NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
NASCAR officials are like brown recluse spiders in the basement. You can normally live with them… but you need to keep a wary eye on them. Those folks down on Speedway Boulevard in Daytona seem constantly up to some sort of mischief that starts out as innocent trial balloon, but rapidly inflates to their “Next Worst Idea Ever.” Over the last few years, NASCAR has rapidly built themselves a flock of zeppelins that could be called “The Next Worst Idea Ever Flotilla.” Oh, they won’t admit it. If the Chase were the Hindenburg, NASCAR would still be trying to sell tickets to board it while it burnt.
Oh, the lack of humanity.
In the meantime, NASCAR’s Truck Series sort of floats out there in the ether like your next door neighbor’s dog. It’s an affable enough beast, but you haven’t paid much attention to it since it was a puppy unless you caught it crapping on your lawn. The Detroit Big Three have pretty much written off the Truck Series, leaving Toyota to dominate, and I’ve lost interest in the series as a result.
Now, I dig pickup trucks. My lifestyle demands I own one. I think it’s been about thirty years since I haven’t had a pickup parked in the driveway. Almost all were Fords in the appropriate shade of Henry Ford black (well, one was yellow, but the less said about that the better.) They’ve ranged from Rangers to F-350s, and even in the ones that had air conditioning it never worked. The whole rest of the trucks did. Hard. The key to truck ownership is you keep what you got until it takes more work to keep it going then it does for you. Currently, I’ve got a GMC I got cheap that’s flirting with 200,000 miles. It’s a good truck, one that hauled home both this season’s wood pellets and the new dirt bike. The A/C works… I just never use it.
So whatever chromosome dictates truck ownership, I’ve got it. I used to watch the truck races religiously cheering for the Fords. When the Toyotas first started racing, I watched hoping to see them lose. Now that they’re winning, well, I take comfort in the fact when I drive to the local hardware store on Saturday morning or past job sites in these parts it’s still Fords, Chevys, GMCs, and Dodges I’m seeing actually being used as trucks. The Japanese are never going to get the concept of what an American wants a pickup truck for. It’s so ingrained in our culture and foreign to theirs they might as well try to rewrite the Star Spangled Banners using focus groups. Buddy, when I die, throw my coffin in the back of the GMC and haul it to my final resting place. I don’t stand much on ceremony.
I did take note of some changes that NASCAR is making to the Truck Series next year. It appears this whole experiment with not being able to change tires and add fuel on the same stop, originally devised as a cost-cutting measure, is over with because the fans hated it. They’re going to try out a new self-venting gas can, which means the teams will be able to have six guys go over the wall rather than seven by eliminating the catch can guy. OK, fair enough. I don’t know what a good catch can guy gets paid, but I imagine if it he’s at the top of his catch can game, it’s more than an Internet NASCAR writer. Also fair enough. I’ve never been run over sitting at this keyboard…
Teams also aren’t going to be allowed to run more than two straight races without using what’s called a “sealed engine.” (An engine that NASCAR places strategic seals on to ensure that it hasn’t been rebuilt since it was used in a previous race.) That’s said to be a cost-cutting measure. That’s a good thing, I suppose. With most of the big players out or on their way out, the Truck Series is struggling to fill their fields. There’s usually anywhere from seven to nine start and park teams that vacate the track before the first pit stop, and that’s in fields that never exceed 36 vehicles.
But sort of tucked in near the bottom of the PR memo was a note that starting next year teams will have the “option” of running a spec engine at all events held on tracks a mile and a quarter or less in length. A quick review of the 2010 truck schedule in its current form indicates that tracks of that length encompass 10 of 25 races. If, down the road, the rule were changed to allow spec engines at tracks of a mile and a half or less in length, that would swell the number to 19 of 25 races — or a clear majority of the schedule. That’s the thing about these trial balloons. While they seem to swell slowly, once they’ve got a foot in the door, they use the other to kick it in.
I mean, holds it right there, Bubba-louie. Spec engines? That’s unprecedented in NASCAR’s top three touring divisions. What, exactly, are the specifics here before we go dashing out onto thin ice covering uncharted waters? Who is going to build these spec engines? What are they going to cost? Is there going to be one Ford, one Dodge, one Chevy, and one Toyota spec engine, or will one size fit all? I tuned into the SPEED TV pre-race show to get a little insight. They were having a really bad costume party, so they didn’t say much. In fact, other than pantomiming making fists and trying to move my hands like a handcuffed midget driving a go-kart, I didn’t get a whole lot of insight into much Saturday. So I took off my superhero pajamas and did a little digging.
The new spec engine is a one size fits all design based on the (work it, work it, now) Toyota design, which is sort of unique in NASCAR racing engines as it has absolutely no relation to any engine ever designed to run on the street now or in the past. It was a clean sheet of paper design that NASCAR sort of rubber-stamped to get the once seemingly unfaultable Japanese automaker into the fold and writing the big checks. Presumably, if the teams choosing to run a spec engine already have an inventory of Rams, F-150s, or Silverados they’ll be allowed to run appropriate valve cover decals. Or I hope so. The first time I see a shot of an F-150 race truck with a Toyota emblem on its valve cover, I will officially quit being a race fan. Even the thought of a Silverado with a Toyota engine is troubling. (As an aside, does it seem since 1967 every new generation of Chevy truck is uglier than the last? But I’m cool with that. Trucks aren’t like women. They’re just supposed to work hard and get the job done, not look good in a Batgirl costume.)
As for price, nobody could offer me a clue. More than I’ve spent on my last four pickups combined, but less than I’d pay for a cherry GS455 Stage One convertible if I won the Powerball lottery was the range of guesses I got. Will teams own and rebuild the engines? Probably not. It will be a lease sort of arrangement. Who is going to build these spec engines and make sure they’re all equal? According to my Magic 8 ball, “Check back later… answer cloudy.”
Let me go on record without mincing words. I hate the idea of a “one size fits all” spec engine. NASCAR is famous for what we called “Mission Creep” starting back in the Vietnam era. Oh, sure, right now it’s an “option” for just ten races in the Truck Series next year. Then, the year after that, it will be those 19 races I mentioned. Then it will be mandatory in the Truck Series, and in the planning stages for the Nationwide and Cup series. NASCAR has already standardized the bodies on the Cup cars, and a spec engine is their next step in controlling competition. Down the road, if the car manufacturers decide to pull out of NASCAR racing, spec cars with spec bodies, spec chassis, and spec engines mean that NASCAR can at long last race what the clueless sorts at papers like the New York Times call “NAS-CARs.”
The fans haven’t reacted well to the McCars (COTs), McTracks (the cookie cutters), and the McPoints system (the Chase.) I think they’re going to hate a one size fits all spec engine almost as much. This trial balloon is just barely off the ground, so if you hate the idea as much as I do, now is the time to break out the darts. Like they used to say at weddings, “speak now, or forever hold your peace.” Or in this case, forever hold your piece.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
trojan horse??.. how about a burning rome? i saw this over at jayski… “NASCAR President Mike Helton will stop by SIRIUS XM’s Elvis Radio studio on the Graceland grounds to play his all time favorite Elvis songs” sound a little bit like Nero?
Ahh, so much out of a very fun article to read, a real writer with real words, really put together!
But with that said, your “in the appropriate shade of Henry Ford black (well, one was yellow, but the less said about that the better”!!
HOLY CRAP! a YELLOW TRUCK”?
Isn’t that what we would call a “compensator”?
And why demean Toyota about the trucks it builds? My wife, bless her soul, went out and bought a new F-150!
CRAP! (best I can say about that American piece of trash)!
Folks, trust me on this one! FORD DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO BUILD A TRUCK WITH ANY REASONABLE DURABILITY OR LONGEVITY!
Oh, and so she comes home, (it’s this independent wife thingy) with this F-150! With a 4.6 something or another under the hood, 4-wheel drive (with street tires yet), trailer towing package, and all the bells and whistles FoMoCo sells along with their “trucks”, and you know what??
Don’t even TRY to tow a trailer with it, cause it simply ain’t goin’ up a hill!
Why would “Ford”, put what equals the horspower of a small 4-cylinder in a BIG F-150?
Maybe to dupe the females, (sorry honey) into buying this crap!
So lets not rag on Toyota for selling P/U’s here in the good ole’ USA, cause we ain’t got it “down pat” yet! (and I ain’t Richard Nixon either, although he was a relative of sorts).
And why not a spec engine? everything else in NA$CRAP is “spec”!
(don’t get me wrong, I detest the very word ‘spec”, but we is there right now)!
Great article and lots of fun to read. Since NASCAR doesn’t listen to the fans, contrary to the award they just got for their “survey” prowess for the fan council, I’m sure that they will just go ahead and do whatever Brainless and his minions dream up. All the while, the fans continue to just drift away – from the track and from the TV. Spec engines — yeah and the IROC series runs a lot of races these days doesn’t it?
Matt, you said “Buddy, when I die, throw my coffin in the back of the GMC and haul it to my final resting place.”
When my grandmother passed away in 1981, she was to be buried in a cemetary deep in the Virginia mountains. It has rained the previous couple days and the road up (and I mean up) to the cemetary was a mudslide that didn’t happen. Her coffin was pulled out of the hearse an she ended up taking her last ride in the back of a rusty blue 1974 Chevy C10 4×4! And she got there in one piece. Gotta love them trucks.
Sounds like someone got a hold of the plans to save the ASA. To be honest, I’ve loved the truck series idea from the start – no plates, slingshot passes (for real), low entry cost, race on smaller tracks that required plenty of driver ability. For the first couple of years, any team that needed to could arrange with the local Sears to use their facilities to work on their truck while in town. It looked like NASCAR totally understood this grassroots racing thing. They tweaked it to where it was a great show by adjusting the pit stops and race lengths – giving it a ‘big deal’ feeling, with minimal cost increases
Then they went to larger tracks. And diluted the talent pool with Cup drivers and large teams. Then the television package moved to Speed. That’s part of the digital package in my area (and has been for years), and I’m cheap, so I haven’t seen a truck race for 4 or 5 years (when I saw one live at NHIS). The issue isn’t the costs of racing, necessarily (although thats symptomatic). Its the economic viability of the sport in general. The sponsorship dollars required to run the show at the big tracks has to be astronomical compared to a comparable event at a track like Evergreen Speedway. The trucks have been asked to be a top tier ‘event’ without being a truly top tier series – even though it seems NASCAR has tried to present the trucks as being practically equal to Cup and NW events. The relationship is much more like comparing Major and Minor League Baseball, and much less like comparing the National to the American League.
You’re right of course. If a spec engine is ever adopted in the truck series, it will eventually make its way into the Cup series. Obviously, most of us are not stupid so the last traces of brand loyalty would go the way of the dodo. Im not surprised that Nascar is heading this way. I spoke to an old friend of mine from Connecticut who is a retired Nascar crew chief a few days ago and I learned from him that Nascar now mandates engine dimensions, i.e a spec bore and stroke. Before that, teams would run torquier long stroke motors at some tracks and higher rev short strokes at others. Not anymore. So now as Matt suggests, we will get rocker cover decals to match the grille decals. Its time for someone to start organizing real stock car races again.
Jesus Christ! What’s with the slap at toyota for? So it’s OK for chevy to win damn near everthing all the time but whoa! let toyota do good and BAM! we’ve got to do something.
Thank God for the truck series because nascar won’t allow toyota to win in cup. When they did nascar took the engines to the dyno, took them apart, and showed everybody what they found.
But whoo hoo chevy and Jimmie are going to win again and all’s well in nascar land.
Ya’ll ever notice that nascar acts JUST LIKE the democrats? They get their foot in the door with an idea, then take over, and run it into the ground. Little by little, slowly, over time. While raking in the money.
I’ve been watching over the last few years, nascar slowyly killing the truck series with their STUPID ideas.
It’s too bad we can’t vote THEM out of office.
This long time fan has already quit watching the races on tv until something is done that returns things to sanity. I agree on the thought of toyota emblems on a silverado engine. If the future holds spec engines along with spec bodies and no affilation with chevy, ford, or dodge, I will never come back. It’s already turned into either IROC OR f-1 clones. What happened to our “American” sport. If nas$car keeps heading down this slippery slope they’re on, stick a fork in them. Good column. “no parity, just parody” should be their new logo. I’m feeling heart break like I’m witnessing the death of a long time friend.
Well this idea of a spec engine SUCKS!!! I will never watch a series that is all Toyota. I don’t want them in Nascar at all and now they will completly control one series. They will then try to control the other two and when everyone stops watching they will pull out like in F-1. Then there will be nothing left. Those of you supporting Toyota keep saying they have nothing to do with the drop offs in attendance and viewership, but you are wrong on that one. Is it all Toyotas faul? Of course not, there are many problems in Nascar at present (which we discuss on here all the time), but if you think that Toyota is not one of them, you are mistaken. And Turnip/Douglas, I have also driven many Ford trucks from Rangers to F-350s and they are very good trucks. I must admit I never had a yellow one though.
Matt said – “The fans haven’t reacted well to the McCars (COTs), McTracks (the cookie cutters), and the McPoints system (the Chase.)”
Hey Joe W. WHEW!
Stay away fom those yellow trucks!
Glad to know you didn’t “need” one!
And seriously, this F-150 has major problems!
I’ll spare the details!
But truthfully, I would never, ever, fess up if I had ever owned a “yellow truck”!
Matt at least has the “ga’noogies” to admit same!
See when you drive down the road and see a Penndot crew filling pot holes you’ll see ten guys, one one of them filling the pot hole (poorly) and nine of them leaning on shovels watching him whhile making union wages. What you don’t see is six other union guys inside and under each truck beating on delicate bits with hammers to cause parts to break thus keeping Union mechanics back at the barn employed.
In addition when whoever installed the required emergency lighting and radios he apparently used a weed whacker under the dash to cut the factory harness then drove it to a kindergarten sandbox and had the dumbest kid there splice in the wires while blindfolded.
Ol Yeller was a nightmare. I compounded the problem by taking out the tranny and rear diff trying to drag a tractor stuck in the mud out. I was really determined to get that tractor out. That tractor was really determined to stay put. In retrospect, engaging four wheel drive low, revving it to 3500 and hammering it into low was a mistake. It got the tractor free. Repairs on Ol Yeller weren’t free. Eventually a buddy at a wrecking yard hooked me up with a roll-over 350, the same year as mine. You get em cheaper if you don’t mind hosing what’s left of the previous owner after the ME is done out of the interior. The trans and diff were good, it had big tires and a lift kit, so I went ahead and lifted my truck then sold what was left of the donor truck. (Then had to buy the front diff out of the wreck from the wrecking yard I sold it to because the swapped in diff had different gears then my existing front axle.) If the truck looked stupid in yellow it looked worse sitting four inches higher in yellow. So I got another truck and used Ol Yeller to kill a patch of grass on the front lawn with a for sale sign on it. Eventually in desperation (and rather lit up if I recall) I hit the thing with six or seven cans of flat tan primer which turned it that curious shade of yellow that was so big on early 70s Malibus we call “infant crap yellow.” I sold it to some kid who presumably is still trying to figure out why the instrument panel lights go out when you use the left turn signals.
Matt! All I can say is your to darn good with the words and descriptions, I’m still laughing!
Thanks for the “explanation” (on why anyone would drive a “yellow truck”!)
(Unless it’s of the HUMMER variety, then I REALLY question their manhood!)
Your off the hook this time!
I’m off on yet another tangent!
Do you remember, course you would have to be my age or so, and that’s old for sure, but mid/late 50’s I believe it was, on certain Chrysler products, if you turned the left signal on, and hit the brakes, the radio would turn on! Something like that anyway! Sure surprised a lot of people when the radio blasted away!
I do recall that in Mopars (including my two Road Runners and one Rust Rotter) that if you put on the four ways and put your foot on the brake even with the keys out of the ignition the radio worked.
Turnip, you hate it when Brian blames everything but himself for NASCAR’s decline, right? Don’t blame anyone but yourself for buying the 4.6 with the weaker tranny and smaller rear axle instead of a 5.4 with the tow package for your truck.
All over the internet are posts from people who say the 4.6, designed for the ton lighter Explorer I believe, makes a severely under-powered truck. You didn’t listen to the fans and you got burned. Don’t blame Ford for it.
Now now everyone. Calm down. Danica will be here soon and all will be well again in NA$CARland.
Tears in my eyes, reading your response to Turnip. I love your articles, but this is a first for crying.
I did like ASA racing in the day, so I gotta be on the fence here. Jimmie-mania makes me sick, getting lets so, oh 25 of the 43 drivers to have a shot at winning any given race, hey I might actually tune in again then. I despise any over-rate junk…Cowboys, Yankmees, and of course JJ. Gordo same in the 90s, he made me stop watching then, same as JJ now. Puke wonderboy jr. What about 80% of engine being spec, little bit being Chevy, Ford, etc, then still seal the engine? I am not a big engine type of a guy to really know.
Wait and see…just wait. Obama admin pressuring Chevy and Dodge to duck out of nascar? Oh boy, how things could change. While I realize the venues have a different economic model, this thought process that we are going to pay someone millions to drive a Chevy, on top of their sponsorship money is really crazy. Can’t the economic model of the sport be tweaked to not even need sponsors? It would be interesting to see an article about this, contrast to other major sports. I think most folks don’t realize, or at least stop and think, just how many stinkin revenue streams there are into the nascar economic model, I would think many more revenue streams than most other sports, so lets start drawing a line in the sand. but if they can not flex to the times, if chevy would pull out, think about that affect.
This is a different world today, the American Dream is a stretch, and I think we will all work harder for less money more and more, due to global economy. If I don’t, the guy in India will. Sorry for the rant.
Danica is a sweet thang, that’s all I can say about that. yeeehaaaaa.
They are all running spec engines now, but designed by each manufacturer. After Toyota was given the pass to create a new V8 from a clean sheet of paper (and given Ford, Chevy and Dodge engines to reverse engineer for speed secrets), the others were also given that option.
All Nascar engines now are designed and built to a Nascar specific spec sheet, and have nothing in common with production V8’s other than having 8 cylinders and 4 strokes.
The truck series is still the best of the 3 series but aren’t they running spec engines already? Didn’t they institute this this season because the trucks were running faster than the Cup cars? And we can’t have that. That was just about the time where the racing has started to suffer.
Matt, tell us how you really feel about Toyota and the Speed prerace show. I actually liked the prerace show and I hardly watch any of them. They were having a good time with Halloween and they 10 times better than any ESPN broadcast I’ve seen this year. Of course ESPN can’t get out of their contract so they are going to make crappy races even more crappy with their telecasts. Jeez, I’m starting to sound like Matt now.
Leo, isnt it Ford’s fault for putting such a weak engine and suspension package in a truck and then marketing it to the public as being able to tow effectively? I remember UHaul putting out a notice saying not to rent trailers to Ford F150’s because they were so bad. Yes its Ford’s fault.
Trueman, I’ve actually been paralleling NASCAR to the Democratic party in my head for awhile but thought it was too crazy to ever mention. They both want to control everything and destroy what they want to control in the process by “leveling the playing field”.
Kevin in Socal, if you want a bigger truck for the room and safety aspects, could use the $2K in savings on the sticker price, a slight gain in fuel mileage, and never plan on towing anything more than a small bass boat, dirt bike, or load of mulch, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting the lower model F150. It has its niche like anything else.
Same with businesses that need transportation for tools and municipalities for emergency gear.
Ford never the marketed the low-end truck as being able to tow efficiently. If you look up the ratings on the entire model line you will see they only rate it slightly better than the best Ranger.
Kind of like only the wimpiest of wimpy models is actually rated at 20+ MPGs. The devil is in the fine print and being that the world has worked that way for my entire lifetime (30+) its only the buyers faults for not reading it.
Obviously, I’m the proud owner of a trouble-free ’06 5.4 with tow package because I did my homework before buying it.