Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
The other night I was watching the movie Ransom, a thriller in which a dirty cop named Jimmy Shaker (played by Gary Sinise) kidnaps the son of wealthy airline entrepreneur Tom Mullen (played by Mel Gibson). The movie reaches a point where Mullen is going to make the drop of the money, and during the jaunt between destinations that Shaker orders him to take, Mullen asks Shaker, “Why me? Why come after me?”
Shaker thinks about it for a second, and then reminds Mullen that he was willing to pay off a union-connected mob boss to stop a strike that would have hurt his airline. “Because you buy your way out of trouble,” he tells Mullen. “You’re a payer. You did it once. You’re gonna do it again.”
Up until 2003, before the sport’s “Drive for Diversity” began, NASCAR had been contributing to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH coalition, supposedly to help increase the number of minorities in auto racing. So far, no one can cite any specific achievements of that partnership, which reportedly cost NASCAR $250,000. The late NFL star and minister Reggie White, someone who was not often accused of insensitivity to the plight of blacks in his life, said out loud that Jackson’s association with NASCAR was a fraud: “It’s really disappointing to me that Jesse and his organization would take a quarter of a million dollars from NASCAR and not do anything with it to try to get black drivers into the sport.”
Paying off Jackson was poor judgment on NASCAR’s part. Even without considering Jackson’s reputation among political conservatives—which make up a large part of NASCAR’s base—as nothing more than a shakedown artist, it was a symbolic gesture, one that had no real earmarks of genuine desire to change the status quo regarding driver ethnicity. It was almost a sheepish admission that NASCAR was not as diverse as some would like. NASCAR’s fans were not happy about the sport paying Jackson what clearly now (and it wasn’t all that foggy at the time) appears to be hush money; not because they are racist, but because they resent the implication that they are.
Think about why the NHL doesn’t have these problems. I googled “NHL Jesse Jackson” and didn’t find anything, on the first two pages of links at least, about some sort of similar arrangement between the NHL and Operation PUSH.
But the NHL wasn’t born in the South, the part of the country where supposedly everyone is still fighting the Civil War. NASCAR clearly feels guilt about being a Southern sport, despite their having nothing to do with slavery, as demonstrated both by their association with Jackson and Brian France’s disdain for the Confederate flags flown by some at NASCAR events.
Fast forward to today and Mauricia Grant’s $225 million lawsuit against NASCAR.
Had she wanted to do the right thing, Grant could have taken a different avenue than a demand of $225 million from her employer for employing some ignorant people. She could have taken her story to the New York Times, CNN, or most any other of the ubiquitous left-leaning news sources in America—heaven knows, they would have been elated to give ample attention to evidence of a traditionally right-wing institution harboring an unacceptable amount of racism. And she could certainly have made a nice buck from a book deal (which she still might).
By choosing that route, she also could have brought the issue to light in a way that NASCAR could not have ignored. Guilty parties would rightly have been fired and innocent remaining employees would undergo more training in what they cannot say or do. That she is instead demanding a gargantuan sum of money as payback for NASCAR’s supposed “culture” of racism, which is at best defined as hiring and occasionally defending a couple of ignorant racists, diminishes her moral high ground.
Unfortunately, for her as well as everyone else involved, someone from the Selachimorpha Superorder got to her first. (I know “Selachimorpha Superorder” sounds like a religious cult, but it’s really just the species name for sharks.)
Benedict Morelli, Grant’s shark—er, lawyer—has called NASCAR an “old boy network” run by “a bunch of nudniks” who need to catch up with the America of today. Now there’s the voice of the tolerant and open-minded! If that is what Morelli thinks of those who run NASCAR, certainly his view of the sport’s fans cannot be much different. He cites an incident involving fans in the lawsuit.
Here is a quote from someone once associated with NASCAR, if Morelli is interested in some extra evidence for his case: ”One thing I know, Negroes can drive cars fast…go through red lights, even at night with [their] lights off.”
Who made that insensitive stereotype? None other than the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Where is the lawsuit against the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and where is the grandstanding attorney decrying the “culture of racism” in that organization?
Morelli is not only sounding elitist and hypocritical, he also isn’t appearing to be very bright. It might help his case to get NASCAR fans in his corner, which could certainly be done with dispassionate presentation of the facts; but inflammatory public remarks like that aren’t going to do it, the generally low opinion of NASCAR’s leadership notwithstanding. This chest-thumping self-righteousness is irksome enough coming from someone whose own profession has a more than ample share of sleazeballs and lowlifes. But it is especially galling coming from a litigator who is demanding $225 million from a corporation because one of its employees had a difficult time working there. It may be the first time NASCAR fans support Brian France since he’s taken over the sport.
Morelli knows exactly what he is doing. He is taking the actions of a few morons…assuming what Grant says is true, which for the moment I believe…and publicly painting the entire sport with the broad racist brush, because Tim Knox and Bud Moore (the suspended members of the Nationwide Series accused of harassing Grant) don’t make enough money to buy Morelli a new Lamborghini. He is also well aware that “not many blacks in an institution” plus “institution has Southern roots” equals “institution is racist” to a great many people. And Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kyle Petty, and all of the rest of the decent Southern gentlemen in the sport should be offended by that.
If what Grant is saying is true, I am sympathetic to what she has endured. I would not tolerate some of the named incidents in any company that I ran, not even from the “military” types as Grant claims Nationwide Series director Joe Balash called the offending parties. By any measure of common sense, this is what should happen here: if some were guilty of making Grant’s work environment unbearable (which it apparently wasn’t…she did stay employed there for three years), they and any of their supervisors who were aware of their behavior should be terminated. And that’s it.
I’ve had rough experiences in the workplace too. I’ve worked in hostile environments. I’ve worked for supervisors that truly did make the job miserable. I’ve been wrongfully terminated. I would think it absurd to assume that that entitles me to millions; yet that is exactly what America’s litigious culture has taught us—all so lawyers can have beachfront properties.
With all of the blacks that have attempted to work with NASCAR to truly help them with diversity—including Reggie White, Julius Erving, Brad Daugherty, and Randy Moss—it is more than a little surprising that Grant’s lawsuit is the first that some NASCAR fans have ever heard of regarding the hostile environment that surrounds blacks who participate in the sport. If Magic Johnson came out and defended NASCAR and their diversity efforts, would that make him a “sellout”? What about Bill Lester? Or Marc Davis? Have they experienced the type of racism and harassment Grant claims to have endured? If they are, why haven’t they come forward, especially now knowing that they can sue for almost a quarter of a billion dollars? I am interested in seeing what the answer to that will be.
The lawsuit claims (in addition to stressing that Bill Lester was the ONLY black driver competing in the major series, emphasis theirs) that NASCAR “retains an unwritten yet unflagging policy limiting the advancement of black and female employees”. Indeed. As Randy Moss has just proven, like Julius Erving and Brad Daugherty did before him, the glass ceiling for blacks in NASCAR is “team owner”.
Should this case go to trial, in order to justify the huge amount named in the lawsuit, Morelli will likely argue to the court that the only way a corporate giant like NASCAR will wake up to the need to change their ways is if they are hit hard in their wallets. That, he may claim, is his real motivation for making Grant (and of course, himself) independently wealthy, not the desire to make himself independently wealthy as some of us old boy nudniks might suspect. He would probably be insulted that anyone would suggest that it’s about the money. It never is, is it?
Morelli claims that he wants to “change the culture of NASCAR”. He’s not trying to get richer; he is Fighting The Power…the “Power”, of course, being the inherent and covert racism that dominates the thinking of all wealthy corporations; who are ignorant enough to be consumed with inexplicable hate, yet somehow were so cleverly able to conceal it for decades until a few good ol’ boy hillbillies let the secret out. That is what Morelli is going to try to convince a jury. If he wins a fraction of $225 million, it will ironically be the “Power” that makes Morelli an extremely wealthy man. It’s always a stitch when slithery attorneys manage to convince even themselves that they are fighting for the Greater Good. Just like how they fought the good fight for Equality in reducing both of my parents to near-destitution in their divorce.
Morelli sees clearly that NASCAR is vulnerable, partly because of its Southern roots, and also through NASCAR’s sensitivity about its apparent lack of diversity. There’s blood in the water and sharks in the vicinity.
One of the uglier things about racism is the behavior of those who profit from it.
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First let me stated that I am from the South, I attend the races. I grew up with black friends & have people of all races as friends in my circle now. I am not saying the official did not endure what she claims, I just have a hard time believing they were meant maliciously. No one uses the slang in which she has reported any more, those remarks are clearly dated which has lead me to believe there was more to the story. What makes it ok for her or her lawyer to call the people of the South ignorant Hillbillies? Is this not the same thing she has accused NASCAR of doing? Seems like she is pretty good at name calling herself.
Well? Read and re-read this article, and I guess when you digest what was stated, it comes down to two (2) avenues of approach:
1. just go public, and then she has zero protection from any name calling, whispering, innuendo’s, male talk, etc., from the “good ole’ boy’s” as employed by NA$CAR!
2. File the actual lawsuit knowing that the “good ole’ boy” network had plenty of time to correct it’s ways before it got to this point!
Me thinks the safer approach for her was to do exactly what she did!
And just how many newspapers do you think would pick this up as a story if it was “just talk”?
Me thinks not many!
And remember, that NA$CAR is a billion dollar industry but operates like a Mom & Pop store!
Until you walk in someone’s shoes, it’s difficult to understand exactly what happened and who said what. Just because an expression is dated, doesn’t mean it’s not used anymore. Just because you don’t like the avenue Ms. Grant used to air the dirty laundry doesn’t make her wrong. Just because you think she should have taken a different road instead of suing for money doesn’t make her a bad person. I’ve been in the garage areas and have seen some people at their worst. Just because the big, bad corporation happens to be NA$CAR doesn’t mean they are immune to being held accountable for what their employees say and do. Just because you hate lawyers doesn’t mean Ms. Grant isn’t entitled to be represented by one in a court of law. Until the France family finally realizes that their money can’t always buy silence and actually strive to be a diversified company, these lawsuits are going to haunt them. If this goes to trial, it will be very interesting to see and hear the evidence and find out if any other victims come forward to join the action. Getting too big for your britches does more to propogate greed and bad behavior than cause you to need a new notch on your belt.
“No one uses the slang in which she has reported any more, those remarks are clearly dated”, just what world are you living in CDJ?
Certainly not in the USA for sure!
And let me be candid about this thing, half my family is white, the other half is black! I am exposed to both sides of the world! On an intimate and constant basis!
And I can assure you, not much has changed in the past 100 years or so!
The innuendos, the remarks, the comments, the slang, the “racist” remarks, all are alive and well in this country!
Take my word for it!
Actually I am in the South, and those phrases that were listed as being used I have not heard for years. I never stated that she was wrong, it could have been prevented had she used her connections. She could have saved herself the mental anguish and years of torment. Why would you suffer if you stop the pain?
Bear with me please, and appreciate your feedback. BUT? Are you saying that in this day and age, that any minority, and lets name a few:
LARGE BREASTED WOMEN
(please note that all the above have been, & are considered as “minorities” & or “unique” enough to draw attention to themsleves), that when they get singled out and verbally abused, I.E sexual inuendos & such, and otherwise mistreated by their fellow workers or whatever, that they simply quit whatever activity they are involved in, and go somewhere else? Just walk away?
Thats what I am reading into it anyway!
No, that’s not what I am saying. I am saying if you have another way to correct the situation instead of letting it continue for 3 years why would you put yourself through all suffering if you could stop it and fix the problem? I would have turned over every stone until someone heard what I had to say. She had connections that would have helped her, why she did not use that to her advantage and blow it wide open is what I find puzzling.
Well, as I read and “understand” the situation, she did indeed go to NA$CAR Management several times but to no avail.
And from what dear Brian has to say, no one in management appraised him of what was going on, it was a complete surprise to Brian and the powers to be on Speedway Blvd.!! It appears that the lower managers decided to take no action, either up or down!
Anyway, that is what has been reported anyway.
Now, what were her options again?
Thanks for the conversation by the way.
Oh hell, even if all of her story is proven false, the lefty media will still run anti-nascar stories.
ESPN will be all over it.
It’s a no-win no matter what.
Well, Brian France is Brian France. Her options lay no further than where she got her start. The man that helped her get into NASCAR could have brought them to their knees, John W. Mack. Being a parent of a child with disabilities you tend to dig. I have turned stones when my child was refused an education. I know the battle field is not a fair one, but it is not one I will sit still on while people beat me or my child down. That is why I question the delay.
Interestingly, I was listening to Sirius when the talk was about this suit and a woman called who said she was an employment lawyer who represents clients who are wrongfully terminated for these kind of things; and she said this kind of lawsuit actually does her a DIS-service – because it raises the expectations of her potential clients. They think that they can always sue for millions, and she has to disabuse them of that notion, and that what they can realistically pursue is provable damages (lost wages, etc). She felt this $250 million amount was just the lawyers way to get press attention for this case, and she said (and I agree) that there will probably just be an out of court settlement to make this thing go away.
First, I come from the “Get Over It” mentality. I do not believe in jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon for every perceived slight.
I just wish I was her Shark. Hell on second thought, I’d settle for just being one of the pilot fish. Seriously, does anyone really think that their so called diversity training really amounts to anything? That sounds like something you go to because it’s required. Drowse through, hope the donuts are fresh, & roll your eyes as you leave. She’s hit NA$CAR in the only place they understand…in the billfold. She’s also made this such a high profile matter that now they will have to put some real teeth into this. Good on you mate.
Am I the judge, the jury, or the executioner?
Innocent until PROVEN guilty is only for criminal charges. Civil charges don’t have to have adhere to the same standard.
There is nothing CIVIL about this mess. It is nasty.