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 August 25, 2010
Did You Notice? … NASCAR possibly backtracking on their efforts to shut out Cup drivers from competing full-time for the Nationwide Series championship? If it happens, I’m reminded of the old Carole King … “It’s too late, baby, now it’s too late, though we really did try to make it…”
Leaving the Cup drivers to compete for the title doesn’t result from Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, or Kyle Busch successfully staking a claim that their full-time presence benefits the series. It’s simply a matter of NASCAR taking a step back, then getting scared over the short-term pain of finding drivers to market and replace them.
Let’s review the current Nationwide point standings, just in case you’ve forgotten (in order):
Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Justin Allgaier, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Steve Wallace, Trevor Bayne, Jason Leffler, Brendan Gaughan
Note that five of the top 6 on the list are Cup drivers, and Allgaier is the only non-Cup driver who has a win (Bristol back in March). Even worse, he sits behind a man in Busch who hasn’t even competed in four races on the schedule – yet lies 434 points out of the championship in third place.
For me, that puts in perspective NASCAR’s reluctance to make a change. If you push Cup drivers out of the series, you’re left with a handful of competitive teams, none of which have one-tenth the marketing value that the Cup drivers do. It’s going to take an investment from the top down – NASCAR marketing down to Nationwide itself and the sponsors on the sides of those cars – to make up-and-comers like Bayne household names again.
Of course, to do that takes both patience – who knows how long it’ll take for the series to bounce back – and money, something that’s not exactly growing on trees around the stock car world these days. The sanctioning body’s move to cut purses 20 percent for the Nationwide Series fits in here, the latest in a long list of scheduling moves and changes to keep their least profitable tracks like Chicagoland and Fontana from failing completely. As contraction envelops the sport, with no investment in the teams themselves (remember, they’re private contractors) NASCAR is turning towards the one place where it feels the bread needs to stay buttered; itself.
So with no extra money invested in the series’ future, it stands to reason the sport needs teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Fenway to keep their feet firmly in the fire. And here’s what those guys are telling NASCAR: Our sponsors want Cup guys in the seat. There’s honestly no incentive for either one to have young drivers coming up through the ranks – all their Cup guys are younger and tied to long-term deals – and after a miserable 2010 in which rookies treated his stable like a demolition derby, Roush is understandably unwilling to let the youngsters tear up equipment all over again.
You’d think the fan complaints would play a role eventually … but are the complaints drowning out what they really feel? Keep in mind the Nationwide Series has held serve this season on TV, with ratings up six percent largely due to Danica Patrick’s Daytona debut this February. That makes it easier to stomach the criticism, ignore the problem and just stick with the status quo.
Of course, those decisions don’t bode well for the long list of poor teams barely surviving in a world increasingly set up for them to fail. But for all the complaining they’re doing, everyone’s still showing up and filling the field of 43 cars come race weekend. Honestly, it may take half of them starting and parking or a number of short fields for the sport to pay attention to them.
Everyone who’s read for years knows I couldn’t disagree more with what’s about to happen. But the logic makes sense.
Did You Notice? … Since I’m on vacation, a long list of quick hits are in order for this week:
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Just a personal wish Randy. Extend the season to 40-42 weeks. Only visit each track once (with the exception of the All-Star race and the Shootout). Every race must be 500 miles or longer. Not laps, miles. That’s right, I want to see 993 laps at Martinsville. That would be awesome.
And yes, I know I am in the minority in today’s USA today, ADD society.
Thank you for stating what all of us with a brain have been stating all week. Kyle Busch is not a legend or greatness (ESPN’s word) just because he swept all 3 races. Its not even that great of an achievement considering his competion in the first 2 races.
Last I checked, he has been non existent in Cup for several months now. All of a sudden he’s a threat and a legend because he won 2 minor league races (punting 2 drivers in the process for those wins) and a Cup series win? Please. If Kyle was a legend, he wouldn’t fold like a blanket like he has every year he has been in the Chase to date.
Funny how the media is down on Jimmie right now but once he starts kicking it into gear when the Chase begins the superlatives will flow like water. Talk about “what have you done for me lately”.
Tom said: “Last but not least … why is this off week randomly in August and not separating the Chase from the regular season finale? Anyone with a good answer, I’m all ears.”
Pretty simple really. The Labor Day weekend screws things up. With Atlanta on that weekend, and Richmond the weekend after, the only way to put an off week before the Chase starts is to have Labor Day be the last race of the regular season. You do the math from there as to which race gets moved, Atlanta or Richmond. And you cant shove the races back a week because Homestead is the last weekend before Thanksgiving in November.
You revealed yourself to be a professional nascar writer . WOW . What exactly is a professional nascar writer ?
their first question to me, unprovoked, was, “Can you tell us why NASCAR sucks now?”
I am now confused. I though NASCAR said the only reason people are complaining about the current state of NASCAR is because writers are warping their fragile minds.
How did Thomas warp these feeble minded fools BEFORE he met them? I don’t get it.
And yes this is the land of ADD. This is why NFL does great. People only have to pay attention for 17 weeks. After that they only have to pay attention to 2 or 4 games until the Superbowl. Compare that to NASCAR which demands 36+ weeks of paying attention to 43 cars.
The most ridiculous thing that NASCAR is doing is the 20% reduction in prize money for the NNWS! It’s almost impossible for the small teams to race as it is, thus the ever growing number of start and parkers. The S & P ranks will have to grow as a result of this reduction. Then the idea that the “super-teams” should not have Cup drivers in the seats only adds more financial problems to the mix. (YES, we have noticed the number of NNWS races that Roush ran without sponsorship when the Cup drivers weren’t in the seats?)
Tom, I read Ray’s article, my thoughts: “I am close enough to Rick Hendrick to know that Rick is trying everything he can do. He’s putting a lot of effort in getting that turned around.” Back when they had the cc switch I remember Ray saying that he was worried about Rick’s health because it was so stressful. I am sure that Ray is worried about Rick’s health, with him spending so much time, money & effort on the 88 team. Think of how awful Jr. would feel if the worry of fixing the 88 team did Rick in. For the sake of Rick’s health I am sure that Ray is just trying to promote the idea of just letting Jr. go. NOW! Rick tried his best, but we have to think of his health first and Jr. has to go. NOW! Keep up the good work Ray! Rick is really lucky to have a wonderful friend like Ray who knows that stress is one of today’s biggest killers & Jr. has to go, NOW. The only decent, gentlemanly thing that Jr. can do, & Jr. is a gentleman, is get out of HMS as fast as possible, the sooner the better before poor Rick keels over, we all know his health is fragile from his bone marrow days. Jr. has to put his own desires aside and put his thoughts of Rick first, make the sacrifice, fall on his sword so to speak, and get out of HMS…NOW!
So Ray Evernham wants commitment. Is that like Erin Crocker?
Its always been the tradition in auto racing that anyone who can present a legal car for inspection and drive it fast enough in qualifying to make the field has the right to race. For people who whine so much about Nascar abandoning tradition you’re proposing/applauding a much larger violation of tradition than Nascar has ever contemplated in trying to DQ drivers for being too good.
I believe if Rick would let Jr. go(with no strings), Jr. would run as fast as he could to a team that truely wanted him for more then the cash he brings them.
Jr needs an owner who will crack the whip and put him in line, not one who is just worried about cashing the checks Jr. brings him.
wcfan, I believe that Evernham is a HMS PR mouthpiece, i.e. Mark Martin a month ago. If Jr. is so bad with communicating, why did he do so well with Pops Friday night, who he has not been with for years? Maybe what Ray is trying to say here is that he believes it is time for Rick to let Jr. & this is the way he has chosen to tell Rick that this is how he truly feels. This is so obviously a marriage that has failed. Good for Ray for pointing that out & bringing it out in the open! :) I have been waiting for someone to finally get up the backbone and say what is so obvious. What else could Ray possibly be trying to get across other than that Rick needs to let him go…? Kyle said that something broke on the 25/88 R&D car…again. HMS is behind the other teams going into the chase and they need a lot of R&D work for JJ to win his 5th, the R&D work is Jr’s contribution. If Kyle had still been at HMS he would not have won the trifecta.
“So Ray Evernham wants commitment. Is that like Erin Crocker?” -DoninAjax
Quote of the year, right there. Easy.
To Mike Neff, I say, “Thank You!!!!!” Ok, I know your response to Randy was out of sarcasm, but I do not think there is anything wrong with the length of the season, nor is there anything wrong with the lengths of races. It’s the product! Change the cars so they have stock bodies (at least), and drop down to V6’s, like people actually have. As for Randy’s talking about going head to head with football, I really can’t talk about that because I hate football! I wouldn’t watch a football game if it was two teams made up of Playboy Bunnies, and they were playing with nothing on! The game is dumb, in my opinion! And for the record, being Canadian, I should love hockey, but guess what? I hate that sport too!
Anyway, if you want a shorter season to appease the short attention-span crowd (Of which Randy seems to be a member of), then do this: Start the season in March and end it in September. Go ahead! But, have races like Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond run during the week, say on a Wednesday night, between the Superspeedway races. Back in the day, they used to do that! They would run a short track race during the week between the big races. As for your comment, Mike, about racing at each track only once, I could go for that, so long as other tracks were added to the schedule to compensate for the loss of current races. And if the drivers and crews find the season too long, take a week off! Nobody is holding a gun to their heads to run every week! Back when there was 50 races, Richard Petty, David Pearson, and Bobby Issac only ran 45 or so! But they ran as many as the wanted to win the Championship. No! As I said, there is nothing wrong with the lengths of the season, or the races! Fix the product, and even the short attention-span crowd will be excited – all year!
As you could probably tell I am not a fan of HMS or Rick. But you are right this is a marriage that did not work and would be best for both parties if they went their own way now rather then later.
I agree with you that Kyle would not have won the Trifeca with HMS, I also believe he would have ALOT less wins over there.
Marybeth, I was kinda following you untill you used KY Bush as reference (R&D car). I am sure ‘Sick Rick’ would be healthy if the 88 wons some races every year (at least healthier in the wallet) so why would they use tiny e for R&D and not as a full fledged racer? Martin would be better for R&D given he knows what the car is actually doing and what needs to be done to fix it. It will be funny to see KK come to HMS and continue to underachieve like he has been.
Lie’n Brian is just letting the other teams win this season so they can secure sponsorship deals for the next few years.
They need to get rid of some of the sleeper tracks (1.5 – 2 milers) and get more short tracks. Yes, the two groove stuff at Bristol was good but the old days there was more bump&run (not bump&dump) action. And as for adding another road course, if I wanted that I would watch F1. There is less passing and drama on one of those things than california or any other 1.5-2 miler.
And as for awarding like 50 points for a win, you think you see leaders gett’n crashed now! It will be like a last man standing thing and there will be 26 drivers with only 50 points each come chase time.
I let my race tickets go because I was tired of paying big money a year in advance (with no interest) and then getting ripped off at the hotels and local eateries. I work on the road for a living and know what the normal rates are and they all should be wearing bandanas over their faces when they bring the bill. nascar, the tracks and the locals brought most of this on themselves. Did you see where it was just anounced that Pocono said 100,000 in attendance but research showed a conservative 48,000 was there? Don’t believe the numbers let out by nascar or the tracks!
And while I’m on my soap box, where are all the outraged fans about KY Bush totally dumping Krashlowski when KY is the one that pulled up and got loose (slowed slightly) in front of Krash who was in the gas and only bumped him? Seems like KY’s pay back was much more that the original offense, not that I give a hoot for either.
And I will be watching the NFL before nascar.
Steve, It was only Jr.‘s engine that blew in Pocono. It was the back of only Jr.‘s car that broke at Bristol.
Marybeth, not trying to start anything but he could have missed a shift or something at Pocono or it doesn’t like running half throttle! Biffle blew up one week does that make him an R&D driver? Johnson broke a rear axel last season I believe, was he the R&D driver that week? And I remember 3 or the 4 HMS cars broke engines one race so does that mean they had 3 R&D that week? No, stuff happens and it happens to everyone at some point. They may try stuff in practice or when testing at ‘non’-nascar tracks but they all show up to win everyweek.
Steve, What I meant was that KB said that something broke on Jr.‘s car…which is the 25/88 R&D car for HMS, especially now that HMS is going into the Chase and they are behind. Have you ever heard of the 25/88 car being competitive for the championship?
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