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 July 28, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the Safety 400 at the Brickyard, presented by Allstate. Oh, the irony contained within that title sponsorship; for after the way NASCAR chose to run the event, I doubt the fans felt the sport was in Good Hands.
In case you tuned out before the checkered flag – as many fans did – Jimmie Johnson won the seven-lap shootout, in a race that could have easily been shortened to exactly that length based on tires that no one seemed to trust. Ashes to ashes, rubber to dust, Goodyear made a mockery of the second-biggest race of the year, scurrying for cover from a problem that quickly revealed no solution.
But instead of NASCAR officials leaving it up to the crews to figure out how to handle this challenge, they acted like an overprotective mother who couldn’t bear to see her child hanging from the monkey bars. So, they chose to monkey around themselves, grounding their kid while busy making up the rules and the reasoning as they went. Competition caution after competition caution turned into a 10-lap parade of pit strategy and pretending, with everyone well aware that the final 25 miles were suddenly all that really mattered.
That’s OK though, because the winning trophy wasn’t first on the minds of all 43 drivers out there. After all, the 10-race Chase for the Championship is what it’s really about these days, and playing it safe and collecting precious points is what you need in order to participate. On the pre-race show, none other than a Sprint Cup car owner expounded on the principles of such a conservative strategy to keep yourself in the game for the long haul. After all, why win at the most infamous track in America when you can simply survive for a 10-race playoff that’ll ensure you’ll be back the following year? Nowhere in that analysis was it mentioned that the driver could be placed in that precarious Chase position again, and again, and again … until his career was safely over. Risk has been replaced with reason, courage by caution, and daring by deflated.
So, the world’s best drivers were angry but never altered in their quest to finish the race safely; 75-85 percent throttle on the track was better than parking out of protest. And on the other side of the garage, none of the teams towards the back of the field dared risk their hand and stay out on worn tires — even with ten laps to go. While staying off of pit road could have given them track position for a solid finish and perhaps even a win – taking a risk that their Goodyears held up – no one could afford not to play it safe. Of course, earlier in the day it was a different story, as several different back marker teams led a lap under yellow – getting the five bonus points that came with it – until fear forced a stop and kept them stranded at the back of the pack. In the end, the risk of losing a lead lap finish trumps all – for dropping out of the Top 35 in owner points could keep them from making the starting lineup the next week at Pocono. And with millions of sponsorship dollars of on the line, no one can risk the dreaded DNQ that drops their race team off the track and out of the corporate conversation, can they? Survival now depends on sustenance, not strength.
Speaking of muscle, you’d think the drivers would flex theirs in taking both NASCAR and Goodyear to task over Sunday’s multitude of problems. But instead, nervous smiles and a litany of thank yous were the norm, not the exception, as drivers took time to thank the fans for watching them come home safe but slow – tipping their hat to the pace car driver for putting up with all that extra driving. OK, the last one’s a lie but you’d half expect that to come out of their mouths – what with President Mike Helton’s June drivers-only meeting at Michigan telling drivers to stay within a “safe zone” of criticizing the sport – or wind up sorry they opened their mouth.
The irony in all this, NASCAR, is that the safe and sensible thing to do would be to have an open test at the second-biggest race you hold all year – one which could have adequately revealed a laundry list of problems both the sport and its tire company could have been put in position to solve. After all, we spend the entire month of January testing for the Great American Race – doesn’t the world’s most famous track deserve at least a smidgen of that attention? Instead, for the first time in years we were busy testing at places like Pocono, putting our eggs in a basket that clearly didn’t contain the answers needed.
After years of searching for answers to increase the sport’s popularity, NASCAR claims they’re looking to get back in touch with their roots. But to do it, they need to run the stop sign and face an ugly truth: racing itself can never completely be under their control. We can make the Car of Tomorrow, throw every caution flag for a smidgen of debris, and build as many SAFER barriers as we want, but the second the green flag flies, someone on that race track could die – whether they’re points racing or pushing it for all their car is worth. That’s the danger of a sport that was build on speed and makes its living pushing it to the ragged edge. We can’t deny that fact any more than we can deny the mortality of our own lives, and what we need to accept is that these men in the cockpit are doing this for a living because they choose to. NASCAR gets back to its roots by forcing the drivers to dig deep for the aggression that got them here, coming up with incentives to get them fighting for glory instead of staying in line in order to collect a check. Football players don’t play the game because they’re afraid they don’t get hurt. They play the game because it’s what they do for a living. Seven years after Earnhardt’s death, we’ve put on so many shoulder pads that you wonder if some of the players have forgotten how, exactly, to make that tackle out on the open field.
Now, I say these things with every intention of going into battle protecting these men. Some have become trusted sources, others friends, and I could never dream of putting my life on the line in the way they do for a living each Sunday. But there comes a point where one has to let go, accept the inherent dangers and get on with the task at hand. Two, even three competition cautions were enough for these crews – the best in the business – to figure out the dangers and decipher the best ways to get around them. At that point, the sport needed to set the drivers loose and let their crews do what they do best – figure out how to push it to the ragged edge without going over, keeping their driver safe while allowing for the basics of competition to take place. Or, if the tires were deemed so radically unsafe that even a 35-mile green flag run was too much – our record on Sunday was 12 consecutive green flag laps – the sport needed to bite the bullet, take it on the chin, and stop the race until a more suitable tire compound could be created.
Unfortunately, they did neither, and now we’re left with an awkward aftermath in which they’ve initially looked defensive. Who’s listening? Not the fans; for while all of them are sitting home safely tonight, it’s far from a safe bet they’ll be coming back to Indianapolis anytime soon. Pure speed and excitement was what they were after, and Sunday’s event – just like so many others this season — clearly didn’t deliver.
And that’s the only safe bet you can take from all this.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Worst Race Ever
I only got to see the first hour or so before storms knocked out the power at my house for the rest of the race. And I thought there could never be a good time for a power failure! I thought 400 was the number of miles, not the number of pit stops…
NOW WILL YOU BELIEVE ME???
Many have criticized my postings as being “too negative” toward:
Just how could I be so right?
Can you imagine anyone paying money to go to Indy to see yet another NA$CAR/GOODYEAR FIASCO?
First; GOODYEAR has NOT been able to supply a decent tire AT ANY EVENT!
Second; The CoT is TERRIBLE HANDLING CAR, which NA$CAR has refused to acknowledge!
Third; ALL signs throughout the tenure of the CoT said that a fiasco as witnessed Sunday was inevitable!
Who is at fault here??? Easy answer!!
YOU THE SUPPORTERS AND FANS OF NA$CAR!
You who chastise me for saying things like anyone that supports or believes anything NA$CAR does or says is “stupid”!!
Well folks! Please replay Sunday’s race, if you choose to call it that!
I have often stated that if Goodyear cannot supply a good race tire, pull out! Who cares the reason? And a Goodyear spokesperson “gingerly” stated the CoT is a different car and affects tire wear in a manner not seen before!!
DUH! And here’s your sign!!!!
Gee Mr. Goodyear, have you told NA$CAR this? And if you did, then why place your name on tires you know will not last the race? Or even 8 laps??
And NA$CAR’s response to that idiotic thing called the CoT, is to tell the drivers just shut up and drive!
My question is??? DRIVE WHAT? A piece of junk for ten laps! MAYBE?
I defy anyone to show me any positives going on within the NA$CAR ranks right now!
Arrogant NA$CAR will do damage control, as they are very good at this sort of thing!
But will real change occur to the CoT to enable the everyday fan to be able to watch a good, a decent, and a fair race?
Not unless each and everyone of us stands up to be counted!
And probably the ones that take issue with me, are the ones that do not spend the money to go to the actual event itself! How about the person that got sucked in and spent a thousand dollars to go to Indy in person! Was that money well spent??
Me thinks not!
Stay away from the tracks, save your money, send NA$CAR a message!
I beg of you!
Because what we have today is nothing but GARBAGE!!
Thank you Brian, Mike, and Robin!!!
NA$CAR IS A JOKE!
Way to go Douglas! The only way this mess will change is when the fans quit paying their hard earned money to see this junk. The France brats are after one thing, money. When that money stops, they will either make changes or sell the series. As it is they are still fooling too many fans who think what they are seeing is really racing and are gulible enough to make like that little rabbit and his battery and keep going and going and…
You know what cracks me up…. a lot of people (drivers, owners, directors….) keep calling this thing a show… “well we need to put on a good show for the fans today…” WAIT WAIT WAIT…. a show is something that’s presented on a stage, is directed, has a determined outcome, is the same each time you watch it……. wait a minute, I think I’m begining to fugure out why they keep calling it a show…..
It RACING dang it….. start calling it that, and for pete’s sake, it’s not a SHOW, so stop calling such.
Well once again I agree with Doug! Maybe in a different way, but I agree….I haven’t watch a NASCRAP event since the 4th of July. What an sin that a toyota would actually run in, much less win a Independence day event! I am done with nascrap until something is done, and I realize that there are very few loyal Americans left, so that things will not change….I just love the fact that for their own reasons, people are waking up to the joke called nascrap.
If I was at the Brickyard 400. I would of demanded my money back! This was truly NA$CAR$ biggest blunder. Would you pay full price for your meal at a restaurant if you ordered the biggest, best steak and lobster and they brought you out a hamburger and a stick of immitation lobster meat, and then they said, “Its really not the meal, but the show the waiter put on for you?” PLEASE!
I only watched this because the Yankee game didn’t come on until 8pm. This race is one more reason that NASCAR racing is less and less appealing to me – I am becoming more convinced that the COT has ruined it.
The blame for this mess can be equally split between Goodyear and NASCAR . Goodyear is only the tire provider because they have stayed around longer . But certainly not because they make a great race tire . Stop and think back to all of the many times drivers have complained about Goodyear race tires over the years . Looks like they were right . Nascar should pay attention to the actual racing side of the sport instead of the counting their money side . How could Nascar not know of the high wear that was encountered during the tests ? And why would they allow a tire that bad to be forced on the racers . Truth is , they do pay far more attention to counting money than putting on a race . If there were a problem with the tent supplier for the hospitality area , Nascar would have brought in a replacement in 10 seconds . Lets see if they replace Goodyear just as fast .
King Brian said “NA$CAR was going back to it’s roots.” I think he may be on to something. After yesterdays debacle they may be headed back to Greenville-Pickens, & North Wilksbrough. The stray TV shot of the stands this season, already has shown they can’t sell out the big venues. If I had shelled out good $$ for that. Good Luck, trying to ever sell me another one. One interesting shot showed people leaving in droves as the sad parade droned on. I’m just disappointed we didn’t get to see how the Pocono tires worked. They were softer. They’d last what, 6 laps. If I were Tony George, I’d look for something to run that didn’t use tires.
I thought that the World 600 at “Levi-gated“Charlotte three years ago would go down as the absolute worst race in the history of NASCAR. I was right. Until yesterday.
The common Template cars were the first nail in racing. The COT was the second nail. anymore races like yesterday will be the final nail.
BTW, I’ve been a fan since the mid 50s
Y’know what they should have done? Run the COT in Nationwide for a couple of years first to get the bugs out, then bring it to Cup. Nobody would care if NW teams were having these problems…
The absence of comments by TONY STEWART tells the whole story. Like him, or not, he always tells the truth. But this time, he’s been told “not to criticize” NASCAR. So, he has just said nothing.
Everyone is always wanting to piss all over Jack Roush; but, at least he has the brass testicles to stand-up to Goodyear and NA$CAR about the problems yesterday, at the Brickyard and state it in public! At least someone is not afraid of King Brian and Mafia Mike!
Until people stop going or teams spending millions to get handed abortions like this park in protest nothing will change.
Pay up suckers and on with the show should be NA$CARs motto.
I should also mention that Goodyear is one of those sponsors which is promoted by the France Family, with the promotion company they currently own.
Talk about one, huge conflict of interest in NASCAR.
No wonder Goodyear is so protected by King Brian and Mafia Mike!
What a farce!!! I think I ended up watching maybe 20 minutes of it all told. The POS…I mean COT, really worked well at Indianapolis; and of course lets hear some applause for the chase…it REALLY promotes good, tight racing!!!
I think the only thing sillier than the (non) race were the pathetic attempts by Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace in the post race show to give credit to NASCAR for their brilliant decision!! SPEED network needs to get a few realists on their panels to offset the NASCAR apologists. Ill say it again…FARCE!
Just when and by what measure did the Brickyard 400 become the second biggest event in NA$CAR?
The crowd may be huge (even with all the empty seats), so the payday is lucrative for the George and France families. The purse is also a whooper. But the racing has always been mediocre at best.
The Daytona 500 may be #1 based soley on size, pagentry and the fact that fans are hungry for a race after the off-season. But it seems to me that, for stock car fans, both Bristol races, both Richmond races, Darlington and Coke 600 are bigger than Indy.
We lost North Wilkesboro and the Rock for this?
The COT always has been, always will be a piece of trash and NOT a race car! When NASCRAP moves to a spec engine as well they will be finished. Their other series are in deep too and when they go to the COT in the NNS good luck. Who can pony up that sort of ca$h to be competitive. Brian’s dad should have never given control of a racing series to someone who knows nothing about racing.
Choke on your money NASCRAP!
That’s it. I have had enough of this crap! Nascar teams and drivers need to step up to the plate and stop being such money puppets. They should start their own series with the ‘Old Cars’ – (real race cars) and get track owners to go with them. With the COT and a bunch of no name drivers/teams who would watch NA$CRAP when one could enjoy some real racing =)
But I guess that will not pay for the jet fuel and fancy lifestyles that the actors from this current traveling circus require. It really has become Racing Wrestling =(
Na$car is totaly to blame for this “show”. They mandate everything that goes on. To say Goodyear is in charge of tire compounds is absurd. They do what they are told just like everybody in the na$car mafia does. Support your local race tracks. Until na$crap figures out where they came from..
The common Template cars, Do you remember when nascar would go out to a dealer and get a car to make the templates,do you remember when any one could bring a tire if you could supply the field, do you remember when you could watch a race on TV, not the race snippets in-between commercials, do you remember when a you could tell a Ford from a Dodge and a Chevrolet does not look like Toyota, do you remember when team or a company that did a good job with there motors was not penalized for doing so. Stock car racing is no longer stock car racing, this is not a sport where the best car and team win, what it has become is a feeding place for greed, its time for the people that made this sport, to step up and take control, There is one way to stop the stupidity of an, origination stop feeding it.
MR Wheeler where are you?
Goodyear simply must quit making tires out of coal dust and Elmer’s Glue. It’s just not working.
It is time for Bruton Smith to start his own stock car series , minus Goodyear , and rescue the sport we all love . To help get him started , everyone who sat through the Nascar incompetence this weekend needs to contact Bruton , thru Charlotte Motor Speedway if nothing else , and let him know how many ticket buyers and / or how many tv viewers his new series would have . Do it now before Nascar kills off big league stock car racing .
“Now, I say these things with every intention of going into battle protecting these men.”
Sorry dude, but these guys are NOT going into battle. That is happening across the pond in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Other than that it was a good column.
You want to see real racing, go to your local dirt track. Those guys race, they don’t put on a show.
I cannot say he is to blame, but this whole thing changed the day Jeff Gordon started racing. Could be that it was also the last day of King Richard.
That was a terrible THING yesterday. Won’t call it a race. Definitely wasn’t a show. More like old men sitting on the courthouse square playing checkers.
Douglas is right, I don’t like his lengthy dissertations, but his analysis is dead on.
Do something else, shut this mess down, or force real change. Don’t buy tickets, souveniers, or anything NASCAR related.
Drivers, strike now, complete shutdown, that is the only thing that will save NASCAR from itself.
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