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.
Thomas Bowles · Wednesday October 8, 2008
Did You Notice? … Officials appeared to be taking debris off certain cars on the track during the first red flag period? I wasn’t at the track this weekend, so maybe my eyes were seeing things on television. But I could have sworn that officials appeared to be removing some metal from the front grills of a couple of cars stopped on the track.
Combine that with whispers I’ve heard that teams were allowed to work on their cars during the second red flag period (for the big Edwards-Biffle wreck), and that’s somewhat concerning – especially since it’s not the first time this year I’ve heard of such a problem. Is it just me, or does it seem NASCAR is getting lax on that rule? And since rules are such a big source of controversy this week, let’s revisit what the red flag means:
“Repairs or service of any nature or refueling will not be permitted when the race is halted due to a red flag. All work must stop on any car in the pits and/or garage area when the red flag is displayed during the race, unless the car has withdrawn from the event. Work must not be resumed until the red flag is withdrawn.”
Now, unlike the yellow line rule, that seems pretty cut and dry to me (out of Section 10-5 of the NASCAR rulebook). With red flags becoming more common to clean up messes, I’d hope officials become a little more vigilant to ensure teams in the garage area aren’t trying to do a little sneak sneak repair behind someone’s back. It’s an important rule to watch for places like Martinsville coming up, where getting out of the garage one or two laps earlier could mean a six to nine point difference in the final results.
Did You Notice? … A quote from Robin Pemberton that reminded me how this Goodyear tire issue is not going to be an easy fix? Here’s what struck me from what he said at the Indianapolis tire test:
“One of the things that we had done on a test a couple weeks ago was take some of the bits [from the Car of Tomorrow] that the teams have used early in the year that have changed and became more fashionable, whether it’s the rear steer of the cars or anything like that, and then to go in there and try to make sure that is not what has added to the extra wear and tear [on tires]. So, we’ve put a check in a box of a lot of those bits and pieces that the teams have used to improve the handling of their cars. As the car evolves, and it will continue to evolve just like all race cars do over the years, it will be a moving target for Goodyear and everybody involved.”
The key words in that statement were “evolves” and “moving target.” Here’s the thing: nearing the end of the Car of Tomorrow’s first full season, we still go to places where Goodyear struggles to match the initial technology of this new vehicle. And with the offseason looming, the configuration of the CoT is about to change again. Don’t believe me? I have a hard time stomaching that after all the complaints we’ve seen from car owners, crew chiefs, and drivers, NASCAR won’t make at least a few minor tweaks to this thing between 2008 and 2009. And when that happens, Goodyear’s going to have to take a step back all over again and re-evaluate the compounds that they’re using.
Sigh. It’s hard to catch up when you already start so far behind and the very vehicle you’re trying to figure out keeps changing every offseason. I almost feel like we’re faced with a difficult choice. Either we wait another year to make changes on the CoT and hope the tires catch up and fix the problems, or we make aerodynamic changes to the CoT knowing full well we’re going to have five or six races next year where the Goodyears flat don’t work. Neither choice seems appealing to me, but judging by how far behind Goodyear is with this car I wonder if it’s the only one we have.
Did You Notice? … Talladega’s blown tires are being labeled “punctures” by the Goodyear faithful? According to Grant, “At this point, the indications are those are punctures from the racetrack or something off the car.”
Why does that bother me? Because the level of punctures at NASCAR’s fastest track on the circuit was never this high. Why is it that every time these cars touch now it leads to a cut tire? Remember the old days where people used to beat and bang and nothing bad would come of it? I’m not saying I want people slamming into each other all the way around the track at 190 miles an hour – we saw what happened when Edwards and Biffle did that – but the amount of punctures seems like an awfully strong coincidence to me.
Did You Notice? … In the wake of Patrick Carpentier’s firing, Reed Sorenson didn’t move over to the No. 10 car before the end of the ’08 season? Even though he’s hired to drive the car full-time in ’09, GEM has hired a combination of Mike Wallace and A.J. Allmendinger to finish out the year instead.
While this is a big boost to Allmendinger’s chances to get a ride for next year – the equipment’s Top 10 capable at certain tracks – why isn’t Sorenson getting a head start on ’09? This could be a sign of some of the bitterness remaining between Sorenson and Chip Ganassi. Think Chip and Felix Sabates are going to let Reed out of his contract early – benefiting a rival Dodge team — after the bad blood between the two boiled over midsummer? That sucks, because releasing Sorenson and putting a Jeremy Mayfield in the car for the final five races would make perfect sense for both sides. While Mayfield would have his shot to prove he’s the right guy to drive the No. 41 car, Sorenson could get a head start on his career with GEM.
Here’s another thing: what if Allmendinger has an A+ performance in the No. 10 car over the final five races? Could he be signed by GEM to drive a fourth car if they don’t merge with someone? All very interesting stuff. Oh, and about that GEM to Toyota rumor … what do both Mike Wallace and Allmendinger drive (or used to drive) on a regular basis? I’ll give you a hint … it ain’t Chevys.
Did You Notice? … In the wake of Patrick Carpentier’s firing, only two rookies are left with a full-time job… Regan Smith and Sam Hornish, Jr. Hornish is also the only open-wheel convert left of the four that applied for ROTY to start the season: Carpentier, Dario Franchitti, and Jacques Villeneuve were the other three.
Is there any more evidence needed to show the open-wheel craze is over? Let’s put it this way: enjoy Scott Speed, because he’s the last one coming up the pipe for a long time to come. Unless, that is, someone’s willing to write Danica a check she simply can’t refuse …
Did You Notice? … Three years after leaving DEI to start his own team – a move deadpanned by many – Michael Waltrip may have more fully funded cars in 2009 than the team he left behind?
You gotta wonder what Dale Earnhardt, Sr.’s thinking from the grave.
Did You Notice? … Regan Smith got robbed? Nah, NASCAR didn’t seem to either.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I’m curious to know the thinking behind the NASCAR decision to let the COT become such a bastard of a race car . Neither fish nor fowl as the saying goes . Why allow the teams to mount the bodies offset to the chassis ? Why allow the teams to alter the rear end hosing , forcing the car to track like a crab on the straights ? There is no race car on earth that looks as ridiculous as the COT has been allowed to become . NASCAR proudly trotted out their new templates to show everyone how serious they are about keeping this car within the rules . Yet they allow the builders to twist the car up like a pretzel so it handles better . No race car should have to travel sideways down the straightaways to work in the corners . And the teams should never have been allowed to circumvent the rules , including the spirit of the rules , by altering the COT design . NASCAR can very easily check each car to make sure that its square , that its tracking straight , and that the body is mounted as it was intended on the chassis .
In regards to teams being “allowed” to work under the red flag: Somewhere out there Sterling Marlin has to be fuming!
Nope Tom, your eyes are not failing you. I saw the same thing. Pieces of metal, tear of stripes, and stuff being pulled form the cars and cars being worked on under the Red Flag. But keep in mind you have to consider the source. It’s NA$CAR. their rule book is not a book…it’s an etch-a-sketch…. just give it a shake and make it say what you want it to.
Kevin: my thoughts exactly, lol…
NASCAR designed the COTto be “bulletproof” so they can beat and bang on each other and hit the walls, and the cars can still keep racing. Knowing this, drivers abuse the cars and each other, and the next weak link is the tires. Splitters are at the right height to cut tires down when cars collide and pieces falling off the cars puncture tires; just flinging the cars around more aggresively strains the whole package. There’s no ,such thing mas a free lunch in racing – whatever you do in one direction has the ability to come back and bite you at some point.
The only cars that were working under the red flag were the ones hat were headed to the haulers.
And it was a NA$CAR “offical” cleaning the debris off of the cars while they were stopped under the red flag!
I could buy the Goodyear finding maybe this time more than the last time as the ARCA series were having the same right rear tire issues Friday. I do think Nascar is in deep denial over this car being the end all do all they have claimed it to be. From the early Atlanta race on there have been tire issues and set up issues on too many good cars for it to be just s simple “well we just missed the setup this week ah shucks” normal alibi, ever since the July Daytona drivers conference where they effectively imposed the gag rule on any complaints on tires or cars or Nascar in general. The problem at this point is they have crossed river of no return on this car too many have been built too much money spent to turn back and unless there is major changes and additional team flexibility allowed 2009 will be an instant replay of 2008. Nascar spends most of it’s time themselves or through their minions trying to convince everyone this is the best racing that’s ever been at some point you don’t know if they are trying to convince fans, sponsors or themselves on this point.
You are right. An official removed a huge chunk of metal from underneath the 48. I gave it a shrug because technically the metal was on the track…but wait! There was a full windshield tear off on the front of the 16…after pulling the metal from underneath the 48 the official headed towards the 16 and I started going nuts not believing he was going to do it but at the last second the camera cut…hmmm. Also, during the second red flag they spoke with Mike Skinner saying that he was helping the crew work on the car…they also showed the 29 team working on Shell machine too.
Callaway, the “gag order” was at the June Michigan race, not Daytona.
I have no problem with NASCAR officials pulling tire chunks or a windshield tear-off off of cars on the race track. That stuff is a safety hazard. When the cars get going again, it could fall off and get run over and damage another car. Also if it falls off then the cleanup crew has to go back out onto the track to remove it, extending the yellow flag time and adding another caution lap. No foul there in my opinion.
I wondered about the NA$CAR official pulling stuff off the cars. Also the work going on during the red flag stop. Then it hit me, Hey this is NA$CAR, what do you expect? As for the finish, I really think Stewart won, more due to the inexperience of the guys chasing him more than anything else. If the track below the yellow line is a safety issue, then put it out of bounds. So far so good, but then being NA$CAR they have to muddy that water as well. With 3 teammates behind him on the last restart Stewart should have been toast. Instead Martin gets left on the restart. Inexperience, A senior moment, did he doze off? Whatever, he’s out of the picture. Now it’s The Human Volcano, followed be two teammates, in a three car break away. Tony’s blocking like crazy, hugging the low line. What do you think Cousin Carl would do. On the last lap both DEI cars pull out. The Invisible Man, gets a solid bump draft from Mr. My Daddies Rich. Game over. Seriously, they just hadn’t been in this position enough to make the right moves.
Where does one find this mysterious rulebook you’re quoting from.
You mentioned a specific section, so I assume you have one?
Hey Kevin in SoCal, wrong again!
And I am not surprised!
In essence, this NA$CAR track patrol official provided an un-fair advantage to those cars he removed objects from!
He positively, and unfairly, helped determine and influence the outcome of the race!
This should not be in the hands of an “offal”!, ooops, sorry, “official”!
The cars should remain untouched during a red flag, not have some yo-yo decide he is going to help out!
Maybe next time he will carry a tire pressure gauge and ask what pressures they should be at?
Windshield cleaned anyone?
Yet more sicko NA$CAR crap!
Douglas, we’re both entitled to our opinions.
I’m perfectly fine with a NASCAR official (not a member of the car’s team) removing potentially dangerous debris off a car during a red flag period, for the reasons I described above. The official is not going to be adjusting fender gaps or checking tire pressures, be serious. That debris could come off the car when they start moving again, and be a danger to the driver, or another car, an official, or even a spectator.
So? How about a car that picks up debris off the track while under the yellow, or the green, he then must make a pit stop and lose track position!
Debris is debris, A NA$CAR “offical”, touching a race car during the race, removing anything from a race car during a race, should call for his immediate dismissal!
And maybe the biggest point would be: DID HE INSPECT EACH AND EVERY CAR ALIKE, SO NO CAR, OR GROUP OF CARS ATTAINED AN ADVANTAGE? DID HE IN FACT INSPECT ALL 43 CARS AND TREAT THEM THE SAME?
If the answer is no! He, once again, provided an un-fair advantage to a select group of cars!
Regardless of removing debris giving someone an “advantage”, the fact remains that NASCAR is reading their rules however they wish to interpret them—no one is supposed to touch a car under red flag, period. If they need to remove junk from the car, it should be written into the rules as “officials are permitted to touch the cars, not crew.”
Yes, the mysterious rulebook does exist. And we got ourselves a copy ;O)
Isn’t the point of the red flag for the track workers to clean up the mess on the track so they don’t burn so many laps out under caution??? I saw the official take the debris off the 48 splitter and i don’t know if he got the tear off from the 16 because they went to a different camera shot. I also think that if a team is DONE FOR THE DAY. They can procede to load up for the trip home. Any car that’s not done for the day should not be touched by a team member, but an official or track worker cleaning up the wreck is okay IMO.
So? How about a car that picks up debris off the track while under the yellow, or the green, he then must make a pit stop and lose track position!
Stay on topic here, Douglas. We’re talking about red flag conditions.
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