY is a joke. They should have just left the award vacant. I was at the Watkins Glen race, Conway was 5 seconds back after the 1st lap. On the year as a whole, I’ll stay optimistic that NASCAR will make the right changes. The new nose on the Cup cars will be a positive. It will be nice to see a Nationwide only driver win the title next year. I can only hope they decide to can the Chase, or at the very least leave it alone. I don’t trust Brian France though not to make even more of a sideshow.
If everyone says its over… why are we all still here talking about nascar?
You hit the nail on the head.
Also, I wouldn’t necessarily agree that “Boys have at it” was out of hand. I do think that Nascar should have suspended Carl Edwards for putting lives in danger with his antics, but the Gordon-Burton, Logano-Montoya, Harvick-Busch skirmishes were quite entertaining, and put no one in any real danger.
Excellently done, Mr. Horton.
The Bad: change the Start & Park rule, mainly it hurts teams who may want to race complete races. Fake cautions just to make the end of a race “more” exciting (I dont need to expand on this one.) Why throw a caution just because someone spins out, no harm, no faul, keep racing…what the heck.
You mean….but…actually…could there really be….nah….must be a misprint or my computer is playing tricks on me….“what can be improved in Nascar!” HERESY I say….Nascar is PERFECT! I mean how could anyone even THINK that the perfection wrought by our GREAT DEAR LEADER Kim Brian Sung Il france is anything but perfect!!! For shame oh disloyal one! For shame! Thou must spend a day seeking the Holy Debris at Talledega and bringing it to the Temple of THE YELLOW FLAG!!! Blessed are they who praise Nascar for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Sunoco (the official fuel of Nascar)….HMMMM..is Brian France the official FOOL of Nascar or perhaps one of his lesser acolytes. Thou must keep thy splitter above the earth….OH YEAY!
I have to say I don’t like the chase, but I gave it a shot. After watching jimmy win #5 it just shows how it really dosn’t work.(not a shot @ jimmy)It’s going to put a * on the history and until they change it back I guess I’m giving up. so long old friend.
Thank you John!
The Great: Kevin Harvick, after getting off pit road first, being handed a speeding penalty, without the 2 cars in front of him being handed a penalty, & just knowing & accepting what was going on with GRACE.
We have been blessed that the economy troubles have not hit us (yet). We still could be attending 2 Michigan 1 Chicagoland and 1 or 2 new track a year. Each race would cost us 1,000 to 2,000. We have been to over 30 races and we have seen our driver win once. Yep you guessed it we are Jr fans. Jr’s lack of performance has made us decide to stop attending races altogether and we no longer plan our lives around the races. We are not band wagon jumpers and go with whoever is doing great. We like some of the other drivers but not enough to spend big bucks to go watch them race.
We are only 2 people of the Jr nation who still could afford to attend races and no longer do. The economy is not the only reason for poor attendance. Jr’s poor performances is hurting attendance no matter how much the bashers agrue that. I can tell you right now if Jr was running good and winning some races we would be booking races again. But we aren’t going to spend 1,000 to 2,000 to see him run 30th. Throw in the stupid chase we are losing interest faster and faster.
The good: I have no plans to attend the 2011 race at boring Chicagoland
The bad: 5 time champion JJ
The ugly: next year it could be 6 time champion
Na$car and Brian France suck