The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Edition by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday July 28, 2008

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The Key Moment: Jimmie Johnson’s pit crew got him off pit lane first during the last of a string of competition cautions, and once the No. 48 car was in clean air there was no catching it.

In a Nutshell: A complete and total unmitigated debacle that was unacceptable and unwatchable… but presented in High Definition to fans lucky enough to be home.

Dramatic Moment: Anytime the drivers had managed six entire laps without a caution, we could only sit and wait to see who the next victim of a blown right rear tire might be.

Other than that, the nod goes to Carl Edward’s quixotic charge trying to run down Johnson in the final seven laps.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

When there’s a very public disaster of this magnitude blame has to be assigned. In my mind at least, NASCAR gets 60% of the blame. With the Cup cars competing at Indy for the first time in the new car, there should have been an open test during which surely this issue would have been discovered while there was time to address and correct it. If this doesn’t prove to them that the new car is a bad idea nothing will. 30% of the blame goes to Goodyear. They should have generated enough information during their three driver test to see the potential for a huge problem, and they should have moved Heaven and Hell to see it didn’t happen. 10% of the blame goes to the drivers for being willing to run at three quarters throttle most of the day while waiting for a tire to blow, rather than just parking on pit road and refusing to race under such unsafe conditions. That’s what most drivers did prior to the first Talladega race back in 1969 when a similar tire issue came up.

Naturally, there will be second guessing on NASCAR’s call to basically run a high profile race in ten lap segments. So, what should have been done? Given the circumstances, they took the most conservative and safe approach — and I’m all for driver safety. Some will say the race should have been postponed until Goodyear could conjure up a safe competitive tire. Even if there were a lot of empty seats, there were still a ton of fans at Indy and their needs had to be taken into account. Not everyone would have been able to come back and they’d burned a lot of high dollar gas to be there Sunday. From my position as armchair quarterback, here’s what I’d have done. I’d have taken the same conservative approach NASCAR did for the first three quarters of the race. As it became evident the problem wasn’t going to go away, I’d have told the crew chiefs coming up to forty laps to go I’d be throwing the last competition caution. After that, knowing what they did about their tire wear and their cars, they’d be on their own with input from their drivers whether to continue pitting every ten laps or maybe going to a Hail Mary pass for the win and leaving the car out there a few more laps.

In the end, we all fail occasionally. It’s what we learn from failure that separates success from failure in the future. To me, the lesson is obvious and I’ll type it out in all capital letters in case Brian France, Mike Helton, and Robin Pemberton left behind their reading glasses as they fled Indy to avoid being lynched: DUMP THE NEW CAR!

ESPN began their stretch of Cup broadcasts with a new look and lineup that succeeded to a degree. On the positive side, the camera work was stunning, they weren’t afraid to ask the hard questions about the tire issue to Goodyear and NASCAR officials, there were no cartoon gimmicks like “Race Buddy” or “Digger,” and they finally dumped that Surely Inept (or whatever her name was) woman from the booth. On the downside, some of the cast seemed to fawn over drivers rather than interview them, there were several long audio and video malfunctions, they began that relentless “Race to the Chase” drumbeat like they meant to cave in fans’ skulls, and they rushed off the air with the story of what had gone wrong left untold. Oh, and after mentioning or showing the “Kissing of the Bricks” incessantly, they failed to show the moment happening live.

ESPN touted it all day long, but Jimmie Johnson’s “kissing the bricks” moment occurred on TV long after it had actually happened.

If I recall correctly (remember I still have a Grateful Dead sticker in the rear window of the Pontiac), after their own debacle at Indy the Formula One folks offered a refund on their tickets to fans who wanted one. Ironically, it was a tire issue that caused all but six drivers to pull off the track during the formation lap and park for the day. So, is NASCAR going to offer fans at Indy a refund, too?

Maybe instead of sending trucks in from Pocono with new tires, NASCAR should have had the teams send trucks overnight with last year’s cars from the shops?

Did NASCAR award the five point bonus for leading the most laps to Brett Bodine, driver of the pace car?

Despite all the hype about a quarter million fans on hand, it appeared at least 25,000 of them failed to show up. As the farce unfolded, it also appeared that a lot of fans voted with their feet, leaving earlier than is the standard at most tracks. Were they trying to beat traffic or worried they were going to have to stop and get new Goodyears on their car every 25 miles on the ride home? The “Goodyear Get There” tagline seemed unintendedly ironic on Sunday.

Great Moments in Team Ownership, Part One (Presumably of dozens): Newly minted Cup team owner to be Tony Stewart was on hand at ORP to watch his National Midget teams compete. When a questionable call was made against his driver, Tracy Hines, Stewart went over a wall to question a race official about the call. Stewart then lost his temper and batted the official’s headphones off his head. Stewart says now he expects to be fined for his actions. The trick here is to figure that out before taking action. I don’t care what sport we’re talking about, even if it’s high school girls’ field hockey, you don’t lay hands on the officials.

Has anyone ever figured out why fans in Indianapolis pay good money to sit on the frontstretch staring across at other fans looking back at them rather than just choose to sit on the backstretch?

Well, it didn’t look like the downsized restrictors on the Toyota engines hurt Kyle Busch much Saturday night during the Nationwide race, did it? But looks might be deceiving. ORP is one of those tracks where too much power can actually be a detriment to a driver, causing him to buzz the tires off the corners. Let’s give it a few weeks to see how this change plays out. Meanwhile, I have a suggestion on how to reign in Kyle Busch. Make each driver race the following weekend with the additional ballast of all the beverage cans tossed at them aboard the car. They can crush them, of course. You have to leave room for the driver.

Jeez, even the rumor of Oprah Winfrey coming to Kannapolis, NC, caused the city fathers to quickly remove the memorial banners to Dale Earnhardt along the “Dale Trail,” as if stock car racing is some hideous Southern secret that can’t be admitted worthy of a Faulkner Southern Gothic novel. Did they make homemakers take the white sheets down off their clotheslines as well, lest they be misinterpreted as evening wear outfits rather than bedding?

I hear Ford lost over 8 billion dollars in the last financial quarter. Did they check down behind the cushions on the couch? That’s where I always find the money I lost.

Is any one else getting the idea any well intended “moment of silence” at a race track isn’t such a great idea? That fact was once again driven home by one extremely rude foul mouthed fellow during the pre-race ceremonies.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

A lot of folks had a lot of problems at Indy, but nobody had any worse luck that that bird that had the close encounter of the wrong kind with the No. 31 car on a restart. I guess the early bird gets the worm and the slow bird gets the bumper?

Matt Kenseth’s tire failure was the most dramatic of the day, removing a large portion of the right rear body work on the No. 17 car when it let go. And yet Kenseth (like Carl Edwards) still had the class to apologize to the fans who had endured the race after the event.

Kevin Harvick was just riding when Kurt Busch’s worn right rear tire sent the No. 2 car out of control and into Harvick’s Chevy. Gunky engine buildup sucks, but sheetmetal torn asunder is worse.

No NASCAR driver puts more emphasis on winning at Indy than Tony Stewart, but his already ill-handling mount saved its worst for the final few segments of what some folks were alleging was a race.

Michael Waltrip didn’t even wait until his tires wore out in the first segment to wad up another car. At the rate he’s going, look for Waltrip to show up at the wheel of Cozy-Coupe with NAPA lettering taped to it at a race soon.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

It wasn’t much of a race, but it still paid well to win. Call Jimmie Johnson the 2008 Brickyard 400’s First Survivor.

Carl Edwards cut over into Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car early in the race, and the mayhem could easily have ended both their days.

A failing charging system had Jeff Burton’s even finishing the race very much in doubt early in the going, but he hung on to finish ninth.

Shortly after leading the race, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. cut down a tire and lost a lap pitting under the green flag. That could have been disastrous, but a free pass and solid strategy helped him soldier on to a twelfth place finish.

Mark Martin was fortunate enough to have his right rear tire give way just as a competition caution slowed the field — keeping him from losing a lap. Sometimes, it’s all about timing.

Kasey Kahne suffered a cracked header early in the race and lost a lap. With cautions flying every ten laps he was also able to get a free pass, get back on the lead lap, and drive onto a seventh place finish.

Denny Hamlin was leading the race when he caught a beer can to the front grille, apparently tossed by some drunken fan to protest the farce he was seeing. I’d really like to see this beverage can tossing trend stopped. First off, I have never cottoned to the wasting of a perfectly good beer. Secondly, one of these days one of those cans is going to seriously injure a fan seated in the lower rows of the grandstands when it misses its mark.

Worth Noting

  • The Top 10 survivors at Indy competed in three Chevys, three Fords, two Dodges, and two Toyotas.
  • The top finishing ROTY candidate at Indy was Patrick Carpentier in eighteenth.
  • Jimmie Johnson has finished first and second in the last two races. Prior to that, his last Top 5 finish was his win at Phoenix in the eighth race of the season.
  • Carl Edwards has finished second in two of the last three races. Indy marks his fourth runner-up result of the 2008 season.
  • Denny Hamlin (third) managed his first Top 5 finish since Pocono in June. He has finished third four times this year.
  • Elliott Sadler’s fourth place finish was the best of his 2008 Cup campaign.
  • Jeff Gordon (fifth) came away with his first Top 10 finish in four races.
  • Jamie McMurray’s sixth place finish was his best of the 2008 Cup season, and his best result in this series since he won at Daytona last July.
  • Jeff Burton (ninth) scored his first Top 10 finish since Pocono.
  • For the second straight week, A.J. Allmendinger (10th) scored the best finish of his Cup career.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (twelfth) has Top 12 finishes in fifteen of twenty Cup races this year. This concludes our test of the emergency mandatory Earnhardt Jr. note for this column… we now return you to your regular programming.

What’s the Points?

Kyle Busch still leads the points standings, with his lead over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. shrunk slightly to 253. Earnhardt and Jeff Burton remain second and third, while Jimmie Johnson’s “win” moves him up a spot to fourth. Despite finishing second, Carl Edwards drops a spot to round out the Top 5.

The day’s big loser in the points was Kevin Harvick, who dropped four spots to 13th. Harvick is now just two points out of the Chase. Matt Kenseth fell three spots to 11th, and he’s just six points ahead of Harvick.

Denny Hamlin had the best day in the points, moving up four spots to eighth. Behind him, Kasey Kahne moved up two spots to ninth, while Clint Bowyer reclaimed the 12th position in the points — albeit by a slim margin.

David Ragan took over the 14th spot in the standings from Brian Vickers, but both drivers are watching the thundering herd ahead of them leaving them in the dust.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) – I wouldn’t give Sunday’s race a warm cup of mule spit.

Next Up: It’s time to head back to the Pocono Triangle for Poco-Two. Wow, I hope Goodyear has some tires left for the race.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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Montgomery C. Burns
07/28/2008 01:14 AM

Smithers, buy Nascar so I may fire Brian Z. France, then take off all the Goodyears from my limo and place them behind the manor so that I may fire a few magazines from my AK-47 into them. After getting the new set of Firestones send a bill to Tony George for $18,750,000 so that I may refund the cost of tickets to all the rubes who payed their hard earned wages to attend this pretend sporting event.

07/28/2008 02:49 AM

With all the jabber and backslapping NASCAR for imposing the ‘competition’ yellows for ‘safety’, everyone seems to be overlooking the pit road closures. At times, pit road was closed four laps before the scheduled yellows. With tire wear being a problem, that could have caused a disaster if some driver stayed out with bad tires because of the closure.

Sorry, I’m not buying it – this stopped being about safety and became a face-saving attempt somewhere after Kenseth’s car blew up.

Big Henry
07/28/2008 04:58 AM

I hope there is a Firestone Rep at the NASSCAR front door tomorrow morning with a proposal to supply tires at a certain track they have familiarity with….

Bill B
07/28/2008 07:17 AM

One can of warm draino… to put the viewer out of their misery.

Mike In NH
07/28/2008 07:25 AM

Re the restrictors on the NW Toyotas: as Kyle alluded to in his comments, you won’t really see an effect on the Toys on the short tracks given the speeds there – in fact, as he said, it kept him from spinning the tires, which actually helped, so expect Toys to win the remaining short track races this year – but you will see an effect on the bigger ovals. Especially on restarts.

Re beer cans: they’ve already stopped selling beer in cans at some sports events, maybe they’re going to have to do it at NASCAR races too, especially since hitting even an empty one at high speed could be disastrous. Suppose Hamlin had run it over and shredded his tire, as the leader? Imagine the crash that could have caused.

As I said elsewhere, I lost power an hour after the race started and didn’t get it back until the race was over. Someone up there must like me!

A bird in the hand is worth at least one on the bumper, but it beats hitting a deer on the backstretch at Pocono!

07/28/2008 07:54 AM

We had our first annual family creab feast (about 80 turned out). I was really ticked to hear that the hall we rented did not have ESPN, hell, they didn’t even have a TV…. but now I’m thinking, I may have just had the best race-day of the season.

07/28/2008 07:58 AM

Why didn’t Nascar take all those Pocono tires and have some cars drive around the track all Saturday night and put some rubber down for the race. They say the did everything they could, I don’t think so, the whole issue was lack of rubber on a newly ground track.

07/28/2008 08:17 AM

pitiful. i thought na$car starting closing pit road early when they announded when the next yellow would be so that teams couldn’t try some sort of strategy by coming in prior to the yellow and then staying out, like jr did the first time the caution flew. that would have made it a bit more competition. but nope, follow-the leader. i feel sorry for all race fans, but us at home could go and do other things while the mess was on tv. those people who spent $$$$ for tickets, hotel and food, they’re the real losers in it all.

07/28/2008 08:17 AM

The issue is all about NASCAR and its poor managment of a racing series. NASCAR’s primary goal is to defraud both fans and sponsors out of as much money as possible in order to line the pockets of the remaining France family brats. It doesn’t matter if the “show” stinks as it does most weeks. NASCAR is today’s old west medicine show and the “show” is the elixer.

07/28/2008 08:19 AM

Quote: “30% of the blame goes to Goodyear. They should have generated enough information during their three driver test to see the potential for a huge problem and they should have moved Heaven and hell to see it didn’t happen.”


100% of the blame goes to GOODYEAR!

Why? Because they failed ALL tire tests, they had major problems last year, and they knew they had problems BEFORE the race started!

The onus was totally on GOODYEAR to say to NA$CAR: “we cannot supply tires for you”!!


Tire wear has been a MAJOR issue in EVERY race involving the CoT! It, tire problems, are not a new occurrence, or even a surprise! All indications were that eventually a fiasco like Sunday was going to happen!

Oh sure, we can dilute the blame, the “grinding” of the track, the CoT, the tires themselves!

BUT! It is “GOODYEAR” that has their name on the tires!

Either they work! Or they do not!

You will never see a GOODYEAR tire on any of my vehicles!

Nor will you see me at any event that features the CoT!!

I beg everyone to stay away, it is time to send Brian the message, loud and clear!

07/28/2008 08:29 AM

disgruntled, I agree 100% with you on that. Fortunately for NASCAR it wasn’t Dale Jr. who blew up.

Douglas, did NASCAR do a full tire test with all drivers, or at least 2 drivers per team? There are not too many tracks like Indy out there.

On another note, wasn’t it ironic that they dedicated the race to the man who approved all of these safety innovations (HANS, SAFER Barriers, Seat belts, etc.?) Nevermind that all were a direct result of Dale Earnhardt’s death.

07/28/2008 08:31 AM

what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going on with this sport!? i think a new drug testing policy should start with the nascar brass taking the first leak in the cup!

Just noticin'
07/28/2008 08:48 AM

“The Top 10 survivors at Indy competed in three Chevys, two Fords, two Dodges and two Toyotas.” Since that only totals 9, I am guessing that the Pace Car was the 10th one?

07/28/2008 09:04 AM

the drivers need to pack together(see restrictor plate racing) and park the damn cars.

07/28/2008 09:05 AM

I think we can go ahead and say it .NASCAR needs to find suppliers who can provide a quality product . Like Sunoco with their famous water with some gasoline in it , Goodyear has also been shielded by NASCAR for too long . This is only one of many , many cases of Goodyear forcing the competitors to use an inferior tire . Why would Goodyear , Sunoco , and other suppliers bring clearly inferior products to the track ? Because NASCAR allows them to . They are the official suppliers , they pay NASCAR a great deal of money every year to be assured of having no competition . They then make tires and fuels with an eye on the cost , not on the quality . The Goodyear rep was asked if the very high rate of wear was encountered during the tire test at Indy . He said yes . But rather than fix the problem , they elected to work on the profit margin instead . Dumping all those tires that they knew would not work would be expensive .
We will be forced to listen to endless explanations by Helton and Brians’ other lackeys , and the message will be , that we the fans , don’t know the deep dark inner workings of auto racing , so we should just accept NASCARs word ,shut up and let them handle it .
No other major auto racing series on Earth would have allowed a show to be put on like the one we witnessed yesterday . But every other major racing series on Earth values competition and safety over receiving 6 to 10 million dollars per year from their suppliers . And if suppliers are shown to be inferior , they are replaced .
The argument has always been that open competition among tire suppliers would make the tires unsafe . What should we call a system that offers a single supplier , guarantees them no competition , and that supplier furnishes a clearly unsafe tire .

07/28/2008 09:26 AM

Goodyear had this tire last year. NA$CAR had the COT last year.

Why did they not do a test last year following the Indy race in the conditions the tires would actually be seeing. That would have given both parties a year to come up with an acceptable tire.

07/28/2008 09:53 AM

If Firestone can develop a tire that can run nearly 220 MPH on the same surface with a lot more downforce and not have tire issues, why can’t Goodyear?

NA$CAR and Goodyear should be ashamed of themselves for promoting this farce.

07/28/2008 10:09 AM

Wait…so, Goodyear brings a tire that is a total disaster…after testing 3 other compounds in their tire test, and deciding to not use any of them…yet you blame the car? (that has been basically fine everywhere else.)

Goodyear is not 100% at fault, but it is definitely mostly their fault. They and Nascar should have definitely gotten together on this if the 3 compounds at the April tire test were not working.

I wonder if there’s some sort of communication issue between Nascar and Goodyear. It should have been easy enough for GY to say “hey, we’re having trouble with the Indy tire, can we schedule a test a couple weeks before the race?”

Instead…everyone just assumes that last year’s tire is gonna be fine…it was barely fine on the ugly car…what made them think it was going to be better, or even the same (which was bad enough) on a car that rolls over more on the tires?

I’ve always been more or less in the camp of “things improve over time with stability.” To a certain extent I always will be…but GY could have avoided this situation and chose not to. That is complacency, and a process failure. Might be time for a change.

Joe D'antoni
07/28/2008 10:35 AM

FYI—F1 didn’t refund our money for the 2006 USGP debacle, the check came from Michelin. They also gave us two (albeit crappy and unsalable) tickets the race the next year.

07/28/2008 10:40 AM

This race was like Groundhog Day. I felt that I was reliving the “All Star” race over and over and over again. Maybe they should have reversed the field at the last caution.

07/28/2008 10:42 AM

Janice – Jr. pitted under caution on lap 4 after Waltrip spun. This was also after Carl came down in front of Jr causing Jr to get into him. (Carl sent msg to Jr that he was sorry he didn’t see him, that was cool)This gave Jr’s team a chance to check the damage. Jr then stayed out under the competition yellow. I think it was Mark Martin in the 8 (Jr’s old number case you didn’t know) who was first driver to start pitting before the competition yellow. And later on Bobby Latonte then Nascar started closing pit road.

Dr. Zachary Smith
07/28/2008 10:47 AM

“Oh, the pain, the pain…”

07/28/2008 11:21 AM

connie…yes i know the 8 was jr’s previous number. and yes i know jr blew a tire. but he road around the track a lap before he pitted and the lovely announcers made a big deal about jr short pitting.

07/28/2008 11:46 AM

Goodyear’s fault, yes. I buy Kumho, screw loyalty.

Why do they show cameras, especially pre-race, that are bouncing in the wind? Yeah, I really want to see camera swaying on 42 inch TV. Surely the truck can see, before they pull that camera up for broadcast, that the shot is not good.

I try to stay in contact with events of Nascar just to the degree of trying my best not to support them. No tickets, no t shirts, no loyalty to sponsors if I can help it.

And agree 100%, closing pit road to stop the short pitting, what a joke, that would have kept it interesting….

07/28/2008 11:51 AM

And how in the heck could the tire test ever have produced good results??? I just read Jack’s comments, and he is right. What is the tire test criteria? This is where NA$CAR need to be more heavily involved. Was wonderful Pemberton at the tire test?? How can cords showing after 10 laps ever be acceptable, they actually think the track would come around??

07/28/2008 12:08 PM

Changing topics away from the tires for a moment – can someone tell me what in the heck was up with the configuration of Victory Lane? It looked like they just designated and found that space in the last minute. That can’t be the same Victory Lane they use for the Indy cars, is it? It was just one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen because it looked like there was absolutely no room for anyone. Oh well, I guess it was appropriate given the debacle of the race itself…

07/28/2008 12:16 PM

Communication between Good Year and NASCAR? It’s working just as intended!

Good Year: “Hi NASCAR…here’s your $$$ for the exclusive deal”

NASCAR: “Thanks buddies!”

End Communication.

Then again…we’re forgetting the true highlight of the weekend…not a single “Closer” or “Saving Grace” commercial all day long! Of course that’s offset by the fact we’re stuck with Brad Daughtery’s blathering for the rest of the season. Ugh.

07/28/2008 12:41 PM


07/28/2008 12:47 PM

a question for some of you to ponder.

Do you think bias ply tires could maek the racing better? I ask because the CoT is similar to the old cars of the mid 1980’s and maybe it’s just selective memory, but I recall the racing being a lot better back then.

07/28/2008 12:48 PM

or maybe if the cars go straight down the track instead of going sideways. they wouldnt grind across the track down very long straightaways.

Kevin in SoCal
07/28/2008 12:57 PM

I knew I could count on Douglas’ posts on these forums today. Always entertaining.

I have to say NASCAR was stupid to increase the weight of the new car from 3400 lbs to 3450 lbs, AND make the teams put the weight on the right side. Its time to lower the weight to 3200 lbs, and just change the size of the restrictor plate to keep the speeds down at Daytona and Talladega.

Also, there was mention of “diamond cutting” the track, but nobody dared mention the word “levigating.” I guess NASCAR didnt learn from the Coca-Cola 600 in 2005.

And to those who say NASCAR should have turned the drivers loose with 20-30 laps to go and let the teams worry about the tires, do you really think the teams would police themselves? Hell no! They would stay out as long as they could and hope someone else blows a tire, then come in and change theirs. After the near accidents Montoya’s and Kenseth’s blowouts caused, NASCAR wasnt willing to let that happen again and potentially injure someone.

[sarcasm]I blame Dale Jr. He was one of the three drivers at the tire test and obviously didnt give Goodyear the right information about his car so they could bring the right tire. LOL [/sarcasm]

D. Kimmitt
07/28/2008 01:02 PM

Been watching and listening to Nascar since mid 1960’s and must say that after attending many races at Dover and Daytona that NASCAR/FRANCE blew it big time. That race was the worst race that I ever seen in well over 40 years and I am darn glad that I have lost interest in this sport. If that is what it really is. Several years ago I said that it reminded me of the WWF and now I see that I was dead on target. All show and not much go anymore. You can’t even pay respect the the National Anthem with singers that do it justice. After 33 years in the Service, you disgust me with your “American Bandstand” attitude in that area. Shame on you for allowing it. Goodbye NASCAR. You have lost one more long term fan. NASCAR is going to be losing a lot more money in the near future once the fans realize that this sport is no longer fan oriented. Walk the walk Brian France. Forget all the BS. We have heard it all before.

don mei
07/28/2008 01:11 PM

Can we say “Bridgestone/Firestone?” boys and girls?

07/28/2008 01:38 PM

Firestone has a made for TV commercial there for thier product.

GOODYEAR can’t handle the road”

Brian France Sucks
07/28/2008 01:56 PM

Been a while since I waded in here, because its pretty evident that the NA$CAR brASS runs the weekly show like a monkey on a football. This however, was a new level of pitiful. I’ve seen local dirt track promoters with more sense than Brian France. Oh wait, he didn’t watch the race because he was too busy counting all the money he defrauded fans of. The point is that the major issue with the Turd of Today is that it will not turn. On a flat track with high speeds, this problem is exacerbated and extreme tire wear is to be expected. When teams run as much camber as they do , tire failure is inevitable. But NA$CAR won’t let the teams tinker with their abomination to make it handle better than a coal barge. With idiots like NA$CAR and Goodyear at the switch, you can’t expect anything short of a train wreck.

Jeff G
07/28/2008 02:54 PM

Why didn’t NASCAR “freeze” the field going into AND out of the pits during the “competition” yellow flags? At LEAST it would have allowed everyone to pick up where they left off.

I’ve been a NASCAR fan since the late 60’s. This was the WORST thing I’ve ever seen in sport.

I don’t think we have heard the end of it. A group of High School Juniors could have made better decisions during the race than NASCAR did.

Just noticin'
07/28/2008 03:25 PM

“The Top 10 survivors at Indy competed in three Chevys, two Fords, two Dodges and two Toyotas.”
Since that adds up to nine, I am guessing that the 10th car was the pace car?

07/28/2008 04:15 PM

Yes, Brett Bodine piloted the pace car to a solid top-ten finish.

07/28/2008 04:23 PM

Ya’ll act like your remote control batteries were dead. I flipped around and found some CORR racing!!! Loud trucks racing sideways in the dirt, YEE HAH!!! And BTW, they ran their entire races on the tires they started with. LOL. I think I’ll attend the Nashville race on the 9th and root for Hornaday. These guys race fender to fender and only get so many tires a race. What a concept!

07/28/2008 05:28 PM

Did you notice that while some drivers apologized to the fans, nary a NA$CAR official uttered one word of remorse?

NA$CAR should suck it up and issue refunds of 50% of the ticket price paid by those who attended the event. Goodyear should give them a 50% discount on services performed on their next visit to a Goodyear store.

Funky D
07/28/2008 05:43 PM

I hereby fine Brian France, Mike Helton, Robin Pemberton and Greg Stucker (Goodyear race tire director) $150000 each for violations of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR rule book:“actions detrimental to stock car racing.”

Please deposit fine money into my PayPal account. Thank you.

07/28/2008 07:26 PM

THis is really the wrong place to be venting our frustrations. We should be overloading NASCAR’s email box with this stuff now

07/28/2008 11:09 PM

Lets see now, my comments after reading some of the above:

1. NA$CAR “allowed” three (3) tire tests at Indy, but only selected teams participated, and limited cars! My understanding is that ALL tests proved tire failures were imminent! (I seem to remember three tests anyway, might be wrong on that), but a number of test have been run)

2. At last years Indy, tire problems existed, BUT GOODYEAR brought the exact same tire this year!

3. Somewhere along the way, Indy resurfaced the track via grinding, not exactly sure of the date, but it did eliminate the validity of some of the tests ran.

4. The CoT has been very harsh on tires, more-so than the “REAL” race cars that used to be used in the Cup series. BUT NA$CAR REFUSES TO ALLOW ANY CHANGES TO THE CoT!

5. GOODYEAR & NA$CAR knew a tire problem was going to occur, that is why they actually had Pocono tires at the Indy track as backups!

6. GOODYEAR TIRES HAVE ALWAYS FAILED ON THE RACE TRACKS, remember particularly Robby Gordon on the pace lap at Daytona, 2007 I believe, his tire simply EXPLODED! No race miles, no miles at speed!! Just one example of a GOODYEAR product! Go back and reveiw all the Cup races and you will see many “cut down tires”, as the announcers are allowed to say, including those that EXPLODE taking half the car with them!

7. Sunday exonerates Tony Stewart, maybe NA$CAR owes Tony an apology for calling him the the trailer early one Sunday Morning! Remember that episode?

8. And last but not least, GOODYEAR knew fully well their exposure on Sunday! I say once again GOODYEAR is totally at fault for this fiasco and embarassment of a race! They simply need to stand up to NA$CAR and tell them they cannot supply a tire for the CoT! NA$CAR HAS NOT done their homework on this car, and we the fans are paying dearly for the development of this vehicle! It should be developed fully and then put into service!

07/29/2008 08:21 AM

Looks to me like Goodyear knew exactly what was going to happen. Does anyone think the trucks full of Pocono tires ready to go was just a chance. I think not. They were there because Goodyear knew they screwed up. Wouldn’t even surprise me if it wasn’t to pad their pockets by selling all those extra tires at how much per set? Goodyear made out like a bandit Sun. As far as hurting their normal sales it won’t. Most people know the tires they purchase for their cars aren’t the same as a race tire and if that is the brand they always have purchased they’ll keep buying them.

07/29/2008 10:34 AM

Seems to this not too smart dawg, that a decent, or at least as decent a race as these cars are capable of putting on. At one of the highest profile tracks. Would be in every one’s best interest. With that in mind, & in light of past tire issues at Indy. If I were in charge of Goodyear racing div. I think I would have asked NA$CAR to provide a couple of Cars, (it’s not like they haven’t confiscated 3 of them lately) Gotten a couple of experienced drivers. Prevailed on Tony to make the speedway available. Then done my own tests, until I got it right. It seems to me that this entire black eye was just the result of poor planning.