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 November 14, 2013
One to go. White flag. Then … Sayonara.
I don’t know for sure who is going to win the Sprint Cup Championship on Sunday. While I’m willing to bet that Jimmie Johnson is going to win this championship on, I can’t say that with 100% confidence. I would have said with the same amount of confidence that Matt Kenseth would have been a contender in Phoenix, and we all saw how that panned out.
With that said, it is always somewhat bittersweet whenever Homestead rolls around. Though I don’t have the privilege or the workload of making it of the racetrack each week as some do, this gig here at The Frontstretch keeps me busy each week. So it will be nice to have a break, particularly as the holidays are approaching.
On the other hand, I love my job here and I love racing. Though I try and maintain a level of objectivity and cover the sport from a professional point of view, the fan side in me gets entirely too defensive when I hear a mainstream sports broadcaster speaking about NASCAR in a negative way. When I’m shopping in the grocery store and I see a NASCAR logo on a box of crackers, I’ll pick it up and look at it to see what it’s about. If I see someone walking around with a racing logo on their T-shirt—whether it’s NASCAR, IndyCar, or a local driver—I feel a special connection with them. If you’re a diehard NASCAR fan, you know what I’m talking about.
Some of you make a habit of coming to the comments section of these columns and brag about how little attention you pay to NASCAR anymore. For any number of reasons, you claim that it just doesn’t hold your attention the way it used to.
I don’t believe you. While you may not spend every waking hour of your weekend watching every practice and qualifying session, and every lap of every race that is on TV—heck, I don’t even do that every single week, and I work for a motorsports website—you still love it. You wouldn’t visit Frontstretch every day or read our newsletter without a continued interest in racing. You wouldn’t know just as much about what was going on in the sport as we do if you weren’t paying attention. Seriously, when you sit there and say “When Michael Waltrip said (whatever it is) during the broadcast, that’s EXACTLY why I don’t watch NASCAR anymore”, it kind of gives away the little white lie that you don’t watch.
You may not like everything about the sport and you might still be nostalgic about the old days. You probably miss Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Terry Labonte, and any number of drivers we don’t see on the track any more. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch one day once the sun has set on their careers.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t still in the deep crevices of my cold heart still enjoy racing. Even if my career goes elsewhere and I don’t work in racing anymore, or if I just simply lose interest from a life way too dedicated to one thing, I still believe you will never be able to completely remove the love of racing from my being. I believe the same for those of you who complain way more than I thought was humanly possible.
So as Homestead comes to a close and another NASCAR season has come and gone, you might tell yourself this is your last race. But something about you and your love of racing will bring you right back to our website and right back to your television sets when February brings the green flag of yet another season.
Even though Jimmie Johnson will probably win that one too.
Now onto your questions:
Several times while watching the NASCAR Trucks I have heard the announcers state that Kyle Busch is one of 23 drivers that have won races in all three NASCAR divisions. The only other ones that I can think of are Kevin Harvick, and possibly Ron Hornaday. 23 just sounds like an awful high number to me. Who are the other drivers that have won in all three divisions?” Ken
Surprisingly enough, there are 23 drives who have won races in all three series, and Kevin Harvick is in fact one of them. Here is a list of all 23 drivers and their wins in each series: -Ken Schrader (4 NSCS, 2 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Terry Labonte (22 NSCS, 11 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Mark Martin (40 NSCS, 49 NNS, 7 NCWTS) -Bobby Hamilton, Sr. (4 NSCS, 1 NNS, 10 NCWTS) -Kevin Harvick (23 NSCS, 40 NNS, 14 NCWTS) -Greg Biffle (19 NSCS, 20 NNS, 16 NCWTS) -Jimmy Spencer (2 NSCS, 12 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Jamie McMurray (7 NSCS, 8 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Tony Stewart (48 NSCS, 11 NNS, 2 NCWTS) -Steve Park (2 NSCS, 3 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Carl Edwards (21 NSCS, 38 NNS, 6 NCWTS) -Bobby Labonte (21 NSCS, 10 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Kasey Kahne (16 NSCS, 7 NNS, 4 NCWTS) -Kyle Busch (28 NSCS, 63 NNS, 34 NCWTS) -Ricky Craven (2 NSCS, 4 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Kurt Busch (24 NSCS, 5 NNS, 4 NCWTS) -Johnny Benson, Jr. (1 NSCS, 3 NNS, 14 NCWTS) -Clint Bowyer (8 NSCS, 8 NNS, 3 NCWTS) -Ryan Newman (17 NSCS, 7 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -David Reutimann (2 NSCS, 1 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Elliott Sadler (3 NSCS, 9 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Michael Waltrip (4 NSCS, 11 NNS, 1 NCWTS) -Denny Hamlin (22 NSCS, 11 NNS, 2 NCWTS)
What I find interesting about that list is a name that is missing from it, which is Brad Keselowski. He has yet to win a race in the Camping World Truck Series despite that he owns a team in that series and has a total of 59 starts. Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, our two championship contenders in Sprint Cup this yera, are also missing from this list.
So is this list perhaps a “jack of all trades, master of none” group of drivers? Because it might appear that you don’t necessarily need success in either of the two lower series to be one of the best in the Sprint Cup Series. Though I know the Camping World Truck Series is fairly new in comparison to NNS and NSCS, which means that the drivers from 10 to 20 years didn’t have as much of an opportunity to win in all three, even the most dominant drivers in the Sprint Cup Series only have wins in one or two of NASCAR’s three series.
”If Trevor Bayne has multiple sclerosis, how is it that he can continue racing? I thought people who had MS had to be in a wheelchair. I have a cousin who has it and she struggles mightily with it and has had to relearn perfectly normal things because of it.” Jenny
I’ll be honest, when I heard the news I wondered the same thing. I’ve seen the commercials for multiple sclerosis about people having to learn how to drive with their hands because of the disease, so I couldn’t quite figure out what Bayne had that gave him virtually no symptoms.
After doing some research on it and hearing Bayne talk about it, I’ve since learned that no two cases of MS are ever the same. Some people, like your cousin, have to relearn their entire lifestyle because of their symptoms and others might not even know that they have it. It’s incredibly difficult to diagnose, which is why it took Bayne two years and multiple tests at the Mayo Clinic to finally have a successful diagnosis.
I’m not sure how long you have been a fan, but you might remember in 2011 that Bayne missed several races because of what at the time was thought to be Lyme disease from a bug bite. He had double vision and fatigue in June of 2011 and was taken out of the car because of it. Though Bayne doesn’t know with 100% certainty that it wasn’t Lyme disease, the symptoms could very well have been a result of MS.
Bayne has also said he hasn’t had symptoms since then, which is why NASCAR and the doctors have allowed him to continue racing. I’m sure this will be a case-by-case basis as Bayne experiences or doesn’t experience any symptoms, but for now he is okay to drive.
“Why are we constantly fed this BS that something exciting will happen when we know damn good and well it won’t? Jimmie Johnson is going to win the championship and YOU KNOW IT!” Dianne
Well I don’t know why you’re yelling at me since I completely agree with you, but I’ll admit I wouldn’t bet my year’s salary on Jimmie Johnson winning the championship this weekend. Would you? Would you bet your house on the fact that Johnson will win this weekend?
I bet you won’t for the same reason that I wouldn’t: there are so many variables and things out of the driver’s control that can happen on any given weekend. Sometimes, the team just sucks. As I said at the beginning of this column, look at Kenseth last weekend in Phoenix and tell me that things can happen unexpectedly. There wasn’t a person heading into the Phoenix race that thought that the No. 20 team would crash and burn and wouldn’t even contend for a top 10 finish, let alone a victory. Instead, they finished 23rd and seemingly imploded under the pressure.
Now, I will tell you that you are probably right. Johnson probably will finish at the tail end of the top 10—somewhere around eighth place—maybe lead one or two laps under a green flag pit cycle, but otherwise will not contend for the race win. They’ll ride around, do exactly what they need to, and win the championship. I would imagine that you are not going too far out on a limb by expecting that to happen.
But, like I said, I wouldn’t lay down a ton of money with the expectation for that to happen. What if Johnson has to go to the garage like he did last year? What if something similar to the Logano incident at the beginning of the race in Phoenix translates to Homestead, but this time Johnson can’t hold the wheel straight? What if the caution comes out while they’re on pit road and they get caught a lap down?
Are those things likely to happen? Well, no, not any more than at any other racetrack, but I guarantee you those things are keeping Johnson, Chad Knaus, and Rick Hendrick up at night. The No. 48 team will control the things they can control, but it’s the thing they can’t that might lose them this championship.
I promise you that I’m not feeding you a bunch of bunk. I will side with you in that the “well ANYTHING could happen” line has been shoved down our throats a few too many times in the past few days than is altogether necessary. But that team is just as worried about those variables as anyone else, and that’s why I think you should tune in anyway.
Connect with Summer!
©2000 - 2008 Summer Bedgood and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I bet there are a LOT of folks like myself who hang on to Nascar because of the love of how it USED to be. Boy, do I miss the Winston Cup years.
I can count on one hand the number of races I’ve watched this year. These days I keep up with it via websites like this one. At the end of the weekend I’ll check to see who won and who finished where.
My love of racing keeps me from divorcing the Brian France crapalooza altogether.
(Oh, and I seriously doubt that YOU will miss Kyle Busch…LOL )
Like I said in the comments section the other day, being a Nascar fan is in my DNA. My Dad took me to watch Richard Petty race at the old Columbia Speedway when I was just a tyke and I think I’ve probably been hooked ever since. I put 1:24 models together of Bobby Isaac’s Dodge and Richard Petty’s Superbird. I loved Cale Yarborough because he was a local hero and hated Darrell Waltrip simply because he was the enemy. I spent more weekends in the infield at Darlington and Charlotte than I can ever remember. I pulled for Alan Kulwicki back when he drove the Zerex Ford and everyone thought I was nuts, bragged like hell when he won the title in 1992, and cried tears when he died less than a year later. Being a Nascar fan is definitely part of who I am and I’ve been one for a long time. What that gives me is perspective. No, I’ll never quit being a fan, but I detest Brian France for what he has done to the sport I hold so dear. His day of reckoning can’t come soon enough to suit me.
I have been a fan a long time, I still like (not love) the sport despite Brian France. It is not as fun as it used to be and is boring, so because of that and many other obvious reasons, I don’t dedicate race days to the race anymore. The fans who complain are the ones who care about the long term health of the sport and just want things to get better. Its a good thing.
As long as brain farce is in charge the hits against Nascar will continue (Due to an endless supply of ego & arrogance) …Im hanging on as long as I can but it seems to get a little harder every year & yes greatly miss Earnhardt & Petty & Allisons…you know drivers that actually had worked on race cars & raced them to pay the rent..Todays proffessional drivers are far more pretty boys who all pretty much were “spoon fed” to quote one of the spoon fed ones (yes his dad worked for a living but Harvick didn’t)..Imagine that Jeffy is now the old guard..I recall when Cale was. Things got better since then & then took a Nose Dive since the braniac got involved..I have often wondered about all those saying their done with Nascar…But their still reading this stuff (cause their commenting) & I’m guessing their watching more than they’ll admit..That said the sport must stop taking all these hits through poor decisions
I can’t buy comparing what happened to Kenseth last weekend to what could happen to Johnson this weekend. Things like what happened to the 20 team just don’t happen to Johnson,Knaus, and the 48 team. They don’t let things like that happen because they’re head and shoulders above everyone. Even though I was hoping for the best for the 20 team I knew they wouldn’t stand up to the test. That’s why I didn’t even watch the race and probably won’t watch this weekend.