NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
In A Nutshell: Challenging. Compelling. Controversial. Through a wild and wacky 75 laps, Canada's inaugural race for NASCAR's Busch Series clearly didn't disappoint. In the end, it took the smoke of not one, but two burnouts to clear to figure out the actual race winner.
But in the end, all the action on the track couldn't stop the momentum of another Nextel Cup familiar face - and Buschwhacker extraordinaire – pulling into Victory Lane for the fourth time this year.
Kevin Harvick benefited from a late-race crash he started - and then a late-race crash he watched unfold - to take the checkered flag in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal. Running outside the Top 10 for much of the race, Harvick used the pit strategy of a fuel-only stop to put himself in position for a Top 5 finish. While running 4th on lap 71, Harvick dove to the inside to make a pass on Scott Pruett entering Turn 1 - and when Pruett cut off the move, Harvick responded by hitting him in the right rear quarterpanel. A multicar accident ensued, courtesy of Harvick's front bumper, eliminating several contenders but leaving his No. 21 Chevrolet remarkably unscathed.
In the meantime, the No. 59 driven by Marcos Ambrose had his hands full with Robby Gordon's No. 55 as the caution came out - and while battling for the lead, the two made contact, spinning Gordon. In the aftermath, NASCAR ruled Gordon would need to fall to 12th place for the restart, claiming he had fallen out of line by spinning under the yellow; however, Gordon ignored NASCAR's directive, and began a green-white-checkered finish positioned directly behind Ambrose. That didn’t work well at all, of course – it didn't take more than one turn for Gordon to spin Ambrose in retaliation - but was unexpected was that he actually didn't get the lead back. Instead, Gordon found himself disqualified for failing to follow orders from NASCAR - and it was Harvick who got handed the top spot, forced to fend off late charges by Patrick Carpentier and Max Papis behind him to hold on for an "upset" win. Carpentier, the highest finishing Canadian, wound up short of the win by just a few car lengths, with Papis 3rd, Ron Fellows 4th, and Stephen Leicht 5th. After the late-race spin, Ambrose wound up 7th, while Gordon fell back to 18th after NASCAR stopped scoring him heading into the race's final lap.
Who Should Have Won: Marcos Ambrose. The one man who seems to lose the most in this wild late-race melee was Ambrose. The Australian rookie that's become both media darling and rising star in the Series, Ambrose seemed primed and ready to come home with his first race win, leading a race-high 37 laps. But after making accidental contact with Gordon as the field was showing the yellow flag - Ambrose simply drove it into the corner too hard entering turn 4, slamming into the No. 55's rear bumper - everyone who knew anything about this sport knew that Ambrose was a sitting duck. Sure enough, it didn't take but one corner for Gordon to pay back the favor - and Ambrose fell from a shot at the win to a less-than-satisfying 7th. At least Ambrose handled the post-race fallout with both dignity and class, exclaiming that in racing, you "can't win â€˜em all." No doubt, though, this loss will sting for awhile yet.
Three Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race Weekend
1) Was Robby Gordon justified in his actions at the end of Saturday's race? What happens to him now?
First off, Gordon’s refusal to fall in line correctly and subsequent penalties for failing to do so will likely result in a suspension from NASCAR officials – at press time, discussion was ongoing as to whether he would sit out the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono this Sunday.
As to whether the call was right – it could go either way. Ambrose’s spin of Gordon occurred after the yellow flag had waved for the other crash – so technically, the second Gordon started his car again, he should have been allowed to fall back in line. But I can see how NASCAR felt that until Gordon had his car pointed in the right direction, he was failing to maintain race speed and, thus, had to let all cars who passed him continue to stay ahead. Bottom line, though, whether you agree or disagree with NASCAR’s call, failing to adhere to the sanctioning body’s ruling is always going to get you in trouble; and the fact that Gordon stayed there merely to spin Ambrose out of revenge on the restart makes it even worse. Since Gordon may have had the fastest car on the track in the closing laps, it’s truly a shame; a little more patience and a lot more tact would have given him a solid finish. But in Gordon’s world, apparently it’s boom or bust…and he very clearly “busted” on Saturday.
2) Should Kevin Harvick have been penalized for his accident with Scott Pruett?
With all the fanfare surrounding the Robby Gordon incident, it's easy to forget that Harvick started the accident with Pruett that caused this whole mess to begin with. And it wasn't just an innocent tap, either; Harvick appeared to intentionally accelerate in the turn to hit the side of Pruett's car and cause what was inevitably an eight-car wreck. With half the lead lap cars wiped out, it seemed like NASCAR should have done something to curb the overaggressive Harvick's driving tactics - but instead, they got caught up disciplining Robby Gordon, and that kept Harvick in position to win. Ironically, Harvick's on-track contact came just days after he chided Tony Stewart for not racing people clean - but just like Stewart, aggressive driving was just what it took to land Harvick in the winner's circle.
3) How did the Canadian drivers fare?
With several Canadians making their first career Busch Series starts this weekend, hopes were high from the hometown crowd the trophy would stay north of the border. But while those drivers ultimately came up short of the win, a few of them still did a great job of gaining respect among the Busch regulars. Carpentier came so close to pulling the big upset - he wound up a few car lengths short in second, while fellow countryman Ron Fellows finished 4th to make it two Canadians in the Top 5. Others weren’t so lucky – John Graham finished a disappointing 23rd, three laps off the pace, while Michael Valiante, driving Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 42, lost a clutch just 24 laps into the race. D.J. Kennington and J. R. Fitzpatrick were just some of the other famous Canadians who failed to complete the race due to mechanical failure.
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:
Busch Series regular Bobby Hamilton, Jr. held his ground in sixth place in the standings, with Stephen Leicht and Marcos Ambrose both moving up a spot to seventh and eighth. Dave Blaney, who didn't race at Montreal, fell to ninth in points, and Mike Wallace finished 28th to round out the Top 10 in this week's standings.
"I knew that (Robby) was going to try and hit me. We were talking whether we should pull over and let him pass, but you know, I've got two laps to go and I'm trying to win the race. If somebody is going to take me out, they're going to take me out. If they feel strong enough, they're going to do it.
“I'm disappointed; I promised myself that I wouldn't get mad. This is an opportunity for me over here. I'm thankful for what I've been given, and today is a bad day, but tomorrow we'll look to next week. I'm pleased that I'm here and holding my own against some of America's best." Marcos Ambrose, who finished 7th
When asked to describe how hard it was not to be upset about the finish:
"I'll be in therapy for about two years, I think." Marcos Ambrose
Official Statement By NASCAR On The Finish Of The Race:
"Once the caution came out on Lap 72 the field was frozen. Once the field is frozen, all cars must maintain cautious pace in order to be scored.
"At the time that the field was frozen, the 59 was in the lead. The 55 did not maintain cautious pace and by NASCAR rule, cars not maintaining cautious pace are scored only when they blend back into the continuous line. The 55 based on our scoring was ordered to blend back in behind the 33 in front of the 7.
"The tower ordered the 55 multiple times to get in to position. The directive was acknowledged by the crew chief of the 55 and the crew chief also communicated the order to the driver of the 55. The driver ignored NASCAR's directive.
"He was warned that he would be black flagged if he did not comply. Once the 55 crossed the start-finish line he was posted per the NASCAR rule book and at that time the directive to display the black flag was given.
"After contact with the 59 on Lap 73, NASCAR took emergency action per the rule book Section12-2 thus parking the 55, which was also ignored. The black flag with the white cross was displayed to the 55 when it crossed the start-finish line on lap 74. The 55 finished the race in the 18th position." Ramsey Poston, NASCAR Communications
Next Up: For the first time in Busch Series history, the schedule includes two road course races back-to-back. No more jaunts up into Canada until next year, though; the series heads home to the States for the running of the Zippo 200 at the Glen. Held in the beautiful summer backcountry of Western New York, the race can be seen on ESPN2 at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, August 11th, or heard on the radio courtesy your local MRN affiliate.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
IMO, Nascar should never have restarted the race with a car in the wrong position. Once Robby refused to obey Nascar’s authority they ought to have red-flagged the race and removed him — dragged him off with a wrecker if need be.
I have seen other incidents where drivers who were spun under caution had to line up where they blended back into line rather than where they originally were. There’s a good argument to be made that it should be otherwise. And one could make a good argument that Ambrose sould have been penalized for spinning Robby — though the matching damage on the 59 and 55 showed that Marcos was doing unto Robby what Robby had done unto him.
BUT, once Nascar made its ruling Robby should have obeyed. And its completely indefensible for Nascar to restart the race with Robby in that position when anyone with a lick of sense knew was he was planning.
The race should have been stopped and Robby Gordon gotten into line where he should be or removed from the track. He didn’t get put into 12th place for being spun out, no problem there. He did not maintain cautious pace when he failed to blend back into line in his first retaliation attempt attempt on Ambrose, speeding through the traffic.
Robby Gordon has a well-deserved reputation as a hot tempered cry-baby. When he spun Ambrose, the TV guys said, “There it is!” “You couldn’t see that coming, could you?”
NA$CAR stole that race from Ambrose. They should have thrown the red and removed Gordon from the track. Now, the Daytona Beach suits are pondering what to do.
NA$CAR sat Kevin Harvick out for a race after some shenanigans in the CTS.
Harvickâ€™s actions didnâ€™t impact the winner of a race.
Ambrose’s right rear showed how Gordon got by him in the first place. Gordon refused to fall back in line, ignored a black flag and then intentionally wrecked the leader.
What does NA$CAR need to think about?
I agree with the comments above stating that Robby Gordon should have been removed from the track before the race restarted. I said the same thing as soon as the race was over. However, I really would love to have seen NASCAR use the strap which attaches to the roof of a car and picked it up with Robby Gordon still inside just to humiliate him in front of the crowd.
Ah, so a new racing strategy is now made official, and it seems you all here will support it.
Robby may not have handled this as elegantly as he could have (he shouldn’t have punted Ambrose) but no one can deny that he got screwed.
NASCAR should have red flagged the race to sort out the starting order – and if they had done so fair and objectively Robby would have gone along with it. But they couldn’t do that now, could they – the X-Games were supposed to start soon, and ESPN had to get the race over with.
Based on NASCAR’s initial actions (which it appears they regretted), Robby Gordon went on to win this race. Simply put. (After the yellow came out he spun Ambrose which inturn was given back. NASCAR told him to go back to second, which he did. Then nearly 2/3rd’s of a lap later and told him to go back to 12th because he didn’t maintain “cautious speed” Ah, yea, he was purposely spun out under the yellow so it’s kinda hard to do so!). After the re-start, he spun out Ambrose, which isn’t precedence, to take the, I guess in NASCAR’s world, the unofficial “lead” (as for spinning out the leader, re: J Gordon vs Kensath – Chicago or Montoya vs Pruett – Mexico). Now they have suspended him for Pocono. This is and has been typical NASCAR these unfortunate days. Dictate the outcome as to hopefully prevent a specific driver from winning (am I hearing Tony Stewart here…). Some will disagree I’m certain but I applaud Robby for highlighting (though unintentional I’m certain)) NASCAR’s continuing inconsistancy with the on track managment of their “product”. Robby didn’t cause the mess that started this Harvick did yet once again everyone wants to beat down Robby. The man is a hell of driver and yes reckless at times, but NASCAR could use some rebel personality in it’s driver’s these days!
I’m at a loss for all of these “poor little Marcos Ambrose” comments people are coming out with. You seem to forget that Robby made a clean pass on him for the lead—even if there was contact, the fundamental difference is that Robby moved Marcos while Marcos DUMPED Robby…UNDER CAUTION no less!!
Kudos to Robby for refusing to move after the BS call by Nascar. Precedence in Nascar has always been that when a car is intentionally spun under caution, that car is given its spot back. There is no arguing that, and no supporting the call that was made. Ridiculous.
Those are the facts gentlemen, you can spin it anyway you want just because you don’t like Robby Gordon, but don’t expect to earn any respect as a writer for such irresponsible reporting.
robby got screwed over again, thanks to NA$CAR. He has the support of this David Reutimann fan for sure.
After looking at the replays again, it seems to me that NA$CAR blew the call; actually several calls. Unfortunately, ESPN cut away from the leaders to the big wreck and didn’t show Robby mugging Ambrose for the lead. But you Robby apologists need to take a hard look at the replays.
Ambrose was clearly in the lead when the wrecking started behind him, although Robby was in the process of caving in Ambrose’s right rear fenderâ€”from the rear. Robby has claimed that he passed Ambrose cleanly, but Ambroseâ€™s right rear tells a very different tale. NA$CAR ruled that Ambrose was still in the lead when the caution flew, although, again, ESPN never really established for the viewers exactly when the yellow came out.
What a lot of fans saw was the replay of Marcus spinning Gordon as the yellow flew. Robby now says that he doesnâ€™t think Marcus spun him intentionally. Maybe. Maybe not. If the big boys are going to come down from Cup and steal candy from babies, the least they can do is race the real Busch teams cleanly. I donâ€™t have a problem with Ambose letting Robby know that he was not going to be bullied by a Cup driver. But if NA$CAR was going to do anything, it probably should have sent both of them to the back of the pack for rough driving.
But after watching the tapes again, no way should Robby have been sent back to 12th or 13th. If Ambrose was leading when the caution flew, then Gordon was clearly in second. And his failure to maintain a â€œcautious speedâ€ was the direct result of being spun AFTER the caution flew. NA$CAR should have put Gordon back in second and just warned him that if he so much as touched Ambroseâ€™s car in the final laps he would be seeing black. Robby was right today when he said that the rule needs to be changed to make clear that if a competitor is spun out by another driver after a caution, then no spots will be lost.
But Robby lost any right to sympathy when he ignored the black flag and blatantly and intentionally took Ambrose out. Racing is a dangerous sport and if Robby Gordon chooses to act like a two-year-old, he doesn’t not need to be allowed back out on the track.
Check the replay! Caution was already out when Ambrose spun Robby Gordon, thus the field was already frozen. Robby should’ve restarted 1st or 2nd, but once again, NASCAR fixed another race! NASCAR is not all knowing and all seeing, they make plenty of mistakes, but would never admit such. Gas on Robby!
Robby didn’t knock ambrose off the track to pass. Ambrose got into Robby so hard his rear wheels were off the ground for some time. It looked intentional to me.
I raced 30 years and have seen many bad calls by officials. Bias and favoritism is the rule with racing sanctions. WWF likenees.
Nascar should hire an independent firm to call the races. There should be a review panel consisting of drivers and owners to oversee sanctioning body bullying. There is no room for bias any longer and Nascar clearly is biased in its management of the races.
The drivers need a union to represent them with Nascar. Nascar is a bully and gets real mad if you don’t march lock step to their goose stepping cadence.
Right or wrong, when I was a kid, if I didn’t listen to what Pop told me, I got my tater tapped pretty hard. What’s the difference here? In any sport, a bad call is a bad call, but you have to obey. Otherwise anarchy reins. I don’t give a fat rats butt about Ambrose, but Robby can’t make the rules as he drives, that is Brian Frances job. The fact is, everybody knew what was coming, I think NASCAR let it play out as it did. There were no rights in this situation. Everybody was wrong, Ambrose, Gordon, NASCAR, Loren Wallace, who started the whole thing, and Jeff Gordon. Oh, don’t forget that if Dale Jr didnt jump ship for HMS, none of this would have happened, and George Bush for starting the war in Iraq.
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