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 · Wednesday October 20, 2010
This last week, fellow journalist Dustin Long of the Virginian Pilot scored what, in my eyes, is a major scoop; he saw and asked Brian Z. France a couple of questions which Brian responded to before being, as Dustin put it, “led away from me” (presumably by highly specialized animal trainers.)
The questions were about A) the continued dropping of television ratings and B) what more he (Brian) could do, including the possibility of picture-in-picture commercials during the race. Here are Brian’s remarks, respectively:
“We’re working on it. Racing is great, and over time that takes care of things. We’d like to have better ratings, but we will over time.’‘
“We’ll look at everything we can do. Ultimately, the racing, which is phenomenal, will carry the day. That’s our product.’‘
In reality, this exchange between Mr. Long and and Mr. France probably lasted less than a minute, seeing as how it took place as France was leaving a press conference announcing the planet-saving news that NASCAR will switch to ethanol-blended fuel. However, in that short span of time it took France to utter those few sentences, a few points as to what is wrong with NASCAR become glaringly obvious once again.
First of all, I’ve come to the conclusion that France and his minions must be incredibly busy people. How many times, just in this year alone, has Brian said, “We’re working on it” or “We are looking into it?” That is a lot of “working” and “looking!”
Now, I realize that running a huge business such as NASCAR must be very complicated, and each issue must be “looked into” on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately for us race fans, when Brian speaks, it becomes more and more obvious that the cases he is “looking into” appear to be filled mostly with scotch.
Secondly, did you notice, in those few sentences and that short time span, how France tried really, really hard… not once, but twice… to convince you how “great” and “phenomenal” the racing… ’scuse me, I mean product… really is? It simply boggles my mind why this guy hasn’t been elected to a public office by now! At the very least, he could be, “The world’s greatest used car salesman. In the world!”
Unfortunately (to me anyway), the further I read Mr. Long’s blog, the giddiness I always feel when reading the latest Brian quote turned into disappointment as I read quotes attributed to Bruton Smith, owner of ISC’s chief rival, SMI. I say “unfortunate” because I have always kind of respected ole Bruton. He was, after all, the main thorn in ISC’s and the France family’s side all these years and, quite possibly, the one man that might be able to fix the mess that Brian has made of NASCAR in seven years if only given the chance.
“You’ve got to look at competition on TV today and that’s one of the things,” said Smith. “I’m not sure we’re down 25 (percent). I have difficulty believing that, but here again, if you start a race at 1 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, look at all the competition you have on TV. I’m not sure that 1 o’clock is doing our sport any favors.’‘
“If people want to tune in and watch football… and every game seems to be about the same… if they want to, let them. Let’s say by 2 o’clock they’re tired of it, and then they’ll come over and watch a real sport. Maybe that’s what we ought to be doing.’‘
Once again, this columnist asks; at what point do you become so rich and obtuse that you lose all your common sense?
The problem is NOT the start times. The problem is NOT (ratings wise) the economy. The problem IS the “product!” Not so much the actual racing… good or great racing is a subjective thing and determined in the mind of the individual viewee. No, the problem is the Chase. The problem is Brian France himself and his determination to even turn racing into a “product” with contrived drama. The problem is that NASCAR thinks we are stupid and do not know what we want to see racing-wise. The fixes are right in front of their faces, yet they are blind.
For all their “working” and “looking into it,” why can’t they see what millions of NASCAR fans (past and present) are saying? In today’s age of the Internet and instant communication, how much easier could it be to know or find out what the customer (us) wants?! All they have to do is read the comments at any one of a number of racing Web sites!
The fans have been speaking for a number of years now; first with our money, and now with our viewing habits. Yes, the economy has been bad, so we stay home and watch the race instead of going to the track, that part I get. However, why aren’t we tuning in to the race? We are… you watch the first 20 laps or so… flip over to football (or whatever), maybe back to the race during the occasional commercial to check the position ticker. Tune in for the last 25 laps, and you’ve pretty much seen the whole of NASCAR’s new “product!”
Another thing that NASCAR, and apparently Bruton Smith, fail to understand is the concept that not everyone is a “one sport fan.” Yes, I love racing, but I also love football. When I was a kid in the ‘70s, I might have not been so inclined to change the channel… because you actually had to get your butt off the couch and turn the dial on the TV to another channel (no, really! You actually had to get up and walk to the set!)…but that is a moot point because NASCAR wasn’t on television then. The fact remains, however, if the viewer can see the “whole” of a three hour “product” by watching the first and last few minutes, well, seems to me that maybe the “product” ain’t so good! I mean, do you really have to sit and watch all 30 minutes of an infomercial to see just how amazingly well the latest food processor works? No, you can cover it in 10 or less.
On a different note, and one that may ultimately help NASCAR’s product, I hope and pray that Jimmie Johnson wins his fifth Cup title this year and continues for a sixth and possibly a seventh!! No, it’s not that I am a Jimmie Johnson fan, it’s my thinking that the more titles J.J. wins, the sooner they will get rid of this contrived drama called the Chase!
Let’s get back to racing. No Chase, more points for a win. Simple really. Not hard work, no excessive searching or “looking!”
Maybe that is why I am still a poor man with common sense!
I honestly tried, but I cannot resist taking one more parting shot! I know I’ve caused some longtime readers some hair loss in the past by posting actual Brian France quotes. Here is my chance to make it up to you with the following BZF quotes from October 16th concerning ethanol fuel:
“NASCAR is committed to being an environmental leader, and the sport has taken significant steps over the years toward conservation by introducing measurable, best-in-class initiatives in recycling, alternative energy, and carbon mitigation. The transition to Sunoco Green E15 takes our long-term sustainability strategy to the next level. Sunoco Green E15 is good for racing, good for the environment and good for America. While fueling the same close, door-to-door racing that thrills our fans, American ethanol creates jobs in the United States, helps foster energy independence, and continues the greening of our sport.”
I got a hundred bucks that says he read that verbatim! Any takers? Gotta love highly trained handlers!
Stay off the wall,
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
You’re absolutely right Jeff. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the racing is, I don’t think it’s any different, but everyone knows that because of the Chase, most of it doesn’t matter at all.
Just a thought, but you don’t like Brian France very much, do you Jeff?
Jeff, what you say is 100% right. And it mirrors what I said in response to yesterday’s mirror driving column. Although, you do say it better.
Great article Jeff. I think you hit everything right on the head.
Brain Farce thinks denial is a river in Egypt. Sorry, old joke I know, but then Brain Farce is an old joke too.
Good stuff, Jeff. When NASCAR announced the E-15 thing, somebody on one of the IndyCar websites commented, “Welcome to 2007.”
Good article. I agree, get rid of the Chase and add enough points for a win that winning becomes important again.
get rid of some of the “cookie cutter” tracks. they want all the tracks to be so wide they can race side by side, yea right, any driver can do that, just a sunday afternoon drive. Tracks like Darlington, Rockingham, Wilkesboro where the drivers have to really use their skill and nerve are where it’s at, seperates the MEN from the little boys.
My two cents – Shorten the season and shorten the races.
If Brian Frances’ lips are moving, he’s lying. Here are the scientific facts regarding NASCAR and E15 http://www.buildingspeed.org/blog/2010/10/nascar-and-e15-the-scientific-facts/ NASCAR wanted the casual fan sooooo bad. How’s that working out? If you watch football on Sunday, do the booth guys talk to their audience like they’re stupid? Does the NFL go over the same old elementary stuff, week after week, expalining what a first down is? Do they continually explain the simple concept of what constitutes a first down? NASCAR and their boredcasters do it hours before the race and hours into a race. How’s that working out NASCAR?
You hit it right on the head. France and NASCAR live in their own little world where the Chase is vital to competition with other sports. It’s pure ego, B. France & Co. doesn’t want to admit their wrong. If I remember correctly, 10 years ago without the Chase the sport was booming and doing quite well against football. The problem if 48 wins again, its only going to get worse because we’ll get the “elimination chase”. Yeah that would make Homestead entertaining, but if you want to go that route lets have the 12 Chasers compete in a demolition derby in the Homestead infield for the title. They have turned the Cup Championship into a state fair side show.
Everything in nascar is bigger so it must be better?? I dislike the way ESPN covers racing on tv, how many commnetators do we need in the booth?? Why do we need to have things described to the viewer in grammer school language? Just show the dam race have two commentators that the fans like, stop the talk about the chase and show every driver racing on the track, NOT JUST THE CHASE drivers. I could not care less about the dumb chase!!!!
1. My constant bleat about the chase which I shall continue until I hear it chanted at every chase track or the damn thing is s***canned:
“It cannot be mended. It must be ended.”
2. What is next for NASCAR? I dunno. Ask Lesa’s kids. They are the ones who according to her said, “Go green.”
3. Poll needs another option. Something like Brian will remain with a title, but no power. Ya know like the Queen or the Emperor of Japan. That option is the only one I think will save enough face to be possible given that the family controls the company.
Great article Jeff! The chase creates 31 also-rans immediately, through no faults of their own! I think these 31 teams should just fail to show up at the next race, so the 12 others can have their championship without having to race a 43 car field…what a crock! Get rid of the Chase, make Jimmie Johnson start 5 laps down, shorten the races and glue the rule book shut, to eliminate any more mid-season changes! Nascar can be fixed, but France, Helton, Pemberton & company aren’t doing anything to make it happen!
No Craig that would be a union. “I think these 31 teams should just fail to show up at the next race, so the 12 others can have their championship without having to race a 43 car field”, been there don that.
Dump the chase, dump the free pass, dump the top 35, keep the wave around, and the two car starts, add you CAN NOT WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP with out winning a race, there is a point system that works, I am not sure what it would be but there are some smart people that do, you could do something about unlimited tires to.
You cannot take away some ones company, the France family owns NASCAR, how do you fire you self when you don’t give dam. My Dad and Granddad ran NASCAR, and I am going to do it to, the hell with what everyone thinks, do you guys remember USAC stock cars, no chance
Drop the chase.
The biggest problem with the old format was that it did not reward winning races enough. Just give the race winner a significant point bonus, and more likely than not the Champion will have won a good number of races while still running fairly consistent overall.
NASCAR doesn’t care about that though, they want Homestead to be as big a show as the Daytona 500. If they go to the “elimination chase”, I will not watch any of the Chase races. This would turn the Championship into a 10-week equivalent of Talladega. I can’t imagine a team leading the points all season long, winning the most races, getting to Homestead and getting caught in a problem not of their own making and losing the title. Shame on NASCAR.
Craig, I could not have said it better,
If Nascar were a corporation where the majority of the stock was held by the public, Brian would be in charge of one of the smaller parking lots.
Great article. Its about time the rest of the media comes forward like a very few, that have spoke the truth instead of kissing up to the kingdom. Most of the internet media don’t know what they are talking about if it doesn’t come from the ivory towers. Same with the garbage DW, Speed and Fox spews all over the place. They just don’t get it. The Con is over!
Don said “If Nascar were a corporation where the majority of the stock was held by the public, Brian would be in charge of one of the smaller parking lots.”. Naw, I think BZF would be Latrine Queen, as in cleaning the toilets. Great article Jeff.
The scotch is phenomenal.
We don’t need the CHASE so NASCAR why don’t you drop it?
Hopefully – the feds will be busy up his butt about his illegal campaign contributions, and maybe then – Nascar can once again be RACING, instead of a BZF carbon copy of the WWE…
Bruton could not have his way with Bill France, Bruton wasn’t happy. Bruton is now happy. Good job Brain.
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