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.
Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday December 6, 2007
As longtime readers of this column have come to know, I hate “stupid.” If someone in the world of NASCAR says or does something that is extremely stupid, I have no qualms whatsoever about pointing it out, no matter who they are or what position they may be in. Just ask my editors!
(By the way, is that somewhat related to the fact I have yet to get my invitation to the Frontstretch.com Christmas party? But I digress…)
Over the years, my pursuit to expose those that are stupid has led some readers to think that I hate NASCAR. People email me and say I should write about something else; or, that I do something I think is anatomically impossible – at least for me, anyway. At any rate, I assure you that that is not the case. I love stock car racing – and if you are one of those that think otherwise, well, if you were worth a page of copy, I'd expose you, too!
However, in the world of NASCAR there is one person that, over the last few years, has been the subject of many of my columns. That person is NASCAR CEO Brian France.
It’s not that I particularly enjoy writing about Brian; it’s just that some of the things he says – with increasing frequency, I might add – are so mind-bogglingly stupid that I feel it is my duty to point it out, so that not one single fan may catch whatever it is that he suffers from.
At a recent Reuters Media Summit in New York, France uttered the following comments that once again make my job very easy.
Here’s the scenario: NASCAR’s CEO was commenting on continued falling TV ratings that are plaguing the sport as of late. In need of an explanation, none other than Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s name came up – unprovoked.
"It would have helped if he would have been competitive,” said France. “He didn’t win an event, and he certainly didn’t make our playoffs. And that’s unhelpful if you’re trying to build ratings.”
So, there it is. Laid out as plain as day from the mouth of the man who can do no wrong! You, Junior fans, are the reason television ratings were down 13% from 2006. Shame on you! But wait! There’s more. What was that that Junior didn't makeâ€¦ “Our Playoffs?”
Flashback to a January 2004 NASCAR press release explaining the new points formatâ€¦
MIKE HELTON: This is not a Playoff. Every one of our events will continue to be Super Bowl-type races, with all 43 drivers competing against each other at the same track to win a race.
BRIAN FRANCE: The seeding process is how you finish after the 26 events. That’s the seeding process. You did see that we did reward if you finish first, you have got a 45-point lead over the 10th place competitor after 26, and five points for every position in sequence – so we have, we won’t call that a seeding – because what we’re not going to call this is a Playoff. It’s not a Playoff. It’s not a single elimination. It’s not a win or lose and you are out. Not a best three out of five. It’s better than all that, because it still has consistency; still has 10 tracks over two and a half months to compete. We think we have got something that’s better than the Playoffs.
I must have missed the press release that announced that Brian has decided that it is a playoff in the last 4 years – my apologies, and I will try to pay better attention in the future. However, there was one thing that Brian said last week that proves – even though he is not bright enough to realize it – that he has no clue as to what he is doing.
"The margin of error for all the sports to manage their business smarter is more narrow," France said.
Now, let’s seeâ€¦double digit ratings drop for multiple yearsâ€¦two failed attempts to build tracks in places where NASCAR was not wantedâ€¦two longtime Series sponsors (Winston/Busch) bailing, soon to be three (Craftsman), not to mention a massive scaleback of Budweiser sponsorship dollarsâ€¦multiple lawsuits, some settled out of court, some notâ€¦yada, yada, yada.
Yep, Brian France is right. There is a narrow margin – and his head is too big and thick to get through it!
Stay off the wall (and too much Egg Nog!),
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Thanks for a thought provoking article. Here’s my thoughts on it that I sent to my friends. Joe Roux
More and more of those who are around this sport each and every day come over to my way of thinking (which came to me late 2005 if you recall). I will now accept apologies.
In my opinion, this is what brought NASCAR up to its level previous to 2005. ESPN.
We all knew what racing was about in and before the 90â€™s, ESPN brought it to a much broader audience. The thing at the time was that the personalities and the racing hadnâ€™t really changed all that much. Good hard racing, punching each other out along the backstretch, etc. ESPN only brought it out to a nationwide audience. As I said, we all knew what it was and had.
Now itâ€™s glitzy, commercialized (how much more commercialization do you need other that a car sponsored by a bra manufacturer?) sterile and antiseptic. Personalities??? HA! Forget about it. If they can make Tony meek and mild, what the hell is left??
As I recall, WWWAAAAAAYYYYYY back in the 70â€™s, the one race that put the sport on the radar was the Allison Bros. vs. Yarborough in the backstretch. Iâ€™m not looking for a race to breakout at a fight but these were people whom I cheered and jeered for. The best thing you can hope for now is for Spiderman to climb up to the flag stand after he wins the race (and heâ€™s been chastised for that too!).
For Christmas, I think Iâ€™m going to send each of the heads of NASCAR a crowbar. They can use it on each other to pry eacv others heads out.
How can one average (at best) driver make or break a sport that is being driven into the ground by the sanctioning body? One again, Prince Brian (the all kowning) shows us why he should be subject to the NA$CAR substance abuse/testing program.
How about less pop culture and more good ‘ol traditional hard nosed racing by men with personalities?
How about stock cars that look like what I can buy on Monday? How about the fastest 43 cars make the race?
What’s next? My prediction:
44 car field filled by 11 four car franchise owners, with Brittney Spears as the official voice of NA$CAR.
Ok, maybe only the first part of that. Anyone care to bet against me?
Sooooo…is Brian trying to say that most NASCAR fans are Jr. fans? If so, it would appear that NASCAR would go under if something happened to Jr. You know, maybe he is right. Maybe Jr. is the only driver that appeals to a large number of fans. Maybe that’s why the sport is failing. If he doesn’t do well at Hendrick’s and there is a chance that he won’t, then the sport will fall further into the abyss. Nah, that might make sense and we all know that Prince Brian has never made sense of anything.
After carefully digesting this article and viewing it from every possible angle I personally conceed that N.A.S.C.A.R equally is being damaged by too many modifications and too many fair-weather fans!
It seems to me that nascar won’t be able to weather the storm of sub par performing “super star” and if that be the case then popularity will be an ironic demise for a orginazation fueled by it.NO PUN INTENDED!
Well, as we in the JR Nation found out: Just because you’re CEO of an organization, you aren’t necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed.
Well, from what I’ve seen, Brian might have a point. Damn, that hurt. Have you ever seen a race where Jr dropped out early? Not hard to miss, there were several. The swarm of red leaving the stands was overwhelming. There are Jr fans, and there are race fans. Real race fans stay thru the end even if their driver drops out. I’ve dealt with it. Of course, I also attend local short track races. I bet most Jr fans don’t, because he won’t be there. In closing, Brian, get you head out of your A** and step down and let someone you haven’t corrupted take over. Your ideas haven’t worked. Am I the only one who misses Bill Jr.
The real problem, which Brian France is obviously to stupid to realize, is that the reason the Jr. fans leave or quit watching is because after he is out of the race there is nothing left that is exciting to watch! You can’t turn this into a “spec” car racing series and then actually have the nerve to sound confused when people quit watching. If people wanted to watch IROC racing then it would still be around.
Desperate men do desperate things. To place blame (of any kind) for the current condition of NA$CAR on a single driver is utterly ridiculous. This is really the begining of the end for NA$CAR. When the man in charge is finding fall-guys that aren’t even employeed by the company tells me that something is very wrong inside their organization. What next, will he say that the reason the seats are empty is because there aren’t any fans showing up…… “Gee, I can’t understand why… we dropped the ticket price to $200.00 a seat, where is everyone…..”
Remember what NA$CAR stand for:
Now All we $eriously Car About is Revenue
Brian may have a point. I’m not a NASCAR fan, I’m an Earnhardt, Jr. fan. When he’s out of a race, I couldn’t care less what the others do.
Isn’t that the whole idea? Root for your driver? If not, maybe “you’ve” missed something. What brings the crowd to the races? NASCAR? NO, the drivers do. So, when my guy’s out, I’m done, gone to the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.
Sorry, but that’s just the way it is!
You do realize that Nascar didn’t stop with blaming Junior for the ratings drop. Earlier this year when ISC announced there would be a several million dollar shortfall in predicted revenue from souvenir sales, it was mostly blamed on Junior changing teams/numbers. Hasn’t Nascar always contended that the sport was bigger than one single driver? Guess that has changed, too. But I guess, when you are the self proclaimed ‘genius’ of Nascar, you better find any source for the problems other than those who make the decisions. Again reminds me of the old saying about staying quiet and letting people think you a fool than opening your mouth and prove it!
I agree totally with the MBeard comment!!!
The FS has a Christmas party? Must be nice. Where I work we have a “Holiday” party. PC blows chunks.
I KNEW IT WAS JR’S FAULT!!! Hehe.
NASCAR has out grown the south and some fans can’t accept it. It’s sad!
That is sad. But I wonder what will happen when the Big Cruel Real-World that they have migrated too snaps them in half. Will NA$CAR coming whimpering back homeâ€¦tail tucked between its legs. And like the people of the good ole South usually are, weâ€™ll take â€˜em backâ€¦.. but only after a good tongue lashing donâ€™t you think?
We also tend to flip channels when Jr goes out or down several laps. After that the last 10 laps is all we need to see. And we have been tempted (only tempted) to actually leave a race when he goes out. Reason for that is long drives home head start on the traffic.
TV broadcast are to blame for the turnoff. They show only the leader for 3-4 laps with no one challenging them and then go to commercial and when they get back they show us the same exact thing. Somewhere within the field has to be someone fighting for a position but we’ll never see it. No wonder sponsors are hard to find, their cars may never end up on the screen unless they crash then they’ll get some air time. We have yelled at the TV “come on show us someone besides the leader and commercials.”
Ratings decline top 10
Mr France: If Junior fans are so all powerful…
Two years ago we were all told that the sport was bigger than a couple of drivers. That having Dale Jr & Jeff Gordon not in the Chase was OK! You still had 10 great drivers in the Chase.
MAKE UP YOUR MIND! You don’t get to have it both ways. You want to know what is wrong with the NASCAR ratings…look in the mirror dude! It is YOU!
Your decisions are hurting this sport. You can say all you want that the racing is better. Here is one simple little fact…what you think really doesn’t matter much! If WE don’t like it, it isn’t good! Simple, WE are the ones you need to please.
Do you remember us? We are the fans, fans of ALL the drivers. Fans that buy the overpriced tickets, and fans that watch the rotten coverage on TV. WE need to be pleased with YOUR product…WE AREN’T. That is why the ratings are down.
This really isn’t rocket science, I would think that even the powers that be in NASCAR could figure it out……but, as always, lets just take the easy way out, and blame our mistakes on someone else.
My point exactly. Jr fans aren’t race fans. So stop trying to attract them.
@ Connie & Just A Fan:
What kills NASCAR is inconsistency, caring more for the $ than the fans, Allowing frequently caught cheaters continue to work and cheat, not allowing drivers to have emotions (speak they’re mind with no holds barred), Always messing with the car (let’s be honest the C.O.T is just a way for France to pad his pocket and can anyone tell the difference between cars w/out looking for an emblem), changing the rules for no reason (they all fall under the “detrimental to NASCAR” rule) not allowing drivers to beat and bang to the finish, they’ve watered it all down to a Hollywood dream because NASCAR is afraid of being called a redneck!
I watched VERY little NASCAR this year, way before Jr didn’t make the playoffs. After 10 years of faithful watching it’s just become to bland to give up 5 hrs
I think the opposite of MBeard. While I have a favorite driver and I do hope he does well,(not that I’d actually see any of it as he’s not Jeff, Dale Jr. or a few other over coveraged drivers), its really the racing that is, (or should be), the excitement for me. Hearing 43 race tuned engines coming to life is music to my ears. Brent’s post is the one that really nails it though..NASCAR has really become IROC and its only going to get worse…there is a reason that IROC races never really took off, the only reason that people tolerated them was that there were only so many a year and it pitted drivers from various racing arenas so it had that going for it. Connie raises some good points as well with the only correction I would make is its not just Jr. fans that are flipping the stations…even with my driver still in the race I flip channels as I know he will barely get a mention or a camera on his car and more importantly I tire pretty fast of watching the same guys all the time, the same small group of drivers. I think Jr. is a pretty good guy and all but if he is not in the silly chase and is running in the bottom of the pack is there a reason that we are still heavily covering him? I would think even Jr. fans would have to admit that the coverage just prior to the chase was a tad over the top as it would’ve taken quite a few miracles to happen for Jr. to make the chase but the way the media potrayed it on TV you would’ve wondered if there was anyone else racing that day. I think that’s my point..alot of fans I would think are pretty tired of watching and hearing about just a few drivers. Connie is right..I know I’ve found myself talking to the tv as well asking if anyone but the top-5 and/or chase drivers are going to get any coverage. I think Truefan is right in regards to modifications being an issue as well..the COT goes right back to what has been said in regards to the IROC series and if/when they go to spec engines..well, heck, we’re just about there. On the issue of fair-weathered fans I can see your point Truefan but I look towards NASCAR as to why there may be fair-weathered fans. Perhaps if NASCAR didn’t worry so much about concerts, TV stars, selling product after product and actually worried about what NASCAR’s product is,(or perhaps “was”), which is something called “racing” then I think you wouldn’t see a drop in ratings and empty seats at the tracks..like any other company out there..if your product is good then it will sell..if your product is bad, and even with all the bells and whistles you add to it,(concerts, etc), it still won’t sell..Tell Brian to go to his local community college, he can learn that in chapter 1 of “Business 101”.
Not sure where all your readers are getting this misinformation but it was Ken Squire, CBS, Diamond P Sports and TNN that brought this sport into it’s accepted adulthood with the with the fans. Certainly not ESPN!
I am a motor race fan. I have sat through hours of curling to see 5 minutes of racing on Wide World of Sports.I get up early to watch F1. I now mostly sleep through NA$CAR Cup.
I agree, why does the south regress while everyone else seeks to progress? It is indeed sad!
Couldn’t have been said better Sleepy…
You can lead horses to water but you can’t make them drink it and we all know who the horses are.
I agree with Chris2’s comments. People watching the races need to be race fans of the overall sport. That includes some knowledge of the sport which includes knowing who all the drivers are and actually attending some of these races to get the complete fan experience. While its fine to just follow one driver, doing so can block out the fact that a lot of other things are going on during the race. Personally, I think better coverage of the “rest” of the field and better announcing from the “booth” and “pit road” would do wonders for keeping our attention so we watch the entire race longer. The timing of commercials are another set of big problems as well! How often this year did we miss the action on the track during a commercial? Personally, I think a bunch of people writing in these forums would do a better job than the idiots in the booth this year! Where’s Ned Jarrett when you need him?
“NASCAR has out grown the south and some fans canâ€™t accept it. Itâ€™s sad!” ——— WHAT A JOKE! THE MORE NASCAR HAS TRIED TO HEAD NORTH, THE WORST IT HAS DONE!!!
True Fan – do you mean horses? or horses ass?
There are at least 8 directions to grow so the anti north statements suggest obvious disdain for a particular area, sounds like someone is still pissed about the civil war.It seems nascar is nothing more than a cover for unsettled “yankee” hate by people who are living vicariously through regional drivers hence Dale Earnhardt and the like.
I am a Dale Jr fan. After he’s out of the race( and that happened way too many times this year)it’s over for me. Nascar has too many stupid rules,penalties and, that really dumb Chase format. I was at Homestead and you should have seen all the people leaving when Dale Jr was down 5 laps. The race was over, as far as I was concerned.
While I too miss the days of Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, & Neil Bonnett calling the races, two are retired and Neil is gone. Having said that, ESPN needs to get rid of morons like Kuselias and let Jerry Punch and Allen Bestwick call races. Not the idiots they have in there now. The only series I watch anymore are the trucks. Those guys are not afraid to let it all hang out. The other thing that needs to go is Bill Weber and TNT. That idiot wants to be Howie Cosell so badly….somebody needs to kick his sorry a** over to football coverage. Then he can go gush over the thugs there. Jim France, Please kick your stupid nephew out of the chair and bring some common sense back to NASCAR
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