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.
Kurt Busch has gone through a lot of media scrutiny in his years as a professional race car driver. In the beginning, that exposure was all negative; after years of being exposed for his immaturity and aggressive driving, he worked very hard to repair his image and began to look like a responsible, civilized competitor after he won the first Nextel Cup trophy ever awarded back in 2004.
However, all this time, just under the surface, the Kurt Busch of old has lurked alive and well, just waiting for its next opportunity for tempers to flare and its chance to take out another innocent victim. Over the last few weeks, it appears as though that version of Kurt Busch, the real one, has begun to bubble back to the surface. That’s a shame, because if he doesn't do something soon to knock himself back to reality, there is a chance NASCAR might have to do it for him…and it won’t be pretty when they do.
The first glimpses that most of today's NASCAR fans had of the real Kurt were in 2002. Most of the fans remember him back then making the universal gesture to signify that Jimmy Spencer should be moved to the rear of the field during the Brickyard 400; a few laps later, Spencer was in the wall. Combine that with Busch bumping Spencer out of the way to win his first career Cup series race at Bristol, and, well, you could clearly see this was just the beginning of what would be an infamous Busch / Spencer feud.
The following year at Michigan is where that feud came to a head. Of course, that’s where the famous altercation occurred in which Busch tried to intentionally bump into Spencer on the track to push in his fenders and cut a tire. That move didn't work out so well, and actually hurt Busch's car worse than Spencer's; however, after the race was when Busch would end up hurting just as bad. Kurt was driving by Spencer on his way to his garage when he proceeded to launch an obscenity laced tirade about the day’s events that, at one point, mentioned that Spencer would die. Spencer was so incensed by Busch’s rant that he slugged the youngster through the window of his car. However, it was Spencer that ended up being labeled with a TKO, as the altercation resulted in him being suspended and forced to miss the following week's race at Bristol; Busch avoided that type of penalty, but his image took a huge hit from fans who felt like he didn’t give a veteran like Spencer the respect he deserved.
Apparently, it took that type of physical violence to wake Kurt up to his wacky ways. In 2004, a more mature Busch completed what could best be described as a fantastic turnaround; he made the field for the original Chase for the Cup and was crowned the series’ first Nextel Cup Champion. After winning the honor, Kurt vowed to be a fine ambassador for the sport and lived up to his end of the deal, truly putting his best foot forward with both the media and the fans. Realizing his newfound fame, Busch tried very hard to be accommodating for public appearances and during speaking engagements; even on the race track, he seemed to be driving more like a gentleman than he had at anytime in the past. However, before the end of the 2005 season, Busch had the infamous run-in with the Maricopa county sheriff in Arizona and was summarily dumped from his Roush Racing ride before the season came to its full fruition.
Recovering quickly from that embarassing incident, 2006 was surprsingly quiet for Busch, but part of that is most likely because of the fact that the entire Penske organization was running like a pile of horse excrement and he was never really much of a threat to win outside of Bristol. That being said, at least the new Kurt was still in place and not making any headlines for on or off-track activities.
How quickly that can change.
2007 rolled around and from the very beginning, it has appeared as though the old Kurt is beginning to reemerge through headlines that would hardly be considered flattering. The trouble started at Daytona: as the 500 unfolded, it became clear Busch had a car that was very capable of winning the race. He ran near the front of the pack for much of the event, but ultimately put himself in a precarious position far too early and ended up taking out himself and Tony Stewart with 50 laps to go, putting the two cars in position to dominate the field on the sidelines for the race’s final segment.
Since then, the Penske cars have been a bit more competitive than last year, but really not contending for wins as of yet…that is, until the All-Star race in Charlotte three weeks ago. In that exhibition Busch was near the front of the pack for much of the night and was racing with his brother Kyle during the final segment when Kurt attempted to assert his authority over his little brother and crowded him as he tried to make a pass going into turn one. Instead of the kinder, gentler Kurt, the old Kurt put his car in a place that resulted in both himself and his brother being taken out. What’s ironic about that is after the race, it was the new Kurt who seemed to emerge during the post wreck interviews, not the old. He was neither overly heated nor abusive when interviewed about the incident, coming off as the more experienced, older brother who was going to have to talk to his younger sibling.
That all changed the following week at Charlotte. After battling an ill-handling car for most of the night, Busch wrecked out of the race on lap 296. During a post wreck interview, Busch reprimanded ESPN’s Shannon Spake about her manner of speaking after she asked a question. He then answered the question and began to walk away, but before the camera turned off, he went back after the reporter to again berate her for her technique and came off as a bit of a pompous jerk as a result.
Finally, during today’s Nextel Cup race at Dover, Busch was involved in some push and shove action with Tony Stewart. The end result was that Busch wound up with a torn up race car and Stewart had significant damage. As the cars came to pit road after their on track skirmish, Busch stopped next to Stewart's car. As the pulled up, crew members for Stewart were already moving to the car to attempt to make repairs, forcing them to move out of the way on short notice. Of course, the end result is that the crew members were put in more danger than they are normally subjected to on pit road, and that’s a type of scenario that should never occur. Busch was ultimately parked by NASCAR for the rest of the day and will likely receive some sort of fine and possibly suspension by the time the series heads to Pocono on Sunday.
“It's about racing people with respect, and (Kurt Busch) hasn't done that with anybody for a year," Stewart said after being wrecked. "You finally get to the point where you're tired of giving guys positions. Most of the guys are pretty good about it. There's only a couple of bad apples out there, and he's one of them.”
The “new” Kurt had seemed as though he was working towards being a model citizen ever since signing with Roger Penske. However, whether it is because of poor performance or just the fact that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, the old version of Busch is coming back to the forefront…and it is not reflecting well on Kurt or his race team. If Kurt doesn't clean up his act pretty soon and start handling himself in a more responsible manner, NASCAR will need to step in and do if for him. The race track and pit road are no places for drivers to settle their differences, and treating the media like second class citizens is not going to do anything to help with a driver's image.
The bottom line is that Kurt better clean up his act, and soon, or he's going to be back to running late models in Las Vegas.
Author's Note: It is a sad day for the sport with the passing of Bill France, Jr. The man took the sport from little bullrings and dirt tracks to a nationwide sports juggernaut. Whether you like the way the sport has turned out or not, there is no doubt that Bill France, Jr. took the sport to a completely new level that allowed many of us to fall in love with it. You'll be missed, Bill. Condolences to the entire France family and the whole NASCAR sport. Godspeed Bill.
For all the latest news and information concerning the death of Bill France, Jr. click here for all that Frontstretch has to offer on this tragic loss.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
First, let me say that, like almost every other Kurt Busch fan, I thought his case of boneheaded idiocy on pit road was absolutely uncalled for and that he deserved being parked. If they park him for another race or two I’ll have no problems with it.
But you’re guilty of shallowness and oversimplification in claiming that only bad incidents are “the real Kurt Busch”.
Kurt is a complex personality. Yes, there are times when the vicious temper he struggles to control leads him to acts of utter stupidity. But there is a lot more to Kurt than just bad-tempered lapses in judgment.
The romantic, the clown, the generous writer of the million-dollar check to Victory Junction, the guy who let little girls dye his hair purple to make sick kids smile, the guy who hugged Ricky Craven in Victory Lane, the guy who stopped on the track to run to a fellow driver’s aid in an IROC race, the guy who bends over backwards to sign for and speak to more fans than actually had tickets for his autograph line, the guy who does autographs and photos for rival drivers’ fan when they’d just been ignored by their favorites, the guy so grateful for his championship that he brought every car owner he’d ever driven for to New York, the mangler of language, the backhandedly proud older brother who offered $100 to anyone who could knock Kyle off his first pole, the guy who knows his cars inside out, and the boneheaded idiot who lets his temper turn his brain off are all “the real Kurt Busch.”
Of course Kurt must get a handle on his temper. But a temper doesn’t make Kurt a bad person. If it did, Tony Stewart would be the last person on earth who should be throwing stones at Kurt Busch.
I’m no Kurt Busch fan, but you must have a grudge against this guy or something. Did he not sign an autograph for you after a race or something? You don’t even know this guy, and you’re like this is the real Kurt Busch. Give me a break
That accident was Kurt’s fault for not making sure he was clear of Tony before he went up the track. I Hope NASCAR parks Kurt Bush.
I’m trying to recall any other innocent victim that has been taken out by Kurt’s temper. Kurt’s actions on pit road were uncalled for but there was not malicious intent. That is the difference between passion and violence. As for the incidents that lead up to the accident – Kurt stated Tony had gotten into the back of him on several restarts – probably angry that he came into the pits ahead of Kurt and then exited behind him – and Tony was backing up and holding up 3 faster race cars. Kurt tried to pass Tony clean for about 15 laps before pushing the issue. As for Tony wanting everyone to give him position – maybe it would be a lot more fun for him to run 500 miles all by himself. He could then have all the give and take he needs. I’m sure Kurt will be punished by NASCAR and likely more severely than others would in this same situation but the crew members safety should not be put at risk because of a diffence in opinion between two thick skulled adrenaline junkies.
Anyone who indangers any crew member like happened should, in my opinion, be parked for a year!!
Kurt and his spotter were at fault on this one. The driver being the one ultimately at fault since he’s in the car and makes the final decision.
What he did on pit road is definitely deserving of being parked for a while. Sorry, but a pit crew member is facing enough risk without somebody pulling an immature, boneheaded stunt like Kurt did.
Park him, fine him, dock him points, and let him reflect over the errors of his ways. Maybe then he’ll have second thoughts before he tries something like this again.
Kurt Busch is a punk, has been and always will be. Pulling into the pits like that is totally uncalled for, Tony’s crew should have pulled him out of the car and gave him an old fashioned beat down. This kind of bush league action would not have flown with the old timers in days gone by. I hope they park him for awhile, put some else in the car that appreciates the fact they have one of the greatist jobs around.
Well put Voelker. Nothing excuses Kurt from endangering a Gibbs pit crew member. That said Stewart is an idiot. His attitude is everybody should just move out of the way for him. He has wrecked more “innocent victims” than most, and then gets a “free pass” form NASCAR so as not to endanger their season long storyline. Maybe this is part of the other racers frustration.
The pit road thing was dumb. Busch should know better…but then again, so should carl edwards and everyone else that has done something dumb in that way.
The wreck was certainly a lack of space on both ends. But, Tony does this every time he’s in a wreck. He immediately plays the “respect” card and says “I’m just doing to them what they do to me.” It’s an absurd response and the “5% he doesn’t get along with” changes from week to week. He said similar things in the past about Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer…pretty much every driver except Mark Martin at some point has been part of that 5%.
It’s moronic people like you that keep the bs going. Tony has had it out for KB all year, and it is about time Kurt took care of it! You wont see Stewart screwing with Busch again!
And you think Jerk O Stewart is any better. I use to think he was alright but it is all about Tony and giving Tony respect. HUH. By the way do you really think Kurt was going to run into a pit crew.I think the whole pitcrew thing is blown way out.Tony did you get the messaage dont mess with Kurt
Maybe if NASCAR did something about Tony Stewart, none of this would happen. He’s allowed to bitch and moan about guys not “giving and taking” all the while putting people into walls and getting into the back of them on restarts….even pushing the pace car at Lowe’s last week right in front of where I was sitting.
I don’t agree with what Kurt Busch did on Pit Road yesterday, but I was sitting in my office LIVID that Tony helped put Kurt in the wall AGAIN this season (the second time in 2 weeks, no less) I can only imagine how ticked Kurt must’ve been. Again, I don’t condone what he did, but something has to be done about that wreckless Tony Stewart also.
Kurt should have taken Tony and his monkey to the woodshed. Why was that crew guy even on the outside of Tony’s car??? Did he see Kurt coming and run out to protect the little monkey in the orange car???? Grow up Tony and take your Prozac!!!
Come on man! Look back at all the close racing over the years and most every driver has done some stupid things. Get off the Kurt Busch bandwagon and call it like it really is. Kurt always gets a bad rap for how he negatively reacts. It seems it’s always a headliner when the Busch Brothers show their emotions in the wrong manner. Give it a rest! If Stewart would’ve given a little more then neither one would have wrecked and who know’s, maybe they would’ve been racing each other for the win.
hot dang lets get over this. this week end it will be some one else. both parties were to blame. now what Kurt did on pit road thats another story. remember we all have bad days.
What a hit piece! Why not blame Kurt for 9-11. Tony Stewart is by far the biggest primadonna in NASCAR. He goes out of his way to wreck anybody who doesn’t kiss his fanny. What a crappy piece sticking up for a grade A putz…
Lady Di…the pit crew guy was there because Tony was parked in HIS pits.I’m not a Stewart fan by any means, but maybe you and Kurt both can watch this weekends Pocono race together since I’m sure he won’t be racing in it if NA$CAR has an ounce of respect for safety like they claim..
as far as i,m concerned,Kurt Busch never changed,he just did a good coverup.Like they say, “once a jerk,always a jerk”!
To ladydi; You have no CLUE! Do you remember Mike Rich! HE was KILLED on pit road!!! K.B. has gone too far,too many times,& his brother is from the same mold!!! History tends to repeat itself,I pray I don’t see it again!
This is probably going to come out wrong, but I still think that Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart are the kind of personalities that NASCAR needs – the love ‘em or hate ‘em, die hard racers. As long as nobody is injured, let ‘em have their grudges. As far as who the biggest whiner is, I think that honor still goes to Jack Roush.
If I remember correctly, the Kurt and Kyle incident at the All Star was mostly Kyle’s doing – it seemed that Kurt just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t really think Kurt was to blame for that.
Why do so many people want to forgive Busch because this incident involved the 20 team? What if it had invovled Mark Martin or Joe Nemechek? Would you then be so forgiving? What happened on the track was hard racing, and maybe a bad call by the spotter. What happened in the pits…....... was beyond stupid. Maybe Robby Gordon was right about Jimmy Spencer.
Kurt never got close to hitting the guy. Blow it all up to hate on a driver that you don’t like, that’s ok with me.
Some goons claim it should be attempted murder!
You folks are pathetic. He could have stopped or turned his car at any time, once the crew man moved he went in as close as he could to make his statement, nothing more.
Hate all you want.
Thanks BF Jr. Ya done a great job for all of us, we will miss you!
Tony Stewart thinks he can get the fan base that Dale Earnhardt Sr had but that has to be earned, which Tony doesn’t know how to do. Sure, KB did wrong on pit road. But Tony Stewart is FAR from the top driver that he thinks he is!
1st, lost in this mess & the loss of Bill France was one dominating performance by Martin Truex, congrats.
Has is occured to anyone that both of the idiots involved have problems making good decisions is the heat of the moment, not a good quality in a racing driver.
Kurt Busch’s actions on pit road should get him parked for at least a race but I think NASCAR is going to have problems justifying it given they should done the same to Tony Stewart for the incident at Pocono last year, instead, NASCAR penalized Stewart one lap for ruining two other drivers days. He should have been parked.
For various incidents throughout their careers both these clowns should have been parked until they grew up but NASCAR is unlikely to use this form of punishment given the dollars of sponsors involved.
Both of these jerks race like every lap is the last, if you want proof, look to last years first Loudon race and watch bonehead Stewart take himself out with about two-thirds of the race remaining, while in the lead, racing Ryan Newman who was two laps down on fresh tires. MORON! If I was his owner I’d kicked his butt all the way back to North Carolina. Not only did he throw away a probable win but he all but guaranteed that he wouldn’t make the chase in one shot. brilliant. As for Busch, his on track decision making is a touch better but run ins with both Stewart at Daytona, his own brother in the All-Star race and this latest debacle should and could have been avoided with a little give and take attitude on his part.
Both these fools would be best served if they would learn to just shut up and drive. They seem to have forgotten the old saying, “In order to finish first, first you must finish.”. On the plus side at least they only took each other out and for all I care, they can keep doing that for as long as they like. They’re both spoiled brats in my book.
I’m neither a fan of Stewart or Busch but this was over the top Kurt is a dirt racer by all means. If he having a bad day in a car he will spread his misery to others. Just ask Greg Biffle at Texas. Kurt had to chase him all the way up the hill to get him. Robby at Lowe’s the same way but he needed a yellow. Craven at Darlington the only problem was Craven was already agaist the wall so he couldn’t spin out. Tony has his issues as well. I still remember him just punting Truex at Bristol when he was racing Gordon hard after a spin. So Tony’s no angel as well. But, Tony will meet you at the woodshed to discuss race issue afterwards. Kurt would be more likely to send his attorney or wife to talk to you. Busch needs to sit out for long time at least 4-6 races and fined several hundred thousand dollars. Then we’ll never see this again. Roger and Miller brewing should step up to the challenge as park him as well. If not his fellow drivers should vote him off the island. Right now I would bet Robby Gordon is more liked in the garage then Busch.
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