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.
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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.
Saturday night was an encapsulation of so many things that are good and bad about teammates. Some drivers helped their teammates succeed, some ended their teammate's night, and some just couldn't get out of each other's way. With the driver movement that is already set to take place at the end of the year, the dynamics of how soon-to-be-former teammates will interact in the future are beginning to take shape now. Saturday night, we learned the end result of those departures could be not just hurt feelings…but even some irreparably damaged relationships down the line.
There were no such hard feelings at Roush Fenway Racing. On the final lap of Saturday night’s Pepsi 400, Jamie McMurray was leading the outside line into turn three, hotly pursued by not just Kyle Busch but his teammate, Carl Edwards. Edwards had a very good run going, and could have swung to the outside to make it three wide, sweeping around and giving himself a chance to take the win. Instead, Edwards chose to stay behind his teammate, pushing him forward while giving him the opportunity to battle one-on-one with Kyle Busch for the victory. McMurray and Edwards' teammate Greg Biffle also chose to stay in line behind the two, effectively driving home three Top 6 finishes for the Roush contingent while avoiding a last lap fiasco like the one that occurred at the end of the Daytona 500. It was the type of unified performance a car owner dreams of, one that solidifies how the Roush Fenway contingent may have finally bonded together in the wake of losing their leader, Mark Martin, before the season began. After the race, Edwards was gushing with feelings of joy over McMurray’s win; he claimed he chose to help his teammate because he wanted to see him have a shot at a victory that had been eluding him for so long. That kind of teamwork speaks volumes for the future of Roush Fenway racing. After a year and a half of struggles, McMurray has finally proven he has meshed with a team that struggled to accept him at times, finally ready to try and live up to the potential that he has been promising for years.
But not every group of teammates knows how to play nice. First, you had the Hendrick brigade at odds with each other, both on the track and off it. With the race winding down, Jeff Gordon was behind McMurray, not Kyle Busch, for several laps to push him towards the front. It was rather obvious that, try as he might, Gordon could not push McMurray far enough ahead of Busch to get both of them clear, giving Gordon a chance to battle McMurray for the win. But without hesitation, Gordon kept going…leaving Kyle Busch hung out to dry on the inside.
Gordon’s refusal to help Busch was easy to see for anyone watching the race. The most glaring example was with three laps left; McMurray and Busch were side-by-side going down the backstretch, Gordon was directly behind McMurray, and there was a gap of three to four car lengths between Busch and the car behind him. Gordon could have easily moved down and attempted to help his teammate make a charge for the win; however, Gordon chose to stay in the high line and assist, not only a rival team, but a rival manufacturer.
Losing one of his biggest allies was clearly a shame for Busch; the No. 5 car was clearly one of the strongest cars all night, and Gordon could have easily given a boost that should have resulted in a 1-2 finish for Hendrick. But the truth can be tough to swallow; since Busch is leaving the team at the end of the year, he was not high on Gordon's priority list as the race wound down to its conclusion. That became even more evident on pit road after the race when Busch attempted to congratulate Gordon, even though Gordon had not tried to congratulate Busch…and Gordon turned his back on his teammate. It was a rather sad sight to see from a driver that is supposed to be a professional icon in the sport.
The way Busch was treated Saturday night speaks volumes about his status at Hendrick. It is clear that he is on his own for the rest of the year. If he is to make the Chase, he'll have to do it himself; despite some concerns surrounding his post-race comments, where he was critical of his own organization, much of what he said rings true. It definitely won't be long before Busch is shut out of team meetings and ostracized from the group, similar to the same way Brian Vickers was treated on his way out the door last year. As Busch attempts to move forward, the way he handles this adversity will likely determine how much interest there is in him as a free agent…and where that interest comes from. The path ahead is clear; Busch has the opportunity to show that he is maturing, or he can cost himself dearly by handling this poorly and losing his composure. After Saturday night, he’d be best to grin and bear it rather than mouth off.
Speaking of mouthing off, the dustup between Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin was perhaps the night’s most surprising teammate squabble. Merely 15 laps into the race, Hamlin was leading with Stewart on his tail coming out of turn four. Hamlin's car was obviously beginning to lose its handling, and he was having trouble getting off of the corner very well. Stewart closed rapidly brhind Hamlin and, instead of lifting off the gas, drove right into his right rear cornerpanel. That immediately broke Hamlin loose and resulted in both cars hitting the wall; the resulting wreck effectively ended both their nights.
As if the fact that a teammate took out another teammate wasn't bad enough, Stewart then got on TV and tried to blame his mistake completely on Hamlin, who was simply racing patiently early while doing his best to control his car. Stewart went on to accuse Hamlin of trying to wreck him during practice on Friday, a “wreck in the making” which no television camera captured on tape. Stewart then walked away in a huff, refusing to talk to his teammate even as both cars were repaired side-by-side.
The damage to those cars was eventually fixed, but the damage to JGR’s chemistry could be far more serious if Hamlin and Stewart do not put this problem aside…and quick. Both drivers have a very good chance to make a run at the championship this year, but internal fighting could seriously sabotage both of their efforts. Both team’s have suffered through enough bad luck this year…the last thing either one needs is to deal with bad blood.
Racing is an individual sport. Each team is out to do the very best they can in any given race, and thankfully team orders are not very prevalent in the Cup series. However, it is still good to know that you have members of your organization on the track with you, and you should be able to count on them to help you if the time comes that it is between you and a competitor. If teammates cannot work together on the track, that disconnection will carry over to the shop and ultimately fracture the delicate chemistry that holds an organization together. Big teams are a fact of life in Cup racing today and for the foreseeable future, so drivers have to learn to work together if they have any hope of making it to the Chase, and ultimately, winning a championship.
Looks like Stewart and Hamlin could take a lesson from Roush Fenway.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Hey Mike, regarding your comments about Kyle and Jeff; were you actually on pit row, standing right next to Jeff Gordon, watching intently as Kyle came up to Jeff to congratulate him? If so, did you then personally see Jeff Gordon look out of the corner of his eye, see Kyle, and deliberately turn his back? I keep reading that Kyle was shunned by Jeff after the race. The ONLY way I could perceive that happening is if Kyle actually went right up to Jeff to pat him on the back or shake his hand and Jeff refused his advances. Now if you can ABSOLUTLEY tell me that is what happened, then I may agree with what you said; if not, it was extremely poor journalism on your part. Also, I saw the same post-race interview with Jeff that everyone else did…never once did it cross my mind that Jeff was trying to be vindictive by not congratulating Kyle. On the contrary, he was exactly the type of driver we expect him to be, very happy for a young man who hadn’t won a race in 165 starts. Why is everyone turning what Kyle is saying (actually crying about) into something that simply wasn’t there?
Kyle Bush without a doubt is a good driver with lots of talent and alos a bigger whiner than Jeff Gordon. How can anyone possibly say the #24 could just drop down from his position running high on the track and help his teammate. A good example here is Biffle radioed his teammates that if they want help they would have to follow his line because that is where his car had to be for handeling…GET IT? Kyle needs to quit blaming everyone around him when he doesnt get his way…….GEZZ its not rocket science Kyle.
Bottom line, Carl Edwards showed what teamwork was about when he left off pushing Kyle Busch — even though their cars were working very well together — to push his teammate.
Jeff Gordon showed what teamwork isn’t when he pushed Jamie past Kyle into the lead. To JG, teamwork only goes one direction.
I can’t help wondering something. Back in Kyle’s Busch year they were doing one of those “meet the driver” sort of TV features and Kyle held up his Official Jeff Gordon Fan Club membership card. Anyone think that card might be in little pieces in the trash now?
I hope that the situation gives Kyle that extra bit of determination and drive that will lead him to bring home the Cup.
So many times I have heard Jeff Gordon talk about needing his teamates to help him. Well guess what, It was his turn and he bailed out. Shame on him for being the worst teamate of all.
Am I missing something here or didn’t Jeff say himself during his post-race interview that he messed up there at the end of the race by trying something that didn’t work and it ended up putting him in 5th place instead of a better finish. Jeff was going for a win, and with the year he is having, he had every right to do just that. At lap 8, after the last caution and Jeff was leading, with Kyle right behind him, I don’t recall Kyle sticking around for more then a lap to assist Jeff before driving down low and leaving Jeff high and dry. Oh, but because all non-Jeff fans want only to see one side of any story concerning Jeff, you must have all forgotten about that. Also, Jeff’s last minute move didn’t work out for him and he, unlike Tony Stewart, took sole responsibility for his driving error. MB and Frank, you are obviously not Gordon fans, which is fine, but don’t trash the guy just because you don’t like him. If you have facts, provide them, if not, all you have is your opinion.
In regards to the Stewart/Hamlin incident, Stewart (on his radio show), while still not taking full blame for the incident, said there was zero animosity towards Hamlin and that they would work it out just fine. He said that he loves Hamlin like a little brother and chalked up the post-wreck interview to being one of those ’30 seconds after a disappointing wreck’ type deals, although he did say that they can work together better as teammates in the lines of the 24/48.
I was actually expecting a little more fireworks, but ah well.
My question is this: where is Rick Hendrick in all of this? Everyone says what a great guy and great owner he is… I hope he will step up & make it clear ALL of his teams have his support & will be treated as equally as possible, no one will be shut out of team meetings, that kind of thing. If those kinds of things come to pass, it would not happen without his approval & blessing. I can’t believe he would NOT want each of his teams having a great shot at the championship going in, just because one of the drivers is leaving at the end of the year. BUT if those things do happen, I will personally be disappointed in no one but Rick Hendrick… as he is the final word on what goes on in his organization, and no one would dare do those things without his approval.
Mary D., I couldn’t agree with you more. After Kyle’s comments Rick has to step up to the plate and put not just Kyle in his place, but the team as a whole. Granted, I don’t think Jeff brushed Kyle off, but Rick can assure that that “impression” never happens again. Rick is above all, an extremely intelligent business man and he knows that Kyle has a very good shot at the title this year. When it comes down to a champion, we fans all have our favorite drivers, but as an owner, Rick just wants to see one of his guys win the whole thing. And if it’s Kyle this year, or Jeff or Jimmie, Rick Hendrick will be a very happy man. My only fear is that Kyle, being young and immature, will take every bad pit, every bad qualifying, every bad finish and put the blame on HMS. Worse yet is my fear that if he knows he doesn’t have a chance at the top spot after the Chase begins that he’ll purposefully put Jeff or Jimmie in to the wall. If that happens, even once, I hope Rick does to Kyle what Jack did to Kurt a couple of years ago; drop him from racing for the rest of the season. Let’s just hope for all involved, including Kyle, that it doesn’t come down to that.
It shouldn’t have taken JG to realize “after the fact” that he should have healed Kyle Busch. The first thought that should have come to his mind is that was his teammate and he needed to help him out. Who cares what was said or done at the end of the race? It should have been during the race where the definition of “TEAMWORK” should have been played!!! JG fans need to stop defending him all the time and actually see how he is so championship hungry that he is willing to turn his back on a teammate. Who cares if he is leaving? It isn’t until the end of the year and there are still aces left!!!!
Sorry about my mis-spellings…my son is punching keys on the computer. Anyway, like I was trying to say…JG’s first thought should have been help my teammate!!! Right there. Over and out.
“At lap 8, after the last caution and Jeff was leading, with Kyle right behind him, I donâ€™t recall Kyle sticking around for more then a lap to assist Jeff before driving down low and leaving Jeff high and dry.”
Exactly!!! Jeff’s car was not as good on the bottom, henceforth the staying on the top.
Jeff said it himself that he made a wrong move and it cost him the race. He was trying to win the race.
Kyle did not push Jeff, but rather took a new line….why? Because Kyle wanted to win the race.
You say the Rousch-Fenway drivers exemplified team at the end of the race? I bet you that all of them were ready for Jamie to overdrive just once so they could get around him!!!
It is freakin racin for points. It is the end of the race, and the prize is there for THE DRIVERS. At the end of the race team comes second, and the win comes first.
As for continually harping on Hendrick, get a life. KB is known for his flippant comments. He has a track record for saying idiotic things. The only reason many of you are backing KB is because he will not be coming back to Hendrick, and as such it gives you something to carp about at Hendirck.
Amen Kenny!!!! And Brooke, let’s not forget the race earlier this year that Jeff lost to Jimmie Johnson because he refused to pull a “Tony Stewart” and didn’t put Jimmie into the wall just so he could win the race. Again, non-JG fans only see and hear what they want to see and hear. Face it, Jeff is THEE driver this year and as the season gets closer and closer to the end, he (JG) is really starting to piss off a lot of people. And why? Because he can drive and that really grinds the gears of a lot of people whose drivers just aren’t up to the same level as he is. Facts speak for themselves folks, 4 wins thus far this season and 277 points ahead of second place. Argue it. You can’t.
Well, early in the race Kyle hung Jeff out. Later he pinched into the side of Jimmie a couple of times. Kyle was driving erratically and out of control the whole night. No one wanted to be by him. He even had Kenseth out for blood.
In the closing laps it is every man for himslef – no one is obligated to help anyone. Kurt even told Kyle that sitting next to him in the media center after the race. Jamie pushed Jeff to the lead earlier and maybe Jeff thought his chances were better there – not to mention he ran the high line pretty much the whole night because his car was better there.
Funnily, Brian Vickers was a commentator on “Inside Nextel Cup” last night. His take on Kyle’s comments? He saw nothing wrong with how Jeff, Jimmie, and Casey raced. He said you don’t hurt yourself to help a teammate and if you think that he picked the wrong line, you don’t go with him. He also pointed out that helping is a two way street and that there were times in the race when Kyle chose not to help his teammates. When it comes down to it every guy out on that track is out there for himself – otherwise we wouldn’t have racing.
As for the “snub”, TNT was interviewing Jeff and Kyle walked by and hit him on the arm. I guess Jeff was supposed to stop the interview.
Kyle has a ton of talent, but he also has an attitude problem, a huge chip on his shoulder, and is overly aggressive. I’ve about given up hope that he will ever settle down, learn patience, and stop driving at 110% all the time. He would find a lot more success and gain respect if he did.
All you posters who are indicating JG didn’t help his teammate Kyle need to look at the videotape again….coming to the finish line….the lineup on the inside was….Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and JEFF GORDON! how else do you think he got 5th place?
You are absolutely right John! I saw that last night on Nascar Now. He wasn’t close enough to help Kyle but neither was his brother.
Neither Jeff or Kyle owed anything to the other one. They should do whatever was best to help them to get the win. No question about it!
I can guarantee you if I was JG (with 4 wins and 40 bonus points) I would help whoever didn’t already have bonus points (Jamie McMurray). If I couldn’t win, I would want a new race winner each week. Spread those bonus points around…..Smart thinking Jeff!
I am sure you have been a long time Kyle Busch fan and are in no way taking a cheap shot at Gordon. Who in their right mind would have wanted to get anywhere near this brash loud mouth’s #5 car given his reckless driving style? Its amazing KB did not cause yet another wreck at Daytona similar to the fiasco of a crash he caused in January. And you may not have noticed that Shrub left both Johnson and Gordon in the lurch during the last laps diving out of line from behind them. And the way I saw the race, Gordon was lined up immediately behind both Bush’s during the final two laps pushing Shrubs’s inside line and not helping the outside cars lined up behind McMurray. Little Busch should consider joining Tony Stewart’s team – these egomaniacs never make any mistakes and always have someone else to blame when things go wrong. Sorry, I forgot, these two ingrates have had multiple run ins with another already. No wonder Hendrick released the SOB (son of a busch).
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