Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday November 8, 2010
The Key Moment – Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin squared off in a three-lap shootout at the end of the race that had the fans at home and in the stands on their feet.
In a Nutshell – The race took a long time to reach a simmer, but it boiled over nicely there at the end.
Dramatic Moment – Watching Matt Kenseth sail it into the corner in a do-or-die move looking for the lead there after the final restart. The move worked too well, though, and Kenseth was forced to get out of the gas to make the corner, handing the win to Hamlin.
In the course of a single lap, Martin Truex collected the wall for the third time, and, while the field was under caution, Jeff Burton stuffed Jeff Gordon into the wall. That led to an airing of grievances on the track apron that drew the loudest cheers from the crowd all day.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
Will the No. 24 pit crew replace the No. 48 team for the next two races? My guess is they will not. Rick Hendrick won’t allow it. That sort of move would tear apart the fabric of a team that has, in fact, won four straight titles.
While they were a bit busy pitting Clint Bowyer’s car, I’m guessing some members of Kevin Harvick’s former pit crew couldn’t help but grin when the driver of the No. 29 put himself into the wall and out of race contention. Maybe they were calling for Clint Bowyer to take over Harvick’s seat for the rest of the evening? To me, it’s simple: you win as a team and you lose as a team. You walk far enough across the pasture… and you’ll end up with crap on both boots.
I’ll go out on a limb and pick Denny Hamlin as this year’s champion. Of the three title contenders, he’s the only one that is still using the pit crew that got him into the Chase to start with.
My guess is if those officials hadn’t been so quick to jump between Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton, the ratings problem might have been solved. Whatever happened to “Boys, Have At It?”
I don’t get Kyle Busch being held two laps for a single finger salute to a NASCAR official. My guess is the penalty was given because the gesture was seen on TV. If a single finger salute automatically drew a two-lap penalty, I doubt Dale Earnhardt the Original would have won many races. But Busch’s “freedom of speech” argument was strictly grammar school stuff.
For the second straight weekend, ESPN blew their post-race coverage. Carl Edwards led the field to the green-white-checkered restart on Saturday. Second-place finisher Kyle Busch loudly and profanely insisted Edwards had jumped that restart. Of course, Busch wasn’t interviewed on TV after the race, no replay of the restart was shown, and no NASCAR officials interviewed to get their take. ESPN was too eager to get to coverage of horsies and ducks, I reckon. So why are ESPN’s ratings so bad? I dunno. Why is their coverage so bad?
Speaking of Busch, it was interesting to monitor Johnson’s radio after one of Sunday’s flubbed stops. What he told his pit crew was that he really needed them to rise to the occasion and do the job that he knew they were capable of doing. There was no harshness or bitterness to the comments to make them feel worse. How many times have we heard Busch in a similar situation cursing his team and sarcastically congratulating them for costing him another race win? Despite his boundless talent, it would seem that’s one area where young master Busch is going to have to show a little maturation before he wins a Cup title. You could hear the tension in his crew chief’s voice as Busch was told his single finger salute had cost the team a two-lap penalty and that they worked too hard to have their day ruined by that sort of crap. When Busch tried to protest, he was told if he felt like it, he could drive the car back to the truck and they’d just load up and go home. This week, everyone will be talking about the No. 48 team’s crew, but I’d love to have a seat at the Tuesday meeting with Joe Gibbs, Busch, and Dave Rogers.
Speaking of ESPN, how many dozen times during the race (when points weren’t awarded) did we see the graphic displaying the points differences between the three title contenders? But after the points were actually awarded, the network cut to Sportscenter before updating the standings.
NASCAR, the networks, and track management are apparently really concerned about the loss of one of their key demographics, males from the age of 18-34. I guess I feel a little offended by that being well on the north side of 34 and having been attending stock car races on my dime since the fellers that fall into that demographic were still crapping their diapers. Ever the promoter, Eddie Gossage, GM of TMS, came up with this weekend’s marketing campaign to engage those younger guys, No Limits, which seems based largely on those two standard fallbacks: booze and boobs. I’m a big fan of both, but I can’t help but wonder what happened to the days when NASCAR realized that nearly half their fan base was female. And aren’t those guys in the 18-to-21 year-old demographic officially too young to imbibe? Hey, Eddie, leave “No Limit” to Deana Carter and do something classy like open a Hooters at TMS.
No limits might not have pressed everyone’s buttons, so the inestimable Mr. Gossage also held a press conference this weekend in the company of a simian … as in a monkey. Apparently SMI CEO Bruton Smith opined even a trained monkey could sell race programs, so Gossage had them doing just that. Is it just me, or does anyone else think pet primates and get shivers recalling that pet ape up in Connecticut eating a woman’s face off? Were the monkeys told there were “no limits?” In an exclusive interview with one of the program-selling monkeys who was smoking a cigarette and kicking back a Bud tall boy at the time, I learned monkeys by nature enjoy eating people’s faces, don’t enjoy selling programs, and think they could come up with a better points system than Brian France’s Chase if nepotism didn’t keep lower primates from holding his job.
For older fans, it’s been nice to see Mark Martin and the No. 5 team showing some signs of life the last couple of weeks. When it comes to performance, there actually are No Age Limits.
I like it when readers write me to ask my opinion on an issue or to comment on what I wrote on an issue. I read every note I get, though due to the volume of email I can no longer reply to each of them. But given my animosity towards Robby Gordon, I keep getting emails asking me why I failed to comment on the latest “news” coming from the camp of America’s (self-proclaimed) Dynamic Racer. First off, the guy is running like a three-legged beagle with its ass in the mouth of a rabid wolverine. Secondly, I’m not a tool or a stooge. Yeah, sure, Gordon got pulled over by the cops in one of his race vehicles on the road. At first it was one of his Cup cars, but by the time ESPN got the story the photo showed one of his off-road trucks. Then it is alleged his personal truck, one bearing the logos of the new sports energy drink he’s trying to promote, got towed out of the motor home lot of the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega. Now, a bicycle company is suing Gordon for impinging on their copywritten logo with the design of his race car and logos on that new energy drink’s cans. If this life-or-death battle is not resolved amicably, it could mean the end of the team! Yeah, all right. And good luck with the whole new energy drink scheme. It seems over the last few years, the coolers of convenience stores have exploded from Red Bull to a several dozen “energy in a can” products. Me, I’m sticking to red Coke as per my cardiologist.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Greg Biffle dominated the race, but lost first and second gear in his transmission late in the going. A restart with just three laps to go didn’t give Biffle enough time to reassert himself, and he wound up fourth.
Jeff Gordon fell victim to a rare unforced error by one of the cleanest drivers on the circuit. He was 37th and Burton 36th when all was said and done.
Martin Truex, Jr. had a horrendous day, hitting the wall hard enough to draw a yellow flag three times. The third one proved the knockout punch, leaving his smoking wreck of a race car sitting in the garage 38th.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
After all these years in NASCAR, Roger Penske finally got to celebrate a title in one of the sport’s top 3 touring series. Brad Keselowski is the 2010 Nationwide champion.
Matt Kenseth lost a lap early when he made an unscheduled stop, fearing an equalized tire. Well, he not only made up the lap, he damned near won the race.
When Kenseth bounced off the wall there at the end, Hamlin had to make a quick evasive move to avoid a wreck that likely would have decimated the field and ended his title hopes.
Trevor Bayne had a credible Cup debut in the lightly regarded (over the last decade) No. 21 car. Bayne finished seventeenth and on the lead lap. Let’s just hope nobody starts calling him “Sliced Bread.”
Hard contact into the wall could have ended Harvick’s race and season. But he survived with a sixth-place finish and lives to battle on to Phoenix.
What’s the Points?
Hamlin takes over the top spot in the points. He now leads Johnson by 33 and Harvick by 59.
Carl Edwards moved up two positions to fourth in the standings. Matt Kenseth moved up three spots to fifth. I still don’t get that. Kenseth has only six top-5 finishes and no wins this year.
Jeff Gordon’s wreck cost him two spots. (He’s now sixth in the standings.) Kyle Busch’s finger cost him two spots. (He’s now seventh.)
Tony Stewart slid another spot to eighth.
Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer each advanced two notches to ninth and tenth, respectively.
Kurt Busch dropped another two positions to eleventh. Jeff Burton also dropped two spots and is twelfth in the standings.
Mark Martin took over the top “outside looking in” perch in thirteenth, displacing Jamie McMurray. (It’s kind of interesting that every driver from eleventh to fourteenth in the standings used to drive for Jack Roush.)
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 and a half cans of Lone Star. Greg Biffle dominated most of the race, but unexpectedly some unexpected things happened as well — including a pretty fair semblance of real racing there at the end.
Next Up – It’s off to Phoenix, the penultimate race of the season, for part two of the Mild, Mild, West show. The next interesting thing to happen in Arizona is going to be the Barrett-Jackson auction in January, not the upcoming race.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
If Harvick doesn’t win the Championship this year, that’s it for me.
Enough real champions have lost real championships because NASCAR has to have their fake little chase every year that the whole thing has become a pathetic farce. They say the chase is needed because the final 10 races need “more excitement”, even though the fans aren’t tuning in anymore for their manufactured “excitement”.
All in all, I don’t think I’ll miss NASCAR too much at this point.
I wonder how much the fines and penalties will cost Burton and Gordon? Will Burton be fined and penalized heavier for “Actions Detrimental to Hendrick Motorsports”?
My math may be a bit off, but with a
1. Harvick 5064,
BTW, even if wins counted 85 points more than a 2nd place finish, Hamlin would still trail Harvick by 2 points under the old system – I think the “wins should count more” crowd would still complain about that!
*giving Bowyer back his 150 points from NH
It can’t be terrible that Brad Keselowski is one of the drivers choking the life out of the Nationwide series, and awesome that Roger Penske won a championship due to Brad Keselowski helping to choke the life out of the Nationwide series. Please pick a side of the fence to stand on.
Once again, I didn’t watch the race. As long as there is a chase robbing champions of their trophies, I will have better things to do on a Saturday evening or Sunday night than watch brian france stroke his ego.
I was just wondering… if the incident between Gordon and Burton had have been between Gordon and Mark Martin would Gordon have acted differently? I’m guessing his reaction would have been a lot different. And, if he would have approached Mark the same way he went at Burton, Mark most likely would have kicked his ass all the way to the Texas state line. He might be one of the “old timers” but I wouldn’t mess with those 150 pounds of blue twisted steel.
Hmmm, maybe those monkeys could lessen some of the debris cautions. Train them to retrieve debris and they can run out on the track a get it so they don’t need to throw a caution. If one gets hit, well, it’s only a monkey.
I see Retarded Goldman/Nacho Boy (oh, damn, I just insulted every retarded person on the planet) is in a grumpy mood this morning.
By the way, it should be spelled s-e-n-t-e-n-c-e. Plus you should have put a period at the end of your “sentance,” it looks like this: “ . “, and is used for more than web addresses. Now why don’t you tell us again, all about your smartitudes, and your collegiate accomplishments!
or maybe those monkeys could write RG’s weekly dribble, one word for you spellcheck
If I was Rick Hendrick, I’d just keep the 24 team pitting the 48. After their public humiliation, no telling how many lugnuts the 48 guys are apt to leave off Jimmie’s car next week. We’ve got a saying here in Texas – you gotta dance with the one that brung ya. Well, Harvick traded in his dance partner (albeit during the week, not during the race) and now Knaus has stooped to that level. Just classless. Win together, lose together. Otherwise, stop calling yourselves a “team.”
I am sure that Toyota is happy to finally get the Championship they have spent so much money buying……
Lets go back a few years to a Board Room in Toyota City Japan….
Most Honorable Chairman …. we could not buy a win in F1, they would not let us buy a win in Rally, the fighting with in CART and IRL has left us in the cold, and we don’t have a car for Daytona Prototype….. But I hear Most Honorable Chairman
This Monday Morning same Board Room
Bill B… Great idea, but I’d prefer that the monkey run Nascar and Brian France be the one to retrieve the debris from the track during green flag racing.
It was nice to hear Jeff Burton man up and take the blame for the accident that sidelined Gordon. I understand Gordon’s anger as well. As for the fight itself, just a lot of pushing and flailing of arms.
I echo what one of the announcers said after the race…. Kyle Busch had a good car and would probably have gotten his lap back and possibly contended for the win if he hadn’t tried to show the official how high he can count. He owes his crew a huge apology for wasting their entire week with his childish behavior.
Not a bad race, though. I actually avoided nodding off during the telecast, which is rare these days. The setting sun made adjustments to the car later in the race ncessary, which added to the intrigue.
Now that was more like it. It seems the SMI 1.5 tracks are the only ones that can produce any drama. Watching the 24 and 48 switch crews was surreal. I’d like to be at that meeting at Hendrick today. An amazing finish, I’m happy that this could be the end of Johnson’s run thanks to Hamlin. He’s shown no fear of the 48. I’m slowly becoming a Hamlin fan.
My thought on the Gordon-Burton fight went like this. First, after the wreck I thought “well this is what it must have been like to watch the end of Petty’s career”. Then, shocked to see that fire out of Gordon. He should have kicked Burton out of the back of that ambulance. Burton is one of the most overrated drivers on circuit, he’s only keeping that seat warm for Austin Dillon. In a few years he’ll end up like his brother driving start and parks. I don’t buy his B.S. story that it was an accident.
I love how NASCAR and ESPN are wetting their pants over how close the championship race is. Hey, why not reset the points with 5 races to go then? Wait, they’re going to do that next year, aren’t they?
I wonder how many Harvick fans feel the same way as ElectricPeterTork. I haven’t spent a dime on anything NASCAR-related since Gordon got robbed in ’07.
Jeff was being pretty magnaminous giving the 48 team his crew. What’s the 48 team done to help the 24 win lately?
i for one will not be surprised to see that the tv ratings have bled yet another another million or so viewers. I’m sorry, the end of that race did NOT make up for the 30 minutes of my life that it took to make it through the race with the dvr set to the “ignore riding until the end of the race” setting.
NASCAR penalizes two laps for displaying the bird. Pretty funny stuff considering that half the field flipped someone off during that race. Even JeffieG showed some spirited pushing. Would he have displayed that same ferociousness had it been Stewart? Jeff Gordon – all American badass.
Woohoo! We have a new grammar-policeman! I was wondering who was going to fill the void. Good thing we have Jacob. What would we do without him? Be italicized-deprived?
Also, if RandyG is 13, like Jacob suggests… wouldnt that be a good thing. Aren’t all of you “old-school” fans bit*hing about how nascar isnt attacting new viewers? Sounds to me like RandyG watches a heck of a lot more Nascar than the rest of you.
I know it’s going to sound crazy, but if Harvick can’t pull off the so-called championship, I want to see Jimmie Johnson win #5.
I want to see the maximum number of people outraged because Johnson won another championship he didn’t deserve. I want to see people so disgusted they stop watching, and NASCAR ratings fall even further, and NASCAR either has to fix things or die.
So, if the real champion can’t win it, Go Johnson. If nothing else, it’ll make the few left with doubts realize that current NASCAR isn’t worth the money or time.
But those boys went out there and RACED yesterday. The spirits of Yarborough, Petty and Earnhardt seemed to have shown up in Texas.
Burton didn’t ‘man up’ though. If he had, he’d have said “Yeah, I got tired of his **** so I put his *** in the wall.”
As for KyBu, he’s a spoiled little punk and I can’t stand him because of the way he whines when things don’t go his way. But he got fingered yesterday. Officials, in any sport, need to have thick skin.
If you’re complaining about this race – well, maybe it’s not France’s fault – maybe you’re all a bunch of baby KyBus too. You whine about “the same guys always win” but then whine about how “anyone can win at Talladega.” You whine about “vanilla drivers with no spirit (like Johnson)” and then you’re going to whine when a whole trackful go out and show spirit and emotion and seem to actually care about racing?
If you didn’t like yesterday’s race, then you’re not really interested in watching RACING at all.
Sorry, Razz, I respectfully don’t agree either.
Harvick knew the Chase rules going in, as did all of the other teams.
Using your logic, the Patriots are the NFL champs from a couple of years ago because they were undefeated during the regular season and the first rounds of the playoffs. The fact that the Giants beat them in the Super Bowl should have no bearing, right?
I think the Chase is fine. If you think the ratings are bad now, who would be watching if Harvick had just about clinched by now? Are YOU going to watch anymore Nationwide races, now that BK has won everything?
Why is everyone saying that this race was so great? Biffle checked out on everyone the whole day and the only racing excitement was the last 10 laps due to a debris caution (wonder how long that debris was there).
I guess if you consider the “fight” drama and Jimmie’s crew issue exciting racing then I guess it was “awesome”.
I thought the racing was boring till the end and the constant focus every 5 laps on Jimmie Johnson and crew was pretty sickening. According to an article that keeps track, Jimmie had 189 mentions. In 4 hours, that’s almost a mention per minute. Not surprising for ESPN though.
No race on a 1.5 mile track is going to be filled with side by side battles for the lead for the whole 500 miles. This race had story lines, and a real battle for the win. Considering what we have seen most of the year on cookie-cutters, we should be thankful we got a race like yesterday.
Yeah, the racing at the front was less than stellar for a large part of the race, but there was a good deal of racing just behind the top three all day long. Even at the front, Reutimman and Logano kept the pressure on Biffle. I’m not saying the race was a classic, but four and a half cans of Lonestar sounds about right.
And don’t confuse the broadcast with the actual race. All of the focus on the chase and the chase contenders may be a legitimate complaint about the broadcast, but not the action on the track.
“If you’re complaining about this race – well, maybe it’s not France’s fault – maybe you’re all a bunch of baby KyBus too. You whine about “the same guys always win” but then whine about how “anyone can win at Talladega.” You whine about “vanilla drivers with no spirit (like Johnson)” and then you’re going to whine when a whole trackful go out and show spirit and emotion and seem to actually care about racing?”
That part I totally agree with Razz. Couldnt have put it better myself.
Jacob… did you see my nice use of bold. Did ya? Huh? Huh? Huh? Arent you impressed with my skills? I think I spelled most of this wright as well. Oh damn! Nevermind, almost had it though.
Wow… a lot of people liked the race Sunday… OOPPPS!!?!?!? I should have said “I have a lot of aliases today”
I doubt that Chad bothered to ask anyone’s permission – certainly not Gordon’s – to borrow the 24’s pit crew. I just saw an announcement that the 24 pit crew will be working for the 48 for the last 2 races — ugh!
Let’s face it, the race (at least as broadcast by ESPN) wasn’t all that good until the very end. All the other stuff with KyBu and the 2 Jeff’s was all just extraneous – although as a long time Gordon fan, I was happy as heck to see him fight back. Lately, he’s been way too “it’s all my fault”. I’d really rather he embraced his inner bad ass.
Ever notice how Jeffie always has his slappy-pushy episodes with the nice guys. I remember him doing the same crap to Kenseth a few years back. If he would’ve pulled that crap with Dale Jarrett or Tony Stewart he’d be getting some shiny new dentures. What a p*ssy. I also remember Jarrett telling him as much after Jeffie spun him as Jeffie was hiding behind his Rainbow crew.
During the first practice Jr. ran quite well. After qualifying Friday Jr. was quoted as saying that, “We were pretty good in practice earlier with our qualifying stuff, but I was too loose to go any faster right there. We made some adjustments before qualifying that we probably regret making now. Last time we raced here was when practice was rained out and we did not run a lap of race trim at all last time we raced here. That’s been the best we ran at a mile-and-a-half all year. I hope we can take that setup and it works decent tomorrow and we can improve on it.” People have been saying in jest that his car comes off the truck all right, but then the cc steadily adjusts them out during practices and then during pit stops in the race. I figured then that the race was going to go exactly as it did.
Jim, when I watch, I watch a RACE. The championship nonsense is just a side issue.
Unfortunately, because of the ‘chase’, it ruins most of the RACING for most of the season.
Right now, with only 3 guys having to worry about points, the other 40 are out there RACING, so we get to see real races.
As for Nationwide, I simply don’t watch it, period, because of the Buschwhackers. I watch the REAL minor league – ARCA (which is usually better than NASCAR these days), but that season is over.
Razz—Point taken. You focus more on the individual races while I get more of a charge out of the marathon that is a 36-race season…I don’t think that makes either of us wrong.
I don’t say the Chase can’t be tweaked some…I like the idea of a 25 point bonus during the season for winning, or something like that. Certainly that would help put an end to riding around, but every sport has a playoff to keep it things interesting.
For every time there was a great season-ending finish like Kulwicki’s, there have been too many seasons like Terry Labonte’s or Kenssth’s championships that were snoozers from August thru November. The Chase keeps me watching.
BTW, I wish ARCA had a presence in New England…I’d love to see them race in person.
You know, if the Chase had been in effect in 1992, the greatest title race ever would never have happened, and Kyle Petty would have won the cup by 79 points.
That chase… so much “excitement” it would have provided in the past.
“Jeff Gordon fell victim to a rare unforced error by one of the cleanest drivers on the circuit.”
HMS missed a golden opportunity to put Jeff Gordon in the #88 and possibly get a top ten finish that the #88 crew and crew chief deserve. Instead all they got was yet again, another embarrassing 20th someplace finish by their under-performing driver, riding around collecting a sponsor check. Putting Gordon in the #88 to finish the race would have proved to people like Marybeth, that Na$crap’s most Popular Loser, Dale Jr. is the problem with the #88 team, not the crew or crewchief. The #88 crew and crew chief would jump ship in a minute to be on a winning team like #48 team.
Wow, alot of people have their panties in a bunch. . . Should of ordered a Miller Light. If Jimmie does win, does Gordon get the assist? or half of the trophy? Maybe Dale Jr should go back to ARCA to re-learn a few things. Hey Jacob i can put stuff in bold as well. Is my spelling correct. . . being i am a teacher.
I hope Jimmy Johnson wins the Championship this year, and next year,and the next,and the next,etc…just to show NASCAR how stupid their CHASE is!!!!!
I wonder which pit crews will get to be on stage at the awards banquet if #29 or 48 wins?
Doug, thats a good point. Which pit crew will it be? I hope Hamlin doesn’t win! Go Harvick or Johnson.
ElectricPeterTork said: “You know, if the Chase had been in effect in 1992, the greatest title race ever would never have happened, and Kyle Petty would have won the cup by 79 points.”
Assuming everyone would have raced EXACTLY the same without the Chase as they do with the Chase. And that’s assuming a lot. As I’ve said before, drivers and crews approach a 300 mile race different than they do a 500 mile race. So it follows that the same approach applies to Chase points vs old style points.
Matt, I’m surprised you used a Connecticut woman to bring up face-eating simians. I thought you might know that there was a similar case with a NASCAR link. St. James Davis, a longtime Winston West driver from CA, suffered the same fate…and worse.