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 March 26, 2012
The Key Moment – Tony Stewart took the lead from Kyle Busch on Lap 85 and appeared to be in a class of his own. The rain just sealed the deal.
In a Nutshell – Well, it wasn’t very good but at least it was over quickly. (And what guy doesn’t want to hear that?)
Dramatic Moment – The race itself was almost totally and completely devoid of drama, so I guess I’d have to say the real drama was waiting to see when the rain would start falling. Prior to that, it was just another single file processional parade at Fontana.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
So why are we discussing tearing up Bristol and not this mess of a race track? For those who were counting competitive passes for the lead, there were two. Kyle Busch passed Denny Hamlin on lap 2 and Stewart passed Busch on lap 85.
Isn’t it funny how there’s no debris cautions when NASCAR is trying to get a race to halfway with threatening weather moving in?
Why wasn’t Jimmie Johnson black-flagged when his car began spewing oil during those six final caution laps? Yes, the race was under caution but it was also raining and oil and water make for a slick mix.
Well, there certainly was no issue with the restarts at Fontana this week. There were none.
It seems every driver has his own opinion on returning Bristol to the old track configuration. Count Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as one of the drivers who feel it’s unnecessary. Junior opined that the perceived problem with the “new” Bristol racing is easy to fix: just have Goodyear bring a softer tire that that loses grip more rapidly than the current rubber. I’d go a little further than that. I’d insist Goodyear bring bias-ply tires back at least to the three short tracks and Darlington.
Danica Patrick’s frustrating season continued at Fontana Saturday. She completed just 63 laps and finished 35th after a punctured radiator and loss of coolant caused her engine to seize. Ms. Patrick’s expert analysis of the failure noted that the water in her cooling system “went away.” As such, “there was no steam to heat the engine up.” Yeah, well, um, you’ll have that… in Narnia. And this woman used to be paid to endorse a brand of antifreeze?
That loud whirring sound you were hearing outside of Kannapolis last week was the late Dale Earnhardt spinning in his grave after his son apologized for wrecking Gordon out at Bristol and vowing to engage in “damage control.”
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the New Orleans Saints have asked John Middlebrook to hear their appeal on the sanctions the NFL hit them with recently.
Nor is there truth to the rumor that Joey Logano’s PR people are selling T-shirts dubbing Logano’s season, “The Drive to Keep Kurt Out of my Seat in 2013.”
Great moments in measurement: Commenting on the extraordinary width of the Fontana track, FOX’s Larry McReynolds boldly predicted drivers would “use every ounce of that width.”
Night Ranger … no, really?
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Hamlin had a strong car and was consistently in the top 3 but a very questionable call to the pit when the rain began left him with an 11th-place finish. I’m not sure what Darian Grubb was thinking. There are states in this Union that aren’t as big as that green blob of precipitation over the track on the radar.
Jeff Gordon drove from a 21st place starting spot to place himself solidly in the top 5 for much of the race. But Gordon was penalized for removing equipment from his pit (let’s face it, he didn’t just leave with equipment, he left with his gasman too). Gordon finished 26th, two laps down.
Kyle Busch had perhaps the only car that could run with Stewart’s all day. He in fact led 80 laps. But incidental contact with the wall apparently knocked the steering on the 18 just enough askew he could only watch Stewart drive off at will.
Problems in the pits, including lug nuts left loose, left Jamie McMurray 32nd in the final rundown.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Stewart is lucky neither Kevin Harvick or Hamlin decided to wreck him after he pulled slide jobs on them both charging towards the front.
Had the race resumed, however briefly, Johnson would have had to drop out with mechanical failure. Instead he finished tenth.
After running in the teens early in the race, Carl Edwards got his car underneath him and timed his drive to the front perfectly. He’d just entered the top 5 when the rain began falling. Edwards finished fifth.
A decision not to pit when the rains began falling allowed Kurt Busch and Phoenix racing to leave Fontana with their first top-10 finish of the season. (Ninth)
Fifteenth place isn’t great but at least Kasey Kahne didn’t wreck this week.
What’s the Points?
Greg Biffle stays atop the heap, now seven points ahead of second place Harvick.
Earnhardt moves up three spots to third in the standings. Race-winner Stewart also moves up three spots to fourth. Matt Kenseth rounds out the top 5, down two positions from last week.
Martin Truex (-2), Hamlin (-2), Johnson (+3), Clint Bowyer (-1) and Ryan Newman (+3) round out the top 10, in that order.
If you add the three positions he picked up today to the six spots he advanced after the points penalty for the No. 48 was rescinded Tuesday, Johnson actually moved up nine spots this week.
Carl Edwards moves up three spots to enter the top 12 after a slow start to his season. Though he’s 49 points (more than an entire race’s worth) out of the lead Edwards says the plan is to enter the Chase leading the points. Yeah, and I’d like it if the spigot in the backyard spewed cold beer too.
I’d say the biggest surprise in the points to date is Kasey Kahne, up four spots this week but still mired in 28th. Jeff Gordon in 25th is a close second as far as shockers and he’s still looking for his first top 5 result of the season.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — Do you ever have one of those late evenings when you’re sure you still have one last beer in the cooler but when you go to get it turns out one of your friends drank it? Fontana Sunday is that missing beer.
Next Up – It’s off to a track that mirrors the sport’s roots…the tiny flat half mile track at Martinsville.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
another good read Matt I thought it was a decent race my biggest thought is Bruton smith is changing bristol back says he asked the fans and that is what they wanted should be ready for night race Damn that was easy someone asking the fans what they want could work all the way around
Next time someone complains about mystery debris cautions, remember this race.
Just before the yellow flag came out I glanced at the scoring crawl and Junior, in the 5th place car, was 22 seconds behind Stewart.
I hope that wasn’t someone’s first race…they’ll never go back.
that seemed to be about the right length for a race at fontana.
I’m usually not a very critical person. But seriously Tim, did you happen to read your post before you clicked on the submit button? Just wondering exactly what you were trying to say. Punctuation, correct capitalization and a clear thought process are handy little things to have when writing something that someone else may read. Please, no hard feelings.
wow…matt watched a race in california!
so sick of the jimmie johnson love-fest regaining those 25 points. he should have been blacked flagged. oh well…money talks, na$car listens.
This is the worse race I’ve seen in many a year. nascar knew the deluge was coming and started the race anyway. Great message to send the fans. This track needs to be blown up. Rating-no beers, just a broken bottle.
It was interesting to see how long the race would stay green. That’s about all I can say about it.
Even though he is my driver, I am thinking Carl Edwards has lost his nerve or is just riding around on that new contract!!…NO aggressiveness at all!! It’s like he is not trying or his crew chief is sending him out to race with junk!!
i was at the race, first caution free race i can remember in years. it showcased the strength of the cars and the importance of pit stops. Tony was the car to beat for most of the day. He’s on a tear.
as jim said, next time you’re all complaining about mystery cautions, take a look at this race.
it was probably worse on TV than in person, there was a good bit of racing behind the 10th position for most of the day.
I decided to DVR the race, then FF thru the commercials and the boring parts. So, I watched the entire race in about 10 minutes. Even that was too long. If yesterday doesn’t finally kill racing in Fontana for good, nothing ever will. And I don’t blame the bad weather… I’m thankful for it.
Meanwhile, Iowa still has no cup race.
That is just it. Yesterday should hopefully be the final nail in Fontana’s coffin. Give Irwindale Speedway a call, tell them that they have been awarded a Cup race for 2013, & assemble a race track task force to build 80,000 seats, hotels, campgrounds, parking areas, luxury boxes, & easy infrastructure access around the area. Irwindale Speedway should be automatically granted a Cup race after what the fans had to put up with yesterday.
The best part of that race yesterday was watching the 3 Stooges give the command. Not much else to write about.
Were all the missing fans hiding under the tarp in Turn 1 because of the impending rain?
Bring this race date back to Rockingham! I plan on going to the upcoming truck race and hopefully there will be a good showing so NASCAR considers giving The Rock another shot at a Cup race. I know, I’m dreaming.
Nothing special about this race, but at least there were no BS cautions. We had lots of racing the whole time. No surprise though that the fans on this website saw the worst race ever, because thats what they wanted to see.
Wow! What a stinker of a race. Couple the lack of action with an unblievable number of commercials and I was sleeping by lap 40. If someone in NASCAR doesn’t corrolate the crappy TV coverage with a decline in the popularity of what used to be our sport, then they deserve what they get. The Indy Car race from St. Pete was a pleasure to watch and I’ve never been a fan of open wheel cars.
@kevin in so cal – I totally agree, I love how everyone loves to bash this track more than any other.
All the 1.5 mi and greater tracks have similar racing. No one ever gets bent out of shape when other tracks exhibit the same type of racing. People are just bitter about what happened years ago with the dates, and can’t seem to let it go.
Vegas produces the same type of racing, matter of fact I went in ’10 and ’11 both races DOMINATED by gordon and stewart respectively, yet…no complaints. Until the tires fall off more, or air is allowed to pass UNDER the car as well as over it, this is what we’re subject to.
Many of the writers on this website LOVED the Bristol race so I guess they LOVED this race at Fontana too.
And I know at least one writer who’s probably really happy the race didn’t restart thereby allowing the 48 to have a good finish.
Folks, I watched ONE Auto Club Speedway race years ago and that’s the LAST time I will watch that race.
Since Nascar won’t ask the opinions of fans like Bruton Smith did, then the only way to make our voice heard is to not go or watch boring racing.
I agree with the poster who said this is the right length for a race at this track. I thought it was weird that NASCAR let the 48 stay out with oil spewing from the car, too.
Caliboring strikes again. On to the paperclip!
As with all cookie cutter tracks CA the worst TGF dvr only took 3min to watch the race I give this race half a can of stinky moldy rain water .Na$car is getting so bad I’m watching F1 for racing action.sad
One time when we went to Bristol there were orange spots all over the track. Ran into Jeff Byrd at a concession stand and asked about them. He said that they were going to repave the track and had taken laser level readings all over it to ensure that they got it exactly the same. Something went wrong somewhere as they decided on the “progressive banking”. Hope they still have those laser level readings.
I had open heart surgery last week and, as I lay there in ICU, my wife suggested that I not watch the race fearing the effects of excitement on my heart rate. I just laughed.
Does anyone else but me think that if they put the track a Bristol back to the way it used to be that we will have 500 lap processions? I’m not entirely convinced that things will magically go back to the way things were. The racing is different now than it used to be. Be careful what you wish for.
Fox did try to get a races worth of commercials in the 1st 100 laps to beat the rain. Also kept hearing how Jeff Gordon was the biggest mover passing all those cars, all I saw was Kyle Busch leading a parade.
To everyone hoping for a Cup-level race at Irwindale, forget about it. The infrastructure just ins’t there to support either the Cup nor Nationwide series to race there. Now a Truck series race might be doable, but that’s a might.
DW and Larry MaaaaC.
DW and MW.
Collusion on the reversal for JJ.
30 year old FI technology that doesn’t work (well).
Mediocre fan support.
What are the Top 10 things wrong with Nascar (TWWN) in ’12?
I don’t believe the tracks are at fault. I’ve seen some of the best racing ever at Atlanta Motor Speedway several times over the last 25 years. It’s supposedly a “cookie cutter” track, but when they get the tires and fuel mileage right, the racing is awesome. Of course that didn’t help us not to lose one of our dates to another cookie-cutter track where the race last year just sucked. Perhaps that should be TWWN #11.
Speaking of the 3 Stooges, would that be a reference to DW, MW, and LM or BF, MH, and JD? I’m thinking they’re all interchangeable.
mkrcr – that is funny!! Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
Shouldn’t this have been the perfect race for those who think the ‘new’ Bristol is perfect? Nice, wide track, multiple grooves, and no time wasted under caution. They should be salivating about this perfect track in Fontana. If they thought Bristol was great, why isn’t this one?
Seems Like the Race never got started Yesterday but the weather should be proof that NASCAR does Not know how to Schedule races Remember how from 1997-2003 when Calfornia Speedway only had one race and it was run in Late April-Early May and the race was always a Sell out and a big deal, Well NASCAR you have Nobody to Blame but yourself for the fact this track is Failing for giving it a bad date Like you did the Rock, If NASCAR was Smart they would move the race back to Early may and Hold it at night but hey what do I know? Im Just a fan who has watched this sport his entire life mkrcr-f
I sat through a caution free race won by Geoff Bodine at N. Wilkesboro in the early 90’s. It was run on a Monday after torrential downpours on Sunday.
Did you see the Nationwide race at fontana? Some of the best racing i have seen. great racing even on the long runs.
Judging from the comments here, I’d say rumors of a NASCAR comeback are greatly exaggerated! LOL
I think the Nationwide race proved one of two things: either the Car of Tomorrow is causing bad racing, or The Chase is forcing drivers to be too conservative. Everyone constantly whines how boring Fontana is, but the race for the win among SIX DRIVERS all race long on Saturday proved that the track can provide awesome racing.
The question is, was it because it was 5 Cup drivers who didn’t care if they wrecked, plus one NWS driver (Stenhouse) desperate to impress? Or is it because the Nationwide car has a better aero package?
I doubt NASCAR will answer either question…
Golly,MJR DidNt Know I hAD To BE a Genius .tO poSt On hEre….
Funny how you give some people a computer to hide behind and they become critical of the world