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
Tuesday March 4, 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!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday March 31, 2008
The Key Moment: Denny Hamlin took the lead with seventy four laps to go, then benefited from some obstinate lapped traffic behind him to hold off Jeff Gordon for the win.
In a Nutshell: There's nothing wrong with the new NASCAR an old race track can't fix.
Dramatic Moment: Every restart featured the sort of fender banging, bumper beating, tire smoking action that put this sport on the map.
What They'll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
Where were all the fans? Yeah, the weather was pretty bad, but the on-track action was typical Martinsville hot.
I think any writer who is going to write off Jack Roush's comments on his stolen suspension piece ought to at least know the difference between a sway bar and a gay bar. Yeah, I know, it's easier to talk about Tony Stewart's haircut than to study the greasy bits of race cars.
Who better to ask if Michael Waltrip's Toyota team did anything wrong than Waltrip's brother, who is also on the Toyota payroll? I mean, there's an objective opinion. I think I liked it better when DW was mute. And who, exactly, are these “Raisin Boys” Waltrip is so high on?
The media pundits seemed a lot more impressed with Michael McDowell's efforts than the other drivers who had to share the track with him.
NASCAR this week said they would not allow teams to switch points to get one of their drivers into a Top 35 owner points position. (Which guarantees, of course, that driver and team earn a spot in each race, as long as they remain in the Top 35). That's truly outstanding. Now, if they'd just finish the job and get rid of that ridiculous rule that gives any team in the Top 35 a spot in each race — they might be onto something.
Eddie Gossage of the Texas track offered to allow NASCAR and Goodyear to test at his track prior to next weekend's Cup event. That means if next week's race is a debacle like Atlanta, at least the track's GM has his butt covered… leaving Goodyear and NASCAR the ones looking foolish.
Kyle Busch certainly has been a weapon of mass destruction this year. After Saturday's Truck race, I was half expecting to see the Army invade Virginia.
I've never heard of a sponsor suing a driver to remove their sponsorship decals from his race car; but after watching Robby Gordon on Sunday, I can understand why they did so. Side note: it was apparently Gordon's statement that, “Street gangs in LA are more dangerous than Al Qaeda” which made Vanguard decide to part ways with the self-proclaimed "America's most versatile race car driver.”
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Kyle Busch had an eventful weekend. He wrecked on the final lap of the Truck race, got spun by his brother in the Cup race, then went into nuclear meltdown and ran into everyone else while more than fifty laps off the pace.
Matt Kenseth got nailed on pit road, penalized for pitting out of the box, knocked around like a cue ball, and finally got summoned to the NASCAR trailer after deciding to park David Gilliland to avenge an earlier incident. He wound up 30th.
David Reutimann had a decent run going before suffering a ring and pinion failure. As a result, once again he'll be forced to make next week's race on speed, while the new driver of the car Reutimann drove for the first five races gets a mulligan.
Carl Edwards ran out of gas on the final lap, the second straight race he’s had fuel problems coming to the finish line.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Every fan on hand who wanted to see 500 laps of racing. It seemed like it was raining during the entire day; but somehow, they got it in.
Denny Hamlin was called into the pits out of the lead just as it seemed weather was going to end the event early. But the rains held off, and the pit strategy eventually worked out for the No. 11 team and their driver.
Jeff Gordon's day could easily have ended when the nose of his Chevy got bent up in the Truex / Labonte wreck. Two pit stops for repairs dropped Gordon to the back of the field; but he recovered nicely to finish second. What were people saying about the Hendrick teams being down for the count?
Jimmie Johnson got spun when the No. 12 and No. 16 cars tangled, but he fought back to fourth by the checkered flag.
Despite a very sore back that made every lap agonizing — and put Dennis Setzer on standby duty — Elliott Sadler drove to a credible fifteenth place finish.
Jamie McMurray's eighth place run was good enough that he won't have to race his way into the Texas field on speed. That's probably a good thing, too, because McMurray's qualified 31st or worse in four of the last six Texas Cup races.
What's the Points?
Jeff Burton advanced three spots to take over the points lead. Burton is 39 points ahead of second place Kevin Harvick, who advanced a spot to second; he jumped over Greg Biffle, who fell down a spot to third.
Three high profile drivers advanced into the Top 12 this week. Denny Hamlin advanced seven spots to eighth in the standings, Jeff Gordon made up five spots to take over ninth, and Jimmie Johnson moved up three spots to tenth.
Naturally, three drivers had to fall out of the Top 12 to make room for those above. Kurt Busch fell six spots to 16th, Matt Kenseth dropped four spots to 15th, and Martin Truex, Jr. fell a spot to 13th, now putting him 45 points outside the Top 12.
Other high profile drivers moving forward include Jamie McMurray (up six spots to 30th), Casey Mears (also up six spots to 27th), and Carl Edwards, up two spots to 14th in the standings.
STOP THE PRESSES: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. advanced a spot to fourth in the standings, 69 out of the lead.
On the flip side, notable drivers losing ground included Ryan Newman (down three spots to 11th), Clint Bowyer (down three spots to 12th), and Bobby Labonte (down three spots to 21st).
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic): We'll give this one five chilly and damp cans of Colorado Kool-Aid, with a shot of JD to restore blood circulation to fans’ fingers and toes.
Next Up: The circuit heads off to Texas, so get ready for some really lame cowboy jokes from the media. There just ain't no cowboys in the Carolinas.
Looking for the Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why things went down the way they did at Martinsville? You’d know if you subscribed to the Frontstretch Newsletter and Amy Henderson’s Big Six column, a quick way to get you up to speed on any of the action you missed the day before. Still haven’t signed up for the newsletter? Click here to get it sent to your inbox ASAP; and remember, the best thing about it is it’s FREE!
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I found the booth buffoons defense of the theft of the swaybar by Micheal Waltrip, brother of Darrell Waltrip increadulous. Saying the theft of an actual part is not as serious as the theft of diagrams of a part is insane. Put that swaybar in my hands and I can measure it, test the composition of the metal, find the properties that make it worthy of stealing, make prints, machine copies and put them in my cheating Toyota race cars. Everytime DW is shown on the screen there should be a disclaimer stating his connection with Toyota, and the first few seconds of the ’80s hit “Turnin Japanese” by the Vapors should be played.
Reading your take on the race almost makes me think I should have watched it, but after years of saying “I’m Done With Nascar” this is the year. I caught enough of the pre-race to hear the Toyota Defense Team in action and saw all the empty seats, then went out to the garage to get some work done. I had the race on the TV but maybe saw 5 laps and don’t feel like I missed out on anything. All I really need is to read your review and I’m up to speed.
Matt , you almost had me in tears over McMurray and Reutimann having to qualify on speed . Oh the injustice of it all .
i was so hoping dw had the same type of laryngitis i had a few years ago. i lost my voice for 2 months. oh well….can always hope he gets a relaps. interesting to see how he stayed out of the cold damp weather.
How stupid is NA$CAR putting 43 cars on a 1/2 mile short track?
And with the CoT at that?
And you blame the “drivers” for getting in each others way? I.E., McDowell?
43 CoT’s, that do not handle at all, and you blame the drivers?
Lets put this into perspective: 43 cars on a 1/2 mile track = 86 cars/mile! So, with that ratio, as established by tour Dumb friends at NA$CAR, then Talladega at 2.66 miles should be able to hold 228 race cars! Same track space per car as I see it!
And please stop maligning poor Robby! Robby is the only excitement in NA$CAR these days! Unless one counts Mr. Tony, as in Stewart! But with Tony, Mr. Good-guy, Mr. Bad-guy, you never know which one will show up at the track!
Now, I no longer watch any NA$CAR on the TV, being one of those “old core fans” NA$CAR has used and abused over the years, I did listen to the last 200 laps or so on the radio while driving home. I found it totally strange that during the broadcast, there was never any mention of what BRAND Car anyone was driving! Generally you would constantly hear such things as “And here comes Jeff Gordon in his Dupont Chevrolet”! Or, “here comes Ryan Newman into the pits to get new tires for his Dodge Charger”!!
NONE of this went on! No mention even in victory lane that “Denny Hamlin brought his TOYOTA to victory lane”! “Denny, your TOYOTA seemed to come on at the end”. etc!
ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THAT KIND OF TALK! ALL YOU HEARD WAS THE DRIVERS NAMES!
And please do not “blame the drivers” such as a McDowell for “getting in the way”!
He deserves to be on the track! Blame the stupid CoT, a poor handling race car no one can seem to control! Where else can an upcoming driver get experience driving this slug? Certainly not on a Saturday!
As long as NA$CAR forces the CoT down our throats, gag-gag! And the drivers throats, gag-gag! Then the only way to learn how to drive one of these pigs is to drive it in a race!
But again! 43 CARS ON A SHORT TRACK????
How dumb is that?
Oh, sorry, we are talking NA$CAR here! So sorry!
What’s wrong with 43 cars on a short track? It’s been going on for years, Douglas. Where have you been?
I love Michael Waltrip’s innocent response to Jack Roush. We didn’t realize we had it. We just put it aside and forgot about it. This is NASCAR! Anyone who believes Toyota or any other make wouldn’t copy it has just crawled out from under their rock.
Larry Mac: And here comes the field onto the Microsoft pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, a tank of Sun-o-go racinf fuel abd a cold bottle of Gatorade so they don’t drip peepee into thier BVDs…
Why would anyone expect anything else that what we have in the announcers we all hate? This IS fox….home of the American idol…the biggest bull crap commercial of all time! Remember you get what you watch in tv land…….turn it off, they will get the message quick!! The radio broadcast and Sirius is the way to go!!
Once again FOX showed there were only ten cars running in Martinsville, What a load of ****. Next the announcer states “ lets ride along with Kassey Kane and check out his rhythm. THey start to show Kasey, they cut to the leader with no one racing around him. Even the announcer said “Or not”. Terrible broadcast. I now will just listen on the radio in the future.
Yah, where were all the fans? Can I start the “Martinsville stinks, it cant sell out, we shouldnt be racing there any more” chant like you all did about California? LOL (I’m being sarcastic here, dont get all upset)
Best race of the year so far
California and Martinsville have one key similarity over and beyond empty seats. They are both owned by the ISC, the France family as it were.
My guess is the empty seats reflect pricing, poor promotion and the cooler rules
Martinsville is no longer “The House That Clay Built.” It’s “The House Brian Ruined.”
Oh well at least they backed down from Hotfog gate and returned the hot dogs to wax paper with all the fixings
I was hoping to go to martinsville, but I’m saving money to move this weekend. But prices at Martinsville are VERY competitive, some of the best on the cup circuit.
I think the majority of the empty seats were along the backstretch. Those seats are general admission and don’t go on sale until early Sunday morning. Normally you have to get there pretty early to get a good seat. But, if a set stands is going to suffer in sales due to unknown weather conditions then it would be those stands.
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True or False?
When Matt Kenseth raises his voice and uses profanity on the radio and puts a guy into the wall as payback all in the same day — it was a good race.
Kenseth has shown himself to be quite the “goon” if you will when things are not going his way. Kinda makes you wonder about his run ins with Gordon, Edwards, among others.
Great driver, but don’t care for his practice of using his car as a weapon.
It seems more apt to label those on the transmit side of a fist, “goon.”
I kinda like this new “no-crap-taking-put-ya-in-the-wall-and-I’ll-cuss-while-I-do-it Matt Kenseth. He must be taking some Drivers Ed classes with Kyle.
When was the last time you saw Kenseth use his car as a weapon? My memory is short, but it was probably two or three years ago at Pocono with Kevin Harvick. The other times with Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards were just hard racing, not payback.