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.
Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday August 6, 2009
Yesterday on this very frontpage, my esteemed colleague, Vito Pugliese (and I hope I spelled that right, ‘cuz I’m pretty sure he has some pretty heavy “family” ties) seemed to have a problem with three rules in particular that defined the outcome of recent races. They were (in order): NASCAR’s pit road speed limit, the Lucky Dog, and the penalty box.
It seems that Vito would like to have certain nuances of these rules changed. In his defense, however, I will say that although he would like to see them fixed immediately, he would also settle for his proposed changes to be implemented before the start of next season. But simply the possibility of changing the rules right now is what I would like to address first.
One thing that has always peeved me about NASCAR is not the fact that they occasionally employ “selective” enforcement, but the fact that they are able to, and do, change the rules as they see fit right in the middle of the season. To me, that is preposterous, even if it is a GOOD rule change.
As a “professional” sport, there should be a review at the end of each year that includes the sanctioning body, the owners, and other selected members of the teams that go over the rules and any concerns that may have arisen from them during the previous season. If there are changes to be made, they should be made then, and — here’s the clever bit — adhered to for the entire upcoming year! If they need tweaking some more, then change them at the NEXT meeting, not in the middle of the year. That way, everyone is on the same page and no one can bitch (well they can, but not with real conviction) about it later.
Take, for instance, the sudden change of the double-file restarts. First of all, we have always had double-file restarts; but now, due to a midseason fix to the rules, we only have guys on the lead lap up front. Now, those that know my work know that I have been advocating a fix for a long time, ever since they started the Lucky Dog rule (more about that later). But while I am happy that they did finally change it, changing it in the middle of the year was just wrong! No other sport fixes their rulebook in the middle of the year. The NFL, for example, didn’t suddenly move the goal posts to the rear of the endzone after week 7 because some new, super-legged kicker walked on to a team giving them a decided advantage. So as you can see, this is one area where NASCAR should be like other sports, sticking with rules that should be set at the beginning of the season and lived with for the entire year. ‘Nuff said.
Now, on the other things…
Pit Road Speed Limit:
This one is simple enough. The bottom line is that the only one to blame for Juablo not winning the Brickyard 400 is Juablo himself!
The speed limit is already set in stone. NASCAR, in what I find as an extraordinarily rare case of being reasonable, gives the competitors a 5 mph cushion above that limit just in case there are differences in the engines (as we all know there are). Your State Patrol does the same thing. If you are traveling down the Interstate doing 70 in a 65 mph zone, there is an extremely little chance that you will get pulled over and given a good talking to. It is when you are nudging upwards of 75 in that 65 mph zone that you are asking for trouble. On pit road, just as in real life — like within the city limits — those “cushions” become smaller. Having them is a must, though, because all the cars are different. Furthermore, having no cushion in place and citing it as a “safety factor” is ridiculous as well. Chances are, you’ll be just as dead if you are hit at 55.11 mph as you will be at 60.11 mph.
Well, at Indy Juablo was caught speeding in two separate “time zones.” He was doing “country” speed in “city limits” … and that just doesn’t wash. In truth, the ONLY thing that NASCAR should be ridiculed about when it comes to this subject is the simple fact that they used guys with stopwatches to police pit road until 2005! That, my friends, is just ludicrous.
Bottom line is, there is nothing that needs to be changed here. We don’t need speedometers in the cars, and we don’t need to have pit road speeds posted for all to see — least of all the driver. And if these guys didn’t have a proclivity to speed down pit road at any given time, why is it that over almost every radio, on every pit stop, you hear the CC reminding the driver to “watch your speed?!” These guys are the supposed best in the world; they should, and do (most of the time) know what they are doing.
The Lucky Dog:
If there was one phrase that certainly fit for Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus at Pocono, Lucky Dog was it (although I’m sure many fans and opposing teams alike used a slightly deviated female version of the phrase.) That being said, I, like Vito, am in favor of the Lucky Dog as a whole. However…
In today’s NASCAR, which ironically matches our society, the concept of parity and of course the “kit car” rules the roost. Long gone are the days when one guy, who happens to be two laps down, is going to motor around the entire field not once but twice because he is suddenly that strong! And even then, back when it was conceivable and when lap down cars did restart next to the leader, it’s not often that they just took off and burned the rest of the field that badly as many who recount these tales of yore would have you believe. In most cases, if a lapped car was able to get in front of the leaders, it was often another quick caution that allowed them to motor on around, OR, back in the days of “gentlemen drivers,” the caution would fly and the leader would slow down and let a lapped car pass him, specifically letting him have a lap back before getting to the line. That was not always the case… but it happened more often than not.
So, what happened with the No. 48 team at Pocono was just pure luck and rarely occurs. Yes, the particular track that NASCAR happens to be racing at that week does come into play here, as the bigger the track the more time you have to work on your car should you choose to pit. However, to say that Johnson somehow manipulated the rules or took advantage of them is nuts. It was just dumb luck that no one else was one lap down. Or two laps down! Not only that, but Johnson had to get incredibly lucky not once, not twice, but three times! It was just their day!
Couple being some of the luckiest SOBs alive and the fact that they never gave up and have been in similar (well, not usually three laps down, but down early in a race) situations before and have kept fighting — even won — I, for one, thought they did one hell of a job! And most of you know that I’m not a big Jimmie Johnson fan! I did not feel that the rules had been bent out of their original intent one bit. Do you not realize just how many things had to “come together” for them to pull off what they did? Dumb luck and hard work was all that happened there.
The bottom line here is, it has happened before, it did happen on Monday, and at some point it will probably happen again in the future with this rule. But it’s like shooting a hole-in-one or picking up a 7-10 split… when it does happen, you say, “you lucky SOB!” and then let it go.
The Penalty Box:
Actually, as I watched the action between Robby Gordon and David Stremme, I was laughing. Hey, we all know Robby Gordon. He wasn’t going to let anything “go.” Was anyone really that surprised that the two kept after each other? If you were, please proceed immediately to Aegis Labs for testing under the auspices of NASCAR’s new Drug/Alcohol Free Fan Policy (also, like the rulebook, unpublished!).
No, what I was surprised about was that NASCAR parked them both for five laps. My first thought was “Good! They both got what they deserved!” Usually, NASCAR will show some sort of favoritism toward one or the other, leaving the rest of us to really wonder that age old question. “Why?”
Well, these guys were like two siblings fighting in the back seat of a long trip. NASCAR, having other, more pressing things to do, like running a race, finally stopped the car, came back there and gave them both a good spanking — regardless of who started it or who hit whom first.
Neither one of these jokers were a factor in anything, and both were acting like Saturday night locals going after each other on the dirt. I, for one (and please don’t lapse into shock when you read this) thought NASCAR did exactly the right thing. Punishing one more than the other would have been wrong and opened up an even bigger can of worms or closet full of conspiracy theorists.
So again, NASCAR surprisingly, actually did the right thing here. Wow, I said it twice!
Must be a full moon!
Stay off the wall (and off the radio as you plot your revenge!)
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
So, if Robby G and stremme were penalized 5 laps each for basically wrecking each other, shouldn’t Denny Hamlin have had a similar penalty for wrecking two innocent bystanders? Nascar keeps telling us they can’t ‘legislate’ intent, but it seems to me ‘a lot of emotion’ isn’t an excuse for willingly taking out other competitors.
NA$CAR has ceased to be a “Sport.” They are now a “Show.” Just listen to the drivers, the owners, the NA$CAR head-haunchoes… And I quote: ”We just want to give the fans a good show today.” Thus, the great idea of yours to have an annual rules review committee (which makes a helluva lot of sense to me too) doesn’t fit into the “Show”
“Neither one of these jokers were a factor in anything…” Well, actually they were. Their antics were a factor to 41 other cars on the track at the time. It would have been hellish if while they were squabbling between themselves they pulled one or more cars into their shoving match.
It’s gone from being a sport to sports entertainment like the WWE. Drivers talk about being body slammed, a wrestling term. Rules are selectivelky enforced like the WWE. The rules are inconsistently enforced like the WWE. The only thing missing is Vince McMahon and a wrestling ring. At least with Vince McMahon in charge we’d know we would be entertained for our hard earned bucks. Can’t say the same for Bozo the Clown from Daytona.
I understand the lucky dog rule..and now with the double file restarts it makes it harder to race to get your lap back. But didn’t NASCAR implement a wave around rule with the new restarts? I understand the wave around requires a driver to pit after the race begins..so he is at a disadvantage..but he does have the chance to get his lap back..especially at larger tracks. At smaller tracks getting a lap back is harder..usually more cars down a lap or more. The chances of getting a lucky dog being more then one lap down at most tracks is minimal..anyhow..I think you should only get a lap back if you are one lap down..not more..and to obtain that you should have to use the wave around. In other words a driver more then one lap down should have to use the wave around to position himself one lap down to get the lucky..and then only then should he be given the lucky dog. It is not right to be able to get the lucky dog being so many laps down..you should have to work for it as much as the guys who stayed on the lead lap had to .. not just get “lucky” over and over and over and over…
I agree that the rules should be set in stone at the beginning of the season and any propsed changes should be addressed during the off season with one excpetion. If the rule change is in the name of safety then it should be implemented ASAP.
How FUNNY! How VERY FUNNY! Your “As a “professional” sport, there should be a review at the end of each year that includes the sanctioning body, the owners, and other selected members of the teams that go over the rules and any concerns that may have arisen from them during the previous season.”
You mean that King Brian and his STOOGES would “invite” the actual participants to a “meaningfull” meeting to “discuss” the rules?
YOU MUST BE DAFT!
Oh yes, I am sure in front of King Brian & group, that some driver or crew member would “candidly” & “openly” feel free to discuss rules issues!
Maybe you need to go to the AEGIS labs for some blood work!
And, in support of the Gordon/Stremme incident, Robby got robbed he DID NOT spin Stremme, only bumped him, happens every race, and as others have stated:
WHERE IS HAMLINS PENALTY?
This whole racing thing is a combination of luck and skill. There probably aren’t 3 to 4 teams (probably none)that have the skill to be able to take advantage of the “luck” JJ’s team had. It’s too late to change the rule to disadvantage the 48 team, they probably won’t need it again. It’s really funny like Jimmie proofing the chase. They’ll just find another way. Yes, Jeff, I have been in shock that you weren’t anti 48. But what a wonderful representation of how important the whole team is!
I agree with Sal. Guess that means if you want to win it is okay to bump/wreck others to get there since you won the race and didn’t annouce that you were going to wreck them. Amazing
Yes, Denny is living in a lucky bubble for sure. This was like that blind eye turned towards his Coke 400 pass below the yellow line. All of NASCAR looked the other way. What gives? Well, enjoy your freebies while you can Denny!
As far as Jimmy Johnson getting all those laps back: Destined. That’s all I have to say. When things are going to work out for a certain result, they just seem to go that way, no matter what anyone does. That and some old fashion elbow grease at all the right times.
It’s just amazing. Go Jimmie, go!
Sounds like Douglas needs to live in “the world according to Douglas.”
Maybe he ought to go fishing, or some such, on race days. Then he could constantly complain about something else, hopefully in some other outlet.
Hey jaymatt, thanks for your support!
BUT! Let me ask you a simple question?
“do you think NA$CRAP would actually and truly listen to team members, from owners, to drivers, to crew members, on a neutral stage, and take appropriate action as required”?
And a second question?? (if I may?)
“do you really think, that with all the previous actions and threats to these very same drivers and crews, THAT ANYBODY would have the courage to actually stand up and properly discuss the state of NASCAR”? (knowing that they may be the next one to “fail” a drug test). Courtesy NA$CRAP!
Keeping in mind that not that long ago NA$CRAP had a special drivers meeting at MIS and simply told the drivers “SHUT UP ALREADY”!
“YOU NEED THE SPORT MORE THAN WE NEED YOU”!
I am wrong? Really?
Nobody seems to care that Juan Pablo received the lucky dog pass 5 times to win his only race, and that 5 laps was a NASCAR imposed penalty. IF you dont remember look it up.
Robby Gordon and David Stremme were not penalized the first time they made contact with each other. They were only penalized after repeated contact and Gordon’s malicious words over his radio.
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