Hamlin Snags Coca-Cola 600 Pole With Track Record Time
posted by Amy Henderson
Thursday May 23, 2013
Denny Hamlin shattered the track qualifying record at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he rocketed to the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Hamlin had a lap time of 27.604 seconds, or 195.624 miles per hour. Several drivers drove past the old record, set by Greg Biffle in 2012, but it was Hamlin who came out at the top of the heap and holds the new record. Kurt Busch will start on the outside of the front row. Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, and Ryan Newman hold down sixth through tenth places.
The pole is Hamlin’s second of 2013; he also started in front at Fontana before an injury in that race sidelined him for over a month. Hamlin says that his back feels “nearly 100%” and that it doesn’t cause him pain while driving. He added that winning the pole helped solidify for him that he is back at a competitive level, but he wants one more thing before he’ll be satisfied.
“I think winning would do that. I think ultimately getting the big trophy on Sunday is the validation that you’re truly back,” said Hamlin after his lap. “For me, it’s going to take some wins and some really good consistency throughout these summer months to put ourselves in position to have a chance at a championship. That’s what we’re here for. Even these small victories though give me that confidence that I’m still capable, and I’m still able to do the job at 100 percent like I should be. Any kind of confidence booster for me — it’s always a plus on Sunday.”
The Cup teams are next on track Saturday at 10 AM for the weekend’s second practice. Final practice for Sunday’s race is Saturday afternoon at one o’clock. The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to start at 6 PM on Sunday and will air on FOX.
Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
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Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
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Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
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Full Throttle - Special Edition · Matt McLaughlin · Monday August 27, 2007
Editor’s Note : Mike Neff’s Full Throttle will be posted on Thursday this week instead of its regularly scheduled Tuesday slot. Instead, enjoy a special extra commentary from Matt McLaughlin in Mike’s place.
It seems I am in the minority about the “new” BMS – I actually enjoyed Saturday night's Cup race, a drowning voice in the face of mounting criticism against the track. What I saw throughout was a lot of two and even three wide racing, along with passing throughout the pack. Yes, two cars – the No. 9 and the No. 99 – dominated the race, but keep in mind that Matt Kenseth led 415 laps en route to his win in the 2005 Bristol night race. So, such domination is not without precedent even at the old Bristol.
Still, many fans and even some members of the media proclaimed Saturday night's race at Bristol "boring" (or worse). In fact, many feel the night race has been ruined. So what, if anything, went wrong? If we set the 1999 Bristol Night race and Dale Earnhardt's now legendary "Rattle his Cage" pass of Terry Labonte as the highwater mark, what has changed since then? Well, the cars themselves are now rid of the hideous new CoT design, the track surface was changed to parabolic banking, Goodyear bought a brand new tire to Saturday night's race, and the focus on where drivers are in the point standings has changed to the Chase, which likely loomed large with the "playoffs" only two weeks away at the beginning of the event.
Let's look at all four elements. Many drivers commented that the new Goodyears were not soft enough to allow for hard racing. I'm sure there's some truth there, because the tire test at the new track was canceled by weather. As such, Goodyear bought a very conservative tire to the track to make sure there was not a rash of tire failures, just like the debacle of the Charlotte race after the track was levigated.
Along those same lines, Goodyear has suffered some very embarrassing incidents, with tires prone to frequent blowouts that cost them a lot of face. Because of that, they now tend to be conservative. If the race is boring, that's OK…just so long as their product isn't failing left and right on nationwide TV, giving potential customers a less than rosy picture of the company's technology. Now, with a race under their belt they can probably bring a more aggressive tire to Bristol next time; that might allow for better racing. But it's hard to pin too much of the blame on the tires, because the same tires were used in Friday night's Busch race and that race was an instant classic.
I'm not ready to point a finger at the new track design. In fact, I love how it turned out. I am a big fan of side-by-side racing, and there hasn't been much of that at Bristol for a decade. It was the new track design that allowed that "fans on their feet hooting and hollering" finish on Friday night. No, we're not even going to blame the track for this one.
So, the biggest difference between Friday night's Busch race and the Saturday night Cup event were the cars. The Busch rides were old school, while Saturday's race featured those decidedly awkward, to the point of being homely, Cars of Tomorrow (by the way, Rusty, that's the correct use of the plural) with their comically oversized rear wings. Once again, the old school cars provided much better racing than the new cars. “But, Matt, the Busch cars are less powerful too,” you say. I agree. The level of horsepower has reached insane levels in the Cup series. It's time to dial that back a bit. So in my eyes, the new cars were the main culprit in why Saturday night's race paled in comparison to Friday night's, and that doesn't speak well towards what's going to happen next year when the new cars become the series’ full-time mounts.
I also have to assign a lot of the blame to the new Chase points systems. Some drivers, Gordon, Stewart, Kenseth and Hamlin are already locked into the Chase, so they could run the ragged edge with no worries. But for other drivers who could still at least mathematically be eliminated, they had to drive much more conservatively. Bristol is a dangerous place, and a small misstep can leave a driver climbing from the smoking wreckage of an irreparable car and leave him with a finish in the 40s. Among the group that couldn't get too wild Saturday night was Kurt Busch, a master of Bristol. He might have been able to get up there to challenge Kahne and Edwards if he had free reign. So, in my mind, the new points system concocted to make racing more interesting actually conspired to make Saturday's race less exciting. The Chase from its inception has been fatally flawed and that's been borne out every season it has been in place. The much hoped-for TV ratings bonanza didn't occur – in fact, ratings are actually declining. It's a time to admit this dog won't hunt and replace it.
Given a little weathering and a somewhat softer tire – the first occurring naturally and the second gradually – I think we're due for more classic races at Bristol. And if NASCAR finally drops these failed CoT monstrosities, along with the Chase, things could get even better faster. Meanwhile, if you really can't live without a constant series of wrecks, there's always the local demolition derby.
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I’m with you Matt (wrecking is NOT racing), except that I’d reverse numbers 3 and 4 on your list. I’d gladly accept the new car, stupid wing and all, if it meant the chase were abolished.
I’ve read an awful lot whining about the changes NASCAR makes ruining the racing from supposedly old school fans. All I can say is “ You want some cheese with that whine. What the hell old school do you come from? 1998?
I’m 44 and I’ve been a NASCAR fan since I was about six. On top of that I’m a native of God, do I say it, California. For all you Southern by the grace of God fans out I can remember the ABC Wide World of Sports and Car and Track shows from when they were first broadcast.
Back in the day, There were no restrictor plates so Daytona and Talledega separated the men from the boys. Let me tell you Petty-Pearson duels WERE RACING! Bristol was a multi-groove race track like, hey, it is again and the cars were about the same shape as ones you could buy at your local Chevrolet, Dodge or Ford dealership. Something the COT is closer to than the old car.
Back in the day it freqently happened that one team hit the set-up and wasted the field. Fans expected it and excepted it.
My point to this rant is this: It’s time to realize and get over a few things
1.) the COT and the Chase are here to stay. (I too don’t mind the COT as much as the chase.)
2.) Wrecking isn’t racing. If your there to see the “Big One” you’re not much of a racing fan.
3.) Bristol is back to where it was in the pre-concrete days, a multi-groove race track not excuse to play bumper cars it’s been for the last 15 years or so.
4.) People that whine about the ruination of the sport ought know their history a bit better before they run their mouths lest they get called on it.
The ruination of NASCAR isn’t the COT or the Chase, it’s the loss of places like North Wilkesboro and Rockingham for second dates at places like Texas and Loudon. The lost of the Southern 500 to California was wrong too. If a Californian can figure that out why can’t the rest of you.
I totally agree with you, Matt! People who want to see just beating, banging and wrecks aren’t real race fans in my book. Bristol was SO much better when it was asphault, so I’m happy that they finally have multiple grooves back.
My reason for saying the race at Bristol was boring had more to do with the television coverage than the actual race. I was all hyped up for the Bristol night race, like so many others. I got a good table at my local watering-hole and sat back for what I expected to be a great race. And it very well could have been if I weren’t subjected to commercials every 6 to 8 minutes. By the middle of the race, the tension in my little home-town bar could be cut like a knife every time ESPN broke race coverage to do more, and more and MORE advertising. So yes, I’m sure the race was great for those folks who were at Bristol. For the countless millions of people who had to watch it on TV, well, it was a major disappointment to say the least.
in my opinion (worthless as that may be to anyone but myself) the racing with the COT (at Bristol, or anywhere else) has been significantly better than it has been in recent years. I look forward to the teams getting more familiar with the car. I look forward to Goodyear bringing a better tire to tracks. I don’t blame Goodyear for bringing a conservative tire. They had valid reasons. But, they should have enough data now to bring a much softer tire next time.
I love the chase format. I still say (even with the increase) that the number of points for a win is too low. The bonus points for a win was a good idea. If you added a bunch more as a not-bonus, it would be even better. The points for a win (vs. 2nd place) need to be high enough, in the current example, for the 12 or 8 to be really pushing for wins.
I think you can easily attribute 95% of any “passivity” at bristol to the tire, and the fact that the point system still promotes “not losing” more than it promotes “winning”.
Just in case I muddled it: I’d much rather see bristol as it was this weekend, then as it has been for many years previous. Better Racing = Better.
Some fans are real morons and dont know what good racing is wait untill we come back here in the spring with a soft tire your going to see a record number of lead changes
No, I don’t agree. The race was boring, the television coverage was atrocious, and the cars and tires are probably to blame. Wrecking is not racing, but the thrill of Bristol is the close racing, the bump and runs for position, and one driver not stinking up the show. The lack of yellow flags was odd and probably added more to the domination of the race than the track or the cars. However, the night race at Bristol is what I wait for every year and a ticket I covet. Watching cars run around on a conveyor belt is boring, bad television, and definitely not something I’ll pay a fortune to see in person. With the COT, the chase, the crapy tires that Goodyear has been providing, the new rule of locking in the top 35, and Nascar’s continued inconsistencies, the season has been unfortunate. I don’t agree with most of you about the new surface. And the COT stinks too. Just to add some excitement to the series, I hope AT&T buys Sprint/Nextel and kicks them to the curb. Now THAT would be a ticket worth buying. Don’t forget folks, look for the “11th Circuit Court of Appeals 500” to be added to the schedule next year.
Annie, you are a hoot..I’m lmao!!!
The problem, Matt, was that too much of the side-by-side racing was being done in front of the leaders by cars about to go a lap down. Not much fun watching rolling roadblocks for lap after lap.
The race “coverage” by ESPN is a big part of the problem. Rusty needs to stray off the corporate line and talk racing. for the majority of the Bristol race you wouldn’t have even known that Tony Stewart was in it. They spend all their time talking about and showing Jeffy G, Jimmy J and Juany Pa_blow M.
your high Matt! put the pipe down along with all your little followers here. You want side by side racing go to Atlanta. This is Bristol baby! and demolition derby isnt racing but it sure is fun to watch some raw emotion afterwards, but King Brian is taking care of that and turning everyone into a drone or a cardboard cutout corporate pc mouth piece. Thank god for the Tony’s and Robby’s. Side by side racin is ok but this race lacked the real rubin which IS racin at Bristol. You wanna watch a race where the drivers dont have to be tough and really have the balls, determination to win and skill with a strong car, go watch your kids race go karts and craigs cruisers. What you say? you want the horsepower reduced in Cup cars? get out of town and put the pen down. you have no business writing for motorsports. Bring back the 70’80’ and even some of the 90’s and get rid of chumps like this guy Matt.
The people to blame for the Bristol race are the fans. More specifically, the expectations of the fans. Wrecks and punting and the like. Having been to Bristol, this year’s night race installment was far superior to last years. Watching a bunch of cars play follow the leader isn’t fun at the local dirt track, and it isn’t fun at Bristol. Cars could run high and low, which is a far improvement on the last decade. So a couple of guys hit the setup; isn’t that what racing is about? Knocking cars out of the way is NOT racing; just ask Jeff Burton or Mark Martin; it requires no skill or tact. The new Bristol is much improved; just wait till the tires and lack of rolling the center are fixed. Now if they’d just bring back the Rock or the Southern 500…
I agee with this article. The difference in the race is the CoT and the Chase. With the CoT being so new, you are going to get teams that will hit the setups correctly while the rest of the field struggles. That is exactly what happened Saturday night. Add to that the new racing surface, which is usually not its best when brand new, and the Chase and you had what we got on Saturday.
Next year, I would bet that this race will be better because more teams will have a handle on the setups and the track will be more seasoned. The Chase aspect won’t change, so that will be a factor.
In any case, the ‘bump and run’ isn’t necessary for good racing. As a matter of fact, it is BETTER racing when the passing is better without it. By the way, I read a stat that there was double the passing in Saturday’s race than we saw the year before. What’s boring about that?
Sure you can laud the side-by-side racing. I think the difference is someone who has been around the sport for years and all these new fans. The former hate the new Bristol; the latter think its great.
The problem with the new surface is THE CARS DON’T HAVE TO INTERACT. The place is like a mini-Dover where the cars can just go around and around, with so many grooves that it doesn’t matter. The old Bristol, with one basic groove, mandated that the cars had to interact since they all wanted — and needed — the same piece of real estate.
Not to sound like an old fogey, but NASCAR is going down the toilet. Cookie-cutter two-mile tracks, while the drop shorter, interesting tracks like North Wilkesboro.
The biggest improvement NASCAR could make is to reduce the end-of-the-season money and spread it out to the weekly races. Make going for the win (or position) each Sunday the most important thing, not stroking for a “good finish” to get year-end money.
The race wasn’t all that bad..this was, maybe still is the one race a year I love as it is what many of us were brought up on..good ol’ short track racing..most of us don’t have a 1.5 mile track around us. Sadly of course NASCAR in their wisdom feel that short tracks aren’t what sells..(even if Bristol is always a packed house..). Anyway..if I was to say there was one issue that not only hurt Bristol racing but NASCAR racing in general would be the Chase…teams are so worried about making the Chase very few are sticking their necks out to push themselves..on the flip side teams not in the Chase don’t want to be known for driving agressivly against a guy in the Chase as the end result may be knocking the guy out of the Chase. With the Chase and the top-35 rule you will never see the duels like Petty-Pearson of yesteryear..France/NASCAR has pretty much turned NASCAR into a politically-correct, vanilla-make-no-waves sport.
Count me in your crowd, Matt: I was blown away by the improvement in the racing at Bristol. Too many people are judging it based on the TV coverage (who’s up front + Junior + Gordon) of a single race – forgetting that there’ve been stinkers at Bristol, too, once you count out the wrecks.
The big thing to remember is that as the cars evolve, the tracks need to evolve too. The cars eventually outgrew the 24-degree asphalt Bristol, and they finally outgrew the 36-degree mixed-pavement Bristol, too. SMI seems to have a pretty good handle on the concept. Don’t you wish ISC would finally learn this lesson as well?
Bristol was boring, and yes there are multiple factors. I really dont care about all that. I as a fan, just want to be able to enjoy a good old school race. I like the beatin’ and a bangin’ !! Thats what Bristol has always been about…remember thats the slogan, raceing the way it ought to be ! And YES the Commentators are terrible. Good lord, I liked rubber head as a driver, but there is a reason they called him rubber head, and Petree well I loved it when he was with Dale…..Together they have the same effect on me that Lunesta does, without the cost…zzzzzzzzzzzzz. wake up Nascar, your TV ratings are going down the tubes….the racing is BORING, BRISTOL has been thee only bright spot for some of us diehards and now that appears to have gone by the wayside as well !!! MIGHT AS WELL BE ANOTHER MILE OR HALF MILE RACE !!!
I agree 100% with some of the fans who disagree with ya, Matt. This race was flat out boring and it’s a combination of several things. Goodyear’s horrible tire, ESPN’s coverage or lack thereof, and the new track. I miss old school racing at Bristol. You beat and bang for position and that’s the nature of the beast. It’s down and dirty let’s settle this between ourselves, not the fabricators in the shop and aero guys. It’s practically a glorified California now. But then again the new fans and corporate heads would love this!! It’s like F1 but you can pass. Team orders, Thew new CoT, resurfacing every track on the surface bc it’s a little too hard for the boys to drive…man it’s getting ridiculous anymore.
“Bristol=practically a glorified California now” says Hank!!!!!!!! Hahahaha. I’ve never heard a lamer opinion than Hank’s. Some people are a joke.
yeah because we all know you’re right and everyone’s wrong. Have fun watching boring races :-D kthxbai
Think racing is getting boring? Television coverage sucks? Wait till 2008 when this Piece Of Crap COT walks, not RUNS, at Daytona and Talledega. No need for restrictor plates, these barges will be running like there’s an incoming tide.