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 October 24, 2013
As we inch ever closer to Halloween and the championship race for all three of NASCAR’s series, the calendar is still set squarely on October. For some, October brings thoughts of ghouls, goblins, hot chocolate, and the colors of fall. For many others, it brings to light an issue that almost all of us have been touched by in some way — Breast Cancer.
I’m sure that if you’ve never had it yourself, you know someone who has. You’ve seen how it can impact someone’s life and you know how damaging it can be.
If you’re a NASCAR fan, you also know how much the industry cares about it. You would be hard-pressed to not find at least one pink car on the track in any Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Camping World Truck Series race during any event during the month of October, let alone some sort of charitable donation or recognition of those who have been impacted by the disease. Just look at Kyle Busch, his wife Samantha, and Kyle Busch Motorsports in Charlotte for a striking, tearful, lump-in-your-throat example of that.
This weekend in Martinsville will be no different. Just yesterday, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Greg Biffle would be running pink paint schemes this weekend in Martinsville to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. I’m not a big fan of pink myself, but I do think it is nice of the community to rally around together for this one cause.
No smart aleck comments on this one. It’s a great cause with good intentions behind it. I’m glad to see this continue in NASCAR every year.
Now, on to your questions:
“Why is it that, every week a crew member is getting nailed for drugs??? I would KILL to have their jobs and I sure as hell wouldn’t be screwing it up with drugs!!” Robert
I’m with you, Robert. I sigh every time I get a message in my inbox that says, “_____ Has Been Suspended for Violating NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy.”
I don’t have the desire to be a crew member simply because I know I would never shape up to what I would need to be one. I’m not a car person, and I don’t understand even the basic physics of it. I know the basic names of certain car parts, but I couldn’t identify or put them together, let alone know how to adjust them to make the car competitive.
However, I know there are a lot of people reading this column who would love to be in that position and believe they have what it takes to do so. At the very least, they believe they could learn. So when they hear that other crew members are doing drugs when they know it jeopardizes their job, it infuriates them.
The only area of caution I would offer is one of judgment. Todd Parrott is the rare exception where we actually hear somewhat of a story on what happened. Most crew members have a name, and that’s it. We don’t know if they keep their jobs, what the drug was, if it’s a real problem or an isolated incident. Sometimes, crap happens and we make split-second decisions that change our lives. I’m not saying that makes it any better, but don’t assume things just from a press release.
As for Parrott, he’ll be entering NASCAR’s Road To Recovery Program after explaining to Eli Gold, on MRN’s radio show Tuesday “he made a mistake.” The 49-year-old, who has won a Cup Series championship as head wrench with Dale Jarrett expects to be reinstated and hopefully back in the sport for the 2014 Daytona 500.
“I have seen several news outlets talking about some changes that could be coming to the sport next year, especially when it comes to the actual cars and the aerodynamics. Is this meant to make the racing better or is it more about the actual rules?” Madison
Actually, it’s about both. NASCAR has done both wind tunnel and on-track tests to work on improving the aerodynamics of the cars in order to, putting it simply, race better. I’m sure it’s not news to you that track position is king, and very rarely are cars able to make up position from back in the field regardless of newer tires. Pit road has become more important because that’s one of the few places where it is possible to make up several positions at once.
In terms of rules changes, they are talking about eliminating the minimum height rule and making the spoiler larger. Those represent areas that a crew member might be more apt to describe, but essentially the way I understand it is that it’s one way to help teams with ballooning costs.
However, anything NASCAR does is with the goal of enhancing the final product. Rest assured, they know that the racing is unacceptable at certain tracks. There has been some good competition this year, but it’s frustrating to watch the first few laps of a restart and feel like that’s the race at certain intermediates.
NASCAR knows what they are doing, contrary to what some may think and they will fix the problem. If they are able to figure this out before Daytona next year, 2014 will be a great season.
“I saw that GoDaddy.com is leaving Hinchcliffe in IndyCar but is sticking with Danica in NASCAR!!! What gives??? Hinchcliffe has more wins in this one season than she had in her entire career!!” Tucker
Oh, Tucker, you know business doesn’t work that way. Obviously, Hinchcliffe is a great driver in IndyCar and has an equally great personality. I’m not an avid IndyCar enthusiast, but I always enjoy seeing Hinchcliffe on television.
With that said, Patrick is marketable, recognizable, and profitable. Those are things that Hinchcliffe and, to a higher extent, IndyCar is not. I’m sure Hinchcliffe has his share of fans, but IndyCar has struggled in the ratings and attendance department for a long time. They make NASCAR’s issues look tiny, and CEO Blake Irving basically said as much when the announcement was made.
Here’s the bottom line: when you say the name “Danica Patrick” to any random person you meet, they will know who she is. If you say “James Hinchcliffe,” they’ll just look at you funny. It’s a shame, considering that he’s a great personality and a good driver, but IndyCar doesn’t have the same reach and Hinchcliffe, despite his success, just isn’t as recognizable. It all comes down to dollars and sense, and there isn’t the same profit in open-wheel racing as there used to be.
There is a silver lining to this story, though. At Fontana, Andretti Autosport announced tech company United Fiber and Data will now step up to sponsor Hinchcliffe. That’ll keep the driver in the same ride and in position to challenge for wins and a championship in 2014.
Connect with Summer!
©2000 - 2008 Summer Bedgood and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
so nascar is now officially a popularity contest. yay! I’m glad to see that people who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for rides on talent can get these opportunities to prove themselves in this sport because they are popular. thank heaven for this brave new nascar world. I’m also glad nascar is focused exposing and expunging all the dangerous drug addicts and the politically incorrect because they are really dragging the organization down. i’m sure viewership and attendance will recover now. whew! it’s ok people. false alarm. nascar is doing just fine! nothing to see here.
babydufus: I’m pretty sure that’s not NASCAR making that decision, it’s her sponsor… And sponsors have been sticking behind under-performing drivers for decades, not just her. How long has Target been with JPM?
I’m sure Godaddy recognizes that A – most importantly, she sells stuff and is a great ambassador for their brand, and B – it’s her rookie season in the most competitive racing series on the world, and as a rookie she’s had a decent rookie-esque season, driving for a team that as a whole has been running like crap, other than occasionally Ryan Newman.
People need to cut the poor girl some slack. The TV coverage shoving her down our throats is not her fault. She’s just showing up and racing. I’ll call her a “bust” after 3-4 seasons without any improvement, not ONE ROOKIE SEASON.
People I have over heard and talked to do know Danica. They all say the basically same thing. Isn’t she that girl in Nascar who can’t drive?
Gee Mike, I would be willing to bet you would crap in your pants if she took you for a few laps around Talladega. Why is it the fans who bitch the most about the ability or inability of a specific driver have never raced anything faster than a Big Wheel?
Yep, Mike, that’s the girl.
Oh the big mystery of marketing. Can anybody give actual hard data, (other that say T-shirt) sales, that Sparkle Pony is making anybody any money? The overwhelming majority of people feel racing has taken a bigger hit in the credability department for the mere fact that this no talent is even allowed to race in the top show. We are sick to death of hearing about her, her and Ricky, blah blah blah. Sad it is not about talent!
Right on mike ,Don M you are full of it !!
Fuzzy, you would wet your pants!
TR had it right a long time ago. Whose full of it Fuzzy? Maybe you critics should read this:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Danica is the Kardashian of the sports world. She will be front and center as long as she attracts attention. Her popularity is not because of her driving talent. In today’s pop culture world, popularity is what is important. If talent mattered, Hollywood and Congress would be a very lonely place.
Hinchwho? Indycarwhat? Aren’t they on some channel way up in the nether regions of cable?
No Don I have raced. Not Talladega but I have raced something more then a Big Wheel. How about you? Obviously you are like the mindless few who actually think Princess Sparkle Pony can actually race. Bet you have a Danica poster above your bed.
hmmm. i don’t remember mentioning danica in my comment. i suppose i could have though as she is the antithesis of my point. what i was insinuating is that a big problem in nascar is that the whole culture is not longer focused on generating good competition but other things like something more akin to american idol where popularity levels, perception and demographic can and often does override the actual talent level of the “competitors.” if such a word is even accurate in this case. like i said… nothing to see here….
babydufus.why don’t you just get off your high horse and quit whining. If you’re so unhappy with Nascar, and think it’s just a popularity sport, stop watching it and find another sport to entertain you that you don’t have to complain about!
BabyD. I appreciate your comments they are right on the money, keep it up. People today want everything to be love and kisses, if you complain about the current state of your beloved sport, according to them, tough go watch another sport. With that mentality, how can anything ever change?
Funny how Summer says it’s a problem with Hinch being in IndyCars. B.S. Seems to me that Danica’s mug was all over the place while she was losing in the IRL, yet they continued to put her name out there. So that IRL premise is quite misleading.
Danican’t has “made her name” entirely through promotion, not driving, and if they had done all that promoting with Hinchcliffe (plus he’s won races) he’d be fairly well know beyond the racing fans, at least up there with Helio and Dario.
Somehow I doubt it Mike, and here is why. First I road raced motorcycles all over the country from 1964 until about 1984. Then in the late eighties, I started vintage racing an old Corvette I own and in 2011 replaced it with a 1971 240Z race car that I actively run in VRG and SVRA events in the eastern part of the US. The reason I don’t believe you is simply that in all my years of racing, I have never met a fellow racer willing to disparage another competitor. Never have and probably never will. People who have been wheel to wheel on racetracks appreciate what it takes to get out there and do it rather than sitting back and criticizing. Im 71 now and still at it, and you will never in a thousand years convince me you have any racing experience.
One more thing Mike; I don’t have anyones poster over my bed. Ironically I’m not a particular fan of any driver, I just like racing. Over the years Ive met a number of them and enjoyed the contact and conversation. Quite frankly I don’t think Danica’s that good, but shes probably as good as half a dozen other guys out there riding around and catching a paycheck, so it seems to me you are dumping on her because she is a woman. As the father of two grown successful, professional women daughters and five granddaughters, that kind of pisses me off.