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 · Tuesday June 7, 2011
FACT: The Richard Childress Penalty Was The Right Call
There’s a lot of people up in arms today over the Grandfather – Greenery fight of the century: Richard Childress versus some shrubbery who goes by the name Kyle Busch. After the owner threw a punch at Busch following Saturday’s Truck race, in public view of several NASCAR competitors and officials the sport felt compelled to act quickly. So instead of their usual Tuesday detention session, the consequences came hard and heavy Monday afternoon: $150,000 and probation for Childress, while for Busch “no further action” was deemed required since Busch was already on probation for another incident – clashing with none other than that owner’s premier driver, Kevin Harvick at Darlington.
The punishment, while severe has left both sides of the aisle with a bitter taste in their mouths. The pro-Childress faction, upset with the size of the fine also feels frustration over the slap on the wrist for Busch, whose probation they claim was clearly violated during Saturday’s Truck race. Busch, upset with the way RCR driver Joey Coulter raced him, tapped the No. 22 Truck to show his displeasure after the checkered flag, then didn’t back down from the Childress confrontation which supporters say is enough to turn this “pretend” discipline of Busch into something real. Others say Childress, standing up for a race team that appears under siege from Kyle after a yearlong string of on-track confrontations has the right to take matters into his own hands.
Of course, the anti-Childress supporters aren’t happy, either, claiming $150,000 is pocket change for a multi-million dollar car owner that they think should have been suspended. And while the punch wasn’t caught live on camera, there’s precedent for that sort of thing; Jimmy Spencer got the one-race boot after sucker punching a defenseless Kurt Busch (sense a common thread here?) after Michigan in 2003. Typically, unless you’re the 1979 Daytona 500 captured on national television brawls aren’t dealt with through a smile, a wink, and throwing the whole incident under the table.
So which side is right? I’m going to go with Door #3: NASCAR. In this case, they had to do something to draw the line considering “Have At It, Boys” is escalating into a 65-year-old owner throwing punches. Yes, Childress has enough to pay the heavyweight-boxing fee but it’s enough money to make him think twice. On the flip side, Kyle Busch may have tapped Coulter after the checkered but he did no permanent damage to the truck and did nothing to instigate the physical confrontation with Childress in the garage; so why should he be suspended or punished? And certainly, by not locking either out of the garage NASCAR is, to a degree tolerating the physical consequences of the “Have At It” policy – which when this whole drama begins to calm down people will remember is exactly the type of rules policy they want. Did you gloss over the part where I mentioned the 1979 Daytona 500? Last I checked, those involved in the Cale Yarborough – Allison brothers brouhaha came out with their bodies intact, a pretty good story and the two-minute clip that would help usher this sport into the national spotlight. While not exactly something you want every week, keep in mind this 72-hour drama has left NASCAR at least a blip on the radar screen these days, a hard thing to do in the age where “Anthony Weiner,” “deadly tornadoes,” “NBA Finals,” and “Stanley Cup” demand top billing.
FACT: Ryan Newman Is Staying At Stewart-Haas For The Long-Term
With point leader Carl Edwards and walking miracle Brian Vickers heading the list of NASCAR free agents, it’s easy to forget Ryan Newman’s name is still out there, too on the list of drivers looking for 2012. But after a Monday shakeup at Stewart-Haas Racing, any doubt the Purdue grad would take his technical and driving talent somewhere else has been wiped away.
Surely, SHR hasn’t run as well as expected; both Newman and Tony Stewart are winless, with the boss carrying just one top-5 finish to his credit through 13 starts. Undoubtedly, those slumping numbers helped Vice President of Competition Bobby Hutchens, the only one the fledgling organization has ever known get the axe after two-plus seasons at the helm. But for Newman, it’s nothing but private smiles over SHR’s promoted replacement: Matt Borland, not only a technical whiz but the man who crew chiefed Newman to an eight-win, 11-pole season back in 2003 for Penske Racing. Borland, an SHR employee from the start has always been within Newman’s comfort zone, creating chemistry that’s critically important to developing the No. 39… should the driver sign on the dotted line a few more years.
Certainly, without many open rides it was difficult for Newman to test the free market waters in the first place. Now? A commitment to supporting his guy, even if it means a short-term rocky road should be enough to keep the SHR partnership rolling. It even might keep the No. 39 in Chase contention now, a well-timed risk with Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, and Jeff Gordon among some of the drivers now breathing down the 10th-place point man’s neck. With just one top-5 finish over the last eight weeks, what did this organization have to lose?
Oh, that’s right, they could have lost a driver… someone looking to see a commitment internally for a middle-tier organization to try and improve itself. SHR has gone out and done that, so? It all adds up to a Newman-Stewart continuance come 2012.
FICTION: “Secret” Fines Can Stay Secret
It amazes me how, in this age of Facebook and Twitter and devices the size of your pinky that can record just about anything, anywhere big-time officials think they can keep secrets. But surprisingly enough, NASCAR – after getting burned by two similar incidents a year ago – has pulled the “don’t tell anyone” card again, supposedly keeping “hush hush” a $50,000 fine to Ryan Newman for using his fist to settle things with Juan Pablo Montoya inside their hauler. Occurring one month ago, at Richmond the sanctioning body never commented on or issued a penalty for the incident well-known to even the casual fan; they just hoped no one would ever confirm it actually happened.
Um, what? Sorry guys, but you’re not the CIA and we’re not talking about killing Osama Bin Laden. That type of miraculous intelligence trail, where a secret mission like that can be kept under wraps for over six weeks is an exception, not the rule to a type of public transparency that’s naturally evolving out of anyone’s control. As a public organization, every disciplinary action doled out by NASCAR officials will be subject to some serious scrutiny; the type, if even not publicly reported at first will cause various people “in the know” to gossip. And you know what happens when you gossip! There’s too many ways for those words to make it to print, from the deadly Tweet of 140 characters to the Facebook post that leads to instant notoriety. Do these guys really think the magnitude of a $50,000 fine, wrapped in the arms of a verbal threat is enough to keep that ugly present wrapped out and sitting out of public view for the rest of time?
The answer, of course, is a big fat “NO” so why is the sport so insistent on taking the unnecessary risk? It’s like hitting on 17 in Blackjack; bad enough as it is, even worse when a dealer has a 6 showing on the other side of the table where any card he picks is almost certain to make the hand go bust. And the best part of this whole thing is the vast majority of the sport’s opinionated fan base would have agreed with them on the penalty if it were just made public to begin with!
Instead, NASCAR had to jump on its high horse in the short run to make a point. We’ll see how much cache it costs them with the general public over the long-term.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Tom, the major problem with this is that you still consider NA$CAR to be a sport with rules.
One could only imagine the uproar that would be caused if the MLB changed rules half way through a season just to help the METS, because they are so bad this year but their sponsor wrote a 18,000,000 check to the Comissioner and now they want a few favors in return.
So who cares what NA$CAR does or doesn’t do, remember the words “I don’t care if the press is good or bad, as long as the writting about me it’s all that matters.”
Ghost of Curtis Turner: to you a hearty “HELL YES”…..and to Tom, you are wrong as usual defending the bird-brain farce!!
Hell, Tom, even TENNIS is more popuar than NASCRAP now. And if you want class acts, look no further than the saviors of tennis, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, a Spaniard and a Swiss who put NASCAR and its redneck fans to shame. They have more fans than all NASCRAP drivers combined, make more money, live like rock stars, and amazingly, RESPECT each other.
And lack of respect in NASCRAP does not just extend to assault and battery by team owners. The fans get what they ask for: trailer trash on display.
Example: After Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 (as I am sure you have reason to remember), he was lauded as the breath of fresh air, the next great hope for superstardom. So how have the NASCAR fans treated him? Since his illness, message boards, forums, FB and Twitter are full of rumors of the unsavory nature of his “true illness.”
Have at it, fans. You get what you deserve.
I’m with the “ghost” here, too. sorry Tom, I think you got it all wrong.
NASCAR missed it with saying that Shrubby didn’t violate his probation when he DELIBERATELY ran into the side of a competitors truck after the race. RC had apparently TOLD Busch that he needed to knock that crap off – or else, and of course, the shrub didn’t believe him. Well, now he knows. If he hadn’t driven through Harvick’s car at Darlington, he might have gotten a fist to the nose too – after Harvick hauled him out of it.
“Secret fines”. The usual crap on this from NASCAR too. Bogus, bogus, bogus.
Fox’s coverage was consistent with what it has done all season. That means I use trackpass and twitter to actually FOLLOW the race and only look at the TV to see the replay of whatever happened because they missed it live.
Ahh, finally some journalistic logic concerning the Childress affair.
On Childress V Busch: much ado about nutin. Bully was warned man-to-man, eyeball-to-eyeball. Bully ignored. Bully got whacked. Goes on a million times a day somewhere. But I can’t imagine Devout Christian Guy (aka Coach Gibbs) is keen on all the drama that has been pushed to his house lately. You know they went thru this with Tony Stewart—although at this point Tony The Tiger looks tame in comparison. Somehow they came to the standoff that even winning a lot doesn’t negate all the drama. K-ooed-Kyle doesn’t see that yet.
You know the most wins in NASCAR guy Richard Petty I bet hated to lose too. But he was and is such a class act. He is such an ambassador for this sport as is Busch the anti-Ambassador. And the second-most wins guy in this sport David Pearson was a class act too. He threw a punch once when a young upstart called him an “old man.” Pearson hated to lose too but he didn’t have a meltdown every time. Mark Martin hates to lose, he doesn’t lose his cool too often. Dale Jarret hated to lose. So did Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough. They all had their moments but even in those moments their classy behavior was light years away from K-owed Kyle. I am guessing that Mr. Busch never spanked those boys for boorish behavior. I don’t think the lack of spankings led to their uber-competitiveness. John McCain was tortured for five years in Vietnam. He hates to lose too. The behavior from the Busch Boys just isn’t cool anymore. Never was really.
Ed, you kept it under 1,000 words today! Good for you! However, you prove again that there are no class acts in NASCAR today among the participants or the fans. Richard Petty? Yeah, he has had a lot of classy things to say about Dale Sr.‘s death. Like, “can’t we just get over it already and remember I am the King?”
As for Kyle, no harm, no lesson. Seeing Kyle Sunday, he hardly looked like he had taken a whooping. Most NASCAR fans look a lot worse afer a night in the bar. Not to mention how NASCAR wives look after their favorite driver gets passed by Rowdy.
Say what you will, 150k for a little fender damage is a hit to the wallet. And Richard still has that crapload of wannabe drivers working for him.
And Gina, my dear, it is totally NASCAR’s call as to what does and does not violate a driver’s probation. They didn’t consult you? I am shocked!
You actually wrote the Nascar was right in this whole thing? I think Nascar is the reason it happened to begin with by looking the other way everytime Kyle does something. They have done it so much now, that even Kyle knows he will never get any real punishment for his actions.
Had they come down on Busch harder/sooner for previous incidents this one would have never happened. And to excuse Busch from any fault of what happened is just laughable. Its like saying Childress walked over there and pummeled Busch because he had nothing better to do. If Busch keeps his truck off of the RCR truck this never happens.
Since Nascar doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it, Childress said enough is enough. Nascar is to blame for all this.
Bill S. I see you digress. But no matter; entitled to your opinion.
I can’t imagine K-ooed Kyle doesn’t reek from this one. He was embarrassed in front of his owners sponsors and fans. I never liked Kyle a bit as a human being but up until this week I greatly greatly respected his driving ability. But so he wanted to crunch a guy’s fender for fifth? Come On! That was a temper tantrum because he ran not better than 6th. So what did he accomplish (except for receiving a lite black eye) for door slammin the kid? Nutin. He could have like many many many mature adults and got out and talked the move over with the kid and if that didn’t work get loud and if that didn’t work get fisty…But he can’t. He is a wimp stand up. But behind the wheel he is a bully. So he is paying the price for his Bi-Polar Ness.
On the Richard Petty thing you can’t even be serious can you Bill S? Richard ain’t a saint but he has proven time and time again without your stamp of approval that he is classy. He said that too about when his own grandson got killed. That’s his defense mechanism, He said, paraphrasing: “it ain’t the cars (NH) and it ain’t the track.” Well he couldn’t been more wrong. The tracks were at fault for not having soft walls; the cars at that time were bad because they had become too rigid (see Robert Yates opinion on that) and lacked a number of now-standard items in the car build. Petty sat for hours and hours signing autographs that big-time guys like K-owed Kyle resent. Petty gave a lot to this sport, but one thing I will tell ya he doesn’t need me defending him. He can stand on his own. People like you are just clueless. I have seen Petty in many private instances and he was always gracious in every situation, win lose or draw. How many times has K-ooed Kyle been gracious?
And on the 1000 words thing? I love it baby. Because folks like yo are just like Kyle. Bully in 10 words or less. Can’t debate the issue can ya? Just yappin and flappin.
Oh and Bill S., you go thru my first 1000 word dissertation (know what that is?) and pick out all those Hall of Famers I mentioned that are full of class and tell me which ones aren’t classy. Go on man do it. Give to me all the examples of their bad behavior over they years and what they said. These guys were winners who now and again got fistie of bitchy but who never never on a consistent basis acted anywhere near what K-ooed Kyle acts.
And by the way you don’t have to agree with me at all and you don’t obviously, but you are classless in the way you express it. So I am giving you a lesson young un: you don’t have to take my word for it you can see it on Coach Gibbs face now. It’s a plain as day. This bad behavior is wearing on him. And we have heard it from the other Busch boy too when he called the Captain “dude”. These are men, Gibbs and Penske, who have more class—there we go with that word again—and stature in the racing and business world that all the wins of both Busch brothers combined could bring them. Harvick said it best a couple of years ago: “Kurt will embarrass Roger Penske.” He has and his wins don’t make up for that. Neither do Kyle’s. I bet it was stale beer to Kurt when Kez won that race.
Ed – All Bill S. has in his vocabulary is “Trailer Trash”. Pathetic.
boo boo on old richard. get your towel out again. hee hee,you also kevin your are just a punk like kyle and richard is a cry baby.
Well, as one who grew up in Charlotte during the 70’s and early 80’s. Let me say this.
NASCAR is for the simple minded, it is not as it title states ‘Stock Car Racing’ It is boring, too long and too predictable.
Let’s throw a water bottle out the window and create a yellow. Maybe the driver we want to win will do so.
Sorry, give me the old guys like Allison, Baker, etc.
The ones now, they do not want to win, it is ‘It was a great points night’
From Canada, sleep well my southern friends.
Oh, I need to say 1 more thing.
As one who has gone to watch these races.
2x’s it took us 6 hours to get out of MI
Charlotte…if you do not park in the right parking lot, you end up going north for miles before you can turn around.
Pocono, they don’t care 8 hours to get out there.
Bristol, charge the max and after that who cares.
Daytona….have you ever really waited for thoses buses…they are packed and too few.
Darlington…in the middle of nowhere…and try to get back to Charlotte, depending on where you are parked. [another one that took 6 hours]
and…it just a points race!!!
There are a few more…but I will not be at those tracks again
Sounds like you should know, Susie
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