Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday July 1, 2010
Remember back in the day when, as the late Douglas Adams so aptly put it, “Men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real, small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri?”
It used to be that way in stock car racing, too!
With that in mind, I have to say that it honestly gives me the screaming heebie jeebies when I hear anyone from so called “racing” fans to even Champion (and non-champion) drivers complaining about “rough driving,” “idiots during restarts” and even, get this… NASCAR being sexist and discriminatory with their “Have At It, Boys!” approach this year.
Might I remind all of you whiners out there that, just a decade or so ago, racers were real racers, pit lizards were real pit lizards, and small lethal pieces of debris were real, small pieces of lethal debris!
Since I ranted earlier this week about the restarts, I will try not to bring that up too much today, although it may get a mention or two. What I want to focus on instead is rough driving and “Have At It, Boys!” Let’s start this off with a quote from four-time (consecutive) champion, Jimmie Johnson concerning the closing laps of last Sunday’s race in New Hampshire with Kurt Busch.
“That’s what the fans want to see. And if I was in the grandstands, I would love to see a little bit of bump-and-run, watch the guy run him back down, and do the same to get by. I understand it from that standpoint. I have to say I was a little shocked, and I haven’t spoken to him or really seen any video to know, if he slipped and accidentally got into me, or that was his intentions. If it was his intentions, that’s the first time in nine years racing with him that I have experienced that, and definitely changes the way that I race with him from that point moving on. I hate that he felt that I wasn’t going to wreck him [after that bump], because that was my goal: to wreck him.”
And this from Chad Knaus, on the same subject…
“We all were upset. I don’t know, I’m still having trouble thinking that he did it intentionally. I’m hoping that he drove it in there, bounded in there, was hoping he could get to the inside of us and the car turned. Kurt has never raced us like that. So I’m hoping that he’s not trying to act like he did something that he didn’t intentionally mean to do. He’s a good friend of ours, we don’t like racing him like that, and I hope that’s not the case. Steve Addington, his crew chief, is a great friend of mine, so we don’t need to start any shenanigans like that. We are big boys.”
Well first of all, Jimmie and Chad, I can assure you, as Kurt said, he DID do it on purpose… and I’m sure neither he nor your good friend, Steve Addington, are going to be sending apologies your way or asking for your forgiveness. This is, after all, RACING! You are in the big leagues, in case you forgot. And don’t you remember that even though he has matured a bit over the last few years, the dude in the rear-view mirror last Sunday did have the last name of Busch?
So, friends or not, how can anyone, especially a four-time champion, not expect to get roughed up a little? Is it because Jimmie thinks that no one should even touch his car because he is the reigning champ? Is it because Jimmie is used to being way out front most of the time over the last four years? I mean, being out front is best for Jimmie, seeing as how, over the last four years, it’s not often you find him actually trying to race back in traffic where other racers are! And when he is back there, he seems to not know what to do. Case in point: how do you get Jeff Gordon to actually say “pissed off” unless you are doing stupid things back in traffic? And wasn’t it not that long ago that people were placing bets on how long it would take Jimmie to cause the “Big One” at any given plate race? In comparison, Kurt Busch hasn’t really been lighting the track on fire the last four years. Maybe that’s why he hasn’t raced you that way, Jimmie!
Now, I don’t deny Jimmie and Chad their talent, especially when paired together (although I would love to see them split up, just to see who the “talent” on the team really is) but perhaps they need to remember that this is a race, and there are no friends in racecars, especially during the closing laps. I am simply astounded that Jimmie even became upset by Kurt’s maneuver – especially when Kurt showed remarkable maturity by doing the bump ‘n’ run the right way! Maybe Jimmie and Chad didn’t see it coming, but everyone else on the planet who was watching was not surprised at all.
The more I think about it, it’s a pity that Jimmie Johnson never got to compete against Dale Earnhardt. Dale didn’t get the name “The Intimidator” by being your friend on the track. Had Jimmie ever raced against Dale, maybe he wouldn’t be running his mouth now about Kurt’s little “bump” – because he would have gotten bumped about ten times harder and lost a win as a result.
As for you fickle fans out there, you all bitched that the races were so boring. NASCAR was too “hands on,” just let the drivers “do their thing,” you said. You raised a big stink when NASCAR forbid those drivers to bump in the turns at Talladega. You got all upset and pissed off when some dude in position 25, starting on the inside during a restart, took out your favorite running inside the top 10 because he was a lousy driver in the first place. Why, even your favorite driver was pissed because he got taken out by a lapped car “driving like an idiot” on a restart.
Now that NASCAR has changed those rules… you still ain’t happy? What the hell do you want?
You think the driving today is rough? Perhaps you should go back and watch the ending of the infamous 1979 Daytona 500, perhaps one of the most important races in the history of NASCAR, if you want to see rough driving! That’s what stock car racing is all about.
This is not a sport for wussies. It is about strapping in, stepping on the gas, and going as fast as you dare… with that ever looming possibility that it may cost you your life! There is going to be “rubbing.” There are going to be crashes. People are going to rough you up, and you will someday be the one doing the “roughing” – all in the name of being able to say, “I beat everyone else!” That’s all there is to it. Plain and simple.
If you cannot accept all that, if you get all riled up by the so called “roughness” in today’s racing, well … you need not waste your time. NASCAR, due to dropping revenue and plummeting attendance, is finally starting to get back to what and how it should be. Go watch curling or something; we don’t need nor want you here.
Finally, let’s get to NASCAR being “sexist and discriminatory!” The following is a quote from a so-called “racing” fan, and is, in my opinion, a sad, sad indicator of the sport’s audience today.
“This new ‘boys have at it’ policy is SO discriminatory against women. NASCAR instituted this new rule so that male drivers can wreck Danica and not get penalized. It’s not fair. And Morgan Shepherd should be ashamed! Has he NO moral compass! If I was his sponsor, I’d drop him like a solid rock! That just simply cannot be forgiven. Or at least dock him enough points that his season couldn’t be resurrected. I mean, who does this guy think he is?”
Now normally, due to simple apathy and the futileness of it all, (that, and I really am usually a pretty nice guy!) I would not even mention a fan comment such as this one… but their suggestions are just downright ludicrous!
Aside from the trivial drivel about the use of the word “boys,” for anyone to actually think or believe that NASCAR wants its male drivers to wreck their female Dale Jr. just totally defies belief. Not only that, but to call out, of all people, Morgan Shepherd! Well here is some news for you, “fan” … Shepherd’s sponsor is usually Jesus! Yes, THAT “gee-sus,” not “hay-soos!” This last week, it was DealTaker.com, but to say Morgan Shepherd has no moral compass? You’re nuts!
Hey, don’t take my word for it. Let the “fan” continue…
“…and us women – we need to speak out against “boys have at it!!!!” “ DRIVERS have at it” would at least allow Danica to get some revenge or express her emotions freely post-race. NASCAR wants to make Danica the next vanilla driver clone. I mean, at least they let her start this race. I won’t even get into the REAL reason she only drives a partial schedule. (Ever notice last week’s Nationwide race, and ALL Cup races only allow “gentlemen” to start their engines?) You’d think after all these years, NASCAR would be a LITTLE less redneck than that!”
Boy, do I feel stupid! All this time, I thought it was Danica’s previous commitments to open-wheel racing that has kept her from racing full-time in NASCAR. I’d love to hear the real reasons! And to think… all NASCAR has to do to allow Danica to wreck someone is change one little word! I never would have guessed that Danica was racing under such restrictions! Why, she even has to have one of her crew members reach in and start the car for her!
I must be a redneck!
Stay off the wall (and Jimmie Johnson’s bumper!)
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Hallelujah and amen! It’s good to see drivers actually fighting for the win! I only hope this new attitude helps make racing at Bristol as exciting as it used to be…although, with the stupid ‘chase’ format, it’s doubtful. Some drivers apparently got thinking that, if they’re running up front, no one should race them too hard, when it should be just the opposite! If you aren’t willing to fight hard for the win, maybe they should take up golf.
What a pair of crybabies Jimmie and Chad are!! I agree – if Jimmie had to run against Dale, Sr., those pretty teeth of his would get rattled real good !!
I don’t know of any fans, other than one Danica Patrick fan, who have complained about Nascar’s “Have at it, boys” directive. Yeah, Jeff Burton and Danica Patrick and a couple of other drivers have complained about the rough driving, but that was mostly after they’d been involved in wrecks. I think the vast majority of fans are enjoying the beating and banging.
One thing to remember… for the most part, this is a self-policing sport. Drivers won’t get too stupid too often or they will find themselves in the garage with a torn up race car and pissed-off crew members. Most of the drivers are smart enough to realize that what comes around goes around.
Johnson isn’t the only wuss that doesn’t want to “race.” I think one of the reasons is they didn’t spend enough time on short tracks before they got into Cup cars. How old was Big E when he got into Cup. Early drivers had to serve a kind of apprenticeship before they got there. They spent a few years running at the back of the pack learning how to run in the Cup cars. Now they expect to win as soon as they strap in.
On a lighter note, HAPPY CANADA DAY!
Well, I remember when fans were REAL fans.
If Kyle Busch were Dale Jr., the fans would already have him in the Hall of Fame and they would be wearing T-shirts with pictures of him smashing the guitar and saying “that was SO cool man!”
The Jr. fans, and fans like that, are half the reason I pay little attention to nascar anymore.
OMG!!! Did you read my mind? I so wish I could put into words everything you just wrote. Thank you so much for telling it like it is. You’re right…if you don’t like the rules and everything else that goes with racing…GO AWAY. We don’t need you in my sport. As for JJ and CK…get a grip! Deal with the real racing that is going on, not what you think should be racing.
And to Mike…excuse me? If Kyle Busch were Dale Jr., I wouldn’t like him any more than I like KB now. Kyle is a great racer, but still needs to learn some manners. Junior is at least more grown up and understands where this sport came from, as do I. Please refrain from lumping all Junior fans into one tub…we are not all alike.
I firmly beleive the best way to take JJ off his game is to rattle his cage like Busch did. That was a minor bump and JJ got bent out of shape over it. Heck, when Hornish accidently took him out at Texas during the Chase last year, he was still crying about it at Daytona in February. I hope drivers are noticing this and putting the bumper to him even more now.
By the way, the woman that made those comments about the use of “boys” and “gentleman” is the very reason why this country is so dang politically correct. She really is out of touch with reality.
Amen, Jeff! I almost didn’t read this article because I thought you were going to be on the other side of the argument. Glad I clicked on it.
No, boys have at it, isn’t discriminatory to Danica — if it is equality you want, then you can’t whine when things don’t go your way and I must have missed the memo that said “thou shalt not actually RACE the 48”. Chad and Jimmie are the 2 biggest whiners in NASCAR — I couldn’t believe he was saying that — I thought it was a great bump and run — all Kurt did was MOVE him, he didn’t wreck him — too bad that the 48 caught him for the win. More drivers need to do it more often — throw them off their game – especially when they get to the chase. This whole thing of tiptoeing around the chase drivers needs to end — if NASCAR wants to keep the stupid playoffs, give them their own points system, but quit declaring hands off.
Right on Jeff, preach it brother!
Oh, and I forgot to say, I agree with Mike. 98% of Dale Junior’s fans give the rest a bad name.
If I were an owner, or sponsor, and a driver stated that he could have punted the leader out of the way and won but he does not want to win like that.
That driver would be on the unemployment line the next day.
This ain’t bean bag. It’s racing. I would bang into JJ on lap one and keep doing it till the end.
This is foolish. I don’t want to see a demolition derby (well sometimes I do) but I don’t want to watch a bunch of cricket players tipping their hat and yielding to each other on the track either.
Oh, what a difference 15 months make! Last April, (2009), everyone was cheering Brad Kesolowski for plowing Carl Edwards and sending Edwards into the fence, and nearly into the crowd, at Talladega. How dare Carl block a guy! I said, “What? How dare Carl protect his possible win?” Everybody complained about blocking. forgetting that someone like Dale Earnhardt Sr. would have run Kesolowski down into the grass or into the wall to protect his win! Now we have “What’s his name”, the undeserving 4-time chump, whinning because he got bumped, and everyone is saying bring on more! I guess it’s all in who’s involved, if it’s a driver you cheer for, or a driver you hate. I like it when someone bumps another driver out of the way! I loved it when Edwards did it to Cryle at Bristol! You don’t think Cryle would have bumped Edwards? This is supposed to be racing, not be a gentleman and let someone pass just to be nice! After all, you could be nice and let Cryle or Brad by, but do you think they would return the favour? Ya, right! If I want the lead, I will lay a bumper on you! And if I’m leading, you want by? Prepare for a trip into the grass or the wall! I never liked the man, but I will say this, Senior must be laughing his head off about all the whinning!
“Now that NASCAR has changed those rules… you still ain’t happy? What the hell do you want?”
Oh, and bring back friggin’ testing so someone other than the Big Boys have a shot a competition.
To mkrcr: “Oh, let’s see now, hmmm. How about no POS COT, no Chase, no Top 35, no Brian France, no……
Im with you there, 100% !!!! But I still have to face reality! Baby steps! At least nascar has started to change a few little things. Maybe someday the rest will come to pass. The first step is getting Brian out of there. Most of the things you mentioned were HIS ideas, and we all see where their bottom line has slid to recently. Maybe the rest of the family will finally see the light some day. We can only hope!
Jeff, the scary thing is, who will step in to fill BF’s position when he’s finally committed? I haven’t looked real close but the gene pool seems pretty thin.
well said jeff…somebody needs to send chad and jj a box of kleenex
My take…the driving talent has actually gone down over the years since technology, better? engineering, and the COT came along. Very few of the drivers actually know how to just bump someone out of the way. All they know is how to put them in the wall to get by. Most of the drivers have no idea what setup is under the car, only what the crew chief, engineers, and computer simulations told them to put under it. The drivers don’t have to fix the car after they wreck it, they have no involvement and quite honestly no investment in the building of it, so the car they drive has no real meaning to them, which transfers to them wrecking another car on the track to just someone else’s problem to pay for. So either the respect for the cars has left the building, or the driving talent has left the building. There has to be a reason the ability of a driver to pull the bump and run without wrecking someone has left the building.
You may want smaller crouds , low viewership and less sponsorship, but is it good for the race teams?
No. Only better racing will work. Having at it won’t.
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