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 August 7, 2008
Once in awhile, something happens in the world of NASCAR that affords me the opportunity to be one of those annoying guys that no one wants to share a beverage with. You know the kind – the guy who says “Ha Ha! Told you so!” I try not to be that guy too often — even though I am mostly right about most things — because let’s face it, I like people to share their beverages with me! However, since I recently discovered the petty cash box here at Frontstretch.com’s Iowa office and took a crowbar to it, I have bought my own box of beverages, and can now sit here and say…
“Ha Ha! Told you so!”
I speak of none other than the satisfying news that J. J. Yeley has been released by Hall of Fame Racing effective immediately! Oh, what a difference a year (almost) makes, eh J.J.?
Try not to get too turned off by my snooticism as you read this, because I’m not really saying “I told ya so” to all the people who actually heard me say Yeley was overrated; I’m directing it more towards HoF Racing!
Turns out that Tony Raines, whom Yeley replaced in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota at the beginning of this year, should have never been let go. No, Raines’ record was not stellar for the two full years that he drove for HoF… but he was improving. So much so that by the time Yeley made the “agonizing” decision to “leave” JGR to oust Raines at HoF’s request, Raines had successfully kept the No. 96 in the coveted Top 35 throughout his tenure. To fully understand how “agonizingly” full of horse hockey Yeley is, lets step back a few months.
“When you leave an organization like Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the top teams in NASCAR, you want to try to make the right step to be more successful,” said Yeley back in September of 2007. “I’ve never had to make a decision this difficult in my life, but I’m confident that Hall of Fame Racing will be competitive week-in and week out and build the future team around me as their driver. The affiliation with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the great people in Phoenix was just an added bonus that makes it the perfect fit for me. The benefit of this team is that there’s already a great history and foundation in place with equipment from Joe Gibbs Racing, which is equal to the best equipment in the sport. All those things added up to make me feel that Hall of Fame Racing and DLP will be the best fit for me.”
Are you kidding me? OK, I’m not a race car driver, but even I know that “leaving” JGR for HoF in an effort “to be more successful” is NASCAR driver code for: “I really need a job, please hire me, I’ll do anything if you let me drive.” Seems to me it was more like JGR saying, “Here is some equipment and oh, by the way, it comes with a driver too!’”
Whatever the case, I am glad Yeley is gone. I don’t have anything personal against the guy, it’s just that I hated to see a man who is just as talented — if not more — get the shaft. Now its Yeley’s turn to get the shaft and when you think about it, the shaft he’s getting is even stiffer than the one given to Raines. Yeley’s contract with HoF was to run through 2010 and he is out now. At least Raines got to finish out two full seasons with HoF …. that ought to tell you something.
Now, having said all that, there is one more assertion that I will make concerning HoF. You people are idiots for not inviting Tony Raines back. Brad Coleman, who will be replacing Yeley for the remainder of this year, may very well be a talented driver — but he is not quite ready for primetime! Not if you want the car to be back in the Top 35.
Oh, did I fail to mention the fact that during Yeley’s tenure in the No. 96, he promptly drove it out of the Top 35? Not bad for HoF’s new “superstar!”
Ha Ha! Told ya so!
Stay off the wall,
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
How old are you? I told you so? Grow up.
JJ overrated? Who has overrated him, just because he replaced Raines you call him overrated? JJ didn’t have choice leaving JGR, he got ousted for KYB. Maybe if JJ were given equipment equal to other drivers he might be able to preform a little better. Did you forget when he replaced Stewart and kept the car in the top ten until he was taken out by another driver? I think you unfairly judged JJ. Stewart was the one who requested that JJ take over for him in that race, that should tell you something, I believe Stewart is a better judge of a driver than a reporter. How sad to laugh at some one losing a job in today’s enconomy, and JJ has a family to support.
J.J.Yeley has as much business in a cup car as a hog has in a church pew !
And all along I thought you were a impartial journalist, Come to find out you are just a bandwagoner like the rest of the hacks. Sure Tony deserved better but so did JJ, get your “facts” together like a real journalist does before you put pen to paper.
I don’t wish bad on any person but I did think JJ was overrated myself. Lookit, Kyle Busch got into a team that was down and out for 2 years. JJ was the driver. Now Busch in the same team as JJ had with the same crew chief and the same owners and the same tires and bodies and roll bars and suspension — well you get the picture — goes out and wins 7 Cup races in 6 months. Now you tell me where JJ is all that talented? And while the writer of this blog is a bit arrogant about JJ losing his job, I am with him on his point. They butted Raines out and got a driver half Raines’ caliber. And now HoF racing got what they paid for. It shouldn’t go unnoticed guys and gals that Raines got the HoF racing ride in the first place by driving an underfunded car a few years ago and doing it well. That’s what gets folks’ attention in this business. My guess is that sponsors saw, and maybe a better economic mess was the real reason at JGR, that JJ was younger. Sponsors have way too sway on the things that matter in the cockpit these days. For example, they want to take a young 21-year old and “build a program around that driver.” BS! In the first place not too many 21-year olds are up to the challenge. Not a slight but this sport eats drivers. The second point is that sponsors aren’t always around to honor what they started—especially in this economy. The bottom line—pun intended? HoF racing would be way way better off if they had kept Tony Raines. And Coleman? Geezuz, they will have the same results. He will go down in flames at HoF and his career will be ruined by working with what now amounts to losers. HoF as a single team never had a chance—even with JGR association. But they would have had a much better standing had they stayed true to the driver they started with.
I love this article…
He then inherited a top 35 car that..TONY RAINES of all people was able to keep secure and drove it into oblivion…
At the Prelude to the Dream this year..JJ “im an awesome dirt racer” managed to SPIN HIMSELF OUT 3 TIMES in one freakin heat race…
He’s awful, awful, awful..
And remember, after Tony Stewart won all those USAC titles they renamed the series to USUC and that’s how JJ Yeley won those titles..
Add Michael Waltrip to overrated drivers.Lucky only maybe. I would be afraid to be on the same road he might be driving on.
George, Lets not forget that Bobby Labonte finished 24th in points the year before JJ took over that car.
Last year, in the COT races, JJ was doing fine. It was broken parts that hurt him. A broken Shock mount, an exhaust header, a blown Engine. You have to concider all the facts.
I was wrong.
I had watched J.J. win a couple of USAC races and take the USAC Triple Crown. When I heard he was coming to Cup, I figured he was gonna light the place up, take rookie of the year, and eventually move on to contend for championships.
I was wrong.
Nonetheless, I would love to see him return to open wheel – perhaps an IndyCar ride is in his future?
The tone of this article is a bit immature. Future evidence that the internet will probably destroy intelligent life as we know it.
Yeley is not exactly a top notch stock car talent, but you can’t place all the blame on his shoulders for that team’s performance this year. While Gibbs benefited from the switch to Toyota, it seems that HOF took a step backward. I was surprised last year when HOF booted Raines in favor of Yeley. Yeley is a talented racer but I don’t think he ever really “figured out” the whole stock car thing. He ran well in the Busch series, but still never managed to record a win in the lower division. I have to imagine he’d be a consideration for a good ride in the recently unified IndyCar series.
HOF needs to hire an experienced driver for that car. Coleman is a good band aid for the rest of the season, but he’s not ready for Cup. Then again, that’s what they said about Denny Hamlin in 2005…..
While I don’t think that somebody like Ryan Newman would sign with HOF, you have to think that guys like Raines, Sauter, Riggs are all contenders to take over that car. The questions is, will they want to?
I thought this would be an article about Dale Jr.
“OLD GUY”, that was a nasty thing to say!!!!!!
HOF Racing was formed as a joint venture by Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman to break into Nascar racing.
Even with some JGR support, they quickly found out that it would literally be years before they were competitive.
Such is the way and the life of start-up teams.
Anybody with half a Nascar brain knows that a new team is going to take years to jell.
Once Staubach observed the $$ bleeding with little return, he bailed out. I think Aikman did to, but I am not sure on that.
Staubach is a very smart man and a multi-millionaire made after his QB days with Dallas.
He made it in real estate.
But once again a smart and rich man was parlayed into being a fool meddling with Nascar.
You would think they would learn by now.
So the firing of Raines, which was totally baseless, was another example of desparation at the weariness of being non-competitive and being involved with a money pit.
Yeley was no more going to turn HOF around than
Be careful when you play with Nascar, you could get burned.
Ask Roger Dodger….
Maybe this is a start of good things to come. As the open wheel guys sink to the bottom of the points, maybe they will be moved out of their seats for more drivers that do not use the “too Heavy” excuse for their lack of talent. 77,42,40(R.I.P.), Villeneuve and others. Just because you can drive a spec F1 or IRl car doesn’t mean that you can drive everything!
Yeley definately overrated but not as much as Casey Mears, Jamie McMurry and Eliott Sadler. Those three below in the dead wood pile and don’t get me started on “restrictor plate” ringers like the JUST FOR MEN Mikey Waltrip and Sterling Marlin.
You are correct, IT,IS ANNOYING!
Hope that petty cash, wasn’t too petty, & you’ve got lots of brew!
Daniel L wrote…
Sorry Daniel, I don’t work for CNN. I write COMMENTARY. My job is to give my OPINION on such matters as I see fit, which in turn gives you (and everyone else) the opportunity to voice YOURS!
Another job well done! Here, have a beverage! ;)
Amen everybody! Especially Josh C… he hit the nail right on the head, except I’d toss Yeley in there with the other 3 to keep the fire burning, but then again I’m feeling more and more lately that the cup series is being diluted with weaker and weaker drivers coming into the sports with even weaker teams. Sad sad stuff.
JJ’s defenders are grasping at straws.
Exhibit A: The 18 was mediocre with JJ, and dominant ever since they rolled into Daytona practice with Shrub. This was not a gradual improvement, it was like someone flipped a light switch on.
Exhibit B: The 96 was in the top 35 before JJ (even in their expansion year), he let it slip out and put them far enough out that there is little hope of getting back this season. The primary sponsorship was the same from season to season, as is the relationship with Gibbs.
Exhibit C: After sliding out out the top 35 with the 96, JJ then missed multiple races due to poor qualifiying.
Exhibit D: JJ is a close friend of Smoke (fellow Hoosier with open wheel connections), he had a prior relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing, and was doing nothing the day he was asked to sub because he couldn’t get his regular ride in the show. That decision did not rest solely on who was the most talented driver, there are other factors to consider. Whatever the reasons for his being chosen as a relief driver, all he did was turn a few reasonably competitive laps in a car that was already well set up. Any number of drivers could has jumped in and done the same. He has demonstrated no aptitude for communicating with his crew chiefs to get a car dialed in on his own, and that is a huge part of his job.
Exhibit E: Simply having a top notch driver stepping up to support you does NOT mean you are a top notch driver yourself. I call this the Michael Waltrip theory.
JJ should be applauded, he has done exactly what his buddy Jeremy Mayfield (JM = Just Mediocre) has done several times …. Take a car OUT of the top 35. SLet’s see if he whines & blames the Equipment like Just Mediocre err I mean Jeremy Mayfield did !
Hey, Old Guy.
I thought exactly the same thing.
“Maybe this is a start of good things to come. As the open wheel guys sink to the bottom of the points…” “Just because you can drive a spec F1 or IRl car doesn’t mean that you can drive everything!”
Excuse Me! Open Wheel Champs…Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Robby Gordon, Juan Montoya, Ken Schrader, A.J Almendinger and Casey Mears have all “come over to NASCAR” successfully. Not to mention Sam Hornish, Scott Speed, J.J.Yeley, Carpentier and Franchetti. This is a very respectable list of veterens and winners. All of these drivers have a lot of talent…since, anyone who straps on a helmet in any professional series has the skills (or they don’t last)…so go pick on some other myth.
Now for my list of Stock Car Drives who have come over to open wheel on a regular basis…??
Whoa, people. Not all successful people are successful at everything they attempt. If JJ can’t drive, fine. Let him go back to open wheel. But he hasn’t gotten this much press since his birth notice in the newspaper.
Geez, it’s a good thing you “don’t have anything personal against the guy”! I have no idea what motivated you to write this, but you made yourself look pretty bad. You’ll feel like an ass soon, if you don’t already. Very disappointing article. No editor on duty?
Also, the way jj made it sound by his own quote a year ago…like it was his hard decision to leave JGR for HoF. The guy was fired, let go, sent packing..just like he has been now.
All points I thought I made clear….apparently not.
However, to put your mind at ease, its been over 24 hrs now since I wrote it and I am still feeling like my normal “I’m glad I’m me” self, and yes, the editors were on duty. Here, have a beverage too!
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