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.
The recent Kentucky mess was preventable. The reaction to it was initially far too unrepentant. The blame game that followed it was unseemly. But NASCAR’s apparent attitude towards the whole thing now takes the cake.
Look for Brian France’s response to Bruton Smith’s bold answer to being asked if he would consider a refund for jilted fans: “We don’t want to.” Or more correctly, the lack of response. If France has commented on that in any way, I can’t find it in searches. But the proper response should have been to immediately get in touch with Bruton and let him know that he will be relieved from future post-PR-disaster press conferences.
Did anyone at the highest echelon of NASCAR leadership at least think that that might not have been the best thing to say after thousands of people sat for as long as ten hours in Kentucky heat to miss a race? Presumably not.
NASCAR continues to do a lot of things that, if not deliberately, certainly seem to suggest a great deal of arrogance in their attitude. That may have been understandable for a sport that was about to overtake the NFL in popularity, as NASCAR once was before the Chase completely sucked fan devotion out of the sport. But they are no longer in a position to treat their fans so cavalierly.
Fan dedication to sports is sometimes unfathomable. I live in the Philadelphia area. The Eagles stick it to their fans more every season. Season ticket holders have to pay for two meaningless preseason games. The price of parking at Lincoln Financial Field has more than doubled in the last five years. Ticket prices are, of course, outrageous — $129 for standing room on StubHub — unless you don’t mind the preseason tickets no one wants.
But every game, those dedicated fans come out, cheering on the team that’s bankrupted them. The Eagles can get away with it, for now.
NASCAR fans were once no less devoted and perhaps even more so. It’s a true testament to the damage that has been done when the real diehards—who were once willing to sit on hard metal benches in the heat for six hours, endure the traffic that is always bad and sometimes horrendous, and go broke for tickets and hotel rooms and gas—have moved on. To lose fans that were that fanatical, you almost have to be trying.
The backlash against NASCAR for their tone-deafness on many things is unlike anything I’ve seen in any sport. The strike in 1994 hurt baseball, but the downslide was short-lived. Cal Ripken showed fans that some in the sport still appreciated them, and excitement over the home run race in 1998 reminded people why they put up with the shameless greed.
For an entity to not only deny a refund to fans who sat in traffic for nothing because of their own lack of planning, in the sport’s current climate, is astounding. Every time the sport seems to be recovering from the downward trend, they find a way to let their fans know that once they pocket their cash, they couldn’t give a damn about them.
Consider the NASCAR.com poll of fans last November, asking if they love the Chase now, when three drivers could have potentially won the title and interest in it probably couldn’t get higher. Would not 55 percent of remaining fans still saying “I’ll never like it” be cause for perhaps rethinking clinging to this idea? This is something that doesn’t even cost anything. Losing the Chase would be simple. Instead once again, the poll is removed and articles appear on NASCAR.com and ESPN.com still insisting that a mindless points reset is pants-wetting awesome. It’s great, and you’re an idiot for not appreciating how great it is.
We all remember Indianapolis 2008. Of course there was backlash. But that backlash might have been better handled if it had occurred to someone high up at NASCAR that maybe they should be showing some remorse for how their policies resulted in an awful race. NASCAR left that to Robin Pemberton, who shouldn’t have had to endure that.
It’s one thing to put on a bad race. Things happen. It is to NASCAR’s and Goodyear’s great credit that they corrected the problems and racing has greatly improved at Indianapolis. Surely they eventually figured out how aggravated paying customers for the event had to be.
The fix hasn’t helped. Each year since the Brickyard’s attendance has been declining. In this light you’d think that the sport would take steps to ensure that PR disasters like this do not happen again, and that they let cheated fans know that they appreciate their business and will make it right.
The fault of the traffic nightmare at Kentucky is none other than SMI’s for not adding sufficient parking the moment they were awarded a race, and on NASCAR for awarding a Cup race to a track that was nowhere near able to handle it. The blame doesn’t belong anywhere else, and even if it did, directing blame shouldn’t have been the reaction of NASCAR or Speedway Motorsports.
But like with Indy, that wasn’t the worst of it. I’m betting the most long term damaging moment in the Kentucky mess, in the long run, will be the words: “Because we don’t want to.”
Kentucky was much worse than the Brickyard. Most everyone at Indy at least got to see a green flag. To repeat the same pattern of delayed remorse and then to throw out a verbal middle finger at the suggestion of a refund is beyond baffling. It’s hard to understand how people this successful could think this way, but I guess that’s why I’m not a billionaire.
Loudon and Texas and other tracks have had traffic and parking problems, but they’ve done things to improve them. It is certain that Kentucky will too. People don’t stay angry forever, and if the situation improves, some might actually return.
But as for this already now “casual fan,” (now part-time writer) if I were one of the folks who sat in traffic in the heat for ten hours, wasted my vacation time and money on a hotel room that was tripled in price for the weekend, all to see nothing, and then heard the track owner say he won’t give me a refund because he doesn’t want to — while Brian France looks on — Kentucky Speedway would have no need to create any spaces for me, ever. Nor would any other NASCAR track. Had I been stuck in that mess, “We don’t want to” would be the final straw.
I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one.
It isn’t Dale Earnhardt Jr. not winning. All the fan favorites in the sport’s history had lean years and it never hurt attendance or ratings. It isn’t the racing. Downforce was a problem even at the sport’s peak. It isn’t lack of personalities. There is no shortage of emotion when people talk about Kyle Busch. And it isn’t Jimmie Johnson either; there is no way a competitor as stupid good as Jimmie is should ever cause any sport problems.
The root cause of NASCAR’s decline in popularity is nothing more or less than the dedicated tone-deafness of its leadership. You’re upset with something? Oh well.
Whether people who missed the race at Kentucky should get a refund isn’t even the point. Eventually, no matter how popular the product, a business with this attitude will not survive. If a sport’s leadership continues to dismiss fans so much so that it can chase away people willing to put a second mortgage on their home to afford a ticket, you can bet it’s bad enough to kill the sport for good.
©2000 - 2008 Kurt Smith and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Yep, somewhere along the line (cough,,BF) NASCAR decided that the fans would eat whatever slop they served us and we’d pretend to like it.
If Nascar was a real coorporation with a board of directors and not a family business, Brian France would have been sent packing a long time ago.
Race attendance will continue to be poor, TV ratings will continue to suffer, and future network deals will be less lucrative due to France’s incompetence. I hate being so negative about anyone, but he has almost single-handedly ruined a sport I once loved with a passion.
I agree with Carl. What we have in NASCAR is a monopoly run by one family. If this were a true business, then Brian France would have been fired a long time ago.
This article hits the nail on the head! Ten years ago, I paid to attend races, planned my weekend around the race schedule, bought driver apparel and diecast. Last couple years, none of the above. I’ll watch on tv if I’m home. You can only dump on the fans for so long before they drift away. Kentucky is just more of the same old stuff from the current leadership.
Ditto’s all around.
Bruton probably thinks he’s only lost 10 to 15 thousand fans. But how many of those that were there are not going to show up next year because of A; this years underhanded fiasco, B; his lack of remorse and refusal to accept responsibility, C; The inadequate Concession Goods, D; The inadequate Bathroom Facilities, or E; The Terrible racing the Terrible track provided.
Take away the traffic mess and you still couldn’t pay me to sit in those stands and watch a “race” at that track.
I hope no more than 20,000 people show up there next year.
Very well said. Bruton says “I don’t want to” and NASCAR does nothing which implies they don’t care.
I remember in the aftermath of the 2008 Indy race, Pemberton made the comment that “not every race can be a barnburner”. I thought it was a stupid comment then, I still think so today.
Most race fans know that all races won’t be perfect, but NASCAR continues to show it’s a$$ by insisting that the drivel we see now is the best it can be.
And then there’s BZF at Homestead saying “someone told you they didn’t like the chase?” Hard to believe this is the guy in charge.
NASCAR has reaped what they sowed. They wanted to casual fan and they got it by turning off all the diehards.
After Kentucky I used the only vote I have.All Nascar TV broadcasts are turned off for the rest of the season.Might be forever.
I think all the die hard fans feel the same way. Unfortunately, the casual fans are influenced by the die-hard fans whom they often ask for information and opinions, so even those casual fans are getting a shading of disappointment… it will all fall off in the end!
I’m just frustrated to see that current NASCAR management looks like they want to run the business into the ground rather than try to clean up the mess. Is the whole sport going to have to die out before someone with some brains can take over and make things better again?
Its funny, I wrote an article last week that mirrors this one. I have a slightly different take on it, but its still to the same points. I am organizing the fans through twitter and facebook to do something about NASCAR and their “play deaf and dumb” approach. The only way we can change this and get Brian “No Brain” France off the throne is to hit NASCAR in its wallet in a big way….
Great piece Kurt. You said what a lot of fans think and feel.
Egomaniacal third generation motorsport geniuses do nothing but destroy motorsports in this country. Tony George singlehandedly almost destroyed open wheeled racing in the US until his family smartened up and booted him. Does the France family have the smarts to do that? We shall see.
nas$car is well on the way down the road to self-destruction. Bruton Smith(mis)handled the Kentucky fiasco was shocking in it’s arrogance. Fans who had waited in line for hours (many were turned away) were basically given a huge middle finger by smith. The ticket price is only part of the package. I know, because I’ve driven for hours to attend a race. Hotel prices, food, parking, etc. It all adds up to pricy trip. I’m a one time fanatic of all things nas$car. That’s 30 years+. And then he rubs salt in the wound by saying “ no refund because I don’t want to”. I hope nobody shows up for next years’ Kentucky race. The sad part is that nas$car condones what SMI did. If nas$car doesn’t see (or care about the apathy that’s set in), then the declining fan interest will continue.
I am in the same boat as MIracefan. Retired from going to live events. Watch on TV at home, Enjoy backyard. Check race from time to time. Race Over, TV off. Enjoy rest of day. No stress. No traffic jams, No headaches. Sleep very well.Much more money in bank account these days. Let the new generation fan feed the money hungry CA$HCAR and the MILLION & BILLION DOLLAR BOYS CLUB. (STILL I do enjoy the racing and I do like the chase.
for several years i drove over 1200 miles by myself to see the knoxville nationals in iowa.
I literally can’t recall the last time I watched a whole race.
I may catch the beginning or catch the end, but I stopped watching whole races a LONG time ago.
I used to NEVER miss Bristol or Richmond or Martinsville. Now, the only one I will try to make time for is Richmond.
If, like me, you’re pissed at what Nascar has done, then the ONLY way to get them to change is to NOT watch and Don’t buy.
If NASCAR were a business, it would go the way of Circuit City, Borders, and the other stores that thought they knew what the customer wanted better than those stupid pesky customers.
The problems at Kentucky this year were all Bruton and SMI’s fault they moved a race to a track that they knew would not handle the crowd and it was so much as admitted by Bruton when he stated that the fans would get home on Tuesday which he said on Friday before the race. Nascar has to pull the date until all the problems are resolved they should tell Bruton to move the race to another one of his tracks until the problems are corrected. If he refuses then you take the date and move it yourself and never give it back. If the same problems happen next year it is 100% Nascar’s fault because they seen it once and had the power to stop it.
I too am like MIracefan. Can’t imagine ever paying to attend a race. Really wanted to take my kids to Nationwide at Michigan, just so they can experience once, but still would spend too much. I tell my wife don’t buy me any merchandise for gifts, because I don’t want to support them. Almost never watch races, for sure not all the laps.
This sport has too much corporate money coming into it. Corporations sponsor the teams. Corps buy advertising that support these stupid TV contracts. And race fans still have high prices. As some past articles on frontstretch have pointed out, a business like Interstate Battery does not have enough gross sales to support a team anymore, but there are still BIG businesses with billions in revenue, that this is just a drop in the bucket. Almost like how the government is ran.
I don’t know. People need to vote with their wallets, and the stands need to be empty.
MIracefan hit the one of the nails on the head-I cannot remember the last diecast I bought. I would truly like to know how the diecast and t-shirt business is doing for ALL the drivers. I used to buy all of Dale’s cars plus the specialty paint schemes but the interest isn’t there any more. In fact, for the right price(less than used to be)I would sell everything I own with NA$CAR on right now!!!
There’s a silver lining in every cloud. Sitting in your car for hours on end couldn’t have been any more boring than sitting in the stands.