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 · Friday September 4, 2009
As I continue this little stroll down memory lane, I want to take a moment to comment on some of the comments from yesterday.
A couple of readers, who called themselves Todd and Mike, so I will too, said the REAL FUN in NASCAR was back in the days of yore when the likes of Tiny Lund, Joe Weatherly, Rex White, Tim Pistone and others graced the ovals with their presence and their well known antics. As Todd said; “…fun in 2004? Try fun since I started in 1965. Now that was fun!”
Well Todd, I must admit that I have a bit of a memory block when it comes to 1965. I too started in ’65 but that’s just it…I STARTED! You see, I was born in March of that year and was a bit busy trying to figure out just what in the hell these two people who were carrying me around all the time had gotten me into! In fact, I started the day after Junior Johnson scored his 39th NASCAR victory, but like I said, I was a bit busy at the time to notice.
Speaking of Junior’s 39th Victory…with the inception of this column, I included a short bio of myself that used to run at the end of each article. I made it trivia contest of sorts, listing various driver’s achievements in lieu of actual dates. The contest was that if anyone would email me with the correct dates, I would send them a slightly used, autographed beverage coaster from the Finish Line Bar and Grill. The idea was to get people to look into the history of NASCAR a little bit and at the same time, get a totally worthless trinket for doing so.
Believe it or not, over the life of this column, I have sent out about 50, each one dried out thoroughly before shipping! After the demise of the tavern, I had to modify the prize a bit seeing as how my supply of free coasters was no longer available, but I do still, to this day, keep on hand some totally worthless, albeit pretty nifty, NASCAR beverage coasters to send out that I purchased on Ebay, should the need arise.
The most costly mistake I ever made as a writer also involved NASCAR and that damned tavern. You see, I once wrote that if anyone ever wanted to venture out and join our secret Sunday gatherings in person, I would buy them beverages for the duration…oops!
One Sunday, about 15 minutes before the green flag flew, I got a call from the owner of the bar informing me that some people were there looking for me! Normally that would be a sure sign for me to stay away as those types of people usually carry guns and badges, but when he said they were fans of Frontstretch.com, my tensions eased and I hit my (then) wife up for more cash and headed out.
As it turns out, “the people” were a group of four that had traveled about an hour and a half, probably not so much to meet me, but to see if they could really score some free drinks. They were not disappointed and in the end, I gained some lifelong NASCAR friends. (I did get even though a few months later when they invited me to THEIR home for a party and I actually showed up!)
2004 was also the first year of the Chase, Brian France’s brilliant idea of becoming more like the NFL. During that year, fans were bombarded with statistics about who needed to do what to get into that first playoff battle and proved that way too many people had way to much time on their hands that they actually sat and figured out such stuff. As the cutoff drew nearer, I decided that my readers deserved the same from me and I broke it down for them as such…
Ok folks, here it is. The Chase for the Championship (or in reality, 10th place) explained in such a manner that even Ward Burton couldn’t make clearer.
Jimmie, Jeffy, Junior, Smoke, Matthew and Elliott (if he starts) are in. After that, we got some ‘splaining to do.
Kurt Busch has to beat Derrick Cope, Todd Bodine and Morgan Shepard (i.e. 40th or better) to clinch.
Ryan Newman has to lose 45 pts or less to five contenders OR beat Johnson by four OR punt Robby Gordon into the wall and he’s in, just for being a team player.
Kasey Kahne has to lose 33 pts or less to five contenders OR beat Johnson by 15 OR just beat up Jeff Gordon on pit road for a wild card spot.
Mark Martin has to lose 24 pts or less to five contenders OR beat Johnson by 24, lose 35 or less to Gordon, and 101 or less to Junior AND take six viagra.
Jamie McMurray must gain 25 on 10th, explain who’s on first and jump through a hoop whilst whistling the Star Spangled Banner for his wild card spot.
Bobby Labonte must gain 36 pts on tenth, quit calling Fatback for advice and lose 56 points or less to Junior OR beat Jimmie Gordon by 70.
Dale Jarrett just better drive his little brown ass off and get in. Go DJ!
Jeremy Mayfield must gain 55 on tenth OR beat Jeff Johnson by 108 while wearing octane 95 AND give me that chick’s number.
Kevin Harvick must first work in the yard, pick up the dog doo and hope that it’s hard and beat Ricky Craven at a game of twister UNLESS hurricane Ivan sweeps in and loses to Earnhardt, Jr. by no less than 125 mph (sustained).
Or something like that. If that doesn’t make it all as clear as Jagermeister, I don’t know what will.
Of course, we now have 12 spots to contend for in the Chase and after the initial headache from my first attempt to explain it all wore off, I never attempted it again. Sort of a “Doc, it hurts when I do this”… “Well, don’t DO that!” approach! At least the announcers have stopped saying “If the Chase started right now, so and so would be in …” after every lap of every race the last couple of years. Gawd, that annoyed me!
Another stupid incident that I had fun writing about in 2004 was the flap over winning drivers knocking off competing sponsors products from atop their cars in Victory Lane. NASCAR’s Mike Helton laid down the law…
“We know how important it is for our competitors to celebrate their victories and share their happiness with the fans. But we also want our competitors to be mindful of the importance of protocol involving Victory Lane, which is as much a part of racing as taking the checkered flag,” said Helton. “This situation is now behind us. Moving forward, we are confident all our teams will respect and respond appropriately to time-honored post-race protocol during their celebrations.”
As always, I tried to remind the average Joe out there that NASCAR was full of …
Bullfeathers! This whole Victory Lane flap is about DOLLARS! There used to be a time when it was all about the racing and the winning driver, but that was long ago. Now it is strictly for some STUPID PRODUCT to get seen JUST ONE MORE TIME to persuade THAT LAST STUPID CONSUMER to run out and BUY NOW BUY NOW BUY NOW BUY NOW BUY NOW (a little subliminal stuff for ya!)
By NASCAR’s own admission, and I quote from NASCAR.com…
“Although there is nothing in the rule book addressing what drivers are required to do, the entire celebration is a made-for-TV choreographed moment in which a driver is told to sit inside his car until the cameras are live so viewers at home can see their reaction when they climb out.”
I guess being pissed to see a competitor’s product on top of your race car is NOT the reaction NASCAR wanted the viewers to see. So much for a “time honored, post race protocol! Time honored post race protocol is kissing one of the Winston Girls…which eventually leads to another time honored tradition…divorce and loss of millions. Just ask Jeff Gordon.
Being a NASCAR journalist isn’t just about writing about what happens ON the track, heck there are thousands out there every week each with a different (or same) view on any particular incident on any given week. No, a good journalist will help the reader understand what happens AROUND the track also. From the time I didn’t find my way back to the camper for over a day in the Chicagoland infield, to the first time I was ‘flashed’ at a race, in of all places, St. Louis, when a buddy and I attended a (then) Busch race there…
It was the first time my buddy and I didn’t bring a large cooler with us to a race. We had a small cooler capable of holding six standard beverages. This was an oversight on our part due mainly to the fact we thought we would be returning to Iowa the same evening. We thought wrong. Thankfully, because of the VERY reasonable ticket prices, we had no problem purchasing additional beverages on site. The small cooler also produced another ‘first’ for me, which I will expound upon in a moment.
I received my first NASCAR ‘flash’ at, of all places, a Busch race in St. Louis! I’ve been going to Bristol for 3 years now, but have never been flashed. It finally happens in St Louis, and I didn’t even ask for it! Due to our small cooler and lack of beverages, I approached a trio of young ladies holding a cooler, struck up a conversation, and asked if they might have a couple of extra beverages we could relieve them of. We offered to pay, but they would not accept our money. I graciously thanked them and continued to chat a little. After I told them to check out a REALLY cool racing website called Frontstretch.com, we said our good-byes and started on our separate ways. Suddenly, one of them turned back, raised her shirt and flashed me! I graciously thanked them again.
Last Saturday was also the first time a folding chair, left unattended and to it’s own devices, followed me through a parking lot. It turned out to be quite the blessing, as we met a group of hardcore tailgaters in said parking lot, and the chair politely let me sit on it as we introduced ourselves. As luck would have it, these jovial fellows also had a couple of extra beverages that no one was using. They too refused our offerings of cash. What a swell bunch of guys! I love race fans.
Things become a bit distant after that, but that orphaned chair must have really liked me because it followed me all the way back to Iowa. It is a nice chair, in a plain sort of way, and after a long conversation with it, it has vowed to follow me to all future NASCAR events that I attend. Ya gotta like that in a chair!
Now I can tell you for a fact that I honestly have no clue what that young lady looked like and I wouldn’t know her if I met her on the street today, I do however, still have the chair and it HAS gone with me to every race where camping, tailgating or partying may be involved and I do still converse with it on a regular basis. What else but NASCAR can bring about lasting relationships like that?
Little did I know it at the time, but St. Louis has become a very special track for me. You see, my (then) wife was never much of a NASCAR fan and never attended a race with me. A few years ago we split up. Luckily for me, my name is Jeff Meyer and she was never a Winston Girl, and I was able to retain my millions (of debt) unlike Jeff Gordon. However, the St. Louis race IS the first track at which I attended a race as a ‘couple’ with my new girlfriend! Since then, the trip to St. Louis has been an annual event and thankfully I have not run into that girl with the extra beverages from 2004!
As I looked back through the ’04 archives, I found some interesting quotes from a couple of veteran drivers that I found quite amusing and there publication (and my response) bears repeating.
“I’d like to take that finger and jam it right up his rear end. … He’s messing with the wrong guy with that mouth right now.”
“If Rusty does stick his finger up [Stewart’s] butt, then so be it. I don’t need to know what happens. They’ll get it worked out.”
Kinda reminds me of the old joke about the constipated mathematician! (He finally worked it out with a pencil…)
While I don’t specifically remember the incident that prompted those quotes, I did find Tony’s version of what happened and as you can tell by my response at the time, his case didn’t hold water…
“We came off of (turn) two and we got together and that put him in the wall, but the corner before that he drove right down into the left side of us like we weren’t even there. So, I don’t know why he’s pointing the finger at somebody else.”
Ok, maybe I’m missing something here Mr. Stewart. If the defendant (Mr. Wallace) “drove right down” into you in turn 1 as you say, how did he hit the LEFT side of your car? Wouldn’t he have hit the RIGHT side? To hit the left side he (Wallace) would’ve had to come UP into you. Or are we talking about your OTHER left side…? Until other evidence surfaces, this case is dismissed. (Wham!)
No other evidence ever did surface, nor did any proof of whether or not Rusty ever did give Tony a ‘stinky finger’.
Another quote from an old veteran back in ’04 arguably has proven to be somewhat prophetic…
“If there was 100 people giving me pressure, now there’s 100,000 giving him. I think the problem with Dale was, his father was killed. These people up here didn’t have time to deal with it. These people are still mourning in a lot of ways. Maybe it’s a Southern thing. Southern people don’t get over it that quick.”
Five years later, people are still wondering about Dale, Jr., not that I am going to pass judgment one way or another.
Remember yesterday when I said I caught lots of flak for giving the ‘Dega fans 2 thumbs up for pelting the track with beer cans? Well here is proof that I did take those comments seriously and even experimented with their suggestions…
I wasn’t at Talledega, but I did have one person write me to say that I had my head up my (ahem) rear end for giving the Talledega fans 2 thumbs up in an article I wrote after the incident. Remembering back to the tornado drills we had in grade school, where we sat in the halls with our head between our knees, I decided to experiment.
After repeated attempts, I can assure you that the fans in question DID NOT have their heads up their rear ends! It is impossible to throw ANYTHING with your head up your…
Yeah, writing about NASCAR back then just seemed a bit more fun. Who knows, maybe it will once again become that way. Or maybe, just maybe, a theory that I purposed back then truly has taken place…
There is a theory that states: If anyone ever figures out exactly WHY the sanctioning body of NASCAR exists and WHAT it is for, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory that states that this has already happened.
We may never know!
Stay off the wall!
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
It use to be good natured fun to argue with a fellow race fan about what manufacturer made the best car. Now, with NASCAR selling the car in kit form, the cars are all the same. And with the behind the scenes stuff that goes on courtesy of the sanctioning body (mystery debris cautions, etc) you have to wonder when it will be considered sports entertainment instead of racing.
Big Thanks for bringing some civility to the world of “Stock Car Racing”!
(damn, there I go again thinking of the past)
For me, Nascar was fun in the ’90’s. The last 10 years have made it harder and harder to keep watching at all.
I don’t watch 2/3rds of the races because those particular tracks are boring. Can you say “Auto Club Speedway”? Many of the tracks in the chase I find boring…not to mention the NFL is on.
I don’t pay attention to qualifying anymore because of the top 35.
It took a terrible economy for nascar to put in the new double file restart…something the fans have shouted about for years.
With most races you need only watch the first 20 laps and the last 20 laps. That’s is, AFTER you figure out what time the actual racing starts.
I’m not a member of “Jr. Nation” but it would do nascar good to listen to his opinion on things.
Mick, I hope you didnt watch Michigan either, because its 99% the same track as Auto Club Speedway.
Go to a race. Any race in your home town. Dirt or asphalt. It’s still fun. You just have to go.
hey “RA Eckart”, this year has seen me attend an all time record local/short track events. I just love Non-Wing Sprints on dirt, greatest show in the world. With all the money I am saving by not going to any NA$CRAP events, the short tracks are getting my cash! And plenty of it.
I still long for the excitement of “the big tracks”, and the racing that “could be”, but alas, with King brian in charge, that is simply “never will be”!
Again, oh the good old days, when racing was racing and the cars were real race cars!
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BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
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