NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday May 31, 2010
The Key Moment: Kurt Busch’s No. 2 team got him off pit road first after the final caution flag flew with 19 laps left to run.
In a Nutshell: It’s Ganassi 1, Penske 1, after 1,100 miles of racing on Memorial Day weekend.
Dramatic Moment: Jamie McMurray drove doggedly to run down Busch in the final 19 laps. In fact, the two battled hard the final 100 laps of the race.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
OK, it wasn’t a great Indy 500, but it was still the Indy 500. Congratulations to Dario Franchitti.
Speaking of the 500, with our sport having no inherent time outs and with as many commercial breaks as there are during a Cup race, what’s it going to take for NASCAR fans to get the same “Side-By-Side” coverage IndyCar fans enjoy during commercial breaks?
It was far from a sellout, but there was still a pretty impressive crowd at Charlotte Sunday night. While it sounded childish at times during the week, I figure the Hamlin-Busch feud at the All-Star race as well as Kurt Busch winning in a car with its right side stoved in helped sell some tickets.
Shades of 1994. That year, Roger Penske won the Indy 500 with Al Unser, Jr. and Rusty Wallace, driving for Penske, finished second in the World 600 to Jeff Gordon. Remember 1994? Hell, do you remember back when Jeff Gordon used to win races?
It was a classy gesture for Jamie McMurray to head over to congratulate Kurt Busch after the race, but I’m not so sure about this pouring a coke down the back of his uniform gesture. That stuff gets stickier than superglue when it dries.
It just seems Kyle Busch can never leave a race track with “plays well with others” checked on his report card. For the record, I don’t think there is this mythical “new” Kyle Busch. Here’s the deal. When he wins races, he’s happy and pleasant. When he loses races, he’s unhappy. When he wrecks out of a race or loses one in the pits, he’s downright furious. This is part of the maturation process of a young driver. You can’t let the victories get you too elated, and you can’t let the defeats destroy you. Learn from each, but realize over the course of a career you’re going to lose more races than you’ll win.
Speaking of the younger Busch brother, the current Nationwide series points leader won’t be headed to that series’ next race at Nashville Saturday night. You have to wonder if after his post-victory antics there last year the fans, track management, and Sam Bass don’t want him to come back. That was one of those rare occasions Busch managed to act like a buffoon even in victory, and I think it has a lot to do with his image problem.
Looking for some good news? The four-month tidal wave of aural terror that is FOX’s part of the season came to an end Sunday night. Not surprisingly, the broadcast opened with Darrell Waltrip in a self-congratulatory mood. To give credit where credit is due, like an Edwardian era child, FOX’s chief pest, Digger, was more seen than heard this year. And in the final two broadcasts, it seemed like the higher-ups at FOX were finally getting the message after another season of sagging ratings and financial losses. The final two broadcasts featured more information and less lame comedy skits. Now, if they’d drop the Hollywood Hotel entirely and get Waltrip to tone it down a bit (if DW is, in fact, “the voice of NASCAR,” I wish I was born deaf) they might be onto something. Starting next week, we go to TNT for Cup races. Last year, the TNT crew put on the most informative and respectful broadcasts our sport enjoyed all year.
I’m a little worried about the start of next week’s Pocono race. Are all the drivers going to stall out heading to the green flag without having someone holler, “Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing boys?” Yeah, maybe I worry too much.
I write about racing, not commercials, so I’ll bury this down here. I just can’t figure out what Toyota is thinking. Do you want to get chased by a bear while hiking? Hell, no! Count me out. Do you want to get attacked by a shark while surfing? Thanks, but I’d rather not. Then again, maybe I’d prefer either to entering a tight Interstate off-ramp in a three-ton SUV seemingly designed by Mattel with the throttle stuck to the floor.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
What a strange May homestand for Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte. The driver who once dominated here wrecked himself three times between the All-Star race and the World 600. And all of it came at a joint Johnson once confidently called “His House.” Of course, statistically speaking a fellow is most likely to have accidents around his house.
Denny Hamlin had a competitive car early, but damaged the splitter of his car driving through the grass to avoid Johnson’s spinning Chevy. The car was clearly never right afterwards.
Jeff Burton had a solid top-5 car until that final restart, when Busch came to shove.
Greg Biffle ran the high line for most of the race and used it successfully, but it was perhaps inevitable he was going to eventually slam that wall rather than brush it running up there in the Harry Gant line.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
It looked like Kyle Busch’s evening was over when he ran into Brad Keselowski exiting his pits, but he rallied back to a third-place finish.
Winner Kurt Busch just barely avoided running into the back of Jimmie Johnson’s stricken car as they entered pit road. All in all, Charlotte was pretty good to Busch this month.
I want Mike Conway to pick my lottery numbers this week. He led laps at Indy, sending scribes scurrying to find their programs and figure out who the guy was. More importantly, he survived a last-lap wreck at the 500 that had all the markings of one of those tragedies that cripples a driver or worse.
A gutsy call to stay out during the final caution flag paid off with a top-5 finish for Mark Martin and the No. 5 team. Martin had spent most of the race running mid-pack.
Chip Ganassi has to be feeling pretty good after that Indy 500 victory and a strong second-place finish at Charlotte by McMurray. Considering the cloud of uncertainty hovering over the EGR team going into this season, it had to be sweet vindication.
David Reutimann’s strong fifth-place finish has to have some folks wondering if he might have won last year’s 600 even if it hadn’t rained.
What’s the Points?
Kevin Harvick continues to lead the points, but second-place Kyle Busch narrowed the gap to 29. Matt Kenseth remains third in the standings, 117 points behind Harvick. Jeff Gordon rose two spots to fourth, while Denny Hamlin rounds out the top 5.
Race winner Kurt Busch advances three spots to sixth in the standings, while another tough race for Johnson drops him three more spots in the standings to seventh. Jeff Burton holds eighth, and Greg Biffle fell two spots to ninth.
Mark Martin and Carl Edwards swapped the tenth and eleventh spots, with Martin now having the advantage. Ryan Newman rose a spot to take over the twelfth place ranking from Martin Truex, Jr.
On the outside looking in, Clint Bowyer is thirteenth, four points behind Newman and ten points ahead of Truex. Jamie McMurray is fifteenth, twelve points behind Truex, and one point ahead of 16th place Tony Stewart.
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 four cans. The race dragged a little in the center, but featured good racing early and late, along with two drivers gunning for a win who seemed more concerned with a trophy than points or a big check.
Next Up: It’s off to the tricky triangle at Pocono. Hopefully, the remaining fans trying to exit last July’s Pocono event have made it out of the parking lot by now.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
If Danica keeps getting top 5 finishes, she might make the Chase!
what, no mention that jr lead some laps? i woke up (thanks to sinus and migraine) and they were saying jr lead 10 laps. wow….how did he manage that?
at other news sites, folks who watched indy had some less than flattering things to say about the tv coverage and the commercials, or amount of commercials. even after a while, the side-by-side split screen irritated some.
if memory serves me, doesn’t tnt do split screen sometimes when they have the broadcast?
how dw was lamenting, i initially thought fox would never be back to broadcast a nascar race again. geez…get over it dw. feb is right around the corner in the grand scheme of things. (joy).
You saw it like I did. You also did a great job summing things up. Perfect take on young Kyle Busch and congrats to Kurt for his dominating performance.
I took 2 cans away (would have been a 4 can race)for the dansmon caution when Jimmie scraped the wall and Denny went through the grass, this did not deserve a caution, Robby Gordon SLAMMED the wall and went half a lap dropping debris before he got a caution.
I thought both Charlotte and Indy had very good crowds, especially considering the huge amount of empty seats at other races this year.
I have never been a big fan of Brian Vickers, but it was nice to see him at the track during the Busch race, he seemed in good spirits and very positive, and did 100 times better job in the booth then anyone for Fox. Hope to see him back in the car next year.
Dansmom I see you are still following your Idol Prez.Obama saying one thing while doing something else.(you told all of us OVER A MONTH AGO YOU WOULD NO LONGER COMMENT ON MATT’S COLUMNS, and more times then not you are the first poster.)
While I agree 95% of what DW says is fluff, last week a heard him correct everyone who said Jimmie was less then 1/2 MPH over speed limit( At Dover) by stating he was 5+ Mph because nascar gives the drivers 5 Mph, This week After Mike Joy said there would be over 20 cars on lead lap at the finish and this would be a new record, DW correctly stated that with the wave around and lucky dog this record should easily be broken.
Well said on Kyle’s racing attitude, Matt.
Is something wrong with Johnson? Usually a DNF means he will come back the following week to destroy the field. This season, a bad day leads to a bad 6 weeks.
DansMom: Danica received a 1 position penalty for an illegal pass on Marco following the Conway crash. Technically, she only managed a top 10. Still, after qualifying 23rd, a great race for her (even if fuel mileage put her there).
It was nice to see a race end like it should (Indy 500) without resorting to gimmicks like Nascars GWC. I do take exception to the BS black flags at Indy for blocking. Just shut up and race, blocking has been a part of racing since it inception.
Once again Danica gets a top ten based on fuel conservation strategy and not racing ability. Once again also we get non stop coverage of her based on her sponsor and liberal use of airbrushes and make up in her soft porn Go Daddy advertisments.
The first 2 positions were held by Jack Roush rejects. I kinda wish Jamie could have won for Granissi so he could have 2 in one day. Guess Penske sayed at Indy and where was Richard Petty? I did not see him.
It must have “looked” like a good crowd on TV. There were less than 100,000 in the stands and huge empty sections (Ford Grandstand, Blue Seats in Turn 4, Orange Seats under Ford Tower). The track has already reduced capacity from it’s prime by about 30,000 (covering the concrete back stretch grandstands, tarping off the Jewel Box seats in the Diamond Tower, removing grandstands between Turns 1 and 2) and still can’t get close to a sell out.
In fact all of the Suites in Turn 1 and the Diamond Tower Suites were unused.
Still better than California, but the attendance is off 50% at Charlotte.
Also, the Busch Race (Nationwide) drew less than 20,000 in the Grandstands
Bad Wolfe, blocking has not been a part of open wheel racing since the first time one of those open wheelers rode up the back of the one doing the blocking.
Danica drove a good race. I wonder how many of the keyboard commandos who spend most of their waking hours bashing her, could have done as well.
How about you?
I’m a diehard Jeff Burton fan and I saw something you don’t see very often. Jeff Burton didn’t like being taken out by Busch and he let Busch know about it loud and clear. He doesn’t lose his cool like that very often. One more change they need to change on the COC. Get rid of the splitter. All it’s good for is cutting tires and mowing grass. I thought this was a decent race. Somewhere between three and four beers. I’ll end with a get well soon to Brian Vickers. He’s my second favorite driver after Burton.
Why can’t the splitters be designed so that they end about three inches inside the wheels? That way incidental contact would get a splitter into your opponent’s tire?
It has got hard deciding who to root for or against when it comes to the start and parks or front row motorsports during quailifing. One has NO INTENTION of racing and the other plans on racing by swapping numbers/cars to keep their sponser inside the top 35.
Great point Bill.
WC- if you woudl read my posts instead of just bashing them you’ll see that I said I would “boo-cott” Matt’s articles for a while to prove that less people post when not responding to mine. And that Matt’s articles get the most posts simply because he has top billing on Mondays.
Ok – do you seriously think that they don’t want Kyle back at Nashville? He’s raced there since he smashed HIS f’n guitar. Get over it.
I have read and followed Matt and his writings(rants) over at least 4 web sites and 12 years, along with many others. He has top billing because he has a large following. And a true love of the sport, if you would go back over the years and read some of Matts post\stories you would see this.
I have missed reading comments from some of the long time readers of Matt and this web site(Douglas“Turnip”, Kevin from SoCal, M.B Voelker) are just a few of the posters I have seen little of this year. I do not know if this is because of lack of time, decline interest in Cup Racing, or because of some of the pettiness seen on this web site by some of the newer posters. Alot of these posters tell us “OLD SCHOOL” fans if we do not like the “new” nascar to move on. Well myself along with the many other “OLD SCHOOL” fans have been following Matt and Nascar since before many of you newer fans had any idea or interest what nascar or stock car racing was even about.
While I do not always agree with Matt or even at times the other posters it is good to here others options and ideas.
Bill, I used to attend the Indy 500 back in the ’90s and followed it from the early ’70s, and they did block, but it was basically changing your line so as not to give the guy behind a clean shot at the pass. It was artfully done and not like a Nascar block. I call BS on the black flags for open wheel blocking by changing your line.
Danica is the most overhyped mediocre driver to ever strap into an open wheeler, and I stand by my previous statements.
I remember “the shrub” and his posts were almost always resoundongly negative as are most of the columnists points of view on this site. I mearly provide a contrsting opinion to show the other perspective. I refuse to allow folks to continually bash a sport that remains the No.1 most popular form of motorsport in the country
Also, did you read my first post from today? What chase is danica making? Sarcasm seems to be lost on this crowd.
But the fact remains, Danica is the 3rd most recognizable NASCAR name of the past 50 years along with Dale Sr and Jr.
I believe Kyle the Terrible is in second place for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. He is one point behind Brad Keselowski in Nationwide. As Brad said, “It’s nice to be in front when most of the other Cup drivers quit.” Ouch!
Hey wcfan, thank you for the shout out. I have been a little busier this year and havent been able to keep up with the NASCAR races as much. I stopped taping the Truck and Nationwide races and only watch the Cup races now. I just finished watching the Cup race about 15 mins ago and came on here to see what everyone said about it.
Danica is the 3rd most recognizable NASCAR name of the past 50 years along with Dale Sr and Jr.
If that’s true, its pretty sad that our most recognizable names are a driver who died 9 years ago, a driver who hasn’t won a race since 2008 (his sole win in four years), and a driver who has 3 Nationwide starts to her credit.
It would seem more important to worry about your PR firm than your standings headed into the ‘Chase’…
Ir-regardless of how Danica got her awesome finish, it still proves that she is a much better driver than the majority of Nascar Cup drivers these days. I dont see Dale Jr finishing in the top five in NASCAR races, let alone in an IRL car which is obviously much harder and more complicated to drive.
Hey Matt. Did I not read somewhere that Good Ole DW was going to TNT too along with Larry Mac and the others that usually go. If this is the case, we will probably still here “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity” BOO!!!
@ Randy: Yet another idiotic comment. An IndyCar would be easier to drive than a stock car. Don’t believe me, Juan Pablo Montoya (a winner in IndyCar, F1, and NASCAR) said the most fun car to drive for sheer speed is an F1 ride. The hardest car he has ever had to learn to drive was the NASCAR stock car. Even Danica herself said that she was unprepared for how much the cars moved around at Daytona and how difficult they are to drive. And she wasn’t even in the top tier.
It is the combiation of all of these factors that allow the IndyCars to run speeds over 220 mph. For the record though, if they took the restrictor plates off the stock cars, they would run just as fast at Daytona and Talladega. Look at the fastest qualifying record ever. It was made by Bill Elliott at over 213 mph back in 1987. 23 years and nearly 200 more horsepower back up my statement.
Keep trying, someday you might screw up and utter a simple truth.
Nothing hotter than a chick that pretends to know a lot about cars… OW OW! ;)
I think the charlotte race proved how great of a driver Rowdy Busch really is. To be involved in a wreck in a pits and a speeding penalty and then come back to finish third is amazing. I am calling it now, Rowdy kicks it into high gear and whoops on the rest of the pack the rest of the season to come up with his first championship. His only real competition would be Jimmy, the rest of the drivers seem like they dont want it.