Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
Connect with Tom!
Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
Connect with Tom!
Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
Connect with Tom!
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
Johnny Sauter Penalized For Fuel Cell Infraction At Kansas
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Thorsport Racing, along with former Truck Series point leader Johnny Sauter are reeling this Wednesday after a major penalty involving their No. 98 Toyota. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the team was fined $10,000, crew chief Joel Shear has been suspended for four races and 25 owner points were taken away as a result of a faulty fuel cell, confiscated during pre-race inspection at Kansas. Driver Sauter was also hit was a loss of 25 points, completely reshaping the championship Chase heading into the next race of the season at Charlotte May 17th.
According to NASCAR officials, the team violated multiple sections of the rulebook. The key ones involve Section 20B-16 and 20B-16.1B, regarding the proper size and functioning of fuel cells. “Once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified,” the rules say, “Modifications of any kind will not be permitted.” The 16.1B portion refers to black safety foam, with a minimum height of eight inches that must be used as a safety mechanism when putting together the fuel cell itself. By violating that rule, NASCAR is insinuating the team modified or enhanced the cell in some way by cutting back / replacing that foam.
Section 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing was also listed as a rules violation along with 12-4K, which gives NASCAR Officials the leeway to penalize teams when they feel previously legal equipment was modified, in any manner after being initially inspected.
Thorsport, as of yet has not said whether they plan to appeal. The penalties mean Matt Crafton becomes the new Truck Series point leader, by 13 over Jeb Burton while Sauter gets pushed back into a tie for second place.
Find tons of cheap tickets to 2012 speedway races like Talladega NASCAR schedule, Brickyard 400 at Indy Motor Speedway, Coca Cola 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway tickets plus the full 2012 Monster Jam schedule
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
|Subscribe to The Frontstretch Newsletter|
Editor’s Note : Still not getting the Frontstretch newsletter, delivered FREE right to your inbox? Well, we’re doing everything we can to get you to hop on board; so, here’s a little preview of what you’re missing. With news scarce to come by this Thanksgiving, instead of Bowles-Eye View Tom has graciously agreed to a do a special edition of “Did You Notice,” a weekly column that appears in the newsletter each Wednesday. If you like what you read, don’t hesitate to click here to sign up for the newsletter as soon as you can; it’s the only way you’ll be able to find this newest Frontstretch feature each and every week!
Did You Notice â€¦ How quickly everyone got the heck out of dodge as soon as the NASCAR season is over? You didn't hear a peep from much of anyone over the past week - because we were all on vacation! Yes, it's the holidays, but the sigh of relief uttered by everyone who's a part of the sport is yet another sign the Cup season is as lengthy as it's ever going to get.
Did You Notice â€¦ The gentlemanly way in which Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon interacted after Gordon lost the title at Homestead? The respect the two men have for one another seems to grow by the day; and truth be told, they did stage one of the more impressive battles for the title in recent history, regardless of how many fans chose to care. A rivalry the likes of Petty-Allison, it's not; but that doesn't mean it's not a healthy competition between the two nonetheless.
Did You Notice â€¦ The irony in Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s final race with DEI included damaging contact with the man he's replacing at Hendrick, Kyle Busch? The two may claim they don't consider themselves rivals; but they're not going to need to come together much more in order for that to change.
Did You Notice â€¦ That even with Matt Kenseth's win at Homestead, Roush Fenway cars have combined to win just a total of 13 Cup races over the last two seasons. That pales in comparison to the fifteen wins they spread around five cars back in '05. Of course, that year Roush had all five of its cars in the Chase; the past two years, they've managed just two. Oh, how far the Blue Oval hath fallen - the 13-win total for them is the worst two-year span since they won just eight times in Cup over the 1983-'84 seasons.
Did You Notice … That just seven teams combined to win this year's 36 races? Hendrick Motorsports won a season-high eighteen, Roush Fenway Racing won seven, and Joe Gibbs Racing took the checkered four times this season to lead the list. Other winning programs included Richard Childress Racing (3 wins), Penske Racing (2), Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (1) and Chip Ganassi Racing (1). That's not exactly the type of variety - and parity - NASCAR's looking for in its top series.
Did You Notice â€¦ That after all the threats, the whining, and scaring a town board to death, Bruton Smith will be keeping Lowe's Motor Speedway right where it is after all. In hindsight, no one should be surprised …
Did You Notice â€¦ That Robby Gordon has now lost three crew chiefs in the span of a year? First, Greg Erwin (to Roush Fenway), then Gene Nead â€¦ and now Peter Sospenzo. This comes on the heels of a second team falling through and the team still pursuing sponsorship for Robby's primary program. At least the team still has a Top 35 qualifying exemption for the first five races next season - but I'm beginning to worry about their future.
Did You Notice â€¦ All the new teams being announced for the Nextel Cup Series next year? There's the new third Penske team, and â€¦ and â€¦
Still thinking â€¦
Wasn't the Car of Tomorrow going to make joining Nextel Cup cost-effective?
NEW YEAR? NEW NEWSLETTER. LOOKING FOR THE INFO YOU NEED ABOUT NASCAR IN 2013 – SENT RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL INBOX?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Frontstretch Newsletter gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up and get all the information you need. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I highly doubt there will be any other new teams added for the 08 season, other than the 1 new 77 car for Penske with Hornish Jr. in it. There was a plethora of new teams this season that essentially made it 49 full time teams showing up to the track each and every week for only 43 spots in a Cup field. I think we’re gonna see the number of full time Cup teams start to dwindle some over the next couple years because of a somewhat slowed down economy. It’s possible that we’ll even see the days of 2003 and 2004 again, when we had field fillers show up just to make the races full with 43 cars. That’s when there was pretty much only 38 full time teams that showed up weekly with the big funding. Next year could have the 66 and 70 cars being underfunded due to their sponsors moving on. Best Buy has left the 66 of Mayfield and the Yellow car #70 might not have that sponsor as well. Not sure what the sponsorship issues will be for the 28(Kvapil) and 38(Gilliland) cars will be as well for the 08 season. Who’s supposed to sponsor the 40 car for Dario Franchitti? Will there be a 00 car after the 1st 5 races of the season if Mikey can’t keep Burger King and Domino’s? The 36 car(360 OTC) of Bill Davis appears done, but Jacques Villeneuve is supposed to be full time in the 27 car. Sponsor anyone? I don’t know it. So it’s possible the full time car count for the 08 season could conceivably be as low as 44 or 45 each week. Time will tell, but I believe boon time for sponsors in the Cup series is ending and that isn’t always a horrible thing for the sport. The top 35 rule makes it even harder for new sponsors to join new teams not in the top 35 because it’s so hard to make the 8 spots remaining in the races. I still wish qualifying would be fastest 43 race on Sunday, but if not that, then at least go back to the 2004 rules of top 38 on speed with only 5 provisionals. That’s just my take though. Here’s to the coming 2008 season. ;) Jeff
I agree, the usual off-season optimism for launching new teams is lacking this year. When organizations such as Childress and Gibbs are putting off expansion plans, it should send up a red flag to anyone trying to do it with lower levels of funding and experience. Seeing fully sponsored teams (UPS, NAPA and others) miss multiple races due to the top-35 rule last season may have a big role in this. While I do agree with the intent of the rule (and appreciate the simplicity compared to previous provisional schemes), I think the number of protected teams should be rolled back to 30 and then to 25 in the future to spread the missed races out over more teams and make the sport more attractive to new sponsorships.
Did you also notice that people stopped hating Toyota when Skinner won in it? I imagine Tony Stewart COULD make Toyota rich and acceptable enough to forget about the dislike of “NATZEE” manufacturers.
ScottB brings up a good point..when you have big name sponsors such as UPS missing not one, but a whole lot of races that can’t be seen as a “good thing” to smaller teams that are working with much smaller budgets. I’m not exactly sure what the guys of NASCAR have planned but I have to say with all the changes that have been made, (COT, Top-35 rule, and so on), its hard to muster up enthusiasim at this point. While I still get a rush out hearing the sound of a race car I find that I don’t watch on tv nearly as much as I used to, (I keep up with all the goings on in NASCAR though). As far as Truefan’s comment regarding Toyota’s I never was all that bothered by them being in the sport as the COT is the same for everyone just swap the stickers around. Ugly thing it is. This time of year, till the start of the race season you can sometimes find on Speed or ESPN classic coverage of old races from the 60’s/70’s/80’s that are alot of fun to watch. If you do get a chance to watch one try and be aware of the differences in the coverage then to what you see now. I find some of the best coverage was just prior to what I call the big explosion of NASCAR..a year or so after JG came on the scene. After that period NASCAR it seemed was everywhere..and within NASCAR you had the advent of large multi-car teams, new drivers that were hired more for the sellablity verses driving records…things started to change rapidily and perhaps not for the better of the sport to get us to where we are today. Let’s hope the new season brings some positive changes..
What’s up Chris2? Glad you picked up on my loaded Toyota comment,I too have no problem with foreign “invasions” as it is healthy for the competition and the growth of N.A.S.C.A.R.
Truefan, I’d like to think your right in the concept of the entry of Toyota being healthy for the competition in NASCAR. My comments regarding Toyota are more based off the indroduction of the COT..add to that the rumors of an “engine of tomorrow” showing up at a race track near you and you can quickly see that you can slap any brand name you want on the car as in the end the brand really doesn’t have much to do with what is being rolled out of the hauler. Call it Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Mack, Diamond Rio, Edsel..heck, why does it have to be a vehicle even..I’ll go with Radio Flyer…
Chris2 your comments about racing help me understand that you approach the sport from a strong independent perspective and I gather that you probrably appreciated Alan Kulwicki as much as Trickle.
Truefan, your probably right on that fact. Alan Kulwicki was an amazing guy, sort of like if you took Ray Everham and Dale Earnhardt and put them together. A great driver but also someone who understood the engineering end of it all, Earnhardt did as well but Alan was really an engineer in his approach. Very talented. But not just him, I think if you looked at the garage area say of the mid-80’s verses today drivers I think the difference would be that back then drivers were really guys that came up through the ranks of small local short tracks so they had a real understanding of a race car from the ground up as they were building them for themselves. That isn’t to say that drivers today are clueless about the building of a racecar just that with all the technology that teams travel with the driver is there mainly just to drive, (lets face it, the more you know of how its built the better you’ll understand what it is or isn’t doing when your driving it). I guess your right too in the respect that to me NASCAR has gone pretty corporate over the last decade starting with multiple-car teams…we’ve gone from the days of 43 teams out there with maybe 20 or so employees, some with less than that to these “teams” that are 400+ employees. Amazing growth but is it for the betterment of the sport? Even though the teams back then had varying degree’s of resources, have’s and have not’s, there was still that feeling that you were watching 43 individual teams slugging it out and maybe, just maybe your guy would have a good finish. Now the resources are just off the charts and small teams just don’t have that much of a chance it seems. think of it this way, go to your local short track and imagine when you see the field on the pace lap that of that field there are 3 four car teams, one 5-car team, a few 3-car teams..how exciting would that be to watch after awhile. As much as I love racing its hard for me to enjoy this multi-car team racing.
Hey guys, this discussion would be best served on our message board. Feel free to start a topic over at the Frontstretch Forums if you want to discuss a topic back and forth. It also allows others to respond in a more suitable environment. If you haven’t tried our boards, you can sign up and get involved in minutes! Just click the “Frontstretch Forums” link at the top of the page.
Recent articles from Tom Bowles:
Did You Notice? ... Saturday Night Slowdowns, Clinching The Postseason Early And Quick Hits
Did You Notice?... Penske's Appeal Resolution Still Comes With Unanswered Questions
Did You Notice? ... Silly Season Checkup And NASCAR's Youth Problem
Did You Notice? ... "Cheating" Equals Credibility Crisis, Who NASCAR's Chasing And Dodging Brands
Did You Notice? ... NASCAR Penalties: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
If you want to know more about Tom Bowles or to view all of his articles here at the Frontstretch, check out his archive and bio page.
Want even more Tom Bowles? Check out Tom's archive at SI.com.