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.
NASCAR Fan Q & A · Matt Taliaferro · Thursday July 9, 2009
Anyone see where former U.S. Figure Skating champion Nicole Bobek was charged in a New Jersey court with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine? (Anyone care?) Wonder if she’ll “follow the dangerous precedent” set forth by Jeremy Mayfield, his appeal, and the court’s subsequent injunction? Considering she’s been retired for awhile and already in jail, I guess she has no one to appeal to — besides the court itself.
All joking aside, I think we’re making a little much of the “dangerous precedent” theory. This is America, after all, where the judicial system is set up the way it is for a reason. If an individual in this sport or any other has been falsely accused or tries in vain to clear his or her name despite the fact they’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, let them challenge the system. In the end, it only stands to make the system stronger. Policies are improved, testing bolstered, regulations focused.
We may not know for a long while what the truth is in this instance, but it was only a matter of time before someone challenged the system — testing results have been challenged in every sport, regardless of how the policies differ. In the meantime, weaknesses have been exposed in the structure of a drug testing policy that is of paramount importance — weaknesses identified by a federal judge. The more the policy and procedure is questioned and dissected, the more thoroughly it can serve the sport going forward.
And before you give me a hard time about the figure skating thing, no, I don’t follow the sport. I do, however, read newspapers. And I’ve still got a little thing for Katarina Witt.
Give me a shout this week; here’s the link. As for this week, let’s start with something you all are still enjoying — the Hall of Fame debate …
Why is no one giving credence to the fact that many crew chiefs have been just as valuable in advancing and contributing to the sport as drivers, owners, and men like Bill France and Bill, Jr.?
Dale Inman guided The King to seven championships, and he’s not even mentioned in the list of 25? That’s like the Pro Football Hall of Fame not inducting Vince Lombardi in his first year of eligibility. Everyone associated with the sport should be considered. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be limited to only certain “types” of participants.
A: The first thing I’m gonna do is drag out that tired old cliché and go apples and oranges on ya for making the pro football/head coach and NASCAR/crew chief comparison. I see your point, Linda, but I’m not sold on that analogy or reasoning.
That said, and this is after a couple of weeks of digesting all the facts here (while attempting to not contradict myself from earlier columns), I’m of the opinion that the inaugural Hall of Fame class for any sport should include more than just five entrants. Since this particular sport has been alive and well for 61 years, I think it’d be best to use the first class as an “assumed class.”
What I mean by that is we have maybe 20 or 30 people that deserve to be in after all these years, so why limit the first group to just five? Expand this one class to 15 or 20 entrants, and you’ll have taken care of all the accepted names that will be in over the next 10 years anyway. Get the Petty/Earnhardt/France trio along with guys like Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough, Bill France, Jr., Curtis Turner, David Pearson out of the way in one fell swoop so we can move along to those that merit debate.
I do like your thinking on Inman, Linda. There is something to be said for seven titles when you’re the guy supervising on a weekly basis. And thanks for a question that made me look at this issue from a different angle.
I’ve read NASCAR’s press release on the 25 nominees for the Hall of Fame on Jayski.com. It says that voting will be done by members of NASCAR, former drivers, crew chiefs, media, etc. and name the 25 nominees. My question centers on who, exactly, is doing the voting? Was that list ever released or was that kept secret, too, like NASCAR likes to do?
A: The list was released back in April, Terri. It consists of the following nominating committee that drew up the list of 25 nominees:
Winston Kelley and Buz McKim from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. NASCAR representatives Brian France, Jim France, Paul Brooks, Mike Helton, Robin Pemberton, Jim Hunter, Jerry Cook and Ken Clapp. Track owners and operators Lesa Kennedy, Clay Campbell, Bruton Smith, Ed Clark, Tony George, Denis McGlynn, Doc Mattioli, Dale Pinilis, Tom Blackwell, Jim and Barbara Cromarty, and Jim Williams.
And a voting panel that, along with the aforementioned group, will narrow the field to five. The voting panel consists of:
Mike Accavitti, Rick Allen, Dusty Brandel, Kenny Bruce, Duane Cross, Barry Dodson, Edsel Ford III, Harry Gant, Barney Hall, Mike Harris, Tom Higgins, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Mike Joy, Dustin Long, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Buddy Parrott, Jim Pedley, Ed Peper, Jerry Punch, Doug Rice, Ricky Rudd, Nate Ryan, Ernie Saxton, Bill Weber, Humpy Wheeler, Lee White and Waddell Wilson.
Michael Waltrip Racing has come a long way in a short time, but do you think Martin Truex, Jr. made the right move in jumping from EGR to Waltrip? Seems like a lateral move to me. I think Truex has potential, so MWR scored.
A: On the surface, the term “lateral” may seem appropriate, but I think Truex was thinking of his long-term viability in the sport. Let’s be honest here, there aren’t going to be many open seats for 2010. Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing — in the current economic environment, anyway — is looking more like a sinking ship than a lifeboat. I mean, didn’t those two groups have seven teams among them (not to mention the sport’s ultimate cash cow) just two years ago?
Anyway, in the press conference that introduced him as the new pilot of the No. 56 NAPA Toyota on Tuesday, Truex cited that he saw potential at MWR and an appealing environment. Both fair points. However, I can’t help but wonder if the security of a fully-funded car in one of the few organizations that isn’t in danger of dropping cars didn’t sway his thinking. The fact that Toyota isn’t filing for bankruptcy anytime soon didn’t hurt either, I’m sure. And let’s not overlook the improvement that organization has made in its two and half years of Cup existence.
MWR, in turn, got a super-marketable 29-year-old that should play the Felix Unger to Michael’s Oscar Madison to perfection. And Felix, err, Truex, has proven that when he’s in the right situation, he’s able to win a race or two and qualify for the Chase.
In short, a solid move for both MWR and Truex … although he would’ve fit the mold of a third Stewart-Haas pilot to a tee. That third car, though, does not yet exist.
Matt, we’re going to Chicago and camping for the race this week, and I wondered about Route 66 Raceway. I haven’t been able to get information on whether they are running there this week. We will be there on Thursday afternoon. Any racing at the half-mile to fill the gaps?
A: Sorry bud. The half-mile dirt track at Route 66 isn’t running again until July 25th. Looks like it’s horseshoes and grillin’ for you instead. And that’s not a bad thing.
Don’t forget about Tom Bowles and Matt Taliaferro’s Athlon / Frontstretch Podcast, sponsored this season by Wrigley’s! Check out the archive by clicking here, and look for the newest edition to head your way sometime later this week! Of course, if all else fails, you can always listen to us on iTunes for FREE! Search for our weekly show under “Athlon.”
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©2000 - 2008 Matt Taliaferro and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Expanding on the non-driver nominees for the HOF…Dale Inman , Leonard Wood , Smokey Yunick , Holman-Moody , Banjo Mathews , Ray Fox , Cotton Owens , and that just scratches the surface .
How easy we, the American public, can be “diverted” from the REAL issues of FAN SAFETY & DRIVER SAFETY!
NA$CRAP wants to, and is trying their best, to portray Mayfield as a DANGER TO THE OTHER DRIVERS AND THE FANS!
Now, sports fans, bear with me here, and think!! PLEASE?
Ask yourself this basic question???
Is a SINGLE “impaired” driver inherently, or potentially more inherently DANGEROUS, than racing that sick machine called the CoT with the infamous RESTRICTOR PLATE, 43 of them, count em’, at Talladega & Daytona?
Think about it! In ALL recent years “events”, at either track, there have been crashes of 12+ cars , a multitude of times, even to the point of pieces of cars getting into the stands injuring spectators!
It is “THE NORM”!
So, if NA$CRAP REALLY wanted to protect drivers and fans alike, and I mean REALLY PROTECT THEM, the emphasis would be on the tracks and the cars, not pursuing in public a SINGLE DRIVER! (don’t get me wrong, drugs are bad, very bad) but the time end energy spent trying to “protect the sport” as far a safety, should really be spent on what historically has endangered fans and drivers alike! Every race, multiple car crashes, every race (particularly Dayton & Talladega)!
So? On prioritized scale,
Yet another NA$CRAP sleight of hand!
Don’t fall for it! Stay away from NA$CRAP, at least as long as King Brian is involved.
Some headlines state “Mayfield is drug impaired”, the headline should say “Brian Farce is mentally impaired”!
Brian will probably vote for himself. They should have taken 3-5 from each decade up until 2000 for the first class in the hall.
And so it begins
One point to remember with urine testing for drugs. That is the elimination step. Person might not be still under the influence of the drug at the time of the test. They could have been under the influence the day before while driving on the road while your child was riding their bike. Or even 30 days before if using pot. It is not the drivers on the race track I fear for.
And an addendum:
Jeremy, for the love of God, when NASCAR asks you to take a drug test, please, please show up within the two-hour window! What’s with the seven hour crap?? You’re making the case easy for them…
Hey Matt, ya know?
RE: showing up for drug test! ON TIME!
Are we sure this happened, or did not happen? Are we “trusting” NA$CRAP on this?
That would be a laugh for sure!
I simply BELIEVE NOTHING NA$CRAP says or publishes!
Something fishy about this whole scenario!
Oh sure, with all the (bad) publicity and the public whipping Jeremy is taking, he is going to play games when it comes to showing up for a drug test!
Or does NA$CRAP have a shadow on Jeremy and so can call him at the most inconvenient time!
What are the circumstances? I, as you, sure hope Jeremey has a good answer! (at least I hope you agree)
Wish I had an answer for ya, Douglas. Marty Smith has Jeremy’s take, though. At least we get his side of the story on this one.
Why does everyone make NASCAR to be the bad guy in this? Mayfields samples were tested 4 times and then he was asked to report in two hours to a test he never showed up to and made excuses as to why he didn’t! He didn’t want to get tested! He waited a long time and then showed up at some place set up by his lawyer!! Um, don’t you think that points to some fishy business on Mayfields part. He was trying to avoid getting test within the two hours required! Folks, the writing is on the wall and NASCAR is trying to keep the sport as safe as possible for the folks who compete and the fans! Stop making NASCAR out as the badguys!
Hey “NASCAR Fan”! Are you kidding?
Where do you get your information from? NA$CRAP?
Here are some of the “facts” as stated by Brian Farce himself at a recent press conference:
1. King Farce stated that “plenty” of drug test have been failed! BUT NA$CRAP has written into their testing “flexibility” on how and when to handle the individuals involved in the “failed” tests!
Please note he actually said “plenty”!
(my take is that Jr. failed, no actions taken, another driver “fails” (mmm, fails what?), CRUCIFIXION! Why? his name is not Jr. JJ, JG.
True “flexibility”, just like all the other rules they change and ignore depending on whom and who!
2. King Farce went on to state also that no, they have not supplied the “complete” list of banned substances! Again why? Glad you asked!
So NA$CRAP can continue to be vague about what is legal, and what is illegal, again, for “flexibility”!
3. King Farce has stated many times, that they, NA$CRAP are only interested in driver safety, and safety for the fans that attend these event!
If this is indeed the case, why do they continually turn loose on the high-banks of Daytona & Talladega, 43 cars (I don’t dare refer to them as race cars, they ain’t no such thing)
At each and EVERY such race, major multiple car pileups have occurred, a minimum of two per race, each exceeding 12 cars wrecked, WITH PIECES OF CARS GETTING INTO THE STAND WHERE THE SPECTATORS ARE! and spectators indeed being injured!
So, knowing the fact that these pileups endanger spectators and drivers alike, race, after race, after race, why would not NA$CRAP’S priority be on solving this continuing problem guaranteed to happen at every restrictor plate race!
Is NA$CRAP “REALLY” interested in driver/spectator safety?
In closing, your “Folks, the writing is on the wall and NASCAR is trying to keep the sport as safe as possible for the folks who compete and the fans”??
I again must ask???
Regarding Jeremy, I only have 5 for for NASCAR and I pray that they come to pass;
Check out Mayfield’s statement and actions when one of his crewmen was among the very first to fail a drug test this year – and then was fired by Mayfield as a result.
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