Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Bowles-Eye View · Thomas Bowles · Sunday August 12, 2007
It's a facet of life we learn early and often, from the moment we're introduced to the seriousness of war to the second we see Superman do battle with Lex Luthor to keep the Earth safe: the basic principle of Good vs Evil. Nowhere is that philosophy more readily applied than in the arena of professional sports - the humanization of athletes is the core through which fans wrap their sporting loyalties around. People like to love - and love to hate; but most of all, they love to feel.
It's the type of attachment that NASCAR has been struggling to generate at times this year - until now.
Truth be told, the last 20 laps of Nextel Cup's annual visit to The Glen was filled with enough raw emotion to fill a 2-hour Lifetime movie - a refreshing break from the wave of political correctness and sponsor soliloquies that have defined the sport over the past few years. But while Jeff Gordon's fall from grace and Matt Kenseth's comedic interlude with a crazed fan were some of the more notable experiences on the afternoon, nothing compared to the in-your-face screamfest turned shoving match in the center of turn one. There Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya worked out some personal differences in the most public of settings, all while their cars leaked out fluids and the frustration of missed opportunity behind a wreck neither one appeared to be at fault for starting.
In truth, it was the No. 1 car of Martin Truex, Jr. which led to both drivers being innocent victims - his bump of Montoya's car on Lap 73 sent the No. 42 head-on into traffic, where it was clobbered by Jeff Burton, Harvick, and several others. But to Harvick, whether Montoya committed the crime was merely an afterthought - simply being at the scene was enough to convict him. Too much history with Montoya on the race track - and not all of it positive - had him more than eager to come to blows with a man he felt ruined his day.
"I guess the No. 1 ran over the No. 42," he said, admitting fact before devolving into opinion. "But I just hate it. I’m frustrated with the No. 42 (Montoya). It just seems like he runs over somebody every week.”
After the wreck, Harvick was dead set on doing some running over of his own. Jumping out of his race car as Montoya disembarked from his, he began a conversation with the rookie about his style - filled with plenty of expletives to boot. Trading barbs back and forth soon turned into trading shoves, and the two needed to be separated by track officials before things got much worse. Much to the delight of the crowd, the polite control switch had been turned off in both of their brains - leaving raw emotion ready to be released amongst the masses.
"He got out of the car, came out disrespectful, saying all kinds of things, grabbed me, and I don't appreciate that," Montoya said of Harvick's reaction. "I race very clean. I give people space, and if you are not going to respect me, I am not going to respect them either. It's pretty disappointing to see a guy like that do such a thing."
"I went to Kevin and said â€˜It wasn't my fault. I got hit from behind.' He started shouting and grabbing me, and I don't appreciate that. If it was my fault I would have gone and said, â€˜It was my fault.' I have a little respect for the guyâ€¦well, I used to have a little respect for the guy."
When asked what the two discussed, Harvick was blunt and to the point:
"We talked about kicking his ass, because that's what I felt like doing."
Intervention kept it short of going that far, but the words pierced like a knife - it was clear that Montoya and Harvick were not big fans of each other anymore, at least on this day. Having already been involved in a wreck with Montoya at Daytona one month earlier, Harvick had been none too pleased with the Colombian's driving ever since - and this wreck provided an opening for him to vent his frustration.
In the end, Tony Stewart won the race - but the buzz from the stands could tell you that hardly mattered in the grand scheme of things. Just like in the 1979 Daytona 500 - where Richard Petty won while Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough fought on the backstretch - all people had at the front of their minds was the confrontation of the year.
"I've got to stick with my guy," said car owner Chip Ganassi when asked the dreaded what if Harvick and Montoya didn't get broken apart. "You aren't allowed to bet on your own team. I don't want to end up like Pete Rose betting on my own team but I would have bet on my guy."
Harvick wasn't the only supposed Montoya victim once the race was complete - Jimmie Johnson was none too happy either after making contact with the Colombian early in the race, and getting the short end of the stick.
"I have to admit, when he dumped me, I was furious," said Johnson, who came back to finish third. "Here we are minding our business, running along out there, and the guy never gets inside of me and just runs me over to get position. And it’s unfortunate he gets his chance to run well on these road courses, and he takes advantage of it and starts laying the bumper to everybody."
Of course, such talk leaves Montoya in the dubious position of being labeled the bad guy. Perhaps that's unfair; and in fact, maybe you believe differently, that Harvick was the hothead that misread a crash while letting his temper getting the best of him.
Either way, it's doubtless you have an opinion, a topic to talk about at the office cooler the next morning. Now, it's up to the sanctioning body to take notice; doubtless, fines will come of this, but points penalties? I'd hope not. Thirty seconds of passion did more for the sport's popularity than thirty minutes of post-race "I want to thank my sponsor" speeches combined. And that's the way it should be; throwing the curtain aside, both Montoya and Harvick forgot who they were and what they were supposed to stand for and let their true personalities out for everyone to see.
If only that was the case for every driver, every week.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
On Saturday Montoya had called Kevin Harvick a “prima Donna” on an aired in car audio. This had to be fresh also in Harvicks mind.
I know I shouldn’t, but I just couldn’t stop laughing at the complete lameness of the “fight”.
I certainly wouldn’t want them hurting each other, but the incongruity of these aggressive, hyper-competitive athletes pushing, shoving, and slapping hands like children in a playground squabble is just, plain funny.
I simply can’t take it seriously — I’m half convinced that their penalty ought to be mandatory boxing lessons.
Good thing it was 2 of NASCARS golden boys involved. Can you imagine what would have happened if one of them had been Robby Gorden?
I agree with M.B. It was a lame shoving match. Looks like Montoya would have easily overpowered Harvick though and that’s why Harvick didn’t push it too far. Harvick got little aggressive after the officials got there. I was laughing at his lame attempt to be macho. I wish Robby was there. He would have easily traded barbs with Harvick or Montoya. Anyways it made for a good entertainment. I was disappointed that they kept their helmets on. Harvick was smart enough to keep his helmet on or else he would have had multiple 25 points fine for cursing.
I know Montoya is a seasoned,sucessful driver and he has done very well in this new venue(for him) BUT I think he came into it thinking since because of his past sucess he could just get behind the wheel and pick up right where he left off. I admire him as a driver, and he seemed nice enough. I was prepared to accept him into the fold and wait and see what he turned out to be. I WILL say, I have seen flashes of arrogance that kind of put me off, but on the whole he didn’t stand out to me as someone I didn’t like.
Now it’s no secret to anyone who knows me, I’ve been a “Happy Hotwheels” fan from the second race I ever watched (I admit, my first race experience I rooted for Kurt Busch, because he was in the John Deere car, and being a southern girl….well..since there was no “Moon Pie” Or “RC Cola” car John Deere was the most obvious choice.
I was sitting in my office last week when I noticed outside my window, a lady had turned into the office parking lot. Behind her was a man in a pick up truck who was flipping her off and spit at her from his window. I thought to myself “how embarassing for him to act that way”. Reminds me of Kevin Harvick. I’m embarassed for Harvick. I mean somebody has got to be.
Sure everyone wants to blame Truex. Montoya put the block on a faster car and caused the wreck. Harvick knew he couldn’t take a swing because Montoya is one of Nascar’s golden boys and can do no wrong. Montoya beats and bangs on people every race. I was at Richmond and even Kyle Petty gave him a shot going down the backstretch.
I have to say that I was surprised Harvick took the action to restart his car after the wreck and drive it over to block JPM on the track. That is the reason JPM got out of the car in the first place. I question NASCAR not fining Happy for that move. I heard NASCAR has already said there will be no penalties. The shoving match is not a big deal but they were on the track and could have interferred with the race if there hadn’t been tons of debris. Made for fun watching though!
And I bet that there won’t be any fines involved….will there?
Every week Montoya wrecks or almost wrecks someone. He blocked Truex and got bumped in the process which still makes him at fault. Nascar could not do anything to Harvick as Harvick was just flapping his jaws. Montoya started the little sissy shoving. Nascar would have to do something to Montoya and that will NEVER happen or at least not until he finally kills someone. In the process of trying for get the Mexican fans they will lose the American fans.
What a shame! Harvick had a fast car and it would have been a good finish with him and Tony fighting for the win. As far as Harvick & Montoyas little dance well I think they should watch a hockey game or two to see how real men settle things!!!
I have to agree with Patrick and Connie. Montoya isn’t making many friends by taking someone out pretty much every week. I know I get a real sick feeling when he’s running anywhere near my driver!! Even though he may not have gotten into Harvick intentionally, I still would have liked to see Harvick kick his butt just for all the other times he screwed someone. His fans may call him competetive and agressive but I think he’s just a sore loser. And I also agree with Connie that NASCAR should do something about him before he hurts or kills someone.
Gotta agree with Harvick on one point, Montoya does screw up someone every week, & it’s never his fault. Everyone else just whines to the media about it, but Harvick like Tony Stewart isn’t afraid to mix it up if he feels it’s needed.What gets me & maybe it’s smart, but they always leave their helmets on, so it’s nothing more than a shoving match.I’ve been in a few differences of opinion shall we say on the track but never with my helmet on, probably could have avoided a couple of shiners like that probably. Still a shoving match isn’t at all like the “old days” like the Allisons & Cale Yarborough,& a few others.To Rajeeve, not so sure that Montoya could prevail, Harvick’s pretty scrappy
Connie – Montoya isn’t Mexican – he’s Colombian. And I’ll take the point of view that Harvick was wrong to park in front of Montoya and get out of his car and confront him. Make me the King of NASCAR and I’d fine Harvick for his widdle baby tantrum.
Victor,You are forgetting at the time Happy THOUGHT Montoya took him out. Besides, maybe his car stalled again… lol
Connie and Butch, I agree, When things get tight and Montoya is around ,I just hold my breath and wait for him to take someone out.
Everyone B*%#*@s that nasacar and racing isn’t like it used to be. Too much sanitizing and politicaly correct stuff, When we see raw emotion and hard racin it reminds me of times long gone..
I never said Montoya was Mexican. I said Nascar wants the Mexican fans watching. The fans in Mexico are crazy about Montoya.
I’m a big Jeff Burton fan, and was fired up by the fact that JPM let his car roll back onto the track and take out the 31 car after his initial crash with the 29.
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