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!
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 31, 2013
It’s not often that NASCAR makes national news within mainstream media such as CNN or ABC’s Good Morning America. If they do, it’s usually something negative such as a terrible crash, a dramatic fight, or a driver getting in trouble for doing something stupid. In other words, even when NASCAR does make national news headlines lately, it generally isn’t positive.
Enter Darrell Wallace, Jr. Last Saturday at Martinsville, Wallace took the checkered flag for the first time in his career in one of the top three major NASCAR Touring Series, beating out drivers like Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick in the process. It was no fuel mileage or rain-shortened win, either. Wallace was fast all day, leading 96 of the 200 laps, including the most important final circuit.
So what was so special about Wallace that he appeared on Good Morning America and The Arsenio Hall Show, becoming the subject of many headlines on news outlets that normally pay NASCAR no attention?
Wallace became the second African-American in NASCAR’s 64-year history to win a race, and the first since Wendell Scott’s win at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla. in 1964. In a sport that is still sadly and detestably stereotyped as having a redneck, white supremacist-type atmosphere, it was at least a shining moment for NASCAR. This industry has made great strides in its treatment of minorities, just as the entire American culture has over the past 50 years.
Though I’m not a huge advocate of treating someone differently just because of their race or gender — whether positively or negatively — it is nice to see NASCAR in the headlines for something that isn’t embarrassing to the sport. Those are the kinds of national crossovers NASCAR needs to get back to its popularity of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
And good job to “Bubba” Wallace. He truly is a great talent that deserves to be here.
Now, on to your questions:
“I saw in The Frontstretch Newsletter that Twisted Tea was sponsoring Marcos Ambrose next year. Isn’t he a driver for Richard Petty Motorsports? I thought they didn’t work with alcohol sponsors?” Mary
I’m sure you remember that Budweiser was a sponsor for Kasey Kahne when he drove for the organization, though that was labeled as a George Gillett car when he was still a co-owner of that race team. Technically, this backer will hop onto the No. 9, leaving Petty’s famed No. 43 “alcohol free” — a stance NASCAR’s “King” still reportedly takes.
But what gives? Though Petty has been with this specific team for awhile, I think the reason you are seeing this shift away from that staunch “no alcohol” policy — something that has been a staple of the Petty name going back decades — is for a couple of different reasons. First of all, financial support is hard to come by these days and, unfortunately, these multi-million dollar sponsorships are essential if these race teams are going to remain even remotely competitive.
Secondly, as times change, so do the values of a community. The fundamentalist Christian values that NASCAR was built on — despite the fact that alcohol has been a part of this sport for awhile — just don’t make sense anymore. Though it is Petty’s name on the front door, the people in higher positions at that organization know where the money is, that the push-back on alcohol just doesn’t make sense.
Now, could Petty simply put his foot down and say “No, absolutely this will not happen at my race team…?” Yes, of course. But if the choice is between putting alcohol on the car, or saying no, potentially leaving several employees without jobs I don’t think that’s a difficult decision to make for a family man like Petty.
And good for him. After all, fans are going to continue to consume alcoholic beverages in the stands and at home whether he maintains that stance or not. So if a company/product like Twisted Tea wants to be a part of NASCAR, I would say that is a very good thing. Times are changing, meaning Petty and that race team will be forced to make changes that must go along with that.
Besides, if you happen to see the documentary Petty Blue, you’ll learn that at one time the family did have a bit of a relationship with – ahem – alcoholic beverages…
“Hey Summer, I know you write about NASCAR but I wanted to ask you an IndyCar question. I like NASCAR, but IndyCar is where my heart is at. However, the ratings are so bad this year I’m afraid it is dying a slow death. I know that NASCAR is going to have some races on NBCSN in a couple of years. If IndyCar still has the same TV package, like I think they will, do you think it will help IndyCar get better ratings if they have races on the same channel?” Ric
I think that might be a better question for my IndyCar colleagues Matt Stallknecht, Huston Ladner, or Toni Montgomery. However, despite the lack of my status as an IndyCar expert, I will give my opinion as someone who primarily watches NASCAR over any other form of IndyCar.
First of all, IndyCar’s contract with NBC Sports Network and ABC runs through 2018, so, yes, things will remain as is with IndyCar’s TV package for awhile.
Secondly, I do think NASCAR will help, at least somewhat, and here’s why: When I see an IndyCar race advertised during a NASCAR event, I’m much more likely to remember to watch it. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like IndyCar. If it’s on and a NASCAR race isn’t, I’ll gladly turn it on and watch every lap. I have nothing bad to say about the series. However, most of the time, I don’t realize that they are even racing that weekend unless I happen to see someone tweeting about it.
However, IndyCar airs races on ABC as well, and I happen to remember those races more often. Why? Because when the Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series is on ESPN or ABC, they tend to heavily promote the other motorsports they have coming up on their networks. So, for instance, during the month of May, I know what time, what day, etc. the Indianapolis 500 will air because it is mentioned several times during every practice, qualifying, and race that ESPN has on with NASCAR.
This pattern is opposed to an IndyCar race on NBCSN, where I really don’t see anything about it… unless I happen to be watching a show on NBC for some reason. Even then, it’s not the same type of exposure.
So if I’m watching a race on NBCSN, in 2015 and I see an IndyCar commercial 15 times over the course of a race advertising their next event, I’m much more likely to remember to tune in. I’d imagine I’m not the only person like that. So for IndyCar to be exposed to NASCAR’s audience on a regular, weekly basis, I would say that it should help their standing tremendously.
I also hope that we get more motorsports-based programming on television again sometime soon, a la Wind Tunnel or SPEED Center. I really think not having that combined exposure to various racing series really hurts IndyCar’s ability to remain in the conversation of viewers who may not otherwise think about it. I know the only reason I know anything about IndyCar headlines this season is because I work for Frontstretch.
IndyCar is in a worse spot than NASCAR, mainly because of the lack of known and recognizable personalities within the sport, plus the absence of major media attention for any race other than the Indianapolis 500. I think that it would help both series quite a bit if they could carry much of the same audience.
“I don’t understand why that punk-ass Biffle thought he had the right to grab Johnson like that. Biffle isn’t even half the driver Johnson is, and he did nothing wrong anyway. It was the 88 that ripped his bumper off! Has he at least had the decency to apologize?” Dana
Well, he apologized on Twitter for the way he handled it, if it makes you feel any better. As of my typing this column, I don’t believe he has apologized to Johnson personally, but he has said he plans to . I cannot confirm rumors that the apology plans to come in the form of his front bumper, in Turn 4 on Sunday.
I tend to agree that it wasn’t actually Johnson who started Biffle’s troubles, considering his bumper was already starting to come apart before Johnson ever got to him. Biffle would contest that claim, but the camera doesn’t lie. Johnson may have helped tear the back end completely off; however, it was already hanging on by a thread.
I have to disagree with your claim, though, that Biffle doesn’t deserve to go after Johnson just because Johnson has more championships. That’s absurd. If Johnson did race Biffle aggressively — and let’s be honest, he did kinda run into him while they were racing for position — then Biffle has a right to defend himself. Johnson’s success in this series doesn’t give him a right to race anyone the way he wants to. On the flip side, Biffle’s lack of Sprint Cup Series championships doesn’t mean that he has to pull over for someone more successful than him.
This philosophy about racing people with “respect” is probably one of the most aggravating claims drivers and fans alike contest. Nobody on the track deserves to be raced any differently than anyone else. I don’t care if it’s a driver’s first race or 500th race. Everyone is racing for the same end goal in mind, and no one should be expected to pull over because someone else deserves it more. I don’t care if Richard Petty hopped in a car this weekend. He shouldn’t be raced any differently than any other competitor on the track.
That’s not to say everyone should wreck each other and be expected to just deal with it. Where “respect” comes in is that you also realize that crew members, who have nothing to do with what happens on track, will wind up having to fix that damage. Additionally, respect for the driver’s safety needs to come into play.
But racing someone with less effort because of experience or accomplishments? That’s a terrible idea. All competitors should race each other equally.
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I see the Biffle haters are out in full force this week! Personally, as a fan of Greg Biffle (well, more a fan of the brand of car he drives than just him), I am disappointed in Biffle over this. He should have not apologized to that phoney-baloney sleazebag Johnson. So what? It was Martinsville, a short track. Isn’t this what fans want, short tracks, short tempers and fights? Well, not me. Personally, I hope Biffle stuffs Johnson into the wall next time.
As for his apology, I am willing to bet there was a call to Greg from Brian about this. After all, he went after a “Chosen One”, a Hendrick driver. You must not do that, Greg! Don’t forget, Hendrick rules NASCAR, so you have to bow to all drivers in Hendrick’s stable, including the three cars under the phoney SHR banner.
The win by Wallace didn’t get any mention on any sports talk radio shows that I listen to. And I listen to sports talk all day, every day. That’s because Nascar doesn’t move the needle. Not even in the South. It’s sad what’s happened to Nascar under Brian France.
The news made some TV shows only because of their liberal bias and their usual “Nascar Redneck” slant. It’s the left that notices a persons skin color.
I don’t have a problem with drivers beating and banging on each other, especially at a bulllring like Martinsville. Tempers often flare, and it spills over after the race on pit road and in the garage. That’s part of stock car racing and it always has been. My guess is that both Biffle and Johnson have a decent amount of respect for each other on the track, and that this was a one-time short-track incident that will be forgotten before the season ends.
While I think all drivers should race each other the way they would want to be raced, a little “Welcome to the big-time” contact from veterans to rookies is usually a lesson that the rookies need to learn, especially the brash ones, as long as it doesn’t occur on super-speedways. I seems to recall Tony Stewart “schooling” Ricky Stenhouse earlier in the season.
Look at Ken calling out the haters… as he dishes out a fresh steaming helping of hate all by himself.
As long as Wallace winning is a big deal due to colour it would appear racism is quite rampant at this time…A Young guy without a whole pile of experience won & congrats to him..the colour or gender really shouldn’t be part of it. Way to Go Darrel
Wow Ken! Talk about spewing hate! Trouble is, I agree with what you said. Why should Biffle have to apologize to Johnson? Heck, I wished Biffle had of drilled the 5-time chump right in his arrogant puss! But, as you said, Greg (and Jack) probably got a call from Brian on Monday morning, after Brian got his call from the man who is a convicted felon, but managed to pull a major con job to avoid prison. And don’t hand me the line that Ol’ Slick-Rick paid for his sins, as he has not! My father died from Leukaemia, and what I was told by the Doctors at the time has thoroughly convinced me that Tricky-Ricky is a fake where his disease is concerned. Hendrick spit on every leukaemia sufferer with his crap, and for that, I will never have any respect for him.
Hey Greg, Phoenix would be a good place to deal with Johnson, just like his whining, sniveling teammate did to Boywer last year!
Jeez Rufus you scolded Ken and then went on a rant of your own. What’s up with that?
Come on Summer….$$$ is more important than standards and values??? While I don’t have a problem with the RPM decision, to simply say that having values doesn’t make sense in today’s world is a little bit flippant. Does journalistic integrity sacrifice for the almighty dollar as well?
Goodness, I agree with Summer again, what has gotten into me. Seriously, that “respect” line drives me nuts especially the ones who usually spew it are the biggest jerks out there. At what point does one get “respect”, come on..a very overused term.