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 · Monday October 22, 2007
One week ago, it looked like Jeremy Mayfield’s Nextel Cup career was nearing a difficult, painful ending. But just when you thought the two-time Chaser was down and out for good … he’s been given one final chance.
It was announced on Monday that Mayfield is going to drive the No. 66 car for Haas CNC Racing for the rest of this season and all of 2008. That ride was occupied, until this week, by Jeff Green, who has now been unceremoniously shoved to the unemployment line. While the seat is not the A-level ride Mayfield’s desired since announcing he’d leave Bill Davis Racing at the end of 2007, it still represents an opportunity, one more chance to prove he can still make a living driving in the Cup series.
After a series of tough endings with top teams, he needs to make the most of this one.
Mayfield has been around the Cup series for a long time. He made his Cup debut in 1993 driving a car for the Sadler Brothers; after a short stint with them and a similar underfunded team owned by T.W. Taylor the following year, he began driving for Cale Yarborough. Mayfield had an unspectacular run with Yarborough, compiling just two Top 5s and three Top 10s in two years with the team before moving elsewhere. Mayfield was then hired by Michael Kranefuss and drove the 1997 season for him, accumulating three Top 5s and eight Top 10 finishes. A breakout year for what was then a single car program, Mayfield’s flashes of brilliance that season proved a sign of things to come.
Kranefuss was bought out by racing legend Roger Penske in the offseason, and all of a sudden, Mayfield was given every opportunity in the world to succeed. He did just that: over the next four seasons, he won three races, accumulating 28 Top 5s and 47 Top 10s with what became the No. 12 Mobil 1 car. After his relationship with Penske deteriorated during a prolonged slump at the end of his tenure, Mayfield was released near the end of the 2001 season and picked up by Evernham Motorsports, with whom he’d drive the next five years. Again, it was a place where Mayfield was handed the tools needed to be successful, and he did not disappoint his new owner: he scored two wins, 15 Top 5s, and 38 Top 10s, making the Chase in each of its first two years of existence. But after struggling much of last year, Mayfield was left out in the cold before being picked up by Bill Davis Racing for 2007. Driving for a brand new team, it’s proven to be the most difficult year of his long career; making just 13 races, Mayfield has failed to qualify nineteen times, with no Top 10 finishes to his credit.
Through it all, there was a common thread among Mayfield's departures from Yarborough, Penske, and Evernham; he spoke disparagingly about the team and the equipment he was being provided each time. The end result was that the owners felt as though Mayfield was causing a disruption within their organization, and they decided it was time to part ways. His knack of causing controversy on the way out the door peaked in the middle of last season, where Mayfield responded to struggles within the No. 19 team by suing the team and leaking through court documents that Ray Evernham was dating a female driver that’s half his age, Erin Crocker. Since then, the veteran’s been running around the garage with a bit of a black eye; despite impressive credentials, most top-level owners were hesitant to even interview him for big rides this Silly Season due to past transgressions. As a result, Mayfield lost out on prime opportunities with DEI, Childress, and several other organizations.
Realizing how this has affected his future, Mayfield has not spoken poorly of BDR, a small team that is trying to compete with the big dogs of the sport with Toyota’s new Camry. Either Mayfield has learned to keep his mouth shut, or he actually realized that he is in a situation where his equipment is simply not going to be on par with the bigger teams, giving him no reason to truly complain.
Now, Mayfield is moving to another organization struggling to keep up with the superteams he once drove for. Haas CNC is not on par with the Hendrick, Roush Fenway, ot Gillett Evernhams of the world; they are a smaller team that is trying to make a name for themselves on a shoestring budget. Like with BDR, Mayfield is going to be challenged to try and keep up with the frontrunners when his equipment is not up to the level of the bigger teams. So the question will be, can Mayfield curb his tongue and work within the framework of the limited opportunities that he will be presented with, or will his mouth get him in trouble again?
While no one will admit to it, the rumor is that Mayfield has been blackballed by the big teams for those comments about his former owners. His resume speaks for itself; making the Chase twice since its inception is something that many other drivers cannot claim. In fact, Mayfield has more wins than quite a few of the drivers who are currently in the series, and has proven to be quite marketable in his commercial appearances over the years. Despite all that, only Haas CNC was willing to take a chance on him, speaking volumes about the current reputation he possesses in this sport. No question, this is Mayfield’s likely last chance to make it in big time auto racing; if this ride doesn't work out, he’ll likely spend the rest of his career racing Trucks, or be completely out of NASCAR altogether.
The driver who Mayfield is replacing is one that has simply never had the kind of success that many people predicted for him. Until Harvick's domination of the Busch series last year, Jeff Green owned the largest winning margin in the history of the Busch Series Championship, and has been given several opportunities on NASCAR’s top level. However, Green's Cup career has been marked by rides with a handful of owners, with his only real success coming with Richard Childress. During the 2002 season, he scored four Top 5s and six Top 10s while driving for RCR. However, in 2003 he only scored one Top 10 finish, and was released by Childress 12 races into the season after a public spat with Kevin Harvick. He made starts for DEI and Petty Enterprises after that, but didn't see much success with them, either. Green actually spent the majority of 2004 and 2005 with Petty, but only put one Top 10 on the board during his tenure there. The last two years, he has been driving for Haas CNC with similar results. In fact, he has accounted for five Top 10 finishes in just under two seasons with the team.
Green has always been thought to have the talent to be a big time driver in NASCAR, but for whatever reason, the chemistry has just never worked out. Will he get another shot? It’s going to be a tough road to hoe. He is 45 years old, which is well outside of the demographic that most of today's owners consider driver material. Barring a surprising development, this may very well be the end of the road for Green's Cup career.
It will be interesting to see where the careers of these two drivers will go from here. Mayfield has shown flashes of brilliance through the years, but has also consistently shown an ability to irritate his owners until they let him go. Meanwhile, Green has the potential to do better than he has, but has never lived up to it at the Cup level…and now, it may be too late. The modern world of NASCAR is turning more and more to younger drivers. Ironically, these two aging warriors are both from the same hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky, a link to racing’s past that finds himself slowly fading away.
At least Mayfield is assured one more shot before the curtain closes.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
i think this is a fair look at both drivers.most writers would probably unfairly bash both drivers.
Its eazy to see how mayfield could be black balled.Owners don’t like one guy disrupting the entire team.
Its not as if Mayfield has had the best of circumstances. He had to deal with being Rusty Wallace’s teammate at Penske which by all accounts was no easy token, as his relationship with Newman was getting strained as well just before his retirement.
Then, at Evernham, after making the chase 2 straight years they decided that the new face of Dodge, Kasey Kahne, needed all of Mayfields equipment to be succesful and the two essentially swapped rides.
I don’t think its fair to blame Mayfield in these situations without at least presenting the situation for what it was. If anything Mayfield should be praised for pursuing other opportunities instead of putting up with the crap he was dealt with.
You know what they say about complainers – he who complains the most; cares the most. Unfortunately, the Amercian way is to hate haters. Same with whistleblowers. We’ll listen to what they have to say, then they quickly get trashed and their lives are junk forever. To be successful today, ya just gotta shut up and shovel sh!t until you can find a quiet exit. Let someone else find the problems and mistakes with the company you’re associated with. Put the blinders on and do your job, or quit. Simple as that. I’d like to see Mayfields “black eye” dissappear as quickly as Kurt Busch’s.
With his reputation for very public whining and ride-hopping, I really didn’t expect Mayfield to find a full-time Cup seat so quickly after his release from BDR. The Haas team already has distractions off-track, with the owner facing legal problems. This combination just seems destined for failure.
It’s ironic that Mayfield’s teammate next years will be another former EMS driver, Scott Riggs. Riggs has shown a lot more class in my opinion and deserves a second chance. It’s not likely he’ll get his breakthrough with with Haas, but if he can be consistant and keep the car in the top 35 it should be good enough to prolong his career.
People need to get the whole story & put themself in his shoes before you start putting him down. At Penske it was Rusty’s doing to start giving him sub par equipment & have him banned from his own garage because Jeremy was doing better than Rusty & Rusty didn’t like it. Rusty also publicly apologized to Jeremy for the way he was treated at Penske by him. Then at EMS after making the chase the first 2 years & the ‘Golden Child’ didn’t Jeremy again was given sub par equiment. He did NOT spout off about things until asked by the press about his problem performance – which he answered honestly. The problem came when Ray ‘fired him’ with no plans to pay him the rest of the year & put Bill Elliot in the car that he took it to court & from there it was released about Erin. Jeremy did not publicly bring that out – the press did. If Ray would have just paid him what he was owed – it never would have happened.
Mayfield will not last a year in any car. He will want them all rebuilt tot his spec’s. And then it will be someone elses fault
Boy I’ll tell you this sure looks like the reshuffling of the decks as the silly seasons of old. You could give either Riggs or Mayfield the best stuff right now, Hendrick equipment and you still wouldn’t see any top ten’s from these guys. The guy they should have kept that has huge potential was Sauter! He actually accomplished a big task this year by racing inferior equipment into a top 35 owner’s point which would be the envy of all the other new teams this year! The legendary Woods Brothers can’t even do that this year!! Sauter can flat out drive on flat tracks and in a couple of years plan on seeing him in victory lane with Robby Gordon Motorsports and in the top 35 in owner’s points!!! The other two will both fall out and Gene Haas can pout about his managements poor decisions from prison! Getting rid of Green who overachieved with 2nd rate equipment is a huge mistake as well! You know Mayfield has been floating around for what 10?13? years now and he’s done little more than Kyle Petty on the track in that same time. He’s not some hot commodity that can just jump in and change an organization by himself! One win every couple of years is not that impressive when your racing a lap or more down most weekends!!! Mike you can quote his Penske statistics all you want but without that superior equipment he wouldn’t have achieved even those meager statistics!
The thing I find funny is this author is calling GEM a top team! There highest driver is 20th in points, and Sadler has been falling in points every week. The 10 car has been bad all year!
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