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.
While Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was being interviewed on 60 Minutes, he said that there’s a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. or a Jeff Gordon on short tracks around the country.
In sports—in the entertainment industry in general—there are thousands of talented people who toil away for the best years of their lives and never get noticed. And obviously, no one knows their names, or maybe they manage to make a splash for literally just a shade longer than 15 minutes and are then forgotten. Luck matters more than everything else in both show business and professional sports. All of the big name record companies rejected the Beatles.
But with NASCAR’s two development series probably receiving more attention and relative coverage than in possibly any other sport, save for perhaps college football or basketball, the story of the driver who performs and does everything he is asked and yet is still not offered a legitimate shot at the big time is often there for everyone to see.
Scott Wimmer is that ongoing story right now.
At 33, Wimmer’s chances of ever landing a quality Cup ride are diminishing. He has been booted out of his Nationwide ride at Richard Childress Racing, and this year he will drive a half dozen races for JR Motorsports and the rest of the season for Key Motorsports, a team that does not currently have the resources of an RCR. As his finishes reflect lesser equipment, his prospects are likely to shrink. It won’t be long before his excellent part-time record in the RCR No. 29 is forgotten.
Whatever reason RCR had to let Wimmer go, it would have been difficult to complain about his performance.
In 2007, driving 23 races in the Holiday Inn 29, Wimmer scored seven top 5s and 14 top 10s. He finished 14th in the standings…and together with Jeff Burton, won the owner’s points title for RCR. Wimmer finished third at Dover, second at Gateway, fourth at Nashville, second at Milwaukee and fifth at Bristol…so there wasn’t any question that Wimmer could get it done on the tracks that are toughest on drivers. But he didn’t win a race, you say? Here’s the list of Nationwide regulars who won a race in 2007: Jason Leffler and Stephen Leicht. And both ran 35 races to Scott’s 23.
Had Wimmer run the full schedule in 2007 and averaged an 11th place finish every week—not unreasonable considering he had been doing just that—he would have finished second in the Nationwide standings…ahead of David Ragan, David Reutimann, Marcos Ambrose and all of the Nationwide regulars. He wouldn’t have put up much of a challenge to Carl Edwards for the title, but he would have fared better than anyone else. It would have been nice to see another Nationwide regular in the thick of it.
In 2008, driving 23 races in the Holiday Inn car, Wimmer finished 17th in the standings, and pulled off that rarity of being a Nationwide-only driver that won a race with his victory at Nashville. No one ahead of him in the final standings started fewer than 30 races. Had he run a full schedule and averaged a 12th place finish every race—again, about the average for what he was running—the only drivers that would have finished ahead of him would have been Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, and Brad Keselowski. That’s two Cup stars and a driver who will definitely be in Cup soon.
And remember, in 2007 and 2008, Wimmer was racing against a field heavily populated with full-time Cup drivers. Six of the top 10 in the Nationwide standings in 2007 were Cup regulars. In 2008 there were five. Of the full-time Nationwide-only drivers, only Brad Keselowski in 2008 averaged more points per race than Wimmer did in either of the two years. And Brad had been sitting in marginally (although only marginally) better equipment.
Generally when drivers perform this well, a Cup team will let go of an aging veteran to offer an opportunity to a driver who seems to have a bright future. Wimmer had hung tough with the big boys, outperforming many of them and all of the Nationwide regulars for two years. He was rewarded with a loss of his Nationwide job and being passed over for Casey Mears in a Cup ride. Mears has yet to score a top 5 this season.
It’s wrong, of course, to say that Wimmer has never had a shot at Cup racing, having driven for two years for Bill Davis Racing and then briefly for Morgan-McClure.
Other than at Daytona, Wimmer didn’t break the bank in the 22 car. He did finish a surprising third in his first Daytona 500, even leading a few laps in the race. Bill Davis wasn’t bad at Daytona then—he’d won the 500 just two years before with Ward Burton in the car—but Scott did his job in the sport’s biggest show. I’m sure Caterpillar was happy with the result.
Beyond that, Wimmer didn’t achieve anything spectacular in the 22. But Bill Davis Racing was unquestionably in decline by that point, and was running a single car operation in a field full of multi-car teams. Dave Blaney took over the 22 in 2006, and scored a grand total of two top 10s that year…and that was with an extra car (Michael Waltrip’s 55) in the BDR garage to get notes from.
After Wimmer was informed late in 2005 that he would be at BDR the following season, Davis fired him by mail in late October. At that point in the season, most of the other owners had worked out who would be in their cars, and Wimmer was forced to take over a fledgling Morgan-McClure ride to stay in Cup racing. That team lost its sponsor mid-season and would fold soon after.
So the Wisconsin native’s experience in Cup racing has been with two teams that were long past contending for strong finishes and are both defunct today. Maybe he’s had a better opportunity than Jason Keller, but that hardly seems justified for a driver that often outdrives Cup regulars in the Nationwide Series.
Scott Wimmer presses on. In his debut for Key Motorsports—a team that has shut its doors on more than one occasion for lack of funding—he started last and had driven the car into the top 15 before getting taken out when Tony Raines lost a tire. In Vegas, he finished 11th—the best finish that team has scored in 14 years. In his one race in the 5 car this year, he finished ninth at Darlington, one of the truest measures of a driver’s skills.
He may not be Jeff Gordon, but Scott Wimmer has proven that he is a capable and consistent racecar driver. When he has the equipment, he performs. In a perfect world, that should land him in a competitive Cup car or, at the very least—with all due respect to Curtis Key—a top level full-time Nationwide ride.
And if it is sponsors—who know little about racing other than it’s expensive—that have blocked that from happening, they really ought not to be allowed to make such decisions. Please don’t tell me that Jack Daniel’s, the manufacturer of a product that intoxicates people, has a problem with someone that has a five year old DUI on his record. And please tell me that going to a desert on the other side of the planet to visit with our soldiers counts for something. No one goes to such lengths just for PR.
Putting inadequate or inexperienced drivers in Cup cars because sponsors like their faces is a part of what’s wrong with NASCAR today. You can bet Wimmer wouldn’t get knocked around like a pinball at Martinsville, as many open-wheelers do.
Unfortunately for Scott, that’s modern day racin’.
©2000 - 2008 Kurt Smith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Great column, Kurt. Good subject matter and a telling commentary on the state of the Nationwide series and the choices of drivers behind the wheel in Cup. I’m sorry to say I didn’t know Scott Wimmer was that good. Maybe he’ll get a good ride yet.
He’s always been an interesting case. I think part of it is your last paragraph, plus aside from the Daytona performance, which let’s face it, restrictor plates are a crapshoot and often is the “one shining moment” for teams like BDR, Morgan McClure, and Finch.
I think with Wimmer a few things come into play. One, he’s a weird little fella, kinda like a cousin of the Bodines. The DUI is what it is, especially when you make your living as a professional driver. I’m with you that there ought to be some turning of the page, but it is what it is. When I see Wimmer, I see Peter Principle. He is a serviceable Nationwide driver, would be damn good in the trucks and below, but when he gets with the big boys, he fades. He’s in that grouping with the Greens, Mike and Kenny Wallace, Todd and Brett Bodine, and Randy Lajoie. I think it’s a shame that the Cup guys gobble all of the top Nationwide rides, but in this crap economy, sponsors need Jeff Burton piloting the Holiday Inn car, not Scott Wimmer. If the Nationwide was as intended, a feeder league for Cup, He’d thrive and meaybe get groomed for a Cup ride. As it is, he’ll never be above a 2nd tier Nationwide driver as long as Cup guys cherry pick.
Gotta say the way racing is now, it is nothing short of astonishing to see David Reutimann prosper as he has this year.
In the nas$car of today it doesn’t matter how good you can drive. You have be young and have a pretty marketable face. That’s why the older core fans are leaving the sport. And it will only get worse. Scott Wimmer deserves a chance. What has Casey Mears done besides be the nephew of Rick Mears?
I liked the article on Scott Wimmer. I definitely don’t think he has had a fair shake. When he got with BDR he had Ward Burton and Dave Blaney as teammates. We all know where that ended up. Ward was let go, Dave was let go, Scott placed third in the Busch series and moved up to Cup alone. In the meantime he had offers from other topnotch teams but was trying to be “faithful” to Bill since he started him. What a mistake. Like the article says, Bill sent him a letter in the mail releasing him at the end of the season when two weeks early told the press that Scott would be in the car the following year. This seems to be the story of his career. One bump after the next. For those of you that don’t think Scott has the talent to do it I would love to Scott get into Jimmy Johnson’s or Jeff Gordon’s car for a few races and let them get into a Morgan-McClure or BDR level car. Lets see who is successful then!? And if you have ever met Scott as a fan you will know he always takes the time to stop and sign autographs. Unlike some of those wonderful Cup drivers that speed by on their golf carts. By the way, I didn’t see any of them over in Iraq two days before Christmas visiting troops. The “wierd little fellas” Scott Wimmer and Geoff Bodine were!
Please don’t take my comment about the “weird little fellas” to heart. They are all good drivers, how else would they get to that level? The lower rung guys are usually the most personally accomodating and friendly, shoot, i can recall talking to Ricky Craven and his wife at Daytona back in the day for about 15 minutes, but that doesn’t show on tv all the time. And I think it is great that they do the USO tours. But to kinda blow your let’s see Gordon in BDR cars argument, well, in a way Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are blowing that notion clear out of the water. Yes I know the 14 and 39 have Hendrick power plants, but do you really think Rick Hendrick is so benevolent as to give Stewart better equipment than his current stable under the HMS banner? Heck no! Stewart Haas is probably #3 in line for GM (pre-financial crunch) behind Hendrick and RCR.