Hamlin Snags Coca-Cola 600 Pole With Track Record Time
posted by Amy Henderson
Thursday May 23, 2013
Denny Hamlin shattered the track qualifying record at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he rocketed to the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Hamlin had a lap time of 27.604 seconds, or 195.624 miles per hour. Several drivers drove past the old record, set by Greg Biffle in 2012, but it was Hamlin who came out at the top of the heap and holds the new record. Kurt Busch will start on the outside of the front row. Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, and Ryan Newman hold down sixth through tenth places.
The pole is Hamlin’s second of 2013; he also started in front at Fontana before an injury in that race sidelined him for over a month. Hamlin says that his back feels “nearly 100%” and that it doesn’t cause him pain while driving. He added that winning the pole helped solidify for him that he is back at a competitive level, but he wants one more thing before he’ll be satisfied.
“I think winning would do that. I think ultimately getting the big trophy on Sunday is the validation that you’re truly back,” said Hamlin after his lap. “For me, it’s going to take some wins and some really good consistency throughout these summer months to put ourselves in position to have a chance at a championship. That’s what we’re here for. Even these small victories though give me that confidence that I’m still capable, and I’m still able to do the job at 100 percent like I should be. Any kind of confidence booster for me — it’s always a plus on Sunday.”
The Cup teams are next on track Saturday at 10 AM for the weekend’s second practice. Final practice for Sunday’s race is Saturday afternoon at one o’clock. The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to start at 6 PM on Sunday and will air on FOX.
Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
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Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
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Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
Find tons of cheap tickets to 2012 speedway races like Talladega NASCAR schedule, Brickyard 400 at Indy Motor Speedway, Coca Cola 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway tickets plus the full 2012 Monster Jam schedule
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If you read the Top Ten list posted yesterday here on Frontstretch.com, you now know that the news is out that I am forming a Brian France Fan Club. Members will get the chance, among other things, to be the head of NASCAR and deal with all the duties that come with it. Since this is my club, I am going to go first. (Before I begin, keep in mind that in the spirit of “been there, done that,” I am going to skip the diaper changing of Brian’s kids…at least until the grandkids come along.)
So, as the grand poombah of NASCAR, what would I do? First and foremost, I would "tweak" the Chase…tweak it to the point that it no longer exists. When the new format was first announced, I held off on my judgment until the end of that year. At the time, I decided that it was marginally OK, but reserved the right to change my mind at any time.
While the Chase format did make the end of the year mildly more interesting, it was never a secret that it was contrived solely to increase television ratings to compete with the NFL. At first, the ratings did increase, and the Chase was hailed as a success; but by this year, the ratings for ALL NASCAR races have gone down across the board, with only one or two exceptions. The reason for this, I believe, is due to a couple of simple things. One, the newness of the Chase format has worn off for the casual fan, and two, the television coverage itself is downright disgusting.
So, in lieu of trashing the Chase format, I would simply get rid of it, instead making a change awarding a win with at least 75 more points than second place. The possibility of one driver locking up the Championship early would be greatly reduced, unless he/she were drastically ahead of the rest of the field…in which case that driver should probably be the Champion, anyway. Think about this: Tony Stewart could win all the remaining races and still not be listed in the record books as finishing in the Top 10 in 2006. What would that say about the validity of the current Chase format? To me, it says it’s a publicity stunt that needs to go.
Moving on, I would work to make changes in the way NASCAR is portrayed to the average viewer, both through changing the TV coverage and encouraging the personalities of the drivers to shine through. It is my belief that the one race that started the growth explosion for NASCAR was the 1979 Daytona 500, the first start-to-finish live coverage of a NASCAR race on TV. What made that race so appealing to the television viewer was not who took the checkered flag, but the last lap crash and fist fight that happened between Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough. The viewers simply loved it, and clamored for more. Of course, viewers clamoring for more is what makes sponsors and networks salivate; it's that simple. Give the viewers what they want to see, and they will view the races without a problem.
In that instant in 1979, NASCAR became sort of the “reality TV” of the sports world. Here was a world of tough guys in tough cars going head to head on the track and in the infield. NASCAR should embrace that. Everyone loved Dale, Sr., not only because of his skill behind the wheel, but also because of his "bad boy" image. NASCAR itself could be the "bad boy" of the sports world…not the "entertainment show" it has become. The most important thing, again, is to give the viewers what they want to see.
Perhaps the biggest step I would take to save NASCAR is to bring the Labor Day race back to Darlington! California never has and never will sell out its dates, no matter how good the shopping is under the grandstands. While I do believe it is a good thing to expand racing to other parts of the country, don't do it simply because it is the 2nd biggest "market" in the country. Moves such as this only convey greed on the part of the NASCAR powers that be. It is OK to try things…but be flexible. If a second date in California isn't working out, move it back to Darlington. If the Northwest doesn't want to pay to build you a new track, race in a place that WANTS you, such as Kentucky or North Wilkesboro. Real fans see through all the NASCAR generated propaganda and see that simple greed is the real motive for these changes, not diversifying the fan base at tracks where fans don’t even come.
Another change, and probably the most controversial, that I would make is that EVERYONE must "time in" to the starting field. That’s right; no guaranteed spot for anyone, not even a past champion’s provisional. There are 43 spots available, and the 43 fastest times get to race. If you don’t make it…sorry, try again next week!
Those are just a few of the changes that I would make to save NASCAR. If you want to join my new Brian France Fan Club, let us hear what changes YOU would make. Just remember…the diaper changing experience is optional.
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All good ideas. How can we make this happen before I stop watching Nascar altogether because it is getting so boring?
you are preaching to choir. I have been a fan for years, but I don’t know how much more I can take!
“One, the newness of the Chase format has worn off for the casual fan, and two, the television coverage itself is downright disgusting.”
While I agree with the second point, how does “newness of the Chase” effect all TV ratings? The reality is this years ratings may be an outlier, we won’t know until next year. Secondly this years ratings are still very near the record year of 2004.
Think about this: Tony Stewart could win all the remaining races and still not be listed in the record books as finishing in the Top 10 in 2006.”
Why think about a hypothetical? R. Petty holds the record of consecutive wins at ten in 1967. It will never happen again.
One solution would be have some way to have a “floating” 9th and 10th place in the Chase.”
In other words structure the points so the 11th (or further back) place driver could race his way back into the top ten during the Chase. I would agree with an increase of the winners points, but limited to something less than 20 for a win. At the same time eliminate the bonus for leading a lap. Or modify it so a driver only got the bonus if he led five green flag laps after assuming the lead.
“If a second date in California isnâ€™t working out, move it back to Darlington. If the Northwest doesnâ€™t want to pay to build you a new track, race in a place that WANTS you, such as Kentucky or North Wilkesboro.”
While no defender of the Cali track I don’t see a point in giving up on it this soon. The second date there is only a couple years old and the Cali market is very hard to crack for a number of reasons.
Darlington? Sure they desire their date back, I suggest a Busch date on Labor Day and make it their signiture event of the year and 500 miles long.
North Wilkesboro? No way, no how. The “save the speedway” efforts early this year fell flat on it’s face. It’s a bad location with little to no infrastructure to support large crowds. Not that they would need it, small crowds is why they lost the date.
The folks in Kentucky don’t want a date. They want to set up their own “France-like” cabel via a bidding process. Who do you suppose would win an open market bidding process? It wouldn’t be Kentucky and very possibly Martinsville as well.
Expand the starting feiled to an even 44 cars and allow only the current Champ a provisional and only for 5 or less events.
Here’s one “out of the box” Chase change.
After event 26 take those from 11th down to 43 place, split them into two groups. On Wednesday or the Friday prior to the first Chase event hold two 100-200 mile events for those drivers. The top 2 finishers in each of the two “feature races” would get a pass into the Chase and be placed in 11th thru 14th positions in the standings.
Here’s a really radical idea—how about supporting local and regional racing? After all, that is how NASCAR got started and it still has the kind of racing everyone is talking about. NASCAR is now pretty much taken over by corporate blandness. The best driver/personality in the sport—Tony Stewart—has basically been tamed in the name of corporate respectability. Same is true of Harvick.
Don’t get me wrong … I watch NASCAR every weekend. It is still far better than F1, IRL or Champ. The best racing is, of course, the truck series.
But I suggest instead of talking about what NASCAR should do, you vote with your feet and head down to the local track.
While I do not like the top-35 in points being locked in, I also don’t like the idea of everyone having to qualify in. At the 1st Dover race, Jimmie Johnson was leading the points and spun out on his qualifying lap. So, you would send the points leader home that weekend?! Ridiculous. Teams should be allowed 2 “mulligans” per year. Not to be used if your time wasn’t good enough, but to be used if something happend during your qualifying lap (Johnson at Dover, Biffle at Watkins Glen, as well as both Bill Lester and Kenny Wallace who were never Championship contenders). There are others as well that don’t come to mind right now. To make my point even more valid, let’s pretend that there is no Chase, and Matt Kenseth is leading the standings going into Homestead. Kenseth spins on his qualifying lap and is not among the 43 fastest. Would you send him home, and hand the Championship to Jimmie Johnson (assuming he was still 2nd)??
Aboslutely can the chase for the chump points scam. Its a sleazy road-side carny gimmick that has taken what was the best racing in the world and turned it into just another stupid and insulting network sitcom. Put the Southern 500 back to its rightful place on Labor Day where it belongs… PERIOD. Get back to racing with TV coverage (sport)instead of this TV show with a little racing thrown in (sitcom)and you will see the viewers come back. Who wants to see Brian’s version of the WWF with cars?
All great ideas. But let’s not limit our discussion to improving jus the chase. How about improving the quality of racing. Here’s on idea that should make for more exciting racing. Let’s go back to double file restarts for all lead lap cars. I realize that doesn’t sound fair for cars not on the lead lap, but that’s their fault for getting a lap down. Besides they have the lucky dog to get their lap back. On double file restarts for lead lap cars you will get exciting racing at every restart instead of the usual occurance of the first place car pulling out ahead of the rest of the field. Also, double file restarts for lead lap cars will eliminate those cars a lap down from interfering with competitive race cars on the restart. How many times have we seen cars a lap down interfere with lead lap cars and either cause an accident or hold up an otherwise competitive lead lap car. I say let the lap down cars fight it out at the back of the pack to see who will get the lucky dog at the next auction. Besides on many times have you seen a lap down car restart on the inside and actually get their lap back by racing in front of the leader. Almost never. Double file restarts for lead lap cars will prove to make the racing much more exciting.
Save your breath, all the BS is here to stay! I gave up years ago! NA$CAR suits SUCK!!!
No matter what NASCAR brass says, I believe we all want to see a picture in picture, like ABC does during IRL races, whenever there is a commercial. I don’t like watching numbered dots going around the track during breaks (Trackpass). There have literally been 50 times (this season) when I’ve seen at least half a lap go by and they have not come back from commercial. Also, it would be kind of nice to see a replay of what caused a caution, whether or not someone in the top 10 in points was involved.
As odd as it may sound, I think they would be better served by making the watching of the races more enjoyable and stop treating us like profit centers. We all love to spend our money on driver gear and products produced by the sponsors (or avoiding certain sponsored brands if it competes with your driver) so why hammer us over the head?
One last thing, it’s kind of ridiculous that some tracks have minimum ticket prices approaching $100 each. Yeah, races still sell out (most of the time) but it didn’t used to be a sport that was just for the rich. It’s hard to spend less than $1000 on race weekend if you are coming from out of town. $3000 isn’t unusual.
I totaly agree with Mr. Gary & Joe But I have to add something How about we get rid of the suits and Nextel Give it back to Winston,Oh and bring back Rockingham!!!!
I do not have a problem with the fastest 43 being in the field, if you switch back to two qualifying sessions. If a team has a problem in one session, they still have a chance to time in during the second session. If they can’t get it right in two sessions, too bad. If you are only going to have a single qualifying session, then you have to have some kind of provisional system.
Wonderful ideas!! NASCAR was once “Must See TV” for me, now I can barely tolerate the crap we are forced to watch. Crummy television coverage, boring tracks, Stepford Drivers, artificial excitement, all generated by greed. I now tape races and may or may not watch them. I may spend my time on more worthy pursuits like reading a book or watching the WNBA.
It is definetly time to get rid of the chase. I never liked it since the time it was introduced. Start from scratch with a new point system. If you want to keep the points close so no one runs away with the championship half way through the season, I suggest a 43 point system. The winner gets 43 points, Second place gets 42 points and so on all the way down to the last place car who would get 1 point. If you lead a lap you get 1 additional point. Lead the most laps and you get 1 additional point.
The points would be kept very close, no one would run away with the championship, and all drivers have a fair shot at the championship.
I believe it is time to get rid of the chase also. However everyone keeps talking about giving the winner more points for each win. How about thats the biggest part of the problem. There are too many points flying around. This is why the fields are always so spread out. I run an online Nascar Racing Series using an EA Title and have been going on 3 years now. In my series I took the points away. I now give 1 point for leading a lap and 2 points for leading the most laps. I give 1 point for a pole and then start the points at 45 and have a 1 point spread between each driver. Our fields are always tight at the end of each 36 race season. There have been up to 20 people with 2 races to go bidding for a championship season. I have a pretty elaborate scoring system and I have for 2 years now entered the real nascar drivers into my scoring system following their season and the point difference between each driver is much lower. STOP GIVING OUT SO MANY POINTS. Its killing the sport. As for the TV and marketing side of Nascar. Dont even get me started. I think it is ridiculous. I would like to see Nascar back to 1-2 car teams and that is it. Maybe other not so fortunate drivers could compete then.
Maybe it would help if the RACING were interesting again. Common templates and the Car of Tomorrow may be the two worst stock car racing ideas EVER!
It’s up to a manufacturer’s engineers to make the cars a shape that will go fast. If they do that well, it is then up to the other manufacturers’ engineers to catch up. Real races with something approximating the real product would make NASCAR a lot more interesting than the common “run-in-a-pack-until-someone-wrecks” show we get now.
Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
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