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!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
The Key Moment: Kurt Busch held off Matt Kenseth and Juan Pablo Montoya on the final restart to score his second consecutive spring Atlanta race win.
In a Nutshell: Where were the elephants and the clowns? If you’re going to have a parade you need to have elephants and clowns.
Dramatic Moment: You’d have thought that double wide restarts with two laps to go would have spiced things up. Not so much as it turns out.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
OK, we may now officially have a feud on our hands. Having been put into the fence at Talladega last year and wrecked earlier in this weekend’s event, Carl Edwards apparently leapt to the head of the line and finally gave Brad Keselowski a little payback, landing Bad Brad, who has pissed off numerous drivers during his short tenure as a Cup driver, on his lid. Edwards was a mere 156 laps down when he wrecked Keselowski, leading to the first major challenge of NASCAR’s new “Let Boys Be Boys” rules initiative. For my part, I saw the impact as surgical despite the rollover. Bad Brad had a lesson coming to him given his take no prisoners attitude on the track. Perhaps a change in latitude learned him some manners. I will say that having recently brought a life onto this mortal plane, Edwards should have been a bit more circumspect about risking taking one off of the playing field in a pine box.
A race that ends by 5 o’clock, with over an hour and half of sunlight left before sundown. I’m down with that.
Remember the uproar at the Daytona 500 when FOX started covering the Cup series and they showed the cars in the starting lineup shorn of their decals if they weren’t sponsors of the broadcast? Has anyone else noticed that the entire pre-race broadcast seems to be devoted to drivers who buy ad minutes during the race itself? When forced to show drivers who are not race sponsors, like Kevin Harvick this week, the still shots of the driver were shorn of their patches. If you want to see a bigger bunch of whores, you’ll have to be in Shanghai when the fleet comes in.
With the grand opening scheduled for May, all of a sudden NASCAR is heavily promoting the new Hall of Fame in Charlotte, offering something called Charter Memberships. (Which doubtless offers 50 cents off a hot dog at future NASCAR races.) Long-term readers know I am a huge fan of the history of our sport, but right now I’d like to see a little less emphasis on the Hall of Fame and a little more on getting the cars Haulin’ the Same as they did in the 1980s.
Sometimes I get questions on why any sponsor would back a team that’s going to run in the back or even start and park. According to Jayski.com, Joe Nemechek’s last minute Daytona 500 with England Stove Works resulted in a half million dollars in unexpected business and the traffic crashed their website. Long time readers know I do sponsor plugs about as often as I compliment Brian France but after the winter from hell here in eastern Pennsylvania, it was my England stove that kept me warm through the worst of circumstances without going broke paying for fossil fuels. What’s more, when my first stove died just out of warranty, these folks replaced it free of charge and paid for the shipping of my old stove to figure out what went wrong. American products benefiting Americans to break their addiction to foreign oil? Yeah, I am so down with that.
Does anyone else find it suspect that Olympic athletes are eating McDonald’s high fat, high sodium food prior to competing?
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Polesitter Dale Earnhardt, Jr. never managed to lead a lap and wound up 15th in the final standings. But as our old friend Kenny Mayne might say, he remains popular.
Jimmie Johnson’s bid for a third straight win was upended by a slow pit stop (not characteristic of the robotic 48 team) and subsequent right front fender damage. For one day, at least, they looked merely mortal.
Tony Stewart struggled all weekend and a flat tire with 18 to go left him thirteenth in the final standings.
Denny Hamlin had a competitive car most of the afternoon but an equalized tire left him 21st when the checks were written at the end of the race.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Greg Biffle wrecked in practice and had to start out back but fought back to an eighth place finish in the race.
Kasey Kahne had to overcome a horrifically slow pit stop to finish fourth.
What’s the Points?
Seriously, why are we even talking about points four races into the season?
Oh, OK, Kevin Harvick is still leading the standings, now 26 points ahead of Matt Kenseth who moved up two spots to second. Greg Biffle moved up three spots to third.
Jimmie Johnson moved up a spot to fourth. Why is the driver who won two points paying races out the first four fourth in the standings? Because NASCAR’s point system is retarded.
Kurt Busch’s win propelled him up nine spot to tenth in the standings. Paul Menard’s strong run Sunday moved him up eight spots to ninth in the standings.
Mark Martin’s struggles dropped him four places to seventh in the standings.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) I’ll give this one two cans. I expect more of Atlanta than I got today.
Next Up: The Cup series takes a week off. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe they’re concerned the shift to Daylight Savings Time would be too tough for today’s drivers? Racing returns at Bristol in two weeks’ time.
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Nascrap will now have to back up their big mouths about “letting the drivers take care of it”. They should just say boys be careful and let it go or their credibility is shot to hell this early in the year.
FOX/Speed also only pay attention to certain drivers and teams during the race , depending on how much add revenue has changed hands .
race was ok. loved all the empty seats. i can’t remember much of the middle of the race for some reason. again, watch the beginning and then the last 30 minutes or so.
the edwards thing, use i understand feuds and whatnot, but knowing that edwards is a licensed pilot, you would think he’d know about how wind affects lift. those wings on the rear of the cars always lift cars up if clipped the right way and speeds are fast enough. plus at atlanta you’ve got the banking as well. they showed him trying the lap before to wreck brad, then he succeeded on the next lap. i think it would have been different, and not a blatent pay back if edwards hand’t been 165 laps down. i’m just glad that the airborne car didn’t get higher and into the fence. luckily for the track and fans, most of the first few rows of seats weren’t sold, so fans weren’t sitting in them.
I thought the race deserved at least a “3 beer” rating.
Ok, I was there and can give you a stand by stand report of attendance.
Petty stands were about 70% full, Earnhardt was about 60% full, Champions was maybe 80% full, the stands down toward turn one were about 30% full.
Where the old Weaver stands were (the backstretch) where the motor coaches now park, there were 18 where there are probably slots for 40-50. Looks like the folks that can afford that vantage point are dwindling.
Third turn stands were probably 80% full, which is more than I have seen in awhile, but I suspect those are the cheapest seats in the house.
I would estimate a crowd of 70,000. Which by the way, is the optimum crowd Atlanta can handle.
What did the TV goons say it was?
In the first incident, it certainly appeared to me that Brad held his line & Carl came down on him. They need to sit Carl down for a race. You do your pay-backs at Bristol or Martinsville, not at 190 m.p.h.!
I tuned in for the early laps and then back for the last 20 or so. Saw both incidents. I WAS somewhat of a Carl Edwards fan. That has soured a bit. The guy was stupid to do what he did. He endangered drivers and fans and admitted on camera that he did it intentionally. He needs a suspension and a hefty fine. No other sport, even Hockey, will condone such stuff. If NA$CAR does nothing, it will continue its slide into the toilet as far as I am concerned.
elliott grandstands (turn 3) are the cheaper seats. petty had a special offer as well as the earnhardt grandstands. i’d be interested to find out where the $1 seats were (winner of daytona 500 seats sell for that car number). i think those turn 1 seats start at $100 each. i know when i went i’d sit in champions in the upper level, and i know those seats have gone up in price over the years.
my question, how was traffic after the race. i know last time i attended was a 5 hr treck to douglasville where i live. i know on saturday they were giving traffic reports and there was absolutely no traffic issues on 19/41 or on 75 to the 20 exit.
also, normally on race weekend hotels in douglasville are sold out. when i went by 2 on saturday morning, there weren’t many cars in their lots, and that was early in day, before people would have headed out to track. got to remember, lots of people in georgia are still out of work, 10.6% unemployment rate. i have a little savings now and decided to hold onto my money casue i figured that the product of the race wouldn’t be much different than in previous years.
radio stations started giving away labor day race tickets this morning. i might go to that race, have to see if racing changes any when they take the wings off and put spoilers back onto the cars.
with jr on the pole, and our beautiful weather this past weekend, i’d think the track did some good walkup sales. of course jr was a non-issue.
isn’t carl the same guy who tried to pass someone by bouncing off the wall because “it works in the video game?” failing to understand some basic real life physics rules of how a shot like that is going to scrub momentum not enhance it? golly gee “i didn’t mean for him to get airborne”… he had 150 laps to consider his actions and their potential result. he could have easily thought it smarter to wait two weeks where the speeds and dangers are less. but i guess carl just ain’t that smart. he deserves a suspension because he’s a self centered dangerous driver hell bent on vengeance with out consideration of consequence. ok, so maybe that was a little strong. nascar’s in a quite a pickle here. I don’t envy the decision that they have to make. i just don’t see an outcome that will end on a positive note. go get ‘im brad.
I will really watch NA$CAR when they go back to real cars that aren’t all the same. I guess that means never.
Why don’t they blame the real culprit in the payback? The stupid idiotic wing. If it was a real “race” car instead of a bumper car the result would have been like Hamlin last year. Egomaniac Brad would have done a 360 or two (if he was really talented) and kept on going. They know the wing is stupid and they’re going to get rid of it later. Really bright clowns.
Carl is an idiot. BK crew should have went down to 99 crew and kicked their $%@. I sure would have. Then let boys be boys. If you are going to let a driver wreck someone like that, then you might as well let the crews fight with crowbars. Between this incident and JJ winning races still, I am soon to stop watching the sport, again. If Carl is in the middle of fans sometime, I would not be surprised if he gets knocked on his $%# by one of them.
I quess no talent brad just lucked his way to 4th place. Carl wrecked himself at the start of the race. Some of brads problems have been of his own making but the sprint cup drivers seem to think when they run the nationwide series the other drivers should just get out of their way. Its racing, don’t give an inch.
Matt said: Why is the driver who won two points paying races out the first four fourth in the standings? Because NASCAR’s point system is retarded.
What, you think a 35th place finish should pay more points? 4th place is pretty good considering one bad finish out of 4.
And its good to see people talking about the lack of attendance here, too.
Just a side note..I watched practice and qualifying..and I have to say it caught my attention Speed took care to talk about ALL the sponsors on ALL the cars…from the 48 down to start and parkers who’s numbers I don’t even remember…..I was duly impressed…if the car was on the track..they got air time and sponsor recognition..good going Speed.
Were BK not a protoge’ of “Junyor”, the comments would be about 99% in favor of Carls “retalliation”
I think the little punk got just what he deserved.
I sit in Champions and those were $115.00….
Traffic was non-existant for me.
I got there at approx. 12:45 pm, drove right in there with no issues off 19/41, got a good spot on the second row near the media parking lot (in front of turn one).
Just walked right in and sat down as they were pulling off pit row.
Stayed for the checker, then briskly walked out to my car and boom, I was out Speedway blvd, and on I75 in 10 minutes.
Never encountered any traffic at all.
There is no need to get down there at the crack of dawn anymore, because that 65 – 70,000 don’t present a big traffic hassle.
Brent you’re an idiot, the polock with the bad teeth had it coming, and ONLY at a track where you go 195
The dead 3 guy made a CAREER out of this, AND na$crap never batted an eye.
If you’re the fan that punches Carl, I’ll gladly jump & assist your a…kicking
Matt, what are you thinking? Brad did not start the wreck, nor did he at Dega. Both times Carl the Jerk, tried to cut off the “youngster”. If you watch yesterdays replay, Brad had no where to go, was at the bottom of the track on a side by side start, and Carl the Idiot tried to pull down in front of him. The aggressor was Carl, not Brad. Too bad that Brad has “pissed” off drivers for no backing down to them. Its about time we had some spunk out of the youngsters.
Kasey Kahne had horrible pit stops all day long and this is what cost him the race. I think he was faster than Busch but every stop he would lose spots on pit road.
The FOX cameras seemed to be spending a lot of time showing the empty grandstands . On several occaisions they panned in and stopped on the empty seats on the frontstretch , and several times on the empty parking lot . And unlike the normal “ oh my god , get that camera off of the seating “ response the directors always have ( not to mention NASCAR officials ) there was no hurry to change the shots . Lets see now , NASCAR races at Brutons’ tracks but the hate each other . NASCAR trying to mess with Bruton by showing that he can’t sell tickets ?? Or did Bruton critisise FOX and paid the price ?
RJH, back at you. I think Magnum beat me to the punch though. I disagree with Matt’s poor assessment of the situation, saying ‘been put into the fence’ and ‘wrecked earlier in this weekend’s event’, Carl wrecked himself both times, come on. Are you boys watching the same replay I am watching? Carl is trying to put his car into the spot that is presently occupied by BK, but it is BK’s fault? Gimme a break guys. Matt, soon to lose a dedicated reader you keep writing like this. Maybe it is an opinion column, but there is factual info here to base those opinions on. And yes, I have not been this worked up about a Nascar issue in a long time!
Remember, Carl broke his foot playing frisbee. Somebody could probably stick their foot out and trip him and break the other one. But he expects BK to go for a ride like that? IDIOT.
What Carl Edwards did is unacceptable. There is no ‘boys will be boys’. This drama stuff is bull. Let’s start flipping everyone over at Talladega and Daytona every time someone is mad at another driver. Carl Edwards has some serious anger built inside him and it exploded on Sunday. Another car could have come along and hit Keselowski. Would that have been okay that they were involved in a accident created by a stupid feud too?
When Allison and Yarborough had there famous incident at Daytona in ’79 they wrecked again at the next race. Other racers came up to them and told them that the stupidity had to stop. Edwards and Keselowski should not continue ‘feuding’ as it is not good for the sport for a driver to be eventually killed by these unacceptable and dangerous moves. This fake ‘macho’ activity is ridiculous.
Carl Edward as a racer and human being should have better sense than spin someone out at 190 mph. He should know how easy it is to flip over a car with the faulty rear wing. There should be consequences and penalties to his actions. I would have felt this strongly about Edwards if he would have spun and flipped other drivers like Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr., Joe Nemecheck etc.
There is no excuse for his animal like behavior. Edwards helped ruin the finish of the race and he was over 150 laps down! He wrecked a car that was in the top 10! More cars were involved in a wreck after the caution he helped bring out. Millions of dollars down the drain. And instead of talking about a great finish that could have been between Busch and Montoya people talk about the stupid move by Edwards. This was completely unacceptable behavior by Edwards and it is really a sad commentary on society that people rationalize and condone this type of behavior by a stock car driver. Talk about actions ‘detrimental to the sport of Stock Car Auto Racing’.
NASCAR maybe could get closer to the NFL in ratings if they created a destruction death derby and drivers were rewarded points for how many drivers they maimed and killed during a race. That could really fill up the seats and add to the TV ratings! Every time a driver got mad at another he could just crash his car into his fellow competitor and the more crushed in the car was the better. Could you imagine the excitement at the restrictor plate tracks? Just put the catch fences higher so no innocent spectators were taken out in all of the mayhem.
I love the fact that Keselowski doesn’t take any crap from the veterans. As someone already commented (albeit crudely) Earnhardt the Elder made a 7-time-champion career out of hard racing and not backing down. Go Brad!
I gotta agree with stan “I quess no talent brad just lucked his way to 4th place. Carl wrecked himself at the start of the race. Some of brads problems have been of his own making but the sprint cup drivers seem to think when they run the nationwide series the other drivers should just get out of their way. Its racing, don’t give an inch.”
So so race. As for tire issues, it was mostly Hendrick associated teams. The others scrubbed the wall or another car. Maybe this is Nastycar way to slow down the Hendrick juggernaut – make a side deal with Goodyear to supply them bad tires – and Goodyear didn’t read the fine print that said junior was not supposed to get bad tires.
As for the wreck, Brad has made many enemies and this is no different than everyone’s jobs. A new person comes to your work and calls everyone out and doesn’t learn how it operates is asking for trouble. So after countless wrecks the past year, he got his payback. Some say “do it at Bristol”. I disagree. Do it there you take out 10 cars. I don’t like Carl, he’s too cocky for me but Nastycar needs to let this be between them. I’m sure they can personally put Carl on “double secret probation” and maybe his sponsor will chip in some extra money to make Nastycar feel better.
These announcers just piss me off. It’s not a stop for fuel, even they have to pimp a sponsor just like drivers taking a swig of drink. Both of those efforts are so obvious and really turn me off. Another thing, had they been paying attention to the race they would have noticed Petty Motorsports had 3 of the top 6 finishers, and had those 3 in the top 10 most of the race. Dinger raced his way to the front all day long, Menard had a good race day but some pit stategy to him up to the top 10 where he moved up more. Both those drivers had their best ever non plate finish.
And why take a break now? All the Carl talk in the press helps the sport get noticed, but then when new viewers tune in this Sun to see what all that comotion is about – no race this week! Stupid schedule.
And the writer of this article (if I many inject) meant that JJ is in 4th but has won 2 races – and winners of races should be given more points than they are. 4 races, you win 2 of them and are in 4th place? I agree. And I am tired of the Hendrick dominance but this should apply to anyone that wins. Give them at least 50 points over 2nd if they win a race. That will give more incentive as we get closer to the cutoff for final 10 races.
Enjoy the week and I think F1 and Indy are on this weekend?