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.
Carl Edwards just doesn’t get it.
We’ve heard all about Saturday night’s dustup between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski and read all of the stories, so we won’t rehash it at this point in time. Now that the drivers are back at the track and in front of the media, though, we’re getting to hear a lot of the opinions from the drivers on the incident. And to me, the most interesting comments came from Edwards himself as he faced the assembled media and fans during the top 12 driver availability.
Those choice comments carried with them a running theme Friday – no apology. In fact, if anything Edwards seemed more defiant about keeping his personality and driving style the way it is, despite a 60-point penalty, $25,000 fine, and probation for wrecking Keselowski on the last lap.
Here’s some quote highlights. Carl noted it’s a fine line between being walked on and being a bully:
“If someone takes something from you in competition, and they take it unfairly,” he claimed. “Then you either accept that and you can go on and live with that, which, Saturday night I couldn’t, or you go get it back.”
Then, he moved on to whether his image has taken a hit over this incident:
“I’m me. I’m Carl. I go out there and I didn’t get here by allowing anybody to run over me. He took the win away from me and I took it back from him. That’s what I said after the race and the only bad part is that other people were involved, and I apologize to those people and I accept my penalty for it. My fans understand me and the people that I’ve talked to – it’s funny how you go around and people – to a person – people felt like that race went the way it should have. Multiple drivers said that.”
When asked if it is not okay to move someone out of the way to gain a position:
“It’s not OK to move me out of the way. If somebody else wants to let people move them out of the way for the win, that’s OK with me. They can do whatever they like, but I can’t allow myself to be run over like that. I’m not gonna win championships like that.”
Talking about whether he’d ever moved anyone:
“Let me put it this way; the times when I’ve moved someone out of the way for whatever reason I thought was OK at the time, I have fully expected retaliation and every driver that’s in here knows that feeling. That’s part of our sport, and NASCAR has said that they believe that’s the best way for this sport to [do it] – and I think that’s true.”
Discussing if Keselowski’s bump and run was intentional, or a mistake, and the wrecks that occurred in the aftermath of his actions:
“I believe he did not make a mistake. That was an intentional… I mean, he moved me out of the way to gain an advantage and it almost worked. NASCAR knows what happened, and he knows what happened, and that’s why they penalized him. I believe he’s not being completely honest that that was a mistake. He’s too good of a race car driver, and I know that. Let me be really clear on this. Our actions are not very different. The outcomes are different. I respect that it is dangerous. I don’t go out and initiate – not anymore. I have before and I’ve learned it’s better not to go out and initiate contact to gain an advantage. It just comes down to, am I willing to accept somebody putting me at risk like that over and over.”
On the public outcry after the race:
“I don’t hear the public outcry. The people who I talked to seemed to think that race went well.”
It seems rather obvious from his comments that Edwards doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions on Saturday night, and feels like they were warranted based on the events that preceded them. It also appears as though the people he is talking to are reinforcing that opinion.
That begs a major question: who?
Clearly, it must not have been the ones running up front every week. Most of the Chase-contending drivers had no comment, but the ones who did were decidedly against Edwards.
“Have at it boys is not [what happened Saturday night]. Have at it boys means even if we crash each other or get into an accident or lose respect for one another, you go talk about it. That’s the ‘Have at it, Boys.’ You go behind a trailer and you talk about it. We can get in each other’s faces. That’s ‘Have at it, Boys’. Going out there and purposely crashing somebody; turning right and turning left just to crash ‘em on purpose, whether you’re winning the race or not, is not at all ‘Have at it, Boys.’ Some people have called it manslaughter or attempted manslaughter, but that’s closer to what it is. That’s not ‘Have at it, Boys’. I’m all for ‘Have at it, Boys’. Let us race. But that’s not racing. We should paint a No. 99 or No. 88 Chevy Impala for Carl to go race demolition derbies with, if that’s the case. We’re racing, we’re not demolition derbies. Brad hasn’t decked Carl yet. To me, that’s all it is. Brad just needs to go up there and lay one across his lips and everything will be fine.”
Kurt Busch: “I think the way that it has played out is that you have someone who is four or five years into the sport and a new guy. Carl has raced a lot in the Nationwide Series, and some of his tendencies are Nationwide-type things. I see that a lot of the time when he races on the Cup side. He’s doing some Nationwide things and until he decides that Cup is where he wants to be, maybe that’s how he’ll drive.”
Denny Hamlin: “That was a touchy thing. It’s two guys that I really don’t agree with at all. I think you’re only going to poke the lion long enough before you’re actually going to get bit, and Brad and Carl in my opinion was just way overboard and shouldn’t have gone that far. I don’t agree with either. I think Brad’s going to have to figure out a way to get some attention other than winning a Nationwide race or running into somebody. You look at Brad, he’s always getting into somebody; and then, it’s retaliation when somebody is getting back into him. I think that until he changes, that’s going to continue… [but] then Carl, that was just a bad move. Even though he got roughed up and maybe he got the win taken away, he was going to finish second, he wasn’t going to finish 20th. So I think that was just quite a bit overboard.”
Jeff Burton: “I think they didn’t penalize him (Carl) enough. I don’t understand why Keselowski not penalized at all. I’m still confused. And I haven’t read or heard or talked to NASCAR. I don’t know why after that incident that Brad Keselowski should be put on probation. If you drive in the corner on a restart and your car slips and you get into another driver, that’s an occurrence that happens every race. That’s what happened in that race. That’s what happened when I got into Kyle Busch at New Hampshire. That’s what happened when Kyle Busch got into me at Charlotte. That’s racing. There was nothing that was just racing. You could make the case that, yeah, he knocked him out of the way and he did. But he didn’t spin him out. He got into him a little bit. So to me, I looked at that and I said, OK, he got penalized more than I thought he should have gotten penalized. And I thought Carl got penalized less than I thought he should have been penalized.”
It seems quite apparent that the drivers, at least in the top 12 who had opinions think that Carl was the one who was out of line and that Keselowski, while he might have been aggressive, did not deserve the actions that he received.
The bottom line is racing can be a contact sport. For it to be exciting sometimes, it needs to be a contact sport. However, there is a time and place for that contact. Passing people on a short track can be very hard, and sometimes a driver has to push another driver to force their car to handle less than optimally so that they can get by. When done properly, the bump and run is a thing of beauty. The driver following bumps the driver ahead, the car slides up slightly, and the front car has to lift or loses enough grip that the car behind can duck below them and take the position. That action is fine on a short track, and it needs to be executed in the corner, when the cars are slowing down or getting back to the throttle – where the car behind can make contact without causing the other car to completely lose control. Those actions should never take place on a high speed race track, and they should never take place on the straightaway.
What Carl Edwards did on Saturday night wasn’t racing. He didn’t move the other car to gain an advantage. He destroyed the other car to ensure he would get past him, and he’d have no chance to get back to him or win the race. Carl maintains that their actions were the same, but the outcomes were different. There is no way that Brad Keselowski could have saved his car, even if he was the greatest race car driver to have ever lived because Edwards did not hit him in the bumper. Edward hooked his car in the quarterpanel and turned the car for Keselowski. When Keselowski bumped Edwards, it was from behind and Edwards continued to have control over his race car. When a car turns 90 degrees on a race track, the driver is no longer in control of the car and it is impossible for him to do anything but hold on. Had Edwards lifted at the moment he made contact, the outcome could have been different, but he stayed on the gas and drove through Keselowski, ensuring that he could not control his car. At that point, Keselowski was just along for the ride.
Jeff Burton summed the event up very well in his press conference: ”The proper response wasn’t available to Carl because when they got off the racetrack, the third-place car got there. Now you’ve got the third-place car, or perhaps the second-place car even on the first place car’s bumper. So Carl couldn’t get in the position he needed to get in to give the proper response. The proper response would have been to return the bump and run. That would have been perfectly acceptable. You know, get him in the rear bumper, knock him back off the racetrack. You do it to me, I’ll do it to you. That would have been a perfectly normal and natural response with very little said about it. That wasn’t presented to him, because the second or third-place car, depending on where he was running, got behind Keselowski, and he couldn’t get to him. So that’s what created Carl feeling like he had to do what he did. That’s my opinion. I’m not in Carl’s head, but in watching the race as soon as it happened, I said ‘he’s going to get him back.’ So instead of waiting for three or four weeks, he decided to get it back right then, and the only way to get it back right then was to do what he did. That wasn’t the right response.”
There is moving someone and there is wrecking someone. You move someone when you’re a faster car and you try to get by the one in front for some time and you can’t, or it is the last lap and you’re going for a win. You bump their car and you drive underneath them. You do not pull up next to them part way, and then turn into their bumper. That is wrecking someone, which is exactly what Edwards did Saturday night, and wrecking someone is unacceptable. There are hundreds of people working on these race cars every week, putting in tremendous hours and trying to get it all done on a budget. When you wreck someone, you increase the workload for the people working on the cars, not to mention causing them to lose a car that is pretty good or it wouldn’t be at the front to begin with. So no matter how long Carl denies it, or how many of his cronies tell him he did a great job winning the race, he stepped over the line and went from racing to wrecking. There’s no place in the sport for that, and he needs to understand it. Maybe Keselowski or someone else really does need to sock him in the mouth to drive that point home.
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Well said, Mike. I never pulled for Kyle Busch to win a race as hard as I was pulling for him to hold off Edwards last night. Edwards’ comments this weekend prove that his nice-guy cover is completely blown; he’s a jerk with anger issues that he’s yet to deal with.
NO, YOU don’t get it.
If they had finished at Gateway the way they went into the first turn, they would have earned the same number of points. As they finished Carl got 59 more points. Carl got penalized 60 points. He lost 1 point net relative to Keselowski. BFD.
Prize money was low $50s for Carl, in $40s for K going into 1st turn. K ended up in low $20s. Nascar fined Carl $25000, ending up netting him with about the same relative difference as before going into 1.
I’m NOT a Kyle B. fan but I was happy to see him win the nationwide race.
Too bad they put Brad on probation. I expect he would gladly pay a 25,000 fine to hook Edwards like Edwards wrecked him.
Kyle B said it best last night after his win when asked about Carl when you treat a guy with respect you get respect
Hey Neff, since your so mighty with the pen and all, why don’t you punch Carl?
Future articles from a hospital perspective might be humorous.
Some wrecks you can’t tell what happened for certain. Others it is just plain obvious, which this one was. Turning left into someone else’s right rear is called “backspinning someone” and is common in low speed demolition derby, like at 30-40mph, but it definitely isn’t what someone should do at high speed as it can be very hazardous to the one getting spinned. Edwards let his emotions overcome the little common-sense he may have and he should sit out at least a couple of races. NASCAR has habitually allowed “dump to win” tactics to prevail, thinking it would improve their “show”. They are also ignoring the fact that due to “SAFER (bullshit)” barriers, HANS devices, et. al. that drivers appear to feel bullet-proof and are willing to do anything to anyone that pisses them off on track and suffer no consequences. I’d like to know what the back-flip-dip would’ve said if Brad Keselowski had died in that wreck. Carl just hasn’t got the cojones to admit what he did was chickenshit and deadly.
good article and I happen to agree with your assessment and the comments from the cup drivers.
Crazy Carl stepped way over the line and it isn’t the first time. I’m rooting for people to return the favor to him and see how he likes it when he starts finding the wall regularly from being hooked. I wonder if he’ll have a different point of view after that?
Glad it wasn’t Edwards who won the race at ORP
Rodney said, “Kyle B said it best last night after his win when asked about Carl when you treat a guy with respect you get respect”
What a pile of crap from Pee-Wee Herman to say…A guy that likes BK as much as Carl does. And…..Did Carl not poke Bush the way BK poked Carl’s car? I think….Yes!
Carl is a better driver than Brad. People should put away their prejudices and watch how Brad has driven in the past. He is like a bull in a china store. Carl is not my favorite driver. The best ones have retired or died.
Great comment old timer. But the question arises why is it ok to continually move someone and cost them multiple poitions or worse but not ok to give the instigator a little more than rubbin’s racin’ and take them out. If BK had been able to hold his car up against the wall at Gateway and not roll down the relativly flat surface and involve other cars nothing should have been done at all.
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