NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday November 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2013) – In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.
“NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans – much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”
The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.
NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.
The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.
The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.
On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey’s Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).
Iowa Speedway’s ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.
2014 IOWA SPEEDWAY EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Friday, July 11 – American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Friday, August 1 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Stewart-Haas Racing announces reorganization of their Competition Department
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Stewart-Haas Racing is expanding to four teams in the Sprint Cup series for 2014. As a result, the organization is realigning some personnel into new roles within their competition department. The new assignments for 2014 include:
1) Greg Zipadelli has been named Vice President of Competition and will oversee all four Sprint Cup teams. The crew chiefs of the teams will report directly to Zipadelli.
2) Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Engineering. The role will involve Borland overseeing the organization’s technical initiatives and a myriad of research and development projects. As Borland moves into his new role he will become a mentor for the crew chief of the No. 41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch.
3) Race Engineer Daniel Knost is being promote to the position of Crew Chief for Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Knost is an engineer with a Master of Science and PHD in Mechanical Engineering from VPI and Virginia Tech. Knost’s previous roles at SHR included running the team’s seven-post shaker rig, at-track race simulation support and race engineer for both the No. 10 and No. 39 teams.
4) Chad Johnston is going to take over the Crew Chief position for Tony Stewart’s No. 14. Johnston has spent the last three years as Martin Truex Jr.‘s Crew Chief at Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnston brings Hoosier roots to the organization like Stewart. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5) The Crew Chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 ride in 2014 will be Rodney Childers. Childers moved to SHR in October of 2013 from MWR where he was a Crew Chief for the No. 00 David Reutimann and then the No. 55 for multiple drivers. Childers Crew Chief resume extends back to 2005 when he was the head wrench for MB2/MBV Motorsports with Scott Riggs.
6) Tony Gibson will remain on top of the pit box for Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car for 2014.
Steve Addington is leaving SHR for other opportunities. The word is he will be the Crew Chief for the No. 51, working with his good friend Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion.
2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 12, 2013
Daytona 500 winner and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) driver Trevor Bayne has announced today that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bayne – 22 years old – has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic and has been cleared by doctors and NASCAR to compete behind the wheel.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang.
In 117 career Nationwide Series races Bayne has two wins, 18 top 5s and 50 top 10s with six poles. Bayne also has 45 career Sprint Cup series starts. In those starts he has the one win in the 2011 Daytona 500, one top 5 and three top 10s.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and, in extreme cases, paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and each person diagnosed with MS experiences the disease in a unique way.
Penalties Issued Following Sledgehammer Throw
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 31, 2013
Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway will likely be best known for Darrell Wallace, Jr.‘s historic victory. However, late in the race, a crash involving Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick, along with the pit road actions afterward, also made headlines.
Dillon got in the back of Harvick in Turn 2, spinning the Sprint Cup regular out, who then ran into the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon then responded with a number of unsuccessful attempts to spin out Harvick. When both drivers got to pit road, Harvick blocked Dillon’s stall and threw down his window net, prompting a scrum where a sledgehammer was thrown by a member of Dillon’s team at Harvick’s truck.
On Friday morning, NASCAR responded with penalties stemming from the pit road altercation. Marcus Richmond, crew chief of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, has been fined $10,000 for failing to maintain control of his crew. Meanwhile, crewmember Adam Brown was judged by NASCAR to be the person who three the sledgehammer at Harvick and was suspended indefinitely.
In their press release, NASCAR cited violations of multiple sections of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series Rule Book. The sections cited were 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 9-4A (Crew chief resumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, team owner, and team members in addition to himself).
There is no word as of yet from Richard Childress Racing as to whether they plan to appeal the penalties.
Marcos Ambrose to have new sponsor for Dover Cup race in September
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday October 29, 2013
The current economic environment has seen sponsors cutting back and even leaving the sport. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday evening that they will have a new sponsor on the hood for the Dover Cup race and an associate sponsor for half of the season. Stanley and their associated brands Mac and Dewalt will also be back for 2014 on the No. 9 Ford for Marcos Ambrose.
Brian Moffitt, the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports noted that the company is willing to run an alcohol sponsor on the No. 9 but will never do it on the No. 43. “Richard promised his parents that he’d never run an alcohol or tobacco sponsor on his car and that will hold true as long as we’re an organization.” When he was asked about how this came about he said, “This just kind of happened. There are relationships out there in the marketplace that are always talking with each other. We ended up going to Boston and having a discussion with the company and the next thing you know we are partners.”
Twisted Tea is a division of Boston Beer Company, most famous for the Samuel Adams beer brand. Jon London, the Boston Beer Director of Brand Development was on hand and loves the marriage between Twisted Tea’s customers and NASCAR. “We look at NASCAR and think that they, along with Marcos Ambrose, are just a great fit for the brand. Our drinkers love NASCAR and Marcos is a little bit different, our drinkers are a little different and Marcos is a lot of fun so he’s a great person to represent our brand.”
Moffitt also confirms that, while there are a few openings left on the 2014 calendar for RPM, both Ambrose and Aric Almirola will be back in 2014 and should have all of their races covered by the start of the season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. Scores Significant Victory at Martinsville
posted by Mike Neff
Saturday October 26, 2013
Darrell Wallace, Jr. etched his name in the NASCAR history book under two different columns on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace took the checkered flag first to become the second African-American driver in the history of NASCAR to win a National touring series race, and the first to win a Truck Series race. He is also the second graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to win a national touring race, following Kyle Larson’s victory at Rockingham Speedway earlier this season.
Wallace led a race-high 96 laps en route to his win. He led three times including the final 50 laps. Wallace outran Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney to secure his win. The average age of the top 5 at Martinsville was 23.8 with four of the five drivers being under 22 years of age. Wallace is the second non-Cup driver to win in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck following Brian Scott’s win at Phoenix last season.
Hamlin Picks Up a Pair of Poles in Martinsville
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway after setting a new track record with a lap time of 19.013 seconds, good for a speed of 99.595 MPH. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch ran identical second-place times of 190.61 seconds. Johnson will start on the front row after winning the tie-breaker, car owner points, where Johnson currently sits first. Busch will start third, and Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick complete the top 10.
The pole is Hamlin’s 17th in 288 races. It’s also his fifth of 2013, a career-best for Hamlin, whose season was interrupted by a back injury earlier in the year.
In all, 18 drivers broke the previous track record, set in the spring race this year by Johnson. Bowyer broke the 100 MPH mark in practice, but no driver was able to duplicate that in time trials. The Sprint Cup drivers will have a pair of practice sessions on Saturday before Sunday’s 500-lap event.
Seven Chase drivers qualified inside the top 10, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards clocked in in 12th and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers include Ryan Newman (17th), Kasey Kahne (25th), and Greg Biffle (33rd).
Hamlin wasn’t done after his Sprint Cup qualifying effort. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers took their time trials after the Cup teams had their shot, and Hamlin duplicated his earlier effort, snagging the pole for the Kroger 250 in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Johnny Sauter, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Ty Dillon round out the top 5 for Saturday’s race.
2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule announced
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
NASCAR announced the 2014 Camping World Truck Series schedule today at Martinsville Speedway. The series will run 22 events in 2014 starting at Daytona on February 21st and concluding at Homestead on November 14th. The schedule includes stops at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Gateway Motorsports Park next year. The series will once again turn right and left at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park along with slinging mud for the second consecutive year at Eldora Speedway.
2014 Camping World Trucks Series Schedule
Feb 21 Daytona
Tweet Lands Another Driver In Trouble
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Corey LaJoie has been placed on probation after posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter last week. He will have to attend sensitivity training as prescribed by NASCAR.
In their statement, NASCAR stated that LaJoie is being penalized for “an insensitive and intolerable communication” posted on Twitter on October 15. The tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should conduct a cavity search on a man wearing a turban.
Wednesday afternoon, LaJoie tweeted out a statement.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie tweeted. “It was an immature & insensitive comment. I am upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
This incident marks the second time this season that NASCAR has penalized a driver for comments on social media. Earlier this season, Nelson Piquet, Jr. was forced to attend sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in the comments section of an Instagram picture that Parker Kligerman posted.
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Teams Wrap Up Texas Test -- Major Tire Wear Reported
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
Last week, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing planned a three-day test at Texas Motor Speedway in order to prepare for the AAA Texas 500, which will be run on November 3rd. However, the entire test was washed out due to rain on both Monday and Tuesday. Richard Childress Racing was already scheduled to hold a two-day test this Tuesday and Wednesday, by themselves, but they were now joined by the other four teams, creating a large-scale test session. For the most part, it was a very good practice for all teams involved.
For championship contender Matt Kenseth? Not so much.
Kenseth’s test at Texas lasted a grand total of nine laps on Tuesday before he blew a tire and crashed hard into the wall. Afterwards, the No. 20 team packed up and returned to North Carolina, leaving the title contender none too pleased.
“We just had a tire problem and crashed, so we’re done for the test,” Kenseth said. “When you run nine laps and one blows apart for no reason, that’s always a cause for concern, for sure.”
Luckily, in Kenseth’s case the car that he crashed was not the car that he planned on racing in Texas. That Toyota was back at the shop, safe and sound.
Kenseth’s issues were the only tire failure issues encountered during the three-day test. However, the test did show that tire wear could be an issue. The tire compound, already set by Goodyear is actually wearing quite a bit on the 1.5 mile quad-oval. Kevin Harvick stated that the tires on his No. 29 would completely wear out after 35-40 laps, which is short of a full fuel run. The tires that will be used in Texas are the same compound that was used in April. There were no tire failures during the race then. However, it’s not all bad. Carl Edwards seemed to like the rubber.
“Next Sunday is going to be a really great race and it’s because of that racetrack,” said Edwards. “It’s because right now, you can drive in the corner, turn that car sideways and either run the very bottom or you can run right up against the fence and the track is taking rubber. Whatever is going on with the Goodyear tire and the way that this asphalt at Texas has aged, it’s letting the rubber stick to the racetrack. As it sticks to the racetrack, that part of the track gets slick so people move up and find different grooves and then, when it all gets slick, it starts over again and everyone goes back to the bottom. This is the type of racing that I like to participate in and I hope the fans enjoy it. That’s rare right now with all the new surfaces out there. This is as good as it gets.”
No speeds were reported during the test. Expect high speeds during qualifying next week, but a significant dropoff during the race.
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Voices From The Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday August 30, 2007
As most folks who actually know me can attest, I am a pretty easygoing guy. It takes a lot (whether it's your actions or “beverages,” on my part) to get me riled up. Despite that laid-back nature, though, I can also be very blunt. Inevitably, people to whom I have been very blunt to often confuse my bluntness with being “riled up,” which is sad – because that is seldom the case. “Riled up” would mean that I actually care, and that, too, is seldom the case. Today, however, I am going to be both blunt and “riled up.” A rare treat, indeed! Lucky you, my faithful readers.
Last week, I made my yearly journey to Bristol to take in this year's edition of the Sharpie 500, as I have done every such August since 2002. Point being, I've seen a lot of racing, in person, at the fabled Speedway in Thunder Valley. I go to this particular track not as a member of the media, but as a fan – which works out rather nicely, as I've always been a fan first and a writer second. Truth be told, I think I only got into this writing gig as part of a drunken wager, the details of which are still quite hazy to all who were involved.
But that’s besides the point. After seeing things firsthand, I have no problem being bluntâ€¦the racing at BMS this past week was the BEST racing to take place on that track for a long, long time. If you did not like it, you have lost touch with the concept of what racing is truly about! However, do not be offended. There are a couple of excuses which I will accept for your ignorance.
The first is simple and straight forward enough. You have never been to a race in person at Bristol Motor Speedway. If you would have been there, or if you have been there in the past, you would readily, and quite correctly, agree with me about last week's quality of the racing.
Bristol Motor Speedway is one of two tracks on the circuit that you will ALWAYS see more racing by being AT the track than you would if you watch it on TV. Television simply cannot show you everything that you can see at Bristol as opposed to being in the stands yourself. Out of 160,000 possible places to sit, you can see EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, even if only in your peripheral vision, to which you can then focus your eyes (should you so choose) much faster than they do on TV.
But BMS has always been about the “experience” more than the racing. For years and years, there has been only one groove on the race track… and that is the bottom. The races there have always been a “parade,” and passes were made with the patented “bump and run.” It had become the accepted way. That “accepted way” resulted in the inevitable spin or crash, which made for great TV but lessened the purity of the race. With that said, the experience of hearing 43, 800-horsepower cars racing in a “bowl” is what makes Bristol what it is. It’s a sound that I can only describe as "having to shout into your own ear to hear yourself when you have a thought" which, oddly enough, can be achieved with the proper amount of beverages and a bit of practice.
So, as I sat and watched the Cup race last Saturday from my vantage point in the Pearson Grandstand, Sec. FF, Row 15, Seat 13, (Turn 1) I was absolutely amazed! I never thought I would see the day when cars were racing, three-wide in the corners at Bristol. They could go low, high, or in the middle…at speed! That is something that simply was never done at Bristol for at least the last ten years. I honestly do not have the words to express how truly great it was to see cars actually race there. The Cup race was the same way – the BMS slogan, "Racin’ the way it ought to be" is finally 100% accurate.
With that said, the thing that has me “riled up” is this; I come back home to find reports on radio shows and in the press that the race was boring! Now, radio show call-ins I can dismiss because, let’s face it, they probably were NOT there and on television, yes, a green flag pit stop at BMS could be construed as boring because that means a long green flag run with no crashes and, as we all know, no crashes at Bristol means no excitement…or so you've been trained to believe. Well let me tell you one thing; you have not experienced “boring” until you sit in the stands at Bristol and watch a race with 20 cautions and over a quarter of its advertised length run at caution speed.
But what really irks the living crap outta me is so called “professional” media types, such as David Poole, who, through a gross misunderstanding of his power to sway people's perception, continues to perpetuate the idea that last week's races were bad. Consider this bit of “expert analysis” that Poole authored in a recent article after the Cup race:
“But there is no possible way any sane person would think the average race fan liked what they saw Saturday night more than what they had come to be used to at Bristol.”
Since when does David Poole know what the average person likes? When I read that, I had to read it over again to see if I got it right. Was this guy at the same race I was at? OK, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he quickly typed something up to meet a deadline. But then I read the following, and I got really pissed:
“But as the fans who came to see it were walking out late on a hot August night, they weren't talking about all the great memories they'd just made. They weren't talking about how incredible it was to see the kind of racing you don't see anywhere else.”
Now, I can't say for certain just exactly where David Poole watched the race from last Saturday night – chances are it was from a monitor in the media center. However, I will bet my dollars to Poole's doughnuts that he definitely was NOT in the herds of sweaty race fans making their way out of BMS to hear what they were saying about the race they had just witnessed. Trust me; if you know anything about David Poole (or talked to people who know him), you would put your money on my side of the wager. Let’s just put it this way; everywhere in Bristol is uphill, especially from the media center! David Poole was NOT among the “fans,” I guarantee.
Well, Mr. Poole, I WAS among the sweltering masses that were exiting BMS, and I can tell you that during the long time I was amongst them (an amount of time you would appreciate should you dare to try it) NOT ONE of them ever said a bad thing about the race that I heard. The same goes for everyone I talked to and partied with in the campground where I was staying. Everyone loved the new Bristol…everyone that knows what they are talking about, anyway.
So, don't be duped by so-called "professionals" such as David Poole (the second excuse I would accept for ignorance). He wasn't where I was or sweated with the true racing fan like I did last weekend. He does not have a clue.
Instead, “racing the way it ought to be” finally hit the nail on the head. My hat is off to Bruton Smith and all those at BMS who brought this dream to fruition.
Stay off the wall, (easier to do since the re-paving!)
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Your article was well written and most of all — your opinion. The same way David Poole’s article was his opinion. And MY opinion is that I have to agree with David Poole. We race fans have come to expect a certain type of race at Bristol — and we didn’t get it and probably never will again. I’m always leery when drivers as a unit praise a new track or a change at a track. That usually means they don’t have to fight any more. They have to race for it — sure — but no blood and guts and glory is really involved. Bristol was the last of a dying breed. And now its gone. Rest in peace, Bristol and all that you stood for.
I agree with you 100%. I was also there Kulwicki section-it was the best cup race I have ever seen @ Bristol. The Busch race was awesome and I think we will continue to see great races at Bristol. Who would have thought you could have 3 wide racing at Bristol. It doesn’t get any better. You are also correct that TV does not do Bristol justice-you have to experience it to understand and Mr. Poole was basically watching on TV from the media center. As for the post from Carol-did you hear any post race interviews the drivers were exhausted-no lengthy cautions means they have to be on top of their game the whole night. They are not used to that at Bristol. It was a demanding race for them.
I have to agree with David Poole. Perhaps the problem was with ESPN’s coverage – or lack of covering all but the top five cars. I am sure the race was great if you were at the track but the vast majority of people see it on tv and we’re the one’s that feel that the race sucked. Yes we like mangled cars, helmets being thrown, drivers spewing anger motivated words at other drivers, beating and banging, rattling cages, etc. If that makes us bad race fans then I guess that’s something we have to live with. The bottom line is the true measure of a race is the perception those watching on tv had, not those that were at the track.
I watched the race on TV. I thought it sucked. How many more are there like me than ones like you?
Jeff has it right on the money. I have never been there, but watched only on TV, and I thought it was the best Bristol we’d ever seen—the cars could actually race, imagine that, much more like other short track racing I’ve seen. Most of the former drivers have said that that was how it used to be. Now certain ‘fans’ have to admit they wanted to watch wrecks, not racing. I’m just not one of them. Poole has had a vendetta against other race tracks (Watkins Glen, where I have been one of the sweltering fans…) that has been absurd. The fact was, they made improvements for the fans and teams, not for the spoiled overfed journalists sitting in the air conditioned press boxes. And his ‘opinion’ in this case, is no more educated than any of ours, despite his years of experience. Jeff, thanks for the first hand account of what some of us had already seen.
I watched the race on TV, with Fox Trax up on the computer, and while participating in the race thread at the Speed Insider boards.
The race presented on the TV by ESPN was boring. The coverage was a bunch of empty blather intermittently punctuated by weird camera angle shots of cars running alone.
The Fox Trax showed that a great deal more was happening on the track than was being captured on TV.
Message board participants watching via Hotpass or listening to PRN confirmed that a much better race was happening than was on TV.
I’m willing to believe you and others I know who were there that it was a good race. I wish ESPN had bothered to show it to us.
I sat in Waltrip Section D and have been going to Bristol the last six years. This las t race is definitly the best race I have been to yet. I agree with Jeff, who would have ever thought that we would see three wide racing in the corners @ Bristol. Bristol has finally become racing instead of crashing. I am also tired of reading how boring this race was. Great artcle Jeff.
David Poole was definitely NOT in the media center…he was high up in the press box, sitting in the row behind me. Trust me, he saw the same boring race I did. With two drivers leading all but 30 laps, THAT is boring.
Just a short note. All I heard walking back to camp were fans saying they’ve never seen a better Cup race at Brisol. I guess to some, boring is a race with no crashes.
Right on Jeff!
I watched the race on TV, and thought it was excellent compared with past races at the Bowl. Admittedly, ESPNâ€™s coverage wasnâ€™t up to par.
You hit the nail head with your comment on caution laps. What kind of dazed & confused race fan enjoys watching a quarter of the race run under the yellow flag, or even one-seventh of the race for that matter?
I live 50 miles from the track and I have been to the night race at Bristol. Despite watching the race in high definition on a 52” TV with home theatre, the race was boring. I judge a race by whether my 54 year old brother can stay awake through the whole race. He fell asleep at lap 400. NASCAR’s spin regarding the increased amount of passing was not helpful to the discussion since most of it was not near the front.
I should have driven 10 miles from my house and watched a good race on our 1/2 mile dirt track.
I was at the spring race at bristol and for only the second time in my life, I went to the race as a spectator rather than a journalist. The racing I saw was first-rate. What I saw on television on Saturday was good racing but lacked the excitement of bristol of old. I immediately wrote to Jeff Byrd, GM of BMS. Apparently I was not the only person who thought the race was rather unexciting because the next day recieved the following reply:
Thanks for the email and your comments regarding the Sharpie 500. While I don’t disagree that the Sharpie 500 lacked some of the action that sets Bristol apart from the other NASCAR tracks, I am at a loss to explain the difference between Friday night and Saturday night. According to a very high placed NASCAR official, Friday night’s Food City 250 was the best Busch Series race he had ever seen. Now when you consider that the track didn’t change from one night to the other, you wonder what the problem was.
We learned from NASCAR that there were 2,147 passes in the Sharpie 500 compared to 991 in this spring’s Food City 500. That alone doesn’t mean much but it does demonstrate that the potential is definitely there for great racing.
I believe that Goodyear brought the hardest tires available and that, coupled with the lack of testing or practice for the Cup cars, produced a tamer than usual race. We built a race track that produced incredible side by side, two and three wide racing on Friday night with 10 cautions. Saturday night had its moments but overall lacked the action of Friday night. I believe that by next March, the teams will have the new Bristol figured out. Just as Bruton Smith wouldn’t stand for the single file racing on the old surface, he will work to provide the best racing experience possible on the new surface. I know it will get better – the Busch race show is what Bristol will look like in the future. Thanks again for writing.
Perhaps ‘boring’ isn’t the right word. ‘Less than exciting’ may be more appropriate. I don’t believe we’ll ever see the helmet-throwing and flaring tempers at bristol again and that’s because the CAN race three wide there now. Excitement builds, and tempers flare, when three guys want a spot that is only big enough for two. Smith proved he could build an awesome track. The question isn’t ‘could he’ but rather ‘should he’… Some things are best left as they are… or were. I think that in the years ahead, tickets to the Bristol night race are going to be easier to get.
That said, in 2003 I interviewed John Andretti. I asked him if he could design the perfect track, what would it look like. He said, “It sure wouldn’t be Bristol. Fans love it but drivers don’t. There’s Kyle Petty over there. Go ask him how much he likes taking his cars to Bristol. As a fan its great. As an owner, it’s too expensive.”
true, but its still fun.
The Busch race was the BEST race I have ever seen sitting in the bristol grandstands…the cup race was no where near as good. Blame it on the chase and the COT…the only difference between the 2 nights
Too many people have never seen the Bristol used to be when it was asphalt. The racing was awesome. Perhaps not too many lead changes happened, but spectating any event, the experience of watching the whole thing is what should be viewed. Do you watch football by just looking at the quarterback and not the blocker wiping out the linebacker off to the side? Or the DB clocking the receiver on a sweep? How about baseball? Do you never watch how the infielders position themselves and move and crouch when the pitch is starting to be thrown?
There are so many more battles in an auto race than just who is leading at the time.
Open your eyes people (and David Poole)
I watched it on TV and thought it was a great race. I was shocked to hear people say it was boring. I have to agree with you…3 wide at Bristol, it doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve been around NASCAR racing since 1962 and gone from fan to track photographer, to crew member so maybe I appreciate the racing more than the crashing that the newer “fans” seem to like.
Thank you, Jeff, for your perspective. I agree with you 100%. I truly don’t understand when so called ‘fans’ can say that the bump and run is true racing when they can come in and run three wide. Why does there have to be contact to be good racing?
The television coverage has been mediocre at best since ESPN took over. I am sure it is because they believe they are showing us the cars the believe we want to see and not scanning the entire field. I wasn’t at the race live, but could tell it was exiciting. Heck, the stats in number of passes tells the story.
The one thing that could have made the race ‘boring’ was the fact that two cars hit the setups and the rest didn’t. That is a function of the CoT where less cars are going to hit the setups until the teams get used to it. Next year, I would imagine that we will have more cars battling for the lead.
In any case, I hope that future races at Bristol have the same type of passing and not the bump and run. I’m sorry, but I would attend a race at Bristol with true passing before I would to just watch the bump and run.
Yes I agree there are few places better than Bristol, that I have seen to “watch a race” Reading btw the lines tells me that the ones who thought it boring are jeffy, jimmy or “e” fans wanting other smash-up Bully/bowtie victory. Seems to them like its always boring when a Ford wins. Sorry but 3-wide makes for great racing, just like Michigan. War Carl Edwards
Well I agree totally with David Poole. From what I watched I thought Saturday night’s race was well not the worst but close, race I had ever seen at Bristol. The bad thing is when you have a lower tiered division making more speeds than your High profile series. But hey I cannot comment anymore, i slept thru half the race…boring as usual come on Nascar get your head out of you
You’ve been going to BMS since 2002 and you call that alot of racing (live)??? HA! David Poole has more experience and knowledge of NASCAR racing in his little toe than you will ever have, unless he were to die tomorrow and you live on for a very long time. I am not sure who is paying you for this waste of time pen to paper job you have done, but they should have there head examined. Maybe you should join the ‘wine & cheese’ crowd of new NASCAR fans and go to Cali-BORE-nia. I am sure you’ll fit in fine. have you read Mike Finney’s article about NASCAR sweeping the rest of the original fan base right out of the grandstands? I am sure (for some reason) you’ll disagree with him too.
Great article. Too Carol, Joe Mama, and all the rest of the idiots… go to a demolition derby at your county fair. It is cheaper and will assuage your neanderthal expectations of what a good race or racing action should be. The Bristol repave was a success; and before everyone rants I’ve been to Bristol before the re-pave, it’s much better now. Remember that many great events in history are first met with derision and later are embraced and accepted; too bad the Labor Day Cali race will never be one of them, ha, ha! Maybe the France morons will hire David Poole to come work for them; he seems to have a racing acumen on par with the rest of I$C and NA$CAR. Long live the Southern 500!
Just because you have come to “expect” the old type of racing @ Bristol, that doesn’t mean it was good racing.
Yes, lots of crashes and bruised egos, but very little racing. Surviving Bristol was always more about luck than anything else.
Now it is about the racing. When you can watch those back in the field actually racing for say, 24th, 25th and 26th spot, it is truly awesome and refreshing.
TV simply does not show you that.
Don’t be fooled, there is still bumping and banging, just not the carnage that happens on a one groove race track.
And yeah, it is MY opinion, but David Poole did NOT hear hot sweaty fans leaving the track saying they didn’t like the race. That is just plain crap.
And for the record…I don’t get paid one thin dime by ANYONE to write for FS.com.
David Poole may have alot more experience of covering races than I, but that don’t make him right. If you want to be lead blindly by the mainstream media, go right ahead. Hitler knew what he was doing and did it for a long time too, but that didn’t make it right.
David Poole was giving his opinion, just as you are giving yours. Unless you went around and polled EVERY single person who watched the race, and can say for a fact that the majority enjoyed the racing on the new surface, you have no more of a leg to stand on than David Poole does. And it does not seem very “professional” to turn your column into a personal attack on this guy.
That out of the way, I agree with you in as much that the racing on the new surface was better to watch. I loved the two and three wide runs and all of the passing. Sure, having two guys lead the majority of the laps took some of the excitement away, but that was a function of the 9 and the 99 hitting the setup compared to the rest of the field, and teams are still figuring out this whole COT deal.
I agree with Jeff. I have been going to live races since 1991 Daytona 500, and have gone to at least one race (more like 3) a year since. That was good racing!
â€œBut as the fans who came to see it were walking out late on a hot August night, they werenâ€™t talking about all the great memories theyâ€™d just made. They werenâ€™t talking about how incredible it was to see the kind of racing you donâ€™t see anywhere else.â€
Oh, so David Poole DID interview all those coming out of BMS?
I talked to more fans than he did. How do I know? I’m ONE of them. I live in the campground all week. I drink beer with them. I help them fix their campers when they need help. I grill and eat with them. I AM THEM. Fan first. VOLUNTEER WRITER second!
Sorry Jeff, but when one or two drivers stink up the show and lead all the laps, that’s boring. I used to relate Michigan with boring but Saturday night came darn close to overturning that opinion. Wrecks are not why I eagerly await the Bristol races. It’s the fact that the drivers can actually manhandle the cars and each other and NOT wreck. I taped the race because I refuse to watch all the commercials. Sunday morning I did laundry while watching the Bristol race. It was a 1-1/2 load race. I didn’t even get to load the dryer twice before the dang race was over. The fastest, most boring Bristol race of my life. I get so sick of hearing about the ‘aero’ packages and Rusty Wallace and his blue/gold air demonstrations that the road courses start to look good! Does anyone else cringe when they do that stupid colored air demo repeatedly like we ride the short bus and have to be reminded ad nauseum what’s happening around the cars? So yes, I look forward to Bristol. Maybe I spent too much time filling the Downy dispenser and missed all that great racing. I’ll be more careful in the Spring and do my laundry the day before.
To Brian France (above)… Whether anyone wants to admit it or not the reason Bristol is so popular is because fans love to see a driver make an ass out of himself when things don’t go his way. The Bristol race was still one of the best races of any compared to other races and tracks but compared to past Bristol races it wasn’t as wild. Let’s face it, the majority of people love watching a train wreck. it’s like two monkeys playing catch with a hand grenade, you just can’t stop watching.
To rjh (above) why would hoping for a wreckfest be in the interest of jeffy, jimmy and little e fans? They would be as apt to be wrecked as anyone else wouldn’t they? so hoping for wrecks has nothing to do with who you root for.
I have to agree, once again, with everyone else who is stating that the “televised” race was just plain and simple, BAD. The coverage by ESPN was terrible and made for some really boring NASCAR entertainment. As I’ve stated earlier this week; if you were lucky enough to actually attend the Bristol race, then I’m sure it was very exciting, but if you had to endure watching it on ESPN, well, it wasn’t the same. With the race in California this weekend, I’m afraid to even imagine what to expect. Who knows, maybe if I drink enough before the race then I’ll be able to create my own excitement; despite ESPN! As for you Joe Mama…I agree with everything you said!!
I was there Saturday night & haven’t missed a Bristol night race in well over 10 years. I go to Bristol for the racing but also for the entertainment. Bristol is/or was different from any other track on the circuit. Now they’ve made it like all the others IMO.
I too walked through the herds of fans making their way out of the track and into the surrounding campgrounds. I heard plenty of folks complain about the Cup race. You apparently just heard what you wanted to hear Jeff.
I also agree with Laidback Racing with this quote
The Busch race was the BEST race I have ever seen sitting in the bristol grandstandsâ€¦the cup race was no where near as good. Blame it on the chase and the COTâ€¦the only difference between the 2 nights
To quote JMyer –
“Oh, so David Poole DID interview all those coming out of BMS?
I talked to more fans than he did. How do I know? Iâ€™m ONE of them. I live in the campground all week. I drink beer with them. I help them fix their campers when they need help. I grill and eat with them. I AM THEM. Fan first. VOLUNTEER WRITER second!”
You may have talked to more fans than David did, but at the end of the day you are both giving an OPINION. NEITHER of you can claim to speak for all fans as to how they truly felt about the race. That’s why he has his opinion, and you have yours. Which is fine and dandy until you use your website to attack the guy personally because you disagree with him.
Nas has it right…The big change between the two nights was the COT and the Chase..I think both of those factors had an effect on the race. That being said I didn’t think the race was that bad..what made it seem that bad would have been the coverage. Anne states that seeing two guys lead the race makes for a boring race which while I can see her point I supose what really enforces that perception is the fact that whoever has the TV coverage, (They all are about the same, Fox, ESPN, etc,), only focuses on the top cars..maybe the top 10. That is the issue..the race is covered for maybe 4 hours so you’d think that they could actually show other passes on the track verses a guy driving away lap after lap. I get annoyed when they show “Lets go through the positions..” as first they rarely make it through all 43 cars, and second they show them at whatever position they are in verses perhaps when they are actually passing someone, or some sort of action. If the blame is to be put on boring racing I’d start with the way its covered by the TV stations. I agree fully with Anne that actually covering the race verses showing me more “cut-out” car stuff, “loose/tight” and that awful aero-draft bit would be a good start. If indeed France/NASCAR wants to be like the stick/ball sports he should realize that “What is a home run?” is not descibed game after game in baseball..if at all…File that under the “Duh” folder…
Been to Bristol, although not this year! BUT! Poole is 100% correct!
It seems you are easily impressed with noise!
I on the other hand love racing! REAL RACING!
And the “new” Bristol is not it! Follow the leader, but that is exactly what most people now think is “good racing”!
Oh great! Instead of 43 cars going single file bumping for the lead, you now have 43 cars in different grooves, at times “dicing” for position??
This does not make racing!
It is entertainment, and only entertainment!
The new paving resulted in racing like it used to be at BMS in the old days, when it was paved with asphalt.
I was there too. I can imagine the broadcast wasn’t great because the race at the front wasn’t great. Not to mention, it’s NASCAR’s broadcast and, well, NASCAR has let ESPN/ABC/NBC/FOX/TBS create bad broadcasts for some time now.
The racing throughout the pack was awesome. My favorite aspect was how soon-to-be lapped cars could really give the leader a hard time. The Busch race on Friday was even better and at least a 9 out of 10.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A couple of different responses on this thread before I close it down…
First off, I have been lucky enough so far in life to view racing from three unique perspectives – right where David Poole sits (press), working on the actual TV broadcast itself, and sitting in the stands as a fan. All three offer uniquely different opportunities to view the product we all know and love – and each will lend itself to a special type of “insider info” you can’t get anywhere else. Whenever I do TV, I come back with a far different viewpoint compared to when I’m taking notes in the media center, press box, or on pit road. Of course, any of those options give you a much more far-reaching view of the actual race itself – as you’re not limited to Trackpass or watching the race on TV. You can actually see the whole track – see everything going on, and that offers you a greater ability to both analyze and reflect. As several of you have mentioned, that allows you to see a far different race than if you’re a slave to whoever TV wants to focus on over at FOX, TNT, or ESPN. Some of the best TV races can be the worst in person…and vice versa.
However, NONE of those types of “special access” offers you the exceptional opportunity to have direct contact with the “Average Joe” fan in the stands – while the race is going on. To do that, you have to actually sit WITH the fans…and that’s exactly what Jeff Meyer did. Yes, as a writer we use sources, message boards, fans email us – it’s not that David was lying about any of that because I’ve been there, done that just like the NASCAR writing legend. But what Jeff is offering here is perspective from his weekend trip as a fan, where he got to talk to several fans in a natural setting of watching the race in the stands. Truth be told, Jeff is not doing himself justice – he has covered several races for us as a member of the media, and has been writing for us for over four years – developing a style and level of expertise that doesn’t make him some random stranger. So, when Jeff says he talked to fans after the race – we’re not talking one or two here. We’re talking a journalist clothed as a fan, asking everyone he came in contact with over four days at the track what they thought of the new Bristol repaving job.
What has come out of that is an opinion – based on Jeff’s own analysis. David Poole has an opinion, too, and they’re both entitled under freedom of speech to disagree with each other. My opinion? It lies somewhere in between the two…but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that this Bristol race has generated more fan opinions – positive or negative – than any race I’ve seen in quite sometime. In that sense, I feel Burton Smith has done a fantastic job – because after a few years of races dominated by one select driver (see : Matt Kenseth, 2005, 2006) he’s got fans yapping about Bristol all over again. It may not be about drivers throwing helmets…but Bristol is still the #1 topic amongst fans all over again, and it’s likely to stay that way for several weeks. That, in my view, is a sign that Bruton Smith has generated excitement and controversy here all over again – for every fan that’s disinterested in the new track, there’s another one ready to argue to death that this is the best thing that ever happened to this half-mile bullring.
Some are concerned about what they construe to be a personal attack on David Poole. Here at the Frontstretch, we back the content of our writers and take advantage of our resources as an independent media outlet to go further than your typical nascar.com article. The great thing about FS is you’ve got an amazing mix of professional writers, semi-professionals doing this as a hobby, and fans with a voice – all of whom are given the right to say what they want, without the fear of being told to “shut up.” Under the laws of Freedom of Speech, Jeff and David are allowed to disagree…it happens all the time. If the president can be criticized, so too can any member of the professional media – me, Matt Taliaferro, Becca Gladden, David Poole, or anyone who goes to the race tracks each weekend to do this for a living. That’s both the blessing and the curse to write in a public setting – everyone has the ability to openly criticize anything and everything we say.
I’ve decided to lock this thread from future comments. Any specific concerns from anyone, feel free to address them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to answer any comment or question you may have. Jeff’s email, for those who would like to continue this discourse, is email@example.com.
Thanks for reading the Frontstretch, and making your feelings known.
Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?
Top Ten Reasons People With No Sense of Humor Write In And Complain About These Lists
Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.