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 · Monday May 19, 2008
I’ve got a knot in my stomach, and I just can’t get it out. It’s been 24 hours, and the All-Star Race has left me torn; as well as scratching my head in disbelief.
Winner Kasey Kahne can relate; well, to the disbelief part, at least. As Kahne celebrated his surprising victory into the wee hours of Sunday morning, he was also busy figuring out how the heck he went from Sprint Showdown failure to a million dollar success in the All-Star Race. A disappointing fifth in the Showdown preliminary event – far below the cutline to transfer into the “A” main – Kahne was preparing, in his words, “to grab a couple of Budweisers, run to the motorhome, and watch the All-Star race myself.” And while he’s one of stock car racing’s more recognizable names, on paper that’s how it should have been. The fifth-year driver’s last win came in 2006, and Kahne failed to either visit Victory Lane or make the Chase last season. This year, he has yet to score a Top 5 finish in a points race, let alone win; and without the accolades of a past championship under his belt, Kahne was destined for the sidelines instead of the spotlight.
That is, until the fans spoke up. Winning the ultimate popularity contest – a fan vote for those not yet eligible to compete in the All-Star Race – Kahne got his chance to transfer into the main event. And boy, did he have a million reasons to thank them when the 100-lapper was all said and done.
“The fans put us in, and hopefully we made them happy,” Kahne said. “Twenty-fourth to 1st, that’s the best that we can do.”
But was it the fairest thing NASCAR could have done for everyone else? Now, the Fan Vote to this point had always been one of Sprint Nextel’s best additions to the All-Star Race format. It allows you — the fans — to get directly involved, to choose an old favorite, usually an underdog, that you could both cheer for and honor by participation in the big race itself. But if you look at the list of previous Fan Vote Winners: Ken Schrader, Martin Truex, Jr. (before he was even a full-time Cup Rookie), Kyle Petty, and Kenny Wallace, none of them were in a position to scare the competition out of their shorts. It was a chance for fans to let these drivers know they were loved, to acknowledge their support; not an opportunity for them to sneak in and steal away the win from the guys that earned their way in the show.
With all that said, Kahne’s on-track performance was clearly up to par. Once he got into the All-Star Race, both he and his crew put themselves in position to make the most of their opportunity. Crew chief Kenny Francis made the call of the night by having Kahne take no tires on his final stop – giving them the track position to finish the night up front – but the No. 9 was one of the best cars on the “long” run virtually all race long. By the end of segment three, Kahne had gone from starting shotgun on the field (24th) to seventh, challenging for a position in the Top 5. Clearly, the Budweiser Dodge was a fast hot rod – it just didn’t have enough time in the Sprint Showdown before it to establish a position in the Top 2.
But that’s important; for under the rules of competition, the car wasn’t good enough at the right time to earn its place in the field the right way – a scenario that leaves NASCAR in a precarious position when it comes to credibility. Yes, the All-Star Race is all about entertainment. Yes, the fans should have some input into how a race tailor-made for them is run. But when does the line between fan support and statistical brilliance get blurred? It’s certainly not Kahne’s fault he made it in under the rules, but this much we know: the All-Star Race was a won by a guy who made the field not by athletic performance, but because a lot of women think he’s hot. And because of that, 23 drivers who earned their way in on merit –and Greg Biffle in particular — find themselves one million dollars poorer.
Certainly, an argument can be made that Kahne’s been more competitive than some of the past champions in the starting field Saturday night. But those men do have a Sprint Cup trophy to call their own, similar to the way all Masters champions in golf are given a special exemption based on past performance. While Kahne’s been a good driver, he hasn’t yet achieved that level of greatness; and that’s why he should have been on the outside looking in.
Until the fans provided him with the ultimate save, of course. Whether that was a save that should have been made is a matter of much debate; but no matter which side you’re on, it’s a bit of a shame to see what was one of the best races during NASCAR’s growth period get decided via a 1-800 number. In the modern All-Star Race, we don’t have checkers or wreckers; we’ve got a parade of pomp, circumstance, and popularity.
While you chew on that, I’ll be out searching for some Allstate girls and a pair of pink and purple pajamas. If I get a head start now, maybe I’ll be eligible in 2009 …
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
If you think KK’s fans are just a bunch of girls who thinks he’s a hotty, then go to GEM on Friday and you’ll see about 2:1 men… lotsa Bill Elliott fans pull for # 9 right on!
MMMM, so then what would you think if Jr. was not “eligible” for the All Star “race”, and fans voted him in????
Bet we would see a story on just how great it was to let the fans vote!!
“steal away the win”
I love when people say this. Who stole what?
23 drivers who got their way into the race on “merit” could not stop a driver who was voted in.
Anyone one of those 23 could have out raced him. Anyone one of the 23 other crew chiefs could have out strategized his team.
I could care less about him but if you ask me that is the perfect example of a winner. Takes an opportunity and capitalizes on it. Never quits, never falters, makes lemonade out of lemons.
He was a pinch hitter who stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam. Good for him.
Bitter much? I’m glad the fans voted in a driver that was actually capable of winning the event. Kahne has been inconsistent during his young career, but he’s had more on track success than some of the guys who were locked into the event before the green flag flew.
I see a lot of male Kasey Kahne fans at races, so I’d not be so quick to blame women for the fact that he got voted in. Remember, he also got voted in without any of the shameless self promotion done in prior years by Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace (at least Petty threw in the charity angle, but still), both of who are nothing more than back markers each week (due to equipment, not lack of talent). Truex got voted in simply due to his association with Dale Jr. If THAT was not a poor reason to vote somebody in, I don’t know what is.
Saying that “Kasey Kahne has nothing but his legion of fans to thank for being able to win this year’s All-Star Race trophy” is just mean spirited. He drove that car to the front and won the race with it. He can thank his crew, crew chief, and his talent for that win. And none of the drivers are “a million dollars poorer”..nobody is going into Greg Biffle’s bank account and taking out money.
what are you complaining about? if everyone involved agrees on the format, although they may not have a choice, hows it an issue if the fans vote wins. its like the guy on ‘pinks’ who loses his car. YOU signed on and knew what could happen !!! stop crying.
This was eventually going to happen and it’s the beauty of having fans dictate part of who is allowed to participate in a sporting event. You’re never ever going to get who “should” be in all the time because everyone feels differently. How many All-Star games was Cal Ripken voted into later in his career simply because he was Cal Ripken – no matter what his stats were?
Let me get this straight…It’s ok if we vote in a “feel good” underdog but not ok if the fans actually vote a team capable of legitimately winning the event? The rules are the rules – he got in. He won playing by the rules – got to the finish line first.
“it’s a bit of a shame to see what was one of the best races during NASCAR’s growth period get decided via a 1-800 number” Are you kidding me? The race was decided on the track. Kahne won by racing not by fan vote. Who had a chance to be in the race was decided by the fans.
Drivers race every weekend that didn’t earn their way in. What about all of the open wheel drivers who started races early in the season based on team points. The whole Kurt Bush trading his points to another team so a wanna be could make races. You want to talk about lack of credibility for NASCAR.
The All-Star race is nothing more than an entertainment event anyway. They keep changing the rules to get in who they want in. There was the “Richard Petty” rule then the “Dale Earnhardt” rule. The whole race is contrived to try to generate excitement. They should just follow Saturday night short track formats every week so you have to race your way into the main event. That would be exciting!
You think he won 6 races in 06 because of his female fans? You think he he won 2000 USAC National Midget Series Champion, 2004 Rookie of the Year, Midget driver of the Year and won his second consective “Night Before The 500 Classic” at Indianapolis, a feat achieved previously by only one other driver-Jeff Gordon because of female fans?. I don’t think so! I guess Kasey Kahne is more than just a pretty face, give the guy a break! Like it or not he passed every car on that track and won the race. He is the winner.
Bowles-eye View? More like Bowels-Eye View!!! Because that’s where you’re speaking out of here. So you believe that the fan vote should be a “retread” or “also-ran” with no chance to win the race? No offense to any of those guys—love all of them—-esp Schrader:)
That has to be, since no one has complained about this format since it was introduced 5 years ago.
And now, low and behold; the guy actually wins the race. Your anger should be directed at the JGR team (and others) who used this race as a test session—-the million-dollar prize just doesn’t motivate them anymore.
Also, everyone knew the rules; and supposedly, since this was a “winner take all” race—teams would take risks.
Kudos to 9, 48, and 11 for taking that risk; loved it when old DW said they would just be a roadblock—SOME roadblock! Not a huge kahne fan; but good for him and going out and taking a chance—-the same chance 21 other drivers had!!!!
Gee ..exactly what bothers ya about this …the fact the fan favorite won the damn thing ,or that ya couldnt write another KYLE busch is the greatest thing since sliced bread article ? I really loved seeing someone win who the media has all but forgotten due to the kyle busch craze !!
I have no problem with Kasey being voted in. He’s a proven race winner and a regular competitor. I think the worst vote ever was when the fans voted Kerry Earnhardt in several years ago just because of his last name. He was hardly an “All Star.” He had hardly been entered in any races at all and usually crashed out of the ones he was in.
And going one step further regarding what constitutes an “All Star”?
Under what guise did Jr. make the race? Officially, for something he did in 2000!!!!
I’m glad Kasey got the fan vote and won. However, the voting process needs to be changed. You can vote as many times as you want. I think one and done would be more fair.
Let me see if I understand you. Who we the fans vote in should be a driver that has no chance of winning the race. Is that what you are saying? So we did wrong by voting in a driver that can win a race? Maybe I should contact Sprint and ask them if those are the rules.
What a butthead article. This sport is supposed to be all about the fans and your walking on thin ice when you take on this kind of attitude. Almost as bad as Kenny Chesney’s post award remarks. It’s a prime example that, not only has this sport forgotten that the fans made it what it is, but the networks and print media are right in line. Right on Dennis @ 9:42AM. Also sparxmoore, when Busch blew up I had to pull my sunglasses down and wipe away a tear!
Wow … it’s been a long time since a column I wrote was so universally panned.
First off, congratulations to Kasey. It’s obvious by the collection of comments here that he’s got a lot of loyal, dedicated fans … and you’ve all made some great points.
I have nothing against the man. He won six times in 2006 and was a contender for the championship. He’s done a great job replacing Bill Elliott in the No. 9 car since 2004. However … his performance since 2007 didn’t allow him to make the All Star race on merit, under the rules.
I’ve been a fan as well as a writer since 1989, damn lucky to get paid doing this for a living. I know if my driver were still racing and he got the fan vote in and won, I’d be saying the exact same things you all are right now. But at the same time — even though the All Star Race is entertainment based — it brought attention to the fact the fan vote is the ONLY selection not based on merit for this race. And that’s something we can all agree on; it’s based on popularity. Because of that, it raises the age old question — which we have in other sports — should an All-Star event be selected based on merit or based on popularity, on who the fans want to see?
I’m of the school (very much in the minority) that you should select All-Stars based on merit — honoring the athletes that truly did have great seasons — and then create RULES fans LOVE that lead to a great race for the fans, for the drivers that truly earned their way into the All-Star show.
That’s nothing against what Kasey did on the track … he smoked ‘em! You guys are right — he totally won under the rules!
But I wonder if that fan vote rule should be there in the first place now. That’s why I brought up the other drivers — we never really realized this rule could lead to a driver winning the race until we voted in a driver who actually had a car capable of winning. And now that we’ve realized it … I just don’t know if the rule is right.
However, judging by the fan reaction on this column — and considering the All-Star Race is for the fans — maybe I’m dead wrong for suggesting it in the first place.
Thanks everyone for commenting!
Perhaps it would be easier to swallow if one looked at the name of the event more literally.
But a star is a star.
Quoting you: “the All-Star Race was a won by a guy who made the field not by athletic performance, but because a lot of women think he’s hot. And because of that, 23 drivers who earned their way in on merit –and Greg Biffle in particular — find themselves one million dollars poorer.” You think Casey Mears and Juan’s gas mileage victories were oldskool merit. I went to my first race in 1959 on Daytona Beach. I’m oldskool too. Martinsville race was my 506 race in person! Why would Greg have more merit than KK? His victory last year was one of the biggest gifts I’ve seen in all my races!!!
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