NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
With the exception of Reed Sorenson’s surprise release from Turner Motorsports this week, there’s not much in the way of news in NASCAR-land as this column is written. That’s rather odd, considering we’re in the midst of our “playoffs” but I suppose it’s another stunning example of just how well this Chase concept isn’t working. When you can’t even get Coors to produce cases or bottle artwork on their beer to acknowledge your postseason, you know you’ve got some issues to deal with. (Rest assured, I am checking the local beer establishment regularly to see if this changes.)
One PR announcement that did cross my desk this week involves a continuing exclusive relationship between NASCAR racing and Goodyear that will drag on until 2017. (Is this sport confident it’s still going to be around in 2017?) That’s not because the NASCAR execs think the Goodyear folks, or even their products, are swell. It’s more like the money they give them swells their financial coffers; Goodyear pays big bucks to be the exclusive tire supplier in NASCAR. And you know what? Considering their past history, that’s probably for the best for our friends in Akron. In every major racing series where they have faced head-to-head competition over the last decade, Goodyear has been forced to retreat, rather embarrassingly in defeat.
By chance, I happened across another article today by John Leicester of the Associated Press talking about the Formula One series and what a big improvement tires (in this case, Pirelli) have made in that facet of the sport. Now in the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit I don’t watch F1 racing all that often and usually catch up with the Grand Prix gang via the highlight shows. It’s not that I have anything against F1; it’s just they schedule their races way too early in the morning for me. If anything, I’ll catch the last ten laps while trying not to drown in a cup of coffee. (Yes, I am being facetious. Even here in the boonies our teachers told us about different time zones around the globe, even here in the real world, and how they relate to the sun’s rotation around the earth.) But in what little F1 racing I’ve seen, I’ve noticed a lot more passing (or “overtaking,” as silly Englishmen refer to it) from second place on back. Up front, it’s always that Vettel fellow in the blue car with the big yellow cow on the nose.
As per Mr. Leicester (and the English still call each other “Mr.” and do other polite things like not shoot each other) the increase in passing in F1 is due to a calculated risk by new tire supplier Pirelli. The original tires they developed for the series, according to sources were said to be so hard and stable in lap times they could have lasted the duration of three race weekends. But the F1 organizers (and what a load of rascals they are) and Pirelli agreed that they needed a tire that “fell off” (no, not literally… lost speed progressively, in this instance) enough in lap times that the teams would require two or three pit stops per race. Thus this year, tire management has become crucial to the F1 superstars if they’re looking to win the race. It’s analogous to the tortoise and the hare: if a driver gets aggressive and runs his tires hard in as soon as ten laps (and remember, they tend to have long laps in F1 races) his tires have lost significant grip and he’s vulnerable to being passed (ahem… overtaken) by another driver who has been easier on his tires during that run (ahem… stint.) Or the speedier, more abusive driver can simply plan to make that extra pit stop and hope that his additional speed during his faster laps will make up the difference.
Oddly enough, that’s how it used to be in NASCAR racing. As recently as a decade ago, drivers would rarely drive an entire fuel run before pitting. If they tried to do so, their lap speeds fell off so greatly over newer tires that they were sitting ducks for anyone who had fresher rubber. That’s one of the reasons there were a lot fewer fuel mileage races back in the day; no one ever tried to stretch their mileage. But nowadays, the tires remain so consistent in speed during an entire fuel run that the need for gas rather than new tires has become the determining issue in when to make stops. Two-tire changes at Dover, much less Darlington were once unthinkable due to the speed dropoff; now, they’re par for the course. Back in those days, drivers and teams often shortpitted to get the advantage of fresher rubber, though that was sort of one of them “robbing Peter to pay Paul” deals because eventually the earlier stop meant the tires wore out earlier, too. It all came down to which driver had the fresher tires at the end of the race. (Well, that and solid brass cojones back…)
Now the F1 folks (and IndyCars, for that matter) have thrown another curveball into the equation. There are two different tire compounds available to the teams at each race. One is softer and therefore grippier and faster, but it wears out much more quickly. The other is more durable and consistent, but slower. Teams are issued a limited number of the faster tires for the race weekend so they need to be wise as when to use them. (The faster tires are identified by red lettering and stripes on the sidewall to keep everyone honest). Do you start the race on the faster tires, attempting to build up a big lead while the field is bunched up, or do you conserve them for the end of the race to make a charge to the checkers? (Or, if you’re this Vettel fellow, do you mount four studded G78 biased-ply whitewall snow tires to your car for the entire race and win anyway?)
Introducing a similar, softer compound tire in the Cup series and allotting the teams two sets to use during the course of the race would likely improve the quality of competition. One of the problems with NASCAR racing right now is that aero-push phenomenon, where the faster car in second gets into the dead air behind the lead car and loses front downforce to the point that he’s unable to complete the pass. By introducing more mechanical grip via a softer tire (or even just fresher tires with a higher level of falloff than today’s Goodyears) a skilled driver would be able to make that pass. And if nothing else, I think we all agree more passing makes for better racing, right? (Well, except for Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 czar, who once opined if there was too much overtaking in Grand Prix racing fans would be confused as to who was running where.)
Nobody is suggesting that Goodyear once again display the level of incompetence that turned the ’08 Brickyard 400 into a farce. But now that they are comfortably ensconced as the sole tire provider in NASCAR again, maybe they can experiment a little to try to improve the level of competition. Fans, well, they can do their part and give them a couple of mulligans while they sort things out. Let’s face it; I doubt anyone makes a decision anyways on what tires to buy for the family truckster based on racing success, anymore than they choose to drive a Focus or Camry due to race wins in NASCAR. If that were the case, the Impala would be the best-selling vehicle in America since Chevrolet has won the manufacturer’s title for almost a decade straight. I know personally when I shop for tires, an inability to drive in the rain and the need to replace the set every sixty miles aren’t features I’m looking for. Heck, if Goodyear wanted to go back to bias ply tires for racing I’d be good with that.
Sadly, NASCAR doesn’t seem inclined to modify the cars to allow for good racing again. A valid argument can be made that officials started us down the slippery slope to the mess we’re in today back in the mid-1980s, when they started raising and lowering roof heights on cars regardless of what was sitting on dealers’ lots and green-lighted the GM, front-wheel drive funny car “stock cars.” All that was decades before the Car of Sorrow; hey, disaster has to start somewhere, right? But we can’t change the past, only modify the future and the tires are one tool we can experiment with to try to improve the racing now.
Will it happen? Remember, NASCAR still has some heavy pull with Goodyear (and vice versa). I hate to use the term “twisting arms,” with its implied violence and discomfort, but maybe NASCAR could use a little stern persuasion to get the boys in Akron to pull the tire wear rope back in the right direction.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Good article, and you are correct about Goodyear, they do not do well when they have to compete.
One fact you did not include, however. If F1, the tyre (lets stay with the European terms for now) supplier has to provide two compounds for each race. EVERY CAR HAS TO USE BOTH COMPOUNDS DURING THE RACE. Now that dictates some strategy and interest. I think thats against the rules in Nascar these days.
I hope NASCAR and Goodyear read your article. I don’t know what happened. NASCAR used to make sure that the tires would fall off a ton over the course of a fuel run. Since around 2010 however, tire wear has almost been a complete non-factor at most tracks other than Atlanta (where, not coincidentally, we had one of the best races of this season). Not having to take tires just makes track position, clean air and fuel mileage even more important, and those are three words that no race fan wants to hear about.
I posted this on another website for a similar article so I am plagiarizing myself…
Looking back, NASCAR developed this new car and then took the lazy/cheap way out when they said, “Goodyear, you figure out (i.e., spend money on R&D) how to make the tires work with this crappy car” and then washed their hands of it.
Goodyear then took the lazy/cheap way out when they said “NASCAR, here is an indestructable tire. You figure out (i.e., spend money on R&D) on how to make it produce good racing”.
And then to further add insult to injury, NASCAR said to the teams, “Don’t mess with anything on the car. Don’t touch anything. Don’t try anything.”
How can anything get better in this environment?
So, here were are, cars that can’t pass, whoever is in the lead can strecth it out, and we end up with parades. The way to win involves pit strategy and gas mileage as much as having a good car. What has NASCAR done to fix this?…. in order to make the racing interesting we now have wave arounds, lucky dogs, double file restarts, the chase and phantom debris cautions to bunch up the field. None of which costs money like R&D.
The answer…, NASCAR and Goodyear should have an agressinve joint R&D partnership that never ends. They should always be finding ways to solve problems and make changes that produce better racing. There are ways to address and fix problems but it costs money and requires effort and persistence.
Or they should give the crew chiefs and the team engineers room to make it better.
Maybe we need Pirelli in Nascar.
Whatever happened to the testing of the larger tires and new suspension to improve the handling on the Car Of Woe? I guess NA$CAR didn’t want to continue to lay out the big bucks for the R&D and just went with the simpler solution of maintaining the status quo thus driving more folks away from the tracks on the weekends and away from the TV’s instead of actually improving the generic car to get folks back to the track and raise the TV ratings.
Bill B. good post, summarized it nicely.
You know, the answer to good racing is for everything NOT to be perfect. Its when the driver has to adapt to an ill-handling car, or the tires fall off based on the drivers style that you see a race. Maybe the problem is that everybody has the same stuff? As long as safety isnt compromised maybe not quite right is the answer?
When they went head to head with Hoosier (back in the 80’s?) it became a safety concern (I remember) because 2 industrial powers went at it. Well grip/speed became all that mattered & safety was 3rd on the list…Why not have thetire mfg’s compete for it (testing not $ if Nascar has any brains left) & award a 5 year contract (3-4 if you can get the mfg’s to agree to it) for all nascar series…This of course after we get to the correct size of tires & rims…Your right I Hope Brain farce can keep Nascar alive till 2017 cause thats a lot of bad racing to come..
Softer tires is never the solution, and claiming F1 has more passing is false. The fact is allowing softer compounds does nothing but lead to more tire stops.
The solution aside from allowing Firestone and Hoosier to compete with Goodyear is a wider tread for more grip. Drivers need ability to speed up to go faster; slow down to go faster has proven a failure as a philosophy of racing – making drivers manage tires takes away from competition.
The F1 races are about 180 miles and 90 minutes. It won’t work in NASCAR.
Develop a tire that wears out in about 50 or 60 miles, just less than a fuel run, like it used to be.
Two compounds would be a bigger joke (potential killer) than when Hoosier was in.
And get a real race car to use.
I am more impressed with Pirelli’s ability to manipulate tire wear than I am Goodyear and Firestone’s “durability.” This would help limit fuel mileage races. I think the Firestone tires in Indycar put on just a lackluster show as goodyear does in nascar. Firestone Reds or not.
Some of us buy race tires based on their success and we can’t afford a company directing its research towards tires that go off quicker.
I say fix the aero push, not the tires. I also disagree with Mike Daly. Make the tires narrower. Shift the equation back to who is the better driver.
I think thats against the rules in Nascar these days.
Its against the rules for us to know the rules – otherwise, NASCAR would be selling their rule books!
Let me chime in on Goodyear’s extension. THEY DID NOTHING TO DESERVE ONE!!!!!!!!!!! BRICKYARD 2008!!!!!! BRICKYARD 2008!!!!!!!
I am furious right now over this. I want to rip Goodyear’s contract up, throw it in their face, and say to them “Good-bye, and good riddance”. This further confirms that NASCAR cares absolutely nothing about the sport and the fans that still follow it. After the 2008 Brickyard disaster, that should have been it!!!!! Goodyear should’ve been kicked out of NASCAR right then and there.
All right, race fans, Hoosier, Firestone, BF Goodrich, Pirelli, Cooper, or Bridgestone?