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.
The Key Moment: Edwards had been slow on restarts all day, but he got a good one when it counted as the final green flag waved.
In a Nutshell: Just another McRace. The new cars and the superspeedways just don't seem to produce very good racing.
Dramatic Moment: A green/white/checkered flag gave the rest of the field one last shot at the No. 99 on a track that was still possibly a bit oily in the high groove… but it was all for naught.
What They'll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
While the tires weren't terrible on Sunday like they had been at Atlanta, one can't help but wonder if Goodyear and the teams could have brought better equipment to Texas had NASCAR agreed to let the teams test there prior to the event… like Eddie Gossage offered to let them.
OK, so what is NASCAR going to find illegal on the No. 99 car this time? Let me guessâ€¦ an illegal sway bar.
What was Juan Pablo Montoya thinking blocking the leaders all day? He was just a well-decaled obstÃ¡culo de camino Sunday.
OK, how deep into the race did you make it before a nap sounded like more fun?
How many more boring races is it going to take before NASCAR admits these new cars need a nose job? Cue up the Bob Dylan because the answer is blowing in the wind â€¦ even if you don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
It would have seemed Jeff Gordon's late race wreck at Vegas would have convinced every track GM that all walls at the track need to be protected by the SAFER barrier. Apparently, nobody at Texas got the memo, and it's fortunate J.J Yeley wasn't hurt after hitting that inside wall a ton and a half.
What in blazes is going on at Petty Enterprises? Kyle Petty said he didn't take part in the decision to replace him in the seat of the No. 45 car for Texas. Who's driving this bus, and who tossed Kyle under it? Kyle's commitment to step out of the seat to do TV work in June and July, combined with the loss of General Mills as a sponsor for the No. 43 car at the end of the season, have obviously raised the anxiety level up a few notches over there.
There's no doubt that it was a horrific crash, but all those neophytes watching the video of Michael McDowell's qualifying wreck need to understand the physics of these crashes. When the car bends up and begins rolling and shedding parts, that's actually a good thing because the energy of the wreck is being dissipated. Compare Friday's wreck to the last lap tragedy of the 2001 Daytona 500. That black No. 3 car remained relatively intact, and all the energy of the impact was passed onto its driver. The difference is, you can replace a car…
NASCAR had previously had an unwritten rule about drivers rising up to the Cup level of racing. So, how is it with four Nationwide/Busch starts and one CTS start, Michael McDowell was able to get in a Cup car? McDowell had never finished better than fourteenth in any of those Little League races. On the other hand, a convincing argument can be made the wreck wasn't entirely McDowell's fault. Once again, it appeared that fluids on the track were not properly cleaned up — despite extensive down time on the track to do so — and that might have triggered Friday's wreck. From what I'm told, the synthetic oils the teams are using are more difficult to clean up than conventional petroleum-based fluids. The new oil dry required for synthetics is not only less effective, but tends to produce choking dust clouds when it's used. So, how hard would it be to just ban synthetic oils?
It looks like the unemployment rate in North Carolina is about to ratchet up a notch, courtesy of Chip Ganassi.
Anyone else still trying to pry the cat off the ceiling after Sunday's command to start the engines?
I'm hearing rumors Michael Waltrip's palatial home in Sherrill's Ford is on the market. The property includes a pool house perfect for hiding out from the police after a late night single car wreck. Maybe Britney Spears would be interested?
Only FOX could promote a baseball game with highlights of bench-clearing brawls.
Areas of the country struggling with lengthy droughts might want to schedule Nationwide qualifying sessions to get some much needed rain.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
It's been a long time since Jeff Gordon looked that awful in an undamaged car. Hitting the wall just put him out of his misery and out of everyone else's way.
Martin Truex, Jr. had a solid Top 10 run going before his engine expired with a handful of laps to go.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. looked to have a solid shot at a win at long last, before his team did what they always seem to be doing lately; they adjusted a competitive car to the point Junior would have been lucky to keep it in a 50 acre patch of briars.
The "Seven Come Fore Eleven" Award For Fine Fortune
After qualifying 35th, it appeared that Jeff Burton was going to be an also ran on Sunday. Somebody forgot to tell Burton that.
Kyle Busch won the Nationwide race on Saturday, and finished third in Sunday's Cup event. All in all, that's a pretty fair weekend's work.
All three Joe Gibbs Racing teams finished in the Top 7 on Sunday, while all three of the Richard Childress-owned Chevys finished in the Top 11. 7 and 11? Is this Texas or Vegas?
Thankfully, J.J. Yeley got out of his car unhurt after a savage wreck. How many times must the white dove fly before concrete walls are forever banned?
What's the Points?
Jeff Burton maintains his points lead and increases the margin to 59 points over teammate Kevin Harvick, who remains second in the standings.
Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards had the best points days at Texas. They each advanced four spots in the standings to sixth and tenth place, respectively. Ryan Newman advanced three spots to eighth, while Kyle Busch advanced two spots to third in points, now 64 out of the lead. Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer also each advanced a spot in the standings; they are now fifth, seventh, and 11th, respectively. Matt Kenseth moved up two spots to 13th, just outside the Chase cutoff.
Holy Unsuited Shock package, Batman! Jeff Gordon tumbled five spots to 14th, out of the Top 12 for at least one week. Greg Biffle fell six spots to ninth in the standings, while Kasey Kahne fell five spots to 12th.
Any driver from seventh place Denny Hamlin on up could leave Phoenix with the points lead next week.
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 one can of lukewarm Lone Star, a brew so loathsome the Geneva Convention bans its use on prisoners of war.
Next Up: It's off to Phoenix for this season's first Saturday Night Special.
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There is no rationale whatsoever for all race tracks at the Cup level not having the best protection available for the drivers . And that means Safer Barriers on every wall that could be contacted by a driver . Maybe one or two less hospitality suites , maybe smaller or no fireworks displays , maybe no pre-race stunt shows , just spend the money on ensuring that drivers will walk away from crashes .
I think you’re wrong about Kyle. As I recall it he won an ARCA race in a Dodge Mirada prior to entering the Cup series.
“It looks like the unemployment rate in North Carolina is about to ratchet up a notch courtesy of Chip Ganassi.”
What do you mean by this? I must’ve missed something…
Matt , you are absolutely correct . Kyles’ first race was at Daytona in an ARCA race . But again , a lack of prior experience didn’t seem to be a hindrance . I just think that the team is every bit as important or maybe even more important in a rookie drivers success than prior stock car experience .
One more correcton. Kyle Petty’s winning car in the 1979 ARCA race at Daytona was a Dodge Magnum. I don’t know if anyone has ever raced a Mirada in NASCAR or ARCA.
You forgot the mystery caution ….The one that erased an 8 second lead over jimmie for “ debris “ that they NEVER showed ..SEEMED like they were trying to manipulate a nice close finish …too bad cousin carl had em COVERED!
After Dario F failed to qualify on Friday, Ganassi blasted his entire team for thier efforts this year and said there would be wholesale personnel changes made if they didn’t get thier act together. See the whole story at Jayski’s.
I saw enough of the race at the end to notice that, once again, there were many empty seats. You can’t manipulate the cameras enough to completely hide them, but you can manipulate tv ratings and debris cautions.
Did anyone else get a sense of deja-vu on the way McDowell’s car went into the wall? But he walked away, and for all the things Nascar is guilty of, at least they have improved driver safety. 10 years ago, McDowell would be dead from that crash, just like Ironhead.
It just proves that money alone doesn’t win races . The Ganassi Cup team is headed nowhere , unlike all of his other race teams that are wildly successfull . The test tunnel under the mountain in PA. that Chip owns obviously doesn’t help the COT aero performance very much . Let’s hope the team can get it together soon .
Wow…was that a snoozer! One can only hope that ALL 1.5 milers won’t (first) end with Edwards winning and (second) be this freakin’ boring!! But it’s not looking good so far. Nascar…wake up. These cars are junk on the intermediates.
The teams’ hands are tied. They can’t try things to make the cars better from an aero standpoint and NASCAR doesn’t have an incentive (YET) to try to make them better. If the crappy racing at the 1.5 mile tracks continue people will stop watching and then maybe NASCAR will have an incentive to make changes to lessen the aero problems.
Oh my God when is Fox coverage over. I can not take it any longer. They tried everything to make people think this race was a barn burner. Mike Joy is an idiot. How many times did he say “we are overusing the Texas Metaphors but this is turning out to be like the “shoot out at the OK Corral” Hey dumb ass that’s an Arizona Metaphor. Any wonder why the TV ratings are down, what with snooze fest races commented on by NA$CAR sycophants bloviating ad nauseam.
The race was so boring I had more fun watching the open-wheel guys run under caution in the rain in St. Pete. Those were some BIG splashes!
Fox always gives us the classics in bad announcing , “ indeed “ and “ if you will “ and “ right now “ But in the best tradition of the Junior Samples Broadcasting School , what is Larry Mac and his “ Snoko “ What on earth is Snoko ?
I fell asleep 3 times during the race Sunday and that was not because of a late night out. Boring, Boring,and even more Boring!
These CoT cars are so much safer just ask McDowell, but the racing is boring. The T.V. coverage doesn’t help much either.
Again showing the winning driver in his car celebrating but not showing the rest of the field crossing the finish line. That is a time when the drivers are driving their hardest and can be exciting to watch. What is up with that?
And we all complained about ESPN last year and couldnt wait for FOX again. How ironic.
I turned my TV off during the caution with 2 to go!
Wow. That’s pretty extreme HankZ!
I’m gettin’ real impatient with that Juan boy. Yeah, me and Matt Kenseth both.
To heck with Jacques…Chip should be asking JP, “So whaddaya done for ME lately?”
Well let’s see…32, 20, 19, 16, 15, 13, 19.
I think the primary solution to the TV coverage is going to the side by side coverage like ABC does with open wheel racing. I mean when there’s four legit passes for the lead and FOX is away in commercial for three of them that’s a problem
Thanks, Matt, for clarifying the Ganassi situation.
I thought the same thing as Dennis when Mike Joy mentioned the shootout at the OK corral. lol!
For those who talk about how boring this race was: I don’t think this race was boring because of the new car. It was boring last year and the year before, too. The problem is not the car, it’s the 1 1/2 mile tracks. I can’t think of any mile and half tracks that have produced exciting racing.
The IRL race was much more exciting to watch.
I have found the best solution for the boring races. I set the VCR and fired the grill up and sat outside with the old lady in the sunshine(which we haven’t had any of in the last three weeks). After we grilled, chatted, ate, and poisoned all the fire ant mounds in the yard, I watched the race in (Hey Brian check this out) 32 minutes! What a wonderful raceday.
how many more YEARS do we have to put up with chris myers in texas referring to dick b as “older than dirt”? not like myers is any young chickadee!
in the north i was taught that men remove their hats when they’re inside a building. apparently jeff hammond thinks he’s a woman??? as a child women were the only gender who kept their hats on in a building. when i heard hammond’s raspy voice on friday i was sooooo hoping he had a case of the dw virus. fat chance!
off to phoenix. they’ll pull out more western comments this week. of course they’ll probably set up talladega several times by mentioning “get ready for the big one” in a few weeks.
only positive thing about the cot i see is michael mcdowell walking away from that wreck. that hit looked similar to the one that took tony roper’s life.
Kevin, I for one did not complain about ESPN last year and I want Fox to go away. Fox lowered the bar on race coverage and I’m sorry to say ESPN followed them to some degree, but they are still light years ahead of the Fox coverage. I’m glad I was a fan when it was real back in the ’70s on up to 2001 but now the magic is gone and I place the blame on Hollywood Brain France and the Funky Bunch at Faux Sports.
Oops…I meant to heck with Dario.
Oh well, Dario…Jacques…AJ…Sam…Juan…what’s the difference.
I agree with Travis Rassat, in the past the races were the same way also. I think the car is fine. It doesn’t matter what the you do with the cars/drivers your not going to get side by side racing unless the tracks have the correct progressive banking.