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 Two of the Four-Part series. For Part One, please click here to read. Enjoy!
Rainy weather pushed the planned Saturday evening race off to Sunday afternoon. Rain seemed to plague a lot of races this season; and while it sucks, the weather is like Brian France being stupid: there's not much you can do about either. Brian's stupid new cars were back at Richmond, too; can you guess which team won?
Unlike Richmond races with the old cars, there wasn't a lot of side-by-side racing in this edition of the Spring classic. On a late restart, Jimmie Johnson was able to muscle his way past teammate Kyle Busch to take the win. Hendrick Motorsports was now four for four in CoT races, and had won seven of the last eight events at this juncture in the year. Rating: D+
It pained me to see what the "New Car" did to racing at the most storied speedway on the circuit. Not that what NASCAR did to the track was any great shakes, either. I mean, everyone had to know when NASCAR moved Darlington's only remaining race date to the night before Mother's Day, eventually rain would force the race to be run on Mother's Day itself – and that's what happened this year.
Passing was at a premium at the egg-shaped oval; but in the end, a Hendrick car found itself leading late. It was Jeff Gordon taking control of the race; but this time, there was a twist. It was clear the mill under the hood of the No. 24 car was blowing up, and Gordon's mount was spewing steam in those final few laps. Denny Hamlin tried his best to run down the ailing leader, but the race ran out of laps before Gordon ran out of water. Rating: C
Apparently, a lot of drivers didn't get the memo this was a 600-mile race. There were a flurry of accidents early in the event that eliminated or hobbled a lot of the favorites, and because of the way cautions fell, the end of the race came down to fuel mileage. A lot of us were expecting NASCAR to throw a bogus debris caution to allow the favorites still running a chance at the win, but – perhaps stung by Tony Stewart's comments earlier in the year – they let the race finish under green.
With the best cars forced to pit, Casey Mears coasted across the line on fumes to claim his first Cup victory – and yet another trophy for Rick Hendrick. In addition to Mears, the Top 5 finishers included J.J. Yeley, Kyle Petty, Reed Sorenson, and Brian Vickers. Even Alice's White Rabbit would have found that final running order confusing. Rating: B-
(It wasn't pretty, but it was legitimate)
Rain once again interfered with the running of a Cup race; the Dover race was pushed off until Monday by the sort of storms that are part and parcel of life here in the Northeast in June.
There was some ugliness during the race after Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch once again wrecked one another. Busch was so angry he drove into the side of the No. 20 car on pit road, nearly running over a member of Stewart's team. Busch was parked for the rest of the afternoon, but not suspended by NASCAR for the infraction.
Late in the race, Martin Truex, Jr. emerged as the surprise leader with Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson preparing to battle with him. Instead, Newman and Johnson got too intent on battling one another as Truex drove off into the sunset. Johnson cut down a tire late and fell to fifteenth in the final running order, marking the beginning of his annual summer slump a few weeks early. For Truex, it was his first-ever Cup victory, along with the first time any non-Hendrick driver had won a CoT race. Rating: C-
Once again, a Cup race started under threatening skies. Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 team decided not to come down pit road – betting on the rain arriving in time – while Ryan Newman and the No. 12 team decided that fresh rubber on their Dodge would allow him to overhaul the leaders before the downpour. The gamble by Newman’s team didn't miss by much; he was reeling Gordon in lap after lap, and the No. 24 car was nearly out of gas. Of course, that's when the rains arrived – ending the race shortly after the halfway point. Rating: D
The Michigan race itself was almost lost in the tidal wave of hype after that week's announcement Dale Earnhardt, Jr. would be moving on to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2008 season. Wanting to grab back some headlines, NASCAR had also managed to make themselves look like a bunch of bumbling bullies by announcing plans to sue AT & T for $100,000,000 dollars for contesting the sanctioning body's right to tell them they couldn't run their decals on the No. 31 car.
As for the race itself, it appeared the drivers decided amongst themselves to get it over with as quickly as possible, with nothing distracting like passing for the lead to keep fans in the stands from being able to continue debating the pros and cons of Earnhardt's career decision – whether it was a good thing or a sign of the upcoming Apocalypse.
As the parade droned on, Carl Edwards won the race going away after Martin Truex, Jr. slapped the wall trying to bear down on him. Rating: D
Once again, the Cup scene returned to a road course for a display every bit as unseemly as trying to autocross trash trucks.
When Juan Pablo Montoya signed with the No. 42 team, you knew Chip Ganassi circled the dates of the two road course races in red, knowing his driver would be a threat to win at each of them. The Colombian did not disappoint – he took the field to school in an almost humiliating manner, as about the only drama was waiting to see if Montoya would run out of gas in the waning laps. Radio traffic between he and his pit crew seemed to indicate that was imminent; but apparently, they knew other teams were scanning their frequency, and they were simply playing possum. Rating: D
Several drivers took their turns at the front of the field early at NHIS. Dave Blaney led thirty laps before Jeff Gordon took control. Then, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. dominated the middle stages of the race before fading. But as the race wound down, a late gamble by the No. 11 team to put two tires on the car when most teams took four allowed Denny Hamlin to win his first event of the 2007 season. As many wins as this team cost their driver on pit road, eventually you figured they had to hand Hamlin one, too. Rating: C
I'll be honest with you all – I missed this race. It was the first time I've missed a race in its entirety since February 18th, 1989. That day, my best friend was killed in a traffic accident; in the early morning hours before this year's Pepsi 400, my Mom passed away after a lingering illness. My family needed me to be there on that sorrowful day. Of course, by race time we were gathered back at Mom's house, and I thought briefly maybe I'd turn the race on in the background with the sound muted to see what was going on. Old habits die hard. But it was a tough day, and I decided, "Screw it," for my sisters needed me more than I needed to know who won the race. Of course, I saw the highlights afterwards – Jamie McMurray edged out Kyle Busch by .005 seconds. It looked like a great race, but I have no regrets I missed it.
It's a matter of priorities – a long overdue, painful, but necessary reminder that in the grand scheme of life, stock car racing doesn't really mean all that much. I needed that.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I believe that the Busch who tangled with Tony at Dover was Kurt.
Great article! Wish we had more of this type of race by race analysis during the season. I agree with a lot of the points in the article as well. Pocono, Michigan, and Sonoma all stunk up the place this year.
Your constant negativity towards the new car and also Hendrick Motorsports are a real turn-off. The new car is just like the trucks, which provide great racing, except with a wing instead of a spoiler. The wing is supposed to allow air to flow under it and onto the hood of the car behind. This provides extra downforce so the trailing car doesnt become as “aero-tight” as it does with the old car. Also, these articles might be your opinion, but your objectivity towards all teams (and all tracks) is more appreciated. Why did Pocono get a D? The last 20 laps were some of the most suspenseful all year, with nobody knowing when the rain would come and when the 24 would run out of gas. Sonoma was the same way with Montoya. It is ok to have your own opinion instead of repeating the bad stuff everyone else says.
To the dude in SoCal – Oh really? Better racing? Coulda fooled me…
I looked at 15 COT races (I got bored with it by Phoenix). Theyâ€™ve raced on all types of tracks â€“ short, long, and even some with right turns. Of those races, there are a total of 75 possible Top 5 finishing positions.
Letâ€™s see whatâ€™s happened to those 75 possible Top 5 finishes:
A Chevy has captured 56 of the possible 75 top five finishing positions. Thatâ€™s nearly 75% of the available T5â€™s in the COT. Ford is a distant second with 11 Top 5 finishes â€“ a measly 15%, Dodge has 7, and Toyota has a single Top 5 performanceâ€¦Go Dave Blaney!
Guess where those Chevyâ€™s came from? Big surprise. Hendrick Motorsports. HMS has dominated the COT show bringing home 23 Top 5 performances. Thatâ€™s compared to other Chevy teams like Joe Gibbs Racing with 15, DEI scored 8 T5s, and RCR with 7. Thatâ€™s a total of 53 T5â€™s for the high roller Chevy teams. The other teams did not fare as well. Roush-Fenway with Fords captured 11 and the Penske Dodgeâ€™s held on for 5. All other teams have occupied only one Top 5 finishing position in a COT to date.
Guess who drove those Chevyâ€™s? Ummâ€¦letâ€™s see Jeff, Jimmie, Jeff, Jimmie, eeny, meeny, miny, moe. The Hendrick duo combined for over 25% of the T5â€™s in 15 races.
â€œYeah, but there are more Chevyâ€™s on the road.â€ Indeed this is true. On the starting grid of the last Martinsville race, there were 18 Chevys, 11 Dodges, 9 Fords, and 5 Toyotasâ€¦pretty typical for a Sunday afternoon. The data are clearly biased toward Chevy. But you canâ€™t look past the fact there are 25 other non-Chevy cars out there. And still, 42% of the cars on the track capture 75% of the best finishes.
In conclusion, it ain’t better racing.
THANKS MATT!!! I LOVE YOUR STUFF!!!
One more thing…since I just finished reading this, I send you my condolences for your Mom.
And I have printed this, cut out the part about priorities, and stuck it in a little place deep inside my purse…where I will always be able to find it again. Thanks again, Matt.