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.
It is really hard to get excited about the Busch Series this season. With seven full-time NEXTEL Cup drivers also planning to run the entire Busch Series schedule, and many more running ten to 20 plus races, it's no longer a feeder seriesâ€¦ it's a NEXTEL Cup practice session.
You can argue that the cars aren't the same and there is only so much that you can transfer from one to the other. However, I have to believe that if it didn't help the drivers on the track or the teams with the car's setups on Sunday, most of the Cup owners would not allow their drivers to risk themselves on Saturday.
It's been an annoying trend every season, but this year it's even worse. They're called “Buschwhackers”, but many are rethinking that name, since so many of these drivers are actually running both series full-time. Cup drivers Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, J.J. Yeley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Reed Sorenson, and Carl Edwards will run the entire Busch Series 35-race schedule. Drivers like Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Scott Wimmer, Ken Schrader, Casey Mears, Jeremy Mayfield, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, and others are also running in several races this season. With only 43 available spots each weekend, that drastically reduces the opportunity for those non-Cup drivers to compete.
Saturday's Stater Bros. 300 is a perfect example. Eighteen Cup drivers took part in that race, with the Top 11 finishing positions going to Cup drivers, and Biffle earning the victory. With his 12th-place run, Todd Kluever, driving a Roush Ford, was the first non-Cup driver to cross the finish line. John Andretti, driving the No. 10 ppc Racing Ford, finished 19th in one of the few cars in Saturday's field that doesn't have Cup affiliation.
And it's not just that I get annoyed watching the Cup drivers generally dominating the races (usually because they drive for big time Cup owners/teams that like to “dabble” in the Busch Series), but the television broadcasts tend to ignore the smaller “regular” Busch Series drivers. Take the recent race at California Speedway. If someone had just turned on the television mid-race and not known what day it was, they would probably think they were watching a Cup race. They also might have thought that Biffle, Newman, Edwards, Burton, Harvick, Sorenson, and Hamlin were the only drivers in the race. For instance, Kenny Wallace finished 24th after qualifying 11th. Why did he slip so far back? Jason Keller qualified 30th and fought his way to a 15th place finish. Why didn't we hear much about that? Rookie Burney Lamar impressed everyone by finishing second to Tony Stewart at Daytona, however, 21st was the best he could muster on Saturday. What happened?
I know a lot of people are going to argue that even in the NEXTEL Cup Series broadcasts, they generally only focus on the drivers who are at the top of the heap, or drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson no matter where they are. It's one of the television networks' biggest faults and the complaint of fans whose drivers aren't always running up front. However, these are the Busch Series races, and they are totally ignoring the drivers whose only racing outlet is that Seriesâ€¦ those who put their heart, souls, and often their financial stability on the line just to compete. They are also ignoring those of us who love the Busch Series because of the dedication that these “little” drivers and teams have; the ones who aren't funded by NEXTEL Cup owners.
There was recently a story on BGNRacing.com about Kertus Davis, and how every next race could be his last. The team is funded by his father, who has gone into debt trying to make their dreams come true. They made every race last year except for five, with only three full-time employees including his father. They did not finish in the top 30 in the point standings, therefore, they do not have a guaranteed spot in the field every weekend. This means that they, like several others in the Series, have to focus almost all of their energy on qualifying just to make the field. But when it's an impound race, it means they can't do a thing to their cars after qualifying. If it weren't for so many of those 43 spots being taken up by Cup drivers on a weekly basis, there would be more open spots for the regular Busch guys, meaning they'd have to concentrate less on qualifying setup and could concentrate a little more on making the car race-ready. But they can't. So instead, if they make the race, chances are very good they won't be very competitive, and they will usually have to settle for just riding around in circles.
But most drivers don't race just to ride around in circles; they race to win. If they can't win, they at least want to believe they have a chance and be competitive. When they have to compete against all of these Cup drivers and all this Cup money and equipment, there is little more they can do then just ride around. It's not fun for them, and it's not fun for many of us Busch Series fans.
So, I will continue to watch the Busch Series every weekend and cheer for the drivers who really are Busch Series drivers. However, it's going to be real hard to get excited knowing that the likely outcome is one of the many Cup Series teams in victory lane. I hope NASCAR does do something before they destroy a great racing series with so much historyâ€¦ if it's not already too late.
NASCAR really needs to limit Cup drivers in the amount of races they can compete in every year, before the Busch Series guys (and girls) get pushed out of their own series. I say, if a driver competes full-time in the NEXTEL Cup Series, they should only be allowed to run no more than 15 Busch Series races. This way, they still get to come out and race “for fun,” while allowing the Busch Series drivers more of a chance to win their own races and their own championship. Unfortunately, I don't see NASCAR doing anything. I think they are happy with the money the Cup guys bring to the series, both through sponsorship and ticket sales, and as we know, money does make NASCAR go round.
©2000 - 2008 Nikki Krone and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Nikki:I’m going to go you one better. If a driver is driving full time in the Cup Series, he should not be allowed to participate in the Busch Series at all. If he drives full time in the Busch Series, he can only run a maximum of 5 races in the Cup Series. Sponsors for Busch Drivers are very hard to find due to so many Cup Series Drivers racing in the Busch Series. Sponsors for Cup Drivers are getting hard to find due to the stupid Chase For The Championship playoff. Busch is Busch, and Cup is Cup, and needs to be kept in that perspective.
IMO, any Cup driver who runs all or most (at least 2/3—3/4) of the Busch races is a Double-Dipper and his effort, which brings in money and fans all year, is as legitimate as anyone else’s.
IMO, any Cup driver whose name is bringing a sponsor to a car shared with a developmental driver is as legitimate as anyone else. Regardless of what complainers whine about Cup teams taking sponsors from Busch-only teams the fact is that Reeses wouldn’t have sponsored Clint Bowyer a couple years ago without Kevin Harvick as the main draw and the same for David Stremme sharing with Jamie McMurray in his rookie year.
IMO, any Cup driver who owns his own team, no matter how often or rarely he runs is in Busch legitimately.
I have no problem with Cup rookies and sophomores running selected Busch races to help them out with tricky tracks.
I have no problem with the drivers who run around the middle or back of the pack both Saturday and Sunday in pursuit of the goal of making a living in racing.
I have no problem with using Cup drivers in a start-up team so that you have the quality feedback from a veteran to help get up to speed.
The only thing I have a problem with is when Cup stars cherrypick a few, high-purse Busch races where they have a good shot at winning. But you can’t keep those guys out without being unfair to all the others so we just have to live with it.
In the end, the well-run, quality teams who think creatively and make good use of their resources will prevail no matter what. Look at KHI—a team only a few years old but bursting with potential in trucks and Busch and with excellent prospects to succeed in Cup in due time. You can’t look at the success Kevin and Delana have had in only a few years as teamowners and whine that you’d be doing just fine if only those big bullies weren’t stealing your sponsors, your points, and your purse money.
I think if a cup driver is to compete in the busch series, he must do so in every busch series race. It is unfair to the regular Busch series drivers for these cup teams to just “practice” for certain Nextel Cup events, and driving in every race shows true dedication to the sport.
well here we go again. All I hear is that the cup drivers bring fans and money. This is all well and good but the regulars, who are trying to make their living in Busch are being starved. If you keep stealing their income, they may have to leave the series. The Busch series at one time was the breeding ground for new talent. With so many cup stars, there is little opportunity for a kid with talent and no bucks to get a decent ride, as the smaller teams aren’t earning enough to get top equipment so even a good driver in a mediochre car cannot shine. Nascar today has forgotten its roots and it has forgotten that if you make it impossible for the great majority of talented drivers to move up, then ultimately you will have four or five big teams who will dominate the sport to the point where it will stifle the sport. Leave the Busch series to the Busch regulars so that they can survive
I think a good idea is to allow a limited number of cup racers race in busch. Lets say 7 spots per race the 7 best qualifiers, that are not busch regulars qualify on Saturday.
I agree with that. Let the cup drivers race the cup drivers for a limited number of spots. I speak as a former Busch fan driven AWAY from the series to the trucks because it’s no FUN watching the same drivers Saturday and Sunday and knowing that some Sunday guy’s going to take that trophy in most cases. and you can’t even pretend the Cup and Busch drivers are on remotely even footing. that’s the worst. It’s not equals competing against equals. It’s generally rich teams with high-profile crews and lots of experience against the Busch guys.
Funny, NASCAR never talks about us.
I fully predict Cup drivers will kill the Busch series. Man, I miss the good racing that series used to have back before the Cup follow-the-leader style infected it. And now there’s, what, half the field coming from cup? I can’t even understand a point of view that thinks that’s okay. People say these sponsors wouldn’t try a young driver without a cup name there as well but it seems to me rookie Busch drivers were getting sponsors LONG before Kevin Harvick decided to run the 21… Woah, I rambled.
let them race, “But” they get no money let the busch teams have it. they bring all the sponsors and all the money let them get back for ranning for the wins and the hardware not money
Seeing the commercial of Sam Ard morphing into Dale Earnhardt morphing into Jack Ingram morphing into Tommy Houston, etc etc, makes me mourn for my lost Busch Series. They should have NEVER left the 3/8 mile ovals like Hickory, Rougemont, Lanier, etc. It was the death knell of what the Busch Series SHOULD be.
THEY SHOULD NOT ALLOW THE FULL TIME CUP DRIVERS TO GET ANY POINTS IN THE BUSCH SERIES, THE FIRST PLACE POINTS SHOULD GO TO THE HIGHEST PLACED FINISH OF A “BUSCH” DRIVER, AND SO BACK THROUGH THE FIELD. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR A CHAMPION IN THE BUSCH SERIES TO BE A CHAMPION IN THE CUP SERIES ALSO. I DO BELIEVE THAT SOME OF THE CUP DRIVERS MAY BE IN THE BUSCH CARS FOR THE FUN, BUT, MORE ARE IN IT FOR THE $$$, AND TRACK TIME.
People it’s NASCAR… They could care less what we think. NA$CAR is interested in one thing… $$$$
Lets face it, Stock Car racing as we knew it is dead.
I don’t like the NEXTEL drivers taking over the Busch series, but what’s the alternative? If we excluded NEXTEL drivers from the Busch field at Daytona and California, we wouldn’t have anything near a 43 car field. I doubt NASCAR could rustle up enough cars to fill a field.
Seems like not running a full field is a viable option. Trucks manage to somehow hold a race every week without 43. And if there were less cup drivers, I think there’d be MORE busch teams – because who wants to put the money into a team that’s going to be sent home by the Cup drivers?
I am a firm believer that NASCAR doesn’t care about what anyone thinks as long as they are at the end of the money cycle. Someone on this site said that there aren’t enough teams in the Busch series to have a race. Well, if some of the Busch teams had a chance to win, instead of Cup drivers most of the time there might be more Busch teams in this series. With the Cup teams taking the top money every week
Cup drivers need to get thier butts OUT OF Busch racing. If not totally then there MUST be a limit placed on the number of races they run. I say, if they are FULL TIME CUP drivers then limit them to 6 Busch races while placing a developmental driver in the car for the rest of the races. With the new testing policy on the CUP side it is making it unfair for most of the CUP teams that dont have CUP drivers running in the Busch races. NA$CAR has been on this “level-playing field” agenda for a long time now, but they allow CUP drivers to run the BGN races which gives them an advantage over those that dont with the new testing rules..Either LIMIT them or GET THEM OUT TOTALLY !!!
If the Nextel boys want to run in Busch series this what NASCAR should do. The first thirty six starting spots are open to the Busch series drivers only and only the Busch series drivers then the cup drivers fight it out for the last seven spots. No Nextel cup driver can qualify higher the 37th. This should keep the number of cup drivers from invading so to speak on a regular basis. In all honesty though I feel the drivers need to commit themselves to on series or the other not both.
the dictatorship will do as it wishes. the fans drivers or owners have very little to say on any matter anymore.
While it is all well and good to pontificate about keeping the Harvicks, Biffles, etc out of the BGN series, what most don’t seem to realize is that a sweeping rule to eliminate NNC drivers would also sweep up the Kirk Shelmerdines, Kenny Wallaces, Carl Longs etc, that while attempting Cup racing also like to race some in the BGN series. The last time I checked, anyone could enter a race anywhere provided their equipment was legal. The best, if not only way to fairly cut back on the NNC drivers stinking up the BGN is to change the cars significantly. If the BGN guys were racing V-6 power (as I believe they used to??) in cars with different wheel bases with a handful of different rules, I suspect a lot of Cup owners and drivers would lose interest. As mentioned by Ken Black above, racing at different tracks like they used to could go a long way to helping the BGN stand on its own as well. Being smaller might not necessarily be a bad thing for this series. Although being a support show for the NNC races might bring in more fans, being a stand alone show is likely to bring in “Your” fans.
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