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.
Summer Bedgood · Monday May 6, 2013
Talladega Superspeedway is a favorite among NASCAR’s viewers, but it has fewer fans amongst the garage area. For fabricators, it means even longer hours in the shop. For drivers, it means a gamble, roll of the dice chance of winning the race or winding up with a heap of scrap metal to be loaded back onto the hauler.
For Ryan Newman, it’s been more of the latter. Eight DNFs in 28 races — including last Sunday’s unbearably long event — is a good indication as to why.
To add insult to injury, when Newman goes out, he goes out with a bang. The Alabama sky has become a familiar sight to him, as well as the undercarriages of his competitor’s cars. Let’s just say “‘Dega” doesn’t exactly agree with Newman’s racing preferences.
This past Sunday at the plate track was no different for Newman. After a nearly four hour rain delay and already one “Big One”, Newman was probably ready to go home. However, NASCAR decided to wait out the weather, dry the track, and finish the race.
This decision would prove to be to Newman’s detriment, as well as a myriad of other drivers. After Stenhouse attempted to take it four wide with just four laps remaining, battling with the 36 car of JJ Yeley, a huge pileup occurred behind him. Yeley spun down the track, hooked Kurt Busch’s right rear, and Busch began a tumble that would end up on top of Newman’s windshield. While all drivers involved walked (or drove) away just fine, Newman was understandably angry at the exit of the infield care center.
And it wasn’t at any driver.
“They can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls, but they can’t get their heads out of their asses far enough to keep them on the racetrack, and that’s pretty disappointing,” Newman said. “I wanted to make sure I get that point across, and y’all can figure out who ‘they’ is.”
If you haven’t caught on yet, “they” is obviously NASCAR.
One can’t help but wonder — with as penalty happy as NASCAR has been this year — if Newman can’t be expecting a fine for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” later on in the week. NASCAR doesn’t take too well to criticism, and definitely not when it’s directed at the on-track product. Newman is no stranger to fines, and NASCAR is no stranger to his restrictor plate racing rants, but the driver took a direct shot at the sanctioning body. That can’t go over well, can it?
The problem I have with Newman’s comments, though, is that NASCAR can change all of the aerodynamics they want but they can’t mess with physics. The roof flaps can’t help a car hooking the right rear and, at the right speeds at the right angles, that car is going to go over. There is just no way around that. It’d be one thing if Newman had flown through the apron and flipped over then; however, NASCAR can’t stop these cars from hitting each other. Not without severely limiting the on-track product, anyway, and they were already on thin ice with fans from a substandard Daytona 500.
That’s not to say that Newman’s rant is completely unfounded. Yes, NASCAR has poured thousands, if not millions, into research for the cars alone to make the cars safer. That’s not to mention things like SAFER barriers, HANS devices, and other innovations made in recent years. They should be commended for that.
However, when it comes to driver safety, there is never room to stop improving, and keeping these cars grounded at restrictor plate tracks has been a challenge for NASCAR. Like I said, sometimes you can’t play with physics, but you would think that this incident would stop happening every single time they race at Daytona or Talladega.
It’s no less heart stopping every time it happens. You don’t get used to it. And watching the same replay over, and over, and over again doesn’t make it any less gut wrenching. I still cringe when I watch Carl Edwards’ crash into the catchfence at Talladega in 2009 and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it.
There is part of me that wonders, though, if there is a small part of NASCAR or the racetracks that revels in the eyes that crashes like that bring to the sport. It doesn’t matter how much of an underdog story Front Row Motorsports’ 1-2 finish was. That’s not going to resonate with the casual or reluctant observer. They don’t know the difference between Front Row Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports aside from the obligatory sports metaphor. That really isn’t going to matter to them as much as it does to me and you.
What will get them to sit up and watch is a massive, heart-stopping wreck in which a car is tossing end over end on the backstretch. They may not know who is in the car or where they are in the points. But they do know that it was an incredible crash and it brings their eyes to the TV quicker than any underdog story does.
I don’t think NASCAR likes to see crashes, but I can’t help but think there is a small amount of satisfaction when a wreck like that has thousands of views on YouTube and is being played over and over on SportsCenter. The general public is insatiable and they will watch and analyze that sort of thing all day.
It’s not just free publicity, too. NASCAR and the tracks will use it in their own commercials, as promos and as a reason to watch.
In other words, are they really in a hurry to stop it? If they can have amazing crashes without injured drivers, isn’t that a win-win for them? Publicity from the networks, even with a few irate drivers spewing their displeasure. It seems like a great thing for their exposure.
Again, let me be clear. I’m not saying that NASCAR wants to see wrecks, but it’s a little surprising that they almost never express any genuine concern for the airborne cars. They usually just offer a line “we’ll take a look at it” and go from there.
In short, I don’t agree with Newman’s harshness. It’s not like NASCAR hasn’t shown a dedication to safety in the past and I’m sure it’s always on their agenda. But Newman has a point that NASCAR has seemed to nail down all aspects of these dangerous crashes aside from all four tires in the air. Of course, if Newman is fined over the week, I’m sure we’ll be given an answer as to how serious NASCAR really thinks this problem is.
Until then, I hope you enjoyed the 24 hours of Talladega. It’s amazing how much damage a little rain can do, huh?
Connect with Summer!
©2000 - 2008 Summer Bedgood and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
To me it sounded like sour grapes about restarting the race. If he had won he would have been saying how great it was that they tried to run the entire race.
Everything else I agree with.
i really think Ryan should consider retirement. NASCAR is not the ones driving the cars causing said crashes. i’m glad he is ok but he may need to consider another line of work.
NOTHING will change until someone dies. Many have said it and we’ve seen it before in Nascar. We’ve almost had fans die and very little has changed.
And what do you see on those Nascar commercials? The crashes…the “big ones” at Talladega.
Even Nascar’s most popular driver, Dale Jr., doesn’t like it and has said so.
Dale Sr. lost his life in large part because Nascar resisted change and the warnings.
Someone, someday, WILL die and it will be a very dark day (again) for Nascar looking the other way.
When was the last time a stock car got air born or flipped that didn’t happen at Daytona or Talladega?
T-Bone: To answer your question – that would be Atlanta 2010 when Carl Edwards intentionally tagged Keselowski in the rear quarter panel to send him upside down in the air.
Of course NASCAR likes to see crashes. Why else would their entire publicity exist of wrecking cars?
It’s not just the cars, it’s the idiots that think they can drive a car into an opening only big enough for a bicycle.
To go back to T-Bone, and to be fair, rollovers can happen anywhere. Atlanta and Dover come to mind first, but there have been others. It does happen most often at Daytona and Talladega though, due to the higher speeds. As they said, you can do anything you want, but you can’t fight physics. Cars will go over from time to time regardless of what you do to them. The only way to alleviate that risk at Daytona and Talladega would be to cut the banking in half and take the plates off. But the tracks are still 2.5 miles long. The cars will hit 220 on that track. Look at the tire test at Indy.
Pepper, you are so right! They replay the big crashes as publicity for every track – even the tracks where there is no longer “contact” as in Bristol.
I didn’t see the end of the race. I had gone out to dinner with friends. Racing is no longer “must stay around the house all day watching” tv for me.
I really am not a RP racing fan. As far as I’m concerned they should replace the four races with short tracks and road courses…at least there’s some skill needed on those tracks. Maybe they could draw straws at the beginning of each race..21 numbered short straws and 22 unnumbered long… If you get a short straw you can sit the race out and still get the amount of points on your straw! The 22 drivers stuck with a long straw must race..and let the points fall where they may!!
I hate to be master of the obvious, but the folks complaining about RP racing are the Minority by a lot. even in the article it was stated that these races are very popular with the audiences… Had there been a fairly “civil” race without the big one this same page would be filled with writers complaining of a snoozefest. They are going to wreck, it’s part of it, but Tdega was an exciting race. We’ve had drivers injured (or worse) at Loudon, Richmond and other small tracks, some were running by themselves. Would you outlaw those too? seems like some people want NASCAR turned into a tennis match.
As I mentioned in a previous article, Nascar is very lucky, and Kurt for the matter, that the 78 car landed on the 39 car. If not, he would have barrel rolled down the track and cutting him out of his car. We may have been talking about something totally different this morning than the upset win and racing in the dark.
And yes, Nascar loves the crashes. They can hear the cash register jingling every time there is a big one. That’s why someone will die again at one of these tracks. Its just a matter of when.
Glen, the difference is, its not real racing, its a crap shoot. The driver mashes the gas and hopes for the best. Short tracks they at least have control of their destiny.
crapshoot? how many RP races have been won by “favorites” the vast majority.
@glenn..there are about “25” favorites at each race..maybe more…factoring in start and park teams, engine problems, 2nd rate equipment, pit stops, and experience of driver…the odds are going to be more favorable for the bigger more experienced teams at superspeedways. To me that proves nothing. I believe in the 2 big ones yesterday we lost more “favorites” then second tier cars….it’s more a matter of position during the final laps…and yesterday there were as many second tier teams in the first five rows as there were favs…it’s a crapshoot … even for the big guns….
Ryan’s comments harsh? This is the second time this has happened to him and to the ones that say he needs to retire, get over yourselves, he was a victim both times.
NASCAR even added a second bar above the windshield this year which oddly enough is referred to as the Newman bar. Would he have died yesterday without that bar? Should he ever have been put in that position? NASCAR knew exactly what was going to happen with that G_W_C and once again dollar signs made the difference.
Maybe since NASCAR holds the rights to that and other wreck footage they might consider not releasing it especially for advertising or promotion.
Ryan was a whole lot nicer and cooler than I would have been and it’ll be yet another travesty should NASCAR fine him.
Hey Summer. Nice job of cherry-picking the interview. I think he was also pissed because it was nearly dark and drizzling. Another driver will die before anything changes. And call me the cynic, but even that will probably end up in a highlight reel.
I used to love the frontstretch, but most of the writers are powder blue woosies. I miss you Matt.
Drivers who wreck always complain and guys who do well are always happy. The way I look at it is you can deal with it or you can stay home. The last 2 laps of that race was incredibly exciting and no one wrecked which was even more impressive.
Ryan Newman must of had some clue that NASCAR would make every effort to get that race restarted, come heck or high water. When the first red flag came out, you can bet NASCAR was kicking themselves once they realised that there were FOUR!!!! Fords in the first four positions, and that Edwards was leading! They had to restart that race, hoping that either Kenseth or Johnson would blow by those four! Glad it didn’t work out, although a Toyota was fourth and NASCAR’s chosen one in the chosen brand did finish fifth.
Every race at Talladega ends up being the same. A long distance ,high speed demolition derby! I guess I’m not your “Average” race fan,I don’t like to see carnage on track, I like to see close racing, a lot of passing and dicing on track. Not a “ride around “for 180 laps and then a wreck fest demolition derby in the last few laps.