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.
Phil Allaway · Monday October 7, 2013
Looking for the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How behind Sunday’s race? Subbing for Amy Henderson this week, Phil Allaway has you covered with each week with the answers to six race day questions, covering all five W’s and even the H…the Big Six.
Who…gets my shoutout of the race?
These days, everything seems to be about the Chase. Chase this, Chase that. Even the ridiculous idea of giving Brad Daugherty a cartoonishly large fork and telling him to have at it is all about the Chase. Makes you want to barf.
Of course, you’re not here to read about ESPN’s pre-race coverage. That’s Tuesday’s article.
The Chase has created an atmosphere in which drivers outside of the Chase don’t really matter much to NASCAR, or to the TV partners. A non-Chaser could truly excel in a race and not get the recognition that they deserve.
That driver this week was Paul Menard in the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing (RCR. While Menard has had a couple of great runs recently (Richmond, Bristol, Michigan), he hasn’t really put up anything special since the Chase started. Sunday, Menard spent nearly the entire race inside of the top-10 and really looked like he could have threatened Kevin Harvick for the win at one point. Menard ended up finishing a strong seventh.
While that did not gain him any places in the points, Menard is just one point behind Martin Truex, Jr. for 16th. Since moving to RCR at the beginning of 2011, Menard has shown himself to be quite the consistent performer. He may never be a Chase contender, but he will eventually get his share of wins (he already has one, and I don’t think it was a fluke).
Kyle Busch gets the award for brain fade this week for his ultra-aggressive block of Juan Pablo Montoya that did nothing more than get himself wrecked, not once, but twice.
ESPN showed footage via replay that indicated that the two drivers had had contact a little earlier and that Busch may have been exerting a form of payback here. Dale Jarrett even mentioned that Montoya is the last person on track that he would block. Montoya didn’t back off and Busch ended up spun out in front of half the field.
That maneuver put him way back in the pack and got him in the position that led to the crash that took him out of the race and gave him a 34th-place finish. Busch may hate Kansas Speedway, but he’s not helping his case in any way, whatsoever.
Where…did the defending race winner wind up?
Matt Kenseth had a pretty strange day on Sunday. He led some laps, but through the flow of the race, ended up on an alternate pit strategy created by yellows flying during pit stops. He didn’t have the best handling car, either.
Despite his issues, Kenseth was able to bring his car home in 11th. He lost almost all of his remaining points lead, but still holds a three-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson with six races to go.
However, it should be noted that Sunday was pretty bad in general for all of the Toyotas. Kenseth’s 11th-place finish was the best finish by a Toyota. Both of Kenseth’s teammates had issues. Denny Hamlin ran in the top-5 at one point, but eventually faded to a 23rd-place finish. Kyle Busch’s issues are listed above. It’s not good.
When…will I be loved?
Oh, Goodyear, sometimes, you can do no right. After a pretty good debut at Atlanta last month, Goodyear brought their new dual zone tire to Kansas Speedway for its second go-around. Everyone had high hopes for the new tire. What did we get? Issues.
There were three major problems with the tires on Sunday. Firstly, they did not have enough grip for the track, which is quite interesting knowing that Kansas Speedway was just reconfigured last year. Environmental factors outside of Goodyear’s control may have been to blame here. Had the whole weekend run in conditions similar to Friday, when it was in the upper 80’s, we might not be having this conversation right now. However, the cold front that moved through Friday night dropped temperatures 30+ degrees. With that, all bets were off. Both Busch brothers crashed in Saturday practice within minutes of each other, multiple other drivers spun out, and it was on from there.
The second issue was that the tires were not durable enough. Teams feared being unable to run a full fuel run on tires before getting the inside shoulder down to the cords. It’s one thing for a tire to wear, but it’s quite another when it wears to the cords, then the cords separate in strings.
The third involved the laying down of rubber. Namely, that the tires weren’t really doing it. Instead, the rubber would turn to powder. As you may recall, this was similar to the issues that the COT’s had early on. It wasn’t as noticeable as back in 2007 when you would see black stripes on the rear bumpers from rubber, but it was an issue. It just shows that Goodyear has a long way to go with their new technology.
Why… should Chase fans be happy now?
Sunday’s race has created two potential scenarios for how the rest of the Chase can play out. One is that Kyle Busch’s implosion has taken him clean out of the championship hunt, leaving Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson to fight it out amongst themselves for the remaining six weeks. If Kenseth and Johnson regain their form from the first three weeks of the Chase, that’s possible, but not a guarantee.
The other scenario comes from the fact that Kevin Harvick is now only 25 points back, while Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch are still somewhat within striking distance. While this scenario is dependant on Johnson and Kenseth not blitzing the field again next week, we could have more than just two or three drivers in play for this championship after all.
Regardless of whichever scenario plays out, it should be a decent race to the title. No one driver is running away with it. They’ll probably be pressured all the way to Homestead.
How… did the little guys do?
Germain Racing (Casey Mears, No. 13 GEICO Ford): Of the smaller operations, Mears probably had the best car on Sunday. This is despite contact with the wall exiting Turn 2 that resulted in the TV Panel flying off of the car on the frontstretch. However, it did not appear that Mears’ car was affected all that much by losing the panel. Mears ran as high as 15th before dropping to a 21st-place finish.
Front Row Motorsports (David Ragan, No. 34 Taco Bell Ford, Josh Wise, No. 35 MDS Transport Ford and David Gilliland, No. 38 Long John Silvers Ford): For Front Row Motorsports, Sunday was mediocre. The team didn’t have the funding to allow Wise to run all day, so Wise pulled out after 108 laps with a “vibration.”
Ragan ran decently on Sunday, requiring minimal adjustments on his No. 34. Unfortunately, his day ended in one of the many wrecks exiting Turn 2. He was credited with a 36th-place finish. Gilliland ended up with the team’s best finish on the day, a lead lap 24th-place finish. Finishing on the lead lap came courtesy of two Lucky Dogs.
JTG-Daugherty Racing (AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Scott Toyota): Allmendinger had a very quiet day on Sunday, but avoided all the trouble. As a result of avoiding the issues, he was able to finish on the lead lap in 20th, best of anyone in this group. The run came despite a car that may not have been that good.
Swan Racing (Cole Whitt, No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota): Whitt essentially walked into trouble as soon as the green came out. In Turn 1 on Lap 1, Whitt was tapped by David Reutimann and ended up in the crash that put Danica Patrick out of the race. The rook was able to continue, multiple laps down with repairs, though.
The rest of the race was spent not really racing anyone. The sheer number of yellows allowed Whitt to get a couple of laps back via the “Lucky Dog,” but he still ended up seven laps down in 31st.
BK Racing (David Reutimann, No. 83 Burger King Toyota; Travis Kvapil, No. 93 Burger King Toyota): Sunday was not the best day for BK Racing. For Reutimann, his day was lost before even reaching Turn 2 through no fault of his own. He just so happened to be to the inside of Patrick when she lost control on the first lap. Reutimann took a hard hit into the Turn 1 wall. The BK Racing crew repaired Reutimann’s car, allowing him to go back out more than 100 laps down. Through the misfortune of others, Reutimann was able to gain five places to finish 37th.
For Kvapil, his day was a lot less painful, physically. While Kvapil did spin out to bring out the seventh caution, he kept his Toyota clean and brought it home in 26th, on the lead lap.
Phoenix Racing (Justin Allgaier, No. 51 BRANDT Chevrolet): Kansas marked Allgaier’s second career start in the Sprint Cup Series. It actually went well when he was on the track. Allgaier took the No. 51 up into the top-15 before getting loose and crashing just after halfway exiting Turn 2. The team was unable to repair the damage, forcing Allgaier to accept a 39th-place finish. Afterwards, he had no real idea what caused the crash.
Tommy Baldwin Racing (Dave Blaney, No. 7 Chevrolet; JJ Yeley, No. 36 Accell Construction Chevrolet): For TBR, it was another weekend of struggles. Blaney’s team was forced to change engines on Sunday morning, resulting in the No. 7 having to start at the rear of the field. Blaney was able to take advantage of the yellow during green-flag stops to get a Lucky Dog. From there, he was able to stay on the lead lap for the rest of the race (despite a spin) and finish 25th.
For Yeley, he had a relatively similar day to Blaney’s. He also earned a Lucky Dog early on in the race and led a lap under caution to get a bonus point. Otherwise, Yeley’s day was not the most productive. However, he did bring the No. 36 home on the lead lap in 27th. Overall, these results aren’t the greatest, but every little bit helps.
FAS Lane Racing (Timmy Hill, No. 32 U.S. Chrome Ford): For the woefully underfunded FAS Lane squad, Kansas once again provided the team with one of their better runs of the year. Hill was able to keep out of trouble and brought the car home 28th, on the lead lap. It is the fourth lead lap finish of the year for the team with three different drivers.
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I couldn’t agree more with you re the Chase. In an attempt to create excitement, BF created chaos. This year has been the worst beginning at Richmond. Drivers removed, restored, and an added bonus of a 13 driver Chase. It has resulted in angry fans, irritated drivers, a booth devoid of professionalism, and a countdown worthy of a high school food-fight award. Add a network change with many viewers not receiving FS 2, and fans are so infuriated they may not return for 2014.
In the meantime, the “changed” Kyle Busch is showing his true colors. It brings to mind about a leopard never changing it’s spots. When will the real transformation occur?
Add a new tire in the middle of the Chase, and you have a sport in disarray. In the over 40 years I’ve been a fan of this sport, I’ve never been so disheartened and disappointed. I’ve seen leadership, discipline, and integrity disappear.
Maybe I’ve just gotten old and jaded, but in my opinion this sport is on a downward slide. I hope for the sake of the drivers and fans I’m wrong.
Who… gets my shoutout of the race?
Remember just a fews weeks ago the “exciting” points race going on? Now, only a handful of drivers matter. The rest might as well not be on the track.
What does JPM have to lose? He could destroy SO many teams chances this year if he wanted to. Hell, he might go after Air-Titan before it’s over.
Oh, Goodyear. Whew.
I can’t fault Goodyear too much. It’s tough to bring the perfect tire for a fast newly paved track like Kansas. Despite what happened Sunday, I think the dual-zone tire is an important innovation that will improve overtime.
ugh, the chase, it is a mess, I wish it had never been put into play.
Brad? A cartoon character with a cartoon fork. How stupid can you get? oh wait, this is the coverage of NASCAR. Funny thing, I can watch the Fox NFL pre-game show, their half-time breakdown and post-game wrap up and never get as annoyed as I do by 2 minutes of pre-race coverage. I never watch any of it any more. It simply isn’t worth my time.
The race? What a mess that was, too. I had twitter up and raceview. I only had ESPN on for the pictures. Since they don’t think anyone other than the “chasers” are relevant, I don’t think their coverage is either. Wait until next yr when NASCAR doesn’t let let out of their contract – think it’s bad now? I’ll bet they will seriously phone it in.
Phil: in one paragraph you say that Kyle Busch is out of the Chase, and in the next paragraph you say KB “somewhat” has a chance.
When I taught writing—both at high school and collegiate levels—such a contradiction of oneself earned a big fat “F.” You can’t have it both ways. Make up your mind.
The media talks all week about how its already only a 3 man race to the championship.
So what happens Sunday? As soon as the 48 and 20 get a lap down, we get a debris caution. Not only does Nascar manipulate the races, they are now trying to manipulate the championship so King Brian can avoid a huge PR nightmare. The Chase is now exciting again for whatever fans are left to watch this train wreck.
Does Nascar actually think its fans are that stupid?
Good point above about driver irritation. They worked hard to get in the gimmicky Chase, then by King decree Jeff Gordon is allowed to play in the sandbox. Who can take that seriously? The whole thing has finally blown up and King Brian still is clueless. Changing the rules in mid game is always a bad idea. Look what it has done.
There is a third possibility for how the chase goes down. Either Kenseth or Johnson has a really bad race while the other doesn’t. Then you will have one guy in front by 20+ points.
As for people that are still bitching about Gordon being in the chase, that is a done deal. You can keep on complaining but it ain’t changing.
If you hate the chase…
Then pray that Bowyer or Gordon win it. Somehow…