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.
Mike Neff · Wednesday October 26, 2011
Brian Scott has been racing in the national touring series of NASCAR since 2007, most recently driving in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 11 car. He is currently eighth in driver point standings with two top 5s, six top 10s and a pole so far this season. He has scored one career win in the Camping World Truck Series, which came at Dover in 2009. During a break in practice at Charlotte for the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage, Scott sat down with Mike Neff to talk about everything from racing mini sprints to bow hunting for elk and helicopter skiing.
Mike Neff, Frontstretch.com: You were born in Idaho and grew up racing open wheel cars out there. What is your favorite track in Idaho?
Brian Scott: The only track I really raced in Idaho was a little eighth-mile dirt track called the Owyhee Motorcycle Club. It was more of a home for motorcycles and some supercross type of racing. They had a flat little dirt track and we ended up getting a mini sprint group together and they started racing before it came along, but it was in its infancy. We built some cars and I raced with my dad and my grandpa raced, I had some uncles who raced. We went out there and had a lot of fun. It was just a hobby. We did it as often as we could. We purposely took ourselves out of a couple of races because we didn’t want to get involved in the politics of a championship and all of that. We just wanted to have fun and wanted to keep it fun. So that was my only track and my favorite track.
Neff: What about in the state of Washington? I saw that you did some racing in Washington in your open wheel days too.
Scott: When I progressed and the mini sprints got a little more serious, we started traveling into Washington, into the northern part of Washington. There’s a smaller dirt track in the area called Deming. They used to have a big mini sprint race every year called the Clay Cup. We’d go race our 600CC mini sprint and I finished in the top 5 a couple of times in that. Right down the street was Skagit where they raced the big 360s and 410s, and that was my first introduction into the full size sprint cars from the mini sprints. Watching those guys and being like, ‘wow that’s incredible, those things are huge and have so much power.’ When I was like 15 or 16 we made the leap into that; we got into the 360 sportsman class at Skagit which is cast iron wheels. It is the rookie class, the beginner class. We did that and then we got into 360 Pro and then did the 360 and 410, I was racing both of those on a regular basis. That was my progression through the dirt ranks which I did until I graduated from high school. Then I moved out here in 2006 and started racing asphalt in Super Late Models.
Neff: Do you ever get back into a mini sprint?
Scott: Y’know, my dad has a little bit of an island where we do some farming and we have some upland bird and game habitat. So we do a little hunting there and we built a little dirt track when I started out, so we could go out there and practice and have fun. We had like five or six mini sprints and we’d go out there and have family races and play around and then when I started racing asphalt he paved it. Then we got some Legends cars and some Focus midgets and some 1200 CC mini sprints that we converted to asphalt. It is still a lot of fun, we still have the track and we go out there and fool around and talk trash to family members and have a good time. That’s about the only time I ever get into anything like that, a Focus midget or a 1200 CC mini sprint.
Neff: You need to come up to Millbridge Speedway and run a mini outlaw sprint car sometime with (Justin) Allgaier and (Jimmy) Elledge and the boys.
Scott: I should. I’ve been around and watched those guys in the outlaw karts. They’re a little different than a mini sprint but they have a good time. I don’t know, there will probably come a day when I get a little outlaw kart and come out there and race with them.
Neff: You raced Super Late Models when you first moved out this way. Was there a specific series you raced with or did you just cherry pick races to get experience everywhere?
Scott: We did the PASS Series and some CRA races. We traveled around because we just wanted to race as often as we could. We’d go and run the Winchester 400 and we ran the Blizzard Series that leads up to the Snowball Derby. We ran the Miller Lite Series at Mobile. We’d run Pensacola on Friday and Mobile on Saturday; they used to have a kind of doubleheader deal. We’d run the Rattler at OPP, we’d run Winchester, Salem, we ran the All-American 400. We ran as often as we could, Hickory in the PASS Series. It was all about getting experience on as many different tracks as we possibly could so if there was a race that weekend we’d go to it.
Neff: What is it like working with Coach Gibbs?
Scott: Coach Gibbs is a great guy. He is a tremendous role model for the team in business, as well as personal life away from the track. He’s done a tremendous job and you know J.D. does a great job in following in his dad’s footsteps. They really lead the company in the straight and narrow. They keep everybody working together. Everybody really has great morale working there. Everybody wants to succeed, everybody wants to be a part of Joe Gibbs Racing. They do a really good job of providing a family atmosphere that everybody seems to enjoy. It is the most together group I have ever seen all working with a singular focus on getting performance better and getting Joe Gibbs Racing better and I think that is why they have a tremendous amount of success. They’ve been lucky enough, they treat sponsors right; (sponsors) have a good home. Fortunately, we were able to announce we’re bringing a new (sponsor) on with Dollar General which I’m sure is going to turn into a long-term relationship because everybody that comes over and gets into the Joe Gibbs family immediately sees why everybody speaks so highly of them, why it is such a great place to be. So we’re happy to announce that, happy to always be expanding and continue to represent sponsors that they’ve had forever. It is just a great environment is what I’m getting at, from being a driver for them, from being a mechanic for them, to being a sponsor related to them it is just a great environment,
Neff: Outside of the race track what do you like to do? I know I read that you like to do some hunting and fishing.
Scott: Well, I’m just a country boy at heart. I grew up in Idaho which is like what a lot of people would think of. There is a lot of wilderness, but there is also a lot of things to do. I grew up hunting and fishing and camping, motorcycling, snowmobiling, skiing, doing stuff out on the lake. Just always going, always doing something, rock climbing, and as I’ve become my own man and become an adult that is still the kind of things I like to do. I like to go out and fool around with anything with a motor, little karts or motorcycles, ride Harleys. I get back to Idaho as often as I can, go up in the mountains and go skiing with dad, go helicopter skiing, do snowmobiles, go sledding, just whatever. I like to be outside and moving. I like enjoying nature and doing things that kind of get my blood pressure up.
Neff: What kind of hunting do you like to do? I know you were talking about upland birds earlier.
Scott: We do a lot of bird hunting when big game is not in season. Fall is the time of year that I look forward to the most because we have elk season that opens up, we have deer season that opens up. After Chicago when we had the week off was actually when the bow season for elk opened up. So I took a week and went up there and we chased them around and got all over them but didn’t get one. Right now, in two days, rifle opens up for elk; we have two weeks off so I’m going to fly back to Idaho and rifle hunt for elk and have a lot of fun. Regardless of the outcome I enjoy being out there and doing it. Then, as Thanksgiving rolls around, deer season opens up it is something I enjoy doing with my dad and my family. Hopefully, even though I say I’m happy regardless of the outcome, these next couple hunts will be a little more successful than bow hunting.
Neff: Bow hunting for elk looks amazing. I can’t imagine having an animal that large being that close to you.
Scott: It actually takes you a couple of close encounter experiences with elk before you are actually ready to shoot one. I can remember the first couple times one came in close enough that I could smell its breath and see the snot running out of its nose. It bugled right on top of me and my hands were shaking. It takes a while to be able to steady your nerves and get to the point but last year, for the first time in three attempts at bow hunting for elk I finally got one. It was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment; it was really neat. Unfortunately this year I was not able to double down and duplicate that but it is fun and enjoyable.
Neff: Have you ever tried to run the Martinsville late model race?
Scott: No, y’know I’ve never run late model stocks. All of our stuff was in Super Late Models and they never had a race for those at Martinsville.
Neff: At Atlanta, you ran a Boise State paint scheme. Have you ever done any promotional work with the university or was it just a one off deal, because I know they were trying to do a bunch of different schools when it was appropriate?
Scott: It was actually an opportunity that came to us through some work that we do with the J.A. And Kathryn Albertson Foundation. My dad is the chairman of the board, I’m on the board of directors forit. It is a non-profit organization that aims to improve education in Idaho. Recently, we started a media campaign to raise awareness of the importance to go out and get a post-secondary education. Either a technical college or go on to college in the state of Idaho, and how beneficial it is for the economy, and the spokesperson for that campaign is Coach Peterson from Boise State. So, we worked kind of hand-in-hand with them on the Go On campaign and we developed a relationship, and when we figured out we were going to be racing in Atlanta when they were opening their season in the Georgia Dome we said ‘Hey, maybe we can do something here that would be a neat little thing for ESPN to cover to do some joint relation type stuff.’ It would also raise awareness of our program and brand me as a guy who is from Boise, from Idaho, a spokesperson for going on and becoming educated or developing a particular kind of skill set to go on out of high school.
Neff: Nice! Now, do you have a degree?
Scott: I do not have a degree, which is kind of the ironic part about it. I did go on and develop a skill that I am utilizing. The whole point isn’t to go on to college and get a degree, (but) go to technical school, become a mechanic, become an electrician. We are at a deficit of people who are plumbers or electricians, who have developed through an apprenticeship, masons and stuff like that. The point is go on, get educated, develop a skill and then utilize it. Go on to be prolific member of society.
Neff: Tell me about helicopter skiing. I’ve seen the Red Bull kind of stuff on commercials. Is it that extreme all of the time?
Scott: When they’re shooting videos they are always going for the most extreme. We don’t do the type of stuff that would put us or our family in danger, like jumping off a 100-foot cliff. We go out there and there is a very real danger of avalanches and the skiing is in some pretty gnarly terrain, but we’re very safe about it. We wear avalanche beacons and it is a lot of fun. I’m just privileged because growing up my dad had a helicopter and he is a helicopter pilot so we had the capability to go out and do it ourselves. We didn’t have to go find an outfitter or something to do it with, we can strap the bucket on and go out and ski just a couple minutes’ helicopter ride from our lodging in tons and tons of millions of acres of this incredible terrain.
Neff: Do you miss running on dirt?
Scott: Oh yeah, I love watching the World of Outlaws and think, ‘Man it would be great to get out there and dice it up again’. Reminisce about the good ol’ days, side-by-side, no radios, running 25-50 laps races and it is all out, you’re running the cushion, passing people, slide jobs. It is just an exhilarating form of racing that I would love to get back into and have the opportunity to do like you see Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart that are still able to go and run a race here and there and have a sprint car team. It would be a lot of fun and is hopefully something I can do here in the near future.
Neff: Have you ever run a full bodied car on dirt?
Scott: No, I’ve never run a dirt late model. I’ve never done that unfortunately. Just open wheel mini sprints and sprint cars.
Neff: Toughest question of the day: Have you and Almirola talked after Kansas?
Scott: I have made every effort that I possibly know how to make to reach out and talk with him to try and put this deal behind us. The ball is in his court at this time. We’ll see if we can get this sorted out before the end of the year before equipment has to start getting wrecked.
Scott went on to come home in fifth place in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage race before heading off to hunt for elk in Idaho. The finish was his second-best of the season and left him eighth in points, 223 away from the top spot with just three races left this year.
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I have a great plan for Brian Scott for 2012. He can bring his Nationwide Series crew chief & pit crew to the Cup Series in a 4th car for Joe Gibbs Racing. His car number should be 19. JGR already runs #18 & #20. 18, 19, 20. For sponsorship, I would go with Staples. Staples can broaden its appeal, as well as enable itself to vie with Office Depot for office superstore supremacy.
Brian Scott has the talent, the drive, & the passion to be a highly competitive driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. His future is so bright, he’s gotta wear shades.
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