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!
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 · Tuesday May 10, 2011
Darlington left us with plenty to chew on during what’s bound to be one of the biggest news weeks of the NASCAR season. What should we make of some of these major storylines going forward? Time to play a little Fact or Fiction and prognosticate…
FACT: Drivers Need To Take Matters With Juan Pablo Montoya Into Their Own Hands
Lost amidst the hubbub of Darlington’s Kyle Busch – Kevin Harvick scuffle was a compelling undercard: Juan Pablo Montoya vs. The World. A mere 24 hours after a supposed scuffle with Ryan Newman as NASCAR met with both to make peace, Montoya “had at it” on the racetrack again, this time spinning Jimmie Johnson after the two made contact inside the tight confines of Darlington’s “Track Too Tough To Tame.” While the No. 42 kept it straight, the No. 48 hit the apron as Johnson went from potential contender to hurting pup the rest of the race.
To Montoya’s credit, he tried to at least attempt an “I’m sorry” this time, one that prompted this exchange from crew chief Chad Knaus to Johnson: “I can tell you right now he’s a way better driver than that. There’s no apology there.” However, the Lowe’s Chevrolet chose to use their heads, not the bumper, in keeping clear of the Colombian perpetrator rather than using him as “Target” practice the rest of the night.
While doing so, Mr. Five-Time epitomized the class that’s defined his racing career, as many other Montoya victims have done through the years. But at this point, I have to sit and wonder…is class the right way to handle things? Montoya has ticked off a longer list of people in the garage area than any other driver, from hotheads (Kevin Harvick, Watkins Glen 2007) to young kids (Joey Logano, Homestead 2010) to even his current teammate (Jamie McMurray was a victim while racing for Roush Fenway). For all his NASCAR life, Montoya’s style has been defined as controlled aggression on a good day, catastrophic bulldozer on a bad one, unafraid to wreck friends or enemies all in the name of gaining a position.
During the old days, NASCAR drivers took such matters into their own hands and set someone straight. Anyone else believe that if Dale Earnhardt was still around, this guy would have “had his cage rattled” multiple times in a three-month period oh, about four years ago? Like him or not, it’s not like Montoya’s winning races: the man’s only made the Chase once during four years in the sport. More often than not, he’s simply wrecking someone with little to no reward, tearing up racecars for no other reason than impatience. But like the bully that no one stands up to, other than Newman (and Logano at Homestead) people seem unwilling to provide Montoya with the consequences necessary to stop. And considering NASCAR’s current policy, well; if a guy gets flipped and there’s nothing more than probation, I wouldn’t expect suspensions and fines to set Montoya straight.
So what do you do? I’m not saying spinning someone into the wall is always the answer. I’m just saying nothing else has worked; so perhaps a driver actually needs to pull an eye for an eye more frequently? If I ended up paying the price after I wrecked someone, after awhile I might not wreck people. Perhaps Montoya needs to be treated in similar fashion.
FICTION: Kyle Busch Couldn’t Avoid A Conflict With Kevin Harvick
Let’s not spew our Kevin Harvick – Kyle Busch opinions quite yet; they’re already all over the Internet before penalties have even been announced. But I have to laugh at an explanation Kyle gave after the race, defending his decision to run from Harvick by turning an unmanned No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet into the pit wall. Here’s a transcript:
“I was just going to sit there, not worry about it and let [Harvick] cool his head for a second,” Busch explained. “Let him figure out that we just need to go back to the garage area. Instead of him doing that, he wanted to get out of his car and wanted to fight. When I saw him getting out of his car, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good situation. My choices were limited: I was either going to get punched in the face and then wait for Harvick to get back in his car, or just drive through his car and push it out of the way so I could get out of there and try not to get hit or anything like that. I made a judgment call there and it wasn’t one of the best choices that I had, but I pushed his car out of the way on pit road and unfortunately there [were] men walking down pit road. I hate it that somebody could have gotten hurt, but I was just trying to get away from it and get back to my hauler and go on with my own business.”
OK, so with that I went back and watched a YouTube clip to see what type of danger, exactly Kyle was in. Here’s what I found: at least 36 seconds of time that elapsed from when both cars stopped on pit road to Harvick getting out. And that’s being generous; in all likelihood, Busch had a full minute to mull over options before his rival came storming towards the window net.
Now, pure common sense tells you the second Harvick’s getting out of the car, he’s making a beeline for the No. 18 Toyota. So it’s not like Busch was “confused” over what would happen, and consider the time that elapsed in between; honestly, in 36 seconds my 85-year-old grandma could get unhooked and exit the car under pressure. If Busch’s transmission was supposedly shot, limiting his options, why didn’t he just shut off the engine, climb out and walk to the hauler, fully avoiding confrontation? In that situation, the worst thing you can do is leave yourself vulnerable; after all, a driver confined to his cockpit is virtually defenseless against a heavyweight punch. Didn’t Kyle learn from older brother Kurt and Jimmy Spencer?
FACT: 2011 For Brian Vickers Should Be A Free Pass
This week marks the one-year anniversary of Vickers’ Sprint Cup leave-of-absence, life-changing blood clots that altered this 27-year-old’s outlook on life. For a time, it looked like he might never return to racing, but heart surgery, blood thinners, and a determined recovery put him back in the car this February at Daytona. Refreshed and ready for a second chance at racing, Vickers has put his heart and soul into making it work.
But while he may be 100 percent focused, inside the car he’s yet to produce top-tier results. At 29th in points, Vickers has yet to lead a lap, has finished on the lead lap only twice and wrecked in half his 10 starts this season. While luck has been a factor, some of the incidents have been self-inflicted – Darlington’s Saturday night sardine-can wreck was the latest example, also caused by Vickers’ car fading to midpack after running as high as fifth early on. Despite three top-10 finishes, the Red Bull No. 83 has yet to flash consistent speed, especially on the intermediates he terrorized in ’09 during a surprise summer run into the Chase.
Surely, the struggles have put the pending free agent’s future in question. But if you’re Red Bull, and if you’re Vickers, how could you not give this partnership another year? Consider the “lame duck” status of Vickers’ teammate, Kasey Kahne, whose arrival and near-immediate departure makes it difficult to build a foundation for long-term success. And while Vickers appears healthier than ever, it takes time to shake off the rust; how would you be after leaving your job for six months due to a life-threatening illness? Athletes with an ACL tear often say the first season back, they’re simply trying to get into a rhythm and don’t feel 100 percent until the 18-24 month point. Why wouldn’t it be the same for Vickers here?
Red Bull has a history of impatience (see Speed, Scott and Allmendinger, A.J.) and with Cole Whitt waiting in the wings, you never know what moves they’ll make. But after all both sides have done together, in this current NASCAR environment it would be silly for either to take a risk and leave before they know what the long-term future really holds for them.
FICTION: Regan Smith Will Make The Chase
Look, as was written yesterday Regan Smith’s victory is a great story for him, for NASCAR, and the underdog team he’s been driving for, Furniture Row Racing. Expect this victory to lift them up a notch, leaving the No. 78 car competing for top-10 finishes each week instead of top-20s.
But the Chase? Let’s not get carried away. Even with the victory, Smith stands 27th in points, 29 behind the 20th-place cutoff of Martin Truex, Jr. to be considered for a wild card slot. And do you really think 20th place with one win is going to get it done? Jeff Gordon, currently a wild card Chaser has a victory in hand and is likely to get one, possibly two more. Drivers like Denny Hamlin (Pocono), Mark Martin (Dover), Greg Biffle (Michigan) and Kasey Kahne (everywhere lately) are outside the top 10 in points and haven’t won yet, putting them in position to snag the wild card with victories in the coming weeks. More than likely, it will take two victories to make a “wild card” happen, and expect those winners to be no lower than 14th or 15th place.
Again, congrats to the No. 78 team; they’ve made great progress in the last three months. But a charge to 15th in the standings? When Smith didn’t even have so much as a top-5 finish until Saturday night? That’s a bit too much of a stretch.
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I agree about Kyle’s ‘danger level’. He’s sitting in a car surrounded by his safety seat, wearing a helmet. If he keeps his faceplate down and turns his head, Harvick bruises some knuckles and Kyle’s home free when the officials arrive. Maybe, if he hadn’t pulled up against the bumper of the 29 he wouldn’t have had to push it out of the way. Or, if he hadn’t wrecked a car that only bumped him loose and didn’t wreck him it’s a non issue to begin with.
Guess that it all depends on your point of view and who your favorite driver is. This year, Ryan Newman has been hitting everybody on the track. At Talladega, Frontstretch was talking about what a great save Ryan made — well he made that save because he used Montoya’s car to stop his spin, thus ruining Montoya’s race. In previous years, Tony Stewart has hit everybody on the track — Jimmy Johnson has done the same. They all do it. It is ludicrous to say that Montoya does it more than anyone else and that ‘someone needs to take care of him’. Get real, Frontstretch.
You call this writing? All you guys have to do be a ‘NASCAR writer’ is praise Jr. or slam the Busch brothers. Not too hard of job other than trying to figure out how to blend the same characters into a new story so it doesn’t seem repetitive.
I disagree with ‘why didn’t he just shut off the engine, climb out and walk to the hauler, fully avoiding confrontation’. Are you stupid? There was no avoiding the confrontation with Harvick sitting in his car waiting to see what was going to happen. Then there was Harvick’s crew members all coming down pit road to just help push the car back, no doubt.
If NASCAR penalizes the drivers, they need to start penalizing the crew members as well.
RCR continues the tradition of hiring drivers that can dish it out but can’t take it. If Harvick is such a bad-a$$, let’s see him go after Newman or Stewart, or someone else that will put his little excrement-eating grin into the asphalt.
Here is a novel idea. Busch should have manned up, got out of his car and, if it came to it, fought the battle with his fists. I am so sick of all this “boys have at it” and NASCAR is “going back to its roots”. Back in the day these altercations were settled with fists, threat with tire irons, and man to man confrontation. Al l of this running cars and tearing up equipment is a joke. Busch tried to run like a girl and he is being called “The new intimidator?” What a joke. what a wuss.
@RickP- Well said my friend. I don’t think getting out of his car would have been in Kyle’s best interest. Also, if Harvick had driven back to his hauler, none of this would have happened. So, I say it is as much His fault as it is Kyle’s that the two of them had to go to the NASCAR trailer.
Kyle could have easily avoided a conflict with Harvick… if you don’t hook a guy’s car in traffic, he won’t want to punch you in the face.
Please never compare the no class busch to Earnhardt…& Run away would not have been his solution.. & hooking the guy on purpose after the yellow …hmm Yellow kinda fits this…Both dumber 1 way dumber
Where were the nascar officals? If Harvick sit there for 35 seconds before climbing out of his car, where were the nascar officals, they knew something was going to happen and choose to allow it and then dish out penalties.
So pit-road during any normal caution is LESS dangerous than what KB did? KB haters will think of anything to get him off the track. I can’t stand these types of stories. KH threw a punch. That is just completely unacceptable! Any other sport and he’d be suspended. Not Nascar though, the beer drinkin’ fans gotta see some action or else!
Jimmy Spenser nows pushes the company line so hard, it is painful to watch. Can you really believe that if Kyle had pulled the little hook on Jimmy S., Jimmy would be ok with that? NASCAR wants them to have at it – well don’t be surprised when they actually do. NASCAR will be encouraging more of these scuffles, it makes for good promo footage. Watch how many times they reshow Kyle-Kevin in the coming weeks.
JJ pushed up right in front of Montoya then hit the brakes early going into the turn. Montoya locked his brakes trying to stop and you can clearly see that the drivers behind him stacked up. Your calling that purposefully wrecking JJ?
1. Right on, RickP!
2. Montoya is a bull in a china shop—hit everyone else’s stuff, break it, and make excuses.
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