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.
So … who is excited for some road course racing this weekend??
Now stop. You. Yes … you. Raising your hand. Would you have been raising your hand, say, five years ago?
If you answered “no”, you are one of the many race fans, reporters, industry members, etc. who are friends of mine that feel the same way. I, too, hated road course races, thought that two races was way too many to have on the Sprint Cup schedule, and that if they never raced on another road course again it wouldn’t be soon enough.
However, the last few years have changed my opinion dramatically. Between some of the great racing, great finishes, and, admittedly, some easily write-able storylines that would be discussed even weeks after the race I started to see the light. I found myself thinking, “Man, that was one of the best races of the year!” or “Wow, what a fun race!” every single time the checkered flag waved, and even more surprisingly found myself looking forward to the next one.
What’s even stranger … I didn’t even give road courses a chance. I never believed, “All right, I’m going to watch this race without assuming it will suck and see what happens.” There was never a thought to watch the race without preconceived notions. These twisted tracks changed my mind the old-fashioned way: my shoving some of the best races of the year back in my face, slapping their knee, and shouting, “How do ya like THEM apples?”
They’re delicious. Oh, and that crow tastes mighty gamey as well. After several years of being a grouch about any track that didn’t boast exclusively of left turns, I have since become a road course racing fan. And I believe that if you have been watching the last few years, with a keen eye you feel the same way.
Now, on to your questions:
Can you tell us what life insurance for a driver costs? ddrrtt
While I don’t have an exact dollar amount, I do know that life insurance for race car drivers can be a few thousand dollars for a million dollar insurance policy. The premiums can change on a case-by-case basis, and with racing becoming safer and the drivers becoming more athletic, it’s not altogether unlikely that these premiums will lower ever slightly. However, they remain astronomical for even the local level drivers, where the safety standards are not near as high.
I know a local driver here in town who has looked into purchasing life insurance, but simply can’t afford it because it’s so expensive. It’s why after horrendous crashes such as Tim McCreadie’s back in the Chili Bowl, in 2009 family, friends, and fans work to raise some money because, as I’m sure can be expected, health insurance is astronomical as well.
Though NASCAR drivers and their seven-digit salaries can usually afford to insure themselves, your local drivers more than likely cannot. Some insurance agencies, upon the driver disclosing this dangerous “hobby,” have a risk associated fee that they tack on to the monthly premium, if they decide to cover the driver at all. Many insurance companies just choose not to.
Simply put … it’s not good. Assuming this question has stemmed from the recent incident involving Jason Leffler, over his insurance policy (or lack thereof), it doesn’t take much thought to consider why he didn’t – or couldn’t – have any actual life insurance for his son Charlie. After all, he didn’t have a major NASCAR ride, sprint car racing doesn’t pay near as much as the big leagues, and being able to pay that amount out of pocket was obviously not an investment that Leffler found wise.
While I have a hard time believing Leffler literally left little Charlie with nothing, I don’t at all judge him for not having that safety net.
Daytona is cutting 45,000 seats from the racetrack with these new renovations. I can’t help but think this is just another sign the sport is dying. If Daytona can’t sell out, who can? Will
I think it’s less a sign that the sport is dying and more of a sign of the times. Look, I’m sure there truly are fans who don’t tune in or come to the track anymore because of the Chase, the drivers, etc. I’ve already ranted about my thoughts on that in previous columns.
However, you can’t deny the incredibly dramatic drop in ratings and attendance happened at pretty much the exact same time the economy tanked. That’s not coincidence. It’s also why both ratings and attendance both rise and drop depending upon the week as the economy struggles to improve.
I think Daytona is making these changes for safety reasons, economic reasons, and to make the experience for the spectators who do show up worth their while. In other words, not only are they trying to make the most of some of these tough times, they want to plan for the future. Daytona plans on being around for a while.
Let’s also not forget that this renovation is an incredibly expensive expenditure, with Daytona using their own money to bring it to fruition. $375 million to $400 million is the estimated price tag on this hefty project, which includes expanding some of the fan entrances, themed restaurants, and the additional “vertical transportation”. Or, as us common folk like to call it, “elevators.”
It all sounds like a great idea to me, and I’d love to see other tracks follow suit (as the budget allows). Honestly, I can’t wait to see the finished result.
As far as them needing to cut a ton of seating to allow these changes — including the backstretch seating which pretty much just serves as a place to hang Budweiser banners — I think they know that it enhances their ability to actually have sellout crowds again when they don’t have more seats than people. Clearly, the times have changed and not as many people show up as they used to. NASCAR will survive, though, and perhaps when things get better in our nation, they will also get better in our sport.
Do teams really steal other team’s personnel? Seems like Hendrick is just as shady as the fans already know they are. Rob
Yes, it really does happen. It’s this brand new thing called “business”. Have you heard of it?
Let me give you an example. You work for a company in what you would call a dream role. Just put yourself there for a minute, assuming you aren’t there already. Now, pretend that you’re really, really good at your job. Your company grows exponentially from your contributions and you are incredibly valuable to the company, to the point that its competitors begin to take notice.
One day, you get a phone call from a person in a key hiring position at one of your competitors. They offer you a substantial more amount in pay for you to come work with them, including more benefits and a long-term contract with an organization that has a history of success.
That company you were with? Penske Racing. The company that called? Hendrick Motorsports.
Now … would you take it?
If you said no, you’re lying. If you were Pinocchio, your nose would stretch from New York to California. You’re fooling yourself, maybe, but not us.
You see, if you are good at what you do, it will certainly attract everyone’s attention. I can guarantee you that this exact scenario happens on an annual basis, if not much more often, because teams in NASCAR want to do whatever they have to do in order to gain an advantage. It is just the nature of the beast.
There is nothing wrong with this practice, either. Neither side of the aisle is wrong. The team is not wrong for seeking out more talent, and the talented individual is not wrong for taking it. You do what you have to do in order to survive in a competitive climate.
Was it wrong for Matt Kenseth to move from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing? Was it wrong for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to move from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to Hendrick Motorsports? Was it wrong for Joey Logano to move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Penske Racing?
Was it wrong for Brad Keselowski to move from a Hendrick-affiliated team to Penske Racing?
Oh, you forget about that, didja?! Yep, that’s right. If you think back to only a few short years ago, Keselowski was a driver for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series and would have possibly gotten the opportunity to drive a Sprint Cup Series car for HMS if he waited long enough. But he got an opportunity he couldn’t refuse from a certain Roger Penske and he went with it.
It’s the same exact thing with the crew members, except it doesn’t come with the star power and the headlines. If it’s not wrong for a driver, how do you consider it wrong for the crew members?
Now that I’ve answered all of your questions, it’s time to answer mine. My question for all of you: Should loyalty matter in a sport as competitive as NASCAR? Why or why not?
Connect with Summer!
©2000 - 2008 Summer Bedgood and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
45,000 less empty seats for Daytona to clean the seagull poop out of is a good idea. It’s not like they were going to fill them with fans anyway. I don’t think fan amenities will make much of a difference. If they’re not going to do something about the racing, the rest is, as Sarah Palin would say, lipstick on a pig. If they’re not going to fix the racing, then here’s a novel idea… sell me a ticket for 10% of the it’s face value, and then let me come in and watch the last 10% of the race. I won’t have missed a thing.
I don’t think Keselowski was complaining that something should be done to keep teams from raiding other teams. I think he was just pointing out the reality of the situation and how it affects a team’s performance. He didn’t say it very well and frankly, he’s paid to race cars. He’s young and still needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut. It’s a lesson all young drivers have to learn.
Please explain the concept of bad economic times affecting ratings. Specifically, if a lot of fans are tight on money wouldn’t tv be the cheapest form of entertainment and cheapest way to follow the sport they love. And if that is the case then shouldn’t ratings rise during tough economic times? (Especially for the Fox portion of the schedule which is broadcast on free over-the-air tv).
I’d be very interested in your theories of how that works; fans use of free access declines as disposible income declines. Seems illogical so please explain why/how a bad economy should negatively impact ratings for a free program.
FOX had steady ratings across the board…some races saw an increase in viewers. It was the Saturday night races that saw a dip in ratings from last year. So the bad economy did force a lot a fans to stay home and watch the race on TV.
The first two races on TNT have seen a decline of 13% from last year. For one..it’s vacation time, two…it was Pocono and Michigan, and three…“FIVE TIME” is so far ahead of the other drivers so there’s not a lot of drama to see.
It will be interesting to see if ratings hold steady or increase in the near future as taxes, gas, and health cost rise.
Before they cut the seats, maybe they should stop alienating the fans and see what happens. Maybe get rid of the Emperor`s brainstorm the chase? Give them real race cars to drive? Stop manipulating the races with phantom “debris” cautions at certain times (which are pretty obvious)? Find a new golden boy? Did I mention get rid of the chase? And get the TV networks to televise the race and not make a movie with a script.
I’d be very curious to see what the ratings would look like if DVR’s weren’t around. I used to always plan my weekend events around the races so I could watch them live because I couldn’t get enough NASCAR. Now I go about my life as usual, enjoying my weekends, and watching the entire race in about 1.5-2 hours right before I go to bed. If I didn’t have a DVR I probably would only watch parts of the race – the racing just isn’t worth it to me anymore.
It sure seems the actual racing is the problem (chase is a mitigating factor)I Know I’ve been a fan for many years & the racing has very often turned into a ride around parade (chase factor & no rewards ealy on for going for it) Not all race’s are going to be great. More gimmicks is NOT what is needed. The racing @ Dayt & Dega is not really affected much by this type of racing. (it’s worse) I go to some race’s & I can tell you we will never go to Dayt or Dega due to this. The 1.5’s are faily dull & we don’t plan on any more of them(Dull-D) for a while.Loved Pocono & Dover. (parts are dull but real racing is not crashing)
I was giving my opinion on the state of Nascar NOW. The economy stinks and is a huge factor regarding fans in the stands. It’s certainly not the ONLY issue.
Like so many others, I’m not crazy about the coverage on FOX, but the fact remains that they did very well in the ratings. As long as that is the case, why would FOX dump the current TV crew?
But I think when Nascar sees a drop at Daytona and ‘dega (of all places), then there are alarms going off.
I’m hopeful this will lead to some much needed changes….but I’m not holding my breath over it.
I am one fan that has never warmed up to NASCAR road racing. Road racing is great if the cars are designed for it. NASCAR cars are not. They are even more skippable than the 1.5 mile boring tracks.
I don’t blame crew members and drivers for accepting a better offer from other teams. The problem is that it widens the haves and have nots and makes the competition even more lopsided. The lack of competition is the biggest turnoff with the racing now. It is very unusual to have anyone other than a Gibbs or Hendrick/Hendrick supplied team lead and win the majority of the races. Why watch when the outcome is pre-ordained?
Your idea that the drop of interest in racing is because of the economy doesn’t pan out. As Bill said, the TV rating should have exploded if the economy kept the fans from attending the races. However, I must admit, the Waltrip and Wallace brothers have gone a long way in turning off race fans from watching on TV.
so in one comment we whine about JJ leading by so much it ruins TV viewership and interest, then the next person says that the Chase is ruining everything. guess what? the chase is the thing that evens the playing field. Does anyone on this page ever say something positive? At it’s worst NASCAR is still fun to watch, and EVERY sport is struggling with attendance lately. Less seats is a good idea, amenities are helpful but expand the remaining seats also, no more benches. Stadium seating is great.
While the poor economy may have affected fans attendance at races, IMO it is the poor racing, the chase and the spec car (see poor racing earlier) which have led to many people not following the “sport” with the enthusiasm they once did. Plus, remember that Brian France wanted desperately to market NASCAR to the “casual” fans at the expense of the die hards. Well, he was successful in one thing, he turned a lot of those diehard fans into casual ones – myself included. Then you have the poor TV coverage – ratings continue to be down for Fox especially if you compare the numbers to pre-chase stats.
Me, I’ve always loved watching road courses. However since the tv coverage from TNT will be commercial laden or covered up with “we know drama”. The thing is that I saw my first race on TV and became interested enough to go to the track. If I were in that same spot now, I wouldn’t know how to make heads or tails out of the race and sure wouldn’t be excited enough to spend my hard earned money to go to a race.
As far as Daytona rebuild, I’m glad that ISC has to put up their own money rather than being able to foist it on the taxpayers. We’ve been to Daytona twice, IMO, that was enough to experience RP racing. I agree – give me a ticket @ 10% of the cost since that is about the amount of the race that was interesting.