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 May 18, 2009
The Key Moment: With two laps left, Tony Stewart powered by Matt Kenseth to take the race lead, then drove off into the sunset. Or he would have… but it was already dark out.
In a Nutshell: Prior to the final ten lap segment, the racing featured all the intensity and drama of a typical Brady Bunch episode.
Dramatic Moment: I’d guess what everyone is going to be talking about is Kyle Busch forcing the three-wide situation that wrecked Jeff Gordon. Watching the No. 24 car come back up across the track in heavy traffic with the driver’s side door panel facing oncoming cars was frightening.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
OK, I’ll admit it. I never thought Tony Stewart or Ryan Newman were going to win a race this year after deciding to leave established teams for Stewart-Haas Racing. You know crow sandwiches don’t taste that bad if you slather them with enough salt, pepper, and horseradish…
Jeremy Mayfield was asked to leave the track after having been found in the infield watching his team compete in the Open. Apparently, Mayfield left peacefully and without protest after the rules regarding his suspension were Claritin… I mean clarified for him. But it looks like this was just a shot across the bow in what’s going to be a nasty situation. Mayfield went on record as saying that he won’t be entering a rehab program, since he has no drug problem that would warrant such action. However, NASCAR has made it pretty clear without rehab they won’t ever reinstate Mayfield. While they still won’t say what substance they feel Mayfield was abusing, reading between the lines they are strongly implying it was a “recreational” drug. I think this one is headed for court, which isn’t good for either party — though it ought to earn some lawyers a bunch of coin. In the meantime, drivers and crew members made miserable by seasonal allergies should probably just do what millions of Americans without health insurance or who can’t afford these grossly overpriced allergy medicines do: suffer in silence.
I guess it’s sadly ironic now that Brian France cited Jeremy Mayfield’s team as one of the positive things about this year’s downturn in the economy that has eliminated a lot of cars. New teams were trying to make it into the sport on limited budgets, right?
OK, I don’t get it. Brad Keselowski was in the All-Star race because he won at Talladega after punting Carl Edwards into the fence. He’s competed in six Cup races to date. Meanwhile Bill Elliott, who has won a Cup championship, 44 Cup races, and two of these All-Star events back when they were called Winstons has to race his way into the field to try to make the big show? I guess with the constant barrage of annual changes to the rules, I missed the one that used to give automatic entry to the All-Star race to previous champions and winners of the event? In this era of declining ticket sales (clearly evident Saturday night) if I was a race promoter I’d want Elliott to have his Rocky Balboa shot at winning the All-Star race to sell tickets to some old school fans.
Yeah, call me Captain Cranky, but I can’t help but wonder if this whole All-Star race nonsense has outlived its usefulness. There wasn’t a green flag pass for the lead until lap 81, as drivers seemed to be just going through the motions waiting for those final ten laps. And while a million dollars is a huge sum to you or me, it isn’t a life altering amount of cash to today’s Cup drivers. I’d rather see a points-paying event at Rockingham instead of the All-Star race… or even another weekend off in the drastically too long Cup schedule instead. If there has to be one, why not run it as a preliminary to the Nationwide race on the Saturday night before the 600?
Would anyone else like to see an independent audit of the fan voting that got Joey Logano into the Big Show?
Does it seem to anyone else that drivers who were wrecked out of the race were just a little too nice and gracious in their post-race comments? Vanilla ice cream is nice, but this sport needs a little more Rocky Road.
Did Jeff Gordon come down on the No. 18 car to trigger the big wreck, or was Kyle Busch trying to force the issue? This much is clear: in contemporary stock car racing, if there’s a three-wide situation the No. 18 car is going to be in the mix somewhere.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
If Charlotte is supposed to be Jimmie Johnson’s house, the roof is leaking after his big wreck in the final segment.
Mike Skinner took a horrific hit in Friday night’s Truck Series race. Thankfully, Skinner walked away from that terrible wreck unscathed.
It’s hard to get happy about finishing 19th with a thoroughly trashed race car, but things could have turned out a lot worse for Jeff Gordon when he slid up across the track in heavy traffic after the big wreck.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
For Gene Haas, this had to be a pretty nice way to celebrate his first weekend out of prison.
If Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman want to call the preseason naysayers “idiots,” I will admit I am guilty as charged.
Kyle Busch has gone on record as never liking to finish second; but considering he had to pass most of the field twice Friday night in the Truck race, Kyle can be credited with a nifty bit of driving.
What’s the Points?
This race is pointless… in more ways than one.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — I’ll give this one three cans of synthetic clear beer. The format is supposed to produce drama, and to some extent it did — at least in the final ten laps. But the whole thing was so artificial it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Next Up: Racing fans will be treated to what I still consider the greatest day in auto racing, the World 600 and the Indy 500. Take the phones off the hook, stock up on Cheezy Poofs, and make sure there is an abundance of cold ones in the fridge. The Memorial Day Doubleheader lives on.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Yeah, the new rule is only past champions and all-star race winners from the past ten years are eligible, thus Elliott was excluded. I’m still surprised he didn’t win the fan vote (or come close) though considering how many times he was most popular driver in the ’80s and ’90s, and considering today’s most popular drivers were all in the main event…
Matt, I am as disgusted with NASCAR as you are. I am a 21 year old student at UVA (from San Francisco) with no reason to go to Richmond, Martinsville, or even Bristol. A couple of weeks ago the 1996 August Michigan race was on MASN and I have never been more excited. Cars that had been passed for position could pass back. Jarett passed Martin for the lead with less than 10 to go and Martin was able to challange Jarett all the way to the end. Michigan in 1996 looked like Talladega or Daytona today. NASCAR’s complete disregard for anything resembling racing has not only infuriated former fans, it has also turned off anyone else from following the sport. NASCAR is in serious trouble. The races are dull, most of the tracks are all the same, and sponsorship has gotten outrageous. At the same time, every fan knows this. Why is NASCAR so stubborn? Why is NASCAR so full of itself? Why is NASCAR unable to admit it is wrong?
I have to admit that was the most boring all-star race ever. I think the COT inability to pass for the lead was more evident at this race than ever.
Waltrip gushing over Busch was pathetic. Enough said.
The Three Stooges in the booth. The wannabe cowboy in the “hotel”. Ric Flair. Enough said. For the first time in 35 years I’m more excited about the Indy 500 than Nascar.
i too was wondering how “sliced bread” made the all star race. i figured home depot made their 300,000 employees vote him in as part of their employment agreement. i think aj almindger would have been better…at least been more excited about making it into the show. but hey, what do i know. maybe na$car is a new non-drug cure for insomina. with how racing has been this season, i don’t look forward to 600 miles of racing this coming weekend in charlotte. better yet…should we just see how long the fans that are there stay there all night, especially if that 88 bunch runs as they’ve ran all season long? 600 miles of dw profession his adoration of kyle busch. that relationship is getting so old. let’s see, who will win the race….johnson, kyle busch or some team running hendrick equipment. how’s that for a prediction.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the last segment. Sleep overtook me. Too boring, I suppose.
Your quote: “Dramatic Moment: I’d guess what everyone is going to be talking about is Kyle Busch forcing the three-wide situation that wrecked Jeff Gordon.”
You make it sound like it was Kyle’s fault that Gordon caused this wreck! If Gordon could not keep his car on the bottom, then don’t try to pass there!
Or maybe your implying that three (3) wide racing is a bad thing!
I dunno, I know that Gordon moved up the track about four lanes!
Let’s call it like it is, or was anyway!
“I was a race promoter I’d want Elliott to have his Rocky Balboa shot at winning the All-Star race to sell tickets to some old school fans”.
I couldn’t have said that better myself. How does the 96 get in and the 21 not?
That was the most boring race in recent memory. I like Smoke and I’m glad he picked up the win but, as you pointed out, there was virtually no side by side racing for any useful positions. This car is RUINING RACING.
You need to go back to the video, Matt. Gordon went into the infield with the driver’s side exposed, but he came back the opposite direction —- with the passenger side ready to take any shot that might have come. Kinda takes a little drama out of your dramatic moment, don’t ya think?
wait hold on, how the hell DID Logano get in the field? WTF did I miss?
And yes, as usual, the Camping World Truck Series put on the best show of the weekend… plenty of side-by-side racing, no certainty as to the winner… Although a lot of the excitement was Kyle Busch wrecking the whole field… :(
Hold up there Matt. Lets put the monkey where he belongs. Cousin Carl got punted because he threw not just a block, but a double block. Don’t blame the kid, this one’s on NA$CAR, & Tony Stewart. You are correct about the eligibility change. The heck with Million Dollar Bill, Who earned this name when a Million was something. What totally spoiled it for me, was no Mikey. I mean, like, come on! Forcing a great super star like him to actually have to qualify. Then to have to watch him finish something like 15th in a field of also rans. That was just too much. Besides keeping him out forced DW, total broadcast professional that he is.( OK, in the intrest of fairness. I will have to admit to noticing just a bit of leaning toward his Bro. & Toyota, but that’s probably just me.) To transfer his allegence to Shrub. Anyway I’m sure he was crushed, by Mikey’s absence as much as I was. Again, in the intrest of fairness, it must be pointed out that even the Masters, has changed the automatic for past winners from lifetime, to ten years.
I attend the race rather than have to endure Larry, Darrell, and his other brother Jeff on TV. I knew the racing was going to be crappy when David Stremme was able to stay up front in clean air for practically the whole qualifying race. The only excitement was seeing McMurray come from 32nd to 2nd in less than 40 laps.
As for the All-Star race itself… well, I don’t mind one car dominating a race if they’ve done their homework and they’re that much better than the other cars, but even without Jimmy Johnson leading the whole first 50 lap segment, there was practically no racing for position anwhere else on the track. Kurt Busch & Jeff Gordon raced each other a bit, but that was it. I felt like I was in Fontana.
Thanks to the contrived format of the race, the last 10 lap segment was pretty exciting, and Stewart was a popular win. As for me personally, I was just glad that the 70% chance for thunderstorms was wrong and the weather was great.
At first, I kinda hoped that Elliott would get the fan vote and make the all-star race. Then I realized that even if he was voted in, he would be about as competitive as the 96 and the 09. Better a competitive car make the race than one voted in simply for sentimental reasons.
Thats crazy talk Matt; allergy medicine costs around one of those 99c value meal items everyone eats too much of. We could compare it to the costs of smokes or going to a bar for a drink or two. It all comes down to what is more important to the individual. Oh, it’s not free so that makes it an overwhelming burden. Let’s get real and skip the hyperbole.
Matt ,you seem surprised that the action was missing in action until the final segment . The first three segments of the race are just a way to get to the final segment . No reason to worry about winning any of the first segments , it won’t have any effect on winning the last one , the only one that matters .
Did you even watch the race?
Gordon clearly lost control of his car and slammed UP into Busch.
PS. As for just sucking it up, & living with allergies. With certain allergies, my eyes tear up, & my vision gets blurry. Do you really think in the interest of safety, that would be OK for a driver going nearly 200 mph, or a crewman going over the wall in traffic on pit road? Give the guy a break, he was just supporting a sponsor just like NA$CAR want’s fans to do.
This was the first “Winston” I have missed live since 1997. We decided not to go for a number a reasons, one being that the racing had sucked for the last couple of years and chose Darlington instead this year. The best format they ever had was when they eliminated drivers in each segment. That lasted one year because Rusty was eliminated in the first segment and went crying on the TV about how HIS fans came to see HIM race and they got cheated. Well I am sure they did not go to see him race around in the rear! The first 90 laps of this race and the entire Open were a joke and I am glad I spent my money at Darlington last week…and will again in 2010 unless they make some dramatic changes!
Joey Lagono winning the fan vote? NO WAY, WHAT A JOKE! Bill Elliot had to race his way in because the all-star race only takes past all-star race winners going back 10 years. But HOW DID Bobby Labonte get in? Is there a past NA$CRAP Champion provisional for 1 past Cup Champion, with Bobby Labonte being the most recent Champion, thus eliminating Bill Elliot? JR. only got a top 10 finish thru attrition, hardly ‘raced’ his way there. What will NA$CRAP do in 2011, if JR. doesn’t win a race in 2010 and can’t use the 10 year all-star race winner provisional?
And another thing…
The burnout competion, although for charity, is pretty lame, even if you’re there in person. However, having Rick Flair as a judge for it was entirely appropriate.
Did everyone get the ironic tone of having “Natureboy” Ric Flair at a Nascar race?
Nas-WWE-Car…that could not have been more appropriate conjoining of two more scripted, faux-sports in the U.S. today.
The true regard of Brian France toward his grandfather’s business could not be more blatant than Saturday night’s example.
Tony’s win didn’t surprise me nor has SHR success. The one thing that did surprise me was the fan reaction to Tony’s win. I have never seen so many fans stay that long after a race and not only that but they were chanting his name. I have to say that was very nice to see/hear.
Matt! You forgot to mention the best part of next Sunday…the Monaco G.P.in the morning. If you want to watch a proper broadcast of a race with good commentators and real camera work, watch the race at 8 in the morning. And check out how many commercial breaks there are. When they cut to in-car cameras it lasts a lot longer than a few seconds.
I’m guessing that Flair’s appearance was at the invitation of LMS and not Nascar. I’m sure that if Brian France had anything to do with it, he’d have selected someone much more qualified… like maybe Paula Abdul.
Boy , i gotta agree with the F1 telecasts being the best in racing . Well , the NHRA broadcasts are pretty good too . Anything but the Joy , Waltrip , McReynolds , Hammond fiasco . Can’t force themselves to quit talking , almost never right about anything , stuck on a small group of drivers and one owner .
And it sure has been great to listen to Bob Jenkins on the Indy broadcasts . Another real pro .
The whole Indy qualifying crew on Versus was great! Very knowledgeable about the subject, and they didn’t just inerview the top 3 or 4 – they did in depth interviews with all 35 or so drivers on hand!! Happy we are almost done with Joy, Waltrip and McReynolds !!! (and especially Hammond and his partner!!)
The cup champ in the last 10 years/all star winner in the last 10 years rule has been around since I started watching in 04. The only entry rule that changed this year was no more car owner entries, hence why the 12 and 20 weren’t already in the field.
There are plenty of reasons to be pissed at Nascar, at least pick one that is alive. Bill Elliot has had to race the past few years. Labonte has been in the All Star race the last few years due to the champ in 2000.
Regarding Darrel Waltrip’s overly enthusiastic rooting for Kyle Busch: At least he’s rooting for a winner. It was even more pathetic the last few years listening to him slobber over Junior.
No, both are equally sickening.
Hey hey…lookit me…I got to see the race after all this year (ain’t got SPEED but a bud invited me over. I had missed the last two years). I didn’t miss much after all, what a let-down. Two cans of warm urine is all I gave it.
Logano the fan fav? ‘Dinger should have gotten it! Now I hope we will see an all out campaign from Red Bull for Scott Speed to beat the (slight-of-hand) 20 team. GO SS!!!
I’m a huge Gordon fan, and can say without a doubt he screwed himself of that three-wide deal. Then, he sounds like a donkey pointing the finger at Busch who “should’ve gave me more room”. As articulate as he is, he needs to keep his blow-hole closed sometimes.
Tony wasn’t overly impressive his rookie season in the Busch series. Also, his WoO team struggled the first few years until he got hooked up with Donny Schatz
I have never been a Stewart fan but was glad to see him leave Gibbs after Gibbs suddenly jumped ship to Toyota. I have admired the progress he and Newman have made this year until realised he is just a extension of the Hendrick dynasty. Where would Stewart be without HMS? The same place Haas was at the end of 2008.I lost any respect I might have for Hendrick when he bought J Gordon from Bill Davis. It pleases me to see Earnhart’s failings at HMS because knowing the $$$ that Rick has invested in Jr. would have as well been if stuffed up a wild hogs behind and hollered Soooeeeee…
Brent , You might want to check your stats again . Tonys’ team with Danny Lasoski , won about all there was to win in WOO his first year as an owner . And while you’re right about him not dominating the Busch series his first year , he ran at the front a number of times . In fact he came within 1/2 a lap of winning at Rockingham .
Pie-face, Haas has always had HMS help/support. Nothing changed when Tony came on board. The only things that changed were the people.
WHAT race did you watch? Were you in some bar or maybe the Speedway Lounge with another blithering idiot named Brian France? CLEARLY Gordon the Twerp came UP on the 18 car, not DOWN as you put it, and his drivers side was only exposed to TWO cars after hitting the outside fence….You and your column just lost hundreds of points of CREDIBILITY, McLaughlin….Hammercy!!!!
Accusing Keselowski of “punting” Carl Edwards is foolish, to say the least. Not even Carl saw it that way.
“Kyle Busch forcing the three-wide situation “
What the F are you talking about? Kyle didn’t force ANYTHING on that! It was Ryan who choose to go up top and Gordon who tried to go low too hard. Gordon even said so on Sirius. Jeez it’s one thing to dislike Kyle but c’mon!