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 · Thursday May 16, 2013
Saturday night racing is the best, isn’t it? Between the flying sparks and the great racing that a typically cooler surface provides, there is just that “something” about an under-the-lights race that makes it better. During the month of May, there is a cluster of Saturday night races all crunched together. Between Darlington, Richmond, and the All-Star Race, we have plenty of time to enjoy some nighttime racing.
However, the downside to that is that it leaves a void the very next day. Between all of my racing friends and colleagues, I’ve noticed that in the midst of the season, racing free Sundays tend to throw us all a curveball. Even after several years of watching and covering racing, I still come home from church on Sundays, check my laptop, flip on the TV and think … now what?
It’s sad, isn’t it, how much time we spend on racing? Oh, yes, I know there are those of you who will sprint to the comments section and say, “Well I ¬¬_used_ to do that, but I’d rather whine about [Chase, Jimmie Johnson, “terrible” racing”] than watch so I spend my Sundays [mowing the grass, shopping, whining on Facebook about how I’m not watching the race even though I really am].” That’s fine and it’s your right, but habits are hard to break. When you get into the habit of “Sunday, race, the rest of my day”, it somewhat leaves you with that feeling as though you are forgetting something.
That’s not to say I don’t usually find something to do. My husband will tell you that an off Sunday for NASCAR and a nice, sunny day outside typically aren’t the best days for our checkbook. Hey, I have to do ¬¬_something_ to keep the adrenaline flowing, and what will do that more for a girl than scouting out the best sales and fighting other shopping lines?
In just a few weeks, though, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. Ah, checkbook, it is now time for your several month hibernation.
Now, onto your questions:
“What happened with that dude at Talladega who just up and disappeared? I don’t understand how someone in the midst of thousands of people can just vanish. Did they ever find him?” Emma
His name was Nick Bower, and his body was found in some tall grass near a creek in the Jackson Shoals area after he disappeared on May 4th from the racetrack. Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said that no foul play was suspected in his death, which, if you’re like me, was the immediate thought that came to mind when I heard he was found in a remote area.
They haven’t actually released the cause of death, though it’s a relief that they don’t believe that he was murdered. The whole thing is just weird, though. If there was no foul play, how and why was in the middle of nowhere? Was it suicide? Was he overly intoxicated or did he overdose? There are so many unanswered questions to this one that it’s just strange.
The body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy, so I’m sure we’ll have answers soon enough. The curiosity is killing me, because this happened in what was described as a remote area. Heck, the racetrack itself is in a remote area. Stay tuned for more on this one and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. There is sure to be information in there once it comes out.
“Why did MWR suspend its crew members for failing NASCAR’s drug tests? I thought there was a recovery process they could go through?” Gary
Jackson L. “Lee” Dodson II was one of two crew members recently suspended by NASCAR for violating its substance abuse policy. Frank W. Earnhardt was the other. Dodson is a crew member for Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and Earnhardt was a member of an unidentified team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, though it was confirmed he did not work for JR Motorsports.
Dodson didn’t just lose his ability to go the racetrack every week, though. He lost his job at Michael Waltrip Racing. The team issued a statement saying, “Michael Waltrip Racing fully supports NASCAR’s substance abuse policies and those who complete the Road to Recovery program. MWR’s zero tolerance policy has resulted in the immediate termination of the employee.”
You’re right, though. NASCAR does have a Road to Recovery program where crew members (or drivers or whoever) can rehabilitate and earn their way back into the sport after they have failed a NASCAR required drug test. A.J. Allmendinger is probably the most notorious individual who has ever gone through it successfully, though many other crew members have as well.
Because we don’t know the substance he was suspended for taking, I have a hard time commenting on this. However, I can’t help but be a little angry at MWR, especially when most other team members stand behind their employees when this happens. There is the possibility that this is more serious than what it appears to be at the surface, but if this person needs help, the last thing they need to do is fire him.
I understand that he’s been given an opportunity that many will only ever dream of, but I really don’t feel like it’s our room to judge here. If Dodson is willing to clean himself up and wants to go through this process, I see no reason why he shouldn’t. At the very least, I hope he does so successfully and gets his job back. For all we know, this could have been a stupid mistake he made in an “in the moment” instance, and I hardly think anyone should be punished with their career for that. I wish Dodson—and Earnhardt—well.
“I am soooooo sick and tired of NASCAR changing the All-Star format. I don’t follow as closely as I used to as I have better things to do, and so I have no idea what’s going on this weekend. If it’s anything like last year, though, it will suck. Did they change anything that I need to be aware of before watching or should I take that extra time to do some yard work?” Taylor
You do your yard work at night? Odd.
No, seriously, it’s confusing enough when I have the press release right in front of me. I’m sure it’s worse as a fan trying to sort through the mess that is the format when all you want to do is watch.
To answer your question in short, yes, they changed the format again to keep the drivers from sandbagging like they did last year. To put the format as simply as possible, the average finish of the first four segments will determine the starting lineup for the fifth and final segment. Though it will be hell to keep up with during the race (“Earnhardt finishes segment three with a 5.5 average finish so far!”), it is intended to give the drivers motivation to race throughout the entire race instead of waiting until the end to try anything.
The first four segments will be 20 laps, and the fifth and final segment will be 10 laps.
The whole thing is just asinine to me. Has NASCAR ever heard the saying, “Less is more”? How in the world are fans supposed to be able to keep up with this? There has to be nearly infinite possibilities for the final lineup, and it will now be necessary to keep up with positions to the decimal point. This is going to be maddening for those of us who are required to follow the race and try and decipher it for the fans. It’s going to be completely frustrating for viewers who just want to tune in to enjoy a Saturday night race. It would almost make more sense just to go to your local short track. Even with all of the heat races and inversions and everything, it’s probably still simpler than whatever this chaos is that NASCAR is trying to create.
Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand their motivations here and, hey, it just might work. But with $1 million dollars on the line, these guys are going to race hard anyway. Sure, they aren’t going to race as hard at the beginning of the race as they will in the final segment, but this isn’t like a normal race where viewers have to wait three or four hours to actually see “crunch time.” 90 laps isn’t very long to wait, and with what amounts to “timeouts” coming every 20 laps, it should be enough for even the viewers with the shortest attention spans. So just let the race play out and quit it with all of this complicated nonsense. It takes the fun out of it when you have to constantly be keeping track of mindless statistics.
Or am I wrong here? Do you guys like the gimmicks or would you rather they keep it simple?
Connect with Summer!
©2000 - 2008 Summer Bedgood and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Man, I hate to sound like so many others but it’s true….I used to LOVE the “All-Star” race and couldn’t wait for it. Now I can take it or leave it. If I’m going to be home I’ll watch, but if I miss it it’s not a big deal.
Drivers used to really go all-out for it, but it seems now that many use it for testing…for…..The Chase. The biggest gimmick of all.
And all these changes….is it any wonder why so many are losing interest? I really feel that there will be a day when the chase is no more.
If Nascar can last until that day.
It may be news to you Summer; but a lot of employers have a no tolerance policy as a condition of employment which means if you fail a drug test, you’re terminated. Employees know this when they take the job so there is no excuse for having something ilegal in your system.
Question: Were you a little angry at Penske Racing when they terminated Allmendinger for a failed drug test? Just wondering.
Great article Summer!
I hate the gimmicks! Now days I just ignore all the “changes” (can there be “changes” if it’s never the same? shouldn’t we just call them “new rules”?) and just watch the race.
I agree with Glen. Everyone knows that abusing illegal drugs is wrong, and yet some do it anyway. I dont believe in second chances for drug abusers, just like I dont believe in second chances for drunk drivers that cause an accident.
Changing the All Star format is just as much as a tradition as the race itself at this point. In the whole history of the race they haven’t gone more than 2 years without some sort of tweak. However, last year was a disaster with the sandbagging and having a mandatory pit stop that didn’t require any tires to be changed. Hopefully, this means a better show this year.
Well, I didn’t “sprint” to the comments to say this, and you can call it whining if you like. As JP above said, I can take it or leave it.
The truth is there ARE less fans watching all the races than there used to be, for many reasons, and I include myself in that group. Watching the last 20 laps doesn’t count as a full-time fan.
And yes, I’m tired of all of NASCAR gimmicks for regular races and especially the all-star race. First year in about 10 that we didn’t buy tickets for it. I decided I didn’t need to spend $1,000 traveling to Charlotte to watch Johnson win. I’ll watch it on TV (or maybe not, depending on whether something more interesting comes up for Saturday night). BTW, I’m a fan who USED to stay home to watch a race on TV, but don’t any more.
Ideally, this would be a 40 lap sprint race. Just long enough to have a pit stop in the middle. The problem is that wouldn’t be long enough for TV to run all the commercials that they want to collect money for.
I won’t be watching on TV. Until they get rid of DW, I’ll only watch the Daytona 500. I may listen on the radio but I’ve only done that once or twice this season.
I grew up when you were lucky to get four races a year on TV. And those were cut up into 20 minute highlight reels. I don’t have the need to be “connected”. I read the results the next day as I did long ago.
This is not the sport that I used to be devoted to, I don’t care anymore. They did always bend the rules to make sure the stars were in the show though. There’s a reason why the champion’s provisional exists.