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.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday May 17, 2010
The Key Moment: Jimmie Johnson had a dominant car, but a rare unforced error by the four time champ (speeding on pit road) handed the win to Kyle Busch.
In a Nutshell: Once Johnson was penalized Kyle Busch put an old fashioned butt-whooping on the field.
Dramatic Moment: There were damn few of them, huh?
For one brief period, the Nos. 18 and 48 cars ran each other hard around lap 350.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
Boring. There’s no other way to describe Sunday’s race. But I’m glad NASCAR didn’t toss another unnecessary debris caution there at the end to spice things up. That’s a good first step to restoring some credibility to the organization.
For those of you who experienced the race at your computer, while sitting in your leather office chairs and listening to the pit crew or watching your favorite racers, you probably had a better, personalized experience than just watching the race on TV.
Would Johnson have been able to beat Busch minus the speeding penalty? We’ll never know but my suspicion is the 48 car and driver had the advantage. It’s pretty hard to attribute this loss for Johnson to the new rear spoiler.
Dover could be considered the local Cup track here at Eyesore Acres. As such my neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and other locals, former and current race fans, could have planted their butts in some of those numerous empty seats this weekend with the weather having been so nice Saturday and Sunday. When I talk to folks the main reason they’ve never gone there or will never go back is traffic which is Biblical after the Cup race. Dover track management really needs to strike a deal with DelDot to pay them some money and have them leave the tollgate heading north away from the track left open for a couple hours after the race. And maybe a few words with the Delaware State police might help as well. Let’s just say that I’m certain Jimmie Johnson and A.J. Allmendinger weren’t the only poor souls nailed for speeding Sunday. The DSP takes the occasion of Cup race weekends to saturate the route from Philly with radar traps.
I could get used to these Cup races ending before 5 ET while there’s still several hours of daylight left.
NASCAR famously said prior to this season that they were going to “let boys be boys” to return a little friction to the racing. But after the Dover race are they going to let “Bowyer” be “boys?” Bowyer got turned by Denny Hamlin on a late restart when his car didn’t come back up to speed. He headed to pit road for repairs then returned to the track to purposely take out Hamlin, who was running second, under caution which is pretty low-rent. Kudos to Hamlin for being incredibly gracious after the incident but jeers to ABC/ESPN for missing the whole incident unfold live.
Eraser-gate Part Duex? Remember the uproar following FOX’s initial broadcast of Cup qualifying in 2001 when they electronically removed the sponsor logos of firms not advertising during the race from their graphics? It seemed peculiar to me that during SPEED’s broadcast of Friday qualifying there were no Bud (or any other logos) on the uniform of outside pole-sitter Kasey Kahne. What’s up with that?
A minor point but one that irritates me to no end during truck races….Aaron’s does not give the first driver a lap or more down a lap back. NASCAR does. The day we start allowing corporate sponsors to give any driver a competitive advantage is the day I quit watching.
A few weeks back I wrote that I’d love to see drivers attempting the Memorial Day weekend double at Indy and Charlotte again. Apparently Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith loves that idea even more. He really, really, loves it to the extent he’s willing to post a twenty million dollar bounty for any driver able to win both races. Even in today’s high buck world of racing, twenty mill is some serious coin, two thirds of what it costs to sponsor a top notch Cup team for the entire season. According to Smith, Indy officials are willing to accommodate the idea by starting the 500 at 11 AM ET. Something tells me this is going to be a big story next May. Remember the boost in interest Bill Elliott gave the sport winning a million bucks at Darlington in 1985 courtesy of Winston? Mr. Stewart, are you up for the challenge?
News broke this week that Brian Vickers wouldn’t be driving the Red Bull car this weekend due to a medical condition later diagnosed as blood clots in his legs and lungs. The scary part of that diagnosis is that one of those clots could have broken free and caused Vickers a heart attack or stroke at such a young age. Unfortunately in my aging social circle I’ve had way too much experience with friends and family members facing similar challenges. Treatment protocol usually involves Coumadin or other similar blood thinners which dissolve the clots. But blood thinners have frightening side effects I have witnessed first hand. Even a simple stumble or incidental contact can cause massive bruising. Patients have to be monitored bi-weekly or even more frequently to make sure the drugs haven’t thinned the blood to a dangerous degree. Obviously for a race car driver who might be involved in a wreck there are serious and even life-threatening consequences from a relatively minor incident. It takes six months for the human body to fully dispose of Coumadin after an initial dose. At 26, Vickers needs to consider he is still a young man with a lot of great years ahead of him in his career. Even in the dog eat dog world of Cup racing where losing a ride can torpedo a young man’s career, right now Vickers, his team, friends and NASCAR if forced to intervene need to put his long term well-being first. Oh, and for the record…
I received some unexpected collateral damage in my email box this week after a column I wrote suggesting who I’d like to see inducted next year into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Certainly no disrespect was meant towards Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon. They have compiled stats to date that certainly ensure their future inclusion into the Hall, and I respect the hell out of what each of them has accomplished. Nor, certainly, did I mean to diminish what Bill Elliott has done during his career. Elliott was my favorite Cup driver after Richard Petty’s fortunes waned and his 1985 season alone will certainly cement his inclusion in the Hall someday. But folks, these are active drivers (though Elliott drives a very limited schedule.) The story of their future successes remains to be written. Nobody watches half a movie and decides the start is so good it deserves Oscar nomination when the ending might be so much better. I’d like to see the Hall adopt an open rule that no driver can even be considered until five years after he’s driven his last race. God willing Gordon, Johnson, Elliott and other current stars in the sport will be able to attend their inductions live and in person grinning ear to ear unlike the late Dale Earnhardt.
Another second generation driver in the wings? Chase Elliott, son of 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott, won at Rockingham in the Sunoco National Tour (Basically the old ASA series) event. Making the victory that much more remarkable is the fact Chase was competing in his first ever race on a track longer than a half mile. Maybe this time Ford can find a way to keep a rising young talent from defecting to GM or Dodge?
In a story related to the above, Brandon Mc (or is that “Mac”? ) Reynolds won the companion UARA Stars 75 event at Rockingham this weekend. Brandon is of course son of FOX broadcaster and former Cup crew chief Larry McReynolds. They’re racing at Rockingham again. It’s all good.
Michael Waltrip incessantly plugs on-line tire retailer “Tire Monkey” during truck races and SPEED programming where he’s a panelist. Tire Monkey now decides to back one of Waltrip’s , the race owner not the broadcaster, teams. Anyone else seeing a conflict of interest here? Anyone want to bet that Mario Gosselin’s truck team is out a sponsor next? Tires aren’t the only monkey business going on here.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
It’s not often you’ll see Johnson give away a race win but it seems he is human after all.
A.J. Allmendinger ran as high as second but a botched pit stop and a pit road speeding penalty ended his chances at a top 5 finish.
Kasey Kahne ran up front early but a broken shifter torpedoed his day. A broken shifter? I’d thought I’d broken every part possible in a car but I’ve never managed that.
Clint Bowyer exited the pits with the jack still beneath his car. Kind of hard to slip that one by the officials.
The 88 car that ran at Dover probably has a date with the crusher back at Mooresville. That dog just wouldn’t hunt. Unexplained steering issues just prolonged the agony.
Chip Ganassi teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray both broke panhard bar mounts within three laps of each other.
Marcos Ambrose and Sam Hornish both got to experience first hand why the proper term is “SAFER barriers” not “Soft Walls” after each slugged the wall a ton not once but twice.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Kyle Busch led nearly 500 laps in this weekend’s three Dover races, won two of them and would have won the truck race as well if not for a lack of fuel. He also had to overcome early radio problems on Sunday that left him unable to hear his spotter at one of the circuit’s most treacherous tracks.
Points leader Kevin Harvick had to overcome a 30th place qualifying run to claw his way back to a seventh place finish. As such he leaves Dover still leading the points.
Aric Almirola stepped in a heaping, steaming pile of dog stuff early in the Dover truck race, blowing a tire and losing two laps in the pits. Using both the Lucky Dog and wave-around rules, Almirola was able to get back on the lead lap and that’s when things got bizarre. Outside pole-sitter Elliott Sadler in the owners’ points leading KHI truck blew a tire and hit the wall. Kyle Busch, who had led more than 170 laps in the event, ran out of gas under caution. Ron Hornaday and Johnny Sauter couldn’t get back up to speed. Almirola was probably as surprised as anyone watching to win the race.
Jack Roush had to enjoy watching three of his drivers post top 10 finishes in the same event after the way this season has started for his organization.
What’s the Points?
As noted above, Kevin Harvick leaves Dover stilling leading the points. His second win of the season moves Kyle Busch up a spot to second in the standings, 69 points out of the lead.
Matt Kenseth moved up two spots to third in the standings.
The Wonder-Bread Twins, Johnson and Gordon, each lost two spots in the standings. They are now fourth and sixth respectively.
Denny Hamlin advanced another spot in the standings to fifth.
Jeff Burton and Kurt Busch swapped eighth spot with Burton now having the advantage. Carl Edwards wrested tenth spot from Mark Martin.
Martin Truex advanced a spot and took over the coveted twelfth points position.
Outside looking in, Ryan Newman advanced a spot to thirteenth in the standings and is just 30 points out of the top 12. Tony Stewart moved up four spots to fourteenth and is just seven points behind Newman.
Dale Earnhardt dropped four spots to sixteenth 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) We’ll give this one a single can of warm generic stuff. Dover might be my home track but I’ll call a clinker a clinker. Dover without drama? Strange days indeed.
Next Up: It’s off to Charlotte for the All-Star race, an increasingly silly event that really ought to be run on the Saturday night before the 600 to allow a track like Rockingham to rejoin the schedule.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
KUDOS to Fox for stellar coverage of a so-so race.
It was really interesting to see the drama unfold in the last 30 laps of Sundays race. I’m sure glad I didn’t “tune out” or “change the channell” [like all the die-hards on this website do] when Jimmie Johson dominated the first 3/4ths of the race. Too bad it was a terrible finish, a debris caution and a few GWCs would have “bamn” kicked things up a notch!
Anyone else notice how well attended the Dover race was? That’s what happens when they race at tracks that have casinos (and tourism) and not in the sticks of NoOneCaresAlina.
I for one can’t wait to move on to Charlotte and get away from these “doughnut-hole” tracks [martinsville, richmond, dover] and get to a place where they can finally run OVER 110 mph! If I wanted to watch a wad of cars “race” at 65 mph I’d grab a chair and sit at my local overpass on a Friday afternoon. For free no less!
And thank GOD for next weeks All Star Race, the TRUE legends of the sport are featured (minus Danica, who’ll I’ll be pulling for her to win the Indy 500)
DansMom, what race were you watching? Did you not see the sections of seats that were empty?
maybe my tv showed different track view. bunches of empty sections of seats at dover, where advertising banners were stretched. dover sold ticket from turn 4 to 2. i guess they figured the wouldn’t sell out so why have more areas to clean up after the race.
was shocked to hear about brian vickers. hope he gets well soon, and please do not return to track too quickly.
i got a nice 1.5 hr nap in during the race.
DansMom is one of those much bally-hooed “new fans” to the sport, Mongo. You just have to overlook her. The G-W-C finish rule was questionable in my opinion when it was instituted. Now that they’ve upped it to three attempts if necessary it’s just insulting…..and dumb.
I was at the race yesterday. My appraisal was that it was boring so I’m glad that Matt came to the same conclusion. I’d say the seats were 60% full at most. Matt, have you actually talked to anyone about the traffic issues? From what I have experienced the last couple of years the traffic issues have diminished proportionately with the crowd size. I had no problems with the traffic and zoomed home in record time. Didn’t see any speed traps or sobriety check-points. Of course I was going to Baltimore not Philly so maybe the cops heading north are prickier.
Corporate sponsors are already giving drivers competitive advantage, and you need to look no further than Kevin Conway. He can drive like he’s dragging a giant anchor attached to the back of his car every race and fall out of the top-35 as many times as he wants to, but no! His performance-blind buddies up at Extenze would always be there to bail him out and swap him into another FRM ride so he won’t have to ever qualify on time. If that doesn’t put him at an unfair competitive advantage over his poor, gracious teammate David Gilliland, I don’t know what does…
Waltrips shilling for Tire Monkey is no different than Mike Joy shilling for Sunoco . Guess who owns a Sunoco race fuel dealership in the Northeast ?
this week instead of watching the cup race me a couple buddies went to winchester speedway in Ind.They had three classes of cars there the front wheel drives ,street stocks which put on one hell of show and the cra late models which was a good show too.Ross Kenseth ended up winning that Now on to the cup race it just wasnt the normal dover good ending to the truck.The nationwide race and cup race were soso. Matt another great article dansmom i dont know when you started following nascar but the sport was built around all these little so called doughnut-hole tracks.A couple weeks ago you said you were done posting on Matts column now to me it just seems like you are posting shit to annoy people so maybe you stick to your word and go away
dansmom….what are you smoking? It is affecting your vision! The turn 3 grandstands were closed and 2 other sections had advertising banners over them…except for the start/finish line area the empty seats were blanantly obvious…and I agree with matt..what a snoozer. After halfway I gave up and started cooking the food for the all star race and packing the RV, just coming in for the restarts
I get the feeling Dans Mom is a paid shill for Nascar who’s job is to get on the message boards and beat the drums for Nascar. It would not surprise me if she posts fron an office in Daytona.
I’ll bet theres a new job opening at NASCAR this morning .” Wanted , pit road speed observer , no experience needed , but must be able to remember who DOES NOT GET CLOCKED . Will be tested on your ability to keep certain teams and NASCAR happy “ .
I can not believe JJ was actually penalized for speeding. It is a miracle.
The Waltrip’s have no class, goes to show what is wrong with Nascar when someone with Mikey’s talent can be so successful in his ‘career’, I guess you would call it, and be living the lifestyle he is. I hope there are changes coming for Nascar, not to the way they used to be, but to a new Nascar. When you see Dupont and others, this entire business model is really starting to come into question. With corporations overtaking the sport, I would be glad to have the majority of them bow out, reduce the cost of the sport, etc.
Matt it is standard for Coumadin levels to be tested twice per week as it is an extremely volatile drug. It is nearly impossible to maintain a therapeutic dose and not increase bleedings times excessively. It is possible (although not common) that the blood can become thin enough to begin leaking through the skin without an injury being present.
Fox’s coverage has always been garbage. The only reason that it looked good to begin with, is because NBC/TNT’s coverage was just that horrible. When Fox has to compete with ESPN/ABC and their actual coverage of the technical side of NASCAR, their awful coverage is just so much more obvious.
I have to disagree with you. I have been to Dover several times. It is one of the best tracks in NASCAR for a fan to watch an entire event. I never minded the traffic. I just sat around in the camping area for a couple hours and B-B-Qed a meal in preparation for the 8 hour drive home. I think the reason for Dover (and many other tracks) not selling out the seats, is because NASCAR is too busy selling out the entire sport.
Ah, DansMom, another example of why it should be mandatory to be I.Q. tested and licensed to own a TV or a computer. Cue your newest girlfriend Randy!!! lmao
I typically dont post on these kind of things but I just had to chime in about the race this week.
I think it is rediculous that NASCAR intentionally took away a WIN from Jimmy Johnson. It was obvious that he had the best car… by far! They decided to give him a speeding penalty so that they could create more action in what was otherwise a Jimmy DOMINATED race.
I am sick and tired of nascar intentionally fixing the races so that their golden-boy Kyle Busch can come up with wins.
I think NASCAR should institute a new ALL-STAR race rule. Any winner of the Indy 500 is automatically allowed in the race. This will ENSURE that my girl Danica gets to whoop up on all of those lower calibur drivers next year.
I’d rather listen to four years of Jimmie Jimmie Jimmie than three days of Kyle Kyle Kyle. So, with 33 to go Sunday, the power button on my TV remote was pressed.
Hang in there Vickers!!!
Johnson’s speed was 40.091mph. The limit was 35 plus 5? Why can’t they just say the limit is 40?
ROFLMAO at “Kudos to Hamlin for being incredibly gracious after the incident”. Considering he caused two wrecks and how he whined about Brad K and carried on a vendetta against Brad that would make Tony Soprano proud, he certainly should have been “gracious”. Denny would run over his own mother to win a race. He’s totally a “do as I say and not as I do” person.
Oh I forgot to thank Matt for another “page-turner” this week. Is there a smiley-face that conveys sarcasm?
We were at Dover yesterday and watched 300 laps of boring “racing” until Kyle and Jimmie made it a little bit exciting for about 50 laps. Then the penalty was assessed and the promise of an exciting finish was gone. It seems they could use a little judgement on some of these penalties. Jimmie went in the leader and came out second, gained no advantage from being .9 miles per hour over the limit and the fans lost a chance for an exciting finish. Many people started leaving as soon as the penalty was announced. Dover has not been a “Monster” since the concrete track was put in place
Which Indy 500 did she win?? The one on the 37th of Julumber?
I think Buschs success in the Cup Series race was a direct result of all the laps he ran in the other 2 series. Maybe we could grow the sport if more Cup drivers raced in Nationwide and Truck series races.
I was at Dover on Sunday. Lots and lots of empty seats and it was one BORING race. the people behind me left and I stretched out to take a nap! A nap while I’m AT the race.
Give me a race at martinsville, richmond and Darlington any day! Who needs a casino if the racing is good?
Well since the 2010 Indy 500 hasnt happened yet, she obviously cant be the winner, yet. But I think we can all agree that she is the favorite to win this year.
I’m just proud of Danica for being the 1st NASCAR driver that will compete in the Indy 500.
We were stunned that fox found it necessary to not only go into great detail on what a broken shifter ( on Kahnes’ car ) was , but then go to the prop car in the infield to SHOW us what the gear shift lever LOOKED LIKE ! Good thing too , because no one in the audience had any idea what a gear shift lever was , or did , or looked like . Hammond and the cut away car , both were money well spent .
I think everyone, incluidng Mattt, missed the real reason JJ got caught speeding. He knew it was likely the last pit stop and the winner off pit road would win the race. When he saw Kyle out of the corner of his eye pulling ahead out of the pits, he pushed his car just that little bit extra to get by Kyle and got the penalty. Credit this one one to Kyle’s superiority on both restarts and his exit from pit road. He is head and shoulders above the other drivers at these two skills. And these skills win more races than just about any other in this GWC world. Kyle is the man – at the tender age of 25.
Danica Patrick will be the first NASCAR driver to compete at indy unless you count Cale , and Bobby , and numerous others .
Mike, Danica participated in LAST YEAR’s Indy 500 – so she’ll be chronologically ahead of all those guys who compete THIS year.
dansmom said “I’m just proud of Danica for being the 1st NASCAR driver that will compete in the Indy 500.”
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Indy 500 and the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway were held on different days of the week. A handfull of NASCAR regulars participated in both events in the same year, including Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Lee Roy Yarbrough.
Laidback Racing, don’t let actual facts confuse some of these folks. LOL.
I remember one year they had almost 24 coverage of Tony Stewart when he raced both. His helicopter (actually Ganassi’s if I remember correctly) landing at Charlotte had the same coverage as the moon landing.
Of course a) that is when time allowed a driver to race both; b) predates Danica; and c) when both races actually mattered to the non-racing American TV watcher – who will probably be more concerned about how “The Hills” will end.
@Kevin: Dont be rediculous… no one watches the hills anymore. Thats so 2008. Try to stay up with pop-culture. The real housewives of NJ is where the action is these days.
I think we need to petition FOX to allow DIGGER to be shown on the other networks when they aren’t doing the NASCAR coverage. I am going to miss that little guy. He is by far the greatest marketing idea NASCAR has ever had.
Thanks to several of you for enforcing my belief that DansMom is an out of touch newbie who tends to dribble mush every time she posts. Sadly, I can remember when a Dover race was one to look forward to most of the time. Not this year. Maybe we’ll have better luck in the fall.
Anybody remember when this used to be a 500-mile affair at Dover? I wonder what the outcome would have been if that was the case on Sunday – besides six cars on the lead lap.
vito..I actually liked it at 500…so many cars didn’t have enough ompah to last that long!
When they were 500 laps / miles, the late, great Bennie Parsons called it “The 24 Hours of Dover”. Boy, they were long races.
VITO! SHAME ON YOU! I’m so sick of the fickle fans on this website who claim “the races are too long” and now want 100 more laps at DOVER!?!!?
Guys, I may not say the most popular things on this website – but I’m consistent in my claims.
Maybe if you’d stop blindly following columnists and formulate your own opinions you would realize that NASCAR today isn’t that bad.
OPEN YOUR EYES and watch a race, without prejudice, and if you can’t do that – move on. NASCAR doesn’t need you.
Wow, Vito, big fan, but that one just pissed me off.
Come on folks!! Hasn’t everybody figured out that what’s her face posts here just to get a reaction. Kind of like a little kid standing in the middle of the room screaming for attention. Or like a dog peeing on you. That kind of attention getter.
Dan Mom, I was in Wal-Mart last week and they had die cast Digger cars in the mark down isle for $14. You better turn off the computer and go get you some before all the other “Tiger Beat” reading newbies scoop them up.
I never claimed to like Digger. Besides, who buys die casts? Weren’t they popular in like 1998?
How many “rainbow warrior” die casts do you have laying around collecting dust?
Die Casts are about as cool as MC Hammer
midasmicah I know she is just posting dribble to get a reaction and I have ignored her all year but she is so far out of touch it has made it hard. The last two weeks her posts have annoyed me more than Michael Waltrip. I do notice that she doesn’t bother to answer post that point out her incorrect information.
dansmom said “Maybe if you’d stop blindly following columnists and formulate your own opinions you would realize that NASCAR today isn’t that bad.”
“Too bad it was a terrible finish, a debris caution and a few GWCs would have “bamn” kicked things up a notch!”
“Anyone else notice how well attended the Dover race was?”
Talk about blindly following columnist dansmom is following Brian France so blindly she is gonna bump into him if he comes to a sudden stop.
Dansmom, you said a few weeks ago you weren’t going to bother reading Matt anymore so PLEASE keep your word! It is uninformed, ignorant of the facts, fans like you that tick off long time fans. Fans like you that change facts to suit whatever it is you are trying to say! And I use that term “fans” loosely. And one last thing your “NoOneCaresAlina” comment is beyond stupid. you probably think the track that is called Atlanta Motor Speedway is actually in Atlanta or the one called Charlotte Motor Speedway is actually in Charlotte.
Its like she is the bad guy from the Harry Potter movies. “She who shall not be named”
“…not selling out the seats, is because NASCAR is too busy selling out the entire sport.” Great line, noel_w! I believe that the economy is probably a bigger factor, but it doesn’t negate the fact that NASCAR sold its soul a long time ago and continues to fill its coffers on the backs of the fans. Bigger isn’t necessarily better for the fans, something Bill France Jr. either didn’t believe or didn’t care about. Does it irk anyone else that we, the unwashed masses, are continually being asked to fund the charities of multimillionaires? I’m much more impressed when a driver/owner/executive/media personality spends his own cash, makes his own sacrifice to give to a philanthropic organization. Maybe it’s just me but between the Media, the Sponsors, and NASCAR I’m starting to feel a little bit manipulated.
I find it funny how DansMom can get in your head like HE does. ( swear it is BF posting under her name.) Everything HE says is totally opposite of reality and you all just eat it up. Don’t give him the satisfaction!!!
24crazy…when your are right you are right…i can’t believe I wasted time having a battle off wits with an unarmed man
the only thing dansmom is doing now is taking away from the quality work that Matt is doing from now on i am going to ignore every post from whats her name lol
I wish everyone would ignore DansGrandmother’s posts and actually discuss facts. He/she/it will go away if ignored.
I was at the race and traffic was quite good coming and going actually. You cannot expect to converge or leave a place of 100,000 people whenever you feel like it. Bring a magazine or cookout before or after. We parked in the mall and did some shopping beforehand. If you think Dover traffic is bad, then you have not been to some places that are far worse.
And all this back and forth with the childish comments? Why? Can we discuss the race please?