NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday July 16, 2012
The Key Moment – Denny Hamlin dominated much of the race but miscommunication in the pits dropped him to fourteenth. Kasey Kahne inherited the lead and with clean air on the nose of his Chevy drove to an easy win.
In a Nutshell – The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.
Dramatic Moment – Hamlin’s determined drive over those final laps to get back to the lead was something to watch, especially at a track where passing is so difficult.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
What a fantastic race! Seventeen passes for the lead in the final half of the race and a margin of victory of only three thousandths of a second! It was so close NASCAR had to consult their photo finish cameras to decide who won. Of course that was Saturday’s Whelan Modified race not the “big” show on Sunday. Who else wishes ESPN would have broadcast the modified series race from New Hampshire rather than the Global RallyCross event?
There were exactly two on-track green flag passes for the lead in the 300 mile event. Both occurred before the first corner on restarts. Graduated banking isn’t enough. I suggest having the New Hampshire Air National Guard use the place for bombing practice and starting over.
It’s hard to label the radio disaster that cost Hamlin the win as a simple miscommunication. What we have here is the biggest failure to communicate since the Captain and Cool Hand Luke. These races are tough to win. It’s a shame to throw one away.
Brad Keselowski, teammate to the suspended AJ Allmendinger, isn’t sounding very supportive of his running mate. He stated that whether the B sample comes back positive or negative it’s still “a death sentence.” Keselowski went on to say he strongly believes NASCAR drivers should not take any sort of supplements as well, including Flintstone chewable vitamin tablets. Wow. When the day comes a driver is suspended for taking kid’s vitamins I’m kicking this hot dog stand for good. (Imagine a nightmarish situation where it’s found the sesame seeds and secret sauce on a Big Mac combine to trigger a false opiate result.)
Speaking of Allmendinger he was silent this weekend, said to be relaxing at home with his family. About the only thing of substance (no pun intended) he had to say was denying a report he planned to have legal representation with him when the B sample is tested. Good for him. I’ve found in life there’s no situation so bad it can’t be rendered worse by having lawyers get involved.
A final note on the Dinger-gate. It seems the NASCAR PR folks are playing this one smart. The second test won’t be run until this week and next weekend is an off weekend. That means a lot of fans won’t be following the sport too closely for the next two weeks and by the time racing resumes at the Brickyard the Olympics will be the big sports buzz. (And no doubt a few failed drug tests in London too.) Right then, this little spot of embarrassment ought to be a blip on the radar screen.
SPEED really seemed to stir up a hornet’s nest with their coverage of qualifying. While it appeared to be a live broadcast, it was in fact tape-delayed for much of the coverage. Thus if you were watching live timing and scoring or following on Twitter, they got to be almost a dozen cars behind. Kyle Busch had actually won the pole almost a half hour before the qualifying show ended. Speed.com’s editor-in-chief, Tom Jensen, defended the practice noting they wanted to show the maximum possible amounts of cars (and fans often complain about not getting to see their driver as well) and with the need for commercial breaks he estimated they’d have missed one in four cars. Back when TV was the only way to follow events this was fine, but it’s a bit unwieldy with so many alternative methods to follow the sport.
Others objected to the prolonged discussion of fears of Friday the 13th in the booth during qualifying. For the record the medical term for this phobia is Friggtriskaidekaphobia. Yeah try working that into a Tweet. (Frigga is of course the Norse goddess for whom Friday was named. You can’t make this stuff up folks.)
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Pole-sitter Kyle Busch had the fastest car in the first segment of the race. A speeding penalty and a botched pit stop dropped him from the lead to 22nd. Busch kept his temper and methodically drove his way back to the front. Then he entered the pits too hot and overshot his pit box. He then, by all accounts, flipped the Hell out. Despite a strong car he was only able to rally to a 17th place finish.
What in blazes was with Carl Edwards all weekend? He looked like a monkey trying to hump a football out there on Sunday. He eventually finished 18th about where he ran all day.
Greg Biffle arrived at New Hampshire with high hopes. His weekend first hit a sour note when he backed out of the garage and into the No. 48 team’s wheeled generator cart. He lost control in qualifying and delivered a profanity laced tirade over the radio. He never seemed completely on song all afternoon and was lucky to escape NHMS with a ninth place finish.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Johnson was caught out by an untimely caution flag right after he’d made a pit stop. (Johnson apparently believed that the caution was unnecessary which is why he was so livid but cautious to say anything in his post-race comments.) He used the wave around rule to get himself back on the lead lap and then drove on to a seventh place finish.
At a track where everybody (with the possible exception of Hamlin) was saying passing was all but impossible Keselowski moved from a 22nd place starting berth ahead to a fifth place finish. He looked whupped after the race. Hopefully somebody gave him an energy drink and a chewable vitamin.
Jeff Gordon’s gamble to stay out under the first caution flag gave him the lead but put him off cycle with the majority of the field. He was forced to make a green flag pit stop ten laps before the rest of the pack and fell from 3rd to 22nd. Fortunately a timely caution flag (and they were few and far between Sunday) helped get the No. 24 back in sequence with the leaders and he drove on to a sixth place finish.
It was a good afternoon for Rick Hendrick who saw all four of his cars finish in the top 7.
What’s the Points?
Kenseth maintains his points lead and is now 16 points ahead of second place Earnhardt.
Biffle and Johnson hold serve in third and fourth positions. Johnson is now more than a full race worth of points out of the lead. (Oh, and oddly enough if that 25 point penalty at Daytona had been upheld he’d still be fourth in the standings.)
Hamlin advanced two spots to fifth in the standings.
Another curiously lackluster run by Tony Stewart dropped him two spots to seventh.
Bowyer and Keselowski swapped ninth and tenth spots with Bowyer now having the advantage.
Carl Edwards remains 11th in the standings but there’s an ominous goose egg in the wins column beside his name. If the Chase were to be set right now Kahne would supplant him as the first wild card with his two wins.
Kyle Busch currently holds the second wild card berth. He’s nine points ahead of Ryan Newman and 12 points ahead of Joey Logano. All three of these drivers have a single win apiece this season.
Jeff Gordon remains seventeenth in the standings and still hasn’t won a race. It appears nearly impossible he’ll make the chase this year, but then again with only two top 5 results in 19 races he probably wouldn’t be a factor even if he snuck his way in.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) We’ll give this one three cans. The race started slowly then petered out all together until the No. 11 team shot themselves in the foot and Hamlin made that mad if ultimately futile dash back towards the front.
Next Up – The Cup schedule takes a week off and so do I. Racing, or some semblance thereof and my writing, or some sembalance thereof, return at the Brickyard.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Just be careful out there, Matt – while the race might not always be to the swift, someone with that surname might just be lurking to sneak a Flintstones vitamin into your beer…er…energy drink.
(Hey, it’s 6 A.M. and I’m on vacation – my brain cells are down a cylinder…)
it’s poppy seeds that through drugs tests for a loop.
i went out to lunch for 1.5 hrs of the race….came back and realized i didn’t miss much. pathetic.
dang the lobster is half the height of Kahne.
off weekend then indy….while indy has the glory and history of racing, it’s not a track that is for good racing of the stock cars.
The commercial to race ratio is getting to be unbearable. Do they want to force people to DVR the race? Is that what they are trying to tell us?
The race was boring but that’s OK, it happens. What really pissed me off was the fact that I knew that first fake debris caution was going to be called before they went to the commercial break. How transparent NASCAR is and how stupid they think their fans are.
3 cans is VERY generous Matt.
I would like more mods on TV. I have been saying so for years. They go fast, they are fun and wind tunnels run screaming for the exit when they look at them.
Lawyers – Shakespeare said it best – “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
Like Matt L. above – 3 cans is generous. A product of lower expectations I bet.
Second year in a row the Whelan race was way (way way) better than the Sunday race.
Hamlin’s run was exciting, and I know he is one of the better drivers. But – did anyone even attempt to race him? Does anyone really care about 6th or 10th? I really don’t want to downplay Hamlin’s run, but I guess I have gotten very cynical about these drivers. If 4 tires make such a difference why did they all take 2? If track position and clean air is so important, why was it not for him? Like I said – cynical.
The “miscommunication” seemed to me to be much more. It seems like real bitterness – like the crew chief was happy to show the driver up.
Did anyone notice the stands? Yikes – Hello Nascar!!
The Modifieds, particularly the NHMS races, are usually broadcast 1 or 2 weeks later on SPEED. Always look forward to them.
Why is it that the “support” series, whether it’s the mods or the trucks generally are the best races of the weekend?
I realize I complain about tracks, especially the cookie cutter tracks, but the mods raced on the same track as the cup guys this weekend and it sounds like a whale of a race, and the trucks put on a good show at Texas while the cup race was a snoozefest.
Why don’t the powers that be in Daytona see this and do something to change the cup series? Yeah, I’d love to see better tracks, but at the same time it seems like some rules changes to the cup cars would make the racing better..
I’m in agreement with Mike. I’ve seen the trucks put on great shows during companion events when the Cup race just blew. And even though it’s kind of been Cup Lite, the Nationwide Series still puts on a better race almost every weekend. I find myself looking forward to the Nationwide and Truck races more than Cup. Is it the cars? The tracks? The race distances? I don’t know. What bugs me is even with the car being equal, on a notoriously horrible track, I’ve still seen good shows. Anyone remember the IROC Race at Michigan where the Great Dale Sr. beat Jr. to the line by just ever so much?…
Those were spec cars on a cookie cutter track and that was exciting as hell.. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m this close to giving up caring about Cup races. Hell, look at the point standings in the Nationwide Series. EVEN WITH THE CUP FOOLS STINKING UP THE SHOW, the gap between first and second is what… 3 points?
It’s possible to put on great races, Brian Fuc… er France needs to get his head out of his ass, stop being an arrogant prick, and fix the stupid chase, and let the guys work on the cars, or move over and let somebody in who will…
Keselowski is one hell of a driver but he really is a bit of a sniveling self-centered punk as a human being.
Carl Edwards has had one of three things happen. Either he is just sitting back enjoying that fat contract, his crew chief is trying to make sure he is a non factor or Jack Rouse has totally lost his control of his race teams!! Frankly I think Jack should sell out and let someone who care come on board. He is was too interested in building some bad-ass street cars and the racing has suffered!!…Come on Ford, Give the guy the boot!!
Another entry for “Whats the points” Brian Vickers is 35th in points after only running 4 races.
Seventeen passes for the lead in the final half of the race and a margin of victory of only three thousandths of a second! It was so close NASCAR had to consult their photo finish cameras to decide who won.
And that’s restrictor plate racing for the Modifieds!
geez, i’m starting to see that the nascar drug testing policy and subsequent procedures look a lot like the salem witch hunt and the spanish inquisition. maybe the dinger can land a ride at the james finch rehab center once kurt graduates.
qualifying tape delayed?? how did you know? does anyone even watch that?
being from the northeast i love the mods and have been disgusted for years at what little nascar does for them as a series. but it is funny how they can outperform the big boys at an aero track. i remember the first year at his when they made them wear the restrictor plates because they were a couple of mph faster than the cup cars.
as usual, i did dvr the race to avoid the commercials but still couldn’t help but notice how many time that stupid danika/dale jr abomination was played. come on it’s a one line joke and it wasn’t funny the first time… move on.
the brickyard is next? looks like two weeks off for me. heh.
matt – maybe the head counter is the same group that the government uses to calculate the unemployment rate. that place was far from jammed full up.
The Global Rallycross Championship on Saturday after the Nationwide race was the best racing of the weekend. What’s a Cup car?
Isn’t rallycross just motocross for wimps who are afraid of motorcycles? Those cars look like the offspring of the unholy union of a Cessna and a low end rental sedan. Made for TV racing has never worked. I bet when the KFC slacker dude in his parent’s basement gets done killing vombies he switches over to Rallycross coverage.
Matt, don’t bomb the track. As you pointed out the Mod race was phenomenal so it clearly is the cars and not the track that need to be bombed.
So what’s the difference. Mods are lighter, have bigger tires and no real aero. Drivers are more interested in winning races than titles as they try to advance careers. Where do we start?
Wow……..I couldn’t skip forward on my DVR fast enough. I did however watch the last run to the checkers. Hamlin drove the wheels off that car and he just about made the comeback.
Between the incessant bombardment of commercials, the lack of any semblance of quality racing, and the let’s wait until the last 30 laps to get up on the wheel it looks like my future NASCAR viewing will be done via “Thinking Out Loud” and “You Tube”. I’ll save the DVR space for more interesting TV fare such as Knitting and painting with Bob reruns.
Gone are the days where the wife was always getting upset that I was parked on the couch for every race with my beer and snacks. It is definately a shame and an embarrassment how far BFjr has allowed this sport to degrade.
How about the guy with the most wins during the season wins the Championship. Simple and easy to figure out. As Reese Bobby used to say…“If you ain’t first your last” .
I am now going to pop my Flinstones and the requisite metamucil chaser.
Matt…..you didn’t say what kind of liquid was in those cans so I will just assume it was at best a near beer, just because of Hamlin.
Three beers is way to generous of a rating for this farce. The only thing exciting about this race was Hamlin trying to catch Kahne. Hmm. That shows me that passing is possible if the drivers’ really wanted to try it. But points racing is the norm these days. Boring frigging points racing.
i remember hearing on the nightly news the body counts during the viet nam war, and having a family member killed during that war, i don’t appreciate the remark.
This race was no more than one can at best, the only exciting moment was Hamlin’s charge at the end, which was anti-climatic at best
Matt and Janice,
BTW, while I understand that Matt’s Vietnam analogy may have hit a nerve with you personally, his point was well made. In the Vietman PR war at home, body counts of dead Vietnamese were routinely exagerated so that Johnson/Nixon could say we were winning the war and put a positive spin on our own casualties. Much like NASCAR does now to prove that the sport is thriving.
Didn’t think this race was all that bad …3’s ok…Thought the best race of the wknd was Iowa (trucks) ..seems to be the closest to 70’s Nascar … Just an opinion & lay off the nam stuff…some folks just take things to far
i know how the government inflates numbers and the pr machine that they have at their disposal.
I just watched the ’99 Richmond night race won by Jarrett. It blew me away how far this sport has dropped since then.
Not only was the stands full, but the cameras showed the stands…even had cameras in the stands.
Cars were passing all over the track during the race…NOT just on restarts.
I have several old races on VHS. If you have a chance to watch an old Winston Cup race DO IT.
I forgot to add: in that ’99 Richmond race…
Drivers were having trouble with their Goodyear tires….so I quess not everything has changed.
Interesting post today .. so on off week I am going to IWK 250 at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. A truly fine weekend or racing fun. :)
Antigonish….is that Canadian for heavily salted mackeral with a Molson?
Back when TV was the only way to follow events this was fine, but it’s a bit unwieldy with so many alternative methods to follow the sport.
TV has to run commercials, Twitter doesn’t. What do you expect the broadcasters to do? And who cares anyway? The polesitter rarely wins and the top 35 are in the race no matter how badly it goes.
Matt: I was being facetious
“Hopefully somebody gave him (Kesolowski) an energy drink and a chewable vitamin.”
And then gave him a drug test.
Antigonish is Canadian for race track with real race cars.
Gary, Well at least you can spell it correctly ;-)
Antigonish is Canadian for race track with real race cars.
Well OK. What channel is it on? And what would be the Canadian term for heavily salted mackeral with a Molson AND a side of mashed potatoes and gravy….mac and cheese…mashed potatoes and gravy…do you even have KFC in the Great White North?
“I suggest having the New Hampshire Air National Guard use the place for bombing practice and starting over.”
I agree 100%. This track has always sucked. Just like Fontana. Blow them both up!
3 beers??? I wouldn’t give that race 1/2 can of warm panther piss. It put me into a coma for 3 hours.
Not a very good race. One and a half cans at best. The only high point was watching Hamlin. Too bad the race wasn’t a few laps longer.
Funny how the racing is crap everywhere but you want to only blow up this place. I would take this place over any cookie cutter track anyday. And if you were at the race, there is racing all over the place but tv doesn’t show it. And didn’t someone just say that Hamlin was able to pass when he wanted to? Its not the track folks.
And I don’t know what race you were watching but the front grandstands was completely full. The turns are the last tickets to be sold as well as the bottom seats. Those are the only places that had empty seats. And Matt if you did any research the place holds over 100,000 as its capacity. So 95000 was pretty accurate, even for a Bruton Smith track.
Hey Matt, we do have KFC but no mac and cheese or mashed potatoes. Make a break for the border and I will trade ya a 12 pack of real beer for a mac and cheese and a mashed with gravy……LOL