NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Voices From The Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday May 3, 2007
A message to my faithful readers: Due to recent events that have taken place in the NASCAR world over the last week and a half, today’s edition of Voices will serve as a preview for a more comprehensive look at some of NASCAR’s recent criticisms.
The aforementioned events, I feel, make this piece, with some small revisions to bring it up to date, perhaps more relevant today than when it was originally published back in October. I urge you to read it, especially because it is the perfect lead-in to a special Friday edition of Voices! Thats right, TWO exposures of me in one week! Think you can handle it!? I sure hope so.
It is no secret that in the eyes of NASCAR, the racing game is NOT a democracy. It purely is, and most always has been, an outright dictatorship. Throughout the course of history, such dictatorships have their peakâ€¦and then, inevitably, a tragic downfall. Recent happenings have me thinking a downfall is close at hand.
When the France family first started the sanctioning body that controls NASCAR at its highest level, it WAS a good thing. It gave structure to a sport that needed structuring. It was good for the sport, good for the spectators, and good for the competitors. However, over the years, that has blatantly changed.
Since the beginning, anything that was against The Family's wishes has been instantly quashed. They were (and are) the only game in town. If you want to race at their level, now tops in the U.S. Racing worldâ€¦you played by their rules, and their rules only. It has been that way for nearly six decades. In the process, as with most dictators, The Family has become obscenely wealthy over time.
Don't be fooled: that wealth is obscene. The Family owns most of the tracks. The Family owns most of the souvenir business. The Family owns most of the concession business. The Family owns a brand marketing company to funnel money from other businesses into their own. The Family decides who races, and where, and even what they must race. But nowâ€¦The Family has finally overdone it.
As I said earlier, the structure that The Family provided was good for the sport's best interest, even if not everyone approved of their methods. However, as the years have gone by, the words "for the sport's best interest" have been replaced by "for The Family's maximum profits."
Consider a few of these happenings that have occurred in recent years, gaining steam with some recent news:
Is that the way to promote the sport of stock car racing? Of course not. Why go where you are not wanted? Of course, if these new ISC (The Family) owned tracks were to ever be built… will they be guaranteed a Cup date? You better believe it! That will lead to inevitable speculation as to what other non-ISC tracks would lose their Cup date. Do you seriously think that for one minute NASCAR would take a date away from one of their existing tracks? Not a chance!
The only thing that I personally can think of that NASCAR has done in the last ten years that was GOOD for the sport are the SAFER barriers mandated at all tracks. However, and you will NEVER convince me otherwise, the SAFER barrier was only mandated because Dale Earnhardt was killed. Had it been anyone elseâ€¦I think you would still not see them at all the tracks. Before Dale's death, it was "too costly" to install them. After that tragic day, how fast were they mandated?
The underlying theme of all this is that as the sport has grown, The Family have grown extremely rich, butâ€¦so have others that have played their game over the years! The very thing that The Family has sought could now become their downfall.
There are tracks out there that would do anything for a dateâ€¦but realize they aren't getting one anytime soon. There ARE people out there that have the wherewithal to start a rival series, with stock-looking stock cars, no less. All it would take is a few big names and a few big name sponsors to jump on the bandwagon, and the fans would eat it up!
Things would become cheaper for all involved. More people could actually afford to play the game. Sponsors would pay less, and be happy to do so. Car manufacturers could gain their identity back on the race track. Oh, did I mention the FANS? All it would take for this revolution to happen is a few key people who are currently at the top level of racing to actually have the guts to do it!
Listen up Royal Family, we, the people, the ones whom you built your castle upon, are sick and tired of your dictatorship and your suppression of our sport! We have been speakingâ€¦but have you been listening? Look at your precious "ratings" now! Look at the empty seats in your "prime markets!" Listen to the drivers who have achieved mega-celebrity status. Fans just LOVE mega-celebrities! You Royals are an entity. People HATE entities!
The Royal Family is living on borrowed time. They are just too arrogant to see it yet.
We, the people, WILL have our sport back. We just need a few new leaders to get us there!
We are waiting.
Tear down the wall!
Have you seen the all new Frontstretch newsletter yet? If you haven’t, well, you’re missing out … today, Kim DeHaven told us what to watch for in Saturday’s race at Richmond, and Tom Bowles filled us in on the weirdness behind Kyle Petty’s replacement drivers this summer.
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©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Indeed, the time IS ripe for a new start, BUT, this will never happen. Do you seriously think anyone is going to attempt to take on the MAMMOTH NASCAR steamroller? ASA had a good idea a few years ago, when they changed their series to more stock-looking equipment. The concept was a good one. Where they failed was anticipating people would love a series where Fords and Dodges were powered by a “spec” or series-specific engine (otherwise known as a Chevrolet). Fans, for some reason never disclosed, abandoned that series and it went out of business.
The NASCAR “stock” cars are becoming so homogenized that it is becoming a spec series. Only the nose on the car and the tweaking of the rear window opening tell us it is supposed to be a Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge or Toyota. Do these vehicles even bear ANY resemblance to the cars we see on the street? No….and if you don’t believe that, take a close look at one and compare it to the street version.
I, for one, have been a big supporter of NASCAR over the years, but feel they have gone too far…
If you are so certain that you know more about what the fans really want than Nascar does — if you are so certain that you know more about how to give the fans what they really want than Nascar does — there is nothing stopping you from starting your own stock car racing series and proving it.
Venture capitalists are always willing to provide funding for people who can provide evidence that they’ve got a better idea and the ability to make that better idea work.
If your way is truly better than Nascar’s way then owners, drivers, track operators, sponsors, TV networks, and fans will flock to support you, leaving Nascar high and dry.
The free market is a wonderful thing. People with better ideas are free to start new businesses. People who want to work are free to choose the people and companies they work for. Customers are free to partake of the products from whatever company they prefer.
So go ahead with your revolution — start a new racing series that will improve on everything that is supposedly wrong with Nascar. If your series is truly better than Nascar I’ll watch it.
But at the moment Nascar is the best thing in sports. Yes, it has a few specific flaws — primarily the lack of a publicly available, carved-in-stone rulebook — but there is no sport that I’m aware of that approaches the competitive depth and excitement of Nascar’s various racing series.
I agree with Jeff 100%.
M.B. is either a NASCAR lacky or has only been watching for the last five years with no basis for comparison. If a start up racing series could attract a handful of big name drivers and go back to NASCAR’s roots, it would be extremely successful.
Tony George screwed up open wheel racing in this country with his IRL-CART antics, but in this case, such a move against NASCAR would be considered euthanasia.
Great article Jeff! Lots of fans out here feel the same way…do you think this is what Tony & Dale Jr have in mind with the smaller tracks they are buying up, and facilities being built, as Jr.‘s in AL? It’s crossed my mind, and I would LOVE to see it happen! Many fans are disgusted with what’s been going on with NASCAR the last few years, and we’re ready for a revolution! I believe NASCAR’s biggest mistake is underestimating how many people feel this way! Can’t wait to read your article tomorrow!!!
Obviously the sponsors are fine with the costs or there wouldn’t be 50+ teams trying to get in the field each week. If it was just a matter of costs than the Busch series would be overflowing but it’s not the cost, it the exposure. Any start up series may win fans and sponsors but winning a tv audience and the contract to go with it is another story. If this were to happen the end result would be the same as IRL/Cart.
Right on the mark, Jeff.
Regarding the safer barrier, I also don’t think every track would have them yet either had Indy not just gone ahead and installed them first without waiting on NASCAR to approve it. I personally think they would have waited another few years but that forced their hand and proved there was no reason, other than money, they couldn’t and shouldn’t do it.
A horse’s head in Tony Stewart’s bed was enough to shut him up (or maybe NASCAR held his pet monkey ‘Mojo’ for ransom). I don’t think anyone else will have guts to fight the NASCAR machine. NASCAR makes more on merchandising and TV than track attendance. They don’t care if anyone shows up for their little races. They still get paid. They would probably prefer that no one showed up so that incidents like Talladega-Phoenix-Pocono wouldn’t embarrass them.
Great article. Obviously K.B. is drinking a different flavor of Kood-Aid than the traditional fans. Not trying to Lord over anyone with the “trad” moniker, but the simple truth of the matter is that the series has been on a downward spiral since just after the death of Dale Sr. I’m not a huge 3 fan, but you have to admit, following his passing it seemed as if a good portion of the tradition associated with his era and previous ones was systematically gutted by the Frances in exchange for more lucrative venues with sub-par races. NA$CAR/I$C (same wolf different wool), has brought the sport to many new venues; all of which are 1.5 mile snoozers that rely on bogus cautions to spice up boring racing. Brand identity is virtually absent now. Entertainment (remember the Red Hot Chili Peppers) has become as/more valued than the actual racing, because it captures the eye of fickle, fleeting fans who are here today, gone tomorrow. What happened to Rockingham? What happened to ending the season at Atlanta? What happened to Labor Day and the Southern 500 (Arguably the most blatant slap in the face to fans of all) at Darlington? What happened to the days when drivers could occasionally argue with each other without fear of retribution from sponsors? Hell, what happened to the days when driving talent was the reason that you got a Cup or Busch ride? What happened to decent t.v. coverage of races with intelligent commentary and no attempt at blatant pandering to the lowest common denominator? What happened to races starting on Sunday at 12 or 1 on the dot? Finally, why does the pre-race show (Waste of time) last for over an hour but post-race only for 5 minutes? All of these questions have the same answer: $$$. It’s all the France family, the networks, the sponsors, and the track owners care about. What a shame. Hopefully some of the top drivers will quit NA$CAR and go run dirt or a new series that actually goes to tracks where racing is the main reason for being there. Long live the Rock! To hell with Fontana!
The answer is obvious. Bruton Smith owns a number of the tracks ( most of the nicest ones) and dislikes the France family intensely.All thats needed is Goodyear,or one of the other race tire makers,one of the many race fuel makers,and the sponsors that he already has. I suspect if it were shown to be a serious effort that the auto manufacturers and teams would quickly jump on board the new racing series.
I know of no other organization or institution that exemplifies greed as perfectly as NASCAR.
I’ve watched every televised race since 1982… but I grew jaded watching what NASCAR did to Tim Richmond. Stayed cautious until ’98, when the hype intensified and I grew cynical. Then the Brian France generation came into power, and while Big Bill France wanted to produce car racing, the current generation doesn’t want car racing. They want a moneymaking Hit Show. Now I’m simply disgusted by how blatant its greed is.
Earnhardt is called a 7-time NEXTEL Cup champion. Um… I don’t recall him ever winning a NEXTEL cup race. But the word WInston is now an obscenity, the Frances have decreed, because NASCAR gets money from NEXTEL, not Winston.
Even the NASCAR Day pin— ostensibly to help orphans and puppies (or whatever). But pay attention to the careful wording: “Proceeds go to the NASCAR Foundation…” Foundations, while philanthropic and labelled Non-profit, are moneymakers. That’s why there’s an Earnhardt Legacy Foundation, a Jeff Gordon Foundation— and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have HUGE Foundations. Beyond a certain point, you HAVE to give a bunch away. (It’s an oversimplification to say it gets you huge tax breaks, but without a convoluted lesson in corporate economics, that statement’s more accurate than most people realize.) NASCAR wants to keep its money. So it tells us it cares about children and animals. I don’t buy it.
I had to stop buying little toy cars when NASCAR (I mean, a subsidiary) bought two of the three major companies (and drove the third out of the market)— prices immediately jumped, while offering less product variety.
NASCAR.com is a nice looking site, lots of features and attractions— but since I’m unwilling to pay, there’s not much real content.
I avoid wearing NASCAR T-shirts; I don’t feel it needs or deserves any free advertising from me. There are plenty of other T-shirts to wear.
Every business wants to make money— that’s the PURPOSE of business. I understand that. But NASCAR doesn’t want to simply make a profit, it wants to suck every dollar out of every fan via every possible venue.
The thing I see is: NASCAR makes a thousand things, and sells all of them at X dollars each. So they raise the price, and suddenly they only sell 900. Instead of lowering the price to sell out again, its response is to offer 900 things, call them Super Special, and raise the price again— then hide the fact that they can only sell 800.
Now, I was against the IRL/CART split on principle back when it happened, hated Tony George for doing it, but I wasn’t really an open-wheel fan. However, I watch the IRL now, ‘cause I think it has become what NASCAR used to be. Give me racing like that, and I’ll watch it.
Still watch NASCAR every week. I like the racing— but between debris cautions and self-serving NASCAR hype, there’s not much racing left.
I like PapioTom’s point of view…I can apply that to over-priced tix/food etc…And I see the same pattern happening to our local short-track venue’s…Raise tix and food/beverage price’s to lower the body count in the stand’s…What is wrong with this concept that promoter’s refuse to see? BTW, Great article Jeff!
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