Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday May 24, 2010
The Key Moment: When Kyle Busch and teammate Denny Hamlin got to arguing over the lead and the No. 18 car hit the wall, Kurt Busch took advantage of the situation and shot from fifth to the lead in one lap.
In a Nutshell: A perfect example of this year’s Cup racing to date… ninety percent tedium followed by ten percent terrific.
Dramatic Moment: When they dropped the green flag with ten laps to go, you had to figure there were going to be fireworks and there were.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
What the hell is Kyle Busch so angry about? He was in second, had a good run and was trying to pass Hamlin, who obviously moved up to block the move in a non-points paying event that pays pretty well to win. Busch got up into the wall, but there was no apparent contact between the two cars. This is stock car racing, not lawn tennis. Maybe the Shrub is just ticked off because the fans celebrated his misfortune so lustily and loudly. As ye reap, so shall you sow. If anyone had a right to be angry after the race, it was Kasey Kahne. Busch knew he had a tire rub but remained on track. When that right front tire finally blew, Busch sent Kahne hard into the wall, ending a thoroughly disappointing run for the No. 9 team (and ironically, almost costing Kyle’s older brother Kurt a win.)
That being said, Hamlin’s No. 11 car was like the Bermuda Triangle Saturday night. Anyone venturing too close tended to disappear.
Busch should consider himself fortunate he wasn’t black-flagged for passing the leader coming to the line on the first restart of the final segment. The mayhem that developed behind him might have had NASCAR officials swallow their whistles.
I’m wondering if any fans in the stands were injured when the right-side window of Kahne’s car flew into the (fortunately sparsely populated) grandstands during his wreck with Kyle Busch. In this case, I guess no news is good news.
Here’s the thing about race fans. Everybody has their favorite driver. When one other driver starts beating them too often, they tend to dislike the fellow who is “hogging” the victories. It happened with Dale Earnhardt the Original. It happened with Jeff Gordon. And it was pretty hard not to hear that a lot of folks in the grandstands seemed pretty pleased Jimmie Johnson suffered misfortune after stinking up much of the show. In fact, the cheering after the incident seemed to approach the ABG (Anybody But Gordon) hysteria of the late ’90s. There’s one thing about the three drivers I’ve heard booed most loudly during my long-term tenure with the sport; Earnhardt, Gordon and Johnson were all winning bunches of races and titles when it happened. Like Earnhardt once famously said, “If they ain’t cheering, they damn well better be booing.”
It’s got to be a dark, scary time for those running the Ford NASCAR racing program. Two of their highest-profile sponsors this year, UPS and Bud, are said to be in talks with Richard Childress Racing to sponsor Kevin Harvick now that the points leader has re-signed with the team. You know, winning a race occasionally might help Ford retain ancillary sponsors.
Speaking of Ford, those FR9 engines looked strong in the preliminary event. Of course, it’s been so long since a Ford won a Cup race that event was heavily laden with their best teams trying to make the big show.
The first All-Star race back in 1985 was 70 laps long, and concluded in just over forty minutes. We need this bloated freak show the All-Star race has become to get back to its roots. 110,000 showed up to watch that first Winston. Draw your own conclusions.
Yeah, I’m a cynic, but I did tear up a little listening to young Taylor Gibbs’ invocation prior to the race.
Sab-a-toogie? Team members claim that they found lug nuts on three wheels of Kyle Busch’s Truck Series vehicle loosened prior to the rain-delayed race Friday night. Those wheels were said to have been carefully checked prior to that occurrence. While Busch’s truck was fixed, Austin Dillon, whose truck was parked beside Busch’s, blamed his wreck in the event on a loose wheel though Dillon’s truck had also been checked over. In the NASCAR garage, with all the cameras and phones that double as cameras, it’s tough to believe anyone could get away with anything so underhanded or a poorly thought out prank, but if it occurred someone needs to accept blame. The lives of drivers and fans alike are at stake. Longtime fans might recall an incident at Talladega in the ’70s, when many teams arrived at the track Sunday morning to find that brake and fuel lines on their cars had been cut and foreign substances had been put in the fuel tanks. Nobody ever did figure out who was responsible for that vandalism.
Back when this whole “single race” paint scheme started with Earnhardt’s silver car and Elliott’s “Thunderbat,” it was pretty cool. But nowadays, there are just so many single-race schemes, particularly in an event like the All-Star Race, the switches to the warpaint just tend to confuse fans who can’t pick out their favorite drivers. That having been said, I thought the all orange 20 car looked a lot better than the week-to-week paint scheme.
I like surprises. I enjoy spontaneity. I like plans that change at a moment’s notice. Some Mondays, I’ll be thinking “tonight, I write my midweek column” but Kenny shows up on his motorcycle to go riding, or the usual suspects in the neighborhood show up with a six pack and pull up a lawn chair to settle in for the long haul. But sometimes in life, it’s important to have anchors to keep an even keel. For instance, I know what I’m going to be doing every Monday night at precisely 9 PM… not watching Fast Track to Fame on SPEED.
I’m not sure about the wisdom of starting the rain-delayed Truck race after 10:30 PM Eastern time. The event concluded about 1 AM Saturday morning, making for a real long day for fans in the stands and at home. With so little on-track action scheduled for Saturday and a stellar forecast, why not postpone the race? I doubt the sponsors are going to be very happy with the ratings or the amount of eyeballs watching their rolling billboards after the witching hour Saturday night. Cup races have been shortened due to rain delays because neither the track officials, law enforcement, or NASCAR wanted them running that late at night.
Apparently, the IRL fan’s love affair with the all-singing, all-dancing, quick to strip down, Ms. Danica Patrick is wearing thin. After a thoroughly disappointing 23rd-place qualifying run, her perpetual petulance led Patrick to say on the public address system fault lay with her team (owned by one Michael Andretti), not her. The crowd’s reaction was loud, profane, and overwhelmingly negative. Come on back to NASCAR, Danica. FOX still thinks you’re the next best thing to Junior.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
In the two intermediate sections of the race, Jimmie Johnson looked untouchable, but the final segment didn’t go his way. Johnson took a decidedly agricultural detour through the grass after losing traction on the back end of his car.
Mark Martin seemed to be setting himself up quietly for a shot at the win late in the race when Joey Logano’s Toyota came out of the grass and into the side of the No. 5 car.
Jeff Gordon, who has won this deal three times, managed to put his car into the wall on the very first lap of the event.
Jamie McMurray had a much stronger run than his eighteenth-place finish indicates, but that seems to be the case nearly every week for the No. 1 team.
Three of Rick Hendrick’s cars got caught up in the big wreck, leaving Johnson to have to remove himself from competition unassisted.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
It was a pretty good weekend for Roger Penske, winning the All-Star Race and claiming the top two starting positions for the Indy 500.
Kurt Busch bounced off the wall twice during the event but rebounded to win it.
Martin Truex had to race his way into the All-Star event, and thus started at the back of the pack for the big race. He rallied nicely to a second-place finish.
As badly as Tony Stewart ran much of the night, it actually seemed that his car ran stronger after getting involved in the big wreck. Stewart rallied back to fifth; but of course, in this race nobody remembers who finished second, much less fifth.
What’s the Points?
This race is pointless. Which, I guess, is supposed to be the point.
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 can of generic stuff… all earned in the final fifteen minutes. Up until that point, “the Big Show” was a colossal dud.
Next Up: From what should be a brief non-points event to the longest points-paying event on the circuit… the World 600 takes center stage next Sunday night. (Oh, I hear they’re having some sort of race somewhere in the Midwest next Sunday afternoon, too.)
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
To quote the late great Dale Sr. “Doesn’t matter if they are cherring or booing as long as they are making noise”. Well guess what, they’re making noise for Danica.
Just further proof of Danica’s overwhelming influence on the racing world.
There are so many similarities between Danica and Dale: single-name recognition, marketing dream, driving style, and class.
If/when RCR puts Danica in the 3 car we’ll see the championships roll in, and NASCAR return to its illustrious days!
Suppose Jayski could start a tally of how many times DW contradicts himself during a telecast? Man that guy is stupid!
i want some of the medication dansmom is taking.
At least Danica is a better driver than Dale Jr. Danica #88 Go Daddy.com com Hendrick Chevy.
there’s quite a few differences between Dale Senior and Danica.. 70 plus of them to start. The rest of your comments I won’t even diginify with a response. Dale Sr. classy? I’d venture to say we’ll see her in Playboy before she ever gets a win in the Nationwide Series. She’s pushing 30 so the clock is ticking on that spread for Hef.
Loved the invocation, that little guy is one hell of a fighter. Sw the story on ESPN last year I believe and let me tell you there are not a lot of things sadder and more uplifting at the same time than kids with serious illnesses or disabilities who are fighting their tails off to get better.
Anyway, the race. I watched the same race as everyone else and I for the life of me, cannot figure out why Kyle was so upset. He was NOT on the final lap and he had plenty of track to work with. All he had to do was work Hamlin for another lap or 2 then pass him. He must run his race teams the same way he drives, all emotion no rationale.
One thing I think I notice is that Hamlin can work the side by side when it counts. I wonder if the spoiler on the COT creates a bigger disturbance of air when two cars are side to side kinda like how your car gets out of sorts on the interstate when an 18 wheeler is alongside you. Any physicists out there, please feel free to fill me in.
And THAT is why I get frustrated with racing anymore, it’s all about turbulence and not about horsepower.
Hey! What happened to all the talk about “the NEW Kyle Busch”? Pardon me for borrowing a phrase from The Who: “Meet the NEW Kyle: same as the OLD Kyle”. What a boob! Though I’m not a Steven Wallace fan, I actually jumped and cheered when PeeWee got in his face after an altercation during a Nationwide race a while back and was (ahem) persuaded to back off. As much as I can’t stand Hamlin (remember his delayed reaction to an ear-beating from Kyle Petty?), I’d LOVE to see the two of them duking it out behind the hauler. (Oh, and please tell me what planet Dansmom is living on. I need to stay away from that one)
Danica in the #3? Yeah – I would expect to see from up here in PA the black smoke from NC being burned to the ground by the many riots.
Took me about three reads before I realized the comments were comparing Danica to Sr. and not Jr.
This race SUCKED, I too was going to give it one can but the hurried caution for Jimmy’s spin(where he TOUCHED NOTHING and everyone had passed him) in the grass cost the race that one can. After watching the all-snore race, I do not see how the 600 can beat INDY next weekend. The last 30 min of Bump Day had more Drama then the whole nascar all-snore race. I am not a big one wheel fan, but I do like INDY.
They need to bring back the elimination format. The Open was a better race as these guys are not motivated by money anymore, they are motivated by getting to the next race! The one year they did the elimination format was awesome…but Rusty complained so much since he did not make it past the first segment B. Smith dropped the idea. I remember him saying afterwards all “his” fans did not come here to watch him only race 30 laps…I am betting they did not show up to watch him run around the back either. I went to 11 “Winstons”…this was my second miss in a row and will not be back until they doing something different than 95 parade laps with a 10 lap shootout!
I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE STUPID COMMENTS BY DANSMOM….I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE STUPID COMMENTS BY DANSMOM….I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE STUPID COMMENTS BY DANSMOM….was in the stands and agree with matt…too much whoopla…boring for the most part but final 2 segments pretty good.
DansMom has to be a woman with a chip on her shoulder or an employee of IMG the management agency with DP. One fuel mileage race win in her long, non-illustrious IndyCar career. To compare her with almost any winner in any sports is non-sense. BigDaddy has gotten behind her and promoted the hell out of her. And they all have done a good job getting her name out there bigger than life. They really have. Makes good copy and makes plenty of Mo for her.
On the other hand these are the problems: as in Indy this weekend you just can’t whack on your crew in public. I have seen NASCAR guys do it and it just tears a team down. You just don’t DO that. Hell she just signed a 2 or 3-year deal with Andrettii. How is that gonna play out beatin up her team? She is just another over-hyped, over-paid, petted sports personality. Gawd this country is full of those. It’s boring. To me she is Kyle Busch in drag, just has 60 less top-tier wins to her name. I can put up with Kyle Busch because he is one exciting cat in Cup and gets the job done. His childish behavior is boring but dam can’t he drive? I love it. Patrick is childish with 1! count then ONE win. She is boring times 10.
Now here is another problem. She can drive an IndyCar, many can. A whole lotta downforce in your back pocket. She doesn’t want to get close to anyone on the track at all. Not a good trait to have in the frammin and bammin in NASCAR worlds.
And the final thing to me is creeping out just a bit since the new Nationwide CoT test at Daytona last week. LOOSE is what drivers are screaming. Patrick was so afraid to mash the gas at Daytona because she thought those cars are terribly loose. Here’s the Big Story: flash news media update breakin news: DP won’t be able to drive a loose race car, will likely fail miserably if this COT Nationwide car stays loose, or will have to rely on NASCAR to make rules to tighten the car up. “Screamin loose” is what I believe Carl Edwards or some other racer said about these new cars. Juxtapose Partick with Montoya—he is a world class racer but had his difficulties with a loose race car. But he gets it now and I hope can close the deal soon. Ain’t happnin for DP, period.
And by the way DansMon this has nothing to do with female for me. Give me a female who is a racer then I love her. Ashely Force Hood gets about a tenth of the media coverage but is three times better in her field than Danica. Period, end of story. And truly one last thing. I am from old school, like Smith Barney used to say you had to “earn” your money or billing or whatever. Nowadays, as a prominent sports writer wrote some months ago, “it’s not about your talent but the size of the deal you bring to the table these days that makes the news”—paraphrasing I am but translated it’s about the size of your pocketbook not the list of wins that gets a deal these days. Plus her marketing people, they just keep sleezing her down. How low can you go? She doesn’t have to me that pretty of a body. For me less is more. Cover her up, shut her up, take her off the airways and just shut up and win! That will do it for me. And really I hope she wins the Indy 500 this weekend. I really do. I just don’t want to see her stripped down in the news the next day. Ain’t professional. You want to bare it all goto Playboy and get out of the driver’s seat! And by the way she isn’t even close to the fix that NASCAR needs, but so many people over there think she is the Second Coming.
I have to correct you there Matt (no suprise)… Danica is better for NASCAR that JR ever was or will be.
I watched both “races” to the very end. Don’t know how I pulled that off. Except for the scripted, bunch them up for ten laps final segment, this whole thing was a boring, single file marathan. I kept waiting for “the gloves are off if you ain’t rubbin, you ain’t racin” part and it never happened. This is a microcosm of nas$car’s season. I was absolutely shocked at all the empty seats in the stands. nas$car needs to do something about the state of the racing and quick. I gave this race one beer.
Danica has more IRL wins than Dale had. Why? Because Dale never raced IRL. Dale has more Cup wins than Danica. Why? Because Danica has yet to race in cup.
Where are all of these playboy picks of Danica everyone keeps talking about? I’d kinda like to see them.
Why do people continue to respond to what’s her name? All she’s doing is baiting them.
I believe DansMom is actually BriansSister therefore I will call her B.S.
Speed had some good shows on last weekend about Junior Johnson, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt before the Hall of Fame inductions Sunday. It almost brought tears to my eyes watching the clips of real stock cars driven by the masters of the sport before the day Brian France and money took over.
After watching those it mad me cringe even more as Saturday nights bloated and overhyped show went on. They have to get it through their heads that sometimes less is more, and will someone please put a plug in DW’s mouth. His “Expert” analysis is wearing especially thin these days to the point where even he must be questioning his ability in the booth.
As for the quick caution for JJ as he was safely sliding through the grass 200 yards away from the racing groove; We can’t have a double file restart “Shootout Style” to spice up the action without one. Just imagine how exciting the finish of the 1976 Daytona 500 could have been if they only had the GWC back then and threw the yellow at the drop of a hot.
I want to know how they will find enough clips from Saturday night to make a promo for next year’s race. There just wasn’t that much action.
Guys, I think Dansmom may have been being just a bit facetious.
DW is the biggest idiot out there with that old and tired “Boogity,B,B” that NO ONE wants to hear anymore that HE just doesnt get, and THEN…. GUARENTEEING that the #48 would win the All Star with 10 laps to go.
Funny DW how you never did get around to “‘splainin” how JJ never won after the “I GUARENTEE IT!” statement. No you conveniently forgot all about it didnt you DFW.Except to say “I didnt think it was possible(for anyone else to win)” Well WHY NOT DW?? Did you just think everyone else would just let him on by because he is one of “Mr.” Hendricks boys?? Bah…MORON!!
Why would the first 90% of the race mean anything anway? You can’t win a 100 lap race on laps 1-99. But you sure can lose it! (See Kyle Busch)
As far as the pagentry, could you all be any more selfish? Saturday Nights “showcase” was as much for the crew as it was for anyone else. At no other time durring the season are all-star crews names displayed on the TV while they are celebrated with lights, a band, and some face time on National TV. I’m so sorry that their 15 seconds of fame wasted 15 minutes of your precious life.
Don’t you mean “should be taking”? Who keeps kicking her out of bed at 6 in the morning? Where’s DansDad when you need him? Poor Dad.
There were probably a lot of fans yelling “Why?” when the yellow came out for Johnson’s trip through the grass when he turned the Car of Terror into a lawnmower. It seems to cut the grass better than it drives.
There seem to be a few drivers who have that entitled attitude who don’t want other drivers to “race” them, like Kyle and Jimmie.
I actually believe that DansMom is a master fisherman. No matter what bait is thrown out there she gets all the strikes she can handle. Sarcasm can be a little hard for some to grasp.
Here’s my suggestion to eliminate some of the boredom in the early segments. Elimination. Start with more cars, and eliminate the back 5 or however many it takes until you get to a reasonable number for the final segment, which should be 20 laps, not 10. That might stop the meaningless and boring driving around we saw in the back of the pack in the early segments.
After watching Wendy interview Kyle Busch’s fiancee Sam after the burnout contest, I have to wonder what they see in each other. She has a high-pitched nasal voice like Fran Drescher and seems more concerned about shoes and her wedding than she does about his racing.
10 laps to the finish seems like a great amount to me. Any more and you end up with the “racing” you had in the first 50, 20, and 20 lap segments.
@ DansMom: I know you get lonely without me pointing out how incredibly stupid you are, so here goes: I pray to God that you get twice weekly visits from CPS. Someone needs to be making sure Dan’s diapers are changed and he is fed.
@ Matt: I find it interesting that people make such a big deal out of the All-Star race paying $1,000,000.00 to win. The first Winston paid that much. Back then you could build 15 cars for that much money. It was 1/10th of a top teams annual budget. Now you can build 3 cars and it is 1/30th. It’s a joke.
@ Randy: I would love to point out how idiotic your comments are, but so far, debating any topic with you has been as much fun for me as beating up a blind man. So I will just shake my head and leave you to your pedophilic fantasies of Danica.
I’ve said it often, the way to beat the 48 is to take off the kid gloves and pressure JJ, not learn Chad’s secrets. He shows repeatedly that if you run him hard and make him uncomfortable, good things happen. He couldn’t even handle starting off the front row Saturday night without turning into high dollar landscaper.
Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, i want to see more of Digger. The only thing that would make FOX broadcast better would for Michael Waltrip to also be in the booth. Did anyone else notice how John referred to Danica as “DP”! HAHA funny!
with how the race was saturday night, i have a feeling i’ll be working on a project sunday and flip on the race around 8 or 9 pm. 600 miles of what we’ve seen all season long until last 10 laps. no way.
watched the hof stuff. figured they’d do earnhardt last to keep the television audience. watching the audience during his induction, tears from non-family members almost 10 yrs later. says a lot of what it going on with the sport.
i swear brian france looks like he’s got an affliction. he couldn’t sit still or stand still. when he was sitting there, i kept waiting for the drool to roll down his chin. figured his sister would pull out a bib and put it on him. sure hope brian france is happy.
@ Kevin in SoCal: That’s the easiest question in the world to answer.He loves her implants, she loves his money. It’s the 21st cuntury’s answer to “The American Dream”.
It’s official! I am now convinced Marrgarita Chicken is DansMom‘s second screen name. I suspected it for a while, Marrgarita is the only person to type the sentence: “DansMom is right.” And it answers the question of what she is high on when writing her posts.
Noel, i think you should be happy that another female like yourself will be joining the top ranks of NASCAR.
I am not Dans Mom, but thatns for the compliment. I cannot help it that she has alot of valid points.
Last year it was “Nascar Crusader” and a host of others.
Because they want us to watch it and not just tune in for the last ten laps!!!
Is it just me or does Noel seem to have a lot of pent up anger? Maybe there is trouble at home between her and her boyfriend.
“I’m wondering if any fans in the stands were injured when the right-side window of Kahne’s car flew into the (fortunately sparsely populated) grandstands during his wreck with Kyle Busch. In this case, I guess no news is good news.”
The window landed on the track. I watched it yesterday after DVR’ing Saturday night as I had better things to do. I only watched the last 10 laps by the way. Wish they would do every race like that, so as you are fast forwarding you can easily see when to stop.
Anway, on the original replay it did look like the window went over the fence, but from a different angle you can clearly see it came back down on the track side of the fence.
I tried to read thru the mess above in case someone had already answered and gave up! Sheesh!
MATT, that side window never made it into the stands. I was specifically watching for it during the different replay angles, and in one you could see that it fell back down onto the track. The first angle looked like it leapt the fence, but it was just the way the camera faced – it actually went straight up and back down onto the track. Thank goodness!
The All-Star snooze fest was a bust. too much talk, not enough action. All of the breaks just make it choppy. Kyle is not new and improved, I wonder if his Mom and Dad are proud of him? My mother would have had a word or two with me if I had ever acted like he does in public.
Danica is another “fine” example of how not to act. I would love to see a woman in racing that I could support, but Miss Petulant isn’t it.
Ha! I guess I type too slow – KyCupFan beat me to it! :)
Sorry about the mess – I got my grand daughter off my lap now…
Thanks for the update on the flying side window..
The only “The Winston” or “All Star” race I attended was the very first one in 1985. In fact, the race was only announced about a month beforehand! It was held after the Grand National race on Saturday before the 600. Those who already had their tickets for that day (which I had!) got to see it at “no additional charge!” Best format ever, too … … 70 laps … too long for anyone to last on a tank of gas … and just racing! No “time outs” or other strange rules! The only “ground rule” was every driver had to make a pit stop between laps 30 and 40. Also, the field was any DRIVER who had won in 1984 and in 1985 up to the time of the race. I always wondered if the drivers “arranged” which lap they would pit (between 30 and 40) as the spread it out over the entire ten laps and there was never more than two cars on pit road. Yes, we all know what happened to “Ol’ D.W.‘s motor when he took the checkered flag … LOL! Yes, I would love to see the race revert back to the orignal format.
I dont get why everyone is so against Danica joining NASCAR. She is obviously exactly what this sport needs right now. She is an amazing driver, has a great look, and can bring lots of sponsorship dollars to the track. I think she is a perfect fit for all of the Dale Jr. fans that are jumping ship right now because they finally realized he isn’t any good at racing.
Dont get mad because she is doing what Erin Crocker couldnt.
Interesting how no one seemed to like the first 90 laps of the race. But the last 10 laps everyone loved.
Also – on a totally unrelated note there sure were a lot of wrecks in the last 10 laps. hmmmm…
gopapa has a point that i brought up last year….I think they should eliminate drivers in 40 to 50 lap heat races and then we would see RACING every weekend not follow the leader until 30 to go.
I for one could give a flip whether she enters NASCAR or not. My thing is people want her fast tracked to Cup, but quite frankly, of all of the open wheel drivers over time who have ventured to NASCAR, she has the worst resume, and aside from a safe performance in the ARCA race in Daytona, she’s underwhelmed. I think if anything, the Indy fans are tiring of her act. Yes she’s easy on the eyes, if you like flat-chested raven haired women with a constant sneer and a petulant attitude who never do any wrong, but they are starting to see her for what she is, a whining brat (something different that many call Kyle Busch but that would not be cool to say about a woman; starts with b) but with the past couple years playing the NASCAR leap game to get a better contract, they are seeing that she’s all sizzle no steak and to throw your team under the bus at Indy is like flipping off the fans at Lambeau Field or dropping a deuce in the wodods off the 18th green at Augusta, you just don’t break code or etiquette. You call out your crew like that, you’re begging for an F you during the race, like when Robby Gordon lost what was it 7 tires at a race one year?
In conclusion, I could care less if she drives in Cup. Ideally she’ll have to earn her way up, unless some car owner in the top 35 transfers points to her team. IMO, she is simply not a good stock car driver (as she has barely done it)and won’t be for a few years if that. She doesn’t have the patience of Sam Hornish or even JPM.
>>Add ol’ DW to the most booed drivers list. During his days with Junior Johnson, he was booed more than Earnhardt.
>>>Watching the race live from the Turn 1 Grandstand, Hamlin definitely changed his line in the corner and put a major block on Kyle Busch. It was a stupid move as he killed his own chance to win, losing so much momentum that the #2 car was able to blow past him down the back straight.
>>>Montoya ruined a great run for Regan Smith in the Open. He was truly at fault for the incident and his comments afterwards were idiotic.
I love Ashley Force Hood! Three times better looking than Dan Patrick and five times better racer. I would like to see under her hood! Go Ashley Poppa is John Force Hood!
Did somebody actually use “Dale” and “class” in the same sentence? They must not have been alive in the 80’s.
Excellent post and excellent discussions.
I couldn’t agree more on so many of the replies.
I agree that if the final part of the event was longer than the 10 laps that it was that they would get strung out like they were on the forgettable other segments of the race.
Also I agree about Kyle Busch being way out of line. I’m no Hamlin fan but Busch for some reason decided to push the issue to the high side and put himself in the wall. Hamlin didn’t do anything wrong. Why it was all or nothing right I that moment in Busch’s head is very strange. Why Joe Gibbs ,who presents himself as a good Christian man, tolerates this petulant behavior by Busch is beyond me. I guess winning is the only thing.
And DW is one of the greatest windbags of all time as an announcer. He has almost ruined the memory of a tremendous racing legacy (at least through ’92 and parts of ’98 when he drove the #1 car) by his awful announcing. Sometimes it would be better if ex-drivers just ‘faded away’.
Also I hope that all of the rough edges of Dale Earnhardt are not smoothed away by time. I think if he is turned into a plaster saint and all of his flaws forgotten it would make him a much less fascinating person to study. I think his story is as much of an American story as Junior Johnson and Richard Petty. And this is from someone who couldn’t have been madder at him after what he did to Terry Labonte at Bristol in ’99.