NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Summer Bedgood · Thursday April 25, 2013
Depending on what part of the country you are in, winter has hung on incredibly long despite the calendar’s insistence that it is, indeed, spring. Last weekend at Kansas Speedway was once of those instances, as freezing temperatures in the morning along with the famous, blustery Kansas wind made walking around the racetrack nearly unbearable. Heavy jackets were aplenty and the hunched over, arms wrapped around your own waste stance was apparent at the coldest points of the day.
Unfortunately, the alternative which was the June race the track held a couple years ago, is frying. Though I hate the cold weather and would rather deal with 100-degree temperatures than sub-zero conditions, spectators aren’t going to have to go the various health centers inside the track to be treated for 30-degree temperatures. This is as opposed to the handful of individuals who were dealing with heat exhaustion when the first Kansas race was held in June.
The problem isn’t the time of year, though. The problem is this unbearably cold and long winter of 2012-2013. As a Kansas native, even I think that having a winterized April is ridiculous and unseasonable for even an unpredictable climate. Most of the time, this is our beginning of spring and the weather is beautiful and refreshing. Instead, it snowed the Monday after the race.
Let’s hope that next year, the weather behaves like it is supposed to.
Now onto your questions.
“So, I come home from work and all hell has broken loose in the NASCAR world. When did Wednesday become penalty day?! Fill me in, please.” William
I’m still trying to piece everything together, William, but here is the gist of the penalties NASCAR announced on Wednesday.
First off was Johnny Sauter’s No. 98 Camping World Truck Series team. – Their fuel cell was taken during the opening day of inspection on Thursday before the trucks were even first on track. He finished fifth in Saturday’s race. – NASCAR announced that the team was in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4K (if in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously verified or previously approved and/or sealed by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-6 and/or 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired, or changed in any manner); 20B-16 (once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified, modifications of any kind will not be permitted to the fuel cell or fuel cell components); and 20B-16.1B (standard black, safety foam with minimum free-standing height of eight (8) inches, acceptable to NASCAR Officials, and used as provided by an approved fuel cell manufacturer, must be used: Fuel cell safety foam modification.) of the 2013 rule book. – Sauter’s crew chief Joel Shear was fined $10,000, suspended for the next four races, and on NASCAR probation until December 31st. – The team was docked 25 driver and owner points.
However, that penalty pales in comparison to the one Matt Kenseth received: – Kenseth’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota engine failed post-race inspection at NASCAR’s R&D center after his win at Kansas on Sunday. – The failure was as a result of one of the connecting rods not meeting the minimum weight. – The No. 20 team was said to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-5.5.3 (E) (Only magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted; connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight) of the 2013 rule book. – Crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000 and suspended for the next six points races and the All-Star Race. He is on probation until December 31st. – Kenseth loses 50 driver points and the No. 20 car loses 50 owner points. – The pole will not count towards next year’s Sprint Unlimited – The win will not count towards the bonus points total when the points are reset for the Chase. – The No. 20 car is not eligible to earn owner points for the next six races. – They were docked five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championship points.
Finally, to clarify a rumor that has been spreading around the Internet, Joe Gibbs himself has not been suspended. Only the owners license for the No. 20 car has been suspended, and that’s for the next six races. It goes without saying that Joe Gibbs Racing will appeal the penalty.
So, yeah, crazy day in the world of racing, and one of the harshest penalties we have seen from NASCAR in a very long time. And we thought Penske was hit hard!
So what did we learn from the JGR penalties? Never, ever, EVER, mess with the engine. It won’t end well for anyone.
Honestly, this one has left me speechless and the penalty speaks for itself. So I’m going to move on to the next question if this one has been sufficiently covered.
“I saw Denny Hamlin say that he was looking to return at Richmond. That’s only a few days away. Any word on that?” Courtney
Well, the short answer to that is, no. Hamlin tweeted as such on Tuesday night, and then later Wednesday afternoon sent out a note that read, “Unfortunately I won’t be racing this weekend at Richmond. It kills me to not be in the car for my team and sponsors but after long discussions with the doctors we have decided to wait on my return back to racing. Thanks to all of my fans who have sent encouraging messages over the last month. I’ll be back in no time.”
Hamlin said at Kansas he was feeling much better than he had in Texas the week before and sounded optimistic about a return in Richmond — but alas that is not to be this weekend, nor likely at Talladega either given the potential for crashing and additional injury there.
If (and I imagine, when) he was given clearance to return, the plan is for him to start the race in Talladega, then hand it over to Brian Vickers so Hamlin can start collecting points. For those who don’t know, the driver who takes the green flag is credited for the points no matter who is in the car when the checkered flag flies.
While I appreciate Hamlin’s tenacity, to me this just doesn’t sound like a good idea. We all know how fast things happen in Talladega and how hard those cars can hit the wall when the cars are hitting 180+ mph. The last thing Hamlin needs is to get caught up in an early wreck and further injure himself. Take the necessary time to heal and get back in the car. Better to lose a few more points over the next few weeks than risk never racing again.
One more thing I want to add about Hamlin … his constant need to go after Logano on Twitter is bordering on childish. When Logano crashed this weekend in Kansas, Hamlin tweeted, “I know Joey felt bad but he doesn’t have to keep falling in the points on my count :) #seeyasoon”.
Is that really still necessary? Logano wasn’t trying to hurt him, let alone knock him out for several weeks. He was simply trying to send a message. Though I don’t agree with Logano’s move in Fontana, I think it’s time Hamlin let it go. This isn’t something that can be taken back, redone, or fixed. Things happen in racing, and Hamlin really needs to realize that and let go of these petty grudges.
I’m sure it’s difficult sitting out of the race and watch someone else drive your car. I bet it absolutely sucks to watch your name drop lower and lower in the standings every week and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. But digitally bouncing with glee at another driver’s misfortune is rather immature given the circumstances. In trying times, you need to be the bigger person, and Hamlin right now is not acting like the veteran driver.
“I thought Paul Wolfe got suspended for the Penske violations in Texas. Why was he still in Kansas?” Alex
Because Penske Racing is appealing the penalties, which means all of the suspensions (including Wolfe, No. 22 crew chief Todd Gordon, car chiefs Jerry Kelley and Raymond Fox, engineers Brian Wilson and Samuel Stanley, and Penske competition director Travis Geisler) have been put on hold.
Keep an eye out for any news on May 1st, which is when Penske Racing will begin their appeal. I highly doubt NASCAR will lessen the penalties, let alone overturn them completely. These penalties were harsh and meant to send a message, and NASCAR won’t want to let other teams think they can get away with it.
Gosh, I’m tired of talking about penalties. Didn’t we have a race this weekend or something?
Now, my question to all of you: At what point do you consider penalties to be acceptable? Do you trust NASCAR with the severity of their punishments?
Connect with Summer!
©2000 - 2008 Summer Bedgood and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
“Heavy jackets were aplenty and the hunched over, arms wrapped around your own waste…” Why would holding your poop keep you warm? Ever heard of spellcheck?
In regards to the penalties on the #20, I guess it’d be somewhat reasonable if the violation meant an advantage. But one connecting rod 3 grams light makes no sort of an an advantage whatsoever. It’s meaningless. I guess Brian France needs a raise in salary or something.
THREE FREAK’N GRAMS.
What a total sham. Nascar deserves the slow death it’s receiving. And at this rate, it might not be that slow after all.
You’ll notice that Hendricks cars very seldom get penalized and when they do, Mr. Middlebrook is there to eliminate the penalities.
I’d like to hear Carl Long’s opinion on this penalty.
If Penske teams penalties hold, this will be another example of the Nascar favoritism towards Hendrick. Both penalties were pretty close to the same infraction, if I’m not mistaken. I’m looking forward to these first appeals.
I’m sure the first will be denied, and then the 2nd appeal will go to Middlebrooks. We will see what kind of integrity the man has or if he is just a Hendrick stooge.
There has GOT to be a day of reckoning coming soon.
Nascar has become so blatant in their bias. When will enough be enough?
If I were a non-Hendrick driver and won a race, I would run the front and back of the car into the wall, then blow the engine.
Hey, it’s worth a shot anyway. I’m still certain Nascar could fish something out of it though.
I can’t wait to see the “fair and balanced” ruling from one Mr. Middlebrook.
Unfortunately spellcheck doesn’t catch homonyms, such as “waste” vs “waist” but proofreading is a mostly lost skill for most writers. I have to admit that error made me think – why should I bother reading the rest of this?
Since I was already on this page, I did continue. Carl Long was banned forever right and JGR is paying a heavy penalty but they are still going to be able to race each week. Funny how $ talks.
So Hamlin thinks it will be a good idea to start in the back at Talladega? Up to him and his doctors but it seems a poor choice to me. I agree that his tweets about Logano don’t show a lot of maturity but then again, was twitter actually developed for mature responses?
This is too funny.
I just think everyone at NASCAR has lost their minds with all these penalties. I agree, if had been Mr. H’s team, it would be different. Guess NASCAR wants Hendrick cars to win and RCR cars to be field fillers, the rest also rans.
Hey folks. Have you noticed presence of 3 Hendricks cars in the top 5 in drivers’ points? nascar is delusional if they believe this is what the fans want. The way they’re penalizing the competition, soon Hendricks cars will occupy the top four.
I will first say that I am a big Matt Kenseth fan, so you know my bias. I understand NASCAR’s need to place severe penalties on any car builder who breaks any of the engine rules, even slightly and to no one’s advantage. I don’t see why an infraction like this should have impacted Matt and Jason on this level, since it is clear that neither of them had any knowledge of the faulty part and since, if anything, the faulty part hurt the performance of the engine. Matt had oil temperature issues all day at Kansas. If all of the connecting rods were closer to the same weight, that issue may not have been there. If all of the connecting rods were at or under the 525 gram limit, a horsepower advantage could have been there and it would have been intentional on the part of the engine builder. For that to happen, JGR would have been complicit, but with one rod underweight, the lost HP from weight imbalance would more than make up for any HP gain that could be found by having one rod too light. NASCAR should have penalized the crap out of Toyota Racing Development, builder of the engine, and maybe the engine department at JGR should have been penalized severely. Joe Gibbs has to take responsibility because he buys the engines from TRD. Matt and Jason should have only been put on probation until the end of the year for not being more insistent that all parts on their car be compliant. Any way, being without Jason Ratcliff will be tough for Matt during May and June, but I would be willing to bet that Matt will make the Chase and have at least two more wins under his belt before it starts.
Carl Long was NOT banned forever due to his engine violation. He is not allowed in the Cup garage until he pays the fine. That’s all. Since he cannot earn enough money to pay the fine, its basically a ban, but its not the same as being banned.
RIP Nascrap !!
Nascar needs to automatically stop slamming the crew chiefs for every violation concerning the car. Once upon a time crew chiefs probably knew everything that went on with the cars, but now times have changed. Anyone want to argue that a crew chief now knows about the same as the car owner does about ”everything” on the car. Engineers and computers have long passed up crew chiefs years ago. NASCAR why don’t you just band the #2, #22 an #20 for the next six weeks. Hold the sponsors responsible for violations. Yeah, tell your story to Pennzoil, Miller and Home Depot. Let the sponsors tell NASCAR where to take their show and stuff it.
Let me say I am also a Matt Kenseth fan…Nascar has no other choice but to completly crush any advantage gained by an illegal engine so this one I can’t fault them for…Who else could they penalize to send the message?..& Denny should do 2 laps (1’s fine)@ Dega & pass it off to vickers…O & Grow Up …
This is what I’ve been questioning for some time now. Why do the sponsors and Ford and Toyota put up with this without a fight? They are spending a TON of money to be in Nascar.
They must be making a big return on their investment.
Nascar has really gone after Toyota several times since they entered the sport. I’m surprised THEY put up with it.
If a crew member starts a fight with another team, the crew chief is still held accountable for not keeping his crew in line. The same here, the whole team is responsible for the car they bring to the track, not just the guy who built the engine.
Carl Long is one of the things that can not be explained, there is no justus just rules that men in force because they can. please tell me about NASCAR being a family sport again. NASCAR we have NOT forgotten what YOU did to Mr Long.
NASCAR it must be time to visit your ruling on Mr Long ask every one at the drivers meeting for an overall thinking on the ruling and remove the stain, it’ just to long and to harsh
I truly believe that this is NASCAR’s attempt to make themselves “look fair and equitable” in their enforcement of the rules. NASCAR KNOWS how STUPID they were in the Carl Long fiasco… SO, now they find a “MINOR infraction” to vilify a major team, thinking this will gain them credibility and placate the fans that know that Carl Long was unjustly destroyed! NASCAR’s Insanity IS Alive and Sick!
Kyle Busch was right when the said the COT sucked.
And Smoke was right when he compared Nascar to wrestling. Nobody even really talks about the “entertainment cautions” anymore….it’s just accepted.
It’s just so AMAZING to watch Nascar go further and further into the twilight zone. And even more amazing to watch how many can justify it.
Enjoy the circus folks. LOL.
Bill B, You missed my point, and I apologize if I wasn’t clear.
I have no problem with holding “someone” responsible, but crew chiefs are easy targets. If NASCAR wants to play hardball then go after the hard target which is the sponsor. Band the sponsorship of the car for X races. Lets see how well NASCAR can stand up against the big money or perhaps the lack of it, should the sponsors decide to leave the sport.
NASCAR has banned some sponsorships in the past, but Miller, Pennzoil and Home Depot are big enough to tell NASCAR “You need us, we don’t need you.”
Logano wasn’t trying to send any message! Both of them were simply racing hard to win. Nothing more, nothing less.
Time for EVERYONE to let it go!
And another ‘SERIOUSLY?!’…
Readers getting bent out of shape over a mis-spelled word!? To the point of stopping reading it???
Get over your perfect selves!
JER, I wonder what would happen if a big sponsor or three did tell “The Brainless One” to stick his phoney show where the sun doesn’t shine. Better yet, if this “Connecting Rod Gate” gets to Mr. Middlebrook and he gives Gibbs the thumbs down, Toyota should walk away, and demand their millions back! I wonder if that would wake Brian up? Naa, Rick will just increase his payment to Brian to compensate the bozzo!
And between you and me, another wake-up call for NASCAR is rapidly approaching. The Australian Supercar series is coming to The Circuit Of The Americas. You know, the series that has race-modified production cars. If that race gets the attention and puts on one of their typical races (and notice I said “race” and not “show”, something Brian can’t differentiate between!), the fallout for NASCAR could devastate Brian’s bank account. It will look good on him!