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 August 8, 2011
The Key Moment – Kyle Busch got so preoccupied with Jimmie Johnson’s attempted divebomb pass to the inside, a quick move on Turn 1 of the final restart they both flat out let Brad Keselowski get away.
In a Nutshell – It wasn’t very exciting, there wasn’t a lot of passing and rain caused a two-hour delay but at least the winner wasn’t determined by fuel mileage.
Dramatic Moment – That final restart had all the makings of a disaster.
Johnson and Kurt Busch spiced up the pot a bit on the final lap. Post-race comment analysis… advantage, Kurt Busch.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
Give Keselowski style points for even getting in his car Sunday after a triple digit wreck at Road Atlanta that broke his ankle and left him bruised and battered. To win the race after all that was a major display of intestinal fortitude. Didn’t Denny Hamlin win a bunch of races last year after knee surgery? Perhaps trauma to the lower extremities makes a guy faster.
Ironically enough, had it not been for the rain delay this would have been one of the faster 500 miles at Pocono. But I’m still for breaking both Pocono dates into a pair of 200-mile races.
Once again, a comparison of this week’s Nationwide and Cup race yields the same old results. Smaller race tracks and slower speeds make for better racing.
Best wishes to Drs. Joe and Rose Mattioli, well-respected owners who have cultivated the Pocono track all these years. They announced their retirement earlier this weekend, unexpectedly; grandson Brandon Igdalsky now holds the title of President and CEO.
Why is it NASCAR seems to want to lump all their most boring races into the summer stretch?
I dunno, but I think if I worked for the No. 22 team and Kurt Busch started complaining about the car while leading, I’d just lay aside my headset and go home.
OK, so Carl Edwards is going to stay with Roush Fenway Racing. Apparently, the Ford Motor Company had to throw in a bunch of cash to seal the deal. It’s about time. Roush and Ford have had a habit of letting their most talented drivers defect to other brands over the past couple decades.
You have to figure when a race transporter entering the track manages to take out the starter’s tower you’re in for a long, difficult weekend.
Really? ESPN continued a live interview while Taps was played as part of the pre-race ceremony? And this is the day after this country lost 31 soldiers in an attack in Afghanistan? That’s just disrespectful.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Had it rained a little harder and longer, Joey Logano would have won the race. To compound his misery, a pair of poor pit stops plus a flat tire sent him tumbling to a 26th-place finish.
As one might expect at Pocono, Denny Hamlin ran up front and had a real shot at winning until a pair of miscues in the pits derailed his little red wagon. Lugnut problems left him fighting for 15th.
David Ragan’s chances at a competitive race ended barely 20 laps into the proceedings when he backed into the wall. Ragan wound up 34th.
Juan Pablo Montoya usually runs well at Pocono, but he was off-key to say the least on Sunday. A late-race wreck with Kasey Kahne only extended the misery; in the two races since Brian Pattie was replaced, he now has an average finish of 30.0.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Ricky Stenhouse won Saturday night’s Nationwide race in almost unbelievable fashion. Leading on the last lap, Stenhouse blew an engine exiting turn four. Carl Edwards was closing hard on his teammate but was unable to see through the smoke or steer on the oiled down track; he ran right into the back of Stenhouse, propelling him across the finish line with the two back tires several feet off the ground.
Jeff Gordon started the Pocono race in 31st after slapping the wall in qualifying. For the first half of the race, he seemed unable to stay out of his own way but rallied back to a sixth-place finish. Plus, Gordon was back in his comfortable position of having the broadcasters all but cutting out little red construction paper hearts for him as they sang his praises and celebrated his “resurgence.”
Kyle Busch bought out the day’s first caution only twelve laps into the race with a single-car spin. Yet he recovered well enough to finish second.
Johnson thought he had a transmission coming apart late in the race but it turned out to be nothing. He went on to run fourth.
IndyCar TV ratings probably got a big boost Sunday when the lengthy Pocono rain delay overlapped their broadcast.
Tony Stewart had yet another miserable run going by halfway once an equalized tire dropped him off the lead lap. But somehow or another, Stewart clawed back and wound up in eleventh at the end of the race. I think he took a shortcut.
What’s the Points?
Edwards remains atop the points but is now only nine ahead of Johnson. Kyle Busch moves up a spot to third, just two points behind. Kurt Busch advanced two spots to fourth while Kevin Harvick fell two spots to fifth. Matt Kenseth fell a spot to sixth; all those drivers, along with seventh-place point man Jeff Gordon are a full points’ worth of races ahead of 11th.
Drivers in point positions eighth through twelfth held serve this week. While Greg Biffle in thirteenth is just three points out of the top 12, that’s not going to matter unless he wins a race. Ranked eighteenth in the standings and having won two races this year, Brad Keselowski currently holds the top “wild card” spot while Denny Hamlin would grab the other, hanging on with a single victory in 11th.
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 three cans of lukewarm stuff. Like I said, it wasn’t decided on fuel mileage.
(Some of you have asked what sort of race gets a full six-pack? Saturday’s Nationwide thriller gets a perfect score.)
Next Up – The wallowing walruses of Cup cars take to Watkins Glen. Yawn. See ya in a couple weeks when real racing resumes.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Was I the only one that knew NASCAR would throw a debris caution to bunch up the field as soon as they made it to halfway? No bogus cautions before the halfway point because they wanted to make sure the race was official in case of bad weather. But then, right at the halfway point they throw a questionable debris caution. How can they be so transparent?
As Pocono races go, it was okay. Although clear air was still the best advantage, there were a few passes for the lead, and even more passing within the rest of the top ten. We had the Jimmie Johnson-Kurt Busch battle, and the suspense of watching Kyle Busch try to run down Keseloski at the end. There was nothing anyone could do about the rain delay but wait it out; If Pennsylvania is anything like the Carolinas, they desperately needed the rain even if it didn’t come at the most fortuitous time.
The Nationwide race at Iowa was great. This racetrack proves that the future of Nascar is dependent on tracks that provide for good racing. I noticed the stands at Iowa were packed for the second time this year. There’s a lesson there, Brian.
Last but not least, congrats to Brad for a great win despite the broken ankle. Even moreso, thanks to Brad for reminding us that the real heroes this weekend are the brave soldiers in Afghanistan who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our great nation.
I tuned in at the end of the rain delay. Wasn’t it great to not have commercials from the restart to the end?
In regards to the last line Matt, there hasn’t been real racing in Cup for years.
You said it best, “Gordon was back in his comfortable position of having the broadcasters all but cutting out little red construction paper hearts for him as they sang his praises and celebrated his “resurgence.”
I wonder how much JG has to pay ESPN for this “promoting”.
Matt – You may give the race 3 cans of lukewarm stuff to the race; however, I offer an ice-cold sixer of Schaefer Beer to the Mattiolis for their multi-decade commitment to racing at Pocono and keeping ISC and SMI at bay. (For those who don’t recall, Schaefer was a big supporter of Pocono races – especially USAC – in the 70s.)
obviously I’m biased, but I’m pretty happy that the broadcasters are speaking well of Jeff Gordon again these days. As a long time fan, there were a couple of years where it was simply painful to watch a race on TV.
And on that note, I doubt that anyone could pay Rusty enough money to make him speak well of Jeff.
A better than usual Pocono race – although that doesn’t say much. I’ve been there twice, that was enough for me. At least watching it on TV, I can do other things while they “race” at Pocono.
I thought the caution at the halfway point was humorous too. NASCAR really does think the fans are stupid.
J.J. is such a jerk!! I hit him mommie, but he HIT me back!!! WAAAAAAAAA
the carl edwards thing although good for carl can’t be good for racing in general. it adds even more money into a sport that is bloated and out of touch. you can’t tell me some other ford teams aren’t going to see less money because of this. looks to me like he took a page right out of danica’s book. drop hints that you are going elsewhere and say nothing and watch the offers roll in but stay where you are at the end of it because that’s always been your best shot. speaking of danica… never mind, i’ll get to say it next year when she can’t perform in great equipment next year either…
Since you obviously dont know much about road racing, it’s probably a good idea that you do something else next weekend. Maybe that new show “Trailer Park Housewives”.
Always entertaining to see JJ and Kurt mix it up. Amazing how JJ always thinks he’s the good guy and everyone else is a jerk. It was pretty funny to see him walk away from Kurt twice and then head back over like he was going to punch him. What a wimpy whiner. Look at the replay JJ … sad thing is you’re going to ruin Nascar even more by winning a 6th title (vomit).
I know I’m in the minority here, but I thought yesterday’s race was a clear-cut “ZERO” cans of beer! Worse than the June race! Why? If for no other reason because it was won by the biggest fecal-brained moron in NASCAR. Yes, an even bigger moron than Cryle and that over-priviged cry-baby in the #48! Sorry, but I cannot stand this jerk! I don’t care if he did drive hurt, and I know it was good that he at least swallowed his greatly bloated ego and saluted the armed forces people who gave their lives on the weekend, he’s still a complete jerk! As much as I can’t stand Cryle, I would have taken him winning over Crasheloski! And to think that, this afternoon, on his Sirius Speedway show, Dave Moody actually had the audacity to call this punk ‘The New Ironman’! If I was Jack Ingram, I’d punch Moody right in his yap!
On the lighter side, way to go, Kurt Busch! Poor, poor Jimmie! Someone actually raced him! Bad boy, Kurt! You’re not supposed to race NASCAR’s chosen son! Take heart though, Jimmie, if it had of been the Bad-boy Brad who raced you that way, he would have turned you head on into the wall, then he would have sicked his daddy (one of the dirtiest racers who ever drove in the old A.S.A. series! Watched him at the old Cayuga Speedway one day when he spun Butch Miller and Bob Senniker out in two separate incidents!) on you when you went after him! When comparing Bob and Brad, it’s truely “like fater, like son”!
Sorry, that should have been “like father, like son”.
So let me get this straight….You aren’t a BK fan? lol
I’ve never been to Cayuga… But that won’t make me a BK fan. And I was so hoping Kurt would put JJ into the wall.Better luck next time Kurt!
What’s the Points?
How did Stenhouse get the win? Isn’t there some rule about your car having to pass the start finish line under its own power on the last lap? LOL
Watkins Glen will be a better race than Pocono.. and Loudon.. that’s a promise, Matt
I gave this race one beer and I might have given it too much credit. Just more of the same tired parade racing. You are right about something though, Matt. Two 250 mile races would ease some of the boredom.