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
Tuesday March 4, 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.
This weekend, Brian France was in Indianapolis to meet with Bruton Smith and Ron Dennis of McLaren on various topics facing the sport. After the meetings, he took the time to address the media on multiple topics. Bruton Smith was also stopped outside of the NASCAR hauler to answer a couple of questions as well.
France spoke first about Dennis’ presence and the fact that he would like to provide quite a bit of advanced technology to the Cup series. “I met with him this weekend,” France explained. “Look, we’ve been real clear. We’re on a steady march to more technology in the cars, which is historically unlike us in some respects, provided that it doesn’t burden the teams with additional costs that don’t translate to our fan base, and obviously that we can enforce whatever new technologies. The final thing is to make sure that it makes racing better.”
“No question about it, fuel injection is something we’re going to evolve to here in the short run. You said tire pressures and so on. If there’s ways to use technology that are enforceable and sensible financially, of course we’re going to do that.”
“It’s our slow, steady march. Fits into the green economy. Fits into where the manufacturers are obviously going. So any number of things you’re going to be able to look at. But they’ll just have to fit our criteria that I’ve laid out. That’s where we’ll end up.”
France then spoke about the reported schedule change requests by ISC and SMI and when the schedule changes will be known. “All requests are in,” he said. “They all have lots of effects, as you can imagine. When anything moves around of significance on the Cup schedule, it has consequences for the second part, whatever part of the schedule you look at.”
“We’re digesting that, making sure it fits into our TV partners, fits into the track operators that have made the requests, all the other partners who count on the schedule to be done sort of correctly.”
“I hope we’re on the final throws of that. We had meetings this morning on that. I sense that we’ll be close to wrapping that up here in probably a week or two. There will be some changes as I look now, that could not quite materialize, but I sense it will. We’ll have some pretty impactful changes to the schedule that I think will be good for NASCAR fans.”
“Historically, we put our schedule out as early as we can, usually no later than September. We’ll meet that deadline. The question is, we may do it slightly different. By the way, when you agree on a schedule, then you have to have sanction agreements that are executed, everybody has to agree on that. That process is simultaneous to the schedule.”
“My sense is that will all be wrapped up here shortly. I don’t know how it will get released, but it looks like there are going to be some interesting, good changes for the schedule in terms of how fans get to events, which events they’ll attend. There’s been a big cooperation. Everybody has a slice of the pie that they want to make sure fits them perfectly. And so we’ve had to adjust that around where it fits everyone in the industry. That’s gone fairly well. Almost ready to announce something shortly.”
France then immediately transitioned, commenting on changes to the Chase. “Let me tell you two things,” he said. “One is, we’re going to make changes in the Chase that we think would serve us well for many, many years. If that means it’s not something we’re reacting to, whether it’s lower ratings than we want, something like that. And I would remind you we look at these things annually. Looked at it very hard last year, almost a similar format change that is being proposed. There are few, but one in particular that we didn’t think the timing was right. Making changes in lots of other areas, there’s only so much you can do from a change-all-at-once approach. But whatever we do, it will be with the industry having lots of chances to weigh in, and us, in the end thinking this is something that we can build around that enhances winning, enhances the championship, gives us more of a playoff field than we currently have now — if that’s where we end up.”
“We haven’t made a decision. We may not think the timing is right. We’re doing some research. I’ll be in some focus groups myself on the 11th of August listening to fans directly as they hear the idea. Today, for us to do anything major requires a lot of buy-in, which we get. It requires a lot of input, which we get. So it’s not surprising that when we’re getting that input, some people haven’t heard it all, don’t like it, how it may affect them. They’re competitors. I don’t know if there’s anything we could present to Jimmie Johnson – I don’t blame him, by the way – on a championship format that he thinks is as good as what we have now. That’s not surprising. We take all that into consideration.”
“The second bigger issue is – it kind of fits into what we’re doing now anyway in looking over the long run in the sport – how does it fit in when the economy and other things we were doing were creating so much demand? A lot of those things are different today – different not just for the economy, but different because there’s better ways to approach things. You saw that on all the on-track decisions we made, which we think were the right ones. Double-file restarts, the way we decide the ending of events, so on, so forth. The news we made with the spoiler. On and on that goes. We think that fits better, not regulating the sport is hard.”
“Now we’re going to get a review of ourselves on things we can improve on, the Chase being one. There’s many, many others. It’s what you do when you’re going through things and there’s a headwind. Things aren’t as easy as they have been in the past. This is the time when you don’t necessarily do anything you feel like. Obviously, it has to be thought out. But this is a time when the industry can reposition some things that we can improve on. Tracks are doing a lot of that now. Team owners, drivers, ourselves all come together. Our TV partners all come together to give us some changes in some areas.”
“We’ve been at this 60 years. You’re going to have some peaks and valleys. Sometimes, when you’re in a little bit of a valley for whatever reason, that’s the time to look at all the things you can improve on, make the changes, go forward, and sail back up. That’s how we’re looking at the Chase and everything else for the future.”
“Not changing the Chase is definitely a viable option. The Chase we think is certainly better, although we haven’t seen the results of that as often as we’d like, but certainly better than the total consistency model that was in place for so many years. But regarding the options that we have on the table, there’s no question that the only ones we would consider are ones that make winning at a given moment more important than they are today.”
“How do you do that? Well, there’s obviously a number of ways to do that. It comes with some version, as you go along, where certain races in the Chase, you have to win, you have to win or do very, very well to, in fact, move on. Only thing I would say is, when you peel that back and look at it, it’s not that different. It sort of forces that, like every other playoff and tournament kind of does. But the truth is, you know, there’s a lot of people eliminated from the Chase, not necessarily mathematically, but they would tell you by the fifth race in. If you’re way, way behind, you only have five races to catch up, you’re probably eliminated at that point. That’s no different.”
“So, if we formalize that a little bit, make sort of a transfer event feel like we have at Richmond, you know, that will be interesting. The last thing I’d make on the Chase. If we have the perfect Chase that we would love to see, it would be just like every commissioner would tell you: They’d love to see great playoff events, as many game seven series as possible. When they get to either game seven or the final of the NCAA tournament, the Super Bowl, whatever the sporting event, they’re going to tell you it’s an action-packed, close game, lots of storylines. That’s what they’re after. I mean, that’s what anybody is after. We’re no different. If we can have our format be more consistent with delivering those results and still have the flavor of NASCAR, which we obviously, with 43 teams, the same time, different dynamics than anybody else has, we’ll weigh all that, figure that out, sort the right format.”
“The truth is, whatever we do is not going to be all that much different in terms of every formula we’ve run. Jimmie Johnson would win anyway. Winning and being the best, we’re going to balance that out correctly.”
Finally, France commented on Carl Edwards’ actions at Gateway. “Well, Carl went too far. We think some contact, especially late in the race, is part of NASCAR. There are limits to that. The limits are pretty obvious. You can’t just spin somebody around, especially intentionally. That’s number one. But is there going to be contact? The issue that Carl had probably above it all is he already had a history with Brad, so he wasn’t going to get any kind of benefit of the doubt about was that just racing or whatever else. So, you know, the point is, there have got to be limits. On the other hand, we’ve opened it up where the drivers… this is the big leagues, you’re going to have contact here. These are full-body cars. You saw it at Loudon a few weeks ago, you saw a lot of contact late in the race. That’s part of it.”
Meanwhile, Bruton Smith was very non-committal on which tracks he’s asked NASCAR to move dates from. He made no bones about the fact that Las Vegas would like to have another race, and that has been asked for many times. He agreed that Kentucky has at least been mentioned in terms of receiving a Cup date.
Smith assured the assembled media that Kentucky Motor Speedway could add an additional 50,000 to 70,000 seats in 90 days, so if NASCAR agrees to move a date there for the 2011 season, they will be able to accommodate the increase in number of fans visiting the facility for such a big event.
Smith said that the trip to Indianapolis was just planned in the last week, with himself and Marcus deciding to come up for the race and spend some time visiting with Mary Hulman George.
Smith also put in a plug for Las Vegas Motor Speedway to be the track to host the season finale race. He feels it would be an ideal location, and would afford the sanctioning body the opportunity to host the awards banquet shortly thereafter, so that the drivers would not have to travel as much and the fans could plan to stay in the area to attend the event.
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Dude…I hit “indifferent” in your poll and voted and it says I voted “less confident”. Kinda makes me lack confidence in your poll actually. Jeff
I hope he leaves the Chase format alone. I am not a fan of it, but if he keeps it the same it might catch on over time.
It might be nice to see them rotate the tracks around for the chase a little bit. I wouldn’t be opposed to Las Vegas getting the last race of the year, although Bristol, Richmond, or Martinsville would be more exciting. That would only work if the weather cooperated in November. Maybe even change the last race of the regular season every year.
Is “impactful” a word?
Was Brian drunk? I had to read his comments a couple of times to understand what he was saying. Hey Brian, drop the chase…give the winner of the race 100 bonus points and at the end of the year total all the points from all the races and thats your champ…sounds simple to me.
No brian wasn’t drunk, he had a nose full coke!! His brain is dead!!Oppps, now I am in the same boat as Ghost!!
The real Brian France.
The grandson destroys what the grandfather started and his father improved.
I don’t believe Brian France could manage a lemonade stand.
Why not race 34 races, then let the top 12 drivers race 3 races (Fri, Sat, Sun) in Phoenix and then only the 6 best goes to Homestead, 3 races, 3 days and most points at Homestead is the champ.
That’s your play-off Mr France… speaking of which why wasn’t he fined yet under rule 12.1 for bringing the sport in disrepute?
Tha chase “might improve over time?” Does fish smell better the longer you leave it out?
Everyday we see a company destroyed by the grandson. Brian is a idiot. Nascar will fall and brian will ask why.
did anyone catch that comment he said (QUOTE)Double-file restarts, the way we decide the ending of events, so on, so forth
Brian France would to go watch the Bare Naked Ladies expecting to see nude women.
Well, I know every time I hear Brainless run his mouth I get less and less interested in NASCAR as “entertainment” since it sure isn’t racing any more.
And that nonsense with the fines for drivers is a crock. Gee, wait, I can’t figure out for myself that NASCAR is manipulating the end of races or that I think the ugly car is, wait, UGLY. No, if one of the drivers didn’t say it, I’d think everything was just wonderful.
Geez, half the problem is that France, Helton, Pemberton, Darby, Poston and the rest of them think the fans are stupid. Just step right up, give us your $$ and don’t worry, you’ll love it! Even if it has become garbage.
Not gonna waste an entire Sunday afternoon watching Pocono that’s for sure
Wasn’t that Ron Dennis with McLaren? Any other facts need checking?
There is a good article on Jalopnik.com about whats wrong with Nascar. Some of you might find it interesting. It even seems to be properly punctuated. :)
just wondering..but..when did Kentucky go from being in the middle of a saturated market to becoming a viable interesting market..?? Did NHMS move into the ‘saturated market’ side of things..?
WTF did that woodchuck say?! My brain hurts from trying to read those ramblings! It is time to pee in a cup for him!
Notice that Brian mentioned the word “playoff” again. Wasn’t there a point in time where they refused to use that word?
I also find it funny that Kentucky could never get a Cup date and now that Bruton has bought the place it all of a sudden is now worthy? Wonder if that is grounds for a law suit by the former owners of the track?
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