Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
NASCAR Driver Q & A · Phil Allaway · Wednesday October 6, 2010
From promising talent to pushed aside in NASCAR’s dwindling employment line. It’s a nightmare that’s happened to several drivers over the past few seasons, but for Brian Scott cutting ties proved especially cruel. Despite one top-5 and five top-10 finishes, new owner Steve Turner failed to retain Scott and keep him behind the wheel of the No. 11 immediately upon taking ownership of the team this Fall.
What went wrong, what happens now, and where does Scott go from here? He answers them one-on-one with Phil Allaway in an exclusive interview that also delves into the new car for the Nationwide Series and so much more.
Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com: We’ll start with this past weekend. You made your debut with RAB Racing in the No. 09, started 19th and finished 21st. First off, can you explain how this deal came together?
Brian Scott: Well, it did. It came together very quickly. I have to thank everybody at RAB Racing. They put in a lot of long hours and worked their tails off to get that car ready and show up to the racetrack with something that we could try to be competitive in.
We had a lot of hope for the race. We expected to be a little better than we were, but we learned a lot of stuff from the race. We think we have a direction about how we’re going to get better, and how we’re going to show better in California. But, for the most part, I think it’s still pretty incredible what we did with such short notice and basically a car that wasn’t ready to go. They just busted their tails.
We didn’t unload that great, but we were a team and we worked our butts off and did the best we could.
Allaway: During the race, you got caught up in an incident on Lap 133. Was this just a basic chain reaction incident where somebody didn’t check up, or was there a little bit more to it?
Scott: Yeah, it was absolutely a chain reaction. I was coming through Turns 3 and 4, and on the exit of 4, there was smoke being thrown up from somebody [Michael Annett] spinning out. I was behind Joe Nemechek at the time and he started checking up, I guess, more quickly than I was. I was trying to stay off of him, so I was on the brakes really hard. The person behind me had the same deal and they got into me and I got into Joe a little bit. When you’re on the brakes and you’ve got the nose down and your tail’s up, it’s pretty squirrelly anyway. If somebody gets up under there, they have a tendency to just finish you off.
Unfortunately, we spun, but we didn’t take any damage. We worked back out there and completed the whole race. We had to overcome a pit road penalty that I induced on myself by missing my commitment line and hitting the commitment cone. That put us two laps down and we fought the whole race to get back on the lead lap, so that was an accomplishment in itself.
Allaway: As was in the news, you ignominiously left Braun Racing last week. There were reports out that you were having discussions with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2011. Was this going to be for a full-time or part-time drive? Or was it dependent on what NASCAR decides about Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series for 2011?
Scott: Yeah, ultimately, it kinda sucks to be on the outside of the whole Braun-Turner deal, but it has allowed me to explore some other options for next year. Talks have been very good all over the board.
I have had talks with J.D. [Gibbs] and the nice people over at [Joe] Gibbs Racing. God, that would be an opportunity. I’d really, really love to go over there and race for that team. I’ve always looked up to that team, and I think that a lot of drivers in the garage area would love to drive their stuff. If that ends up being where I go next year, I’d be thrilled to death and very excited. But, nothing’s a done deal yet and like I said, talks are across the board.
Allaway: There is still a lot of uncertainty going on with what NASCAR is going to do in regards to Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series for next year. If NASCAR ever came out and said that they would limit Cup drivers’ participation, that would probably raise your stock significantly.
Scott: Yeah. I think that the discussions that NASCAR are having, and what they might do rule wise can really play into my favor where it can really raise my stock as a driver. I could be on the short list of guys that would have a chance at going for a championship and would be capable of doing it.
That would bring significant value to me from a sponsor standpoint. Personally, I think it’d be cool to have since it would make me more valuable. Regardless, I’ve got the easiest part of this whole offseason deal and what rule changes happen. I just know that when next year comes around, it’ll be about getting in the car and doing the best job I can. If it means that I’m one of the few guys who can compete for a championship, that would be great, and if the Cup guys are still in it, then it’ll be the same deal. It all comes down to doing your job and doing the best you can do week in, week out. I think it makes it tough for the teams because the teams have to know how to pitch sponsorship deals and how to put things together.
The burden of the indecisiveness is on the teams. I know that they would like to get some clarification and know what’s going on [for 2011] so that they can build their programs and be prepared for next year.
Allaway: From what I understand, NASCAR is going back and forth on it, and that’s why nothing’s been announced.
In regards to the Braun-Turner situation, you mentioned in interviews last week that the whole situation was one giant misunderstanding. This misunderstanding led to your departure. Is this true, or is there a little more to it?
Scott: Yeah, it was a giant misunderstanding. I was upset that I wasn’t more in the loop and informed about what was going on, and how these decisions could affect my future and even the rest of my year this year. So, really without any knowledge, we did the natural thing and tried to plan for the worst-case scenario, saying “If this merger happens and they shut the No. 11 team down or put somebody else in the car.” It could be Dover and I could be out of the seat and looking for something else. So, we basically just asked around to see what people were doing, and tried to get an idea of if the metaphorical s*** hit the fan, how we could be a little bit more prepared.
The Braun-Turner deal got us a little paranoid and ultimately, it circled back and got them paranoid when they heard we were talking to other teams. They thought I was looking to do something different this year and panicked. Lawyers got involved and everything happened. It just kinda got sideways and turned around just due to poor communication from them to us, and then ultimately, from us to them. When we weren’t hearing anything, we started calling them to try to bridge the gap. We tried to look around and feel around for what could happen in a worst case scenario, and ultimately, it ended up happening. It was induced by both us and them.
Allaway: Were there any assurances made to you by Steve Turner that you would actually see out the season, or was this a continuation of the poor communication?
Scott: I can’t fault Steve Turner at all. It was none of his doing. Steve Turner, I think, is a great standup guy and a team owner that the sport of NASCAR is lucky to have. The lack of communication really happened between myself, Todd Braun, and the former Braun Racing side of things.
Allaway: As of now, you’re 13th in points in the Nationwide Series with one top-5 finish and five top-10 finishes. Team strife aside, does this performance meet some of the goals you set before the season began?
Scott: Frankly, I’m very disappointed at our performance this year. It’s just been all over the board. It hasn’t been consistent. We haven’t shown up to the racetrack consistently in a time bracket or in the top 15. There were times where we had really good runs, like Chicago, Gateway and California. We’ve been impressive at some places, but overall, no consistency in it whatsoever.
Trying to work with two different types of chassis and equipment [has been difficult]. Phasing in the new car, I don’t think we were really prepared for as a team. The last bit of the season has just been disastrous. We haven’t been running well, we’ve had mechanical problems, we’ve been caught up in wrecks. The finishes haven’t been there. It’s kinda been like we’re bleeding out right now. We’re just trying to stop the bleeding and win the Raybestos Brakes Rookie of the Year title for me.
Allaway: You talked a little bit about the new car. We’ve done three races with it on three different types of tracks now. What do you think of it so far?
Scott: Well, I think it’s a good direction. I think it will really connect the fanbase to NASCAR with the looks that are more similar to production cars. It’s just something new, a new rule deal. We’re getting a little more horsepower in it. I think that they’re a bit more difficult to drive, which should make for better, closer racing. I think it’s really helping the Sprint Cup Series, and it will trickle down and help the Nationwide Series. Personally, I love the fact that they’re safer. They’re putting the impact foam in and we’ve got more room in the chassis.
They’re built with the driver in mind to be safe and support things like the carbon-fiber seats, the SFI seats and stuff that is coming out, absorbing more of the impact and keeping drivers healthier and…not hurt and beat up. From a personal standpoint, breaking my wrist in a wreck, I know the dangers involved, and it’s nice to see a lot of improvements being made for the driver on the safety side.
Allaway: Ever since the Sprint Cup Series went to the COT, there have been very few injuries.
Scott: You look at Elliott Sadler’s crash at Pocono and some of the other big wrecks. They make you cringe, your hair stand up, and you think how you could survive an impact at 190 mph that ends like that with a stop. It’s great. I love to see those aspects of it trickle down to the Nationwide Series.
Allaway: When you’re away from the track, what do you like to do?
Scott: Well, the sport of racing is a great sport and I love all aspects of it. Ultimately, it’s not something that I can just separate myself away from. When I’m not at the racetrack, I’m just obsessed. I love being at the shop with the guys, I love to keep learning more about the cars so that I can be as informed as possible.
But, I do try to get out and try to play golf, go out on the lake, or just hang out with friends and watch football. I think everyone needs a break from things sometimes, but I don’t mind my life totally revolving around racing.
Allaway: There’s six races left in the Nationwide season. Are you going to be in the No. 09 for the remainder of the year?
Scott: We actually don’t know. Its more of a race-by-race deal. I know that I’m going to California with them. As long as it continues to be a good relationship on both ends, if I can help the team and the team can help me, then we will continue to work together. If, for some reason, it ends up not being as good a deal as it started out as, I don’t want to hurt the team or bring anybody down. It’s equally important to them to try to help me for the rest of this year and not give up the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.
Allaway: Is Shore Lodge going to be back on the car this weekend?
Scott: As far as I know, Shore Lodge is going to be the primary sponsor at California, yes.
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No matter what, Brian Scott is my favorite driver..good interview !GOOOOOOOOOOOO BRIAN !!