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.
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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt Stallknecht · Thursday November 15, 2012
Well folks, it took 10 months, but we’re finally here. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its final road trip of the year for the season finale in Homestead-Miami, FL. Jimmie Johnson’s tire failure midway through last Sunday’s race in Phoenix essentially doomed his chances for a title, and Brad Keselowski now sits with a comfortable 20 point advantage heading into the season’s final race. And, word on the street is that there was some sort of altercation late in last week’s race, apparently involving Jeff Gordon?
Needless to say, we will be tackling that and much more in this week’s edition of Four Burning Questions.
1. Can Jeff Gordon prove that his career hasn’t “Jumped The Shark”?
Boys will be boys. You knew it was going to happen at some point. Jeff Gordon has been stifling some strong negative feelings about Clint Bowyer all season long, and his frustrations with the Kansas native came to a head last Sunday in Phoenix. In what can best be described as the cheap shot of all cheap shots, Jeff Gordon turned hard left into oncoming traffic and managed to take out a championship contender (Bowyer, who was obviously his target) and two innocent drivers who have every right to be pissed this week (Joey Logano and Aric Almirola). In the process, Gordon managed to spark the biggest infield brawl since the 1989 edition of the All-Star race, and his efforts netted him a nice well-deserved $100,000 fine.
Many fans will say that Gordon was in the right and that he should be commended for standing up for himself. I wholeheartedly disagree. The whole incident absolutely stunk of a desperate driver whose career has jumped the shark. It’s rather sad to think that the same guy who led the recreation of Sodom and Gomorrah in the infield last Sunday was the very same individual who vehemently preached born-again Christian values every week in victory lane and let his racing do the talking back in the ‘90s.
With one flick of the wheel, Jeff Gordon destroyed any lasting bit of significance he had left in the sport. The fact of the matter is that Gordon has been on the decline for years now, and last Sunday may very well end up being the day that fans look back on 20 years from now as the day that Jeff Gordon stopped being taken seriously a contender. There’s simply no excuse for what Gordon did, “serious contenders” at his age don’t pull the kind of idiotic crap that Gordon pulled on Sunday. Desperate drivers do.
So what can Gordon do to prove he still has a shred of relevance left to his name?
No question, he absolutely has to go out to Homestead this weekend and run well. Really well. He needs to run so well that it overshadows his misgivings from a week ago. If he doesn’t, then I’m afraid Gordon’s career may very well have jumped the shark for good.
2. Brad Keselowki just has to play conservative to win the title right?
Given the madness that ensued at the end of the race on Sunday, it’s rather easy to forget just how incredible of a day it was for Brad Keselowski. Keselowski’s strong top-10 run, coupled with Jimmie Johnson’s mid-race tire failure, put the title directly into Keselowski’s control. The No. 48 went down in a resoundingly anticlimactic fashion, and it makes life fairly easy for No. 2 team, as a top 15 run in Homestead ought to seal it for them. But sadly, as much as I’m sure Brad and company would like to start celebrating early, they do still have some work to do.
20 points is a solid cushion, but it in no way guarantees them a title. Many in the media have made it seem as though Keselowski simply has to start the race to lock up the title, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although Johnson is historically weak at Homestead, there is every reason to believe he will be on his game given how strong his team’s 1.5-mile program has been thus far. If Johnson’s team hits the setup while Keselowski’s plays it conservative and runs 15th all race, the title could still very well swing to Johnson’s favor.
So to answer the original question, no, Keselowski can not employ a conservative strategy on Sunday, especially with the No. 48 team still within striking distance.. Being aggressive is what got the No. 2 team to where they are now in the first place, changing that would only serve to hurt them in the end. Of course, given the No. 2 team’s approach to the sport, I highly doubt they would even go the conservative route anyway.
3. Will Homestead live up to its historical standing as the best 1.5-miler on the circuit?
Go back and watch any race from Homestead since the track was reconfigured back in 2003. Not a single one of them was a stinker. In an era of boring cookie cutter tracks with little character and sterile on track racing, Homestead stands above its 1.5-mile track brethren. Part of it is due to the track’s unique “true oval” shape, some of it has to do with the well implemented progressive banking. Whatever the reason, Homestead puts on the best racing of any 1.5-mile track on the circuit, bar none.
And the good news?
There’s no reason to believe that the track’s record of solid races won’t continue this Sunday. The natural multiple groove format makes it so that drivers aren’t restricted to one line around the track (and thus being forced to follow in other cars’ dirty air), and thus the aero push phenomenon that so plagues the other 1.5-milers of NASCAR circa 2012 isn’t nearly as bad at Homestead. Not only that, the track is starting to show some age, meaning that tires ought to have some degree of fall off to them.
Add all this together and you have the recipe for a great race. Let’s hope that the Ford EcoBoost 400 lives up to it.
4. Does big league NASCAR racing still have a future in Canada?
A few weeks ago it was reported here at Frontstretch.com that the Canadian Circuit Trois-Rivières was in line for a Nationwide Series race in 2013. The Quebec government announced its support for the venture and it appeared that there were enough investors ready to make the move happen. But alas, between NASCAR’s desire to get the Nationwide schedule out a decent time, a viable alternative in Mid-Ohio, and a failure from Quebec to put a complete and fully-financed deal on the table in a swift manner, the deal was ultimately axed. Quebec will likely try again for a date in 2014, but a bigger question remains to be answered: how long will it be before a major touring series returns to the land up North?
Part of that question will likely be answered next week, as the Truck Series schedule is rumored to feature the inclusion of the Canadian Mosport Circuit. But if that doesn’t happen, where does that leave NASCAR’s future in Canada? Canada has as many stock car fans per capita as there are in the United States, and the country deserves not only one race, but many races. However, with all of these tracks failing to put consistent and viable deals on the table, one has to believe that NASCAR is losing faith in the region’s ability to host their sport.
Nonetheless, the release of the Truck Series schedule will bear watching for those wishing to see NASCAR racing in Canada. If Mosport doesn’t make the cut, it could be awhile (perhaps until the NASCAR-friendly Canadian Motor Speedway opens in Niagara Falls?) before NASCAR’s big leagues go North of the border.
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©2000 - 2008 Matt Stallknecht and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I’ve been going to Canada to race or spectate since the 1970’s. Montreal for the Nationwide race was my favorite because I love the city and it was great fun to stay in a good hotel downtown and take the subway to the circuit. Canadian fans are also terrific. The average Canadian fan is not just a Nascar fan; he or she knows and follows Formula 1, sports car racing, Moto GP, etc. Always had great conversations with people in the stands. Nascar will screw up again if they dont do something in Canada next year, but then again, what else is new for Nascar?
I agree that Gordon’s move last week was wrong. I’m all for “Boys have at it” and the sport could certainly use the color, but not on the track. Take it to the garage, take your helmets off (no helmet bitch-slapping, please), and fight until you’ve made your point or until you can’t fight anymore. I suspect Joey Logano and Aric Almirola would agree with me, at least this week.
Still, I wouldn’t call Gordon a desperate has-been. Is he in his prime? Of course not, but he’s still competitive, he’s still driving top-tier equipment for THE top-tier team, and he’s still one of the best drivers of all time. Show me a driver that went out while on top of his game and I’ll show you a driver who died on the track. A win or a DNF by Gordon this weekend changes nothing.
@ Carl D. Didn’t Ned Jarret retire after a championship season?
I think he did. Those guys are few and far between though. Huge Bobby Labonte fan here, but he’s a good example of hanging on too long.
I’ve been to Mosport several times, and have raced on the 1/2 mile oval there. I really, really hope we see a Truck race; Canada needs a NASCAR event up here other than our own Canadian Tire Series! I’ll be there with bells on, if so.
There is a HUGE NASCAR fan presence up here. The problem is, the event has always been in Montreal. Not knocking Quebec, but their French heritage really makes them lean toward road racing, open wheel racing, and F1. They have some great ovals over there, but it’s a much smaller demographic.
Here in Ontario though, stockcar racing is as much an institution as it is in America, especially in Southerwestern Ontario. The history is rich at tracks like my home track Delaware Speedway, Flamboro, Cayuga and Mosport, not to mention all the ones up North.
And Matt, Fort Erie just finally got the biggest hurdle pushed through city council to start building our first Cup-level speedway, to be a 1 mile oval like Iowa, designed by Jeff Gordon. So even if there isn’t a road course to race on, there will be that.
Also, Delaware Speedway, and the Mosport 1/2 mile oval, are both big enough to host a Nationwide or Truck race.
So, yes, bring a NASCAR race to us in Ontario! They won’t be disappointed.
aaaaaaaand Ron Fellows just announced it. We have a Truck race!
My bet is that if Gordon was on a “lesser” team (one that didn’t bring in a lot of money to nascar), he would have been parked.
Oh, and didn’t “Boy Wonder” bring “5-time” into the sport? Thanks.