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.
Though it was not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things, the Winston Cup circuit was very different back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Back then, almost all the star drivers were still Southern-born and bred, most of them having started their careers racing late models on one of those storied old bullrings south of the Mason-Dixon line. A driver who showed promise might hope one day to land a ride with one of the “Good ol’ boy” teams, like Junior Johnson’s, Bud Moore’s, or Richard Childress’s. Certainly, if that driver ever expected to have a chance at running for the championship, it was thought he needed to land a ride with an established team.
Then along came Alan Kulwicki. Not only was he born way north of the heart of Dixie in Greenfield, Wisconsin, his plan — to start his own team and be an owner/driver — was almost unheard of in that day. But Alan Kulwicki never did follow the beaten path.
He blazed his own.
Alan’s dad, Gerald, was a race engine builder of some notoriety. While Alan wanted to get involved in racing at an early age, his father insisted he get a good education. Possessed with a genius level IQ, Alan eventually earned a college degree in mechanical engineering during an era that saw most of NASCAR’s stars drop out of school early on to pursue their racing careers. Kulwicki would use that talent at engineering to build his own race cars. Because of a tight budget, he by and large built the cars by himself, and his thorough understanding of the makeup of a race car would make him among the best drivers at setting up a chassis the way he wanted it to feel.
Alan started racing late models at the age of 19 in 1974. His first start was at the Hale’s Corner Speedway in Wisconsin; that same year, he won his first feature race at Leo’s Speedway over in Oshkosh. Those who knew him well recall that was also the year Alan Kulwicki decided he wanted to run in Winston Cup one day, competing for the championship. Daytona is a long way from Oshkosh; but as he did with everything in his life, Alan sat down and methodically started plotting a path to reach his goal. There was no use in anyone telling him it was an impossible dream. As Alan was fond of saying, “Obstacles are what you see in your path when you take your eyes off your goal.”
Kulwicki followed his plan, graduating from the Wisconsin short track scene (after winning two track championships) to driving full-time on the USAC stock car racing circuit and, eventually, the ASA series. There, he befriended another future NASCAR superstar, Rusty Wallace. While friends off the track, the two drivers were fierce rivals on it, and treated the fans to some of the finest racing that series had ever known.
While it was a slight deviation from his plans, when Bill Terry offered Alan the chance to run a few Winston Cup races in 1985 Kulwicki jumped at the chance. He started his first Cup race at Richmond that Fall and finished 19th. Kulwicki would make a total of five Winston Cup starts that year, with his best finish a 13th at Charlotte. Still, Bill Terry had seen enough talent in Alan to offer him a ride during the 1986 season. At that point, Alan decided it was time to move south to continue pursuing his goal of winning a Cup title. He sold his own shop and equipment, packing all his things in an old Ford truck. The day he was to leave, the electrical system of the truck caught fire. While some might have seen that as a sign to abandon their plans to move south, Alan calmly set about rewiring the truck stem to stern, then headed south the day he finished the job.
While any chance to run Winston Cup is a chance worth taking, Terry’s team was an extremely small operation. The team had only one car and two engines, with limited sponsorship from Quincy’s restaurants. The deal was thrown together so quickly that Alan arrived at Daytona to find his name misspelled on the car.
Alan’s goal that year was to run for Rookie of the Year honors. Knowing that wrecking the car would mean he would most likely miss the next race, Alan developed his trademark smooth clean driving style. He was never into swapping paint like Dale Earnhardt or driving on the ragged edge like Tim Richmond. Alan drove with his head as much as his right foot, and brought his equipment home in one piece. That’s not to say he was slow; Alan had four top 10 finishes in 1986, including a fourth place run at Martinsville that Spring. Those finishes were enough to let Alan achieve his goal of winning top rookie honors.
Alan was ready to move up to the next level for 1987, but he and Bill Terry were no longer seeing eye to eye. Kulwicki knew in his mind what the team needed to run more competitively, but Terry was not interested in spending the necessary funding to match. Instead, he sold the team to Alan, who went deeply into debt to buy that small operation. Alan began spending money, efficiently but as needed, and began building up his team. He managed ten top 10 finishes in 1987, including a runner-up finish at Pocono in June that left him a mere second behind Dale Earnhardt. Suddenly, no one was laughing at the dreamer anymore. Kulwicki was beginning to turn heads, and had taken a step up to the level of contender. With his tiny little race team, he finished 15th in the points that year.
The ‘87 season went well enough that Alan was able to sign on his first major sponsor, Zerex antifreeze. The deal allowed him to buy and build newer equipment, as well as rent engines from Prototype Engineering. What Alan needed next was a crew chief who was as dedicated to his goals as he was.
While at the awards banquet, Kulwicki discussed who he should hire with his old friend Rusty Wallace. Wallace recommended Paul Andrews. It turned out to be a perfect match and a very successful association, as Alan was able to effectively communicate to Andrews how he wanted things done. Andrews was sold on Alan’s vision and worked tirelessly to accomplish just that. That’s not to say the pair never had words. When two perfectionists work in a high pressure environment, they are bound to cross swords occasionally. But Alan and Paul had a deep mutual respect, and they were able to talk through their differences.
Kulwicki and Andrews combined for a great season in 1988. Alan had nine top 10 finishes, including a pair of seconds and his Cup first win at Phoenix that year. After the victory, Alan did a reverse lap of the track, a move which he called his Polish victory lap. The fans loved it — but NASCAR asked Alan not to do it again. Alan smiled and told them he would never do another Polish victory lap until he won his first championship. One can imagine Bill Gazaway just rolled his eyes and walked away.
While Alan didn’t win any races in 1989, he did have four second place finishes and was running strong week in and week out. In 1990, he won the Fall race at Rockingham and finished eighth in the points. Thus, it was somewhat of a bombshell when Zerex announced they would not be returning to the team for the 1991 season. Naturally, the loss of a sponsor is a major setback to a team, and there were those who doubted that Kulwicki Racing would survive. Not Alan, though. He was convinced that he had Maxwell House locked up as a sponsor.
Meanwhile, Junior Johnson, who had perhaps the best eye for raw talent in NASCAR history, tried to convince Alan to come drive for him. Junior had owned six championship teams already, and when combined with a seven figure salary offer, it had to have been a major temptation. But Alan’s plan was to own the team he took to the championship, and he was loyal to the team members who had stood by him. He turned down Junior’s offer, thinking once Maxwell House signed on that everything would be fine. Junior tried very hard to change Alan’s mind, for he knew — but was not at liberty to say — that Maxwell House had decided to sponsor his second team rather then Alan.
Thus, Alan Kulwicki faced the start of the 1991 season without a sponsor. He was up front with his team, telling him he would be paying expenses out of his own pocket with no idea how far they could go into the season if no sponsor signed on. He told the team members if they chose to leave to pursue more stable employment, there would be no hard feelings.
No one chose to leave.
At Daytona that year, Alan had a rather unique one race sponsor. The Gulf War was raging on at that point, and to show the sport’s support of the troops Winston arranged to have five cars run with the colors of one of the branches of the armed services. Alan was chosen to represent the Army, and his car was painted up black and camouflage. He managed to finish eighth in that year’s 500; but while the team had a couple decent runs after that, money was quickly running out.
Then, in a happy coincidence almost out of a fairy tale, Alan managed to grab the pole at the March race in Atlanta. At that very same race, Mark Stahl, who drove for Hooters, failed to qualify. This led Hooters to approach Alan about a one race deal to run their colors. A shy man by nature and a devout Catholic, Alan was uncomfortable with representing the restaurant chain famous for its scantily clad and well-endowed waitresses. But in order to run for a championship, his team needed a sponsor, and the championship was his goal. Alan smiled and signed on the dotted line. The one race deal quickly turned to a full season sponsorship when Kulwicki finished eighth at that rain delayed race. Kulwicki won his first race carrying the Hooters colors at Bristol that year. Despite having started the season without a sponsor, he wound up finishing 13th in the points.
Going into 1992, Alan Kulwicki had all the ingredients for success: a big dollar sponsor, good equipment, a great crew chief, and a ton of talent. He had an unexpected advantage in that Goodyear introduced their new radial tires, which responded better to a smooth driving style than an “on the edge” one. But he also had some pretty formidable competition in the form of Bill Elliott, who had left his family team to drive for Junior Johnson, as well as Davey Allison, who was running for the formidable Robert Yates operation. While 1992 featured one of the most competitive championship hunts ever, it was Bill, Alan, and Davey who wound up being the cream of the crop.
While Davey and Bill grabbed the headlines, with Allison winning the Daytona 500 and Elliott winning four races in a row, Alan quietly kept himself in the hunt. He won twice that year, at Bristol and Pocono. While those two events might not have had the glamour of Daytona, they paid the same amount of points. Heading into the stretch drive to the title, Alan was in position to achieve his ultimate goal.
A terrible weekend at Dover that Fall seemed to doom his chances. After destroying his car in practice, Alan took a backup car out and won the pole. Unfortunately, during the course of the race he tangled with Chad Little, wrecked the backup car too, and finished 34th. (That wasn’t the worst of Alan’s problems at Dover. At the first race that year, he totaled two cars in practice, had to send a flatbed to the shop to pick up a third, and wrecked that one in the race as well. Paul Andrews recalls they only had to do five clip jobs on wrecked cars that year, and all of them were from Dover.) Alan dropped to 278 points out of the lead, and just about everyone said he had no chance to make up that big a gap with only six races to go.
Just about everyone but Alan, that is.
In subsequent races, Bill Elliott and Davey Allison had problems of their own, while Alan ran strong to pull himself right back into contention. Going into Atlanta for the season finale, Alan was in second position in the points, 30 behind Davey and 10 ahead of Bill. While most fans know how that championship chase turned out, many do not recall just how dicey things really were for Alan. For one thing, Davey only needed to finish fifth to guarantee himself a championship, and Atlanta was a horsepower track. Allison’s car owner, Robert Yates, knew a thing or two about horsepower, as he was one of the premier engine builders of that era. In addition, the race was sponsored by Hooters, who kept Alan running from appearance to appearance even while he desperately needed to be working on his car. Because he was a longshot, or underdog, to win the championship, Alan got permission from Ford to change the “Thunderbird” decal on the nose of his Ford to read “Underbird” for that fateful race.
Things did not go smoothly for Alan during that event. On his very first pit stop, he tore first gear out of the transmission. Because of all the shrapnel in the gearbox, Alan was eventually left with only fourth gear. While that wasn’t a problem out there on the track, it made for extremely slow pit stops, and there was a real question as to whether the transmission would survive to the end of the race. Meanwhile, Davey Allison’s hopes were wiped out when he got into a wreck with Ernie Irvan with 75 laps to go — but Bill Elliott had a strong horse and was running up front. Alan had a good car as well, and he, too, led a lot of laps.
Quietly, Paul Andrews began calculating how many laps Alan needed to lead to be guaranteed the five point bonus for leading the most laps, knowing the slow pit stops would make it unlikely that Alan could beat Bill for the race win. When a caution flew and Elliott pitted, Andrew told Alan to stay on the track two more laps, clinching that “Most Laps Led” five point bonus. With that brilliant move, Andrews may very well have helped Alan win the title.
But there was still more drama to come.
Elliott was leading the race with Kulwicki in second, the position he had to finish in to win the title if Elliott was to score the race win. Again, because the Underbird only had fourth gear, Andrews decided to just pit for a gas and go on the final stop rather then changing tires. When Alan pitted, his gas man gave the car a quick shot of fuel while the rest of the crew pushed Alan’s car out of the pits, hoping to help him avoid blowing up the transmission. It wasn’t until after the pit stop, when the team measured how much fuel was left in the 11 gallon pit can, that Andrews calculated they had not gotten enough gas into the car and it was going to be very close as to whether Alan could complete the race. Andrews radioed Alan with the bad news, and there was a stunned silence on the radio.
Paul told Alan to conserve fuel as best he could, and began telling his driver how many seconds behind third place Geoff Bodine was running. Kulwicki had a racer’s heart and would have dearly loved to challenge Elliott for the race win, but he also had his eyes on his goal… the championship. He needed to save gas but still keep Bodine behind him, and that is exactly what Alan managed to pull off. He finished second in the battle, but won the war, and became the 1992 Winston Cup champion.
After the race Alan radioed Paul and asked quietly, “Did we win it?” The crew’s enthusiastic cheering let him know that indeed he had. Alan spun the Underbird around, and true to that promise he made in Phoenix in 1988 did a Polish victory lap to celebrate his title. NASCAR didn’t seem to mind at all. After pulling into Victory Lane, Alan reached into his uniform and pulled out a 39 cent Ace pocket comb to straighten up his hair before emerging from the car. It was a classic Kulwicki moment: Why spend a bundle when a 39 cent item will work just as well?
The 1992 awards banquet in New York was one of the best events ever. During his speech, a gracious Bill Elliott presented Alan with a gold-plated pocket comb, thinking the 39 cent item was a bit beneath the new champion. Alan may never have laughed so hard in public before in his life. NASCAR did a moving tribute to their new champion set to the tune of “My Way.” While public speaking was not Alan Kulwicki’s strong point, he gave an exceptional speech that night in which he vowed to do everything in his power to make everyone associated with the sport proud of his tenure as champion.
1993 started with a great deal of optimism for Alan, Paul, and the team. While a dropped valve relegated them to a poor finish at the Daytona 500, Alan had a series of strong runs early on that season. After finishing sixth at the Spring race in Darlington, he had climbed back to ninth place in the point standings. There were still a lot of races left in the season, and the team was quietly confident they could repeat as champions.
On April 1st, 1993 Alan Kulwicki was flying to Bristol for that weekend’s race aboard a Hooters corporate jet. Until that year Alan had always flown commercial airliners, but with the busy commitment schedule of reigning champion, he had begun flying on corporate planes. The plane had almost reached Bristol when things went terribly wrong.
Subsequent investigations have revealed that the pilot forgot to turn on the de-icers and the engines flamed out. Dale Earnhardt was aboard his plane not far ahead of Alan’s as it prepared to touch down. Earnhardt heard the frantic emergency calls from Kulwicki’s pilot, then the terrified screams of the plane’s passengers, including those of his friend he called “Quickie.” Then, there was an ominous silence. It was hours before the media was told the worst possible news. Alan Kulwicki and the other passengers aboard the plane had all died in the fiery wreck. Because of Alan’s celebrity, the names of the other three victims are often overlooked, but Mark Brooks, Dan Duncan, and Charles Campbell also perished that night.
The NASCAR family was stunned and moved to tears by the loss of their quiet champion. The next morning the No. 7 team’s rig, with a black wreath on the grille, took two slow laps around Bristol in a driving rain, while the other teams stood along pit road silently in honor of Alan Kulwicki.
Alan Kulwicki passed away at the age of 39. In his brief life, though, he managed to achieve the goal others had told him was impossible. His words, “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal” are a map to the path of success for others brave enough to dream. And while his reign was far too short, Alan kept the promise he made that night in New York as well. We were proud to have Alan Kulwicki as our champion, and miss him to this day.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
The Greenfield Hooters has a wonderful area with memoriablia from Alan. Visit it next time anyone is in Milwaukee. He is a local hero.
Will Alan Kulwicki be in the HOF? A better question would be; Will all Sprint/Nextel/Winston Cup champions eventually be in the HOF?
what’s that thing that alan in kneeling in front of on the homepage? it seems familiar but i can’t quite place it.
That my friend, is a REAL race car!
Thx for the great article. I remember April 1, 1993 very well. I just landed in Phx for the CART race and heard the news on the radio. Being a diehard AK fan from Wisconsin I went to a local Hooters on Bell Road to find someone to commiserate with and unfortunately no one there had any idea who Alan was nor that he died that day (things sure have changed a lot in Phx with all the Nascar fans nowadays). I was sick but nursed a beer in the corner in his honor. That was a sad day but I never tire of hearing his story for encouragement. He definitely was a special person and a great competitor.
Susan: you’re a mean person and rotten to the core. Go crap on someone else b*tch.
Man, the the bug up that girl’s ass has a bug up it’s ass.
Oh, one fact I forgot to mention: Terry Labonte, who was not in contention for the win, decided on one caution to stay out a lap for the FIVE BONUS POINTS FROM HELL. If he had not, Bill would have gotten the extra lap led he needed and all that brilliant engineering know-how that went into calculating 1+1 would have gone out the window and Bill would have won the championship. Lucky break for Alan? Damn straight it was, but Alan didn’t believe in luck. There was also talk of radio problems on the 11 (Elliott) team, but Bill never mentioned this, because he has too much class to rain on Alan’s parade. But somebody has to be the biitch and tell the truth and I am proud to play the part.
Just think how long the rant would be if she still had all that hatred. Which, by the way, she doesn’t have anymore.
Very nice column, Matt. IMO Alan does belong in the HOF, he was a racer and although the story has a tragic ending, he kept his eye on the prize and won it over a FULL season, not any trumped up 10 race silliness.
Wow, Susan, based on that post, I wouldn’t think you didn’t still hate Dale and Alan.
While not a big Alan K. fan that was a good read MATT.
Susan, you might want to refrain from posting when “Aunt Flo” comes for her monthly visit.
So, Gina, do you believe that winning one championship and accomplishing NOTHING else of note entitles a driver to be in the HOF? Man, it’s gonna get crowded in there, and we haven’t even gotten DW in yet – he will want his own wing! And of course, Alan was SUCH a racer, he didn’t even bother to try to win the last race or the other what (100 races?) he was in during his illustrious career? Funny how the guy who keeps “not racing” into the championship (according to Gina) has managed to win 55 races at a younger age than Alan was when he died with a total of 5. (For the thinking impaired, I am referring to Jimmie Johnson.) You people are such damn hypocrites! Most of you probably cheered when you heard a Hendrick plane went down at Martinsville, didn’t you? Or did you just not care? Or seriously, did you not even know until I just told you? Great fans you got, Matt.
Matt has his story and it is biased; I have mine and it is also biased, but less so, since Matt had some kind of man-crush on Alan. And Alan was not so much an outsider because he was from Wisconsin, but because he was a nerd. Maybe Matt identifies.
For the record, I had a sort of a crush on Bill, but would have been OK with a Davey or Bill championship because Davey did everything to deserve it, won the 500, won as many races as Bill, led the points most of the season – not just the LAST ONE RACE – which you people have so much problem with when it comes to the Chase. Alan got lucky. Then he got very unlucky. Nice story, but you really need to know the whole story to put it into perspective.
Why does it make you people so angry when I point out facts Matt leaves out? You know I am not a fan of Matt since Aunt Flo visited him ten years ago and never left. But rant, hatred? Where are getting that? Of all the principals, the only one I really still hate is Junior Johnson because he was and is a crook, a cheater, and he cheated on his wife while screwing his girlfriend and his race team simultanesouly. Busy man. And a sleaze.
So kiddies, when Matt has story time, make sure there is someone around to tell the WHOLE story. Or you might think somebody like Alan Kulwicki deserves to be in the HOF.
Now go take a valium and if you’ve got an extra one….
wow… what’s the big hubub?… no one hardly actually goes to the official nascar “hall of fame.” which is no doubt sponsored by someone who would be better suited being on the side of an actual race car and brought to you by another company that swallowed a similar line of crap from france’s machine. the one that was built with taxpayers dollars and donations from the same folk that PT Barnum called out. Screw that.
No one threatened you with a switchblade. Matt said…. “I prefer a sharp cut to a gaping wound.”
Does anyone else think Susan and Randy Goldman would make a good couple?
Susan: you have way too much anger and time on your hands. I think when Leo was referring to “gaping wound” he was referring to your vagina.
You might have a college degree; but, that doesn’t mean your diatribes are well constructed or on point. You are certainly capable of quantity…
What does the Fairness Doctrine have to do with a NASCAR opinion piece? How did you manage to get the current news from Japan into your discussion? Why do you assume most of the people here cheered the Hendrick plane crash? Or that we don’t find that JJ’s accomplishments are pretty impressive – even if he’s not everyone’s favorite driver?
When it comes down to it, you’re quite clear that you didn’t care for Alan. Fine. I met him once, and he was very gracious and polite. Maybe he kicked a dog later that day – but, he didn’t do any such thing in my presence. Maybe he was an SOB to work with/for. Some people are driven that way – in fact, some might say that Kyle Busch is similarly driven. It doesn’t matter though, because that’s who they are, and you’re entitled to your opinion about them – just like the rest of us.
I was never the biggest AK fan during that time; but, I still recognized that he was able to win a championship using the rules that were in place. To say that he backed into it is pure opinion. It went down the way it went down, luck or not. Even if he had won the last five races of the season, I doubt if you’d have been happy about it – and that’s okay. But, using your logic – if Bill had won the championship that day, he would have won it on Alan’s bad day at Dover.
Susan would be much more effective at making her point if she didn’t feel the need to belittle others in the process. I’m rather enjoy a intense debate, but not so much the childish insults she feels are necessary.
Bill B, Kulwicki will certainly be inducted, as will all champions except Bill Rexford (all the Cup champions through 1997 except Rexford were included on the 50 Greatest Drivers’ List, and I think pretty much everyone on that list will eventually be inducted). Dying in one’s prime certainly does increase one’s myth in any endeavor. Susan is right about that. Still, treating Kulwicki as just an ordinary everyday 5-time winner (as if he had a comparable level of impact to 4-time winners Ken Schrader or Morgan Shepherd) is misguided. Kulwicki’s success inspired D. Waltrip, G. Bodine, Rudd, and Elliott to become owner-drivers afterward. Only Rudd won more races in the period (and Kulwicki would have if he had lived), and none of those drivers (all of whom were great) finished better than fifth in points as owner-drivers. Kulwicki certainly had a ridiculous level of good luck in the last six races to win that title, but he still had probably the worst equipment of any champion in the modern era (save possibly Benny Parsons, whose L.G. DeWitt team was arguably even more underfunded relative to the competition). And don’t dare count Tony Stewart today as an owner-driver. He’s a Hendrick franchisee. Robby Gordon is the only real owner-driver at the moment, and you can see how well he’s doing at it at the moment. Even if Kulwicki’s equipment was better than people thought, it was not better than the Robert Yates and Junior Johnson teams, so for Kulwicki to be even in the same ballpark with them meant that he was ridiculously overachieving. Harry Gant frequently had underfunded teams in the same period and also overachieved. I have more respect for both of their talents than I do for Davey Allison, the true driver of that era I think has been overhyped beyond proportion due to death (since from 1987-1990 he underachieved with some of the best engines on the track, although granted there was team instability with Yates purchasing the team from Ranier, and Ernie Irvan blew him out of the water in the #28 until his first Michigan crash). Not that Davey was bad, he was just a fifth-place driver elevated to greatness due to dying immediately after his two great seasons. Davey was sort of somewhere between Mark Martin and Jeff Burton in my mind, an enduring solid contender who could occasionally contend for titles but not a world-beater (almost exactly how I felt about Dale, Jr. from 2000-2006 funnily enough before he dropped off the face of the earth in 2007), and I don’t think he would have won a title, since he was a step down from Earnhardt, Wallace, and Martin (who also went empty-handed), and he wasn’t as good as Gordon either who probably would have dominated the second half of the ‘90s either way. (I LIKE Davey more than most of the drivers I have listed, by the way, because of his passion and true grit but I think that speaks to his character more than his talent which was not QUITE as strong as most argue).
Susan, I have respect for any driver who gives a team its first taste of success, and that certainly also applies to Elliott who had great results when the Mellings were underfunded (as well as Earnhardt/Rod Osterlund, Martin/Roush, Irvan/Morgan-McClure, G. Bodine/Hendrick, Jarrett/Gibbs, Kulwicki, etc…) I’d probably list Elliott over Kulwicki myself in terms of judging entire careers, since although Kulwicki’s 1992 was better, Elliott’s whole career was. But even if Elliott was better (on which I agree with you, by the way) that doesn’t mean it’s okay to smear Kulwicki’s accomplishments. Silly me, I thought the kind of people who liked underdogs like Elliott would also like Kulwicki. Elliott by the way is MATT’s favorite driver, which makes your criticism of him on this strange.
And I don’t want anyone to think I’m being a hypocrite re: Davey Allison. I’m not smearing Davey. I like him. I think some of what people say about him is overblown (like the projections that he would have gone on to a Jeff Gordon win total, which I think is ridiculous) because I think there were drivers like Kulwicki, Gant, Rudd, Bonnett, Irvan, and G. Bodine who were frequently in worse equipment at the same time doing just as much as Davey did, which implies that all or most of those drivers were therefore better, and I feel those drivers don’t get enough respect now, and Davey gets too much. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Davey. I certainly do.
I hope every driver I mentioned (except Ken Schrader, Morgan Shepherd, and probably Jeff Burton) is inducted into the NASCAR HoF, and since they were all on the 50 Greatest Drivers’ List, I think they will be.
Susan: I’m sure glad you cleared that up. I always looked at myself as more of a humble little zit instead of a full blown pimple.
I’ve decided the best way to enjoy the columns on FS is to stop reading at the final period of the final sentence of the final paragraph, and forego the reader responses. Some of these comments are just asinine and unnecessary. It’s not just Matt’s pieces that fall prey, most of the staff contributors to this site are lambasted on a regular basis. A small number of people, and it’s usually the same ones, seem to come to the FS site for no reason other than internet combat. Please go away. We don’t need you here.
If susan & randi were a couple they’d have almost an I.Q, of 7 but since their crap comes from the same brain? & keyboard, who knows…But 1 things for sure, susan is a brainless lil bitch hiding behind her pc & her alter ego, (thats lil randi for the newbies here)heres a message from myself & any other real Nascar fan, AK is & always will be remembered just the way Matt just described him, Class act & damn good race car driver who was & always will be a Winston Cup Champion…
Let’s look at some FACTS.
72 drivers from WI have competed in the top three tiers of NASCAR racing. I stopped counting how many Georgian drivers have done so when I hit 144, double the number from WI, and I was only up to the G’s. (Want to count yourself…go to Racing-Reference.com and go to drivers by state.) In te modern era I can think of no other WI drivers who have won races, just Kenseth and Kulwicki.
Kulwicki won just five races. He had two years in decent equipment. Not Junior Johnson quality equipment, but decent equipment. How many more would he have won had it not been for that tragic flight? No one can tell you.
How many films did James Dean (note to Susan, the movie star not the sausage maker) star in? How many Oscars did he win. Yet he is still revered in the film community for Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. He remains a pop icon. Too fast to live, too you to die, bye-bye. That’s Dean and Alan.
Alan backed into a title. Hmmm. That seems to suggest that there was a basic flaw to the then current NASCAR points system. Which I said over and over again frequently but not because I became bitter when Bill didn’t win the title in 1992. So I guess you are agreeing with me that NASCAR had a stupid points system that rewarded consistency not excellence. Which means you must be a NASCAR hater as you accuse me of being. (Once AGAIN….I love stock car racing which is why I stick around. I just don’t have any warm fuzzies about the sancitioning body’s decision makers.) Is someone who disagreed with LBJ’s and Nixon’s Southeast Asis policy hate the US? Does he hate the soldiers who fought there? Nope. Good soldiers, bad war.
I find your indifference and cavalier attitude towards what’s going on in Japan appalling. I am no fan of Japan or Toyota as you have reason to know. But on a human to human level it still troubles me as I lay trying to sleep some young child might be laying under all that debris dying. That despite the fact I’d have a lot more cousins if so many Uncles and relations hadn’t died fighting the Imperial Army.
I’m not a drunk. I have too many dear friends who would pull me up short and get me help if I reached that level. I wrote my response at around 9:30 on Saint Pat’s. In the old days I’d have been partying with the crew until two or three when the bars shut down, but I felt I’d had enough and it was time to head home before Dano got up on the bar and sang “Tora, Rora Laura” again. Getting old sucks but it makes for a lot less tense rides home from the tavern. (In the truck of course. After two beers the Harley stays parked. And I put a LOT of miles on that Harley.)
Does Alan belong in the Hall of Fame? I wouldn’t nominate him for this year’s class or next…or maybe not even the one after that. But as a human being I take inspiration from his method, determination and even his madness. Don Quixote in a race car. In troubled times like these with Japan, Libya and the rest it’s nice to occasionally reflect on the indominatable human spirit and what it can acheive against the odds. For as many years as I roam this earth, long after this column stops running (which is once a year not three by the way) I will be inspired by Alan…and Davey who showed such fortitude in the face of so much tragedy, and Tim, who burned his candle at both ends but gave off such a beautiful light (and bought me a beer after I lost a round of pool to him in defiance of the natural order of things) and Dale, who rose from a dust poor (his Daddy couldn’t afford dirt) kid to the face of the sport for decades after Richard stopped winning. If you want to throw rocks at any of them, feel free. The legacy they all left behind can’t be damaged by a pebble throwing troll who does not play well with others and brings her own agenda, biased though it clearly is, to the table and presents it as THE TRUTH.
I’ll tell my buddy Susan what I’ve told other critics before, go find a website that will publish your views bi-weekly and see what sort of readership you develop. See if you can do it for thirteen or fourteen years. Get back to me after four or five and we’ll compare scars and war stories. Those who can do. Those who can’t criticize.
Unlike others I can’t decide is Susan is just another facet of RG, but for those who think she is “Hot” just remember a cyberspace sex change operation doesn’t involve the removal of sex organs, or even the removal of the changees head from their anus.
As one of the younger fans whose Dad got him into racing (first race I recall was the 1993 finale), I’ve always remembered hearing Alan as a guy who was as much a car chief as he was a driver. He was said to be the first to go in and the last to leave.
Like Tim Richmond or all the others taken before their time, we’re never going to know how far he could’ve gone, but that five win total? By the time Alan would’ve called it quits, it’d easily be triple, if not more.
Well said, JedZ. And it’s not really surprising that there’s a Hendrick undercurrent here.
12 comments on 1 article, all just to blast Matt’s opinion, I think we all see why you lived with a drunk for 20 years..because he had to listen to your ranting day in & day out…How bout you stick to BB & let the people that enjoy this site do the commenting, keep up the good work Matt.
Susan, if I lived with you for 20 years I would be a drunk too though I cannot imagine anyone being with you for more then 20 minutes.
If you think Junior Johnson is a crook then you must really love Rick Hendrick.
What’s a phone book?
Wow! I always read Matt’s column the day it comes out. Then I go back two days later to read the comments. Susan you just wasted two days criticizing a column that Matt writes every year.Personally I look forward to the AK story before every Spring Bristol race.It is a much better story than the story of today’s youth using their father’s fortunes to go racing.
Oh suzie, I see your now at 15 comments about the same column, again to tell us how bad Matt is, how smart(lmao) that you think you are, nobody thats smart goes to UWM, You have a vibrator fetish, you drink diet coke because its the #2 selling soda,you suck at golf so you quit playing,you won something last night? (who cares this isn’t a chat room), your I.Q is 20, & you don’t think AK belongs in the H.O.F, & the topper is I believe you just told us your hubby stuck around for 20 years because your hot???..LMFAO, If he was drunk for 20 years straight the damn family dog probably looked hot to him…just saying…& jmo, you should let this go for now, because you know Matt has another column coming after tomorrows race & were all on pins & needles waiting to here your next 15 opinions…
10:25, 10:59, 1:00am, & 5:17am..Susan, I think you misunderstood, I meant your next 15 comments on Matt’s next column, not 15 more on this 1…Its Bristol day try enjoying the race today & give that keyboard a little break
Thank you susan you have now proved my point for me, You are nothing more then a little internet troll who likes nobody, as a matter of fact I’m guessing you hate yourself & your life I just figured if I poked you enough you’d show your colors, but rapist?, really??, Geez, thats past pathetic, but just for you I’m gonna set the record straight for you, I’ve been following nascar since I was 11 yrs old in 1971, I married my high school sweetheart right out of high school, we’ve raised 2 sons, both of whom could & have helped me build numerous houses from the concrete up, I’ve got 3 beautiful granddaughters who cherish every minute with grandpa & grandma…Now on another note I suggest you look in the mirror if you can stand it for a second, & I’m guessing you are gonna realize that you are nothing more then a little waste of sperm that really has no real value on this earth. Now save your venom for 1 of the other places you spread sunshine around the internet because now that you’ve proved my point there will be no more responses to your silly & outlandish BS.& btw my apologys to Randy for grouping you with all of his alter egos, your too classless to be him..