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
Monday March 3, 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.
Jeff Meyer · Thursday April 7, 2005
One of the downfalls of writing a Thursday column, is that being so many days after the previous race, sometimes the very topic I’d planned to write about has already been written about ad nauseam and it would appear that I’m beating a dead horse. Not that actually beating a dead horse is such a bad thing. It can be surprisingly therapeutic, and the horse in question is way past caring anyway.
The upside of a late week column is that I have a few days to gather all my thoughts and information, along with the latest news releases that others may have missed, and actually appear to know what I’m talking about. That’s the plan anyway, but it doesn’t always work out.
So far, this season has been going pretty well for me. The eventual replacement driver (Carl Edwards) that I picked to replace my favorite, Dale Jarrett, has been proving a worthy choice and I’m more confident than ever that Carl will fill DJ’s shoes in both class and ability. In this sport, you gotta have a favorite to root for.
Almost equally important for ones racing enjoyment, in addition to a favorite, you gotta have a ‘haterite’! A ‘haterite’ is the guy you love to hate. Not ‘hate’ as in you wanna see the guy killed or anything ultra psychotic like that, but ‘hate’ as in you are always rooting for the guy behind or beside him to put him into the wall! Don’t give me that innocent look! We all do it and you know it.
For me, it used to be Todd Bodine who could spin faster than a Maytag. Following Todd, I wrote many an article picking on Kurt Busch, Jimmy Spencer and Tony Stewart. For quite awhile, I had plenty to write about! However, over the last year or so, I’ve found I’ve had to sheath my ‘poison pen’ for a variety of circumstances that no one, in their wildest dreams could have thought of.
Jimmy Spencer, after punching Kurt Busch, became (to me) a ‘pretty cool guy’! Kurt Busch, after beating Spencer’s fist with his face, gave up his cocky attitude and, aside from winning a championship, has done little to piss anybody off. Tony Stewart has been flying under the radar for the last year or so with nary a snarl, and what about Todd? Todd has probably become the bane of the local ‘accident investigation officer’ in whatever town he lives in, not to mention his insurance agent. (See! Man I miss writing like that!)
The only driver that I thought might become my whipping boy was ‘Baby Bob’, Bobby Hamilton Jr, but that idea went right out the window on Sunday after an incredible display of responsibility for his own actions. (I still think Quiznos should sponsor his car though!)
Enter Shane Hmiel. A kid with a ride due, in part some say, to his daddy’s connections at DEI. Not unheard of by any means in this sport, but a gift you’d better prove you’re worthy of or face unceasing derision. Some do, some don’t. Shane doesn’t.
Earning a rare, in NASCAR anyway, drug suspension, Hmiel’s career almost hit the wall before the green flag. Not that many fans cared too much I don’t think, as he was just another young kid that some faceless entity said ‘held promise’. Since the suspension, Shane has been trying to rebuild his fan base and his resume with appearances in Truck, Busch and Cup rides. I still never paid much attention to him because, well, let’s face it, it’s Shane Hmiel.
But now, now things are different! He’s still just another wanna be, not even up to Bodine status yet, but now he’s gone and ‘dissed’ Mr. Class (and former Champion) of NASCAR himself, Dale Jarrett!
Not only did Shane punt Dale into the wall, provoking a rare ‘talking to’ by DJ, but he bravely (to DJ’s back) gave him the finger. All that after ‘pushing’ two other cars out of the way to get to DJ in the first place. To top off this grand career performance, he taunts DJ about his age and not having enough time to get even, in a post race interview! What a worthless puke!
So now I rest assured that my racing enjoyment future is secure for many years to come. I got Carl Edwards to root for upon DJ’s eventual retirement and I got Shane Hmiel to ‘whack’ with my keyboard! My only fear is that Hmiel will pull a ‘Bodine’ and disappear! Here’s hoping he gets a ride with DEI!
Stay off the wall, (except for Shane)
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Well Jeff, its nice to have a refreshing view of a stale topic. Unfortunately you didnt’ bring one. Not that I care who you wanna see wrecked. But maybe Nascar isn’t the series you should be following. If you wanna see wrecks go to a demolition derby. As for the Hmiel and DJ incident, it was racing. Pure and simple. And at least you got a little smashing on a “Bodine” in the same race. Facts are facts and even after a week of reflection you fail to mention the only proveable, absolutely disrespectful and intentional neck-snappin’ activity on the track. You, as well as the announcers of the race and many other so called fans, fail to mention the defending Busch Series Champion’s actions against a “respected veteran.” And then he announced it on his radio. Its amazing to see such hypocrisy. Such two-faced criticism. And you must have taken off more than a few days. Todd won a few NCTS races last year. And is 13th in the points. Last I looked, DJ hadn’t won anything since the second race of ‘03. Hell, he’s only led 75 laps since the beginning of the ‘03 season. And only one pole but failed to lead a lap in that race. That’s 75 races! Seems like Shane was right, as you also alluded to, DJ ain’t got much time left before that “eventual retirement.” One can only wait. Looks to me that DJ is already padding that path to history with attempts at wins in a lower “development series” that even all his money, sponsors and team support can’t buy him. Then again, looking at your perception of the incident again, crossing my eyes a bit, it looks about as twisted as DJ’s car after it stopped rolling and resembles DJ’s evident thought processes, when he pretended to be Hmiel’s dad, after realizing what happens when a faster car moves for position at the end of a Bristol race!
DJ is a hasbeen? You gotta be kidding me! DJ is one of the cleanest and respected drivers in the game. What Hmiel did on the track was a stupid mistake and can be forgiven. What he did after, is a whole other thing. He showed cowardice and a complete disrespect for his sport. I look forward to wishing him the worst racing luck (no injury to him or others) along with Robby Gordon. DJ is great and is in the class of the field with Rusty, Mark Martin, Rudd, JJ, Bobby and Terry Labonte. Hmiel will never achieve that level.
Well DW, you did list a whole bunch of wiley vets. With the exception of Bobby, most are on the way out in the next few years. And that “JJ”, is that Junior Johnson or the current points leader? If its the latter, you need to give me a break as I must have missed his respectful apology during the broadcast for spinning an older veteran driver during the Cup race. And wasn’t it Rusty that showed what class Nascar athletes have when he announced that he would like to tell Stewart where to put that finger? And wasn’t it Martin who was whining on his radio like a baby last year fearing someone would touch his car when others were actually “racing” around him toward the end of the season. And Rudd, didn’t he throw a water bottle at his engine builder after provoking a fistfight on TV? The Labonte’s are hard though. There’s not much dirt on them that I can recall at the moment, but I bet its there somewhere. Candid moments of TV coverage have always revealed lack of respect for the sport so lets not just put it all on Hmiel’s back. In fact, wasn’t there that big moment in Nascar history when those three guys fought at the end of that big race back in the ‘70’s? While it propelled the sport into the mainstream consciousness of America, it wasn’t any better than a bench clearing brawl in MLB and for a moment there I thought a hockey game was going to break out. But please tell me why you think Hmiel was the only one that saluted anyone from afar that weekend. And I think you’re mistaking “cowardice” for “common sense.” Like Confucius says: Best not to share your bird with an angry old man when tied to a chair.
Pay attention hmielybug! All those incidents you mentioned, with the exception of referring to Mark Martin as a “baby” were incidents of emotion and aggresion. The key differnece is that they were “face to face” or public, and not “behind the back” Call it common sense if you want, but as a soldier, I can say we refer to it as cowardice. When you wait for someones back to be turned before showing your bird, you obviously are afraid of the person you are flipping.
As for JJ, (the current points leader) he made a mistake, and as I said, Hmiel made a mistake and can be forgiven. It is his behavior after the fact that I find punkish.
As for the fights in the past, they are not disrespectfull of the sport. They were straight up fights. I don’t remember the Allisons or Yarbrough being afraid of each other. I love the emotion and I like the fire. What I see in Hmiel is a lack of maturity and charachter. He could get back in the good graces of many with a public apology. I doubt we will see it, and when he fails to make the grade, and DEI can’t keep sponsors for him, Hmiel will be gone.
Mark Martin a “baby”? You had better re-think that one. He is one of the most respected drivers in the business. He is a favorite of other drivers! You probably have some hidden agenda there and I don’t think you will find many to agree with you on that one.
You thoughts are right on the mark. No one could have said it better. To all you Hmiel fans I say; there will be many more days when we cheer him hitting the wall than there will be days when you cheer him sitting in victory lane.
Very seldom does a selfish hack become a winner!
I don’t know how tall Shane Hmiel is, but as you pointed out, this week Bobby Jr. proved to be the bigger man.
Amazing what the simple words, “I messed up,” can do. Bobby Hamilton Jr. didn’t even have to wait most of the week for some scriptwriter to prepare a statement. He walked out of the care center, looked right into a camera, and said it.
Well, I think it was a good article. Everyone has had bad days, it’s just how you deal with them that makes you the good guy or the bad guy. And Hmiel is currently on my bad guy list. Anyway, I defintely agreed with the comment about Edwards. He really does remind me of DJ.
-Another CR guy
Well guys, we’ve had enough, we give up. Its all a one way street and Hmiel should just be grateful to follow DJ around the track. Maybe it’ll all be cleared when Jarret spins Hmiel, or one after another in the payback line and we can get back to racing. Instead of just focusing on the opinions that some have of what is “really” in the mind of Hmiel and the intentions behind his actions/reactions. Here’s to opinions and reputations. We all have them and either one are rarely the truth. Don’t ya just love Bristol? And if you do, here we go again with Martinsville! Its just kinda anticlimatic to not see DJ and Hmiel meet again so soon. I can just hear his crew chief now: “Step on it Hmiel, that angry old guy is in this race and he said he was gonna get ya!” I’m gone fellahs, I’m sure I’m takin’ up too much room on these pages with my nonsense. See ya on the track. Think of me everytime ya see my boy on the track. Hold your breath every time he gets behind Jarret. Hmiel waited that entire race to show Jarret what he really thought of him, his fans and the sport, but I don’t think he’ll be so patient next time!
FYI: Jarrett is spelled with two Ts.
As a former flower child of the late sixties and most, no, ALL of the seventies, I can’t help but wonder if Shane is still feeling the lingering effects of his drug of choice or, is he experiencing flashbacks?
Whatever, all I can say is “Groovy and far out!” Hard to find good S hip H igh I n T ransit like that now-a-daze. I reckon Shane is the type to Bogart a joint, rather than pass it over again. Not that that’s a bad thing. Fewer kooties shared that way.
I’m glad you reported what R2-D2, (Bobby Jr.) said after he zigged when he should have zagged. Up until you put pen to paper I thought I had dreamed that. Now, I know it was for real. I’m glad! Little Big Man took the high road and, as a result, I removed him from my Excrement list. Now my Excrement list contains only one name.
Shame on Shane!
A bird in the face—Is worth two in the back.
And he snapped just like a little twig. I think Bob Dylan sang that. Hard to recall.
I DO remember what Aretha Franklin sang though.
Find out what it means to me.
Oh, sock it to me. Sock it to me.
But, I digress…...............
............What I wanted to say was, I enjoyed your article.
YOU MENTIONED THAT SPENCER GAVE THAT PUNK BUSCH AN ATTITUDE CORRECTION-THAT IS JUST WHAT HMIEL NEEDS MAYBE HMIEL WILL TRY TO PUT BOBBY HAMILTON INTO THE WALL AGAIN THIS WEEK AT MARTINSVILLE - PROBLEM SOLVED THEN !DAN MAC
Uh, did this idiot hmiely bug say Hmiel is the reigning Busch Champ? Wow, that stupid statement rates right up there with the most uninformed statements ever.
For the record Hmiel finished 44th in Busch series last year. Not even good enough to make the field.
This article is right on the button. Except for more drivers to hate, because the are what me and my friends call ‘wreckers’:
Anybody named Sauter, especially Johnny
and many others that escape me.
Also fun to rip are the guys who always think its someone else’s fault they didn’t win (like their team, or a faster driver, or….).
Leaders of this category include Rusty and Mike Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart to name a few.
Thank you ALL for reading and responding!
Weather you agree with my opinion or not, remember, we’re here to have fun. It IS just a sport after all. Thanks to all for keeping it ‘clean’.
And stew…I think hmielybug was referring to Truex Jr. getting a penalty for rough driving…..
And Dot!? Is it REALLY you?! You never write me anymore! Been wonderin about you. Hope life is treatin ya good!
Stay off the wall everyone!
I didn’t see the incident because I was at work, so I can’t say what I think about the stuff that happened on the track. But what I can say is that Shane Hmiel got caught with his finger up…on tv. That’s disrespectful to any driver as well as to the fans. I don’t care whether they’ve wrecked you or not. He should have taken his frustration, anger, whatever it was away from the tv and talked to DJ like an ADULT. Plain and simple.
Thank you Jeff! Great article!
This is one article that I agree with completely. It’s amazing to me that someone can totally share my opinion, I too used to love to hate Kurt, Tony and Spencer, and for the same reasons as you, they don’t bother me anymore. Shane has always annoyed me with his language (if you’ve ever seen NBS 24/7 you will know just what I mean) and his actions in Bristol put the final nail in the coffin, thanks for writing this Jeff.. you made my day.
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