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.
Monday Morning Tear-Down · Mike Neff · Sunday June 5, 2011
There is no question that NASCAR racing, that racing in general, is much more interesting when there is rivalry and confrontation involved. Seeing drivers turn things up even another notch when they get near a driver they openly dislike gets the fans even further on the edge of their seats than they already are during a race. While drivers getting into fist fights in the garage and on pit road isn’t nearly as common now as it was in the early rough and tumble days of NASCAR, there are still personalities that mix like oil and water.
And they seem to somehow always end up near each other on the track during a race. The competition aspect of auto racing naturally brings out raw emotion and drivers can sometimes lose control of those emotions. However, while there is some leeway that is afforded those drivers because of the nature of the sport, that leeway isn’t extended to team owners.
This past weekend, after the Truck Series race, team owner Richard Childress let his emotions get the better of him, and it resulted in him getting kicked off pit lane for Sunday’s Cup race. It is probably going to cost him some money when fines are announced on Tuesday.
As the race came to the checkered flag, RCR driver Joey Coulter passed Kyle Busch and sealed the deal by pulling up in front of Busch abruptly, forcing him to lift out of the gas or cause a wreck. On the cool down lap Busch gave Coulter’s truck a bump on the side as the trucks were heading to the pits. Minutes later, according to eye witness accounts, Childress removed his jewelry from his hands and then approached Busch as he walked from his hauler toward his motor coach. Childress reportedly hit Busch with his fist, the two were separated and traded insults. Childress then grabbed Busch in a headlock and did his best Nolan Ryan v. Robin Ventura with three more shots to Busch’s noggin. Busch did not retaliate, other than with verbal barbs, and was not the instigator, so he did not violate his NASCAR probation after an earlier altercation with RCR driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington.
NASCAR officials met with the parties involved, along with Joe Gibbs (Kyle Busch’s team owner) on Sunday morning. The sanctioning body determined that Busch did not do anything to violate his probation, and would not be penalized as a result of the confrontation. Childress was allowed to stay at the race track but was limited in the areas where he was allowed to visit. NASCAR did not eject Childress from the track because with no other management personnel in attendance from RCR, the company needed to have someone in a leadership capacity on site. Childress is going to receive further penalties according to a statement released by NASCAR.
At the end of the day, there’s no question that NASCAR brings out passion and emotion among its members as well as its fans. But there is a responsibility for the people who are in leadership positions on the race teams involved to maintain an air of restraint in times of high emotion. Childress has certainly seen his teams in the mix of things with Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last year. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin were deeply involved in the championship hunt last year and had a run in at Dover. Busch and Harvick had their issue at Darlington last month, which resulted in both drivers being placed on probation. Harvick and Joey Logano have experienced a few different dustups over their careers, including the infamous “She wears the driver’s suit” comment at Pocono.
So when the action heated up on Saturday, there’s no doubting why Childress decided to take matters over personally. But an owner of a race team simply can’t allow himself to be sucked into a situation like that. There are too many people in a racing organization that look directly to the owner of the team for leadership. When they see him “knuckling up” on a competing team’s driver, it is sending two messages.
One message is that the owner is tired of seeing what he’s seeing and he’s going to do something about it. That message will undoubtedly inspire his troops and dedicate them further to the organization’s efforts. The second message is the more dangerous one, which is that it is OK to go after members of other organizations, to try and settle things violently. While it brings fans to the track and adds spice and excitement when people in the garage get physical with each other, the people who make the top decisions in race teams cannot let themselves be drawn into the melees, because the entire situation could devolve into chaos.
Now had Childress chased down coach Gibbs in the garage and decided to throw down, while still inappropriate, the situation would be different because they are both leaders of race organizations. The folks running NASCAR might not have seen it exactly the same, but for two owners to throw down over what goes on during races would be a fair tussle. If Childress were allowed to go after a driver and not be given a significant penalty, there would be no way for them to act any differently if the tables were turned. Say Carl Edwards put Chip Ganassi in a headlock and did some Moe Howard action on his dome. NASCAR has no choice but to nip this in the bud, and it is the right thing to do. Owners need to police their own drivers and ensure that things do not deteriorate into an all out war in the garage area.
Richard Childress is an icon in NASCAR and has hundreds of thousands of fans who look up to him for the years and championships that he has given them with Dale Earnhardt and Kevin Harvick. However, he is a man, and sometimes emotions can get the better of a man.
Which is what happened on Saturday. Richard lost his cool and is going to pay a heavy price for it. It will no doubt give him a lot of street cred among the folks who like to see garage fights, but he’ll probably have to work to repair his image in other circles, especially the ones where the big sponsorship checks come from. At the end of the day, Richard should have known better.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I agree with point #1, but point #2 is a stretch. Those crew guys on pit road will not start beating people up because Childress fought with Busch. They are humans with intellect, not conditioned animals.
Childress did not make the smartest decision, but his actions are understandable and time will do it’s job to wash the memories away. I respect him since he is the first to finally put Mr. Busch in his place.
Given that Kryle is a truck owner, I’d say that what happened was a “fair tussle.”
Lots of fans, including myself, will be glad to see Kyle Busch get a little head scrubbing. Kyle expressing his displeasure to Joey Coulter by wheel rubbing him on the cool down lap is akin to an NFL pro lining up against a high schooler then berating him for hitting him too hard.
That said, Richard Childress has always been the biggest cry-baby in NASCAR and his complaing about Busch tearing up his race cars is the pot calling the kettle black. Nobody in history tore up more cars than Dale Earhardt, not to mention the fact that Kevin Harvick does much more damage to a car during a burn-out that Kyle did wheel rubbing Coulter’s car. But Childress’s action is worse than the pot calling the kettle black, it’s the pot trying to scrub the kettle clean. Childress is a cry-baby and a hypocrite who deserves to be suspended from the race track for a lengthy period.
Kyle Busch is so good,and is so on top of his game that even the owners are pissed about it.When you are the best,jealousy runs rampant.
You are forgetting that Vile Kyle was the owner of the truck he drove. So it was an owner vs owner/driver. Gibbs is out of the mix of this as it was truck related an he does NOT own the truck driven by the punk.
I’d say that RC got tired of Nascar doing nothing to put the brakes on the attitude and actions (on and off the track) of Mr. Busch. When it became apparent no action would be taken, RC decided to go ‘old school’ on Kyle. It certainly seems better than using a race car to express your displeasure, say on pit road after a race. If one ruffles enough feathers long enough, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone is going to put their money where their mouth is.
I have to agree with the other comments that Kyle is not only the driver in the Truck series, but an owner as well. I think it plays a role in this incident. I’m not sure why Joe Gibbs is involved.
I’ve been waiting for a couple of years for someone to take Busch to the woodshed, but I didn’t expect it would be RC.
I didn’t even think about the fact that Kyle is the owner of the truck team. Still, it isn’t a good thing for owners to be duking it out either. Can’t say it wasn’t nice to see Kyle finally get a comupance.
Note to Rowdy, this aint the movies, punches hurt.
We finally see that Childress has the same punk mentality that he finds ‘admirable’ in his drivers. He always tries to come off with some air of dignity when his drivers thug it up, but just like E Sr., he doesn’t like it when the tables get turned and someone tags him or his guys. Yup, the facade is gone and the real Richard that was under the covers has been disclosed. Nice folks in that RCR organization from the top down.
I think it’s odd that Kyle Busch keeps getting away with everything he does. He is a PUNK. I wish Childress had kicked his butt more. He really should have gotten a suspension for his reckless off track acts but no, everything is O.K. for Kyle! I wish everyone would just line up and beat the little jerk black and blue. Maybe then he would learn how to act. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.
Childress is just doing what NASCAR has failed to do; teach the punk Busch a lesson. He (Busch) has shown a complete disregard, on and off the track, for his fellow drivers, the fans and the sport in general. Like Jimmy Spencer had to teach a lesson to the punk’s older punk brother, Childress had to teach a lesson here. Bravo Richard
I have been a Richard Childress fan since mid 80’s when Dale Sr. was my Driver. I am also a Kyle fan.
Nothing I have seen on TV has shown Kyle doing anything wrong, the last 10-15 laps of racing looked clean from both drivers and even the cool down rub/bump could have been a good job welcome to the truck series. We see this done all the time from first time winners, teamates and competitor’s after a good hard CLEAN RACE. I was not there, and believe if anyone but Kyle would have done this NO ONE would have said a word.
Richard better think hard about his actions, because his two grandson’s are very aggresive and racing in series where there is a little more Old School racing and less media to inform the fans of what is happening behind the scene.
Folks, Nascar is 100% the blame for this deal. Kyle has gotten away with bumping and wrecking drivers in all three series for years now and always gotten away with a little fine and double secret probation for his actions. And, I don’t understand all these comments about a tire rub with Busch after the truck race. I watched headline news this morning and based on the tape they showed it certainly looked like more of a bump than a rub and Childress’s Truck got pertty loose. Wouldn’t you think if you were on probation you would stay as far away as possible from hitting or rubbing someone like this if you had any sense? Kyle has wrecked plenty of people in the truck, nationwide, and cup series for years and the most he has ever gotten was a little fine and some probation. And, a lot of them were running for the championship in the truck and nationwide series and Kyle wasn’t. What is a cup guy moonlighting in those series doing wrecking and spinning them out for? And, what Kyle did at Darlington was far worst than this incident. Deliberatly wrecking someone in front of the field then pushing a car on pit road which could have hurt a lot of innocent bystanders. Nascar did nothing for Kyle’s what 83 MPH over the limit Speeding Ticket the other day neither has Gibbs. And, based on what I’ve read so far, Nascar had pretty much exonerated Kyle for this incident and is already throwing Childress under the bus. Busch’s probation was for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” or something along them lines. You don’t think that speeding ticket didn’t give a black eye to Nascar? Heck it was on just about every channel on t.v. And, a lot of folks or bringing up Earnhardt Senior and how he raced. Well, he did go over the line sometimes but back in the eighties and nineties there was a lot more bumping/rubbing/and all from a lot of drivers. Go back and watch some of those old classic Nascar Races on ESPN. Again, Kyle should have gone out of his way to avoid any resemblence of bumping, rubbing, or trying to wreck someone since he is on probation. And, based on what I’ve read, Childress had already warned Kyle about wrecking his cars. And, anyone saying Childress Drivers are anywhere close to Kyle when it comes to dirty driving must not be watching the same races I am watching. Again, all this could have been avoided if Kyle had kept his distance as he should of had being on probation and also being warned by Childress. And, if Nascar had really put any fear in Busch that he might get some meaningful penalty that might have prevented it too. But, looks like Nascar will just turn their eye from Busch until the next time and will probably see the same thing again. But I’ll bet you one thing, Richard has probably gotten congrats from just about every team in Nascar except Gibbs and Kyle’s. And, most of us know why because Kyle has had this coming for a long time. Again, if not for the bump from Kyle which should have never happen him being on probation we wouldn’t be talking about this. So, let’s put blame where blame is due and it’s clearly on Kyle and Nascar.
I also don’t see that it is better for two team owners to trade punches than two drivers or one owner and one owner/driver. It is all conduct detrimental to the sport which is NASCAR’s go-to phrase for any foolish incident. And the Childress admirers who say Busch had it coming clearly do not realize that that is no excuse in a business organization or a court of law. Kyle seemed largely unscathed Sunday, so as usual, these amatuer boxers do more swinging than connecting which makes them look even more ridiculous.
FS and a large segment of the fan base have been whining for Kyle to grow up and he is all of 26. When is 65-year old Dick Childress going to grow up? He lived off his connection with cash-cow Dale Sr. for many years and now the going is a lot tougher with his current stable of less-than’s.
Childress has the distinciton of being a pathetic old man AND a punk who will get no “atta boy” from me or any other intelligent fan (granted that there are very few).
And Larry, I also watched the replay of the end of the truck race when Coulter cut Kyle off and Kyle bumped Coulter’s truck on the cool-down lap. NASCAR was 100% correct in not making a mountain out of either molehill. Only the Kyle-bashers find fault where there is none.
Man up, Dickie and take your punishment.
Isn’t it interesting to see all the hypocrisy involved in the Childress/Busch incident.
A few weeks ago, everyone was wanting to throw Kyle in jail for speeding yet those same people are commending Chidress for assalting Busch. In most places, assalt is a crime that involves jail time, yet no one is saying anything about Childress not being put in jail.
Then there’s Richard Childress. He used to have a driver that wrecked more cars than anyone in the sport. But I guess it is OK for Earnhardt to have done it, but not Busch. Oh yeah, Childress also has Harvick driving for him – another driver that has been known to bang fenders during and after the race.
I guess it must be OK to wreck someone else if it’s your driver. Hypocrites!
Thanks for giving the tussle your ok it was 2 team owners fighting. Do your homework Mike.
Richard,you better get ready! just the other week your grandson Ty spun Frank Kimmel out in an Arca race!How would you feel if the elder Frank would have beat the s**t out of your grandson for making contact with him?
Tweet from nascar.com:
“NASCAR has fined Richard Childress $150K and placed him on probation until 12-31 for his involvement in altercation”
That’s more like it. Have any of you geniuses thought about what the legal repercussions of NASCAR doing NOTHING about assault and battery would be? I am not just talking about this incident, since Kyle is obviously not going to press charges, but for potential future incidents as well.
NASCAR is not liable for a speeding ticket off track. They are very much liable for incidents that happen within the premises of their tracks during NASCAR-sanctioned events.
Bush does nothing wrong as far as Nascar can see. Running into the 22 was wrong in my book. Run into my car and you will pay the price yet drivers can not do payback on Bush. Oh no, Nascar will not allow that.
Richard Childres, I have never liked or respected you even during your driving and Dale years. But you sir have earned my respect!! A these “peacenicks” that are, and always will be, cowards will never understand what a MAN and his beliefs are!! Bush is a punk and will remain a punk(with a hired body guard) but some place, some time he will get what he sorely deserves….an a** kicking extraordinary through!! Richard has shown the young guys how it is done!! Shame on them for making a 65 year old man do their job!!
I agree completely with Joe W. Kyle’s continuing disrespect of NASCAR, it’s traditions and especially its fans makes it obvious that he wasn’t reared properly at home while growing up. RC did EXACTLY WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE. I just wish he broke that punk’s nose too!
After seeing the way Kyle ran from Kevin Harvick, it’s no wonder he didn’t defend himself against Richard Childress. The kid is a coward and hides behind his car. It’s about time someone caught the creep and scared the crap out of him. That’s what happens when the playground kids get tired of the bully.
Does fine money still go to the point fund? Or have they started giving it to some charity?
Either way, $150,000 to punch Kyle Busch in the face was probably worth it for the millionaire philanthropist. His prepared statement sounded rather light on apology.
Totally boring. I’m with Rick P.
Yea Richard For doing what needed to be done…Boo nascar for being politically correct (who needs it) There were no cameras & it’s 2 owners ..I’ll bet most the drivers are cheering…
Kyle is a bully, and someone finally stood up to him. Kyle can’t beat Jimmie or win a Cup title so he strokes his ego in the Truck Series. The worst thing for me with Cup guys in the lower divisions is that they think the series regulars should just lay over for them. I think back to the Hamlin-Keselowski incident at Charlotte a few years ago. The problem is you have these prodigies who have been told since they were teenagers they were the next Jeff Gordon they develop a sense of entitlement, and you get Kyle Busch type behavior.
I don’t care that I am in the minority, but I believe Childress and Harvick are the bullies and the cowards here. Childress sucker-punched Kyle when they were supposedly “discussing” the non-incident after the truck race.
Kevin waited till his bodyguards (crew) showed up AND left his helmet on for good measure before he tried to punch a guy sitting in his car.
Real heroes, those two. And if some other bully tries the same thing with Kyle as you so clearly want, they will get the same treatment from NASCAR. Again, A&B is a CRIME! What part of that do you not understand? And if Kyle were to be injured by one of these punks you look up to, by all means Kyle should press charges. He can go to both the criminal and the civil courts.
And if it happens on NASCAR property at a NASCAR-sanctioned event, NASCAR is also civilly liable.
You girls, and I don’t just mean Annie and Sharon, need to study up on the law before you advocate gratuitous violence against someone just because you think he has it coming.
(And do NOT bring up the freakin’ speeding ticket, which happened away from the track on a public road and will be dealt with by the judicial system and due process of law, which the vigilantes here also do not accept. Damn the Constitution – fists rule! Have a set of white sheets and crosses for burning too?)
Bill said: “Have any of you geniuses thought about what the legal repercussions of NASCAR doing NOTHING about assault and battery would be? I am not just talking about this incident, since Kyle is obviously not going to press charges, but for potential future incidents as well.”
About the same as going 85 MPH over the speed limit?
I am talking about NASCAR’s potential liability for actions on its premises during its sanctioned events. NASCAR is NOT liable for speeding tickets issued to its drivers. End of THAT tired discussion.
“And do NOT bring up the freakin’ speeding ticket, which happened away from the track on a public road and will be dealt with by the judicial system under due process of law.”
Please don’t watch the hockey game tonight – it’s too violent! I hope the police are there to charge everyone who throws a punch! lol
I like that one person here actually had some sense and remembered that assulting an individual is indeed a crime. Before the 600, all of you morons were claiming that Busch got away with reckless driving, he should have been thrown in jail..blah blah blah. You can say what you will about Kyle Busch, but assault is still a crime but thankfully for your RCR morons, it looks like he has forgone pressing charges against Childress (even though is would apparently be warranted). But will Kyle get any praise for letting his own cooler head prevail? Not fighting back against an old man that probably would have broken a hip? Not pressing charges for assault and possibly sending a well known NASCAR figure away in handcuffs? No, you morons will continue to claim he should be suspended and thrown in jail for his moving violation while assault is apparently just what he needs. Pathetic is the only word to describe your outlook on how NASCAR should work. Well may 2 words, hypocritical.
Maybe old RC should have borrowed Gordons AARP car and settled it car on car – the way KB does.
Good article. I just find it ironic myself that Childress has ALWAYS had the agressive drivers yet he can’t handle a driver from another team being agressive. What he did will gain him popularity I’m sure for the Kyle haters but bottom line is…what he did was wrong and setting a bad example for years to come. I personally was never a Sr. fan, nor am I a Harvick fan for their agression on the track but I also know that RUBBIN IS RACIN! He can say it’s about Kyle messing up his cars & trucks but I think its more about Kyle being a great driver and competitor. I applaude Kyle for not fighting back.
How long have some of you been watching Kyle? If you had been watching him a few years you would see why so many fans or upset at him. He has tore countless trucks, nationwide cars, and cup cars and probably the majority of them innocent bystanders and you Kyle Fans just keep defending him? What a bunch of jackasses. That incident with Kyle at Darlington was way more dangerous and could have involved way more innocent cars and bystanders and Nascar gives a $25000 fine and four race probation and now gives Childress a $150000 fine and a year’s probation? That’s insane. And, truth be known Kyle violated his probation when he hit that truck cause I’ll be you he was warned by Nascar to avoid anything like that when he was put on probation. Boy, Toyota really puts the money in Nascar. And, you can bet money that 95% of the owners and drivers supports Childress in what he’s done. They probably won’t admit it cause ole big Daddy Nascar would punished them but you can bet they support Childress.
Hey Larry do you think Harvick had anything to do with leaving his car unattended on pit road?
I know these cars are geared different then a street car, but I have pushed started cars before and they hardly move when not being pushed, Harvisk’s car rolled 20+ ft after Rowdy quit pushing it?
Assault is a misdemeanor. It is not to be confused with assault and battery where he carries some kind of weapon. Big deal, Shrub got his butt kicked by an old man
There is a big difference between being an aggressive driver and being a wreckless driver. Just about any driver out there is aggressive, just like Sr. and Harvick.
Kyle Busch is completely wreckless on the track. I only hope that he doesn’t either seriously injure or even kill someone.
NASCAR should have done something about him a long time ago. Unfortunately, they saw the money signs being made by his souvenirs and such and chose not to properly punish him.
I will bet that if you were to check in all of the garages today, there are many people who are happy that Childress did what he did. They have all wanted to do it and are just glad that someone did it finally. They are probably even be taking a collection to help pay the fine!
Scott, at around 200 mph. racing, all drivers out there can be considered wreckless. How about Carl Edwards and Keselowski (was it last year?)? There are few people who can honestly admit that KB isn’t entertaining with his ability to drive and win in anything he drives. Bottom line is nobody likes a winner and KB is a winner. As for Nascar doing something.., I think that is some of the problem with this sport right now is that Nascar has tried to do too much and gone too far so I don’t agree with that statement at all. As for the other drivers; of course they are happy about one of their biggest competitors getting roughed up because they feel like it might throw off his momentum. I’m not going to say KB wasn’t asking for it but my opinion is that RC was wrong and could have handled it differently and obviously Nascar agrees :).
I just spanked Kyle Busch at the Holiday Inn.
That was a quote from RC to Mike Helton. Mike handed RC a 250K check and then fined him 150k to make things look legit.
I find it funny how some of you are saying Childress needs to be arrested, but yet you are some of the same people who were vilifying Kevin Conway for him involving the police when Robby Gordon went after him earlier in the year. A little hypocritical don’t you think?
And Bill, isn’t Kyle on probation for “actions detrimental to stock car racing”? I’m guessing going 85 MPH over the speed limit fits the description considering his actions affected the sanctioning body in which his actions took place. Whether on or off the track, he represents Nascar everywhere he goes does he not? And before you say it, no his job is not like every other persons job. He is a public figure and his actions are held to a higher standard than you or I.
Joe, did that spank you gave Kyle turn you on?
Marc, you are wrong on the definition of battery. Any physical contact can be considered battery, with or without a weapon. And a misdemeanor is still a criminal act. Aggravated battery with a weapon is a felony. But that is totally beyond the point here. Dickie could have been arrested and in any other sport where an owner attacked an opposing player (or owner) outside the locker room, he would have been.
Steve, I know the legal definitions, but whatever NASCAR considers actions detrimental to racing is their call. They have chosen to define it narrowly to what happens at the track during their sanctioned events. Given that position, the only jurisdiction over Kyle for the speeding ticket is the court – with due process, a concept completely foreign to NASCAR.
Bill S-No, but it must have for you since you asked about it.
Are you kidding RC committed a crime. It’s not often a DA gets a chance to make name for him self, he’s not going to miss a chance
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