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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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.
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Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Key Moment – Jimmie Johnson was about to lose the lead to Marcos Ambrose with 4 laps to go but Ambrose moved to the inside too quickly which damaged his car and ended Kasey Kahne’s night. Had Ambrose not hit Kahne, he might have actually been able to get in front of Johnson for the last four laps.
In a Nutshell – The race started looking like it was going to be the 500 revisited. Then Jimmie Johnson made the bottom line work and a good portion of the race was actually contested double wide or more. In the end, it didn’t matter how wide they were on the track, no one was as fast as Johnson and he made a farce of the event.
Dramatic Moment – The only real drama during the race was when Johnson moved up to block the top line late in the event and couldn’t get back down to keep the bottom line from getting up next to him. In the end it was a temporary setback and the No. 48 simply dove away from everyone.
What They’ll be Talking About Around the Water Cooler
The fans said they didn’t like tandem racing. They wanted to get back to the packs, at restrictor plate tracks because that is somehow considered exciting. Well, Saturday night’s race was far from exciting, but they did manage to destroy a couple million dollars worth of race cars.
There is no greater difference in the command to start engines than Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison on Friday evening and the three boobs on Saturday night.
During this Daytona race, it took 10 laps to get into a single-file line running around the top. That is so much better than that tandem racing and 80 lead changes in a single event, right? After a caution, the bottom line started working but that was only because Jimmie Johnson was in the front spot. Without Johnson in the bottom lane, it was dead.
Jimmie Johnson is the car to beat in the Cup series, period. Matt Kenseth may have the same number of wins, but nobody is as consistently up front and threatening to win as the No. 48.
The Cup Series once again is different from the Nationwide Series in terms of consistency… and rules. At Talladega, the Nationwide drivers were coming to the checkered flag when a wreck started in the tri-oval and NASCAR threw the caution. The Cup Series, for the second race in a row at Daytona, has had a wreck in turn two on the final lap and they’ve let the field race back to the checkered flag. They got away with it in the 500, but this week, they tore up another dozen cars that would have gone home in one piece if they had thrown the caution.
The flaps in front of the windshields are designed to help get air out from under the car so that they don’t lift off when they spin sideways. Several of the cars that spun during the race had their flaps come loose from the cars, and a few of them appeared to leave the cars even though they’re supposed to be tethered. That’s not good because they are not that heavy and can easily fly up into the stands.
Before anything got started this weekend, there were 16 Cup cars and 15 Nationwide cars who lost roof flap spacers to NASCAR because they were out of specification. Whether the spacers were an advantage or not, the bottom line is you can’t mess with safety items and, if you do, NASCAR will come down on you without fail. The irony is that NASCAR forces all of the teams to purchase their flaps from one vendor, which is a Roush company. All three of Roush’s cup cars failed their inspection because of the spacers. Betting Uncle Jack isn’t overly thrilled with that development, right?
The Hindenburg Award for Foul Fortune
Joey Logano breaks into the top 10 in points at Kentucky, then blows a right front tire at Daytona to end his night and fall all the way down the mountain to where he began.
Martin Truex, Jr. was looking good at Sonoma and Kentucky, thrusting him inside the top 10 in points. Unfortunately for him, the fickle finger of fate sent him for a spin and a tough hit into the inside wall at Daytona, knocking out all his early summer momentum.
Denny Hamlin wrecked twice in the event. The first time, with Truex and Juan Pablo Montoya wasn’t enough to end his night. The second one, he spun by himself in front of the pack and then got drilled by AJ Allmendinger. Hamlin climbed out under his own power thankfully but it really might be time for Denny to consider that season ending surgery.
Along with Hamlin in the second wreck, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Allmendinger, Dave Blaney, Travis Kvapil and David Reutimann all had their stuff torn up.
Kasey Kahne was looking good for the win with 4.5 laps to go until Marcos Ambrose tried to make a move from behind Jimmie Johnson to the bottom of the track. The shuffling flat out drilled Kahne and sent him hard into the inside wall on the back straight.
The “Seven Come for Eleven” Award for Fine Fortune
Kevin Harvick was hanging at the back of the pack to stay out of trouble and nearly lost the draft at one point. We’ve seen that strategy bite drivers in the rear before but it played out well for Harvick on Saturday night as he came home in third place.
Michael Waltrip may be annoying in the booth and not much on most race tracks but dude can still wheel a plate car with the best of them. Waltrip was nowhere to be seen for most of the event but when the checkered flag was in the air the No. 55, with Waltrip at the wheel, was in fifth position.
Kurt Busch came very close to going home early Saturday night when Paul Menard’s engine blew. As Menard tried to get to the bottom of the track with his car in flames, Busch went to his inside and was nearly collected. Instead he went on to give the Furniture Row Racing team another top 10 with his sixth place finish.
Casey Mears dodged a couple of bullets during Saturday night’s race but took one right in the door as he was coming to take the checkered flag. Fortunately for him he was almost at the start/finish line when it happened so he was giving credit for a ninth-place finish.
Top 10 finishers by Manufacturer
Chevrolet – 7
What’s the Points?
Obviously, Jimmie Johnson is still the point leader since he won the race and he was leading coming into the event. He is now more than a full race ahead of his closest pursuer. With Carl Edwards 29th place finish he fell from second to third behind Clint Bowyer. Bowyer is 49 points behind Johnson while Edwards is now 71 behind. Kevin Harvick is two points behind Edwards in the fourth while Dale Earnhardt Jr. clawed his way to an eighth place finish and gained one place to fifth some 110 points out of the top spot.
Matt Kenseth may be tied with the most wins in the series, but he also has three DNFs this year. While he was running at the end of the race on Saturday, he came home in 33rd which cost him a spot in the top 5. Kenseth now leads the second half of the top 10 in sixth position. Kyle Busch wrecked across the finish line in 12th position which allowed him to hang onto seventh in the standings. Greg Biffle ended the race with the front of his car still attached and managed to gain one spot in the standings to eighth. Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart were the big movers on Saturday with Busch moving up five spots to ninth and Stewart gaining six to round out the top 10.
The wild card competitors at this point in the season are Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne. They are not only eleventh and twelfth in points but they also are the highest two drivers in the point standings outside the top 10 with a victory each. Assuming they can hang onto those positions for eight more weeks they’ll love it.
Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six-pack an instant classic) – Restrictor plate racing is an acquired taste. Some people savor the intricate chess match that takes place at Daytona and Talladega. Others would rather choke down cole slaw that was sitting out in the Daytona sun for a week. The race started out with a single file parade like the Daytona 500 and ended with a double file parade that was not much better and ended with about half of the field demolished. With fewer lead changes than Dover, Michigan, Charlotte and Las Vegas, the 400 didn’t even have a jet dryer explosion this year. Try as we might to find a silver lining on this one there just isn’t one. As a result, we’ll give one hot Silver Bullet.
Next Up – The series heads to the Northeast for a heated battle at the Magic Mile in Loudon, New Hampshire. Bowing to the ADD generation of casual fans that NASCAR is looking for, we’ll see 301 laps around the track because apparently 500 laps is just too many. The race coverage starts at 1:00 PM Eastern on TNT and PRN.
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Another week and again another “Take Names, and Kick Butt” performance from the #48.
Were we watching the same race? Did you watch the replays? Jimmy moved over too late to block Ambrose, made contact with the 9, and pushed Ambrose over into Kahne. Ambrose didn’t move over too quick. He got moved over while making a pass for the lead. That was on Johnson, not Ambrose, and Kahne has every right to be p!ssed at the 48 for ditching him and then ending his night. But hey, that’s what teammates are for.
Enjoyed hearing the Smoky Mountain rain on my roof rather than tune in.
The season is over folks….
Jimmie Johnson will win another championship.
Whether we like it or not (and this is the LAST thing this sport needs) the 48 will take it.
Is it football time yet?
“The fans said they didn’t like tandem racing.” – Please make that “some” fans. Most of us just want “real” racing. I’m sick of Johnson winning as much as the next guy, but Chad had that car perfect from the get-go and Johnson just stunk it up for everyone else. Sometimes that’s just racing.
“There is no greater difference in the command to start engines than Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison on Friday evening and the three boobs on Saturday night.” – Amen!
“Jimmie Johnson is the car to beat in the Cup series, period.” – This is July. Get back to me in September.
Kasey Kahne played the good teammate and never even tried to pass Johnson when the two were up front. No good deed goes unpunished and Kasey got what he deserved. His wreck was karma.
As good as Johnson and Kenseth have been this year, no driver has been more impressive than Kurt Busch. He’s become my favorite driver that I can’t stand.
thought it interesting when tv showed michael waltrip on a pit stop, he was pitted in his box the wrong direction……he’s still an idiot!
i have given up on racing….48 bunch week in and week out is the final nail in the coffin.
when i saw the teams that got busted for the spacers on the roof flaps and NO HENDRICK teams were involved, figured brian had deposited his july stipend from hendrick.
the simplicity of the anthem was great….shame it can’t be said for the command….idiots!!! what’s next a turbo charged snail in a few weeks giving the command when that movie opens?
i know how frustrated i get in traffic when i can’t pass and get on my way on highway here in atlanta. the in car view of dale jr at one point the telemetry was shown, foot to the floor all around the track and not being about to go around someone…..i know what that’s like at 20 mph….at over 200 mph for 400 miles i would be ready for the rubber room.
oh well, dega is in october. but by then the season will be long over.
hamlin needs to get his surgery. hard hit that rung his bell last week and now the hit from saturday night…..how many more hits can his body sustain?!
I continue to be amazed at how close the points are outside the top 10. After Daytona, just 44 points separate 9th from 21st. Just about anybody within that range (and especially in the top half) still has a realistic shot at making the chase. I still don’t like the chase…but for me, at least, the numbers have been exciting to watch from week to week!
I also agree with Carl. I don’t like Kurt Busch, but I find myself being happy for him and his team this year as I tend to pull for the underdogs. I hope they make the chase!
No other car does what the 48 does. But it passes inspection so it must be legal. Imagine Kurt in the 48. He’d have a lot less to complain about.
…and here’s the latest news. In their blatant attempt to hand JJ a sixth Hendricks cup championship, nas$car is going all out in their plan to chase more of their fan base away. What a farce.
Sounds like I can be glad I spent my Saturday night at the dirt track.
Not much to say. Glad there is only one RP race left. Sick of JJ seemingly having a car a step above everyone else. Also wondering how transparent and sharing information really is at the Hendrick shop.
I watched the first ten laps of the race and the last 50. Thankfully I didn’t waste the entire evening. I was disappointed that JJ won (again); was hoping that Jamie Mac could have pulled if off. It seems like JJ was so fast that none of the drivers felt that they could pass him even if they had help in the draft. I think Denny Hamlin should scrap the rest of the season and get the surgery before he gets permanent damage that can’t be fixed with surgery.
They managed to make Daytona into a race where Johnson gets out front with the aero and no one can pass, just like everywhere else. Some of the blame falls on the other drivers and teams, though. Anyone else remember McMurray’s crew chief telling him to just ride behind the 48? Even in the days of DEI dominance and the “23 car,” at least people would try to pass those 2 and mire them in traffic.
Nascar media tells us how good these teams are and how many smart, hard working people there are in the garages. And yet, after all these years, NO ONE can catch the 48 or get their car to do what the 48 can do?
We’ve all seen plenty of races where the 48 car seems to have some extra horsepower and/or can move/pass like no other car on the track.
Are we to believe that after all these “Chase years”, no other team can figure things out like the 48? Seriously?
tim – if we (fans) feel this way, i’m sure drivers feel the same way. i think if any crew chief/owner would tell their driver to ride behind the 48, they’d get an unpublishable ear full.
B. F. Sucks,your right about J.J. blocking M.Ambrose. Which command to start your engines was the most classless? 1.The 3 clowns at Daytona. 2.DW yanking the mic. out of the ladys hand at Sonoma.
O.F.B. – I expect Adam Sandler and Kevin James to act like imbeciles, and that’s exactly what they did. While I don’t expect much from DW, I never expected him to be such a jerk at Sonoma. So I vote for #2
I was expecting more complaints about the final lap. If NASCAR throws the caution, then we all complain about how NASCAR wanted JJ to win, instead of letting them race. NASCAR let them race back, and we complain about how NASCAR should have thrown the yellow so we wouldnt have another accident. Pick one people, you cant have both.
O.F.B. and Carl D. I vote #2. DW shows his true colors (I thought he was going to knock that lady over). He’a a marketing machine like Danica (where’s Kyle Petty’s astute observations when you need them).
Another JJ love fest with him leading 94 laps. Then he tried to block Ambrose too late and took out Kahne. Best move of the night was me going to Milwaukee’s Summerfest and watching Buddy Guy put on a great show at the Harley stage.
Carl D., it didn’t matter who was in the lead, it was impossible to close in to even try a pass because of the short rear spoilers. I said before this season even started that the plate races weren’t going to be any good because of he short spoiler, because the short rear spoiler makes it virtually impossible to make runs. Just watch a plate race from 1989-‘92, and you’ll see exactly what I mean, because they weren’t the most exciting races to watch.
All NASCAR has to do to make plate racing watchable again is to make one change, and that’s to increase the size of the rear spoiler, which will increase the effect of the draft. NASCAR made that very change in 1993 after the dull plate races in 1992, and the result was some of the best racing ever seen at Daytona and Talladega for about two years before the modern aero cars made their debut. If NASCAR increases the size of he rear spoiler, it will get passing back, because that’s been proven.
The fact that Matt Kenseth led 142 laps at Talladega and Jimmie led 94 last Saturday night should say something right there, because nobody could even challenge them. Put a bigger rear spoiler on the car, and I will guarantee that you’ll see races with slingshot-type passes and 40-50+ lead changes again. History proves that.
The more aerodynamic the cars, the worse the racing is at Daytona and Talladega. That was the case in the late 60s with the “aero wars” cars, the mid 80s with the ’83 T-Bird, the mid 90s with the ’95 Monte Carlo, and that’s the case now with the “Gen-6” car.
Gary… Im a big blues fan and I’ve seen Buddy Guy quite a few times. He can be absolutely amazing when he’s inspired and downright sloppy when he’s not in the mood. Still, I’ll take Buddy on a bad night over a plate race anytime.
Charles… I agree that Kahne probably could not have gotten around Johnson even if he had tried. Still, he could have at least given it a shot early in the race when there was plenty of time to rebound. On the other hand, he may have dropped back gotten caught up in a wreck; who’s to say. In the end, though, no one was going beat the #48 car.
After reading about the usual chaos of RP racing and that Johnson won another race, I’m glad that I opted to meet friends and enjoy my evening rather than waste it in front of the TV. Saw some of the replays and Johnson even said in his post race interviews that he was blocking so I am not surprised that he would wreck people with those actions. We have tickets to several races in the fall. Right now, I don’t have a lot of interest in traveling to any of them.
Carl D., what you say about Jimmie Johnson would have been true about anyone that got in the lead, because it was virtually impossible to make a run at the leader, no matter who it was. If it was Kahne who was leading, nobody would have gotten by him. The fact that Kenseth led almost half the Daytona 500 and 142 laps at Talladega is further proof of that.
My point is that if NASCAR goes to a bigger rear spoiler, you’ll see better racing. That I can guarantee, because history teaches us that.
Mike…How did not throwing the caution on the last lap tear up a dozen more cars? I didn’t see the leaders come around and pile in to them, did they? If you think throwing the caution would prevent all those in the middle of the crash from being involved is far-fetched. At the speeds they are going, and a big crash starts ahead of you, your instincts tell you what to do. I doubt you would have time to notice if the yellow light is flashing, when your trying to avoid other cars.
The racing in the 70s was a bazillion times better than what we have today. Nobody pitching a fit about aero loose… it put the racing right where it belongs—the cockpit of the vehicle.
I agree with Carl D. and Kevin. I used to absolutely hate Kurt Busch, but this season I have found myself pulling for him. It also helps that he drives the car with the best paint scheme in cup – simple, solid black, and badass. KB’s in-car radio interactions with the crew were very funny at times during the NNS race with all the Cole Trickle/Days of Thunder references. I just hope if or when he gets another A ticket ride he doesn’t get stupid again.
As for the command to start engines, Allison’s made the statement “I love racing, lets get this started!” The three idiots made the statement, “hey look at me! I have to have attention!”
Tandem racing was terrible, I hope it never comes back.
JJ is one of my favorites, but he did block Ambrose. I think if Ambrose hadn’t reacted and would have held his line instead, the outcome would’ve been the same for Kasey, except it would have been the 48 coming across his nose on the way to the infield that would’ve wrecked him.
“As good as Johnson and Kenseth have been this year, no driver has been more impressive than Kurt Busch. He’s become my favorite driver that I can’t stand.” Same here Carl D.
Chuck, I was referring to just the racing at Daytona and Talladega. All NASCAR needs to do to get the racing back to what it was from 2008-‘10 is to mandate a bigger rear spoiler. I wasn’t referring to the entire circuit, only the plate tracks.
Besides, if you eliminate the valances, you would make them virtually undriveable because of the lift it would create, plus you’d make them far more dangerous when they spin out, because they’d go up in the air almost immediately because there will already be air underneath the cars. I think NASCAR mandated those strips to be on the ground to make sure the cars stay on the ground. And the front ends have been sealed to the ground at speed since the late 1980s.
Remember this. Back in the 70s, they were going 180-185 MPH at Daytona unrestricted with about 500-550 horsepower. In fact, when Buddy Baker set the existing record for the Daytona 500 in 1980, it was said that his engine was making 600-640 HP. Now, they’re making close to 900 HP unrestricted, and about half that with the restrictor plate.
And if they do raise the valance, the teams will then run a soft front end setup to get as much of that downforce back as possible, so little will really change, except the costs, which would skyrocket again.
But the way to get he drafting back at the plate tracks is an easy one. Run a bigger rear spoiler, and that by itself will make it so that the draft will come back to what it was in recent years.
Charles, i’d submit even in the early 80s, the spoilers were small, there were no valances, the cars were hitting 200 or better and the cars didn’t rely on aerodynamic tricks to get the grip they needed… drivers have two feet and the brake pedal is right next to the accelerator. Like DW said a long time ago, “you want better racing, stand the windshield back up, get rid of the valances and cut back the size of the rear blade (spoiler).” I don’t much care for DW but he’s right
The big story from Daytona is going to play out tomorrow, when the world will see whether or not Na$crap will have the Nads to Fine, Suspend Crew Chiefs 2 or 3 races, and Dock Owners and Drivers 25 points each for unapproved parts (roof flaps)that 16 Cup teams were busted for. Will Na$crap be consistent? Big PR problem here, and hefty points penalties will affect the Do-Over Chase Farce. Or will it be probation (ha!ha!) small fine/6 points. Third time this year Penske cars have been busted, Joe Gibb (#20) and MWR-Truex each twice. Will be interesting to see what plays out.
Gotta agree with BFS, Ambrose did nothing wrong except having the audacity to try to win a race. When the 9 was coming with a head of steam JJ left his teammate in the 5 out to dry and switched lanes. When Ambrose tried to preserve his momentum JJ came down into him sending the 9 into the 5. In F1 and most forms of racing the first attempt at a block is usually OK, but then reversing directions to block the same driver is warrants a penalty. If Johnson wants to get his nads all up in a wad over re-start procedures maybe it’s time some other drivers hoist the “blocking” black flag (which Stewart has tried but apparently he still feels blocking is OK as long as he’s the one doing it.)
Yes Chuck, and every time a car got sideways at Daytona and Talladega, it either totally lifted off the ground or wanted to. Frankly, I think that a major reason the cars have such low clearance to the ground these days could be a safety measure, to make sure they stay on the ground when they gets sideways or backwards.
The bigger rear spoilers would have the same effect on drafting that a more vertical rear window would, that they would cause the cars to punch a bigger hole in the air, and I feel that’s all that’s needed to make the racing better at the plate tracks.
What’s wrong with a dominate driver? Now, I am not a Jimmy Johnson fan, but when your favorite driver beats him, that makes it exciting. But the problem is that everytime a race team tries to get better to challenge him, it’s illegal. Crew chiefs are too limited. Racing would be better if they had more options.
Not a JJ hater, but he threw a bad block on Ambrose. The 9 car had the momentum and would have pinned the 48 on the outside, as others would have followed him up the middle. JJ’s block won the race and ended the night for Ambrose and Kahne.
listen!!! race fans, jj, willwin the championships,untill, hendrick, beats petty an dale; record!! he wants to be the top dog,in having the most championships! nascar should read the fans ,comments on face book! race fan ,from the 60;.. no more!! what true fan is going to spend all their money, travel, all those miles ,an already know whos is going to win!!! not me! Bristol is calling everyday wanting us back. even sent us free tickets, last year!! jimmy is not a team player! he throws jr. under the bus every chance he gets! he is a usuer of his team mates! ghad learned from the best, at cheating,he worked under everham! stay home ,save your hard earned money, an fast forward to the end! nascar is a joke!
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