NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Thomas Bowles · Wednesday July 21, 2010
Did You Notice? … The selective way in which fans worry about driver aggression? I’ve been bombarded since Saturday night with emails over the Carl – Brad incident, to the point they make Dale Jr. look like a boy scout on the corner holding a giant No. 3 sign that says “Pay Attention To Me.” Through it all, the majority point the finger at Carl, notably upset at his actions considering Brad Keselowski is about as popular as the BP execs, LeBron in Cleveland, and Tiger Woods at a feminist rally … combined. For fans to turn aside their own hatred, turning a man who was once NASCAR’s Most Despised into an innocent victim shows their utter disgust for how Edwards conducted the final five seconds of the race.
In the end, the fans’ opinion is supposedly what shapes the future of the sport. At 70 percent Team Brad, 30 percent Team Carl, you wonder if that’s going to force NASCAR to act in an era where the Fan Council is gaining more power at the bargaining table than Mike Helton. The chances of a fine and suspension in my view have clearly risen the past 24 hours because of you.
But at the same time, that’s what worries me. Because as much as the sport wouldn’t be here without their support, I don’t know if the fans have NASCAR’s best long-term interest in mind with this one. They’re acting out of passionate anger … but sometimes, acting with your heart clouds a decision you should be sitting back and making with your head.
Why? Because the number one argument in fans’ arsenal centers around one thing: danger. I’ve read more emails in the last few days claiming one driver was attempting to kill another than I have in my entire five-year career as a NASCAR professional. Reading some of them, you’d almost think people have called their local police to have Edwards arrested for murder.
Yes, the bump Edwards made on Keselowski was on his right rear corner, the type of contact that hooks a car into the wall in a maneuver most people claim leave the victim defenseless. Yes, the move was made at a higher-speed portion of the racetrack that puts everyone at greater risk.
But murder? You’re accusing Carl Edwards of attempted murder? I’m sorry, boys and girls, but your memory must be short-circuiting. Because if NASCAR contact produced attempted murder, there’d be a whole lot of drivers in jail over the dozens of drivers tragically lost through the years. Just like there’d be a whole lot of boxers in jail for one fateful punch, a whole lot of football players for one ugly, paralyzing tackle … the list goes on and on.
You see, it doesn’t matter whether Edwards slams into the right rear corner of someone down the straightaway, or Jeff Gordon lightly taps Martin Truex going into the slowest turn on the circuit in Infineon. Contact is contact, and the second you change a stock car’s trajectory at as slow as 35 miles an hour it can turn tragic. Sure, the chances Truex’s turn 11 spin taking a turn for the worse was 0.0001 percent compared to Keselowski. But the bottom line is, the risk was there.
So let’s switch up this situation a bit. What if Kurt Busch’s nudge for the lead on Jimmie Johnson went a little too far at New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago? What if that small nudge caused Johnson to spin around, third-place Tony Stewart slams into Johnson at the wrong trajectory, and the four-time champ ends up hurt or worse? Should Busch be fined and suspended for going for the lead? Should he be jailed for 1st-degree assault?
The bottom line is in that situation, Busch and Johnson’s contact was universally accepted because both were trying to achieve the goal they were hired for: win the damn race. Not run for points or park after 50 laps – that’s been working really well to build our fan base, right? – but do the very thing that forms the concept of why they compete in the first place. So why is it not the same thing here? Because of the severity of the impact? That should make no difference, because the risk was still in play. Edwards never said he wanted to physically hurt Keselowski … he was trying to win the race. There’s a difference.
Remember Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001? Let’s not forget that didn’t result from the type of contact we saw on Saturday night. It came from the slightest touch between he and Sterling Marlin, two cars battling for position where Earnhardt’s crash looked half as ugly as the one we saw with Keselowski. But it was a tragic, tragic reminder that the second we bump fenders in this sport, death’s door could be waiting on the other end. It’s been the ugly part of racing since day one, and simple laws of physics tell us we’ll never completely erase it.
Speaking of Earnhardt, remember his wreck with Terry Labonte in 1999? In that wreck, the Intimidator spun Labonte out on the final lap, robbing him of a victory while sending him smack into harm’s way, in front of six or seven cars that slammed right into the No. 5. Earnhardt could very easily have gotten someone killed in that wreck, with boos showering down from the grandstand. Yet I don’t remember a fine or suspension issued by NASCAR; instead, while fans were upset with what they thought was a dirty move, they universally understood physical contact is part of the sport the same way punching someone is a part of boxing. Just like two men that enter that ring, everyone knows the inherent risk they take the second the bell – in this case, the green flag – lets them loose.
So why is everyone on their high horse now? I know three deaths in the last 11 years have a way of changing perspective, but with tragedy possible around every turn, how is that more or less relevant over this incident compared to any other? I think fans worried about safety should be asking themselves a different question: do they want a NASCAR where there’s never any rubbing of fenders, ever?
Because that’s the message these fans – and drivers – complaining about what Carl did are sending to me. Yeah, that’s right, even those Cup veterans bitching about this incident would be put between a rock and a hard place if NASCAR suspended Carl. Despite this incident’s severity, suddenly, “Have at it, boys” would be out the window, and we’d be back to the same type of gray area that caused Talladega to be a single-file parade over bumpdrafting fears. Once again, contact would become a judgment call, a gray area over what’s acceptable and what’s not. And when drivers are trying to win the race, suddenly the possibility of being penalized will mentally creep back in the back of their heads when trying to make the type of physical maneuvers that typically leave no one wrecked – just a whole lot of cheering fans and the type of water-cooler talk that left NASCAR a grassroots sensation.
Look, I understand Edwards isn’t the most popular guy. He’s clearly had his share of run-ins with several drivers, including people on his own team. But don’t let your anger over the individual overshadow the concept of whether contact is acceptable in this sport. Because a vote for a serious Carl penalty is a vote that any type of physical contact no longer works; and folks, I’ve seen the attendance and reviews of what happens when we have a single-file parade with racing “clean.” That’s a sport whose future is unsustainable.
So just like in football, boxing, and other sports we need to take a deep breath and understand the inherent risks involved. Punishing Carl here isn’t going to keep another driver from dying in the future; it just won’t. So take a good look in the mirror, and envision this sport without any type of physical contact (I’m NOT talking about wrecking here; I’m just talking about two cars battling, trying to make the pass) and tell me if you find that worth watching. If you do, great! But I think you’re in the minority. Two cars passing each other five feet apart is something we see on the highway every day. But two cars bumping fenders and smoking tires, ala “Kurt Busch and Ricky Craven at Darlington several years ago”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg4vSWywWg8 is I think what the majority of fans really want. It’s two guys trying to win the race any way possible; and that comes with inherent risk. Whether tempers flare and a guy spins out, or if tempers don’t and accidental contact ensues could be the end of a life at any time.
The sooner everyone understands that, refraining from using Carl as a sacrifice so we feel like we’re preventing something that’s clearly unpreventable, the better. But I’m not optimistic.
Did You Notice? … Not much space left this week, so just a few quick hits after that long rant…
- Why is it that Cup drivers seem to have more fun racing during their off week, when they’re not in a stock car, then on Sundays? Let’s put it this way: NFL players don’t have more fun when they’re busy playing a playground flag football game on the side. That’s a red flag if I ever saw one.
- Mark Martin’s last five finishes at Indianapolis: 7th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 2nd. He’s done that with four different teams, in almost every type of circumstance imaginable: from being on the edges of the Chase bubble in ’05, to a bankruptcy / merger announcement the weekend of the race with Bobby Ginn in ’07, to a runner-up finish after winning the pole in his career year of ’09. So if he doesn’t score a top 10 at Indy, folks … man, maybe we should be concerned about him missing the Chase after all.
- I see about 12 start-and-parkers listed for the Nationwide ORP race on Saturday night. And that’s a short track! I’m beginning to shudder at what the numbers could be like come September and October, as there are another four or five teams that are clearly running on fumes with money.
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©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I’m sorry, but how can you consider Brad K to be as popular as LeBron in Cleveland? He’s a multiple time MPD winnner! He’s Dale, Jr.‘s boy! Brad is very well liked, if for nothing more than the fact that he used to drive for JR Motorsports
Tom have you gotten so THIN SKINNED that you now delete opinions that do not agree with you? I posted at approx 2-2:30am and it is no where to be found.
Once, again, I think you are right on the money, with your comments, Tom. Let them race. I will be totally disappointed in NASCAR, if they penalize Carl for actually “racing” in a race.
Bringing Dale Earnhardt into every wreck reminds me of the liberals blaming Bush into every argument. That accident was long ago. Get over it.
Your whole argument is based on a false premise… There is a difference between bumping someone in order to move them out of the way( even if you accidentally turn them in the process), and INTENTIONALLY WRECKING them out of anger! Edwards has no excuse because he admitted it was the latter….
God!, I just hate cry babies!! The man is right!! racin’ is dangerous, ANY driver who doesn’t “race to win” is not worth watching!! Go and hide behind your Mommie’s skirt and leave racin’ to the MEN. What’s that old saying: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!! Whine babies!!
Tom. If you cannot see the difference between bump and run vs. diliberately put someone in the wall, then you should change your line of work. You can change the names of the drivers and put them in that wreckage, yhr results would be the same. Don’t sugar coat this, damage could have been devastating to this sport all because of one selfcentered dumbass move.
Tom. If you cannot see the difference between bump and run vs. diliberately put someone in the wall, then you should change your line of work. You can change the names of the drivers and put them in that wreckage, the results would be the same. Don’t sugar coat this, damage could have been devastating to this sport all because of one selfcentered dumbass move.
Nascar should be able to tell if something is a bump and run, and what is right out revenge. Pentalizing Edwards, should not stop boys will be boys. People can tell the difference between a fist fight and assault.
Mr. Bowles..your argument is a good one..with one exception..Mr. Edward’s reputation, past antics, and temper. I get tired of the “Senior” comparisons to any and everything that happens on the track. This is NOW. Carl has a serious problem..he cannot see past “himself”. Now I know ALL drivers have tempers and anger issues at different times (i.e. we all remember Stewart’s issues) but the point being is they find a way to control it..but Carl has been out of control for a few years…(i.e. run ins with Stewart, Harvick, Junior, his own team mate Kenseth and now Brad), He doesn’t seem to be able to control himself on or OFF the track. There lies the problem. I truly don’t think you could find a handful of drivers who would have pulled that “stunt” on another driver … (yeah Brad got into him at Talladega..but Carl was as much a part of that situation as Brad..and at Atlanta Brad did slide into Carl early in the race..but it certainly didn’t look intentional or a payback) and if they did..they deserve and and everything they get back. I love racing..all the beating and banging and rubbing .. and yes I will admit I like a wreck here or there… but I cannot stand..nor will I be a part of a lunatics actions against another driver in the name of “a win”. Carl needs to seriously get a life….
I think the difference here is bumping vs wrecking. Bumping in NASCAR has been around forever and Carl hasn’t figure out the bump yet. He wrecks to win or to take out his agression on the race track. Brad ‘bumped’ Carl and Carl promptly ‘wrecked’ Brad.
I also believe Carl made things much worse with his post-race comments. His team deserved to win huh? I guess Brad’s team just didn’t work as hard cause if they did, then it gives him the right to wreck whoever gets in his way because his team ‘deserves’ to win.
Bottom line Carl needs watching. Rubbin is racing, wrecking ON PURPOSE is not.
I’ve been around a long time—worked for DiGard—long enough to know racing is a dangerous sport…
And we all know the risks.
There’s a vast difference between wrecking somebody (even when Earnhardt did it) and just a racing incident.
What Edwards did borders on the pathological and maybe even the psychotic.
The past is gone. We’re in TODAY’s world—even Nascar. And what happened saturday night can’t be tolerated. The sport is dangerous enough, but to allow DELIBERATE wrecking of another driver is to make a joke of the sport comparable to the WWE.
Edwards needs to be sat down, fined, and on probation so severe as to make him really think about his actions—even to seek out professional help for his obvious issues.
This article does exactly what you say it does…takes up alot of space. When you have seasoned veterans stepping up to the plate to criticize the Edward’s win, how dare armchair drivers condone the reckless actions of a frustrated individual who endangered the lives of everyone behind on the track. Come on. Get real. Alot of things have changed in the past nine years to make the sport safer, but unltimately there is no need to push it to the limit and cross over a very fragile line…and condone it.
IF Carl would have “rubbed” Brad and won nobody would say a thing, but Carl doesn’t have that skill. He just wrecks everyone on the last lap because he wasn’t the fastest car. No wonder everyone is angry. He shouldnt get the points for that race.
Not sure what you’re talking about with your comment … at 230 AM, everyone was sleeping! Really! I don’t know what the glitch was, but please post away …
WELL’I‘M GOING TO BECOME VERY UNPOPULAR AND SAY I THINK YOU WROTE ONE OF THE MOST FAIR AND GOOD ARTICLE I HAVE READ ON THE CARL- BRAD THING.IS CARL A NUT CASE? NO! Is BRAD AGGRESSIVE ? YES. BUT AREN’T ALL DRIVERS? THEY SHOULD BE IF WE WANT TO SEE GOOD RACING!I’M VERY DISASPOINTED IN SOME QUOTE’ NAME’DRIVERS MAKING SOME OF THE NASTY REMARKS THEY HAVE.CAN’T SEE HOW THAT HELPS NASCAR PROBLEMS AT THIS TIME WHEN THEY NEED ALL THE HELP THEY CAN GET.
Carl is my LEAST favorite driver, but I support NO PENALTY from NASCAR because the other drivers will handle him. They are the ones who have to deal with what is and is not acceptable on track. As Gordon said, alot more “self-policing” goes on than the public is aware of.
Well there you go. If it sells tickets, then by all means it must be ok. Aggressive driving versus revenge driving – why make any distinction??? Its all good as long as it helps NA$CAR make more money. Carl is generating big press for Nascar and they are loving it. Brad K is very aggressive and IMO that’s the way it should be. Carl E is proving to be a huge jackass.
When you take Carl Edwards’ body of work as a whole, you see that this isn’t one isolated incident. Go back years and you see a consistent pattern of “aww shucks” to the media, yet uncontrolled anger towards his competitors. We’re not talking about someone being overly aggressive here. We’re not even talking about payback of a nudge to the LR quarter-panel, resulting in a spin. We’re talking about him deliberately turning a guy into the wall head first, in front of the field. What other direction could a car hit in the right rear quarter panel go? The laws of physics apply to racecars too.
Taken by itself, OK, it was a one time thing, the guy was really angry, he won’t do it again, he understands he went too far. But, then for that arrogant fool to stand up in front of the world and say he did it deliberately, in a coldly calculated manner? That it was his, the Great Carl Edwards’ race, and no one was going to take it from him? (note to Carl – if you didn’t lead the most laps, it wasn’t your race) What are we supposed to think?
We think about him running into Junior’s car, narrowly missing his hand after a NW race didn’t go his way. We think about him attacking Matt Kenseth, while Matt was being interviewed. We think about him attacking Kevin Harvick in Harvick’s garage stall after Harvick walked away. We think about Atlanta, and his feigned shock about a car flipping, when he had inadvertently flipped the 88 NW car 3 weeks earlier at Daytona. We think about him running Kurt Busch into the wall at Daytona 2 weeks ago, and then confronting him in the garage. We think about a lot of things.
Most of all, we think that “have at it boys” was never intended to replace racing with deliberate wrecking – it takes no talent to do that. We think it’s gone far enough. We think that maybe next time that pompous jerk stands up there telling people that Brad or Tony or Jeff or Jimmie or Kevin or Kurt tried to take his rightful win, his speech may be unheard by a horrified crowd watching EMT’s work on a fan gravely injured by debris from a car Carl deliberately wrecked in a fit of pique.
Awesome Article!!! Spot on. If you want to watch a non contact sport, try bowling or golf. Both are about as much fun to watch as watching paint dry! Give me good hard racing or I wont bother watching!
“So just like in football, boxing, and other sports we need to take a deep breath and understand the inherent risks involved.”
YOUR WORDS, Tom. Yet even football and boxing, ESPECIALLY football and boxing, have rules for illegal hits and penalties that are actually enforced!
Part of the reason NFL football is the most popular sport in the U.S. is that it is both physical and it is officiated fairly. Blocking from behind – illegal. Head butting – illegal. Roughing the QB when he is in throwing position – illegal! Need I go on? There is an immediate penalty for an infraction on the field and there are further penalties for blatant or intentional cheap shots. Could anything be more intentional than Carl’s two hits on Brad this year? He admits himself he did it intentionally.
If NASCAR wants credibility, they have to start with penalizing Carl. They won’t have the balls to make it suspension that includes Cup racing, but at least take away his points in the Nationwide series!
Yeah, racin’ is racin’ and football involves hard hitting, but everybody knows when a line has been crossed. And I personally don’t like either driver, so I don’t even have a dog in this fight.
I would ask every member of the media who has defended Carl this week how much of that defense is due to Carl being one of your easy interviews, always grinning and sucking up. Isn’t your “Carl love” influencing your reactions to his actions on the track? What is the cost to YOUR credibility in selling out so easily for one man?
This is not about turning NASCAR into a non-contact sport, or even into F1.
If you want to see what defines “acceptable contact” in my mind, watch a replay or Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch trading paint on the closing laps of Darlington in 2003.
Saturday’s NW race could have been another highlight reel ending, had Edwards not spoiled it with his cheapshot deliberate takeout.
The risk of injury is not the only reason to consider penalties against Cousin Carl. Allowing someone to deliberately wreck a rival is not good from a competition standpoint, either, in the long run. Sure, it’s created a media sideshow this week, but once it becomes routine (and it will if it goes unchecked), how long will the fan interest be sustained?
Every sport has rules that require judgement calls. NASCAR needs to draw a line in the sand somewhere, and like a lot of fans, I’m thinking what I saw Saturday night was on the wrong side of that line.
DID YOU NOTICE THE COST OF SACRIFICING A SPORT THROUGH ONE MAN? I do believe you are giving us fans much to much credit Mr. Bowles…The fans are not responsible for what Edwards did on track, NASCAR is not responsible for the actions taken on track…and Brad isn’t responsible for what Carl did. If you really want to finish your headline you should have added…the “COST” being a life…and the “ONE MAN” costing us our sport.. Carl Edwards. The other drivers seem to get it…Mr. Edwards is still stuck in his own little world.
I posted this after the Atlanta Dust up, and it still applies:
THE HYPRCROICY OF CARL EDWARDS (Eddie Haskell)
Carl seems to have forgotten when he refused to give an inch to another driver back in 2004. He of all people should know better than to assume another driver is going to give you an inch. That incident was chalked up as a racing deal (it cost Dale Jr big time, but you never heard or saw a reaction like we have seen from Carl), just the same way Carl getting wrecked by Brad was just a racing deal.
Check the Common Denominator in these scenarios
On the Track
Brad has not done anything yet that ole Golly Gee Go Get Em Carl Edwards has not already done himself. I guess Carl AKA Eddie Haskell does not see it that way.
I agree with Susan,Ellen,Bob,J.J.,Rob.Lydia,(especially)runner88,Harold, Chuck,& Tom. I believe NASCAR also said “Have Fun”, this is not. It also seems to me that the majority have forgotten NASCAR also said something like “Have at it, to a point, cause we can step in and you don’t want us to “have” to do that.” Am I the only one that remembers “that” press conference on Speedtv. People say NASCAR painted themselves in a box, but they didn’t because “I remember” them saying “DO NOT STEP OVER THE LINE” Carl has clearly did that
I believe all fans best “long term” interest is all drivers finishing the race safely, and as long as one driver will dump the competition instead of race it. That is not always the outcome.
Severity of impact and intent SHOULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world.
Thomas you should read Vito article and maybe you will start to get an understanding of why most real fans of the sport are so upset. Do you think if Brad would have went and beat the sh t out of Carl nascar would have done nothing? No Way
The reason you have received more comments about Carl trying to kill someone in the last few days compared to the past 5 years is this is second time THIS YEAR Carl has intentionally DUMPED someone\Brad this year in a wreck that could have killed somebody. Do you want to drive a race car with Mad Carl behind you?
Just because you think the world revolves around you does not make it so.
We are not all on the same time my 2-2:30am was the time this site gave for my first post
I still contend that Edwards should have to take the pee test, if for no other reason than, like NA$CAR accused Mayfield, the amount of wrecks he has been involved in. That was NA$CAR’S chief reason for testing Mayfield. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…er duck. That could also clear up the steriod issue one way or another.
No Penalty form NASCAR? Fine. I’m waiting for someone else to finally give Carl what he has coming… preferably at Richmond and knocking him into 13th or 14th in the points and missing the chase.
As for me, I just boycott his sponsors (not hard, I only ever patronized one of them anyway and there are plenty of better alternatives). If his Sponsors make him sit down a race, then maybe I’d consider going back.
Spot on Tom!
Another writer who exagerates for emphasis … Don’t think much of your opinion either..People see way to much black & white here…Bye Tom
Also think Harvick or Hamlin opinions are far more correct than some writer who won;t bother with facts
At the very least, Carl Edwards should step up and pay the repair bills for the other cars that wrecked on the last lap. I’m sure the teams would appreciate it and he wouldnt lose so much of their respect.
whine whine whine-for crying out loud just let them race and quit boo-hooin about how rough one driver might be
Like Susan said, all sports have rules and if they are broken, you suffer the consequences. In boxing, for instance, you are allowed to beat your opponent bloody, but you dare not hit below the belt, or otherwise suffer points deductions. What Carl did was a hit below the belt. Drivers can race hard, they can trade paint and love tap the other guy. But you cannot hit below the belt and get away with it. If Carl did not have a history, if this was a first offense, if he had shown some contrition, than maybe our view of things would be different. But with his history of stupid moves, of going after even his own teammate, Carl got what he deserved. Maybe now that good old Jack got a 60 point penalty, Carl will get his arse kicked by the old man.
Thomas Bowles says “in my entire five-year career as a NASCAR professional.”
I’m glad you finally admitted that it’s your job to kiss nascar’s ass.
Drivers are the most expendable items in the giant nascar conglomerate. They can always be replaced. So, of course nascar isn’t concerned if a driver gets killed.
With idiots like Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards in the mix now the next on-track driver death may be in the near future.
In the meantime, while we wait for the next tragedy to happen, you need to keep kissing nascar’s ass. You’re very good at it and I’m sure they appreciate it.
If pit wall had stopped Brad when he came down from the outside wall rather than spinning him around, he would have been t-boned in the drivers door and very possibly hurt really bad. And Carl never expressed concern for Brad’s safety or any of the drivers who were involved in his “I did it” tirade. You call that racing? That was a really proud moment for him, right?
Rowdy, your points were right on.
Mr. Bowls. Broken record here, but there is a huge difference between a bump and a wreck. Huge difference in skill. And I think sometimes even when someone wrecks another driver, it can just be from over-driving – as in I am going to push my car hard – or crap I just got out of control in the corner and had to turn into the guy next to me to save my car – is different than what Carl is doing. Well at least I know not to waste my time clicking on other articles by this writer, given this thought process. Waste my time once, shame on you, twice shame on me. When is Matt’s next piece being posted?
Why doesn’t Carl just say “I just wanted to rattle his cage.” Case closed.
What the Phuck did Brad Do? Got dumped and kept his mouth shut and still gets probation. Nascar afraid he might finally do their job for them.
Good Bye Nascar, Aflac Fasstenal, Scotts and Vitamin Water.
Thank you, Tom. You put a lot of what I’ve been thinking since saturday night into words.
Recent articles from Tom Bowles:
Did You Notice? ... The Details Behind Busch Double-Duty And NASCAR Teams/Series Needing A Boost
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