NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
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.
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Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Mike Neff · Thursday June 13, 2013
Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion has been on the top of a Cup box since 2003 and full-time since 2006. During his 261 races at the helm of race teams, he’s seen quite a few changes. This year he is seeing the realization of the shake-up of the competition department at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates that took place at the end of 2011. It has taken some time but the two cars in the stable are both showing signs of getting back to winning form and Manion’s decisions on the No. 1 pit box are a significant part of that.
The two races leading into Pocono were not good for Manion’s squad, having a loose oil line at Charlotte and losing all of the water at Dover. This past weekend was hardly a potential win but it was a small victory for the team as they finished the race on the lead lap and they were moving forward when the checkered flag flew. This week Manion spent a little time with Frontstretch to talk about tires, paint schemes and old school spoiler dropping.
Mike Neff: Let’s start by talking Pocono. It seemed like y’all were kind of stuck at the beginning of the race but were making ground when you got to the end of the race. What was your take on your Pocono weekend?
Kevin “Bono” Manion: Yeah, we loaded up the truck pretty happy. It seemed like a few cars got quite a bit faster while we never really found the total true speed we needed for the weekend, but we did think we had a pretty good balance. Throughout the race we started — with the weather change — just a little bit too free and couldn’t make up any ground, so we just kind of rode there for a while. We were getting good mileage and we were on schedule there, because it always turns into a fuel mileage race, and we were looking good towards the end because we were one of the few cars who could make it. We finally got the car tightened up enough to where he could hold his own, make a few passes early on and be pretty aggressive, but the weekend was just okay.
We’ve definitely had better weekends for sure. To come home 13th, we’re by no means happy, but it is the first time we’ve finished on the lead lap in three weeks so we’re taking that as a victory this week. We’ve had some unfortunate last couple of races with losing an oil line at Charlotte running in the top 10 and then losing all the water at Dover running in the top 10. That was a couple of tough weeks so just to get a decent finish and get back on our feet again was a good solid day but the finish was off for sure a little bit.
Neff: True, you have to take whatever little victories you can because small steps lead to big gains. We’ve heard from many readers on our site in recent weeks and months, and especially this week, that they’re tired of tires that don’t wear out. I don’t think anyone would have had anything for Jimmie Johnson at Pocono but do you think, had we had tires that would have given up some grip, we’d have had a better race than we did?
Manion: That is always a debate for sure. I think you’re spot on with Jimmie Johnson. I think the 5 car might have had something for him but he had some sort of driveline issue early on and had to go behind the wall. That 48 car was just ridiculously fast. They obviously had a package they unloaded with that was just really fast. The tires, had they worn out there for sure, I think, there were a lot of cautions at the end of the race and y’know what, we never came in because tires didn’t mean anything. Sure, if tires meant something like they have, I keep thinking back to California and what a good race it was when tires meant something, if they could get these new paves, and I think Michigan is in the same boat, to weather a little bit, so that they can ease off of the tire — they’re stuck.
Safety is number one and we don’t need to be hurting drivers, fans and people by making a tire that is too soft and can potentially fail. We do need to pave these tracks because promoters have to keep up with the pavement, drainage, and soft walls, so you’re always going to have that product. But once the track becomes seasoned and gets its bumps back and that character comes back, it will be the unique Pocono again.
Neff: One more question that I’ve thought of for a while. It came to mind when I thought about you guys running at Pocono. EGR has a variety of sponsors so you end up with different paint schemes quite frequently. How much does that mess with your team as you’re preparing for the week? Do you have to remind your team what paint scheme to look for coming down the pit lane?
Manion: It is definitely a spotter’s nightmare, a crew chief’s nightmare and a pit crew’s nightmare, but one of the biggest challenges we face is coordination between the paint shop and the decal shop. Only one time that I can recall in the last three years we actually painted the car the wrong color. It came out and I was like ‘Uh-oh’. The paint shop is the one that really has to burn the midnight oil to get the cars turned around and painted. Just from where I am sitting right now I see black, red, white and the orange car from last week. It is kind of unique with sponsorship these days but we have a lot of great partners and that is what pays the bills so that is one thing we don’t mind doing. We paint them every week because money’s green.
Neff: OK, we’re heading to Michigan which was recently repaved and we know the groove is most likely going to be around the bottom. With this new car, are you trying to get the spoiler out of the air just because there is so much downforce on the car, and on the front of the car in particular?
Manion: That is a great question. That is a big ass spoiler on the back of these cars. This car definitely likes to be traveled. Michigan is definitely a track that is really fast so you need a big motor. You need a good combination of a low drag, high downforce car. I think, like Pocono, you’ll see a Michigan car that is really low in the back. I think it is cool when they squat down because it reminds me of the old Daytona and Talladega cars when there was no spring rule. You do everything you can to get the back down but you still have to handle. When the back goes down the front wants to come up. There is a fair trade off for sure on the car attitude. I can’t speak for the other manufacturers but I can speak for our team and what our driver likes to feel. There is a certain attitude that we shoot for and that is what we go with.
Neff: Michigan, like Pocono, tends to lend itself to fuel mileage races. Before you leave your shop do you know what kind of fuel mileage you’re going to get or do you have to make a run early in practice and calculate it from there?
Manion: We definitely know. The folks at Hendrick send out a fairly elaborate sheet with weather and different specs and past mileage. What comes in the most handy is we’ve already raced a handful of times this year of those types of tracks so we know the average kind of fuel mileage we get. We have a good idea going in what our mileage will be and then that particular weekend we’ll make our fuel mileage runs, while the weather might make a small difference in the hand you play, but we have a really close guesstimation on what we’re really going to have.
That is all well and good but when that caution comes out, are you remotely close to your window and that is what seems to play out the most? You need to have your windows circled and how early can you come.
Neff: Are we getting the same tire that we had the last time we were at Michigan?
Manion: We are getting the Fall tire back that we ran at Michigan last year so the answer to your question is yes. In the Spring we ran a different tire in practice and qualifying and then ran a different tire in the race as you may recall they changed it. So the Fall race for 2012 and the Spring of 2013 will be the same tire.
Neff: I think I know the answer to this already but I’ll ask it anyway. Due to the fact that we have a groove, maybe a groove and a half, is this going to be a track position race vs. a new tire race?
Manion: I don’t know. I heard you say groove, groove and a half. This track has a full season on it now and we have a new car so I don’t know what we’re going to expect. Michigan has always been known for its wide racing. I agree with you that the groove will potentially be on the low side, but these races do get wide and when you get the different support series running and different guys move up an inch here and an inch there you never know. We’ll wait and see what we have when we get there.
Track position is key at every track we go to, fuel mileage is key at every track we go to, strategy is key at every track we go to. Qualifying well is going to be important. I looked at the weather and it looks like we have a slim to no chance of rain so that will be good. We’ll get qualified well and, what I would say about Michigan, to answer your question in a roundabout way, Michigan’s race is somewhat predictable because of the tires not falling off so you pit basically when you need gas and when you get in your window you can pit without losing a lap so yeah, track position will be key.
Neff: There are a lot of different job descriptions that go into the whole team at the track. Do you have someone on the pit box whose job duties include being focused on the weather so that you know when foul weather is coming?
Manion: Absolutely, we have Lauren, our eyes in the sky, our spotter who can sometimes spot weather coming. We have Brad Wilson, our assistant race engineer, who’ll always have the radar on and if there is rain in the area he’ll keep it up. If there’s not rain but we’re getting to halfway and there are some dark skies then we will keep an eye on it. I also track it throughout the week to keep an eye on temperatures so I have an idea of what the split will be between practice day and qualifying day and race day and we also get a weather report on race day.
The series first visit to Michigan with the new car is a slight unknown for the teams. The repaved surface last year did not see the typical top to bottom racing that fans were accustomed to from the 2.5 mile oval in the Irish Hills of Michigan. When the green flag falls on Sunday, we’ll see what unfolds during the race.
If Bono Manion and his No. 1 EGR team make the right pit calls, get the proper balance between the nose and the tail and have the right track position, they very well could end up in Victory Lane for the first time in 2013.
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