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.
Before I started toiling for That’s Racin’ and subsequently the Frontstretch, I spent Sunday evenings writing race summaries for the edification of the other members of my fantasy league. Back then I was less concerned about reigning in vitriol towards NASCAR figures, and one of my favorite targets was champion driver-turned-commentator Darrell Waltrip. I mean, admit it, even if you like the guy, he does come up with some doozies.
Nowadays I’m fond of telling league members that I yearn for the days when “boogity boogity boogity” was the most annoying thing NASCAR fans had to endure. And I actually find myself agreeing with ol’ D.W. more often than I once did. Normally he’s an unabashed ambassador for the sport, which, since they indirectly pay his probably considerable salary, I don’t begrudge him. So it was a shock to hear him openly say the Chase should be junked.
Anyway, contrary to what some people think, Waltrip is knowledgeable about the sport. He did win three championships after all. Having been around as long as he has, he’s not someone whose opinions should be summarily dismissed, and I’m not just saying that because he said something I agreed with. You may not like D.W., but who would you rather have running the sport, Jaws or Brian France?
I bring this up because our newsletter earlier this week showcased some tweets on his thoughts regarding the Nationwide Series. Among them:
“What they need is less super speedways and go back to the bull rings. That would be the great equalizer in my opinion, all driver, less car.”
“You go back to the short tracks and that’s when we were developing young new drivers, local boys taking on the big boys!”
“Cup teams and drivers have a huge advantage on super speedways. Aero is so important, go to short tracks aero means very little!”
These were part of a series of tweets that discussed the problem of the Nationwide Series becoming Cup Lite, full of Cup drivers smoking lesser known series regulars. For a long time, motorsports journalists, myself included, have decried this development. It reeks of sponsors deciding who should be in racecars—Danica Patrick has a guaranteed ride no matter how dismal her results.
But everyone in racing understands that money buys speed, and having a Dale Earnhardt Jr. on your team brings in cash to hire top engineers to make Jimmie Johnson go faster. So as distasteful as the Cup drivers bullying the up-and-coming Cup hopefuls may seem, bringing in sponsorship money is a necessary part of the game. Sponsors simply won’t go for unknowns, and you can’t necessarily blame them for that, either. It is a lot of money that they’re ponying up for the car to be on the track.
Lots of people offer solutions to this, but none of them are really logical or fully address the problems. Disallow Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series altogether? Why? Why limit who can compete and who can’t? It’s not that Cup drivers in the lower series is anything new; you just didn’t used to see Cup drivers running for Nationwide championships as much as today. So don’t let Cup drivers run for championships? How would that be done? By not scoring points for them? That would be complicated, and NASCAR doesn’t need any more of that.
You could hold Nationwide events at a track far away from the Cup race, which isn’t a terrible idea, but a lot of tracks sell entire weekend packages, and while I’m not all that sympathetic to the France family losing revenue, this would take away some of the incentive for hardcore folks to camp for a weekend at the place.
It’s possible that NASCAR backed off on placing limits on drivers when they considered the matter a little further. They’re aware fans don’t like the situation, but it’s not so easy to fix it with rule book changes (another thing NASCAR doesn’t need any more of).
With his tweets, Darrell Waltrip offered a viable solution to the Nationwide Series’ problems, something I hadn’t been able to think of on my own (and I’ve tried). If the series focused more on finding venues that rewarded driver skill over engineering, there might be more chances for up-and-coming drivers to come up through the ranks.
I don’t know how much difference it makes in the Cup series, but if D.W. states that driver skill matters more at bull rings (and who am I to argue with him), it stands to reason that focusing on them at the Cup level would put some more oomph into the races. It’s hard to establish that prowess at intermediates is the sole or even main reason for Hendrick prominence, since Johnson and Jeff Gordon especially excel at short tracks too. But at least it’s a lot easier to catch a guy at Bristol than it is at Chicagoland, and drivers gain more experience battling for positions at these places.
So I’m glad to be in agreement with D.W. for once. It seems to be becoming more evident to all that the sport should strive to get away from one style of aero-dependent racing.
Unfortunately, this won’t happen anytime soon, in either series. Milwaukee and Gateway are gone from the Nationwide Series, just as Rockingham and North Wilkesboro disappeared from the Cup schedule. Nationwide still has great venues on the schedule (some of which, like Nashville, ought to be considered for a Cup date), but 13 of 34 events still take place at intermediates. And we know what direction the Cup series is headed.
But who knows. They could turn this around. Time will tell. One wonders if D.W.’s tweets will ring a bell. Or if Iowa Speedway’s popularity might do it.
©2000 - 2008 Kurt Smith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
If you remember in 2001 Old D.W. spoke his mind alot on Fox and most times this was not pro-nascar. He gave an honest option, and did not care who he may upset, he told you what he thought. Then in 2002 he was pro-nascar all the way, they could do no wrong. He has towed the line for 8 years and now he’s back to caring about the sport and talking about ways to fix the sport.
I have said for years there needs to be less Cup/Busch events and more Busch/Truck events. I agree this would hurt the season tickets and also the number of people who would travel to camp for only one day of racing. But the Busch/Trucks could hit some of the historic tracks of nascarand pull in alot more fans then either series is pulling now.
Why aren’t the people who are complaining about Buschwackers taking rides away from young drivers complaining about all the recycled /midpack drivers and the start and park drivers that are also taking seats away from young drivers?
Nascar let Cup drivers run amok in all three series…its like Wal-Mart,you become so big you take over and monopolize the whole damn sport to where the lil’ guy is nothing but the poor man out!!Then its’ too late to change it,without tickin’ everyone off! nuff said!
I like the idea of more short tracks in all 3 series. Short tracks produce more watchable races if for no other reason there isn’t as much room to spread out.
It’s obvious that anything DW says on Fox or Speed toes the company line. On the one hand it is disappointing that someone will frame up an opinion as their own when it’s not their opinion. On the other hand it’s nice to know that his actual opinion are more closely aligned with the fans. I guess we need to ignore what he says during broadcasts and realize that is the NASCAR PR machine talking and not DW.
“But everyone in racing understands that money buys speed, and having a Dale Earnhardt Jr. on your team brings in cash to hire top engineers to make Jimmie Johnson go faster.”
Are you implying it’s not for Jr.‘s driving ability?
i like the idea. sign me up for anything that races at small tracks.
jr brings the money in ,an jj an jg goes faster, they doent want jr to do good, just bring the $$$$$$ in so hendrick can keep jj an jg going the best ,an 5 an 88 take the scrap,wake up jr, even a fan can figure that out,
I’m not ready to jump on the DW bandwagon because he said one thing you agree with. He has done and said more ignorant things in the last ten years that keep him forever on the “IDIOT” list in my book.
We do need some speedways on the Nationwide circuit, as the up and coming drivers (what few are left) need experience on the bigger tracks as well for when/if they move to Cup.
Has DW been conspicuous by his absence lately on TV since his thoughts on the chase came out?
DW and his brother are corporate schills on TV and don’t think for a second that it will change just because he says something on twitter.
I have been saying for a long time. Get all the Cup drivers out of NW and sponsors will have no choice but to sponsor a NW only driver. Also, force Cup teams to put NW only drivers in their cars too. Anyone who says that they only watch NW because a Cup driver is in the race is a casual race fan at best or a fan of a certain driver. I haven’t watched a full NW race in years. I feel like I“m wasting my time when I know what the outcome is going to be (Cup winner and 8 of the top 10 finishers Cup drivers).
I’m a big fan of short tracks and its not because of anything DW has to say. Once upon a time, he sounded like his thoughts were his own, but for too many years now, the waltrip brothers and the wallaces have dominated the airwaves with their voices and they have lost credibililty for me when they speak or write their commentary. I have tuned them out.
The fans ARE the customers of NASCAR and I’ve gotten awfully tired of the management and paid shills all telling me that I’m stupid because I don’t enjoy the current racing.
Some of the media have begun taking that line as well. I don’t need anyone to tell me what I think. I watch races both at home abd at the track and I can make a decision for myself whether or not the “product” or “show” as NASCAR likes to call it, is something I enjoy or not. Since the inception of the chase and the cot, it has trended more toward NOT than it should be.
Although I think Wal-Mart is a strange fit for Gordon, too, in these days of hard to find sponsorship even for a REAL 4X champion, whatever pays the bills and keeps the car on the track (except for some of the weird “personal” products) is fine for me.
I can’t take much more of Mr Waltrip. He continues to talk out of both sides of his mouth. You can’t be everything to everybody!
I agree with whoever said more Nationwide/truck events. Hell throw Grand Am in there, or ARCA. The cup series will survive no matter what, so do whatever to spice up the lower series to make them a draw. Make sure there are about 8-10 of these style weekends a year, and schedule them so its impossible for the cup guys to get to them. The solution isnt that hard, its just that the France family are as intellgent as 6 year old handicapp kids.
It’s so obvious what fans think of DW and his Dopey brother, but FOX/ Speed doesn’t seem to be getting the message. If you agree with one thing he says, what about the many other stupid things he says. Steve,JTW, OC Bob, Bill B and myself have no interest in what the biggest schills on the planet have to say.If a Waltrip is on a NASCAR show, I’m not watching, seriously I mean it!!
Many of you are quick to dismiss DW. While I agree that Boogity was annoying, it made you talk about HIM. He is the BEST marketeer of any driver ever, bar none. Here is a man 10 years out of the sport and still manages to make himself the “lightning rod” of the sport. Over the last two years, it seems to me his focus has shifted from self-promotion to promotion of the sport. Don’t dismiss what he says, I think he is way smarter than lots of us…
Everyone wants more short tracks in both the Cup and Nationwide series. I don’t see it happening. The owners don’t want to spend the money on repairing, or scraping, their cars. They already spend too much money trying to polish that turd of a Cup COT. Now they have to polish it in the Nationwide series too. If they had a real race car to work with then maybe racing would be better across the board.
OC Bob nailed it!
@OCBob – Amen!
I fail to see how racing at shorter tracks would suddenly equalize the playing field for NNS regulars. Yes money buys speed. But money buys reliability, engineering, driver talent, etc. There’s a reason most of the NNS regulars don’t race in Cup. Because they can’t compete. Hell, a quarter of the guys in Cup shouldn’t be in Cup either.
There would still be half a field of guys backed by $20 million dollar sponsors. And they’d still stink up the show.
Don’t get me wrong – I think we need to get away from the McTracks for sure. But give the NNS series uniqueness. A McCar with a stallion emblem is NOT unique.
Make the official cars of the NNS production Mustangs, Challengers, and Camaros. The teams buy them from the dealer, install safety equipment (ya know, kinda like in that other series from about 40 years ago called Grand National), and let them get on with racing at the shorter tracks.
It makes NASCAR relevant by actually racing a car that you can go buy in a showroom. Its cheaper because a ton of the engineering was already done by the manufacturer. Its unique because its not the Car of Sorrow.
Do that and you might get fans attention, regardless of whether the NNS Champ is a Cup regular or not.
How’s this for a schedule:
Condensed travel schedule, Plenty of interesting tracks, and they got to race with the big boys from time to time.
That’s the 1984 Schedule
and Adam in regards to short tracks evening the playing field:
Here are the last 9 years at Hickory (1990 through 1998)
Ed Berrier (his only NASCAR win), Dick Trickle (his first NASCAR win), David Green (as a Busch Series regular), Johnny Benson (as a Busch Series regular), Dennis Setzer, Ricky Craven, Johnny Rumley (1 0f 2 NASCAR Wins), Bobby Labonte (prior to Cup Success), Steve Grissom, Tommy Houston, Butch Miller, Chuck Bown, Jimmy Hensley, Tommy Ellis
Winners at IRP During the same stretch:
Yes, some of these teams were funded, but these tracks also produce unexpected winners and a greater variety in the Top 10 vs. today’s Cup du Jour Top 10