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
Tuesday March 4, 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 April 23, 2012
The Key Moment – Martin Truex Jr. made one last concerted charge at Denny Hamlin with three laps to go but lost grip and slid in behind the #11.
In a Nutshell – Well, it was nowhere near as bad as Texas….but it wasn’t very good either.
Dramatic Moment – Hamlin spent twenty laps stalking and running down Truex before passing him with 31 laps to go. Truex kept things interesting and Hamlin honest in the waning laps of the race.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
They’ll probably be talking about the Secret Service scandal, the NHL playoffs, and the strange and occasionally violent weather this spring but not many people are going to be talking about NASCAR. Our sport is in some sort of fugue right now it just can’t escape.
There were three cautions at Kansas and the event probably could have run yellow flag free. The first caution was for Clint Bowyer’s harmless spin onto pit road, the second was for debris that wasn’t even shown, and the third was for Montoya’s brushing the wall. If they threw a caution for every incident like JPM’s at Darlington they’d never be able to run a green flag lap there.
As noted there were three cautions on Sunday and only two at Texas last week. Only one yellow flag flew at Fontana earlier this year. Kansas wasn’t quite as bad as Texas or Fontana, but it was pretty damned bland. So where’s the action the fans are expecting, the sort of drama that put stock car racing on the map? I’ve identified four factors I think contribute to the Smurf’s picnic like quality of racing today. First of course is the Chase points system. Last year Tony Stewart showed you don’t really need to be on your game until the final ten races. Secondly, the mix of tracks that makes up the current schedule deprives us of the sort of action we used to see at Rockingham, North Wilkesboro, and Labor Day weekend at Darlington. Thirdly, the tires just seem too hard and don’t give up the way they used to. (You could make a valid argument stock car racing hasn’t been as good since the radials replaced the old bias ply tires.) Finally, given the state of the racing economy and the tenuousness of sponsor agreements, some drivers are avoiding talking much less driving in a way that might provoke controversy. Call it the residual fallout of the Busch Brothers effect from last season. They are both on a short leash and other drivers don’t want to join them in the pound. What do you think? What am I leaving out? That’s what the comments section below is about.
So what’s going to fix the malaise that grips NASCAR? I’m normally not really into dreams, omens, portents and the like. Then normally I don’t have pepperoni and onions on a hot dog roll for dinner like I did late Saturday night during the blackout. In the dream, Taylor Swift signed on to do a NASCAR related moving picture and her first request was I not be allowed to attend races. Did I mention I’m on Chantix again?
Once again I’m getting asked what my standards are between deciding what’s a lousy race and what’s an acceptable one. When the tenth place driver is twenty seconds behind the leader by lap 110 and nobody within the top ten is within eight car lengths of the driver ahead of them, that’s a lousy race. This sort of lack of side by side battling is what once dropped American open wheel racing from its preeminent spot in US auto racing.
I still don’t get the connection between NASCAR and Earth Day. It’s like the NHL supporting an anti-bullying initiative. Was this white paper NASCAR released on the issue even printed on post-consumer paper?
After Saturday’s race at Kansas the truck series doesn’t run again until May 18th at Charlotte. Who the heck came up with that schedule?
Oh, the subtle irony of FOX producing one of their features in front of the “Catastrophe Awareness Center.” That pretty much sums up their average race broadcast. Yes, indeed, the FOX network, dumbing down and dirtying up American popular culture for 25 years now.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
A.J. Allmendinger started the race from the pole and prepared to turn Kansas City into Dodge City early in the event but a lousy pit stop, fuel pickup and engine issues left him 32nd in the final rundown.
Nobody wanted to win at Kansas more than native son Clint Bowyer, but a spin and a dying engine thwarted his early strong run. (Bowyer wound up 36th in line at the pay window.)
Jeff Gordon had a reasonable run going Sunday and was flirting with the top 5 when engine issues slowed his pace. NASCAR eventually black-flagged him for failure to keep pace and Gordon wound up 21st. For those keeping score, that was Gordon’s second engine failure this year compared to just one in all of last season. (Ironically enough that 2011 engine failure was also at Kansas.)
Kurt Busch and his still un-sponsored team had a solid top 10 going much of the race before engine problems (that’s another HMS engine by the way) dropped him to seventeenth.
Mark Martin also endured engine woes on his way to a 33rd place finish after running in the top 10 much of the day.
I’m not asking for sympathy, but there’s nothing tougher for a writer than trying to write something interesting about a boring race. And besides, Taylor Swift hates me.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Truex was probably upset about finishing second in what had been such a dominant car but at least he didn’t lose an engine like his two teammates managed to do.
Jimmie Johnson was probably also imagining some strange noises coming from under the hood of his car after Jeff Gordon’s engine blew.
Kevin Harvick ran out of gas early in the event but the car re-fired and he was able to finish sixth.
Kasey Kahne also ran out of gas and had an agonizingly slow coast to pit road. He still managed an eighth place result.
What’s the Points?
Two drivers (Hamlin and Stewart) have combined to win half of this season’s eight point races, yet they are in fifth and eighth place in the standings? Did I mention that I think the new points system is stupid? Add more points for winning a race, a significant amount of points, and we can start fixing what ails this sport without the assistance of Ms. Swift.
Greg Biffle retains his points lead. Biffle now leads Truex (who moved up two spots to second in the standings) by fifteen points. Former number two man Matt Kenseth falls a spot to third, four points ahead of Earnhardt, who also fell a spot to fourth in the standings. His win propelled Hamlin forward a spot to round out the top 5.
Harvick (-1), Johnson (+1), Stewart (-1), Edwards (+2) and Newman (-1) round out the top 10 in points.
Kyle Busch is now thirteenth in the standings just three points out of 12th place. (That position is currently held by his teammate Joey Logano.)
Paul Menard drops out of the top 12, down two spots to fourteenth.
Gordon’s ailing engine dropped him a spot to 18th in the standings.
Mark Martin has sat out two races this season but he’s still he’s still seven points ahead of Kurt Busch. Pass me the mushrooms, please, Alice.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) I’m sitting on the fence between two and three beers for this one. (That’s not the only place I’ve been sitting all day. Did I mention what I had for dinner last night?) I’ll give it three lukewarm cans of generic stuff, because just last week Texas redefined how bad a race can be.
Next Up – The series heads off to Richmond, perhaps the best track left on the circuit, for a Saturday night short track event.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
The following quotes from the article sum up what I think.
“This sort of lack of side by side battling is what once dropped American open wheel racing from its preeminent spot in US auto racing.”
“Two drivers (Hamlin and Stewart) have combined to win half of this season’s eight point races, yet they are in fifth and eighth place in the standings?”
“some drivers are avoiding talking much less driving in a way that might provoke controversy.”
“not many people are going to be talking about NASCAR.”
INDEED….nobody talks nascar. At least, not in a good way. Gone are the days when somebody would ask “Hey, did you see that race yesterday? That was awesome!”
These days it’s “What race?”
Is the reduced number of caution (which I like) due to the networks allotting less time for the race or just a coincidence.
Just 8 races in and already 10th place is more then 1 1/2 races out of points lead
tuned in with about 20 to go and dw blathering that truex was going to catch the 11. REALLY?? on an aero track? can the credibility of the broadcast team get any lower? is matt insane… three cans? can someone tell me exactly what about that parade was worth watching? geez, i’m crabby this morning.
it was on…i fought sleep. came out of coma-like transe when truex and hamlin were fighting for lead and watched from that point on. dw needs to shut up, period. what’s with michael waltrip referring to himself at “mw”?
taylor swift…..my opinion – overrated. can’t sing live for her life. has pitch problems, but she sells cd’s and downloads to the generation that has disposable income, thanks to their parents.
good luck with the chantix.
maybe richmond won’t be a cure for insomina, since it’s a night race. anyone want to bet that the baseball games will interfer with the start of the race?
Gee, another snoozer. Once the Bruins-Caps came on, the race was an afterthought for me. Good analysis of the “blame pie chart”, Matt.
I blame the drivers for being too timid first, then the tire issue, although there seemed to be a pretty decent drop off yesterday.
The lack of recent cautions has done two things. First, it has spread out the racing so that even the fourth and fifth place drivers are closer to the rear than the front.
But, as a silver lining, at least the races are over by 4:15 or so.
good recap of why the racing is sooo very less than compelling. Fox has also made their broadcast so much like practice and qualifying by the single car really tight camera angles, that if there was side by side racing, we’d only see it from an in car camera. It was raining in NJ – I tried watching the race and the hockey game – finally gave up and opted for the hockey game on TV and the race via computer since I could get more info from the radio broadcast than from the cluster that the tv broadcast is.
agree that when the leaders are so far from each other in a parade – that defines boring – just awful
Suggestions on points – many others have said similar – more points for winning, much less points after 15th place – much less – there is no incentive to race – stope the riding around
agree with “will” above – no one even knows Nascar is on – what race? is right
bring on richmond! may be the best race on the schedule – maybe darlington
Had a great time watching the Flyers eliminate the Penguins yesterday.
Just an fyi, Elliott Sadler has won 2 NNS races this year as well (Phoenix, Bristol)
The main problem with the pathetic lack of racing is the track(s) on the schedule. I$C and $MI care only about $$$. When times were great, they got rid of high-quality racing venues in favor of much larger tracks that could have 150k seats around them. They figured everyone loves them some NA$CAR, they’ll pay for a seat no matter the track. Combine that with I$C/NA$CAR’s insistence on getting away from the SE and expanding into the “big” markets, and you’re left with this abomination we have today. Goodyear is also culpable in this, as they build arguably the worst racing tire of any major or minor racing series in the world.
There are no larger than life personalities like Earnhardt, Petty, Elliott, or Allison…
Blame it on the racing if you want but the racing is not that bad, the drivers are the issue…
Soft, Vanilla, and lacking any true Americana uniqueness…
But when more of your drivers are from California and the Midwest than the Carolinas and the Southeast that is what you end up with…
Issues? With NAPCAR?? There are none! Things could not be better! Just ask Brian France.
I think Kez was right on track, no pun intended, when he said earlier this week that the cars are so aero sensitive that you can’t get close enough to another driver to wreck (or race) him. NASCAR should work to take away the current car’s level of downforce in the 2013 car. I also think the engines should be downsized to at least 300 c.i.. 215mph at the Michigan tire test was an impressive number but will suck for racing. Actually it will suck more since racing at Michigan is already abysmal.
From reading these posts, it appears the NHL is benefiting from the lack of compelling racing over the weekend. I am another one who chose hockey over the racing yesterday.
I watched very little of the race yesterday, but what I did see was a split screen of cars whizzing by on one side and Hammond sitting on a wall while you could see cars fighting for position in the background on a restart. I knew then FOX had no interest in covering the actual racing (showing cars whizzing by does not constitute showing racing) so went back to hockey.
Returned to watch the same 2 cars for the last 30 laps
The television coverage is a large reason why most people think the racing is boring. Not showing racing going on past 10th place is killing this sport.
I blame the tires more than anything, but Goodyear is between a rock and hard place there. If they bring too soft a tire that wears out, then it could blow up and we’d have another Indianapolis fiasco. So they stay cautious with their tire compounds. The points could be a problem, but if we’re complaining about 10th place being more than a full race’s worth of points behind, then how would it be when the race winners are at the top of standings with a huge lead? I was thinking of awarding 100 points to the winner, 75 points to second place, 50 points to third, 40 to 4th, and then 39 points to 5th on down.
See a general pattern Brian?? Can Brian read? Cookie cutter tracks, vanilla drivers (no Kyle is NOT an alternative), DW / MW, Fox tight shots only lack of broadcast ability, feminine former crew chiefs with a spray tan and plastic hair, contrived debris cautions and “GREEN” everything! Letting half the field race in the other direction couldn’t fix this crap!
I agree with the “blame pie” as well. While I think the Chase has killed the need to race beforehand, that could be easily remedied if the regular season counted for more. If the regular season winners, 1st and 2nd places got a larger lead going into the Chase it would make the rest try harder to either stay up front in the regular season or to race to make up deficits once the Chase starts. Also I feel that driver’s are being cautious racing now because with the new points system, its better to settle for a decent finish, if not the win, then have a bad race and end up so far down you can’t get back in it. The new points system hurts bad finishes more than rewards good finishes.
Matt, you say that the tires are far too hard because they don’t wear out, but there’s another major factor that nobody but me seems to be mentioning, and that is the dramatic decrease in the distance the cars can go on fuel compared to just two or three years ago. It used to be that the drvers had to go 100 miles on tires on speedways, because they could go 100 miles on a tank of fuel. But now they can only go about 75-80 miles on a tank of fuel (and yesterday, 70 miles was stretching it). As a result, the drivers no longer have to worry about managing their tires to make sure they last a full fuel run, because by the time the tires start to wear out, it’s time to head to the pits for fuel, so the tires are changed anyway. The lack of fuel mileage is also why there are so many long green flag runs, because pit stops now occur more frequently. What NASCAR may need to do is to find a way to mak it so that the teams can go 100 miles on a tank of fuel, and not 75-80, or this will continue to no end.
And also, I believe only the third caution may not have been warranted. Bowyer’s car was briefly stopped on the track after his spin, and although it wasn’t mentioned on the broadcast, I believe the second caution was actually for oil on the track from Bobby Labonte’s car. Remember that he suffered a major engine failure during that caution, so his car was probably already putting oil on the track, though that caution was officially for debris, it was more than likely for oil on the track.
Nascar is the Soviet Union of racing.
Even though fans know what they know, Nascar will tell you what the “party line” is – just like how Pravda put out so much BS it was funny to read.
France must have gone to school in Moscow.
A couple of the posters have it right. It’s not the racing that is so bad, it’s the coverage!! Fox thinks the public is as stipid as a waltrip!If they could find one more, they could lose viewers at a double digit rate, instead of single.
Once again I watched the race with my new method. I PVR’d the broadcast, skipped through the majority of the race, and then I watched the last 5 laps. You know what………I still fell asleep. That pretty much sums up my new NASCAR experience.
My old one was I did everything possible to either watch the race live or catch the live broadcast all the while riveted to my seat.
Now I pretty much do not care if I miss a race or not as it has become such a miniscule shadow of it’s once exciting self. What happened????? The car, B.S. Junior (sorry B.F. Jr), the Chase, the tire, the car, the apparent sellout to the all mighty dollar, the inconsistent sanctioning body, or all of the above. I don’t know and I pretty much don’t care anymore.
This is from a 30 year plus NASCAR fan.
As usual Matt you hit it. This time with “fugue”. A one word description so spot on it fits both definitions of the word:
1.musical form: a musical form in which a theme is first stated, then repeated and varied with accompanying contrapuntal lines (which essentially describes the Waltrips)
2.selective memory loss: a disordered state of mind in which somebody typically wanders from home and experiences a loss of memory relating only to the previous, rejected, environment(which essentially describes the attitude of the broadcast partners toward the audience)
Another terrible race, cant stand the MWR Toyotas because of that idiot Micheal Waltrip. Fox needs to get rid of him before I tune in again.
Get rid of Micheal Waltrip, that homo should be deported to San Fransico.
1) Stop trying to sell me something every minute of every race.
2) Put some real race announcers and analysts in the booth. Deport Larry Maaaac, DW, and MW to a desert island in the South China sea.
3) Give me guys who are racing hard to wrap up the championship by Labor Day.
4) Bring back Hoosier tires.
5) Lay the spoilers back at 60-75 degrees or cut them down to about 2 or three inches.
Agree with the fugue. It started with the Chase. The decline in race attendence followed by tv viewing in decline points directly at the drivers parading around to secure points. The Chase has been a problem since its inception – using the regular season as a test session for the last ten races (Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart are perfect examples). All the fake cautions to manipulate the races. And don’t even talk about race coverage. I used to sit glued to my couch. Now FOX is so miserable, I will drop in on the race occasionally just to see if anyone has changed positions. Watching a race used to be on top of the list. Now it annoys the crap out of me to listen to the Walrips yammering endlessly. And Vanilla Drivers has nothing to do with where they are from – it’s about the endless censorship of personality by NASCAR and constant worship of the dollar. Toe the company line and nothing else. Just so disappointed that a sport once LOVED is now an afterthought in my weekend. Get rid of the Chase, work on the aero problem COT, look at the F1 points system as a good example and get rid of the Waltrips in the booth. Just my opinion………..
Not only the races are annoying having to listen to the Waldorfs, try watching Trackside once with Rutledge. I can’t watch it anymore!
The racing will not get better until BZF ends up naked and jackin it in San Diego, and someone with a brain takes over.
Pepperoni is my second favorite meat behind Bacon, love me a grilled hot dog, and Onions are my favorite vegetable. I may now have to try one of those but I have sooo many questions. Was the hotdog wrapped in the sandwich size pepperoni? Just never mind, I have to do some serious thinking about how I want my next hotdog off the grill.
It just occurred to me, I am more excited about the thought of a hotdog wrapped in pepperoni, with onions etc than I was the race. Now I just need to figure out what cheese to add to my dog.