Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Thomas Bowles · Tuesday February 26, 2008
Did You Notice â€¦ That other than Jeff Gordon's lucky break on the final lap, there were a total of zero engine failures at California Speedway Monday? It's only the third time in the track's history that's happened; the lack of mechanical problems were especially notable in this case, considering there were all sorts of debris and dirt littering the track over the course of a wet weekend.
That strong performance by parts and pieces seems to bode well for the long-term; however, to me that's not always a good thing. There's an air of unpredictability in having the occasional engine failure now and then; but based on early results and technological innovation, it looks like they'll be happening less often than ever before.
Did You Notice â€¦ How inflated certain statistics can be nowadays? There were 32 lead "changes" at California - a new "record" - but that's because most of those occurred during a cycle of green flag pit stops, where cars will surrender the lead to slower backmarkers who inherit the top spot simply because they have better fuel mileage. I wonder if we should start changing this statistic to "passes for the lead under green;" as far as I'm concerned, there was no way the California race was record-setting in terms of competition.
Did You Notice â€¦ That in the first CoT race on an intermediate track - a new innovation that should level the playing field — we didn't hear so much as a peep from any rookie? Sam Hornish, Jr. was involved in an early crash, while Dario Franchitti and Regan Smith struggled to keep up. If you're in Vegas this weekend, I'd bet the farm on "No Rookie Winning A Race This Season" before the odds get any worse; if it weren't for the road courses at Infineon and Watkins Glen, I'd almost be willing to lay some money down on "No Rookie will finish in the Top 5 in 2008."
Did You Notice â€¦ Top 5 finishes for Kyle Busch during the first two races of the season in the No. 18 car: 2. Top 5 finishes for J.J. Yeley in two years in the No. 18 car: 1. Average finish for Kyle Busch in two starts with Joe Gibbs Racing: 4th. Average finish for J.J. Yeley in two starts with the single-car program of Hall of Fame Racing : 27th, with zero laps led.
I'm not trying to hate against Yeley; he's a funny, intelligent, talented guy by all accounts. However, it's taken just two weeks to show the difference between a good driver and a great driver in this series. For anyone who wants to know why top-name owners will put up with Busch despite his volatile personality, reread that last paragraph.
Did You Notice â€¦ That along those same lines of good vs great wheelmen, Kyle Petty's driven the first two races like he has a 20-ton weight attached to the back of his car. Seriously â€¦ at Daytona, he couldn't even hang on to the lead draft, and at California, he experienced brake problems after being the slowest car in the field virtually all race long. If Bobby Labonte's going to stay at Petty Enterprises, Kyle's going to have to be a bit of a better teammate on the track than that; and if he can't focus on the driving anymore, he may need to come to terms with the fact his behind-the-wheel career may finally be over. The future of PE could depend on that.
Did You Notice â€¦ How quickly and easily Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer swept their controversy under the rug after Daytona — as opposed to Matt Kenseth hanging on to some bad feelings for David Ragan? Then again, Burton and Bowyer didn't wreck each other â€¦ but still â€¦
Did You Notice â€¦ There were no less than half-a-dozen cars who start and parked in the Nationwide race at California Monday - and even with that high a number, the series still couldn't fill a field of 43 cars? What's especially disturbing in the two races so far is that even though the number of Cup drivers was drastically reduced in California - a product of the Car of Tomorrow not yet being raced in the series - only one non-Cup driver was able to crack the Top 10 (Stephen Leicht). Just two races into the season, Mike Bliss is the best-positioned Nationwide driver going for the title; but he's already eighth, 144 points behind Tony Stewart in the championship battle.
Now, if that's not a sign of an unhealthy series, I don't know what is. But here's what's particularly disturbing about the start and park trend angle of things â€¦ two of the cars who were obviously there to park it (the No. 90 and No. 91) are co-owned by none other than SPEED's Phil Parsons. A full-time analyst of the Truck Series races, why would one of the most visible NASCAR personalities be actively associated with a practice scorned upon by the majority of fans and other competitors? It's a legitimate question, one that will hopefully receive an answer at some point. If this new MSRP Motorsports venture is simply saving up cash to one day be able to run the series full-time, that's somewhat understandable; but if they're seizing an opportunity to make a quick buck, shame on them.
Did You Notice â€¦ How out of hand this whole "Rally For Robby" thing has become? Here's the thing; NASCAR can't assess fair penalties if they start playing favorites. Let's forget the past for a second; at the beginning of each year, a sanctioning body has the right to reassess the way they give out penalties; and in this case, they've determined that a pre-inspection body style violation will result in a 100-point loss for both driver and owner, a $100,000 fine, and a six-week suspension of the crew chief. As long as they stick with that, then I'm OK with a penalty of that magnitude being assessed if they're going to get tough across the board.
It's true that what happened to Robby was an unfortunate, tragic mistake. But, no one told Robby he needed to switch from Ford to Dodge mere days before the season opener. And if Dodge couldn't handle that last minute request â€¦ well, he's got to live with the consequences, and hope that Dodge compensates the team for their newfound support.
Don't get me wrong; I feel for Robby. But who said sympathy equaled fairness?
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Tom, on the Robby issue, here’s a point many of you journalists keep ignoring – the potential competetive advantage of the infraction.
Okay, NASCAR can’t judge intent. Fine.
NASCAR can’t be lenient for a suppliers mistake. Fine.
NASCAR won’t budge because thier own rulebook is unclear. Avanger, Charger, same part number? Fine.
But by thier own admission (Darby said so) there was virtually no difference between parts, and the nose Robby had would not give an advantage in the race.
So, manipulation of the car to gain an advantage does not warrant more of a penalty than a wrong part that gives no advantage? Out and out attemps at cheating doesn’t deserve more of a penalty? Last years COT infraction by HMS was clearly an attempt to create an advantage (and it can’t be overlooked due to “thinking this area was okay” because we ignore intent).
What happens the next time a team really and truly tries to cheat? They get the same 100/100/$100,000/6 week penalty?
Don’t you find something wrong with that?
I don’t follow your comparison between Kyle and J J . They drive for different teams . Both Toyotas , both with Cronquist engines , but different crew chiefs , crews , shops , resources , technology . Put J J into the 18 , or Kyle into the 96 for a race or two and then we can compare . Do a quick check of Yeleys’ credentials , and you’ll find that he has far more championships and race wins than Kyle . And as a writer covering NASCAR you should not have to rely on “ by all accounts “ in describing Yeley . Aren’t you supposed to know ? You sound like D W , Joy , and Larry Mac who only seem to know or care about two drivers and one car owner .
A couple of things come to mind while reading your article:
1. NA$CAR unfairly (OK, who ever admitted NA$CAR was fair) penalized Robby! NA$CAR interprets it’s ever changing rule book as it See’s fit! What about the Hendrick car, AFTER TECH INSPECTION, MODIFYING THE SPOILER WITH ALL DUE UNTENT TO CHEAT, and getting Jr. & Hendrick a “mere” 50 point penalty?
INTENTIONALLY I SAID!
And is it not true the NA$CAR’S own rule book has some bad information in it regarding what nose was what?
And the part number of the nose is right there for all to see! And no modifications were done to that particular nose!
Is that a deliberate “intent to cheat”?? NO!
2. In Jim Beam backing Robby, what a great thing to do for a sponsor! On speed TV it was mentioned in passing by Robin Miller, that a LOT OF CURRENT SPONSORS IN NA$CAR ARE “DIS-GRUNTLED”!
Is the Jim Beam effort to support Robby a sign of frustration by the majority of sponsors that they are not getting what the are paying for in/from NA$CAR?
After all, within the NA$CAR ranks, and of ALL the bill paying sponsors, only a VERY SELECT FEW get any publicity whatsoever! All you hear about, and all you see on TV are the same 3 or 4 sponsors and of course their drivers. All of the “other” 40 cars/drivers/sponsors are totally ignored!
Just watch a race on TV! Particularly and specifically during the “CHASE” (now that’s one sick puppy for sure), 38 FORGOTTEN CARS, HECK, YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE INTERNET AFTER THE RACE TO SEE THE LISTING OF WHERE ALL THE CARS FINISHED! Watching on TV you would never know there are 43 cars in the event!
Is the day of reckoning for NA$CAR near??
One can only hope!
The comparison of Yeley and Busch was spot on.
Simply put, Kyle Busch will be competitive in anything he drives.
Yeley has won a number of championships. True.
But, by the time Kyle Busch reaches age 32, Yeleys age, his accomplishments will completely overshadow anything Yeley has ever done or ever will do.
You are way off on the Robby Gordon thing. I have always believed the punishment should fit the crime. Robby is going to do 20 years to life for jaywalking. Zero points and a 10 Grand fine would have been justice. And I only say a fine because technically a rule was broken. People should quit hiding behind the letter of the law and ignoring the spirit of the law. Give the guy a break.
Did You Notice….that NASCAR of old, with primary sponsors of Booze and Cigarettes has now become Cell Phones and Insurance??
Did You Notice….that Kyle Busch is a better driver than Jr. will ever be? But, Money talks and the Earnhardt name brings more of it in, so there you have it.
Did You Notice….that Jr. is a “back of the pack” Sunday driver just like “Cow Patty”….I mean Kyle Petty….???
Any way you look at it Robby Gordon got ripped,there was absolutely no intent to gain an advantage.Nascar has now got to the point where fans are losing interest and if they keep it up the sponsors won t be far behind.With the unification of the open wheel series these sponsors have another choice of where to spend their advertising dollars.
I agree william…..kyle is a true talent …hendricks made a mistake in letting him go!!!
I have to admit that when I heard J.J. Yeley was going to come to NASCAR, I thought that he was going to be a championship contender. I’m not sure what has happened, but it’s really unfortunate for him.
I also agree that Kyle Petty needs to step aside and get someone new in that car – they need to build the future of Petty. Why not bring in a rookie who Labonte can mentor (while he’s still there)?
Finally, Tom, you’ve changed my mind about the Robby Gordon deal. I was of the camp that the penalty was too harsh, but you’re right about NASCAR being consistent. While I like Robby and feel that he was kind of a victim of circumstance in this situation, I guess it’s good that NASCAR is being consistent and we’ll know what the penalty will be next time. Consistency is definitely important for NASCAR’s integrity.
Now, if someone else gets caught doing something to the body and the penalty is different, then I’d go back to being mad about Robby’s penalty… Hopefully, Dodge at least helped him out with the $100,000 fine.
J.J. Yeley will not be as high in the point standings as Tony Raines. The guy he replaced this year.
the only thing Hendrick won by dumping Kyle Busch for Jr was the money race. Kyle will go on to win more races for Gibbs the Jr will for Hendrick. Hands Down! I am not a Jr. hater but people need to take a real racers perspective of that comparison. Kyle is wild but so was Dale Sr. , Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip and many others. It takes an internal drive to ignore the haters and win at NASCAR’s level. I don’t know if Jr has got the fortitude. He’s definately got the fan base and the souviner sales.
The Rally for Robby t-shirts came from Jim Beam. Their reps were handing them out at the speedway. Robby’s fans are not the only ones supporting him right now…. he has widespread support.
Nascar NEVER practices consistency when it comes to Robby Gordon. This penalty was way over the top and if it stands will hurt his team more than cheating HMS and MWR with the big bucks behind their teams could imagine.
I couldn’t agree more with the comment asking for zero points and $10k penalty. NASCAR should penalize Mike Helton 100 “stupid points” for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” – if this penalty stands, it would be way more detrimental than the wrong car nose could ever be. There was no intent on Robby’s part or dodge’s part. The only intent is NASCAR’s intent to hurt Robby Gordon and show their power by being idiots in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Nobody I know has said that Kyle Busch is not a good driver but his arrogance, attitude, personality has hurt him a lot and I suspect before the year is out will raise its ugly head again to bite him. Junior may not be the greatest driver out there but certainly is a good driver as seventeen cup wins and two busch championships has proven. A lot of these questions will be answered before the year is out. Until Kyle grows up some more it was an easy choice for Hendrick. Heck, Kyle even wrecked his own brother and himself and has demonlished quite a few cars during his career by not being a little patient.
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Did You Notice? ... The Details Behind Busch Double-Duty And NASCAR Teams/Series Needing A Boost
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