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.
Connect with Tom!
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.
Johnny Sauter Penalized For Fuel Cell Infraction At Kansas
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Thorsport Racing, along with former Truck Series point leader Johnny Sauter are reeling this Wednesday after a major penalty involving their No. 98 Toyota. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the team was fined $10,000, crew chief Joel Shear has been suspended for four races and 25 owner points were taken away as a result of a faulty fuel cell, confiscated during pre-race inspection at Kansas. Driver Sauter was also hit was a loss of 25 points, completely reshaping the championship Chase heading into the next race of the season at Charlotte May 17th.
According to NASCAR officials, the team violated multiple sections of the rulebook. The key ones involve Section 20B-16 and 20B-16.1B, regarding the proper size and functioning of fuel cells. “Once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified,” the rules say, “Modifications of any kind will not be permitted.” The 16.1B portion refers to black safety foam, with a minimum height of eight inches that must be used as a safety mechanism when putting together the fuel cell itself. By violating that rule, NASCAR is insinuating the team modified or enhanced the cell in some way by cutting back / replacing that foam.
Section 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing was also listed as a rules violation along with 12-4K, which gives NASCAR Officials the leeway to penalize teams when they feel previously legal equipment was modified, in any manner after being initially inspected.
Thorsport, as of yet has not said whether they plan to appeal. The penalties mean Matt Crafton becomes the new Truck Series point leader, by 13 over Jeb Burton while Sauter gets pushed back into a tie for second place.
What To Watch In NASCAR: Tuesday 4/23/13
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday April 23, 2013
- As usual, it’s penalty day in NASCAR and the biggest bulls-eye lies on the No. 98 Truck driven by Johnny Sauter. The current series point leader, Sauter’s fuel cell was confiscated following pre-race inspection in Kansas, a move that’s led to fines, penalties, and crew chief suspensions in the past. Sauter is currently 12 points in front of teammate Matt Crafton in the championship chase.
- Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing will hold a national teleconference with reporters. Bowyer, ninth in the series standings has gotten his 2013 season back together after a rough start. Fifth at Kansas, his hometown track he’s now got three top-5 results in his last five Sprint Cup events.
- Denny Hamlin is expected to meet with doctors, following X-Rays to determine if he has medical clearance to race at Richmond. Hamlin has been out for about a month, since a last-lap crash into a non-SAFER, inside wall at Fontana resulted in an L1 Compression Fracture of his lower back March 24th.
- Charlotte Motor Speedway will have a series of announcements concerning the Coca-Cola 600 race the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Among the items on the docket: a special set of pre-race ceremonies, plans for a unique “Welcome Home” presentation for U.S. Military returning from overseas and additional news regarding partner Coca-Cola. Joey Logano and Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith will be among those on hand for reporters.
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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).
Mr. Decker quoted the Jayski page and says the debris cautions are the same. Taking data from the most recent 3 year span is no way to accurately compare something. Take data from the last 20 years and you might have a begining of a more acurate trend. Don’t forget that Bill France Jr has been in charge during the last 3 years, not the last 20.
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
Even the TV ratings show that fans are getting sick of NA$CAR’s ways, they practically told us REDNECKS to leave the sport because they didnt need us anymore, and since the CASUAL fan base started falling away they have been using the mystery debris more and more, I know I am about as fed up as I want to be, I hope they do hear Tony, but more than that I hope they hear the collective voice of the FANS they shunned
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
I agree with Tony. Not only is it fake debris, but if any of the golden teams mention they might run out of gas, Voila, a caution. I have really noticed this since King Brian has taken over. What an arrogant ass.
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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