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 May 28, 2012
The Key Moment – On lap 332, Kasey Kahne passed Denny Hamlin and pretty much put it on cruise control for the final 100 miles of NASCAR’s longest event.
In a Nutshell – It wasn’t a particularly good race, but what it lacked in drama it made up for in length. Sort of. This year’s edition of the World 600 was actually the shortest ever at just three hours and 51 minutes.
Dramatic Moment – Around lap 317, Kahne and Greg Biffle staged a brief side-by-side battle up front. Kyle Busch had the best short run car, Biffle the best intermediate run car, and Kahne the best long run car. Rarely were they ever driving the same speed at the same time.
Those last 100 miles this year were completely superfluous and devoid of interest.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
It’s Memorial Day weekend, so I’d like to start by offering my thanks to the brave men and women who defend our cherished freedoms. Thanks for your service and thanks to all who have served in the past, especially those who paid the ultimate price or come home with life-altering horrific injuries.
I’d guess the last lap of the Indy 500 will be the main topic of conversation at the office Tuesday morning. There is no question that Indy was the better race on Sunday.
In looking at the 600 versus the 500, I’ll also say Indy featured a better National Anthem (Martina McBride flat out nailed it), the better flyover (particularly the two P51 Mustangs) and, by a huge margin, a better pace car. (A 427 Corvette versus a frickin’ Camry? Really?)
I dunno for sure, but when the big story the weekend of the World 600 is Earnhardt choosing a Batman paint scheme for Michigan maybe the bloom is off the rose.
For all those weeks, everyone was asking is Hendrick Motorsports ever going to win again? Now, everyone is starting to wonder if they’re ever going to lose again. They closed the month of May with three straight victories, posted four cars in the top 11 Sunday night and Dover this weekend is one of Jimmie Johnson’s best career tracks.
With all the debate about the lack of caution flags this season and what it is the fans really want to see, somebody pointed out to me that the ASA Series has a rule that if the race goes green for 75 laps, a competition caution is thrown. (I guess that’s easier than tossing a beer can on the track or claiming someone saw one.) Normally, I’d eschew such gimmickry but the notion has its merits. Going into the event, every team and driver would know that the rule was in place and could adjust their strategies accordingly as the race progressed. It’s an idea anyway. Anything beats having to use pieces of toothpicks in the corners of your eyes to stay awake for an entire Cup race.
I can understand his frustration after having been spun in the pits, but Tony Stewart’s decision to spin his car around in a cloud of tire smoke to get back into his pit box could have caused a catastrophe. If there’s no rule against driving the wrong way on pit road during a race, it ought to warrant at least a one-lap penalty. If something like that happens, I feel a driver should return to the track and pit again the following lap.
Speaking of which, what’s going on with Stewart-Haas Racing? Neither Stewart nor Newman seemed up to speed all weekend. Newman hasn’t scored a top-10 finish since winning Martinsville. And Dani… moving on…
About a half-million fewer viewers tuned into last week’s All-Star race. After this year’s farce, I’d guess at least another half-million folks are likely to skip the event next year. For comparison’s sake, the NFL Pro Bowl game had more than triple the viewership and the league is apparently ready to dump the event. Yeah, I’d say the handwriting is on the wall.
Well, apparently next Memorial Day weekend Danica Patrick would like to do the Indy/Charlotte double, now that the start of the 500 was moved back. Ms. Patrick’s agent noted that if she does so, “it would not be attempted simply for publicity.” Yeah, right.
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
As noted above, Stewart was really never up to speed all weekend. Getting turned on pit road, by Brad Keselowski just added the icing to his cake. Smoke struggled to a 25th-place finish, just five spots ahead of his Sparkle Pony teammate in the bright green car.
Mark Martin had just gotten back on the lead lap when his engine expired late in the race. That’s his second such motor problem in his last five starts; Martin wound up with a 34th-place result.
Johnson clearly had a car fast enough to contend for a win for much of the race at a track where he once dominated, but the sloppiest pit stop I’ve seen this season cost him a lap after a drive-thru penalty for removing equipment from the pit box. (As well as his gasman, who took a nasty tumble trying to dislodge the gas can from the No. 48 car.) Johnson went on to finish 11th.
Marcos Ambrose had a strong car and even led early only to have his left front hub seize up, dropping him out of contention. Ambrose ended the night 32nd.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
After the way his season started, Kahne had to be wondering if he’d still have a ride after the season, but he’s suddenly one of the hottest drivers on the circuit. A sixth straight top-10 finish has allowed him to rise from 31st to 15th in points.
Keselowski had a rough night in the pits. First, he got nailed for speeding. Then, he drove into the back of Stewart’s car exiting his pit, a move that could have easily have ended his evening. Instead, he managed a solid fifth-place finish.
While a seventh-place result might seem like kissing your sister, the way Jeff Gordon’s season has been going, the fact he left Charlotte without wrecking, rolling mechanical mayhem, or getting attacked by a plague of locusts probably had him dancing atop the bar with a bottle of champagne in each hand after the race.
I’m not sure which category to lump Biffle’s finish under. It had to be frustrating for him not to win after dominating much of the race. But considering he was overheating early in the event, yet never blew up in 600 miles, that had to be a sigh of relief for the point leader. He also made significant contact with the wall, but got away without any apparent damage to the No. 16 car, meaning all in all fourth place wasn’t such an awful night.
Carl Edwards had a terrible qualifying run and was well off the pace until the sun set. At that point, the No. 99 came alive and Edwards drove to a credible ninth-place finish despite an extra stop to tighten a lug nut left loose.
Edward’s RFR teammate Matt Kenseth also had his efforts thwarted by a lug nut left loose on a stop, but he also rallied to a top-10 finish. (Tenth.)
Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti was hit and spun out on pit road early in the event. He fell back to 28th at that point, but still managed to win the race, even with Takuma Sato spinning directly to his inside on the last lap.
What’s the Points?
Biffle stays atop the standings for yet another week and opens his gap over second place Kenseth to ten points. Hamlin moves up a spot to third, bypassing Earnhardt, who is now fourth and the only winless driver inside the top 5. While Johnson remains fifth in the standings, he is now 48 (what are the chances?) points out of the lead, a full race’s worth. The top 10 is rounded out by Martin Truex, Jr., Harvick (+1), Kyle Busch (+1), Stewart (-2), and Edwards.
Keselowski advances a spot to eleventh but with his two wins already this season, I bet he’s sleeping better at night than Edwards. He holds the first “wild card” slot, while the aforementioned Newman sits 13th with the second.
For you frustrated Gordon fans, the good news is he’s up two spots to 22nd in the points. The bad news is he’s 174 points out of the lead and 93 out of the top 10.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — I’ll give this one two cans of somewhat chilled generic stuff. It wasn’t the best race of the year but it wasn’t the worst, either.
Next Up – The circuit heads north to the White Cliffs of Dover.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
so hendrick team won again. and kane got his first win in hendrick car. is kane the now the “best driver” at hendrick (to quote a driver named jr), I can’t imagine that jr is the hot shoe.
fell asleep on couch. diidn’t see end, really didn’t care to wake up enough to see it.
i was shocked when stewart did burn out to turn the car around on pit road. a car was coming down pit road and almost hit stewart cause of the tire smoke. surprised he didn’t go after keslowski after the race. but with how his teams are running, he probably couldn’t afford the fine right now.
dover will be dr. dick’s last rodeo. happy 70th to dr. dick and happy retirement.
I agree with Janice. I fell asleep for a good part of the race and didn’t watch the end of the race. Two beers is two too many for this borefest. Side by side racing seems to have went the way of the dodo bird.
I used to love watching this race. Hell, I had an infield spot in turn two and attended both Charlotte races in person for many years. Now I wouldn’t attend this race if I had free tickets and they were giving away free beer.
The Indy 500 may have had a better national anthem, a better flyover, and a better pace car (and it was definitely a better race), but the World 600 had Danica Patrick, not one but TWO Waltrips, and more debris cautions.
While Joey Logano was sporting the Dollar General logo, it appears that Marcus Ambrose actually gets his race cars from there. The hub seized up? Really? I’m thinking he’d have better off going to Brakes for Less.
The pre-race story from the WWII soldier about the beach landing at Normandy was not only the best thing about last night’s race, but reminds us why we all are able to enjoy our freedom. God bless all the veterans as well as our soldiers still serving around the world.
Did not even turn the tv on. Got in the truck and took a ride in the Smokies. From what I read I am glad I did.
I think perhaps your comment on Tony Stewart reflects your inner Nervous Nellie / Tort Lawyer, Matt. It is why there are warning stickers on the top of step ladders and cautions that McDonalds Coffee tends toward being hot. His recovery in the pits was the high point of the race for me as it was a perfect — perfect, I say — illustration of his personality.
Smoke could see what we on TV could not as it was a tight shot and he paused briefly for someone to scoot by.
As for Indy it was both a better race and a better broadcast, but not enough attention is being given to Hinchcliffe who did better than The Sparkle Pony ever did; maybe the reason she said next year she intends to do both and his performance was the reason I went over (for the 1st time ever) to Go Daddy and voted for him to be on the website home page. I know that is mild as rebelliousness goes, but it made me feel good.
OK,Why wasn’t Smoke fined like Kurt for burnout on pit row. There was crew over the wall Carl almost got it on road. Talk About a tantrum! That is one of the worse I have ever seen. Alot of people were in danger by a man who lost it in a race car. Much worse then Kurt’s and I am sure not a fan of Kurt!
they really didn’t have much to say about Danica during the 600 other than the leader is passing Danica again. Ha ha. It was so nice not hearing her name every five minutes. I was shocked nobody wanted to interview her after the race.
I agree with AncientRacer about the Tony Stewart incident. Being penalized by having to go around to pit is adding insult to injury. Its not Stewart’s fault someone else hit him. You should only have to go around if you miss your pit box. I didnt have an issue with what Tony did, as it was under green and there were very few other cars/people around. Under yellow with every pit member and car on pit road would be a different story, however.
Danica did 900 miles of racing. In the Nationwide race, she started 3rd, raced in the top 10 most of the race, dropped back to 30th or so after a bad pit call, then RACED her way back to 12th, before ending up 14th. Good on her. Then she finished a 600 mile race in a backmarker car (I don’t care if it was supplied by Stewart-Haas or not). Good on her.
Hate FOX for not shutting up about her non-stop, don’t hate the racer.
As for this weekend?
Aussie v8 Supercars were awesome…
Nationwide race was entertaining…
World of Outlaws at Charlotte was awesome…
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Mosport was the race of the year so far…
Continental Tire race was great…
Monaco GP was thrilling…
Indy 500 was exciting…
Coke 600 was crap. Starting to sense a pattern here…
I remember the cars in the Indy 500 finishing the race on the tires they started on. If the NASCAR tires last so long why don’t they have a minimum number of laps they have to run, like 100 or 150? Changing them every 40 or so is a waste of money and there’d be less chance of loose nuts (that hold the wheel on).
Watching Tony Stewart on Friday running with the Outlaw sprints in his Hendrick-cars.com uniform was over ther top. He never stopped mentioning Hendrick in his interview and getting the free pass on Sunday night when he needed it solidified his standing as a Hendrick car. It must have really hurt Brian to give Edwards’ Roush car a free pass.
And the Indy tires were Firestones.
I also remember when the Indy race started at 12 Eastern time and you could set your watch when the cars crossed the starting line. I miss those days.
Why is there no “sense of urgency” in nascar anymore? If it is present you will see a good race!
Sparkle Pony needs to learn how to get on pit road. She almost got nailed by guys going 70-80 MPH faster than her several times. On track she’s a rolling road block.
Once again a Hendrick powered car can pass everything in sight like there’s extra ponies under the hood. All’s well with nascar.
Now if they were Fords or Toyotas the red flags would be going up and all kinds of special testing would be required.
Gotta make it fair for everybody right? Nah.
LOL, definitely thought the Indy 500 race and coverage were both better than the 600. I had the TV on with the mute button depressed since I simply can’t listen to the noise without meaning from the booth. I used trackpass and twitter and found out all I needed to know.
Glad that the race went by quickly and very happy that Gordon finally had a decent finish. I was holding my breath since I was afraid the stupid stick would come out and whack him once again before he crossed the finish line.
Was Danica in the race? Oh yeah, the chick in the green car who was lapped multiple times and then was vowing revenge on the driver of the 78 car who was “racing too close to her”. Awww poor baby. But she wants to do the double next year? Ha.
Context matters in a situation like that.
I was hoping Biffle (or anyone else that was in the lead) would lap the field but NASCAR wouldn’t let that happen. Phantom debris cautions undermine the sport, I’d rather see the field get lapped. At least we’d have something to talk about today. With that said, I definitely would not like to see predetermined cautions every 75 laps. I can’t stand when they do the competition cautions due to it raining the night before, so I don’t want to see more fake cautions (and more chances for NASCAR to manipulate races). I’m just saying, it would have been cool to see someone lap the field.
I’m with you Gina. I was waiting for a part to fall off a plane 20,000 feet over the track and it land on Jeff’s car. Hope the bad luck streak is over. If he just get’s the finishes he deserves (based on how good his car is) from here on I will be happy. Chase be damned.
More points, less action.
It’s funny, too, if the rest of the season was reasonably exciting I don’t think this race would’ve gotten nearly this much negative response. If ANY race on the calender is expected not to have a lot of hard side-by-side racing, and long green flag runs with the leader outrunning the whole field, it’s the 600 mile endurance race.
But taken as a whole over the season, it’s still just as awful. :/
Having attended the race and having spent only $10 on a scalped ticket that allowed me to sit in a $100+ seat just right of the start finish line was AWESOME!
Leaving the race with a hundred laps to go (because I was bored with the “lack” of racing) which allowed us to hit the interstate with out much traffic was PRICELESS!
And the only real racing I saw happen was by Paul Menard when he came high off turn 3 as a “piece of meat in a sandwich” through turn 4 to over take the 51 and I believe the 83 at the start finish line… that was one hell of a move…
btw… I, along with 140K, had “chicken skin” as Darius Rucker closed the anthem and the big big big american bird flew overhead…
2nd btw… Burton Smith blew it by moving the sovee haulers… it was so spread out you just didn’t feel like walking through it all…
Indy had several more crashes and NO debris cautions. NASCAR needs to stop attaching parts with Silly Putty and get a real cleanup crew instead of the 3 Stooges.
Rick Hendrick is beginning to look like Chip Ganassi. Tell him to lay off the fried cheeseballs.
These drivers were driving their butts off and the fans call it boring. Boring is #10.
I was gonna give the race one can of beer but voted two cans of beer only because the 48 had trouble and didn’t win.
That was about the only exciting thing about the “race”.
I was at the race and had spare tickets I literally couldn’t give away. The place had a ton of empty seats and people were leaving by the thousands at the 300 lap mark. Wake up NASCAR, you guys are in serious trouble!!!
Someone please confirm … but, I swear in the “old days” driving the wrong way on pit road was automatic disqualification. 1959 FIRECRACKER 250 comes to mind … I think that is why Larry Frank was DQ’d on the 89th lap. I seem to recall it happening other times, and not that long ago (80s perhaps?).
Matt, your dislike for Tony is really clouding your judgement.
Watch the video again. He was not driving the opposite way on pit road. He did a 360 immediately after he got turned around, which was the only way he could get the car to face the right direction without losing too much time.
I thought it was quick thinking on his part, but you would need to take off the blinders to see that.
Every week we have to hear you whine about Danica getting too much exposure, but yet you discuss her over exposure every week. Your obsession with discrediting her every week isn’t any better than the media forcing her down our throats every week. If anything, it gives me a good chuckle though
Couldn’t interview Danica after tghe race? She had to gom to the can.
Just cant wait till next year when the sparkle pony has to qualify on time wonder how many races they will have to buy her into or will they put her in Newmans car…