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.
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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.
Each week, the Frontstretch hosts a live blog during the Sprint Cup race. It’s a great way for readers to interact alongside their favorite Frontstretch writers with videos, live commentary, and live polls. Each of this week’s “Five Points” were polls taken during the Chicago live blog.
ONE: Will Martin Truex Jr. make the Chase in his first year at MWR?
It was a move Martin Truex, Jr. had to make. The No. 1 Earnhardt-Ganassi team has been in disarray all season long, and Truex has felt the effects with just three top 10s and a current 24th spot in the driver standings. A move to Michael Waltrip Racing may not be a jump to a perennial powerhouse, but it’s a move that could reap benefits as both David Reutimann and Marcos Ambrose have shown that the team does harness potential. The million dollar question is, though, will the partnership between Truex and Waltrip lead to a Chase berth in 2010? I don’t see it. Sure, both Ambrose – a JTG/Daugherty driver who uses MWR equipment – and Reutimann have more top 10s and top 5s than Truex this season, but it’s difficult to field three competitive teams, especially for one that has yet to field a driver in the Chase. Do I believe Truex will eventually make the Chase with MWR? Possibly… just not next season.
TWO: Should Tim Richmond eventually make the NASCAR HoF?
One of the most colorful personalities the sport has ever seen, Richmond competed between 1980 and 1987, garnering 13 wins and 14 poles in 185 starts before his untimely death in 1989. In his seven years in the sport, Richmond’s best season came in 1986, when he won a series-high seven races and finished third in points. He ultimately made NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers list, but when the sanctioning body released its inaugural Hall of Fame nominees, Richmond wasn’t on it. Why? Because NASCAR has a “rule” that a driver must participate in at least 10 seasons of competition before eligibility. However, would Richmond’s seven-year run have been good enough to make the Hall if there wasn’t a rule? I say no. The Hall of Fame celebrates what the top drivers have accomplished in the sport, not what they could have accomplished. As it stands right now, 49 drivers have more career Cup wins than Richmond, and he doesn’t have a championship. His career was a historic one, but any opportunity for Hall of Fame-type numbers unfortunately never happened.
THREE: Who do you think Roush Fenway should keep as its 4th driver?
Roush Fenway must cut one of its teams to reach NASCAR’s new four-team limit in 2010, and the decision may be all about the money. David Ragan sits 30th in points with one top 10 while McMurray continues to stay just inside the top 20, but it’s Ragan who has the UPS sponsorship and more marketability. Based on performance this season, you may be inclined to say Ragan should be the odd man out, but it’s easy to forget since the No. 6 team has been so dismal as of late that he actually flirted with the Chase for a bit in 2008. It’s a smart business move for Roush Fenway, and I think it’s the best move performance-wise to keep Ragan where he’s been for his NASCAR career… with Jack Roush.
FOUR: Will Mark Martin make the Chase this season?
Saying Mark Martin isn’t going to make the Chase is like saying Kyle Busch isn’t going to make the Chase; their performance has lacked at times, but you know deep down there is no possible way they won’t be in the top 12 leaving Richmond. Martin leads the series in wins, drives for the sport’s strongest organization, and has more experience than 95 percent of the Cup field. Not only is Martin back in the Chase with his win Saturday night in Chicago, but he’s one of my top 3 favorites for the championship. Have faith, the wily vet will get it done.
FIVE: Do you feel there are too many debris cautions?
NASCAR purists dread debris cautions because it smells of conspiracy, but there is no doubt that it makes racing more exciting – especially since the advent of double-file restarts. This week’s race featured three “debris,” aka “mystery cautions” that stacked the field back up after a long green flag run. The question is, is it right to risk integrity for the sake of better racing? The answer — and I wish more fans would side with me on this — is no. Mark Martin had the car to beat Saturday night, but NASCAR’s fascination with throwing debris cautions nearly cost him the win. If there’s debris on the track, whoever is broadcasting the race MUST show the debris. If there isn’t debris, don’t throw the caution …it’s that simple! NASCAR survived for years without strategically throwing cautions at the tail end of green flag runs or in the closing laps of the race, and they still can.
Five Notes to Ponder
Give Regan a ride: Silly Season has begun and full-time rides are going to open up. When is someone going to give Regan Smith – a driver who has yet to DNF in his 51-race career and nearly won at Talladega last season – a ride? Plenty of teams would kill for a driver that won’t tear up equipment, and that’s what Smith does.
Rumors, rumors, rumors: Speaking of Silly Season, take all of these rumors sprouting up with a grain of salt. I’m not saying a Yates cleanout or Keselowski to Penske deal won’t happen, but for every rumor that proves true, there are always five that don’t.
Kligerman continues to dominate: The 18-year-old Penske phenom continues to dominate the ARCA Re/MAX Series. Parker Kligerman picked up his fourth win in his last five races this week at Iowa and has opened up a 120-point lead in the standings.
Eury, Jr. proves himself: Many thought Tony Eury, Jr. was to blame for the struggles with the No. 88 team, but sitting on top of the pit box for rookie Brad Keselowski this week, Eury got the No. 25 Hendrick team into the top 10 before running into problems in the closing laps and finishing 32nd.
Lil’ Busch domination: He may be having a rough time right now on the Cup Series side of things, but Kyle Busch is dominating in Nationwide with six consecutive races finishing in the top 2. Busch may be disappointed that he doesn’t have six consecutive wins, but I’m sure he’ll be happy when that consistency breeds a championship.
P.S.: Our live blog pops up again in two weeks as we break down the racing action from Indianapolis! Come join the fun and have your voice heard alongside your favorite Frontstretch writers!
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I think Jeff Burton described the unseen debris cautions best as “Entertainment Cautions” a year or so ago when I think Fox did a montage of asking drivers about them. :)
Part of me being a purest doesn’t like them, but when the races start out with very long green flag runs, it makes for a boring race. A few cars are dialed in and it basically ruins what could be an exciting race if a caution came out and bunched them back up with adjustments done to the cars that needed them.
The timing of these “debris” cautions are usually pretty debatable too… just before Jr. or Gordon goes a lap down, etc., etc.
And since they have taking away every other non-PC thing, i.e., “rubbing is racing”, fights, etc., they have to do something to keep the races exciting.
While on the subject of cautions, I thought I would bring up something that has bugged me for years… The Mandatory Caution. I really hate the way strategy can be used for these cautions that are only thrown for safety reason. (Usually shortened practice due to rain and they want teams to be able to check their tires.) I think it should be mandatory, since it is thrown for safety, that every car take 4 tires, and that they line back up in the same order they were running when the caution flew… with a reasonable time limit per stop, say 30 seconds max (no letting a team that might have taken some damage work on their car for a few minutes.) Yet every time a decent number of teams take 2 or 0 tires just to gain track position. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having the caution to begin with?
Argh, I’m getting to the point that my list of what is wrong with NASCAR greatly exceeds what is right.
Yesterday I glanced at my mother’s bottle of Adderall. It’s the generic version, and it says “AMPHETAMINE generic for adderall”. I don’t even like Mayfield, but come on, the generic version of the drug has all bold letters saying it is an amphetamine. And NASCAR has the balls/stupidity to claim that Mayfield is a “danger to society”. In reality, since amphetamines increase your memory, awareness, and reaction time, they could at least stated it gave him an unfair advantage on the track. Why do you think all the super smart high school and college kids are abusing Adderall? Because it gets them wasted? No, because it helps them get better grades.
Like I said, the list of what I don’t like about NASCAR just keeps getting longer. Double file restarts are the biggest recent change and the positives are pretty equal to the negatives. (Seems like they get spread out a lot quicker too, but too soon to say for sure.) But it is looking like 2 mulligans are needed for the regular season and 1 mulligan for the Chase. One wreck takes out too many “real” contenders now. As an RCR fan, it has really caused me to hate them.
Sorry, needed to vent a little. :)
You seem to be confused about what constitutes a Hall of Fame . Inductees into any Hall of Fame in any sport are purely subjective . Poularity frequently wins out over talent . The Nascar HOF does not as you suggest include only drivers , nor should it . But drivers will make up the bulk of the names in any year .
Hey Fred! your “Argh, I’m getting to the point that my list of what is wrong with NASCAR greatly exceeds what is right”! DEAD ON!
Welcome to the club!
“Saying Mark Martin isn’t going to make the Chase is like saying Kyle Busch isn’t going to make the Chase..”
Umm, have you seen the standings this week? Shrub’s ahead of 13th by 13 points, even though he’s in 10th… He’s as likely to miss the chase as any of the four or five drivers competing for those last three spots.
On race day, NASCAR will often throw a “competition caution” if rain has canceled most of practice or the track is “green.”
Correspondingly, I’ve come to call these “debris cautions” the lack of competition caution.
We were hoping most of the night for those mystery debris cautions sitting at the race. At least then we could see some side by side hard racing for a few laps before they were all strung out again. High speed parades are getting to boring. I almost felt like falling asleep at the race.
I don’t see why Roush should have to give up that 5th car! Earier this year, Brian France came out and said that NASCAR is closely monitoring the situation between roush and Yates. Ya? Well, what about the relationship between Stewart-Haas and Hendrick? I don’t care what anyone says, that arrangement is 100% another two Hendrick teams, and Gene Haas’s name is nothing but a cover-up! And this was with Brian France’s blessing! BS!!! And now the rumour is that the Red Bull team will be switching to hendrick Chevys, and that over=rated punk Keselowski will replace Speed? This will then give “The Felon” 8 cars in the field on Cup day. And people jump down on Roush for his five teams? Give me a break! More proof that Rick Hendrick is in full control of NASCAR!
And as everyone probably knows already, Claritin D contains pseudoephidrine, another type of amphetamine. So, as the judge correctly ruled, IMO, 4 different amphetamines could easily cause a false positive for methamphetamine.
Not to mention that sample B had the seal some how broken before being tested. What for??? Sounds like another Tim Richmond scandal. And they easily could have asked for another sample from Mayfield, but didn’t. They could even do a hair sample that would show drug usage as far back as his hair is long. NASCAR seems to just want Mayfield out of the sport and will end up losing another lawsuit like they did with Tim Richmond (settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.) The whole thing just stinks.
And they also seem to want Carl Long out of the sport. Some how they were able to determine that an engine that had the bottom end blow up was one 2,000th of an inch too big. Come on.
…and NASCAR wonders why their ratings are down.
“NASCAR survived for years without strategically throwing cautions at the tail end of green flag runs or in the closing laps of the race, and they still can.”
That’s because NA$CAR used to have real racing and didn’t need “Lack of Competition” cautions (good name Andrew).
According to John Potts on Friday’s columns, NASCAR has had mystery cautions for as long as he has been around. He posted such an article about them a few weeks ago.
Nobody said they’ve never existed before. Heck, I’ve had them thrown during my late model races. But maybe once or twice a season, not to the extent NA$CAR has to use them to try to manufacture “excitement”.