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 · Wednesday March 14, 2007
I am going to start this article off with a disclaimer:
It is NOT my intent to attack anyone personally that I may mention in this article. (Other than perhaps the Big BF) They are just doing their job to pay the bills. Fortunately for me, that is not a problem. If my editors do not like what I write, they have two choices. Don't publish it or find someone else to fill this spot. It IS my intention to attack the entity of NASCAR itself.
The problem with NASCAR was clearly spelled out in an article by David Caraviello on NASCAR.com yesterday.
Caraviello's article, which was titled "Johnson doing just fine without help from NASCAR" clearly points out, to me anyway, just how grossly the powers that be in NASCAR and its mouthpieces totally miss the point. Or, as is probably more likely, attempt to make YOU miss the point.
Without totally rehashing the article in question (for I've already given them enough hits) the basic gist of it is this: It is those that hate or are envious of Jimmie Johnson that are raising a big stink over whether or not Johnson should have received a second penalty late in Sunday's race for a tire being outside the pit box. There will always be conspiracy theorists.
That may be true to some extent, but the "smoking gun" in this particular article is the sentenceâ€¦ "Whether Johnson actually committed a violation is immaterial."
No NASCAR, it is not!!! That is EXACTLY the problem.
It is not that there are so many '48 haters' out there. The question that most are asking, and have been for a long time has nothing to do with Jimmie at all. The question is and was; Why is something a penalty one time and not another? The whole situation could have involved James Hylton for all that it matters, the question would still be the same.
What fans have been screaming about for years now, especially older fans, is CONSISTENCY! If it is a rule, enforce it every time!
Let me say at this point that while I DO NOT yet believe that NASCAR fixes races outright, they sure as shootin' DO use whatever is at their disposal, notably late and questionable cautions (or the lack thereof), to ENHANCE the outcome.
I have said, at some point EVERY year that I have written for Frontstretch.com, that in order for NASCAR to become a RESPECTABLE SPORT again, there HAS TO BE INDEPENDENT OFFICIALS to enforce the rules!
Someone please tell me, what would NASCAR, as a sanctioning body, as a privately owned golden goose, as the marketing magic beanstalk, have to lose if "it" gave up the officiating and â€˜judgment calls' to an independent source?
The answer is NOTHING! In fact, it would actually gain respect and grow even more.
If NASCAR is continually led down the road it is currently traveling on, IT WILL CRASH AND CRASH HARD! Yes, quite a lot of people will end up extremely rich or richer, but the sport itself will suffer a fate far worse than any perceived â€˜redneck image' that it attempted to run away from in the first place. Under the current leadership, the sport of stock car racing at its highest level will be in a discredited shambles within 10 years.
There is nothing wrong with making money. That is the American way. However, soon, even the stupidest masses, the very ones NASCAR is so bent on attracting, will either wise up or, as is more likely the case, lose interest and turn their attention to the next "WWF" that comes along.
The ONLY way that NASCAR will remain a CREDIBLE sport is if the ones that own the name stop officiating the game. NASCAR MUST avoid the very APPEARANCE of evil or impropriety if it wants to sustain even a vestige of the phenomenal growth it has enjoyed these past few years.
Brian France may have more money than you or I could make in a hundred lifetimes, but true racing fans have something he will never have; ethics and morals.
I'll take ethics and morals for 500 Alex!
Stay off the wall, (but jump on up here on my soapbox, there's room!)
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Quick like a bunny Jeff. That officials main purpose there is to insure a pit stop that is both safe, and within the rules. If a tire starts to roll out to pit road, that could present a safety issue. When the official stops the tire before a crewman does,avoiding a potential pit road hazard, then NASCAR doesnâ€™t penalize the team.
So really it IS immaterial if a violation was committed, because there wasnâ€™t a violation in the eyes of NASCAR in that instance. Doesnâ€™t matter if itâ€™s Jimmie Johnson or anyone else.
What makes me angry is that one official will stop a tire and another wonâ€™t. A â€“ arenâ€™t the officials on pit road to enforce the rules, i.e. to make sure all the lug nuts are tight etc? How can they do that while they are looking at and stopping a tire. B â€“ Any time they allow an official to become part of the pit road activities, they run the risk of looking like favoritism is in play. The powers that be should make it a requirement that the officials do the work they are there to do, watch the pit crews, and not allow them to become part of the activities of the crews. But then again, they arenâ€™t going to listen to us. We show up , no matter what they doâ€¦.for the most part anyway.
Great article! IMSA enforces for the ALMS races. NASCAR would do well to follow suit. I think it may â€œcrash and burnâ€ in less than 10 years. I think the downward spiral has already started. Older fans used to turn their heads when something strange happened, but there seemed to be less â€œrulesâ€ to enforce back then. Nevertheless, conspiracy theories or not, NASCARâ€™s â€œrace fixingâ€ has become much too obvious through selective enforcement and way too many long and unnecessary cautions. I guess the long cautions make for a lot of commercials and concession sales.
Absolutely. After hearing the Earnhardt Memorial 500 on Feb 18th and then seeing the destruction on replay, I decided to not participate in the ratings that MR BF needs to continue to make money hand over fist. I own a business myself, but it is run on what is the best interest of my consumers. If I do it that way, I know any success that I have will translate into long term success not short gain. When NASCAR stops trying to â€œEnhanceâ€ the finish of a race, then I will return. Until then I must rely on the multitude websites that are not just mouthpieces for BF and his crew, because I still love drivers and the creativity of the crewchiefs and that is what I long for again.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. That was exactly my response to his article. I donâ€™t usually send comments to writers but this one just didnâ€™t sit right with me. The statement about if he did or didnâ€™t is immaterial made me come out of my chair. â€œWHAT!!!â€
WOW!!! Great article. Thatâ€™s all I can say
Jeff Meyerâ€™s article is great. I wonder why Jimmy Johnson was given the unfair advantage of having an extra man in the pits. (the NASCAR Offical). Most teams are penalized for having too many men â€œover the wallâ€. Johnson gets away with it because the extra man was working for NASCAR. They really wanted him to win that race.
Word for word I sent this to NA$CAR.com 3/14â€¦.... Before you read this..let me tell you..I am NOT a 48 hater..or a 24 hater..or a Hendrick hater. AND, I realize your writings are your opinion and not necessarily the law according to Garth. Now, that being said..I have no problem with the official stopping tires..none whatsoever..It has been said they do it in the name of safety..Well..I just wonder where that â€œSAFETYâ€ was the lastlap of Daytonaâ€¦yes yes..that again.. I have no problem with NA$CAR and their rules..as long as they stick to them..and best I can figure..without the benefit of an elusive NA$CAR rule book..having equipment out of the pits and the car leaving the pits while said equipment is wandering..is a violation..AND even though the offical caught the tire..there should have been a penalty..for ANY driver. Now..that said..I do believe NA$CAR bends and adjusts the rules for the race..not necessarily for a certain driver..but for the race..excitment and all that..and I have a HUGE problem with thatâ€¦i.e. cautions (Jock DeBris) to gather up the field..cautions for a one car spin completely out of the way..because the cars are short on fuel and NA$CAR is looking for a good finish..etc..Anyhow..I would love an indepth column on THAT subject .. or would NA$CAR.com allow that? Anyhow..JJ being the best driver in the last 5 years??..welll!!!.. I will give you the best TEAM (they always seem to be on their mark and very seldom miss a cue)..BUT..the best driverâ€¦I do believe you will have to save that accolade for a certain driver of the 20 car..a Mr. Tony Stewart I do believe.. I am not a fan of a certain driver..I am a fan of the races and the skill it takes to get around the trackâ€¦and head to head I do believe Mr. Stewart has more raw talent then any driver of this era..and he knows how to use it. I would have to wonder how well Mr. Johnson would do if his team wasnâ€™t so tight. I give them their just rewards..but as a TEAM... as a DRIVER..it HAS to be Mr. Stewart.
I havenâ€™t heard back from Mr. Caravielloâ€¦.
You hit the nail right on the head Jeff. NASCAR and itâ€™s consistent inconsistency combined with the greed of the current regime is going to be the death of the sport as we know it.
Iâ€™ve suggested in the past that the officiating body be a seperate body from the sanctioning body and Iâ€™m glad to see Iâ€™m not alone in this. This is one way to ensure the legitimacy of the sport and not just the WWE on Wheels which is what itâ€™s starting to look like.
Speaking of which, WWE is an associate sponsor on Jeremy Mayfieldâ€™s car. Check out the decal on the â€œCâ€ Post. Do they know something we donâ€™t?
Keep up the good work Jeff.
You are 100% correct!!! Todayâ€™s(Brainless Brianâ€™s) NASCAR is getting worst by the race! I sure hope and pray Big Bill Jr is OK, it will really get out of control if anything happens to him. Get Well Soon, PLEASE!!! Joe
It was clear that nobody on JJâ€™s team was going to be able to stop the tire so the offical did. I feel that if a team can not do its job or does it in such a careless way that a Nascar offical has to indanger his or her own life to do the teams job for saftey sake then it should be a penalty. How else will teams learn saftey fisrt and to do their own job? Allowing fast sloppy pit stops is wrong for ANY team including mine.
YES! Well said. Independent officiating is one of the main things that seperate Sport from Entertainment.
Jeff, I agree 100% with you. If you back it up a day though to the Busch race the same situation happened but was not reported. I canâ€™t recall who got caught for having â€œequipment out of the boxâ€ but someone did. On what I think was the last round of pitstops the had the in-car camera on Kyle Buschs car..you can clearly see one of his tires roll out of the box and Kyle takes off. No mention of this from the talking heads in the booth..(which these guys_are_awful but that is another story). Why was one brought back down pit road while another wasnâ€™t? How hard is it to enforce the simpliest rules NASCAR? Next day was more of the same with the 48â€¦I, like you, could care less if it was Morgan Sheperd or Tony Stewert..just be consistant. Your point too on independent officials makes sense to me..bad enough that NASCAR has their own corporation for racetracks..seems that NASCAR loses alot of credibility by owning the whole deal. Hence it heading down the WWF highway in top gear..
Iâ€™m drinking your Kool-Aid Jeff. If an official has to stop a tire, or any other piece of equipment from rolling out of a pit box, it should be a penalty. PERIOD. If there is a debris caution, we should be able to see the debris. PERIOD. If a track sucks and no one attends the race, it should not have two dates. PERIOD. Had to throw that in there too, Fontana is as exciting as a trip to the dentist. And finally, somebody tell Vince McMahon (oops, Brian France) to quit altering races for perceived excitement, and if the public and public officials show a lot of resistance to a new venue, then leave them the hell alone and look somewhere else. And oh yeah, get someone other than Tony Stewartâ€™s pet monkey to produce the schedule, causeâ€™ someone with a similar level of intelligence is currently in charge of that(probably an ISC guy).
For once NASCAR was being consistent. Officials stop tires every race, several times a race.
Be careful what you wish for â€“ because I guarantee that the next time the official catches the tire from your favorite team you wonâ€™t be crying out loud about the lack of a penalty.
As I read this article (which was excellent by the way) and all the comments from other fans I had to ask myself, does ANYONE of any importance from NASCAR read all this stuff? I mean we can stomp and scream all we want but does anyone read it and say, â€œWe really need to look into incidents like this and make sure our officials are really doing their job and being fair across the board or weâ€™re going to lose a lot of fans.â€ To stop the tire for safety reasons is great heads up officiating but then just saying â€œoopsyâ€ and ignoring the fact that it happened is just plain NOT FAIR!!! I am not a Johnson fan nor a Johnson hater but I think the fact that he went on to win the race really put the sting in it. If Jimmie was my favorite driver Iâ€™d be walking around with a real bittersweet feeling about that victory.
In my opinion, NA$CAR died with Rockingham and THE Southern 500. The eulogy was the chase for the chump points scam. What used to be the best racing in the world is now nothing but just another stupid and insulting network sitcom and just as scripted. Is it any wonder the TV and attendace is going in the toilet? ... and Brian France canâ€™t understand why the major media wonâ€™t cover his silly little seriesâ€¦ Hey Brianâ€¦ the major media doesnâ€™t cover pro wrestling eitherâ€¦ GET IT???
Great totally Iam one of the oldsters that NA$CAR is chasing away
It doesnâ€™t matter if itâ€™s my most disliked driver [johnson] or my favorate driver [Tony Stewart] when a na$car offical becomes involved because the team screws up there should be a penalty
Jeff, great article! Iâ€™m glad that someone has the guts to say what needs to be said. If we had more people like you and Tony Stewart who were willing to call it like they see it instead of towing the NASCAR line(and Iâ€™m talking about you DW and company)this sport would be much better off.
I donâ€™t have a problem with the Official stopping the Tire that got away and I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s what most people are upset about. The problem is that the Tire rolled into another Pit Stall which I thought was a Penality but now I guess it all depends on who you are. I think Nascar will have to be very careful in the Future when Penalizing someone for a Run-Away Tire or someone may bring this incident may get brought up. On the Forum, I hear about the Mystery Debris Cautions that are called just to HELP D.Earnhardt Jr but when things like this happen itâ€™s all quite and why, Because alot of people know that J.Johnson recieved ALOT of help at Vegas. I have been watching Nascar since the 80â€™s and I agree that the Inconsistencies have gotten out of hand. I agree that Nascar will Crash & Burn in the Future. I thought this was a GREAT Article.
From what Iâ€™ve seen and heard since this incident, not a single driver or crew chief found fault with what went on during Jimmieâ€™s pit stop. They all seem to support NASCARâ€™s non-call whole-heartedly, especially since Chad was holding Jimmie until he confirmed the tire was under control. I, and apparently many drivers and crew chiefs, completely disagree with your point of view. You apparently love and hate NASCAR at the same time.
Iâ€™ve been following NASCAR since the Eighties almost never missing a race on the tube until last year. What changed it? NASCAR. Fans that have been around for a long time grow tired of all of the Chase crap, race tracks losing races and all of the plastic, cookie cutter interviews.
I miss the Rockingham races and racing at Darlington. Heck for that matter bring back Hickory and North Wilkesboro. The downturn started with the new mile and a half tracks that came about. One team gets it figured out and they are golden the rest of the way. A good mile or 3/4 mile track would do wonders for the series and perhaps bring back some of the old fans like me.
Gary Hammond made the point very well. It just hasnâ€™t been the same since we lost the TRADITION. Donâ€™t expect the greed kings to back off until the last penny is sucked into their gapping maw. From a â€œdiehard fanâ€ to a â€œcheck during the commercialâ€ is the path I have taken and expect to see more people take. NA$CAR is on life support and until they realize that the fans PAY attention to the whoâ€™s and also the whyâ€™s of each win the sport will fade away.
Great Article Jeff , this is what Iâ€™ve been complaining about for Years , The Lack of Consistancy in the Enforcement of Rules. Nascar says that the Offcial stopped the Tire for Safety Reasons Fine ,and that a Crew Member retrieved it prior to the Car leaving the Pits , Fine . But a penalty should be applied due to the fact that the Tire left the Pit Box . Without the Official Due Deligence the Tire very well would have been a flying object prior to intervention by any crew memberâ€¦end of discussionâ€¦Baby !
A lot to do about nothing. get over it. If that official didnâ€™t put his foot up to stop that tire someone should have put the foot to his rear end. It would be hard to penalize a team for stumbling and dropping a tire.
The point of my article isâ€¦................and a lot of people just cant seem to get over the JJ thingâ€¦..
INDEPENDENT officials are needed to make the calls. The whole situation could go down the very same way, and a penalty may very well have NOT been called. However, if it was called (or not called) by someone other than the people that OWN the game, we would all just live with it and the whole conspiracy thing would be out the window.
With NASCAR owning everything associated with every aspect of the sport, they, ESPECIALLY they, need to avoid the VERY APPEARANCE of any type of favoritism or minipulation of the outcome of a race.
If NASCAR were to simply give up the officiating to impartial, independant staff, the re-establishment of CREDIBILITY to the sport would be immeasurable.
It is the ONLY WAY the sport will survive. NASCAR could own everything for all I care, just as long as the race is FAIR and impartial and may the best man win.
Great article. Like Kris above, I donâ€™t normally respond to article writers. Iâ€™ve been a fan for 11 years, not sure I qualify as an â€œoldsterâ€ but long enough to have seen the transition as of late. After watching every single race between then and now, I did not watch Vegas race. Why? After the botched â€œno callâ€ at Daytona (I must at this point let the gentle readers know that I happen to be a huge Mark Martin fanâ€¦) combined with the Phantom debris caution at California, Iâ€™ve decided that NASCAR has become a little too much like pro â€œwrestlingâ€. I will still follow NASCAR through Jayskiâ€™s site, but I think that, at least for a while, I donâ€™t need to sit and watch them figure out how to alter a race outcome. Seems to me NASCAR got hugely popular under the â€œoldâ€ format. (You know, before the chase format that they instituted because of Matt Kensethâ€™s one-win championship season.) NASCAR should â€œdance with the one who brung themâ€, not pander to the often-flakey younger generation who may or may not continue watching. At least I have my Sunday afternoons free for other activities now.
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