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 April 25, 2007
After escaping into the Arizona desert earlier this week from a media posse, Tony Stewart strode boldly back into town, pulled out the six shooter, and began blazing away! Granted, Sheriff France is out of town on trip to see the wonders of the Orient, but he will come back, and when he does, we will really see who has the bigger gun!
Appearing on his satellite radio program Tuesday night, Stewart came to the gunfight with his ammunition already packed and loaded. Asked why he skipped out on his post-race interview session the Saturday before, he wasted no time pulling out the gun, aiming, pointing, and BAM! Firing dead center on the captivated audience. The issue bugging Stewart, apparently, was the way in which NASCAR’s mystery “cautions” have been controlling races…and the bullets he spouted out cut hard and deep.
“It’s like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It’s happened too many times this year," said Stewart. “To me, it’s not all about the money, it’s about the integrity of the sport, and when I feel our own sanctioning body isn’t taking care of that, it’s hard to support them and feel proud about being a driver in the Nextel Cup Series when they’re throwing debris cautions."
Well, Mr. Stewart, let me buy you a beverage! Finally, someone within the NASCAR ranks has the lugnuts to call a spade a spade. And, with no disrespect to some of the less popular drivers, this guy happens to be someone who is immensely popular amongst NASCAR fans.
As with any driver of Stewart's stature within the sacred fan base, he also has almost as many detractors. However, whether you like him or not, if you are any type of REAL racing fan, you have to admit that Stewart has a point.
"But enough of it’s gone on (debris cautions) that fans are writing in and talking about it. At what point does NASCAR get the hint? I guess NASCAR thinks, ‘Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it’s going to work in racing, too,‘" continued Stewart, unafraid to keep firing away.
So far this season, out of 72 total caution flags waved at a Cup race, 20 of those have been for debris. Do you remember, even with all the cameras that they got at the track nowadays, seeing twenty legitimate pieces of debris? Nope, I don’t either. Yes, there are those of you out there that will write in and say that Tony is just whining, but he is not alone when it comes to his supposition. Why, even Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon went on record to say the very same thing at Fontana in February, when a late, race-deciding “debris caution” was unwarranted. Of course, neither Johnson nor Gordon would ever use the tact that Tony used, as they are both too concerned about PCBS. (PC stands for political correctness; you figure out the rest.)
Stewart went on to say something else that leads me to believe he must be nothing but an avid reader of this column.
“I can’t understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they’re stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR,” he said. “I don’t know that they’ve run a fair race all year.”
NASCAR thinks the fans are stupid?! Gee, where have I heard that before? Maybe in just about every third column I have written for the last 3 or so years!
Folks, the simple truth is that NASCAR DOES think you are stupid. I urge you to support Tony Stewart during the inevitable backlash that is sure to come against him once Sheriff France returns from his travels seeking Communist dollars. Whether you like him or not, the truths he has boldly proclaimed are based in fact. Any true race fan can see that.
I'll proudly stand with you, Tony! I'll do what I can to cover your back with my mighty keyboard.
Stay off the wall, (unless you happen to be on the Great Wall and see Sheriff France standing just a little too close to the edgeâ€¦)
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Well, Jeff according to the table on Jayski’s page there been fewer cautions this year through the first eight races than that last two years to this point in the season. There have also been FEWER debris cautions as well. By percentage of cautions 2007 splits the difference between 2006 and 2005. So I’m not so sure about these complaints being based in fact.
I’m also not too sure given the number of boneheaded things Tony Stewart has done or said that I trust his judgement as far as I can throw him.
Tony Stewart is a brilliant race car driver, maybe the best driver in the sport at the moment but given his nearly constant ability to allow anger to rule his decision making processes I think I’ll wait until someone with a cooler perspective opens their mouth.
I’m not saying that NASCAR hasn’t thrown tha caution to artificially alter the racing but I think I’ll wait until someone a little more emotionally stable to make that claim.
Way to go Tony and great column, Jeff. I have been waiting for a driver to have the guts to speak up. Now let’s see if there is a team owner who will have the courage to say something. Nascar has been known for years to throw cautions to “spice” up the race. Lately they have become so obviously timed to change the outcome and cause a short shootout to determine a winner that it’s ridiculous. I have simply quit watching the “races” because of it. I have been a fan since the 1960’s, but my enthusiasm has been waning for the last 3 or 4 years to the point that I am about to turn my back completely on NASCAR.
Tony is absolutely right,this has ben going on for at least 2or3 years.These debri cautions are also being used to control who gets the lucky dog free pass,usually a Hendrick car.Nascar is getting more like wrestling all the time,in fact I expect we ll see the Undertaker attemptihg to Qualify a hearse at some track very soon.
Don’t forget that even Mark Martin complained about debris cautions – saying that they come out for things that they shouldn’t (like paper and duct tape).
While Sean Decker may be right that there have been fewer cautions/debris cautions this year, its all about the timing. Helton and the rest of the knuckleheads throw these cautions at the most peculiar times(like when they want to spice up the so-called action). You can pretty much count on one coming out in the 50-20 to go window if they deem the racing to be subpar. By subpar I mean one guy checking out on the field. Think I’m full of it? Look back at Fontana, Atlanta, or some of the past few seasons. Kudos to Tony; while I’m not a fan of the 20 team, you’ve got to hand it to Stewie for voicing what many of us recognize to be true.
Tony’s only complaining because the caution didn’t benefit him. But no of the others really hurt him either. All of the other cautions gave him and his team a chance to work on the car to keep up with the track as it did with all of the other teams. I’ve never heard a driver in victory lane that benefitted from a “bogus” caution ever complain about it. Only 2nd-5th place cars seem to complain about it. Face it, had Tony won the race there would be no mention of this whole thing. Well a least not to this level. I’m sorry Tony is having a bad start to his year. I do not agree with the “bogus” cautions that have been thrown in the past and I do agree that there are more than there needs to be but this is the way it’s going to be. Just the COT. Like it or love it, it’s the way it’s going to be per NASCAR.
Say what you will, Sean, but it’s still turning a lot of fans away, myself included. Tony isn’t the only one to be screwed by NASCAR and he isn’t the only one complaining. He just isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind unlike some of the mealy-mouthed ninnies posing as drivers these days. As for emotional stability, I think he made a good choice by not flipping out after he had the race stolen from him and waiting until he had some time to think about it.
Way to go Jeff and Smoke! Debris cautions have gotten to be sort of a joke in my family. Only it’s not so funny for the competitors I’m sure. This is a good start on calling out NASCAR on their “rules” which seem to be written in pencil.
Kudos to you and Tony for finally calling it like it is! And forget about “Jayski’s table”. This crap has been going on forever in Nascar, not just in the last 2 – 3 years. Debri cautions are just the tip of the iceberg. What about the mysterious pit road speeding penalties that seem to come out of nowhere and with no proof from Nascar. Why doesn’t Nascar allow the drivers, teams, or media see the actual pit road speeds when a penalty is assessed? Oh and lets not forget about the preferred driver caution! The perfect example of this was at Bristol a few weeks ago. Scott Riggs bounced off the wall hard within the first 50 laps, cut down a tire and limped around the track for a full lap but no caution was ever waved, and rightfully so. Cut to the end of the race when the exact same thing happens to Jimmie Johnson and Nascar can’t turn on the yellow lights fast enough! How many times have we seen mid and backpackers have problems on the track but can’t buy a caution, but if one of the super stars so much as gets a toe cramp, the flag comes out. At least wrestling finally came clean with the general public and admitted it was just entertainment. How long will Nascar keep up the “hey we’re legitimate sport” fight?
There is nothing either villianous or heroic about throwing tantrums and sulking.
If a serious, thoughtful driver like Jeff Burton had spoken I’d be listening. But Tony has spent too much time over the years making noise with his brain uncoupled from his mouth for me to believe a word. I think he’s just throwing up a smokescreen to distract people from his unsportsmanlike behavior after Phoenix by ranting about a hot-button issue that would get fans on his side.
I’d like to like guy. He’s an incredible driver and a giving, charitable human being. But I have 4 kids so fits of childishness leave me utterly unimpressed.
Serious question here for all of Tony’s supporters who are parents:
Would you tolerate Tony’s behavior if it was coming from your kid?
I have four grown children and been a Nascar fan for forty plus years. For the past ten years I worked with Nascar teams both on and off the track. Yes, I listen to my children and will support their opinions when expressed with fervor and passion to correct an obvious wrong. I noticed many of the previous posts are critical of not what is said, but who said it. If it is not your â€œfavorite” driver speaking, you will not listen. The France Family sold this sport to the New York â€œsuitsâ€ and it has been on a back slide ever since.
Thank you Tony for stepping up and speaking out for many true Nascar fans. We need more drivers in the sport like you, and fewer prima Donnasâ€™s who canâ€™t open their mouth unless they have a sponsorâ€™s prop in their hand.
brian france is a spoiled little kid with no knowlage of nascar, except the money daddy gave him. true race fans love to see emotion on and off the track. that’s part of racing or any sport. let them race and not help different drivers win with false cautions. we fans are not dump. we just love true nascar racing…..
Finally a driver has the kahunas to take a stand and say something. If you like Tony or not, the fans who are speaking out against him need to look back into NASCAR’s history. This has been going on for quite some time now. Quite frankly I have to side with Tony on this issue. I am not a very big fan of Tony but he is absolutely right. NASCAR in the past has thrown these types of cautions for as long as I can remember. Tony is correct in saying how NASCAR thinks the fans are idiots. Does anyone remember the 1990 Daytona 500 when someone’s bell housing was laying in the middle of turn 3 as big as day and nary a flag was thrown? A few races later a small piece rubber sitting up against the wall caused a four to five lap caution. There are times where NASCAR throws these debris cautions to tighten up a race that has in most cases gotten boring. There are many fans out there stating that Tony is whining or throwing a tantrum. I my opinion those fans won’t be around 5 years from now. They would have gotten bored and moved on to something else. I have followed NASCAR for well over 25 years and seen the sport evolve into what it is today and in all honesty I’m not quite sure I am liking what I am seeing. I am giving Tony a lot of credit for standing up and saying something. There are way too many for lack of a better words, cowards for not doing the same.
Say what you will,but itâ€™s still turning a lot of fans away. That’s so true statment that can be made. I wonder if the old timers would stand for all the lame cautions. I remember when they had to earn their points and money. Now a days they just need so show up and be a pupet.
I SAY WAY TO GO TONY
Let me first state that I hate the #20. But unlike others above me I will not disallow his comments because he is not “a thoughtful driver”. When anyone speaks the truth, a lunatic or a wiseman it is still the truth. When the TV heads start saying “they will need a caution or the leaders will run out of gas before the finish” and BAM out comes another hunk of invisible debris you know the game is fixed. The middle of the field saved their fuel and should have been rewarded but god forbid NA$CAR run a race as it unfolds. Why any sponsor or team out side the in crowd bothers to show up I have no idea. I have had it with this crap. NA$CAR is a joke. If you don’t think they are controlling what is going on like the WWE or the voice from the Outer Limits you are as Dumb as NA$CAR hopes you are. Line up Sheeple, it’s time to get shorn again.
NASCAR = FUBAR
NASCAR races have become a joke in my house. I’ve been a fan since 1990 and this “debris caution” insanity just started a few years ago. Always the same circumstances….race has been green for 40 or 50 laps, leader is checking out, lots of cars going a lap down…out comes a caution for an apparently invisible piece of debris. I thought NASCAR would have wisened up after Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon complained about it a few weeks ago, but I guess I overestimated their intelligence. The Phoenix race was as bad as it gets. D.W. said “If we can find the debris, we’ll show it.” Well, it shouldn’t be that hard. If there’s really debris on the track there will be a truck driving out onto the track, a person getting out of the truck and picking up the debris and getting back into the truck. How hard is that to find? It got to the point where the MRN announcers just said “The caution is out again”, then they’d go to a commercial. I guess they figured we didn’t need an explanation, and they were correct.
As a Champion in this division, Smoke could sit down with Jim Hunter and/or anybody else in the NASCAR trailer and let out every single bit of his ire and discontent on this issue. If nothing positive happened, THEN I can see him letting it all hang out in the press. I don’t know that he has or has not done that, but by the reaction from Jim Hunter, I’m guessing he hasn’t. A champion, using his radio program to suggest that NASCAR is fixing races? Probably not the best approach to resolving what some see as a problem. I suspect that NASCAR has already taken steps to address the issue(s) in a far more professional and responsible manner. I hate the fact this all came to the fore in this fashion. Tony will never live this down and he’s one of the all-time greats.
I am glad that Tony spoke his mind. He said what alot of NASCAR fans have been saying all along but could NEVER be heard unless it was stated here. I am not a Tony fan but if he continues to speak for the fans, I will cheer for him more. Thank You Tony and Jeff!
I’m not so sure these cautions are being thrown to help any one team….if you can’t prove that,you can’t prove anything.What is the motive for the cautions???? Only thing i can see is that they try to keep everyone on top of each other for all the “wreck” fans….if they REALLY wanted to play god they would have attempted to slow the 31 down somehow at texas because you know these guys don’t want to see the cingular car run well.not sure who the cautions help but one thing is for-sure….it sure as hell ruins the racing…
NASCAR should just admit they throw the yellow to benefit marquee drivers and bunch the field. I believe there’s already a name for them – “competition cautions”.
Debris cautions have been getting on my nerves for the past 2+ years now and I was hoping that 2007 might be different when it came to debris cautions. The Daytona 500 was scored pretty fairly and I, for one, think they were right not to have thrown the caution as Mark and Kevin were coming to the line. Then I was at the Cali race the next week and wanted to puke when the caution came out with 25 to go. I am not a Jimmie fan(he’s the last driver I want to win actually), but Jimmie got hosed by that final caution. Perhaps he didn’t though. There was one final round of green flag pit stops coming and anything can happen during those. Being at a race and seeing green flag pit stops with 25 to go makes racing what it is. I’d rather see drivers having to slice through the traffic of cars trying to hold onto the lead lap than have a debris caution bunch the field back up. I get excited when a driver fights the leader to keep from going a lap down. I am a Tony fan and don’t mind seeing him run rough by a dude trying to fight to stay on the lead lap. I am all for safety and since Dale died; safety has come such a long way, but at a horrible price. The “safety” thing came to a head though I believe at Louden in 2003 when everyone practically crashed into a prone Jarrett while racing back to the yellow. Ever since they instituted no more racing to the yellow for Dover the week later, that’s where the debris caution joke started. DW has said in the past that they practically had to knock the wall down for a caution. I seen Sterling spin at Martinsville a few weeks ago and NASCAR rightly kept the race green. No harm, no foul. Later though; NASCAR threw the yellow when another driver spun. Not sure who, but be consistent damnit. If there’s a 1 car spin or more for that matter and neither hit a wall or throw crap onto the track; keep ‘em racing. Back to green flag pitstops being exciting. Last year I believe Carl Edwards was leading at Pocono and the jack dropped and the pit stop took 90 seconds during green flag pit stops. Woops. Can you say nearly 2 laps down? Now that is what makes racing exciting and unpredictable. Exciting is not re-bunching the cars for a 15 to 25 lap shootout. If I want that every week; I can go to the local short track and get lots of 25 to 50 lap races. Lastly; if we don’t try to invent finishes, then we can usually have some great finishes. Look at what happened at the race I was at in 2003 at Darlington. No mystery debris caution and the race was green for at least the last 60 laps and it came down to .002 seconds between Craven and Busch. Let the chance of those moments happen again NASCAR and if a race becomes a blowout and only 6 guys finish on the lead lap, so be it!!!!!!! Not every race has to be an exciting race, but every race needs to be a race of integrity.
Glad I stirred up this pot.
I didn’t say Stewart does not have a point, I said I want to hear from someone with a bit more credibility. Like Jeff Burton or Matt Kennseth or hell, Greg Biffle, all of them are willing to speak their minds freely without the baggage of Stewart’s spoiled rotten behavior.
What’s funny here is, as fans go, I’m about as old school as it gets. I’m 43 years old and I remember watching David Pearson drive the 17 car for Holman and Moody. That would have been, what? 1969 or so and I would been all of 5 or 6 years old.
Do I believe NASCAR throws the caution a bit arbitrarily and too often? YES! Do I like it? NO!
But, I am old school and I don’t like whiny cry babies that sulk miserably when things don’t go there way either.
I personally will have a great deal more respect for Tony Stewart if shuts his piehole and learns to behave like a man. To answer a question posted by M. B. Voelker, No, if my kid behaved like Stewart he’d have his mother’s foot stuck in his backside only because she’d have probably gotten to him first.
Tony Stewart IS NOT THE GREAT STATESMAN OF NASCAR.
NA$CAR wants to bunch up the field to make it exciting, fine. But the pits should be closed during cautions for debris. Get out, pick up the spilled steam then get back to green. Green flag pit stops make for exciting and ever changing racing. They should also have a sign that displays pit speed as you move down the pit. Pit speed penalties are very suspect.
My parents took my brother and I to Daytona for the Firecracker 400 back in the early seventies and we have been hooked ever since. We hated only being only able to see a handful of races every year back in the early cable years when the old ESPN and TNN covered them. Now, we can watch them every week and we dont because of all the mysterious cautions, horrible TV coverage, and most of all the hours of commercials during our green flag racing. Something has got to give or there wont be any fans left. Thanks Tony for stating the obvious truth. And for all of you calling his character/actions for leaving after the race at P.I.R., didn’t your parents teach you “If you cant say something nice (correctly and respectfully) dont say anything at all”? His parents did.
Way to go, Tony. Tell em like it is. But, be warned. Curtis Turner spoke out, got a lifetime ban. Richard Petty’s drivers union was busted before it got started good. I’ve said it before, these folks (France and Co) are mean and they are all powerful. You cannot butt heads with them and win. They will punish you. If you want to be stupid, you have to be tough. But, more power to you brother. You said what has been needing to be said for a long time. I just hate you backed down after the meeting, so I think I see that all powerful force coming into play.
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