NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Monday August 6, 2012
The Key Moment – Jimmie Johnson, who had dominated the race, had his car get out from under him on the final restart and collected second-place Matt Kenseth. From there, it was on.
In a Nutshell – Mother Nature turned the Pocono race into a high stakes, very loud and damp high-speed game of musical chairs.
Dramatic Moment – When the field lined up for the final restart, Biblical downpours had reached the edges of the track’s property and the rest of the field knew they had one last shot at Johnson’s dominant No. 48 car. That’s like throwing a prime rib to a pack of starving dogs.
What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week
Unfortunately, NASCAR didn’t call the race quite quickly enough. Ten fans were struck by lightning on track property after the race. Tragically, one has died, one is in critical condition, one in guarded condition, two with minor injuries, and five were treated and released. I don’t know the circumstances that wound up with these folks getting injured so I won’t cast stones, but if you’re at a racetrack (or the beach, on a golf course, or anywhere else) use common sense when an electrical storm approaches and seek shelter immediately. Even if the storm is ten miles out, you can still get struck. In my area two sets of families of four were both injured by lightning strikes, one down the Jersey Shore and the other sitting in their front yard in the city.
I am writing this Sunday night. By Monday morning, there may be wholesale changes in the finishing order posted right now. Why? During a race, NASCAR uses the running order gathered from the last scoring loop to decide the running order when a caution comes out. At the end of a race they rely on videotape of the event to decide who finished where. Sunday, they didn’t realize that that third yellow flag was actually going to be the one that concluded the event, at least as far as green-flag racing. Several teams, most notably the Nos. 48 and 16 are protesting their finishing positions at press time.
It’s the new trend sweeping the nation! Defy the intent of the rules and set your car up to dog-track like a bloodhound with hip dysplasia. This week, the Roush Fords were as badly out of skew as the innovators of the trend, the HMS Chevys. But one mustn’t rest on their laurels especially when the competition is wise to your game. Ever the innovators the No. 48 team found a way to turn their car into a tail-dragger that rivals anything seen in the barrios of East LA. Getting that big blade spoiler down out of the air on Pocono’s long stretches adds a whole lot of speed. (The MPH type of speed, not the stuff that gets you suspended.)
There’s going to be a lot of folks wondering what took NASCAR so long to clean up a four-car wreck. If they’d hustled a bit, might the fans have gotten to see the race end under green? And if so, would Gordon have held on to win? I know only one thing for certain: we’ll never know.
What’s next for AJ Allmendinger? After being released by Penske Racing earlier this week his racing career, at least in NASCAR, is in limbo. Could he return to open-wheel racing (though obviously not with Penske)? And when is he going to stop hiding under his covers and address the situation? Race fans are known for swarming attacks but they can also be capable of incredible empathy given the information they seek and genuine contrition. So can Allmendinger still salvage his career? Well Eagles QB Michael Vick is still making good coin despite a stint in prison for animal cruelty. But then again, that’s my home town of Philadelphia, not the real world.
So what happened to this next generation track dryer that Brian France claimed would be able to dry a wet race track in half the time? Apparently, it’s at the R and D center being fitted with a glass dashboard.
So which was longer, the rain delay or the race itself? Both lasted approximately an hour and 45 minutes.
It’s interesting that while there were 22 pit road speeding penalties issued during Pocono’s June event, there was only one during Sunday’s race. So did the crew chiefs study the new timing lines, did the drivers stop trying to fudge their speeds or did NASCAR finally figure out they’d screwed up royally during the June event?
OK, maybe this one explains everything. The size of the crowd at last weekend’s Brickyard 400 flirted with the term “pitiful.” But reports this week state that between the money ESPN paid the track to broadcast the event and what Crown Royal paid for naming rights, Indy had already made enough to payoff the sanctioning fee that NASCAR charges a facility to host a race. Thus revenue from ticket sales (albeit weak ticket sales) concessions and parking earned the track somewhere around nine million dollars. And that’s just for Sunday’s event! So why don’t tracks improve the racing surface to make for better racing and draw bigger crowds? They don’t have to. These events are already profitable enough. Suddenly, I’m beginning to understand why Fontana is still on the schedule.
Fans in the Midwest wishing to attend a NASCAR race certainly have had a wealth of opportunities over the last month or so. In addition to the Brickyard 400, the N-W series ran in Joliet, Indy and Iowa for three consecutive races and the trucks ran at Iowa and Chicago. I’m not sure that’s the sort of schedule that’s going to help sell seats. Most of us aren’t wealthy enough to attend all those races in five weeks time, so I’d guess the fans have to pick and choose which they prefer to see.
At only 125 miles, Saturday’s truck race was perfect for those battling ADD.
My guess is Todd Bodine got sent home from Pocono without the “plays nicely with others” box checked on his report card.
Denny Hamlin announced this weekend he and long time girlfriend Jordan Fish are expecting their first child this January. Though excited about the impending arrival, the couple shared they were not looking to rush into marriage. Oddly enough, no fast food chain CEOs weighed in on the couple’s very personal decision. (Sort of like whether to have mashed potatoes and gravy or mac and cheese.)
The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune
Earnhardt Jr. fought his way to the front to the delight of his highly partisan fans but was felled by a transmission failure at the only oval track on the circuit where drivers routinely shift during the race. Earnhardt was so eager to get back out there he leapt from his car in the garage area and began jacking it up so repairs could be made before the rest of the crew even got there.
It’s not often you’ll see Johnson throw away a race. particularly when he has a dominant car, but he let the No. 48 get out from underneath him in the first corner following the final restart and dropped back to fourteenth.
Kenseth was running second on the final restart but was the victim of Johnson’s rare unforced error. He hit the wall, then slid down the track getting drilled directly in the driver’s side numbers by the No. 11 car in the process. He was shown as having finished 23rd.
Kyle Busch only made 19 laps before a brake rotor failed and cut down a rear tire. The No. 18 car went hard into the wall and Busch was forced to the garage area. He eventually finished 33rd.
It wasn’t a great day for the other branch of the Busch family tree, either. Kurt Busch blew a left front tire moments after emerging from the pits after a two-tire stop. The failure sent Busch hard into the wall and ended his day. He was listed 30th at the finish after that mess.
Denny Hamlin took a hard enough hit during the big wreck he was taken to the infield care center after the incident to get looked over, complaining of abdominal pain. Fortunately, he was treated and released but one of the fastest cars on the track all day was listed as 29th in the final running order.
Talk about a rough start for a driver attempting to make his Cup debut. John Wes Townley was scheduled to drive Frankie Stoddard’s No. 32 car this weekend. But on his very first lap of practice Townley smacked the wall and never even posted an official time. He later withdrew himself from the seat, ceding it to Jason White. Why he’d get the chance in the first place? The car was sponsored by Zaxby’s chicken restaurants, a chain owned by Townley’s father.
It was a pretty tough weekend for Joe Gibbs Racing. Logano, who had won here in June, finished 13th. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin both crashed out of the race.
The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune
Cup wins are hard to come by. It’s not often you’ll have one fall, literally, out of the sky into your lap like Gordon did on Sunday.
Had the race been able to resume, no matter how briefly, Kasey Kahne would have been in a world of trouble. He’d been circulating the track under that final caution prior to the red flag with a flat rear tire.
The red flag couldn’t have flown too soon for Keselowski’s liking, either. He was running on fumes in the tank when the race ended after snaking his way through the carnage.
Regan Smith (ninth) and Marcos Ambrose (tenth) were probably both delighted to drive through the final lap mayhem to come away with a top-10 finish at Pocono.
Perhaps Elliott Sadler felt some measure of redemption after winning Saturday night’s N-W race. A highly questionable black flag on a restart last week probably cost Sadler a win at Indy.
The IndyCar Series probably got a boost today as race fans enduring the rain delay at Pocono sought alternative programming. (Anyone else find it odd that ABC/ESPN chose to schedule the two races concurrently? Or got caught short-handed on race announcers to the point ABC decided to have NBC produce the race?)
What’s the Points?
Despite an awful day, Earnhardt Jr. holds onto the points lead. He’s now five ahead of Kenseth, six points ahead of Biffle and eight points ahead of Johnson. It would seem that those four drivers will battle for the wholly symbolic title awarded to the driver who leads the points at the conclusion of the “regular season.” Fifth place Truex is more than a full race’s worth of points out of the lead.
As a consolation prize, though MWR’s top driver moved up five positions to earn that spot. Stewart advanced two spots to sixth and Keselowski also moved up two spots to seventh. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick (who was nearly invisible all weekend) both fell three spots, to eighth and ninth. Clint Bowyer owns the final spot inside the top 10.
Look out below, because Kyle Busch plummeted four spots to fifteenth in the standings. He’ll probably have to win one of the next five races to make the playoffs.
To round out the Chase, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon currently hold the two “wild card” berths. Gordon is actually tied with Newman who also has a single win this season but Gordon gets the nod based on having more fifth-place finishes. (They are tied as far as second, third and fourth-place results.) I said a few weeks ago there was no way Gordon was going to make the Chase so I might have to eat my hat. But I ain’t slathering my cap with horsey sauce just yet.
Edwards is actually eight points ahead of Gordon, in 12th place but he’s still got the goose egg in the win column.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — The race was pretty sedate after a frustratingly long wait, but they’ll be talking about that last lap for awhile. Thus we’ll give it three bottles of Blue Moon… minus the orange slices, please.
Next Up – The circuit heads off to the long and winding road that is Watkins Glen.
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maybe hamlin’s gut hurts from swallowing that data sensor pill(shown on pre-race show).
read something where matt kenseth is suspect about johnson blowing tire to cause the wreck. i guess mr. kenseth feels a “let jeff get win” deal was in place at hendrick.
if jr survives next weekend at the glen with points lead, then maybe he deserves to be champion. was shocked to see that he is still holding on after blowing the tranny. again johnson taking out front few cars helped that factor.
i feel for the fans that got struck by lightening and the one killed. lightening is nothing to be messed with.
I can only hope that Mr. Kennesth has the guts to return the favor to JJ. His arrogance, not a flat tire caused that wreck!!look at the replays when he is in a slide….his tire is not down!!….He is a lying POS!, in my opinion.
Janice, sorry to disillusion you, but based on radio transmissions and comments from both JJ and Chad, I can guarantee you that Johnson is in no way, shape or form, that kind of a team player. Johnson’s doesn’t cut anyone a break – ever – especially not the 24.
I, too, am very sorry to hear about the fan who was killed and of course, those who were injured. I’ve been in those stands, there isn’t a lot of places to go to get into shelter IMO.
Hey, did you hear Dale Jr is leading the points?
In other news, Dale Jr is leading the points.
Dale Jr is leading the Cup points for the first time since 2004.
Thats all I heard all week. Give it a rest, media!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The sprint cup championship should be renamed “Hendricks’s cup”. After watching the blatant manipulation at the end of this race I had control myself to keep from vomiting. This long, long time fan has pretty much seen enough. Good day, hendrickscar.
You know, when the media write stories on the events of the week, it must highlight the biggest ones, otherwise it is called out for “missing” a big issue/topic — which is failing to do the assigned job.
Such is the case with Dale Earnhardt Jr. assuming the points lead. First, there was a change atop the point standings, so that’s going to be, at the very least, a bullet point in most every article (regardless of driver). Secondly, he’s the most popular driver and sways more attention to the sport — he transcends NASCAR. Like it or not (especially since he’s not held the points lead since 2004), that’s going to be a story.
The “newness” of this will wear off very soon and the story won’t be “The Story.” Also, the media write about what fans are interested in. It is reflected in page views. Not highlighting Earnhardt’s ascension to the point in some form or fashion is depriving both the fans (who clamor for it) and members of the media (whose jobs are based on whether or not people read their material).
In short, if you don’t want to read about it, simply don’t click links on Jayski’s clearinghouse page that discuss this topic.
Hey Kevin –
Matt, that wasn’t directed at you, but at the TV media, Nascar Now, and Nascar Raceday, who reminded the viewers over and over and over and over. They’re catering to the lowest common denominator, preaching to the choir, and whatever other cliches you want to use. I was all set to write about how Matt Kenseth “earned” the points lead back again after Jr’s transmission failure, too.
ABC aired the IndyCar race because it was supposed to be an NBC race but was bumped by the Olympics. NBC bought the airtime on ABC to show the race so that’s why NBC were the producers and announcers.
Oh and JJ is a @#$%er – I’m amazed that Kenseth didn’t come down in front of Edwards and complete the Roush disaster.
when points reset in 6 week, i see that the “appeal” from the daytona penalty will have zero impact. that what angers me so much. it’s scripted and contrived. didn’t i hear during broadcast that johnson was heard saying he wants #6 and wants to be the best of all times.
at least with jr in points lead we stopped hearing for a day or so of how the “winner of the brickyard” ends up being winner of the championship.
So Matt, do I have this right? Between TV and Sponsors, NASCAR is paid in advance, shall we say, and the track, Indy in this case, nets everything over and above?
If my figuring is right, we could ALL stay home, those entities would pay each other off and still make money… somehow.
Well, you’re right; that does explain Fontana! Somehow though, I wish I didn’t know how that works. That will eat at me for at least a week.
I feel a lot better about Martinsville now. I was still bitter about the 10 car stopping for no reason bringing out a caution with a lap and a half to go and then that move Bowyer made taking out Gordon, Johnson and himself on the restart that handed the race to Newman. Now Gordon got a race handed to him in a similar fashion. Being in the right place at the right time matters as much as having a good car. I still can’t stand the double file restarts. To me they make the restarts (and often the endings) more of a crapshoot. And I am against any rule that raises the crapshoot factor (even though in this case it worked out for my boy).
I have to just shake my head and laugh at anyone that thinks Johnson could have (or would have) planned that to benefit Gordon. Once cars start going sideways on a restart there are no guarentees. Gordon could have just have easily been in the wreck instead of squeaking through with the lead. Anyone that thinks that a viable strategy to get Gordon a win was to wreck the front of the field when Gordon was part of the front of the field must not be paying attention. It’s a crapshoot all the way on those restarts.
As for viewers being pelted with stories on Jr leading the points, all I can say is that at least all the attention is legitimate. He has gotten more attention than he deserves for years just because of his fanbase, at least now he’s earning that coverage. Good for him!!!
John Wes Townley?
The sprint cup championship should be renamed “Hendricks’s cup”. you correct but not for last sun Remember the cheating to state the year and what happened
The very best part of the whole race was the very loud cheering when NASCAR threw the flag and directed the cars to Pit Road. What most of the crowd in the stands and on social media seemed to have been hoping for came true. God acted, prayers were answered, Jeff Gordon got a win and the people were well pleased.
That is what I’ll remember.
And somewhere in the Maritimes a distraught fan was removing his head from the oven.
I actually disagree with the comment that NASCAR didn’t call the race quickly enough. Granted it was unlikely that the race was going to restart, but if they had waited for the worst of the storm to pass before “officially” calling the race then maybe they keep the fans safely under the grandstands and not in harms way.
I am glad I didn’t waste my time watching this race. Sounded like a real SNAFU.
holy cow… for the first time ever i agree with shoeman?
time for me to stop watching. for good. again.
“Oddly enough, no fast food chain CEOs weighed in on the couple’s very personal decision.”
Maybe that is because the CEO was not directly asked about it?
And thus ends my years of reading Frontstretch coverage of Nascar.