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.
Huddled together against the cold, their eyes scan the horizon for the lights of the Miami cityscape. It’s been a long and sometimes perilous journey they’ve endured, and it seems like it’s lasted forever across uncharted waters the likes of which they’ve never seen before. Dispirited and increasingly concerned, they keep looking for those bright neon lights. Some are on the verge of giving up; others already have. Still others refuse to give up hope. They’ve come so far, and they’ve waited so long. They’ve suffered cruelly under a mercurial dictator who refuses to listen to his people. Things have got to be better ahead, or their hopes and dreams will be shown to be a hoax. One way or another, they know the long journey is almost over — but even the toughest of them have begun to wonder why they’ve come all this way. After all, there’s no guarantee that despite having come this far, they’ll ever be able to enter the Promised Land.
A vessel full of boat people trying to sail from Cuba to Miami? Perhaps they’re in similar straits. But in this case, I’m referring to the NASCAR fan army heading towards Homestead in their recreational vehicles and rental cars to see the end of the 2009 NASCAR season this weekend.
It sometimes seems an eternity since this season kicked off back in February with the Daytona 500. My home here in the Northeast was shrouded in snow that day. Since then, we’ve been through the spring, a wet and cool summer, and the annual fall celebration of the riot of colors, as the foliage across the rural horizons enchanted us. (Best viewed from the seat of a motorcycle, for the record, and there is of course only one brand of motorcycle a proud man would be seen aboard.) Now, all the leaves are brown, and once again, the skies are gray.
It’s been a big year for me. This summer I turned 50, but having reached that milestone, I’ve decided growing old beats the alternative, with all due apologies to Pete Townsend. I also underwent a major cancer scare that led to my unexplained absence here on these pages in late August and early September I never told you about. I ended up sitting here at this keyboard banging out a will rather than a racing column one weekend, genuinely convinced that the next day after my tests I was going to be told I have terminal colon cancer. To my fans and friends, all’s cool, nothing to worry about. False alarm. To my foes and detractors, sorry to disappoint you, but it appears at least for now if I’m going to check out early it’s going to be via the bike, not the cigarettes. I’m sure at least some of you reading this have had a similar health scare during your life. News that you’re going to live awhile longer is a thrill, but it also changes your perspective on life… and makes you wonder why you’re wasting beautiful Sunday afternoons watching boring races when life offers such an intoxicating variety of other choices.
In the off-track automotive world, this has been an unprecedented year. Two of the Big Three had to turn to the Feds for billions of dollars in aid just to stay afloat. Ford told Obama, “We can get by without the checks right now, but if you don’t mind, set some of those corporate welfare dollars aside for us just in case we need it down the road.” Chrysler wasn’t so much sold as it was given to Fiat. Countless auto producing plants (some of which turned out the material that won World War II for the good guys) were shuttered… or will be soon. Scores of assembly line workers were added to the rolls of the unemployed. Even the once all-conquering Toyota lost money in record amounts, and if they’re not yet on the ropes, they’re at least wobbling as it turns out the frames on their trucks rust, some of their vehicles seem to accelerate uncontrollably for no reason, and the floormats in Camrys are killing people. Cash for Clunkers helped staunch the bleeding, but the economic wisdom and long-term environmental benefit of that program is something our children and grandchildren are likely to still be debating. That only seems fair, seeing as they’ll likely still be paying for the program…
On the track, the news in stock car racing was almost as grim. For years, NASCAR has tried to tout a product that was increasingly more entertainment than sport. The problem this year was that product grew increasingly less entertaining. Three years into this unholy new car experiment, you’d have thought the teams would have figured out these unseemly little son of a bitch CoT aberrations, but only one of them has. One team within that organization has got this “postseason” strategy: sort of dance for the first 26 races to get into the Chase, then let them have it right in the kisser for the last ten. It’s gotten to be like watching three of the four members of the Justice League head into a room full of straight jacketed retards (sorry, intellectually-challenged individuals) and kick their asses. No, not every season is going to be 1992. If that were the case, us oldheads wouldn’t remember 1992 so clearly. But please, Dear God in Heaven, don’t let another one be as miserable as 2009. And, God, I know I’m always asking for that next mega-sized Powerball winning lottery ticket, but it’s genuinely cool with me if you give it to Brian France, so he can buy a NFL franchise in Los Angeles and ruin the NFL rather than systematically destroy the sport I’ve loved all these decades any further. I am convinced that nothing is going to get better in this sport until Brian Zachary France, who has demonstrated the intellectual capacity of a purple butt baboon too intellectually lazy to pluck even the fruit from the lowest hanging branches, is no longer involved with NASCAR.
OK, let’s be fair. The new side-by-side system for restarts was a major step forward. It’s just too bad NASCAR constantly decides to throw bogus debris cautions to line those cars back up side-by-side and wreck some contending cars on an almost weekly basis. And the decision to standardize earlier starting times for next year is heartening. At least fans will only have to waste a majority of an afternoon, not an entire afternoon watching this foolishness. There will still be time for a family barbecue, a quick scoot ride, or a session of washing down a fistful of Valium with JD once the race ends to deaden the pain.
I live in the Philadelphia TV market. Stick and ball sports here have spent decades chanting, “Well, maybe next year.” So, hope springs eternal. I’m also a Springsteen fan. If folks who don’t like Bruce write his stuff off as “car songs” (and car songs are good!) the Boss’s true message can be summed up as “hope.” Someday, we’re going to rise above these Badlands, and they’ll start treating us good. We’ll ride to the sea and wash these sins off our hands. Don’t worry, Baby, don’t you fret, we’re living in the future and none of this has happened yet. So you’re scared and you’re lonely and thinking maybe we ain’t that young anymore, show a little faith…Hope. You give up hope and you start dying, little by little, piece by piece. So yeah, I’m hoping maybe next year. Maybe next year, the racing won’t be lame. Maybe we’ll have a barnburner of a title race again. Maybe there will be a return to side-by-side racing and slingshot passing. Maybe the cars will stay right side up at Talladega. Maybe we’ll spend Sunday evenings all pumped up about the racing we watched rather than disheartened, angry, and cynical. Maybe Brian France will find an occupation he’s good at. They’re opening new Wawas all the time and need management trainees. And maybe the Eagles will win the Super Bowl. Yeah, right. I’m a Springsteen fan from Philly, but like I said, I’m also 50 now. I don’t set out milk and cookies for Santa anymore. (Well OK, so last year I did, but I really, really wanted a new Challenger and I hedged my bets by leaving a six pack and a fifty dollar bribe beside the milk. I figured maybe Santa would get drunk and hotwire me one.)
But optimism is for the future … not the present. Right now, it’s gotten so bad, I’m half-expecting to see a bunch of NASCAR fans leave Miami aboard a makeshift boat, heading off towards Havana thinking, “It can’t be any worse.”
So one way or another, the 2009 NASCAR season ends this weekend, which means it’s time to say good riddance to bad rubbish. For the last several seasons, by this late in the year I’ve been thinking, “OK, this is it. I’ve taken all I can take, and I can’t takes anymore. I quit.” Call it the burnout factor after a nine month long plus season. But I always change my mind, and I’ve decided more than likely I’ll be back next year; after all, hope springs eternal.
But if the racing is as bad in 2010 as it was this year, it will be my final one writing about this mind-numbing stupidity — and I ain’t even promising I’ll last the season. I hear the weather in Havana is nice this time of year…
Roll, roll me away,
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
“Three years into this unholy new car experiment, you’d have thought the teams would have figured out these unseemly little son of a bitch CoT aberrations, but only one of them has.”
That is hard to imagine since testing isn’t allowed. Until they allow teams to test at real NASCAR tracks we will be stuck in this cycle of arrested developement.
So yeah, I’m hoping maybe next year. Maybe next year, the racing won’t be lame. Maybe we’ll have a barnburner of a title race again. Maybe there will be a return to side-by-side racing and slingshot passing. Maybe the cars will stay right side up at Talladega.
you and all of the posters here who want to be like you blame the “bad” racing on the COT. so if that is the case then why would you think you are going to see anything different next season? this might be the problem. all you guys sit around all off season missing nascar and get your hopes up that you are going to see something different when nothing has changed. then the season comes and you are all upset because everrything you hoped and dreamed about for 3 months doesn’t happen. if you really believe the COT is the reason for the “bad” racing then i don’t see why you would hope for something different.
as far as a barnburner of a title race. who knows? if you think back to the mid 90s jeff gordon was only 30 something points from ripping off 4 titles in a row. his dominance came to end but only because ray evernham decided to pursue something else. even still though… history shows this sport is cylical. nobody stays on top forever regardless of what the points system is. but if the racing is as bad as you make it out ot be will a good title fight, especially under a contrived system liekt he chase, really make you feel any better? i bet if there were 50 points seperating 5 guys heading into the finale next year you and the matt wannabes would still find something to cry about.
and lastly the cars staying upright at talladega is a 50/50 chance. if you have been paying attention it’s been that way for 20 years now. i would say more times than not you can expect a car to go upside down at one of the four plate races.
up up and away!!!!!
Your “I’m referring to the NASCAR fan army heading towards Homestead”
More like a PLATOON, rather than an ARMY, that will be going to Homestead!
my sister is mentally challenged, or as was referred to in the 60’s, retarded. sometimes i just have enough of people throwing that word around!!!!
AND! To quote: “Three years into this unholy new car experiment, you’d have thought the teams would have figured out these unseemly little son of a bitch CoT aberrations, but only one of them has”
How can ANYONE figure out the piece of CRAP called the CoT, or more appropriate, the POS!
THERE IS NOTHING TO WORK WITH!
Oh sure, Hendrick has fiugured out some small little nuances of the POS!
BUT AT GREAT COST!
Gee, mentioning that, wasn’t one of the ideas surrounding the POS is that it was going to “reduce” costs?
Well, it may for some teams, you know, 20th or worse, but the BIG $$$$ are being spent by the rich, i.e. Hendrick, and what you see on the track is the result!
What? 5 Hendrick cars in the chase?
What more proof does one need?
The POS sucks!
There is no adjustability!
And your “So one way or another, the 2009 NASCAR season ends this weekend, which means it’s time to say good riddance to bad rubbish.”
didn’t carl edwards win a season high 9 races in the COT last year? i don’t pay as close attention to the sport as you guys do but was he driving for hendrick last year? how about kyle busch? he was at gibbs last year right? he did win 5 races this year didn’t he?
Thank you Matt for the years of entertaining articles. I have read your stuff since it first appeared on another site owned by ISC that I won’t name. I was elated when I finally figured out your new address on this website. I consider it a pleasure to have read your articles over the years.
I am going to miss you and your articles as, let’s face it, nothing will change next year.
The COT: Nope. Unless something changes, the teams (i.e. the guys that could probably build a better car) aren’t allowed to fully change the templates.
b) The Chase: I can only see this “process” becoming more contrived as the ratings sink (the only hope is a NFL lockdown in 2011 – which will quickly be forgiven by fans who want their fantasy fix.)
c) The rich will get richer: Look at 10 years ago and the number of unique owners. NASCAR might as well franchise the remaining teams before one of the big guys gets bored, pulls out their funding and research, and moves on.
d) Brian France: The problem with Brian is that Brian loves Brian and thinks Brian is great. Yes NASCAR will occasionally throw the fans a biscuit here or there. But even if there are new changes or rules, based on the recent batting average, I don’t think things will get better.
I could go on and on – but I think you get my point.
I recently went back to the town where I went to college. Yes it was the same town; with some of the same bars / restaurants still there – but it wasn’t the same. And I knew then that it would never be the same town that I loved with a passion just a decade earlier.
In the same way, the NASCAR you loved is gone (and based on your stories, I am sad that I missed out). NASCAR is still here and while it looks like the sport you loved, it won’t ever be the same as the one that you remembered (perhaps through rose tinted glasses).
So I sincerely wish you the best of luck in the future and I hope you can find something in your life that you love enough to write about.
Why does hope spring eternal? Why do folks fall in love and marry when over 50 percwent of such unions end in divorce.
Yeah, the COT will be back next year. I don’t like it but given Brian’s obstiancy, he’s not going to cave in to the overwhelming evidence his baby was stillborn.
But maybe next year some other teams will figure out what Rick is up to. In watching the 24, 5 and 48 car it seems to be something in the front end geometry that allows faster exit speed off of corners. If I figured that out, and I’m not the brightest bulb on the Tannenbaum, these guys have to be in on the why if not the how. With the amount of personnel changes annually secrets are tough to keep in the garage area. Richard Childress admits his team’s struggles are due to the front end of the cars they built during the last off season. THey’ve had to cut the snouts off of all of them and redo them. My guess is a lot of other teams are going to be wearing out cutting torches this winter.
Maybe, just maybe, Johnson will piss in somebody’s corn flakes and we’ll have a genuine rivalry in the sport other than the latest episode of “Everyone Hates Brad.”
A ton of teams have to renew thier sponsorships at the end of 2010. So maybe juast maybe, drivers will actually go for wins (which occur during the season when contracts are negotiated, not at the end.) Drivers fighting for wins to protect the comfortable lifestyle they enjoy. Sign me up.
Hope springs eternal despite having been, kicked by the wind, driven by the sleet, and having it’s head stoved in it’s still on its feet.
Here’s a nasty little secret about me. I’m actually an optomist. You know the whole deal about showing a little faith cause there’s magic in the night? Well that’s all right with me. Or maybe it’s just all the weed, whites ansd wine I’ve consumed over the years.
Sorry Janice. Isn’t mentally challenged just a pretty word for retard? It’s like a car being mechanicly challenged. Get as life as well as a sense of humor. Thanks Matt for having one of the few columns where fans can read something that doesn’t hold to the nas$crap company line. The commentators and announcers gust so much about the state of the series so much it makes me want to puke. Or should I use vomit and pretty it up? Well I voiced my opinion on things so I guess I’ll have some breakfast Or should I wsay break fast?
I’ve avoided responding to any of your comments so far because it’s like rewarding a whiney six year old with candy to shut him up… it’s exactly what he wants and only lasts until the candy is gone. But what the heck, I’m feeling a little cocky this morning…
First of all, if you want to call me a “Matt-wannabe”, fine, but understand that’s not an insult. I’m not here to defend Matt’s rep or his opinions; he doesn’t need me for that. I’m just saying that if you want to compare me to someone, comparing me to a guy who calls it like he sees it, is honest in his opinions, and loves the sport as much as I do, well, that’s okay by me. No offense taken.
It apparently bothers you that some of us “old-timers” still hold out hope for better racing. Know what? That’s your problem. While I can’t say for sure, I’d bet my Johnny Winter collection against your Justin Timberlake that not one reader of this column has been “enlightened” by your condescending blather. We hope for better racing because we love this sport. If that bothers you, then that’s too bad.
As for your comment “I bet if there were 50 points seperating 5 guys heading into the finale next year you and the matt wannabes would still find something to cry about.”, let me just say that if that were the case, I’m sure you’d be there to say I told you so. You seem to need that.
just so i am clear on where you stand because i do respect your opinion. you are saying that the COT itself may not be the sole cause of the “lame” racing but the fact that hendrick has come so far with it so much faster than anyone else? that makes so much more sense than just blaming the car itself.
hasn’t nascar been this way for some time though? i haven’t been following for as long as you have but i can remember through the years everyone whining and complaining at one time or another when a manufacturer got a change. keep in mind i have been a die hard martin fan since 95 and used to pay close attention to jack roush rant anytime he felt chevrolet was recieving an unfair advantage. i was also there in 97 when they rolled out the taurus for the 98 season. my all time favorite car is the 98-99 taurus. they had a great amount of success with that car as i recall. i can even remember in 2000 when rusty was whippin everyone on fridays nascar did a tear down on his engine at the request of ray evernham and put it on display for all to see. my point here is that for so many years now it always seems like one team gets ahead of another. that forces everyone else to work harder and they eventually catch up and even pass whoever is dominating at a particular time.
i will let you on a little secret i have. i don’t like the COT either but i also don’t like wasting time on complaining about it. i think the old car was fine in regards to safety and competition. i could even live with the COT if they would just lose the hideous wing. i don’t like the splitter much either but i could live with it. having said that i dont like the COT i have to defend it a little. i recall many drivers and fans complaing about the old car being too easy to drive and the whole aero thing and not being able to pass. everyone cried out they needed a “boxier” car like the trucks for better racing. well here we are. they did exactly what everyone was saying they should do and still nobody is happy. i personally put it on the teams and the drivers more than i do nascar. as you have pointed out… hendrick has found a new way to make this car pass and go fast as mark martin and jimmie johnson have demonstrated. i think the problem may be the talent level of a lot of the sprint cup drivers today. i bet if you were to put some of the old school drivers in these cars, your heroes from yesteryear, they would be putting on exciting shows in these COTs.
I say the same thing every year, too. “This is it. I’m done.” And I still come back in February. I don’t know what it is….too many exhaust fumes consumed from atop a motorhome in the infield at TMS perhaps? Regardless, I feel a little more whipped and worn out each season. Not to mention patronized (Labor Day in Atlanta? Come on, you can’t pacify real fans with a substitute – that’s like giving me Jack Daniel’s with no alcohol in it and calling it good.)
Anyway, have fun in the off-season. Glad your health scare was only a scare. I will probably do some camping, enjoying my Camels and Lone Star Beer without the mind-numbing racing product on TV.
just so we’re clear. i have absolutely no problem with matt. i have been reading his stuff for years and enjoy his take on things. not to mention i always get a good laugh or two monday mornings reading his column. he has credibility in my eyes and i appreciate his knowledge and passion for the sport. i enjoy playing devil’s advocate sometimes because i genuinely want to hear his opinion on a thought of mine. but you’re right…. i do sort of have a problem with you guys that idolize him and want to be like him. not because they idolize him but because of their ignorance. i actually see people post here and say that a race was a piece of shit because matt said so. that to me is ignorant. watch for yourself. form your own opinions. to come on here and argue with me abotu a race you didn’t even watch is just ignorant.
my other problem with guys like you carl is your claim that racing was so much better in the 70s or the 80s. when i ask how so all you do is resort to insults or not answer at all. i started following the sport in 94. i became a die hard in 95 and i honestly dont see a huge difference during that 15 year span. now im not saying there has been no difference but in my eyes it hasnt been completely different. i have watched plate race after plate race and for the most part they have been consistent for all 15 years. i have watched fuel mileage races every single year and i have watched races won by leads of 5 seconds or more. none of that is new in 2009. yet race after race you people get on here and complain about how bad the racing is compared to what it used to be. if you’re comparing it to racing in the 70s or 80s maybe it’s time to move on or where were you 15 years ago to complain then? i mean 1980 was almost 30 years ago. i don’t think they are going to rewind that far back carl. do you?
hopefully you will enlighten me and tell me what you liked so much more about the racing in the 80s as opposed to the racing we have in 2009. i posed this question to matt a few weeks ago and he gave me a great answer. let’s see if you can give your own honest answer like he did.
Sorry, NC, but I’m not biting. I don’t have the time or the inclination to explain the changes that have occurred in Nascar racing since I’ve been following it. I will tell you this, though. Your assumption that people only think the racing is bad because Matt tells us its bad is rather insulting. Like Matt, I’m 50 years old and I’ve been watching racing since I was old enough for my Dad to take to the races at the old Columbia Speedway in SC. I’ve seen my share of racing, good and bad. Most of the older readers of this column have too. For you to insinuate that we can’t form our own opinions based on our own observations is just flat out asinine. You can play devil’s advocate without resorting to insults.
Another good one Matt, and it pretty much sums up the feelings of our generation. I’m pushing 50 myself, and I’ve come to the conclusion that fans of our age have seen the best back when it was real and raw. I like how Adam put it, the racing today is like Jack Daniels with no alcohol in it. It looks kinda like the real thing but where’s the buzz?
I think NC has confused like minded fans with Matt worshipers. Matt is the voice for the older generation who grew up on Nascar from the ’60s on and we just happen to share the same life experiences and outlooks as older fans who have been around.
What NC does here is no different than if we older fans were in a bar sitting around a large table discussing the state of Nascar and how good it used to be. Not liking what he was hearing NC then gets up and comes to our table to berate us for daring to question the current state of Nascar, and telling us we all worship the guy at the head of the table. Only thing is I don’t think he would have the balls to do this in person.
Keep on writing and I’ll be here Matt.
As for the restrictor plate races you are right they sucked 15 years ago and they still suck. They were supposed to be a temporary fix but NASCAR continues to sit on their asses instead of address the problem. I hate them because they are crap shoots and because they allow someone to ride at the back and still have a chance at the end.
Then you get the bogus debris cautions (which create real cautions), wave arounds and lucky dogs and suddenly everyone is on the lead lap again. This makes the first 3/4 of the race less meaningful and is why people are only tuning in for the last 30 laps.
The problem with the chase is that it’s contrived and fans realize that someone is pissing on their head and telling them it’s raining. The old system was fairer and had the same probability of resulting in a close battle in the final races. Plus it’socialistic in nature. It takes someone who had done well and penalizes them to make them equal with those that didn’t do as well. (Please don’t use an analogy that compares the chase to the NFL playoffs. When the other 31 drivers watch the chase from home we can debate that).
BTW, I am not an old timer either. I started watching in the mid-90’s too. I think it was arrogant and short-sighted for Brian France to institute so many changes so quickly to a sport that was thriving. By introducing all those major changes so quickly it was very difficult for long time fans to adjust, assimilate and accept the changes. France reminds me of one of those singers that does the national anthem and has to do something radically different to “make it their own”. Well he has made it his own and one of these days it might be only him in the stands (oh, that’s right he doesn’t actually watch the product he’s forced on us).
Matt – I’m hardly the only one that has been following your writings from site to site to site over the years. I remember reading your Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki tributes when they were new columns, and I still feel the same way each time I read them through the years.
I was a rabid fan for many years – but looking back, I see that I started waning somewhere around the mid to late 90’s. I’m not saying this was anyone else’s turning point; but, for me it had to do with NASCAR starting to tweak the car bodies to be more aerodynamically comparable. The first time I saw it was when Ken Schrader was allowed to put plates over the Monte SS headlights at Daytona (for Speedweeks) in response to Ford’s new T-Bird. I recall ESPN reporting it was good for 3 mph on the backstretch.
That crap morphed into 5&5, narrow greenhouses, squared up bumpers, lengthened decklids, and the most ridiculous looking Pontiac Grand Prix ever.
In my opinion, if your car needs to get competitive, make the change to the car I buy at the dealership. Today, the cars are ridiculous. There is NO Charger on the street with a front end like the NASCAR spec car. They all look like they’re twisted up when viewed head on – the headlight decals look like a flounder’s eyes.
I’ve been watching the races vicariously through you the last 3 seasons. I gave up my season tix to NH last year (hey – at least the venue is close), and didn’t attend a race this past season for the first time in about 10 years. I haven’t really felt like I’m missing a whole lot…
If next year is truly your last – and I’m concerned it will be (for reasons Kevin so aptly covered), then I’ll probably stray farther from the sport.
I’m nostalgic for seasons like 1992 as well; but, even more so for drivers that you love to follow, teams that are a little rough around the edges, and a sport that isn’t ashamed to show its character flaws publicly. Sadly, that era has passed.
Good Luck Matt
I like reading Matt’s stuff, and I like reading NASCAR Crusader’s rebuttals, as well. I love a debate, because it gets the brain going and makes you think about things you might not have realized on your own. I havent been watching as long as most of you, so I dont have any burnout yet. But I am getting tired of seeing the Jimmie Johnson show for the last four years. I dont like domination by one team in any sport.
i’m not confused at all. i have already told you i don’t believe you have been follwoing nascar since the 60s. don’t take it personal i just don’t buy it.
you wonder what i would if i was at a bar and heard you and your buddies discussing nascar. well after i got done laughing at you i would definitely come over to your table and offer to buy you another shirley temple. i bet you like your shirley temples just like your nascar…. raw and real! LMAO! i would tell you i think you are full of crap and then i would grab your girl up and take off while you sat there whining and complaining about nascar.
1 question? if matt told you to jump off a bridge would you? i think know the answer but i could use another laugh. be honest too. don’t be ashamed.
excellent post. i have been looking for something like this from someone other than matt for quite a while now. but now i have to disagree with you with all due respect.
i don’t feel it’s like that… you got what you got. just this past weekend in phoenix kurt busch ran only half way decent in practice before qualifying. then he goes out and sits on the outside pole. when they interviewed they asked what they found and he talked about how they changed front springs late in the session and that made all the difference in the world. i had him in my fantasy league last week so i was paying close attention. but even in listening to mark martin on the scanner. these guys are making 1/4 of a pound air pressure adjustments to a tire. i still find it hard to believe that a quarter pound of friggin air pressure makes that much of a difference but it does. they are still making adjustments during the races like they always have. you see wedge wrenches and spring rubbers on pit road just like you did years ago. i’ll use jeff burton as an example this past weekend. practiced decent, qualified terrible, in the early part of the race ran decent, started making it better in the middle and by the end of the day he worked his way from 36th or wherever to 2nd. it was a very impressive run. i really believe the COT is much harder to drive which is why guys like martin and johnson have separated themsleves from most others. those two seem to be the best at relaying information and knowing the feel they are looking for. i have always said if you put earnhardt senior and some of the throwback drivers of yesteryear like cale yarborough or junior johnson or bobby allison or even ole dw or richard petty in this COT i bet these guys would manhandle these things and be beating and banging on each other. i think the biggest problem with “lame” racing may just be the drivers themselves. i don’t think anyone would argue that no matter what kind of stock car or COT or whatever you put those guys in you will be in for a show.
i agree about the cautions. being a huge martin fan he has always been known as a long run kind of guy. these short run sprints to the finish have killed him. not as much this year in that 5 car but in the 6 car for the last few years he was a sitting duck when they had these 10 lap dashes at the end. but i understand where they’re coming from. the fans want excitement. the drivers aren’t providing. nascar feels they have to do something and bunching them up seems to be the only way they know how. COT or old car it doesn’t matter. fans were complaing it wasn’t exciting enough. that’s the bottom line.
as far as brian france making changes whether you like it or not from a business standpoint the sport is still in a real good spot. it has quadruple the audience of the irl and suddenly is attracting the f1 crowd. despite dozens of fans here saying they refuse to watch they (nascar) are still consistently in the top 5 every week in the nielsen ratings.
With the drop in race attendance and in TV ratings, the owners and drivers have been quiet. Too quiet.
I know NA$CAR is a dictatorship, but that only means when it breaks, it breaks completely. How long before we get some serious talk about a new series? NA$CAR can’t continue down this path and stay the only game in town.
Matt, I’ve been reading your thoughts for many years now and hope that you’ll find it in you to come back. But I’ll understand if you choose otherwise. I turned 50 back in 2001 a few months after Earnhardt stopped turning any more numbers. I’ve been following NA$CAR since I was 10 or 11 years old, so I’ve seen real racing in real cars by real drivers all the way up (down?) to what we have now. It’s a real shame that folks who found the sport in the 90s didn’t get to see some of the stuff that we saw in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I was almost 13 years old when Fireball Roberts spun at Charlotte to avoid killing another driver and ended up dieing from his burns. I’ll admit it, I cried when the fire started and I cried when he died. My next racing hero was/is Bill Elliott and I still pull for him when he’s racing.
I spent a little over 7 years wearing olive drab green for Uncle Sam in the 70s and 80s when it wasn’t a real popular way to earn a living. Hopefully, in some small way, it helped make sure we can come here, read your thoughts on the races and comment if we choose to do so. It’s been a pleasure to read your articles. I’ve agreed, I’ve disagreed and no matter what, it’s been OK with both you and me for that to happen.
Ride well, Matt. I’ll be here when you get back.
I will make a comment to your last statement regarding “how good of a spot the sport is in”.
I will reference an article on USA Today’s regrding the NFL’s ratings…
If NASCAR is in the top 5 every week in the ratings then they were probably in the top 3 four years ago. If NASCAR’s audience is quadruple that of the IRL now I’d bet it was 6 times that of the IRL four years ago. I can’t prove that but that’s the impression that I get.
I wonder about the NFL ratings. With the exception of that strike year and perhaps a couple of years after (the strike) I’d almost bet the NFL ratings have been going up non-stop since 1950.
I agree with you about people who say NASCAR will fold anytime soon. Large multi-million (billion?) dollar companies rarely disappear over night. They usually linger for decades before they die. Although there are recent examples of very large “stable” companies that have imploded quickly from mis-management; Enron and Lehman Brothers come to mind.
Im told its a sign of abject stupidity when an individual finds it necessary to insult other people during a discussion about a matter on which the two might disagree. Such evidence of arrested development during the thumb sucking stage is best handled by ignoring the existence of the individual and possibly inciting another temper tantrum. Jingle bells everyone!!!
It’s really amazing how NASCAR has survived so long with all the giant brains being in the media. I’ve been a fan for well over 40 years – since back when the majority of the media had some initiative and integrity – and I’ve seen its ups and downs. I suspect NASCAR will survive the bashers and this dip too – especially since NASCAR is not being run by former newspaper folk.
And for all you guy’s/gal’s in the 50 range, your youngsters, come back and see me when you get some REAL experience!
And for what it is worth, the TV ratings for Phoeniz were DOWN 17%!
A “chilling” tale!
Hey kiddies, can we keep it real simple, Homestead is Mikey’s last race as a moving traffic bump. Makes 2009 worth my part time viewing.
What is a Nick Rampling?
Well said Don Mei. My “scroll by” works good for immature postings. Even if the poster’s name changes, the style always reveals.
Some thoughts for NC and everybody else,
Thanks as always to those with kind words who tag along with me from site to site. Thanks also to those who call me to task, hate what I do and challenge what I write. It makes me a better writer because next time I try to support my opinions more forcefully.
BMW? Hell no. Those are Honda Accords shorn of two wheels! Dead nuts reliable with surprising performance, but uglier than a pit bull pup with third degree burns on its face. If you don’t like Harleys you don’t like Christmas. Every day is December 25th when you ride a Harley. December 25th with Heather Locklear trying to beat down your door to give you another hummer.
The quote isn’t mine but I remember somebody saying years ago that if NASCAR made the teams race lawn tractors within a few months they’d have them running 200 miles per hour. I hate the COT the way I hate warm beer. When I bought my fridge I went for the one that’s coldnesss option went beyond the normal 1-10 to Ludicrous Cold. I open the door and it snows in my kitchen in August. Those beers make my silver fillings ache on the first exhale. But if the American dentists were to all agree (including that tenth out of ten guy who hates Trident) that the government should pass a law that beer could only be served room temperature to preserve silver fillings in frumpy old guys yaps, I’d hope more than one brewery developed a brew that tasted good warm. If this is the car we’re stuck with (and I think ya’ll are going to be shocked at the team attrition at the end of 2010 as sponsors pack up thier calliopes with a very unpleasant sneezing and wheezing before the whole shithouse collapses to the ground) than I want more than one team to have fast cars.
If it was merely a matter of clanking brass between the thighs drivers like Tony Stewart or Kyle Busch could pass in these cars even if they left nothing but smoking wreckage in thier wake (call it the Earnhardt Factor) I’d by it. But aero loose is ruining racing the way HIV ruined casual sex. Both used to be lot of fun.
NC, you got into the game just too late to miss a prime example of the difference between Bill France Jr. (who was a cold hearted tyrant that tried to get me fired) and Brian “Huffing Spray Paint All These Years Reall Hasn’t Affected My Judgment and I really thin most woman aren’t going to object to dressing in black leather Bambi suits and beating with a whip screaming “Cry, Thumper, you scumbag” France.
In the 1990 season finale at Atlanta Billl Elliott was leading the race. In those days there was no speed limit on pit road. Bill’s 9 car was being serviced when Ricky Rudd hit pit road wide open hit some oil and lost control. Bill’s rear tire changer was crushed to death when Rudds car slammed into Elliott’s Ford. It was a grotesque and tragic thing to witness.
NASCAR decided that they needed to change something to keep this from happening again. Bill France tried a “no changing tires under caution” rule that ruined the 91 Daytona 500. So he went back to the drawinng board and tried an odd and even system that made teams pit based on thier qualifying position. Another total disaster. They tried this, they tried that and it kept beng a mess. So finally Billy Jr. decided to try a pit road speed limit. That worked even if it took them about four years to find a way to enforce it fairly. No more dead pit crew guys.
The moral of the story here is not how many times NASCAR screwed things up and made debacles out of racing. The moral is how they were willing to make changes weekly to get it right. They didn’t like or want lousy screwed up races. If Billy Jr. were still running the show after about the fifth non-competitive race with the COT he’d have jumped in and said “Well, we’re going to have to try something else. This ain’t working.”
Listening to Brain Dead Brian, all is well. Leave them alone and they’ll come home, wagging thier tails behind them. Oh, Thumper, you’re being very, very, bad. You need to be punished.
Good comeback Matt, but one last rejoinder; some of us bike people love em all…Harleys, Vincents, Ducks, Bimmers, whatever. My Harley is great for a a sunday morning ride but if Im off to Nova Scotia, its the Bimmer. You gotta expand your two wheel horizons..have a nice holiday.
If I had my way, I would nominate you right now – and hire you – as President and CEO of NASCAR. Mike Helton and Brian France would go on the unemployment line immediately. No need to be writing here since you’d be running the show.
Rule changes can only be suggested and approved by drivers, track owners, car owners and fans. ISC would be forced to be separated from NASCAR, and politics would play no role in the placement of new races.