Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Full Throttle · Mike Neff · Sunday August 19, 2007
It was announced this week that the No. 8 will be staying at DEI for the foreseeable future, and therefore will not be on the side or roof of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car next year when he begins driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Much to the disappointment of Riki Rachtman and the majority of Junior's legion of fans, an agreement could not be reached between DEI and Hendrick Motorsports that would allow the number to be transferred over to Hendrick so that Junior might be able to continue driving with the number for at least the next five years of his career. According to Junior, the stumbling block in the entire process was his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt. Try as he might, it appears that Junior is going to be haunted by his stepmother for at least the rest of this season.
This dispute has been going on for years, but has just become public since the announcement of the fact that Junior is going to leave DEI at the end of the season. A large part of the population of Junior Nation feels like Teresa is being unreasonable in her demands or her refusal to acquiesce to Junior's demands to receive a controlling interest in the organization that bears his father's name. That opinion is not very fair to Mrs. Earnhardt if you consider the amount of time and effort she has put into the organization. Yes, the company bears the name of her deceased husband, but it is rather well known that Teresa was the driving force that built the company from the ground up. Obviously the company could not have been formed were it not for the capital that was infused into the organization in its formative years by the man whose name is on the door, but that was the primary part that Dale Senior played in the company. The elder Earnhardt had extraordinary demands on his time during his career and he was not able to spend much time focusing on building a fledgling organization into a Cup contending race team. That is where Teresa fit into the picture.
Mrs. Earnhardt was the brains behind the building of the company. Anything that was presented to have the Earnhardt name marketed on it, was passed through her. She approved all licensing and she handled all of the day to day operations of the company. It is not a stretch to look at this conflict objectively and be able to see where Teresa is coming from. She has built one of the top five organizations in the sport from the ground up, and now her stepson, with whom she has never had a great relationship; demands that he be given the reins to run HER company however he would like. Even if their relationship was a good one, it is still a rather unrealistic request for the top driver of an organization to suddenly demand the keys to the front door and expect the person who has spent over 20 years making the company what it is to just hand them over.
Junior is certainly a good race driver and is unquestionably the most popular driver in the sport, but neither of those items qualify him to be the person who calls the shots and runs a multi-million dollar organization, let alone while he is attempting to compete for a Cup championship and fulfill all of his sponsor obligations. Don't forget that he also has his own race organization in JR Motorsports. It seemed to be quite overly optimistic of Junior to think that he could take on that additional responsibility and be successful in all phases of his life.
With all of that being said, the question now comes down to the car number. Again, Teresa has done an outstanding job of making the No. 8 into the formidable merchandising juggernaut that it is. Obviously Junior and his popularity were huge factors in the development of the popularity of the number, but the marketing and merchandising that was steered by Junior's stepmother was equally important in cultivating the top merchandising number in the sport. To expect Mrs. Earnhardt to just give up the millions of dollars of revenue generated by that number without some sort of compensation is unrealistic. The amount of compensation was ultimately the undoing of the deal, and whether Teresa's request was unreasonable or not is up for debate, but that appears to be the straw that broke the camel's back in this whole process.
Teresa wanted to have part of the revenue that was generated by the number on a continuing basis, and also wanted to have the number returned to her organization when Junior was finished with his career. The result of that demand was that Junior felt like he was still going to be under the control of his stepmother, whom he is trying hard to distance himself from by this move away from the organization. Should Teresa be allowed to benefit from the efforts of Hendrick Motorsports marketing and merchandising the number that Junior is going to drive? It is hard to say, but Mrs. Earnhardt has worked for seven years to put more No. 8 merchandise in the stands than any other number in the garage area, and she felt like she should be compensated on an ongoing basis to let that number leave her organization.
The only other aspect of this dispute that rings deep and true for Junior is the history of the number. It was the number that his grandfather raced throughout his career, and the number that his father drove several times in Busch series competition during his career. Teresa does not have any kind of familial connection to the number and Junior feels as though that connection should supplant the monetary desires for the number. In the modern world of NASCAR, history and tradition are continually being trumped by the almighty dollar, and it certainly would have been refreshing to see someone in a position like Teresa's put the greed aside and let the number go to allow Junior to continue the family tradition. Unfortunately, Teresa tends to always focus on the bottom line and could not see past the dollar signs that the number will generate, so the number is going to stay with DEI.
There is no doubt that the number is not going to carry the same clout with a different driver in the seat next year. The odds are that merchandising revenues for the number will fall to probably one tenth of what they are at this point in time, but it will still be more revenue than DEI would have realized if they simply let the number leave to follow Junior over to Hendrick Motorsports.
It is sad to see that Dale Junior is going to have to run a different number during his tenure at Hendrick. Who knows, maybe after the sting of this breakup dies down a little bit, Teresa may back off on her demands and Junior can start running the number again in the future. As it stands now, Junior is very upset that he is not going to be able to run the number that his father and, more importantly, his grandfather made famous. He is certainly not going to be sending his stepmother a Christmas card as things look right now. But unfortunately it is the common denominator in the sport right now; it is all about money and it has become a business rather than about history and tradition.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Junior had every opportunity to drive the 8 car but he chose to leave, they didn’t fire him. Ms Earnhardt did the right thing.
I certainly don’t dispute Mrs. Earnhardt’s right to the #8, or that it was certainly her option to do with it as she chooses. What she has missed here was an opportunity for some good PR, and to buff up her image with the fans. Yes, she should be concerned with the ‘legacy’ of Dale Senior. But she should remember that a part of that legacy is his children. Many Junior fans started out as Senior fans. With her actions over the past several months, I feel that she has tarnished some of that legacy herself. I find myself wondering if there will be some sort of ‘backlash’ coming after the way that everything has been handled. Yes, the bottom line is important (just ask Brian France), but so is goodwill. Could there be an unintended consequence of all of this?
Why should Dale Jr be some special exception to the normal way that things are done in Nascar?
He chose to leave one team to go to another. What makes him so special that it becomes unthinkable for him to simply drive the 5 — the existing number of the team that he chose to associate with?
Dale Earnhardt (who adamantly refused to be called Sr — a fact that anyone claiming to have been his fan ought to know and respect), had 4 kids, not just 2. Taylor is Teresa’s, Kerry chose to work for her. Additionally, Big E’s grandson Jeffrey is a DEI development driver.
The way a certain faction of fans act as if Jr. and Kelly are the only real Earnhardts is sickening. And though I don’t usually like to play the “What would Dale have said?” game, I’m sure that if he knew how people were badmouthing his wife he’d be quick to put them in their place.
The normal and customary procedure in Nascar is for a number to remain with a team, not with a driver. Neither Dale Jr’s popularity nor his last name give him or his fans a right to get their own way.
Fans vowing to boo at and throw things at whoever drives the 8 next year and fans vowing undying hatred for Teresa because she didn’t bend over backwards to accommodate their adored idol’s lightest whim are WAY OUT OF LINE.
Several points stand out here. Dale Jr.and Kelley wanted to force Teresa to give them control of DEI.Yet he has few race wins, no championships,and no background in business.He disagreed with his crew constantly and publicly, and told the world that each poor race result was because of his crew, his engine shop, or the team in general, at one point resulting in his own cousin/crew chief asking to be sent to another team. His JR Motorsports team could hardly be considered one of the dominant teams in the Busch series. Yet he felt he should be allowed to run the show. He should have concentrated a little more on improving his team instead of leaving his fathers business. By the way,the story about being so close to Hendrick being the reason he joined that team is laughable. What team and owner could he possibly be closer to than RCR and Richard Childress. Earnhardt specifically did not leave DEI to his children. He left total control of it to Teresa.I’m sure it was for a reason.This was all about money and control yes. But not by Teresa Earnhardt.
I always had the feeling that negotiations for #8 would go something like this:
“Whatcha want (how much money?) for the #8?”
“A dollar more than you got…”
The reason Sr. left the company to his wife is because none of his children were responsible enough at the time to run it. If you people would listen to what Jr wanted, he wanted to have all three
You really need to do some research before you make statements like “but it is rather well known that Teresa was the driving force that built the company from the ground up. Obviously the company could not have been formed were it not for the capital that was infused into the organization in its formative years by the man whose name is on the door, but that was the primary part that Dale Senior played in the company. The elder Earnhardt had extraordinary demands on his time during his career and he was not able to spend much time focusing on building a fledgling organization into a Cup contending race team. That is where Teresa fit into the picture.
Junior made the #8 famous, and if you don’t believe that now, just wait and see how far that # falls. No driver wants to be the one to sit in that car. Only someone desperate for a job will fill that seat.
Whatever you’re smoking or drinking, you really need to give it up if you plan to continue writing a column. You have made yourself appear completely unprepared to write a column that contains facts.
I have been saying this for some time. Great article! Virginia, you need to do some research. During those years when DEI was being built, there were several TV stories on Teresa’s running of the company. Sr. simply didn’t have the business know how. I can’t remember a time when a number went with a driver to another team. I think Jr. was just trying to make Teresa look bad to his fans. He needs to get over it and move on. He won’t get control of DEI anytime soon, if ever. If he and his sister had curtailed their greed and been nice to Teresa, they might have someday been brought into the brain trust of DEI. Now I wonder.
“The odds are that merchandising revenues for the number will fall to probably one tenth of what they are at this point in time, but it will still be more revenue than DEI would have realized if they simply let the number leave to follow Junior over to Hendrick Motorsports.”
That’s almost certainly untrue. Let’s say that next year you get the duo of Mark Martin and Aric Almirola in the 8. Are they going to generate more revenue because the number is 8 than they would if it was some other random number?
Of course not. There’s no connection there. So the immediate value there is basically zero. And in fact, the immediate value is probably negative, because sales of 8 gear this year will most likely plummet to near zero. But if the number was going with Junior to be on the Diet Pepsi Max Chevy at Hendrick next year, they wouldn’t have nearly as much.
So Mother Teresa is cutting herself out of revenues out of spite – if DEI were a publicly traded company there would be shareholder lawsuits about right now.
I couldn’t get past the second paragraph on this opinion piece (ok I peeked at the third and nearly threw up). What a bunch of crap. First off, how do you know how much time she spent building this thing? And according to you, how much time he didn’t spend? I’ve been Dale Sr. fan since he was driving the yellow and blue cars and nearly everything I’ve ever read beyond his driving was of his business acumen. To imply that all he ever did was turn the wheel and sign autographs is crap. As for ‘it being rather well known that Teresa was the driving force and building the company from the ground up’ might be a little over stated. I acknowledge Teresa’s marketing ability and how she did lead the way in convincing Dale Sr. the importance of marketing his image and making money from it but to give her total credit beyond that seems to be a bit of reach. I’ll also give her credit for perhaps helping him understand the value of the business side of the sport instead of just wheeling a car although I’m sure that would have progressed naturally. Marketing is very important but deals are not made without a great salesman and an executive to sign off, and at the end of the day he was both of those roles. But as for being the brains in building the company from the ground up, I bet the likes of Don Hawk, Pops and Ty Norris might have a perspective to add on that point. With that said, do you really think she hired the crews and guys in the shop? Do think she was the one who personally made it a directive of the organization to build the best super speedway cars in NASCAR? Do think it’s coincidence that the domination of the super speedway program wasn’t maintained and generally the performance fell off in the years after his death? (and Hawk left, and Norris left, and Pops was marginalized and now left?) I could go on but the point of relinquishing majority control to Jr., thus leaving the other children out in the cold, is a fabrication as I haven’t read anywhere that he wasn’t willing to pay for such control. And for not being able to handle it, Jr. just might be smarter than we all know. What seems to be petty in this whole thing is as it seems. But to make her out to be bigger than Roger Penske and to marginalize Dale Sr. is what really stinks.
I’m glad he got away from the trailer trash control freak. He’s better off anywhere away from her.
give Teresa the credit she is due—don’t make her the Nascar role model—she steered Dale the right direction to profit from his marketing ability—that she did for her need for power—Dale did the decisions that made DEI the formidable race team that it became—after Dale was no longer there to assure the money would continue to be invested in the “racing” aspect what did MaMa Teresa do??? She spent all the time and money making sure that every dollar possible was made off the #3 and any other marketing side of the business while the teams did without necessary equipment….This is what Jr. wanted to stop——
Paul,every team has a directive from the boss to build the best and fastest super speedway cars. And the reason for the decline of the DEI speedway dominance could just as easily be that Dale Jr. wasn’t getting the job done as driver. The information about Teresa’s huge role in the building of DEI actually came from Don Hawk and Ty Noris over the years. Who would know better than they?
People are making this out to be a Jr. vs. Teresa battle. If jr. is like his dad, all he should want to do is drive. If people want to see the sour grapes on this whole deal, look to Kelly. In his will, Dale left the company to Teresa, not the kids. And contrary to what some people wrote, Teresa read and approved all contracts that went through DEI. Dale himself acknowledged Teresa as being the person that MADE him trademark his signature. Dale was a great driver, but he gave a lot of trust over to Teresa. And I don’t think that trust was undeserved. As far as theh red nation, I am still a Dale Earnhardt fan, not a Jr. fan. But my driver of choice is now Tony Stewart, as close a throwback to Dale as there is today. Drives hard, and pushes his car into places other people don’t try. Sound familiar?
According to last night’s Wind Tunnel, Dale Earnhardt just fell off of the list of the top selling deceased celebrities. I think that only happened because fans are not going to give a dollar to Teresa. She has to know this. I think that she wouldn’t release the #8 because it was personal. I think she is actually costing herself money because of her feelings about Junior.
A few thoughts on your article re: teresa
If her marketing skills are so great, why do we not see more yellow number fifteen items in the sea of red at the several races I attend each year? You see some hunters and fishermen in the red and black of the number one because the sponsor is soo cool. teresa’s part in the marketing of Dale Jr. is cashing the checks he generates. The same thing she did when Dale was alive. Dale hired Junior, teresa the great NASCAR expert would never have done that, would she?
John Story, a DEI Official said the following about Almirola:
“We would never subject him to that. It’s too much pressure for a young guy,” Story said. “If we were to put Aric in a car, it would be some other color than red and some other number than 8. Aric is going to be a star, and he needs his own identity.”
DEI under teresa wants to develop an identity for their drivers, but they have no respect for Dale Jr. and the identity he has worked hard to develop, or the revenue which they have already received from it.
IF teresa had a heart, she would GLADLY give Jr. the 8 and thank him for the checks she has already cashed due to his efforts.
I will NOT support any sponsor on the #8 car and will boo any driver who is announced as the driver of the 8 car. Yes, even Mark Martin, whom I respect.
Get the hint teresa; you are on the WRONG side of this issue!!!
low class = lower case “t”
Anyone who claims to have been a “Dale Sr. fan” or to know what “Dale Sr. would have wanted” lacks all credibility.
There was no “Dale Sr.” The man insisted that he was Dale Earnhardt. Period.
Those who don’t know that or won’t respect that simply can’t be taken seriously on this issue.
To quote Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
“Before I met her, I owed the bank money, now the bank owes me money”
Dale Earnhardt, Sr. left his part of the company to the person responsible for building the company and the person he trustedâ€¦ Teresa Earnhardt. Period end of story.
Jr. had needs to get over his entitlement trust fund baby mindset and act like a adult instead of a six year old.
I agree with Sal. Teresa could have looked like a hero to the fans by giving up the number. I’d speculate why she didn’t because of spite.
Let’s go to the tape. Direct from the mouth of Ty Norris.
Barry, I agree wholeheartedly. The article giving Teresa the majority of the credit for making the #8 as famous as it is right now. Hogwash. The most important element in that is Dale Jr, which I would consider to be about 90% of the reason the number is so popular. Without Dale Jr, the #8 would be no different from the #15 or the #1. If Teresa is so important in the process, why aren’t those number just as valuable?
Personally, I think the #8 should stay with DEI, but not for the reasons stated in this article. Dale Jr decided to leave and create a new legacy. In my mind, that should include a new number. But, to think that Teresa was the main factor in the #8 being so popular, BS.
It’s probably best that Junior make a complete, clean break with DEI. He has no God given right to the 8. When other drivers switch teams, they don’t take their numbers with them. Let’s just move on, I’m tired of hearing about this.
Johnny paycheck was a race car driver??? Awesome….LOL
I will NOT support any sponsor on the #8 car and will boo any driver who is announced as the driver of the 8 car. Yes, even Mark Martin, whom I respect……..
What a Turd!!!! IT’s A FRICK’N # …..I only hope hms gives JR a number without an 8 in it so you’ll have to get that TATOO covered up…HE..he..he…RIP RED NATION!!!!!!!!
I think this whole episode is nothing more than a slick marketing campaign by the brilliant businessman Rick Hendrick. By making the Earnhardt Family Feud a public spectacle, the Junior Nation gets emotionally charged up. When the new Jr. merchandise “hits the shelves,” they will be all primed to plunk down their hard earned cash for Jr’s new team colors and “goodies.” They will show Teresa that she is not going to get away with being a “Bully!”
Rick Hendrick and Dale Jr. are already laughing about their future trips to the bank. They may even have to buy their own “Brinks Trucks!”
Whaa..Whaa…Whaa…to all you Teresa fans. I was a solid Teresa fan a few years ago. Jr. has NEVER asked for anything to be handed to him. He’s the most honest and stand-up guy you could ever hope to meet, and he accepts full responsiblity for his shortcomings. I agree with several others – Teresa is being given way too much credit in this article. Without marrying Dale and without his money, nobody would even know her name. If you saw the NASCAR Illustrated issue with Dale Jr. on the cover, look inside – you’ll see a picture of a very sour and spiteful woman. It’s greed and it’s vengeance – both are pretty unattractive. I’m so disappointed in her. This is not the woman that Dale was married to. She has morphed into something that even Dale would have a hard time accepting.
So Mr. Eastman, how is this your problem? The Junior Nation will buy up his merchandise just as eagerly whether it’s brand spankin’ new from the ground up stuff or the same ole’ same ole’.
Funny that Kerry as not came out backing Jr and his sister . Kerry would have know what Sr wanted done with DEI . So we have to thing Kerry is Ok with the way DEI as done thing . He know that Jr was not the one Sr wanted to run DEI.
Guess the Jr fans have to come up with something to talk about because their boy ain’t making the Chase. Whether you like her or not, Teresa runs the show. She gets to decide who gets what and when. Does the 8 have familial tradition? You bet, but since when does the world of NA$CAR care about tradition? Southern 500 anyone? Virtually no numbers are retired in NA$CAR or held for certain drivers, the 3 is the only one I can think of. Did the Wood Brothers hold the 21 when Pearson retired? Nope. Did the Petty’s hold the 43 for another Petty? Nope. Point is, the number doesn’t matter; its the driver behind the wheel that makes the difference.
You people amaze me. Not a single one of you are worried about Teresa or Junior, it is the thousands of dollars you have each spent on Jr 8 jackets, cars, tattoos, and whatever else is for sale. Now you are crying because the tattoos won’t come off and the memorabilia will probably be a support of Kasey Kahne. You people are the ones who ruined racing to start with. More power to Teresa, more power to Dale Jr. He He, This Bud’s for you.
I was a Dale Sr. fan & am a Jr. fan, not so much anymore though. Jr & everyone else need to get over the whole deal. DEI belongs to Teresa Earnhardt like it or not. There’s no reason to be mad at her, owners have rights too. Ifyou have to mad at someone be mad at Dale Sr. he’s the one that made the will that left it all to her, if he had wanted to leave it to Jr. he probably would have it stated in the will.So why should she just turn it over to Jr. if his daddy meant him to run it, again he would have put it in the will.It looks to me like it’s mostly Kelly wanting control & trying to use Jr. to get it.meanwhile damaging his career.May be wrong butI think his move to the cheatingest team in NASCAR was a mistake.He wanted a clean break from DEI well he got it Budweiser #8 & all, live with it Jr. & Kelly
To Abby, just how well do you know Jr.? From your post it seems you know him personally. How do you figure he never ask for anything? How about demanding 51% of DEI? If my only son came to me & wanted control of my company he would get booted out of my office.I’m sure I’ll leave it to him in my will, like Dale did Teresa, not Jr., Kelly Kerry, or Taylor. DEI is Teresa’s get over it.Is Kyle Busch taking #5 to Gibbs with him, I think not.Besides 81 other drivers have had the #8 it’s not exclusive to the Earnhardt family.
Jr. is on his way to becoming a Jeff Gordon of sorts. It’s becoming a love/hate relationship with the fans. The only difference is Gordon can drive.
I am a Hendrick Motorsports fan, am now and always have been. The only exception, I was a Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan also before his untimely death in 2001. I am very troubled by some of the recent comments I have read from Dale, Jr. after DEI advised him that he would not be given the #8 to use at Hendrick Motorsports next year and beyond. The most troubling to me is the quote from Dale Jr. taken from NASCAR Scene, dated August 23, 2007. It states the following: â€œSo what number will Earnhardt Jr. race?â€ â€œEarnhardt Jr. said he is considering a number with an 8 in it, and encourages his fans to be patient.â€ “I’m definitely going to look at some 80s and things like that,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “That’s just common sense. I want a number that I’m going to like and it’s going to be a number I like, and it’s going to be one I design. And I’ll design the shape and the look and it will be mine, and we will build a new identity with that.
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