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.
Editor’s Note: With the 2007 Nextel Cup season complete, it’s now time to take a look back. This week, veteran writer Matt McLaughlin starts the process with his annual race review, analyzing each event of the Nextel Cup season and giving us his take on how good – or bad – they really were.
Today marks part one of the four-part series. Enjoy!
The Daytona 500
I've got to say two things up front. I don't like plate racing – it's contrived excitement, in my opinion – and I didn't care for the three o'clock starting time of this year's race. God and Bill France, Sr. intended the 500 to start at one in the afternoon – no later. As for the race itself, things were tepid for most of the afternoon. Tony Stewart had a dominant car all of Speedweeks, and he looked poised to win the 500 with ease. But a speeding penalty on pit road (or a penalty for stinking up the show, Stewart contended later) got him irate, and he self-destructed in the form of a devastating wreck. Kurt Busch, in another fast car, was a victim of Stewart's implosion.
With that turn of events, a race broke out; what can be said about that last few laps other than it would have made a fine opening scene for Days of Thunder 2007? As Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin drag raced towards the checkers side-by-side, mechanical mayhem was erupting behind them as Kyle Busch got out of shape and set off a field-decimating accident. Caught up in the wreck, Clint Bowyer got the worst of it; he wound up crossing the start finish line upside down and on fire. That chaos caused Martin to hesitate just a bit, expecting a caution that never came and opening the door for Harvick – he prevailed by inches over Martin to win. With NASCAR slow to throw the final yellow flag and rules uncertain as to when the racing actually ended and the caution began, I still feel Martin won this race. Rating: B-
Most fans don't tune into Fontana expecting much action. This year, they got all that and less at what is quickly becoming the most putrid track on the circuit. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Matt Kenseth were the class of the field in a race that came down to the men on pit road. Kenseth's crew got their boy out of the pits first late, while Johnson's crew faltered and dropped their boy from contention. Kevin Harvick seemed poised to make a run at the No. 17 but had a tire equalize, handing the uncontested win to Kenseth. Rating: D
Questions abounded as the circuit headed off to the newly reconfigured Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Among them: Why did the Cup circuit take a week off after just two events? Would the newly configured track at Vegas provide better racing? And – perhaps most important of all – would the new Goodyears stand up to the speed? Well, as for the track I think it's like a newlywed's stew; give it a little seasoning, and it ought to be much better.
The race turned out to be a Hendrick parade; Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon combined to lead 200 laps on their way to a 1-2 finish. It was not to be their last such finish of the season. In retrospect, the Las Vegas race was a foreshadowing of this year's championship; Jeff Gordon led more laps than Johnson, but Johnson led the ones that counted. Rating: C
The Atlanta Spring race didn't live up to the normally stellar standards of the track, but at least things did get interesting at the end. Tony Stewart was leading, but Jimmie Johnson in second clearly had the faster car and was gaining fast. A battle ensued, as Johnson was of the mind to pass Stewart … but Stewart was not in the mind to be passed. It all came to a head with three laps to go. Johnson made a three-wide power move inside of the No. 20; Stewart drove into the corner for all he was worth to hold the No. 48 but slid up into the wall, forced to fall behind. Johnson went on to win the race, his second in a row. Little did we know that finish was destined to happen a few more times this year, as well. Rating: B-
The Bristol spring race featured the equally anticipated and feared debut of the Car of Tomorrow in a points-paying Cup event. Even jaded fans who had seen pictures were aghast at the site of the ugly little brutes lined up nose-to-nose in numbers prior to the start of the race.
Gibbs teammates Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin dominated the early stages of the event, before mechanical issues felled them both. Stewart fell victim to a broken fuel pump drive cable, while Hamlin had an engine lay down late. That left Kyle Busch in the lead, but Jeff Burton was close behind. Everyone expected Burton to lay a bumper to Busch to make the pass – this is Bristol, baby! – but Burton ran Busch clean, allowing the kid to take home the trophy instead. As for the race winner's take on the Car of Tomorrow? "I'm still not a big fan of these things. I can't stand driving them. They suck." Succinctly put, sir. Rating: B
Some hoped that a race's worth of familiarity would make the CoT look more normal, or at least less ghastly. Nope – the cars were still so ugly you'd have had to tie a pork chop to the rear wing in order to get a starving dog to relieve itself on one.
Once again, the Gibbs cars looked strong early. So did Kevin Harvick's Chevy … but it turned out were some design flaws to the new rides. First, Harvick broke a fuel pump drive cable just as Stewart had at Martinsville. Then, the 29 car set itself ablaze when heat from the exhaust system set the mandated impact absorbing foam inside the car on fire. Whoops; so let me get this straight? NASCAR took five years to design and test a new car, yet they failed to find it had a propensity to set itself ablaze?
But in the end, despite the problems Martinsville provided the sort of dramatic finish this classic track often does. Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon raced hammer and tongs against one another, making contact several times with smoke billowing off their tires – though fortunately, not out of their doors. It was to be the best finish of the season in this humble writer's opinion, and again, a foretaste of things to come. Rating: A- The minus is just because the cars were so painfully ugly.
Johnson and Gordon were once again forces to be reckoned with, but they both fell off the pace this week because of crashes. In Johnson's case, the incident was unavoidable; in Gordon's case, the error was unforced.
That left other title contenders to battle up front. As badly as Matt Kenseth had been running early in the race, you'd have thought the only running he'd do late in the race would be after his crew chief with a hammer to beat him. Instead, Kenseth found himself in a heated battle with Jeff Burton. The two raced hard but clean, and in the end, Burton was able to hold off Kenseth to take the checkers.
In an odd twist, Kyle Busch ran over Dale Earnhardt's contending Chevy after a caution flew, and both cars were wrecked. Busch stormed away from the track as a result, even though the 5 team was able to repair the car. That left Junior, of all people, to hop aboard the No. 5 car to finish the race – again, that appears significant only in retrospect. Rating: B+
A pattern was being set at the Car of Tomorrow races. The Joe Gibbs Chevys started the races strong … and the Hendrick Chevys finished them stronger.
Denny Hamlin dominated this race early, only to have his campaign felled by a pit road speeding penalty. (Or another one of those, "Don't stink up the race!" penalities?) That left Tony Stewart with the lead … but Jeff Gordon wanted it. Eventually, Gordon put a bumper to the No. 20 car to make what was ultimately the winning pass on Joe Gibbs Racing … again. Mr. Stewart was miffed after the race and declined comment to the press; Mr. Hamlin looked dejected. But there was no denying the dominance; it was three for three as far as the Hendrick cars and CoT races. Other teams were left scratching their heads wondering how to catch up to the fleet foursome from HMS. By the end of the season some of them were probably considering rocket-propelled grenades. Rating: C-
Welcome to the ugly reality of restrictor plate racing; most drivers were content to fly in formation for most of the race to avoid wrecking their cars and potentially life-threatening injuries. Normal action did begin to heat up late, though. A green/white/checkered flag at a plate track is the equivalent of throwing a stick of dynamite into the cesspool and ducking for cover. Jeff Gordon still had the lead when David Ragan was kind enough to wreck to see to it the race ended under caution. Of course, when it came to wrecking, Ragan was one of the kindest guys on the circuit this season.
The win moved Gordon past the late, great Dale Earnhardt for total victories on what would have been the Intimidator's birthday. The race ended under caution to hand Gordon the win; but that didn't sit well with the highly partisan Talladega crowd, who pelted the No. 24 was with a fusillade of beer cans. Rating: D
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
They was know A+ races cuz junior didn’t score a victory,….. no what I mean Vern?
Well Matt , you didn’t even get past the Daytona race before you stopped making sense . Tony Stewart lost his temper and in so doing took Kurt Busch out of the 500 . How exactly did that happen ? Before you put pen to paper , or finger to keyboard , you might want to review your tapes of the races .
You do seem very thin skinned for being a writer . You obviously have a grudge against Stewart . He didn’t answer an inane question you asked him ? Your constant snipes only serve to portray you as a hack . Try being a little bit objective , you’ll find your writing will improve .
You may want to try covering another sport. I am sorry I clicked over from Jayski’s. I saw all the races you mentioned and your opinion adds no value. You media folks get carried away with your own importance.
If you can’t take the honest straight-forward musings of an old-school racing fan/writer, why don’t you go read some politically correct Hendrick Motorsports press releases or something instead? Not everyone is as enamored with the way NASCAR is heading! (the sport that is, not the “product” as the remainder of the France Family refers to is these days) Hang in there Matt!
There did seem to be more than the usual snoozers this year.
Ditto what “Labonte Fan” said!
I agree with Labonte Fan, In reading Matt’s piece it appears that Matt wrote it like it was for each race, Stewart and all. I’m fairly certain that in Matt’s write-up of each race, if Tony’s name is mentioned its followed by what any of us already have known having seen the race. Using Phoenix for instance he states “Mr. Stewart was miffed after the race and declined comment to the press” which is exactly what happened. Tony himself stated he was unhappy and did not feel like talking with the press. (Which I gave Tony high marks for as he does things his way and doesn’t seem to follow the usual vanilla-type/talking-the-NASCAR-line driver approach). Also in the Daytona race write-up Matt states that Tony received a speeding on pit road penalty, “or a penalty for stinking up the show, Stewart contended later”. In the Phoenix race the same is said for Hamlin so a reader would have to see that Matt was indeed being objective in his writing. By the way..is it too late for me to put in my order for more short tracks on the schedule for next year? ;-)
Hey Chris2 thanks again for bringing some reasonability to the forum, as others only seem to be in attack mode ready to defend the honor of their guy(driver)in order to show loyalty ,ignoring racing and all that it intells!
Matt may be many things , but objective isn’t on the list .
I have been reading Matt’s articles for years now because his articles are largely based off one thing… opinion. If Matt thinks a race sucks, he will say it sucked. If you don’t like or agree with his opinion, don’t read his articles.
Matt, ya can’t please everybody, but your articles amuse me endlessly