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 October 4, 2010
The Key Moment – On lap 206, Greg Biffle powered by Paul Menard to take over the lead en route to an easy victory.
In a Nutshell – This race was easier to stay awake for than the last few. After all, it finished earlier.
Dramatic Moment – There was some intense racing there towards the end, but it was for the second through sixth-place positions. By that point, Biffle had presumably showered, changed into his street clothes, done his interviews, and was halfway home.
They’ll be talking about David Reutimann’s revenge hit on Kyle Busch for awhile. Discussing the incident after the race, Reutimann wore a “Reutimann’s Collision and Repair” T-shirt. Maybe he can have a new one silk-screened that reads “Reutimann’s Collision and Revenge?” (For the record, the repair shop is still in business down there in Zephyrhills, Florida. I wonder if they’ll find a badly tweaked yellow Toyota in the lot awaiting repairs Monday.)
If you were still awake, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick waged a great battle near the front for a few laps. It looked sort of like stock car racing there for a bit.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
Perhaps, nay certainly, Sunday’s event wasn’t the best race ever, but it was nice to see some new faces up front for much of the day.
Yet another great moment in NASCAR TV broadcasting! ESPN2, saddled with the pre-race program, had no audio other than annoying white noise for the first half-hour. The amazing thing was with the TV muted, Allen Bestwick and Brad Daugherty’s mouths still imparted the same amount of useful information as if viewers did have sound.
OK, maybe ESPN/ABC is listening to the fans after all. (We have full audio.) It seemed there was an actual attempt to move the start of the race forward closer to the actual announced 1 PM ET start time Sunday. Ultimately, the effort failed, but it at least looked like they were trying. (For the record, the Baltimore-Pittsburgh NFL game was two-thirds of the way through the first quarter when the green flag dropped. Who cares about a Steelers-Ravens game? Fans in Pittsburgh and Baltimore might be asking the same about a Chase race.)
The question has to be asked. In a race with only five legitimate lead changes all day, why was it ESPN took the camera off Harvick and Stewart on lap 171 as they prepared to swap the lead to show fans racing further back in the pack? It was pretty clear that Stewart had a run on the No. 29 car, but fans saw the pass which they watched developing only in replay.
Don’t count me among their swarmy numbers, but my guess is right about now some casual fans are rethinking their opposition to bogus debris cautions in the waning laps of these races. If it gets any worse, I’d fully expect to see Mike Helton doing a swan dive out of the starter’s tower to draw a yellow.
Hey, you don’t have to be a race fan not to think too highly of Brian France! Here’s a multimillionaire who married and divorced the same woman twice in five years and is now behind in alimony and child support for his twins. The lawyer defending the interests of the former Mrs. France had this to say about Brian: “Mr. France apparently believes that he may engage the courts of this state in the same way he runs NASCAR. That is, he can make the rules, interpret them, and when he disagrees with them, change or ignore them.” Ouch. Maybe this cat is a race fan after all.
Want to pick an over/under number on how many articles NASCAR scribes bang out for tomorrow announcing that Jimmie Johnson is a prohibitive favorite to win his fifth straight title and anointing him the “Greatest Gul-dern Stock Car Driver That Ever Wuz?” (There’s not a lot else to write about, eh?) As the networks might say, “If the Chase were to end right now…” to which I’d add, “Most of us would probably be greatly relieved and easily able to find more productive and entertaining ways to spend the next seven autumn afternoons.”
Want to see how a season finale ought to be run and a championship decided? If you weren’t one of the tens of dozens of folks to catch the IndyCar season finale on some cable entity named “Versus,” look up the race on YouTube. Dario Franchitti, who entered the event second in points, led much of the race, running right beside Tony Kanaan lap after lap, wheel-to-wheel. Meanwhile, points leader Will Power (who has the greatest real name in all of auto racing) was running a spirited fourth, a few car lengths behind, but knew he’d have to make up another spot to take the title. The end of the race was a bit of an anticlimax, as Power put himself into the wall and Franchitti slid back to the last car on the lead lap. But the notion of a points leader needing to run third or better rather than finish 42nd in the season finale was thrilling. Drivers actually racing for a championship? Get someone at NASCAR on the horn; I think that’s the sort of novelty they need next year rather than eliminations.
My, how times have changed. Dover Downs, the casino owning entity that also owns Dover Motorsports, that track and its two race dates, would like to sell off its racing division, but apparently neither the France family and the ISC nor Bruton Smith and SMI have expressed any real interest in acquiring the track and its dates. That’s a far cry from a decade ago, when the two entities were fighting tooth and nail and flashing hundreds of millions of dollars for ownership of any track that had a Cup date. Dover Downs has already shown it is unwilling to lose money on its racing subsidiary by shutting down Gateway, which already had two Nationwide dates in place. However, the company announced a merger Tuesday with their casino operations which will help offset the loss of running races at the track and their other facility, Nashville Superspeedway – for now. Like our friend Mr. Dylan used to moan, “The times, they are a-changing.”
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Winning the pole didn’t do Kasey Kahne any good. He lost a tire and drove into the wall on his way to a lowly 37th-place finish.
Kevin Conway, driver of the Extenze car, ran 38th after his engine prematurely ejaculated its reciprocating assembly.
Poor Kyle Busch. Who knew the Aaron’s Lucky Dog was female? As it turns out, paybacks are a bitch.
Jeff Burton ran up front most of the day, but after the penultimate pit stop some mechanical issue or ill-handling set of tires ended his chances at a respectable finish. He dropped to 18th.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Jimmie Johnson got blocked in his pit stall early in the race and spent much of the event running midpack before reasserting himself all the way to a second-place result.
Casual fans can be forgiven for not knowing Greg Biffle was in the Chase. Heck, some of them probably thought he’d retired this year. The win couldn’t have come at a better time for Biffle and the Ford camp.
Kyle Busch’s wreck paid unexpected dividends to his teammate Denny Hamlin. Hamlin was about to go a lap down when the caution for the Reutimann-Busch incident saved his afternoon. That’s probably why Kyle was so blasé in his post-race comments. Well, that and the Ritalin.
What’s the Points?
Jimmie Johnson leaves Kansas with the points lead. (Haven’t we all seen this Looney Tune before?) Former leader Denny Hamlin slides to second in the standings, eight points to the arrears of Johnson.
Kevin Harvick moved up two spots to third, thirty points back, that much closer to the regular season’s lead he held most of the year prior to the Chase. Carl Edwards also moved up two spots to fourth in the standings while Jeff Gordon rebounded three spots to fifth. Neither Edwards nor Gordon have won a race this year.
It wasn’t a good day to be a Busch brother. Kurt fell two spots to sixth while Kyle fell four positions to seventh. Greg Biffle’s win advanced him up a notch to eighth while Jeff Burton’s late-race malaise dropped him two to ninth. Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, and Clint Bowyer round out your top 12.
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 two-and-a-half cans. While the race was better than Dover, in no way did it approach what I consider the minimal acceptable standard for a stock car race.
Next Up – It’s back off to Fontana. If the battered and beleaguered Chase still has any trace of a pulse, Fontana ought to deliver the death blow and take it off life support.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
“Meanwhile, points leader Will Power (who has the greatest real name in all of auto racing)”
How about “Dick Trickle”
One thing I’m certainly not questioning is the lack of debris cautions. Best racing of the year. There wasn’t much for the lead, but the rest of the T10 was close and it wasn’t fabricated at all. I don’t particularly mind 5 second leads anyway, that’s the way racing is supposed to work.
Matt, no comment about espn/abc looking at the lack luster chase and the exodus of fans from the tv?
As I say about somethings…..sosdd! Next week more of the same, and I will get a nap.
Dish keeps talking about dropping fox from their lineup. Hum, I know football fans are enraged, have to see if the controversy is settled by February. What’s with DW on “raceday”.
This is a little off subject but maybe some of Dover’s problems are KARMA for “buying” the lease of the Nashville Fairground Speedway then building the Nashville Super Speedway (where racing sucked) and moving the Busch and Truck races allowing the Fairgrounds to continue its downward spiral.
This past Saturday night was maybe the last night of racing at this once GREAT TRACK that helped produce some very good nascar drivers.
Funny that ESPN would be blaming the start times. Have they ever considered looking at their coverage and commentary as a reason for the declining ratings in addition to the boring tracks, cars, drivers, and races?
“my guess is right about now some casual fans are rethinking their opposition to bogus debris cautions in the waning laps of these races”
No one should care about what casual fans want. Real fans never want to see a contrived ending. I had no problem with Biffle winning by 5 seconds. Obviously a close finish is the desired ending but not if it comes at the cost of calling a fake debris caution.
Wow, just what NASCAR doesn’t need: Jimmie Johnson with the points lead in route to a fifth straight title! Time for cold weather and snow to fly ‘cause this racin’ season is about over.
Just a few thoughts.
First, how can any TV network be blamed for the time that the green flag drops? The 1pm race starting at 1:22 has ALWAYS been that way. NA$CAR even promotes the race start time that way, but the TV networks don’t make 20 minute shows and time slots. It wasn’t a problem until the ADD crowd realized that the pre-race coverage starts on Thursday.
Second, Bad Wolf is right, Dick Trickle has the best name in auto racing. He had more mentions in a single weekend than Will Power will hear in his lifetime. If only Extenze (or Viagra) had been around to sponsor good ol’ Dick.
Finally, I was prepared to rip your article apart for never having anything decent to say, but, the Extexze/premature ejaculation comment was worth the entire read.
They may not be Ned & Benny, but Alan Bestwick & Brad Daugherty are head & shoulders above most of the other broadcast teams. Both are engaging, knowledgeable, and for the most part don’t insult our intellegence. ESPN’s racing coverage has it’s problems, but those guys aren’t part of them.
Kyle Busch needs to learn that when you live by the bumper, you die by the bumper. He thinks that because he’s in the chase he should be given special consideration by the non-chase drivers? Give me a break! Brad Keselowski is running for the Nationwide Championship, but that didn’t keep Kyle Busch from deliberately spinning him out in the NNS race at Bristol a couple of months ago. Kyle got what he deserves yesterday.
So, the Chase is “battered and beleaguered”?
Check the standings, and you’ll see more than half the field is within 100 points.
I checked the Jayski “old style” points format this morning, and Harvick would be cruising around with a 225 point lead and second place would belong to Gordon, who wouldn’t have any chance whatsover to run down the #29.
How in the world would that be better than what we have now?
Good Dylan quote, however.
Jimmie Johnson has the points lead………well my watching for the year is over, time to go into full NFL mode. See ya in Daytona
agree the race was better than Dover. It would be difficult for it not to have been. I do not agree with those who are crying in their stale beer about JJ. Hell, everyone complains about the NYY. Fact is Chad (mostly) and Jimmie have taken the rules given them and have mastered them. What is the problem? I’m not a Jimme fan, but I am a huge Chad fan. He is simply the best in the garage and the combination of him and Jimmie are strong as acid. I want Kyle Busch to win, but Reuti effectively took care of that. Payback is a bitch, yes — but only when it is my driver getting paid back.
Congrats Brian France. It is official. I am no longer a NASCAR fan.
I realized that fact when this morning I saw that only 8 points seperated 1st from 2nd in the standings. I should have been excited. Instead my reaction was “Who cares? it’s rigged anyway”. This is not a reaction a fan should have.
10 years ago I watched every lap of every race (plus qualifying plus the Busch series). Yesterday not once did I flip the channel over to the race even though the NFL has just as many commercials and dumb talking heads as NASCAR.
So what changed? Me or NASCAR? Why do the drivers seem less personable? Why do the races seem longer and more boring? Was I ever a fan or just a trendy viewer?
It’s strange that after spending hours of my life on a sport, I still do not know why I just don’t care anymore.
Long time reader, Matt but I think it would be a farce for me to keep reading and faking interest. Thanks for the years of great articles. However I have the feeling that you will not be far behind me.
I don’t this start time grip. The race is scheduled for 1 pm. At 1 pm they went straight to opening ceremonies, and the green flag dropped by 1:20.
The race wasn’t bad for a 1.5 miler. I agree, somehow IRL has managed to create an exciting championship finish without a Chase like format. Too bad other than that IRL is even more unwatchable than the worse NASCAR race.
If you’re a fan of debris cautions to “improve the racing” then you’re not a fan of racing. Theater or pro wrestling maybe, but certainly not racing. Even poorest local short tracks won’t stoop to such antics. Sometimes it’s a runaway, sometimes it’s magic, but at least it’s real.
little cub scout at church is a dale jr fan. chase got first place trophy for pine box derby for the troup. i told chase yesterday that he has something jr hasn’t had in a while. pretty bad when a 9 yr old admits the same thing.
Matt, I have to give you credit and my appreciation for writing about NASCAR all these years. My wife would also like to thank you. Due to your efforts I no longer sit in front of the TV every weekend wasting hours watching a sport that now has all the excitement of paint drying. Being a long time fan of NASCAR I still feel the need to keep up with the racing, well at least a recap. That is why we thank you today, for your writing now does for me, what many wasted hours in front of the tube used to do. After reading your recap every week I know that I didn’t miss a thing that can’t be read about on any given Monday. So again Matt we thank you, for giving many hours of my life back. Keep up the good work. And no this isn’t sarcasm, I really mean it.
“I checked the Jayski “old style” points format this morning, and Harvick would be cruising around with a 225 point lead and second place would belong to Gordon, who wouldn’t have any chance whatsover to run down the #29.
ARE U KIDDING ME? An artificially reset points system is better than watching a season unfold and finish with actual standings??? The Chase is alot of the reason for the total lack of interest in NASCAR these days. IMO……. The first 26 weeks of the season shouldn’t be just a big test session with all the hard earned points tossed out.
1- DICK TRICKLE
The ironic thing is that this article has become what matt thinks racing has become. The same boring crap every week. Dont watch nascar if you hate it so much. I want a real race recap, not a whiny little girl’s view
I’d go to Nascar.com if I were you. They tow the company line there and serve Kool-Aid as well.
Of course I agree with Jim at 8:21. An 8 point separation is a hell of a lot better than a 225 point spread, unless you’re a Kevin Harvick fan.
Someone needs to put Jimmie Johnson in the wall. I nominate Kevin Conway or Sam Hornish. Heck, even David Reutimann can try, even though he ended up spinning himself out instead of Kyle Busch.
South Park is doing a NASCAR show this Wednesday night, where Eric Cartman jumps in a car and tries to drive. It should be hilarious.
I wont be at the Fontana race this weekend. I’m not paying the same price for 100 miles less of racing, no matter how much you think its better to have less racing there. I’ll save my money for next year, get 500 full miles, and be one of the 90,000 in the seats. My wife will be happier too, as they wont be racing on her birthday in February any more.
how about old timer Dick Passwater! and no,i kid you not.
Kevin in SoCal,
Are they are going to change the name to—Dancing With The Cars—when they start the elimination format?
“Most of us would probably be greatly relieved and easily able to find more productive and entertaining ways to spend the next seven autumn afternoons.”
Most fans already have.
Let’s see what the points are like with one race to go and which driver has to finish 20th or better to win the chumpionship (as if we didn’t know).
Forgot to ask.
Can the fans vote on who gets eliminated? Please!
Ramsey Poston said regarding changes for next year: “Any time you have change, that is tough on your fan base. We’d obviously be open to anything that makes sense, but at this stage we’d want to give this a little more time before we made a quick decision.”
Seriously. Read the last sentence. Gawdalmity, they on top of it back at HQ!
Bill B, dont go for the strawman argument. One reset is plenty to start the “playoffs.” Multiple resets would just make this Chase even more rediculous.
DoninAjax, I vote to eliminate Dale Jr. Oh wait, I dont have to vote, he does a good job of eliminating himself.
NASCAR’s Chase for the cup = No Cup Driver Left Behind.
…unless you come from 12th to 2nd in the points in the first week. Then, your car is magically illegal after three days.
Or, if you’re Dale Earnhardt Jr. But to be fair, he chooses to leave himself behind. Top 10 not enough for Junior to make the points? Make it top 12. Top 12 not enough? Next year, it’ll be top 16! When top 16 isn’t enough? Jr. gets a 500 point leas on everyone else after race 26.
Bored now! Johnson takes over the 10 race champion points race — whoopee! Be still my heart. I would much prefer the old points system rather than this fake nonsense. Heck Chad and Jimmie have it down — win so that you are 1st or 2nd when the points reset and test, test test through the first 26 races – then do your deal in the last 10 – voila, another 10 race trophy for the shelf — I’d really like to see whether or not they could actually pull it off for 36 races, not just for 10.
I agree, Matt, can NASCAR please just give him the trophy again this year and I won’t need to bother with watching any more racing — oh wait, I may do that anyway.
the highlight of the day was seeing Reut man up and pay that little weasel Busch back. Funny how KyBu has up until always gotten away with his rough driving in the N’wide series, the trucks – he’s run over drivers right and left —I loved this one: Kyle Busch. Who knew the Aaron’s Lucky Dog was female? As it turns out, paybacks are a bitch.
Gave up cable a few years ago, got too expensive. When races are on cable I go to a bar to watch. Now most bars have Sunday Ticket for NFL and they will not put NASCAR on, no matter what.
And ESPN wonders what happened to the ratings?
By the way, Brad Daughtery has some good writers, he is ignorant on all things NASCAR. When he has to wing it, he is lost.
Dick Trickle, in a landslide. Or sitting in a bathtub!
@ Carl D: I take offense to your “post on NASCAR.com” comment.
I DO post on NASCAR.com as well as here. I have posted on Brian’s ineptitude, his drug addled family, and the idiocy of the chase. I am NOT alone in making these comments. I have suggested fixing NA$CAR’s woes by burying Brian France, Mike Helton, and John Darby UNDER the new pavement in turn 1 at Daytona. I have NEVER been censored for ANY of my comments!!!
Finally, in case history interests you (or anybody else), Jim Jones served Wyler’s Grape flavored drink, and NOT Kool-Aid, at all.
It’s about dang time Jimmy took over his rightful spot on top. Now I can really start getting into the last few races this year. At least nascar knows how to treat its former champions… unlike baseball where the Yankees get relegated to the wild card.
Jacob: “Finally, in case history interests you (or anybody else), Jim Jones served Wyler’s Grape flavored drink, and NOT Kool-Aid, at all.”
I stand corrected.
Actually, there are pics from Jonestown that show that both Flavor-Aid and Kool-Aid were used.
IIRC, all the stuff was mixed up into big vats anyway.
So, “drinking the Kool-Aid” is still an acceptable term.
How long have you been posting anti-Na$car on Na$car.com? They used to be the King of censoring, & banning people who didn’t drink the Kool-Aid. I have been watching their website traffic tank for the last few years for that very reason.
Maybe if y’all get your wish and the also-rans put Kyle out of the Chase, he can start getting some payback of his own. How deep are Michael Waltrip’s pockets that he can pay to junk a car or two every week? It will be fun to find out.
Lead, follow or get out of the way, back-markers! (And that means you, David.)
However, I am glad to see JJ back where he belongs. Hopefully that is the last hurrah for Biffle and the other Roushketeers.
Nobody has seemed to notice just how BAD Reuti was at getting payback. In his post-race he was positively embarrassed. Would not look at the camera. Was not, IMO, that he was embarrassed about what he had done it was that he had done it so very badly. That is what you get when a nice fellow like him tries to be, well, tough.
He should seek out Carl Edwards or (if he can stand the smell) Kesolowski and get a little training in how to wreck someone with the first lesson being that effective payback means, “First, do not wreck yourself.”
Could not agree more with you 8:48 post if I had written it myself.
Where is Randy, I mean Dan’s Mom no I mean Randy today. Not seen anything from him since last Monday after YOU questioned his many posting names.
Why does Junior have more points than Joey Logano?
ElectricPeterTork and Carl D.: I stand corrected. It was grape Flavor-Aid with potassium cyanide and Valium mixed into it. (I have just gone back to my [?]biography[?] of the Jonestown Masscare) However, Kool-Aid was NOT used. It is only America’s lazy attitude towards our own language, that makes the Kool-Aid reference acceptable.
BoxCar: I have been posting on NASCAR.com for 15 months now, and I say a LOT of vile stuff about NA$CAR and Brian France, and have never been censored, I am surprised, because I push the limits intentionally trying to get booted.
I believe that, Brian France, could pull off a huge public relations coup for himself, & make more money for himself…by dipping into some of his petty cash fund & buying or doing whatever it takes to get Jr. out of HMS, & to an owner who wants him winning. It would fill seats at his tracks to have Jr. running up front and winning again, which I do not believe that Rick is every going to allow. If Rick wanted Jr. winning, he would be. I don’t believe that it is going to happen as long as Jr. is yoked to Rick.
15 MONTHS LOLOLOLOL
HA! So I guess you know it all then!
So, Marybeth, is Junior just stupid and doesnt realize that you say Hendrick is screwing him, or is he just content to drive around on the track for 300-500 miles and collect a fat paycheck. You tell me.
I say the races should begin at 12:00 PM EST. At that time, while the green flag waves and the races begin, the NFL is still having their stupid pre-game shows. An hour later, while the first block of football games start, we will be halfway through the race. By the second installment of NFL games at 4:15 PM, the race will be over. That’s the best time and the best way to do NASCAR race coverage.
Kevin in SoCal
Junior wasn’t the one I had in mind.
Best name for me was Joy Fair from Michigan. Not female.
the sad thing is nascar has run away alot of older fans by taking races away from tracks that had very good racing and now alot of fans would rather watch football then follow the chase the points system worked fine since 1949 why did they feel they had to change it if nascar wants fans back start racing back at north wilkesboro and rockingham
Do ISC or SMI own Wilkes and Rockingham?
Oh well. No chance of ever seeing those tracks again.
But, hey, those two companies own tracks that provide thrilling racing as such as Kansas, New Hampshire, Texas, Chicagoland, and Fontana!
So boys, have at it!
The real reason for the ill-timed commercial breaks: The NFL was going to commercial break. This happens all too often during the Chase races.
And the judge cracking on Brian France was utterly hilarious. But where was Ramsey Poston’s idiotic retort concerning said dis?
Televised Races used to happen like this:
At 1:00pm the broadcast would begin. Quick intro by the announcers, then cut to the National Anthem/Gentlemen Start Your Engines.
Marybeth the alien from planet AMP has been hitting the Bud/Amp cocktails again.Brain France isn’t going to bailout the Failed Field Filler driving the #88, he can’t even pay his alimony payments. Jr.is just riding in circles collecting a paycheck from t-shirt sales to delusional Jr. nation fans from planet Amp, who can’t see the forest because of the trees.
“There was some intense racing there towards the end, but it was for the second through sixth-place positions.”
Isn’t that what they should be showing on TV. They’d rather show us Hendrick cars than any “racing”. Isn’t the point to show cars “racing” for position and not cars that pay to be shown?
Brian France is more concerned with money coming in than going out. More to count.
“Where is Randy, I mean Dan’s Mom no I mean Randy today. Not seen anything from him since last Monday after YOU questioned his many posting names.”
See “Laxbro” above.
Haha… I love that you all now assume that any name that calls out Matt’s crappy writing has to be from the same one person. Isn’t it possible that he really is just that crappy of a writer and several people are willing to call him out about it? The simplest answer is usually the correct one.
I am pretty sure laxbro is not Dansmom…
And so you dont have to busy your IT department with tracking down my IP, I also am not. Lol save those resources for finding a better writer.
Said it before – will say it again….hasn’t changed since I quit watching a year ago…
Going back to my other hobbies…figured I hadn’t missed anything – got that one right.
Signed – A Former NA$CAR Fan
actually,SMI does still own North Wilkesboro
Best racer’s name?