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.
Just this one writer’s opinion, but the best thing a Hall of Fame provides for a sport is the discussions it inspires amongst sportswriters and fans. Now that Matt McLaughlin has so eloquently made the case for the next five inductees, and I can’t dispute much of it, I thought I’d look at current folks in NASCAR who have a future shot at Charlotte immortality.
Halls of Fame are enigmas in a certain regard. Members of these exclusive best in history clubs aren’t necessarily invited based on numbers and statistics; since they are elected by writers in nearly every case, there is no set standard of achievement that guarantees induction. Barry Bonds is baseball’s home run king, but he will not likely be voted into baseball’s Hall, at least not right away, as writers still hold him in contempt (and rightly so) for steroid use. For many years Richie Ashburn, a lifetime .300 hitter, was inexplicably denied entry in Cooperstown.
I once met ESPN football analyst Sal Paolantonio at a book signing, and we had a friendly debate about whether four-time AFC champion Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy belonged in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (he is in it). He said no; I said yes. He argued that Levy never won a Super Bowl; I argued that neither did Dan Marino.
Debates like that are sports at their finest.
In most cases, I’d like to believe that Hall of Fame electors honorably put personal biases aside and judge each potential inductee on the merits. The one exception is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is an utter insult and should be denied any funding until the scum from Rolling Stone are removed from the election process.
But I digress. Other than the initial exclusion of David Pearson, an injustice that will almost certainly be corrected in a year’s time, there wasn’t too much squabbling over the initial inductees into NASCAR’s Hall. Yet someday down the road, of course, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth over the induction of some figures and the exclusion of others.
So I thought I’d kick the ball off and get it rolling with some current names in the sport today.
Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Stewart are obvious locks, and along with them Rick Hendrick, Jack Roush, Richard Childress and Joe Gibbs. Drivers or owners with multiple championships to their credit have cemented themselves among the all-time greats; other than the oddball writer who will make a stupid case against their induction just to sound smarter than everyone else, their future enshrining is certain. So we won’t waste any more time on that. Similarly, crew chiefs with multiple Cup championships should probably be inducted. For the moment, the only active chiefs in the sport with such credentials are Chad Knaus and Greg Zipadelli. Knaus, absolutely, gets in on the first ballot.
Now let’s go to some other names currently wheeling Cup cars.
You could make a Paolantonio-esque argument that a driver needs to win a championship to make the Hall, but it would still be a travesty to deny Mark Martin. To finish in the top 5 in the standings 13 times is a far more impressive achievement than winning one title, even if there aren’t any trophies for it. Not to mention that his last runner-up finish came at the age of 50. Martin would also get the benefit of the popular-guy vote, the kind that can push a teetering potential inductee over the top. There is nothing wrong with that so long as impressive numbers are there. And they are. 40 Cup wins is Hall-worthy, championship or not.
Matt Kenseth is an interesting conundrum. His 2003 championship and 2009 Daytona 500 win surely put him on the ballot, but does he have the numbers overall to have a plaque emblazoned in the same room with Dale Earnhardt? Should he put up similar numbers as he has been for the rest of his career, the answer would be absolutely…but Roush Fenway seems to have lost a bit of mojo of late, and if it keeps up, we may not see many more wins than Kenseth’s total of 18 when he hangs up his helmet. However, I still say yes on Matt Kenseth, if for no other reason than his being the inspiration for a ridiculous playoff.
How about Kurt Busch? He’s also a champion, and there isn’t going to be any consideration against that for it being a Chase championship, sympathetic as I may be to the argument. Still, he has only finished top 5 three times in his career thus far, and has 21 race wins, not quite enough now. But he has many more years left in him, and could well reach at least 30 wins in his career. Kurt’s a tough call right now, but he’ll probably make it.
His brother Kyle should someday find his place among the greatest. Not only is he racking up wins—17 Cup wins at the age of 25—he’s doing it in all three major series, with an astonishing total of 67 overall. Kyle has already started to put up Hall-worthy numbers; should he nail down a Cup title a trip to Charlotte at the end of his career should go with it. But part of his problem is those last 10 races each year. If he doesn’t fix that, it could hurt his chances. Believe it or not, Kyle has only won one Chase event, the 2005 Phoenix race.
It pains me to say it, because I’m a big fan of his, but I doubt that at this point that it would be fair to include Jeff Burton. Maybe as one of those second or third ballot guys, whatever that means. But no titles and only 21 wins, in a career that probably doesn’t have too many more seasons, isn’t there at least as far as stats are concerned. He’s been a good, consistent driver throughout his career, but averaging just over one victory a year isn’t quite enough. I’d vote him in just on his being a decent guy and a great ambassador for the sport, but using just those criteria you could vote in Kenny Wallace.
Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards are still too early in their careers to start hammering out the plaque just yet, but both drivers can someday etch their names in the Hall simply by performing the way that they have over 10 more years or so. Both drivers have come very close to winning titles; should either pull one off it could seal the deal.
OK, here’s the obvious fight-starter. What about Dale Earnhardt Jr.? I and probably most motorsports journalists would say no. He doesn’t have the numbers—just 18 wins in 11-plus seasons. That seven of them came at plate tracks devalues almost a third of them, to this writer anyway. All seven of Junior’s plate wins came at the time when DEI was very strong at plate tracks; no one is likely to contend that Michael Waltrip belongs in the Hall. Compare that to Matt Kenseth with one of 18 wins at plate tracks, and even with identical totals, I think Kenseth’s total is more impressive simply based on the venues.
There will undoubtedly be some attempting to justify Little E’s place among the greats of the sport. Maybe there will be some merit to it. It’s impossible to measure the intangible lift the sport got, not only from his continuing to race without blinking following his father’s untimely and very public passing, but also from winning the next race at the track where the tragedy occurred. This is, after all, a Hall of “Fame,” and Junior’s carrying of a shaken sport through rough times might be worthy of some consideration. I still say no, but if someone made the case, I’d understand it.
Bobby Labonte is a tough one. A champion, yes, so based on that maybe he gets in, but he went into a sharp decline almost immediately following his 2000 title, to the point where several lackluster years at Joe Gibbs were followed by some mediocre years at Petty Enterprises. Other than his championship season, Labonte finished in the top 10 in the standings just five times and in the top 5 just once. I would vote for him because I like the guy, which is surely an edge that good fellas like Labonte will have, but I don’t know that a majority would.
Kevin Harvick? Probably not unless he gets a title under his belt. Joey Logano, maybe, someday? Far too early to tell, and so far, heck no. Greg Biffle? No. Clint Bowyer needs a lot of help for the rest of his racing days. Kasey Kahne? Homina homina homina…not likely on his numbers thus far, but let’s reserve judgment until he’s raced for Rick Hendrick for a few seasons. Juan Pablo Montoya, if he becomes the first driver since A.J. Foyt to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500? I like that, but no. Not even with a Cup championship, unless he starts winning somewhere besides road courses. Besides, Indy 500 wins don’t count here.
Other than drivers, crew chiefs and owners, I can think of a few other potential future candidates for the Hall. Should Mike Joy stick around another decade, I could argue his being placed on the ballot as a broadcaster, although I can’t think of anyone else in the booth today that merits such distinction. Like him or not, SMI owner Bruton Smith and his ex-sidekick track promoter Humpy Wheeler may both find their places on a future Hall ballot. And while Kyle Petty accomplished little on the racetrack to be so honored, his philanthropic efforts, especially the formation of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, might make him a candidate. Brian France? I’ll let you hardcore fans debate that one. Easy on those keyboards.
It’s fun just writing about it. Nothing legitimizes a sport like passionate arguments over who was the best of the best. Nothing provokes such arguments like a Hall of Fame.
©2000 - 2008 Kurt Smith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Danica Patrick for being the first female driver in NASCAR
Kurt: Don’t you think Juan Pablo would be thrilled if he could even win a road course event? Granted as a rookie he won Infineon on a pit strategy/fuel mileage run. Not an ‘I’m a world-class road racer, catch me if you can run’. All of his wins since then bring the total to…1!!! I don’t think he would care about NASCAR HoF, but I know it’s gotta kill him that he isn’t really a true threat to win twice a season.
Lastly, my thoughts and prayers also go out to Brian Vickers. May God speed his recovery.
DansMom once again proves a complete ignorance of NASCAR history. Janet Guthrie actually competed in the FIRST NASCAR sanctioned event. That occurred sometime prior to 2010. Patty Moise started several NASCAR events in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Chrissy Wallace also debuted prior to Danica Patrick. Other women have also competed in NASCAR over the years, but I am just feeling a little too lazy to look them all up right now.
The more important question is: Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong? Most people would at least break down and do some research just to be right ONCE!!!
Im sure what DansMom meant to say was:
Noel: Dont you ever get tired of trying to correct everyone? Im sure everyone is impressed with your google skills..
Rick HANS should be in.
All Im saying is we should go ahead and induct Dale Jr into the HOF right now. I mean we can wait 10 years to do it if we want, but it would save everyone time to just do it now. He obviously deserves it more than most.
Here are my opinions on modern drivers’ HOF statuses:
Jeff Gordon – Lock
No other drivers belong in the discussion. Guys like Montoya, Bowyer, Logano, etc… Let’s wait a few years and see if they become prolific winners, which is certainly possible. Montoya is a lock for IMHOF based on his wide-ranging Gurneyesque success in multiple series, but certainly doesn’t belong in the NASCAR HOF yet. I don’t think A.J. Foyt does either, but he’ll get in, largely due to his open wheel success, which is a double standard. I don’t think Foyt deserved being on the 50 Greatest Drivers list if you’re going to leave Gurney and Andretti out.
I’m not thrilled about owners getting in because I don’t think very many of the mega-owners today are likable, but Hendrick, Roush, Gibbs, Childress, Penske, Yates, and Glen Wood will get in for sure. I unfortunately think Leonard Wood will be snubbed because NASCAR likes to inflate Glen’s importance due to his relatively minor Cup driving career… Penske never won a title, but will get in due to his general motorsports notoriety and ownership of the tracks he sold to ISC, which will really put him in NASCAR’s good book as it helped destroy CART and IRL by denying them much-needed ovals.
Crew chiefs? I’d give it to most who have won one title. Knaus and Zipadelli deserve it for sure. I think Todd Parrott is better than Zipadelli and should be a lock. I’d say guys like Jimmy Makar, Robbie Loomis, Robbie Reiser, and Jimmy Fennig should also be in. They’ve all done enough.
Broadcasters? Joy, Squier, and Jenkins are probably the only ones that deserve it who weren’t also drivers or crew chiefs. Joy annoys me and I never liked Squier, but credit where credit is due.
Promoters? Smith and Wheeler will both make it, but I have little enthusiasm for them making it especially considering guys like T. Wayne Robinson who were more important promoters will be denied.
Following up on Noel’s post, Kyle Petty does not deserve it on his charity work alone. I don’t like Dale Jarrett and think his niceness is massively overrated, but he’s still a lock based on his driving career. Brian France will make it in just for being NASCAR’s president for long enough but doesn’t deserve it. Jeff Gordon has won 35 races post-Evernham so calling him a mediocrity in that period is just plain bizarre to me. 35 wins would be a great career by any standard. Janet Guthrie definitely isn’t old enough to have participated in the first NASCAR events in the ’40s. Others like Louise Smith, Sara Christian, and Ethel Mobley would be more appropriate woman pioneer picks in that regard, but Guthrie does get props for being the first woman to qualify at Daytona.
Who else do you want to put into the Hall of Average? David Ragan? He had a good race once.
Also, whats up with only putting in 5 people (that no one has ever seen race) to begin with? Of course no one is buying tickets, why would I pay that much money to see 5 exhibits!
@ RandyGoldman: I’m not sure why you defend DansMom. Is your real name Dan maybe? Or are you possibly DansMom‘s father and brother? There is no other possible explanation.
ETHEL MOBLEY! Google that.
DansMom, I would say MOST drivers with 15 or more wins are deserving, but I surely wouldn’t induct Ragan. Geez…
Noel- It’s called the “Hall of Fame” not the “Hall of people no one has ever heard of”
Danica Patrick has brought more popularity to NASCAR in one year than all other female drivers combined.
Danica Patrick is the Jackie Robinson of NASCAR.
Also Carl what exactly does “Probable future lock” mean????
I guess that’s why these exhibits are “interactive”. They have a google toolbar open to look up who the hell these people are.
it’s apparent that noel is one of those people that gets jealous of the attractive, i’m sure nascar would pay attention to you too if you had all your teeth or werent too big to fit into and operate a moter vehicle. and unlike you, i didnt have to use google to pretend that i knew that fact. wwjdd
Haven’t posted here in some time but then I read what must be the most asinine comment of 2010: “Noel- It’s called the “Hall of Fame” not the “Hall of people no one has ever heard of”
Danica Patrick has brought more popularity to NASCAR in one year than all other female drivers combined.”
This sort of stuff can only be written by someone that thinks that NASCAR started somewhere around 2002-2003. Regardless of how much “popularity” one brings to the sport that they participate in that does not translate into being Hall of Fame material. An example of this presently would be Dale Jr.. I hope his program picks but I haven’t seen anything yet that I would say is HOF material. This holds true for Danica. Even if we were speaking about an IRL HOF I she wouldn’t be the first name that I would nominate if we were talking statistics. If you really would like to understand the sport that you follow try reading up on its history a bit. It’s quite interesting and you may also find the photo of Louise Smith smiling in her flipped over race car prior to being pulled out. That’s when they raced to race not to see how much merchandise they could sell or what magazine they would appear in next. If one needs to have a Google toolbar open to figure out something before replying to a post then perhaps they shouldn’t be replying at all. On the plus side if they do search out some of this stuff then that also hopefully means they are educating themselves.
Tongue in cheek….
“Danica Patrick is the Jackie Robinson of NASCAR.”
So… Jackie Robinson was overrated, and only played a couple of baseball games in the majors before going back to his full time job playing tennis?
Jackie couldn’t even get a hit with the best equipment money could buy?
On the flipside, Danica is facing a conspiracy by the owners to keep women out of NASCAR? The owners have all agreed to not hire women, no matter how talented they are? There’s a whole league of deserving female drivers out there who had to form their own racing series just so they could play, because the NASCAR owners refuse to hire them because they’re women?
@ DansMom: You just continue to prove your stupidity time and time again. Just because you have never heard of people doesn’t mean nobody has.
@ RandyGoldman: I like your last comment. You can’t argue the NASCAR facts. You can’t win a debate based on the “you Google” comment. You can’t be troubled to actually educate yourself on a subject. You can’t spell. Clearly we have found someone that can give DansMom a run for her money in the “MOST STUPID AMERICAN EVER“ award. Congratulations, you must be very proud.
Since we are listing crew chiefs, how about Dale Inman?
“Danica Patrick is the Jackie Robinson of NASCAR.”
I stand corrected. That_is the most asinine comment of 2010. Your tiara and sash for “Ms. Asinine Comment 2010” will be sent to you shortly. Clearly this comment was made by someone that hasn’t a clue,(nor the sensitivity), to recognize the difference between the struggles of an entire race and a pseudo-swimsuit-model/race driver entering a race division with no resistance from the organization. In fact, just the opposite as she will draw viewers in which in turn brings in more revenue even if she is mediocre at best. Now if this comment was made towards Janet Guthrie who did face adversity when she raced in NASCAR, (although still extremely far from the adversity that Jackie Robinson faced in baseball.), I could possibly see your point even if it was still a bit of a stretch and then some. So here is tonights homework for you. Google “Negro League” and read a bit about the struggles that faced that paticular league and how they overcame that hurdle. Secondly google “Women in NASCAR” and take a moment to read about women that really overcome adversity in order to do what they loved which was race cars. I realize that you feel that Google is for other people to use but I think you actually might benefit from using it. In absence of Google you could go to your local bookstore and find books on the appropriate topics.
“Also Carl what exactly does “Probable future lock” mean????”
Drivers who don’t deserve HOF status if their careers ended today but probably will after their careers end. That’s where I put Edwards, Hamlin, and Kahne right now…
Regarding Inman, of course he deserves it, but I was generally only discussing current racing figures just as Kurt did in his article.
I think Dansmom is a Frontstretch “creation” to get people riled up/posting.
Everyone forgot about Shawna Robinson LOL
I think one name missing is T Wayne Robinson he brought RJR Winston to NASCAR. Without him the sport would still be just regional