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!
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.
I didn’t think it was possible. Really, I didn’t. I have always been one to give NASCAR the benefit of the doubt when matters of the sanctioning body’s credibility and integrity came under fire by the media at-large.
When the masses attacked NASCAR for implementing the Chase, I defended the decision as an exciting new way to consistently deliver close points battles, and looked past the obvious pitfalls associated with such a system. When the fans started accusing NASCAR of using debris cautions to manufacture excitement in races, I argued that “there was always debris somewhere, better to be safe than sorry.”
When NASCAR debuted green-white-checkered finishes and double-file restarts, and the people said that such procedures hurt the integrity and pureness of the race, I said that such procedures were fair rule changes that could change the game.
I’ve defended the merits of plate racing and questionable penalties that NASCAR has issued. I even defended NASCAR’s decision to boot Martin Truex, Jr. out of the Chase last week, and went as far as to say that NASCAR’s credibility was still intact.
Deep in my heart of hearts, I truly believed that many of the controversial decisions that NASCAR has made, and the countless rule changes that have been created over the years, were truly for the better of the sport. I have consistently given NASCAR my support.
That all changed yesterday.
I am done giving NASCAR “the benefit of the doubt.” What they did yesterday prevents them from earning my approval ever again and ruined their credibility as a sanctioning body. It’s gone now. Gone. And it’s going to take a whole lot of change to bring any bit of it back.
For those of you who aren’t following along at this point, the decision that has caused me to get so riled up is, of course, NASCAR’s move to add Jeff Gordon as an unprecedented 13th entry to the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Put simply, that very decision was quite possibly the most inane, frivolous, and downright idiotic move NASCAR has ever made. And it has the potential to ruin this once glorious racing series.
In what other sport does a sanctioning body have the power to simply add and subtract teams from the playoffs?
Not a single one.
NASCAR should not have the power to just arbitrarily play God, adjusting the playoffs on the fly in an attempt to rectify a decision.
NASCAR’s argument in this situation is that the circumstances created by MWR and Penske robbed Gordon of a rightful spot in the Chase, thus giving NASCAR justification to put Gordon into the Chase because it’s “just the right thing to do.”
This whole line of thought is absolutely wrought with fallacy. Yes, Gordon would have likely made the Chase had the caution not flew. But guess what?! Brad Keselowski could have just as easily driven into Chase position on that ensuing restart, just like Jeff Gordon could have made it in by the same token if X, Y, and Z didn’t happen.
Does that mean we should just give Keselowski a Chase spot, too? Of course not!
The reality is that, in this sport, in this gloriously zany and wild world of NASCAR, strange things are bound to happen. Teams will attempt to cheat the system. On-track officials will blow calls. Penalties will be made that are perhaps too severe or too lenient. These things are inevitable. Sometimes, the wackiness of a sport where 43 teams all compete against each other at once will lead to outcomes that are simply not fair to certain competitors.
In the case of Jeff Gordon, that is exactly what happened. A few rotten teams cheated, NASCAR blew the call, and the end result was a screwjob against Gordon. But that doesn’t give NASCAR carte blanche to just add and subtract teams from the points as they see fit.
It is staunchly against the spirit of competition to change an outcome after an outcome is finalized. It is also against the spirit of competition to change and make up rules as you go. NASCAR violated both of these principles by adding Gordon to the Chase. When a sanctioning body violates such rules, it forfeits its credibility, becoming another entity entirely, one that in many ways bears no resemblance to a sport at all.
I hesitate to say that the sport is doomed, or that NASCAR is going to cease to exist, but there is no question that the events of the past week have placed NASCAR at a serious crossroads in terms of the future health of the sport. Other sports leagues, along with their fans, will now look at NASCAR as something of a laughingstock, a league so devoid of true leadership that it will resort to changing outcomes and making up its own rules in an effort to create a perception of fairness. NASCAR has made its bed; it must now lie in it.
The road to gaining back their credibility will be arduous. It may take even more extreme measures to gain that all important trust back.
Perhaps this means the end of the Chase, that NASCAR must abolish the use of debris cautions or that it will require a total reconstruction of the sport. Whatever that fix is, NASCAR must wise up and find it quickly.
Can NASCAR actually learn from its mistakes? That is a question that can only be answered by the sands of time.
One thing remains certain for NASCAR: 9/13/13 will be a day that forever lives in infamy.
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©2000 - 2008 Matt Stallknecht and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
What honestly would Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., and Dale Earnhardt say to all of this?
Tom, what would Bill Senior and Junior have done? They both would have been at every race to police this garbage ALL THE TIME and not just show up once in a blue moon, and appear like they’ve been on a binge like Brian looked like yesterday. As for Dale Senior, well, had Senior not died, we would not have the chase, I firmly believe that! With all the decisions Brian has made, Senior would have retired and gone after the Presidency of NASCAR to make sure it survived. I was never a Senior fan, but he loved this sport, and would have done that to save it. He must be spinning in his grave!
By caving in to Gordon’s constant whining, I am even more convinced that Brian France is in Rick Hendrick’s pocket. Maybe the sanctioning body should just change its name to “HendriCAR”. I have never liked Jeff Gordon. I had the opportunity to meet him at Michigan two years ago and I found him to be rude and uppity. I came away wondering how anyone could be a fan of such a jerk! And people condemn me for being a Carl Edwards fan! As for Gordon, who is, without a doubt the biggest crybaby in the world (and who has trained Jimmie well, as he has become the second biggest crybaby), I sincerely hope he suffers premature engine failure early in each of the next ten races. Because if he really does win the Championship, it will be the biggest black eye on NASCAR ever, even more than three of Jimmie’s titles that are so tained with cheating that it’s not funny, and even more than if Bowyer wins the Championship after what he did last week. And it will be the final nail in NASCAR’s coffin that will finally drive this 52-year fan away for good.
Go Edwards, Biffle, and Logano!
This entire mess just shows the poor decision making involved in allowing multiple car teams and ‘satellite’ teams, much less the idea of having a playoff in which every team competes every week. Could we hope this kills the ‘chase’?
There is not one bit of difference in what MWR did and what Penske/FRR did. Brain Farce and Helton claimed there was not enough evidence. I guess they didn’t listen to the radio or see Gilleland roll over. Now Fox says they are keeping Waltrip because he was apologetic. Yes he was; for the third time in questionable actions. I couldn’t watch the truck race last night for hearing him and thinking of his pathetic actions. Thank goodness the NFL & MLB playoffs are on.
When Hendrick wins we the fans lose. I m tired of one team manipulating NA$CAR. This is embarrassing to our sport.
Gordon should turn down the 13th spot for the sake of the sport.
Gordon getting in may be the end result, but that’s hardly the reason NASCAR has lost its credibility. Their hands were tied once they penalized the wrong teams. Vickers team never should have been penalized for what they did. Once they did that they had no choice but to let Jeff back in (especially in light of the 22 team being allowed in after doing the exact same thing). NASCAR tried to play a smoke and mirrors show with the MWR penalties. If they had just drawn the hard line and docked Clint the 50 chase points (as well as kicking out the #56) they never would have had to let Jeff into the chase. They lost credibility when they didnt drop the hammer on the driver who started this whole mess.
My view on this entire ruckus centers on Bowyer. If the man just owned up to what he did…things may have not gotten to this point. If the media and fans want to center their anger..start there. NASCAR made a huge mistake not taking all MWR cars out of The Chase..sorry Truex..you are guilty by association. With Bowyer gone they could move the next eligible driver in The Chase. That on its own would have settled everything. NASCAR said they couldn’t prove (cough cough wink wink) Bowyer spun on purpose..but they couldn’t prove the 22/38 fiasco either…but they went ahead and added Gordon. It looks like they are trying to solve the issues.. Trying to right the ship..trying to govern the sport..but they fell short. If BF had the authority to add Gordon.. He certainly had the authority to take out Bowyer…but evidently Monday when the call was announced BF wasn’t wearing his big boy panties.
After last weekend’s mess, I decided to just tune out. I don’t care now. I may change my mind when next season starts but for now I’m revoking my fan card.
NASCAR lost its credibility years ago when it decided that racing was enough and had to use gimmicks (playoff format, Lucky Dawg, debris cautions, etc.) to make its product interesting. But I think that what brought this latest scandal weren’t those gimmicks as much as the concept of NASCAR being a “team sport.” I think that while each car is comprised of a team, the line should be drawn there and not include the other cars competing under the banner of a single tem owner(s) and its satellite operations.
here i sit aghast, appalled and stunned at the outright stupidity and favoritism so clearly demonstrated by the “sanctioning body.” they have truly become the laughing stock of all motor sport. in fact they may have fallen out of the sport category altogether and fully cemented their place as an entertainment venue or a pastime, a traveling circus if you will where the drama is manufactured and the outcome is pretty much the same, only the venue is different.
as i read the news my first thought was of utter disbelief, i actually did a double take. then other thoughts flooded in like clearly this wasn’t the first time teams did slightly underhanded things to effect the finishing order or the points. why take a stand now? then i thought geez. gordon isn’t even running well enough to be in the top ten never mind having the consistency to win the championship (which is sort of farce any way.) why such a risky decision? to try use the decision and gordon’s popularity to garner some exposure. naaah. couldn’t be it. gordon’s popularity is waning and most of it lies with what has become the shrinking nascar core fan base who mostly doesn’t like the chase. he’s not attracting newcomers. and why attract such attention before a race almost sure to be a snooze fest. but wait, maybe that is it. the management is so out of touch with the market and present trends and they only remember the golden era. the marketers that they’ve hired to attract new fans aren’t getting the job done so they fall back on the iron fisted good ol boy philosophy what used to work? naah.. that’s just plain stupidity and bad management technique. then i hit the wall. i told myself this was it. strike three. fatlady – singing loud and clear. the divorce is final. i am done with this ludicrous organization. as i mulled the taste of that decision over, a familiar question surfaced. am i crying wolf? why is it so goddam hard to walk away from nascar? really…. why? they have done almost everything i can imagine to make you and me walk away and never return. why? tradition? comfort? is it because i love racing so much? is it because its easy just to turn on a tv or computer where going to a short track takes effort? is it because of the train wreck watching theory? why why why?
this is for sure though… my support and attention seriously wanes and i am now ashamed to be a nascar fan. there are a lot less of us in this closet than there used to be.
Just woke up and smelled the coffee, did you Matt? NASCAR has been manipulating the outcome of races for years, as have the teams. What happened at Richmond is just put a spotlight on it.
If NASCAR wanted to put things right, all they would have had to do is put Edwards down to the first car, one lap down, for jumping the restart and giving the win to Menard. That would’ve put Gordon, Legano and Newman all in the Chase and would have been the correct call since they messed up big time on the final restart.
Calling Matt McLaughlin
Glen H., I’m a Carl Edwards fan, which I have taken a lot of condemnation for being his fan. I had a rather inebriated Junior fan throw a cup full of bear on my Aflac jacket at Bristol in 2010 just because he hated Edwards so much! Then he pushed me over and I nearly fell down the stairs! And right now, reading all the psychotic hate that has been written about that restart, I find myself wishing that, when Carl did realise that Menard spun his tires, which Menard fully admitted that he did, Carl should have let off or even hit his brakes to let Menard catch up. But, Kurt Busch would have hammered the back of Edwards’ car, as he was coming on big time. Had Edwards done that, two thins would have happened. One is that everyone would have been happy, especially all the Edwards haters. Two, Kurt Busch would most likely have missed the Chase, but the big crybaby (Gordon) would have got in easily.
As it is now, this whole issue has become a great big pile of warm, smelly fecal matter! What is worse, Gordon will most likely win the Championship this year. And if that happens, I’m done with this sport for good! I hope Rick gets good value for his contribution to Brian’s bank account!
Upon further review NASCAR will now be known as HASCAR.
Brian should disappear to his real family on Honey Boo Boo. He has to be adopted.
OK, let’s see…
Then you have the single point per spot system which makes the math so easy a first grader can figure out all the permutations to manipulate the points.
Then you have fake debris cautions and lucky dogs that allow Gordon back on the lead lap.
Then you have the wave around which allows Logano who is two laps down to get a free lap back and only be one lap down and therefore able to gain positions he would have never been able to get otherwise.
Then you have the double file restart which guarantees that the order will most likely get shuffled on a restart making spinning out on purpose worth a try if it looks like your teammate is going to come up a few points short if things end the way the run.
All these contrivances are supposed to make the racing more interesting by manufacturing exciting races for we fans (but most of us hate these manipulations).
The cost of having so many questionable practices that create so many gray areas came due and all on the same day and NASCAR couldn’t pay.
And now we’re all surprised that this has turned into a comedy. Well, it’s about a lot more than Gordon being put in the chase. It’s about a set of rules that promote chaos and are impossible to police and apply consistent rulings.
And Matt S., in what other sport do 43 teams compete against each other at the same time in the same space. And in what sport are there 31 teams (now 30 this year) competing with those in the playoff.
Sometimes being a NASCAR fan is tough. When my driver retires (who happens to be Gordon), I think I’ll retire as a fan.
I am bias for sure but I feel that if you want single Gordon out in this debacle as the straw that broke the camel’s back, then you need to just ask yourself one question… Did Clint spin out on purpose on not? If yes then Gordon should be in. If no then Gordon should be out.
Now that you’ve got that behind you the next question is how do we fix it so that nothing like this ever happens again. There are lot of factors above that could be removed to lessen the probability of chaos.
Damn, I wish I could have worked the GWC into this rant as also being on the table to remove from the rules.
I say the sad state of affairs is that this has been going on for years ACCEPTED, ALL TEAMS DO IT. Mike Helton himself said so, no rules to say you can’t. Now some teams are being labeled cheaters for the simple fact that one of Nascars golden HMS girls, was not the benefactor of that move. I agree this is the day that the Jeffy Rule ruined the sport. I don’t know how racing is going to look if Nascar is going to all of a sudden say its wrong to help out other teams. What will the race look like? This whole nonsense is a knee jerk reaction to clueless race watchers, not caring or understanding a lick of what they have been looking at every Sunday. They are now screaming foul, pathetic. Be careful who you call a cheater, one day its o.k. the next day its not and your driver could be labeled a cheater next, when in fact they are not. Shame on the media and HMS for fueling this non issue all for the sake of getting a sub par performing driver in the manipulated Chase. Sad day indeed.
This, in all seriousness, is what I hope happens tomorrow. When the green flag drops, everyone maintain their position, but everyone also move over and let Gordon, Johnson, Kahne, Junior, and Newman (because he is a Hendrick satellite driver) all go by. Then spend the rest of the race running in single file formation, and when the five NASCAR favorites approach from the rear, everyone let off the gas and let them all by again. Then, at the end of the race, when there are only five cars on the lead lap and the sixth place driver is the first car 10-laps down, see what The Brainless wonder has to say! And, I also hope that, if the drivers do that, by lap 15, the stands are empty and all the fans that are there are outside the Chicagoland Speedway ticket booths and offices demanding their money back! Thick Brian and Mike would notice? Naaaa!
After almost 40yrs.I am done with Cup racing. DONE Rick the former Felon can win every championship I will not care because I will not be watching what a joke
Thank you for the responses guys. I was surprised at the response to this piece, being a Saturday and all.
Needless to say, NASCAR has their work cut out for them going forward
After 35 years as a fan of Nascar, I can not believe what a joke it has become.
This is Twilight Zone stuff. I’ve been hanging on by my nails hoping for better days but it’s been more like a long, painful divorce.
Wanna bet that Old Jimmie’s bad luck is a thing past starting tomorrow..LOL. People screaming about manipulation and cheaters, better understand what they are crying about, but I don’t think they do. Its all part of the strategy people and you all just got suckered by HMSCAR..:)
Well Matt giving NA$CAR a pass for so long when THEY are the ones who have been manipulating outcomes forever was your decision and only you will have to live with it, however it does not say much when it comes to OBJECTIVE reporting. As for MWR, they did is the same thing that has been going on, again, forever. Most of the time it’s done better and many use different methods that aren’t as noticeable, but it’s been there. Due to just a few laps remaining it became very noticeable and all of sudden so may screaming bloody murder like they never have seen it before and under no instances have they ever done it before, which is a joke. Like Tony didn’t get any of the same kind of help a few years ago that helped him win 5 in a row, in very subtle fashion so it was not even noticeable. Like Hendrick teams don’t work together or with any satellite teams in any way. The worst offender is of course NA$CAR who on a weekly basis manipulate the outcome in the name of excitement. Didn’t Jeffy get one of those “in the knick of time yellows” that helped him get back in the game form two laps down, how did that happen, on it’s own, me thinks not. This all started when, and it wasn’t over nite, NA$CAR stopped being a sanctioning body staging a safe race and became a marketing giant staging a Manipulate Staged Entertainment Event. Any credibility they had was gone long ago. Everyone who looked at it OBJECTIVELY saw this long ago. That’s the elephant in the room. The reason why the stands are empty and no one, compared to years ago, even bother to watch it on TV. The Emperor Brian progressed it past anything anyone could have ever imagined. He has taken it down a road that has made it impossible to recover from. MWR did the same thing that has been going on forever, they had little time to work with and as a result, did it poorly. And now because of Hendricks close, tight relationship with the Emperor, Jeffey is in the Chase, which has been a JOKE since the day it began. Now MWR could loose all their sponsors and maybe put, what 300 people out of work all on the same day so that NA$CAR can claim they have integrity after all. RIP NA$CAR.
I think the time is ripe for someone else to create a new stock car series (Indycar maybe). To be run with cars much closer to stock, on non-ISC and non-SMI tracks, because Bruton is as big an a-hole as BZF is an idiot. Adopt a sensible rulebook with none of the current NASCAR incomprehensible stupidity. It might take a while but eventually such a new series would eat NASCAR’s lunch
There has always been some favoritism involved in NASCAR, but I remember how mad I used to be at DW driving around in last place, as I felt like he was just taking my money.
Speaking of manipulating, it is funny how all I have to do is look at what make the Pace Car is to know if Kyle Busch will win that day. Like today. How much was it that Toyota paid NASCAR to get Wins?
Jim, you are 100% correct. You seem to be one of the few that get it. I am also disgusted by the hypocrisy of HMS..I am sure they brought that audio to Nascars attention and started the whole “cheater” thing. People are being manipulated and the sheep don’t have a clue. Very sad.
Matt, welcome ashore, heard you just got off the boat yesterday. While skeptical of HMS or other favoritism there simply isn’t enough evidence for me to be convinced. I am convinced that NASCAR manipulates races for the purpose of increased revenue. It is par for BF/MH to deflect the credibility issues to the race teams instead of taking responsibility. I will still watch the last 50 laps of races but I would never consider attending an event and would be embarrassed to wear any kind of NASCAR gear in public. Is it too late to get back on that boat? Fast cars, bright colors, pretty girls, prayers, national anthem, more cars finishing on the lead lap than ever, double file restarts every 50 laps, most competitive championships ever. Is there a 24 hour buffet on the boat?
Good one BabyD..again.
The whole thing boils down to the chase. If the chase didn’t exist, then there would be no need for any of this manipulation.
When the chase was first floated, the fans screamed at NA$CAR not to do it, but Brain Fart France, being a Legend in His Own Mind, thought he knew best, and began the long slow march toward the perfect storm of manipulation that happened at Richmond.
While adding Jeff may have been “the right thing to do” in this circumstance could be legitimately debatable, the Law of Unintended Consequences is just about certain to put NA$CAR in a contorted bind down the road.
The simplest, most obvious solution is to ditch the chase and eliminate ALL these issues in a single shot.
I haven’t seen this much whining since my 5yo son got beat up by his sister. Guys, get a life. BF & MH don’t give a zip what you think. I’d bet every one of you will be back watch NASCAR on TV before chase ends this year. I disagree with the 24 being put in the chase, but now that he is there I think it would serve NASCAR right if the 24 won the championship. If I thought the whining here was bad, NASCAR would burn for sure then.