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 November 23, 2011
*Did You Notice?*… Regardless of your opinion on how to fix it, NASCAR’s audience and its business model are heading in two very divergent directions. Clearly, on the heels of Stewart-Edwards it seems the six-year decline NASCAR’s been involved in, through both ratings and attendance may be bottoming out. The ratings for the season finale alone, released Tuesday provided the highest viewership ever seen for NASCAR since it moved back to ESPN in 2007. With a television audience of 6,799,000, it was the perfect capper on a Chase that posted year-to-year increases in seven of ten televised events. Even if you include the rain-postponed Chicagoland event, posting half of its typical audience the ABC/ESPN numbers increased sharply from 2010 lows.
On the attendance front, the trends were mixed with tracks like Bristol posted precipitous declines while others, like Homestead, Fontana, and Phoenix saw their numbers rise. That’s far from perfect, but better than the bottomless fallout we’ve seen since the Great Recession that’s taken place these past few seasons. Certainly, NASCAR enters next season in far healthier shape than its counterpart, open-wheel, while remaining in the mix as one of the top 5 most popular sports in the country.
With that in mind, explain these two differing sets of news headlines to me. In IndyCar, we’ve seen a handful of teams and drivers – Ed Carpenter, Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi ownership), for example – announce long-term sponsor and owner agreements for 2012. By and large, despite a tragedy (Dan Wheldon) and a body-blow departure (Danica Patrick) there’s still money and companies available to bring new teams into the fold. On the flip side, let’s check out the NASCAR new teams entering Sprint Cup next year. Well, we’ve got Clint Bowyer, running the new 5-Hour Energy Car for Michael Waltrip Racing in a full-time effort. And then there’s… there’s…
Yeah, that about describes it. Instead, the headlines this week read Roush Fenway Racing laying off 33% of its workforce, downsizing by a team while Red Bull Racing prepares to shutter its operation and lay off another 150. Add in RCR’s downsizing, from four cars to three and you’ve got a net loss of three “locked in,” top-35 programs entering next year’s Daytona 500.
How bad has it gotten? For another client, part of my job is to rank the top 30 drivers competing full-time in 2012. Four years ago, it took several agonizing hours to organize and then cut down the list to just 30 viable candidates. This year? It took me the better part of 20 minutes. In fact, the hardest part was finding numbers 29 and 30; by my count, there’s just 28 confirmed, full-time drivers running the full schedule without start-and-parking although 24-25 of those are capable of making the Chase.
With those numbers, NASCAR’s top priority entering 2012 is twofold. First, they need to entice new ownership to take the leap similar to the way IndyCar is trying to pull people into their series. Then, they need to work on sponsorship, either convincing new companies to come on board with teams, not themselves while trying to find some way for these private contractors to further cut or limit their spending.
Otherwise, the risk remains that despite a possible upswing, NASCAR as we know it is still in perilous danger. As the NBA has shown us, just because you have a successful product people watch doesn’t guarantee its ability to remain functional each week. The lockout happened because a bunch of NBA owners claimed they were losing money. In NASCAR, it’s more simple than that; if owners lose too much cash, they close their teams and simply go away, removing one more car from the grid. So if a lot of people keep losing, regardless of ratings the sport’s business model will eventually cause the entire industry to fall flat on its face. We’re still waiting for that to self-adjust… will it happen?
*Did You Notice?*… The booing of Michelle Obama by fans on Sunday? Clearly, politics has polarized our public more than at any time in our nation’s history. But isn’t a sports event, glorified entertainment at its finest a place where we leave those opinions at the door? No one goes to see a race to showcase how they feel about the President. They go there, like they did on Sunday to see good, hard-nosed competition and find an enjoyable escape from their lives for three hours.
Here’s the way I view this issue, Republican or Democrat aside. All the time, NASCAR honors military veterans through all types of special ceremonies, charitable initiatives, and sponsorships. Heck, two years ago on Memorial Day they stopped the race for a moment of silence to honor those who have served our country. No one ever boos an Iraq war hero, or a General visiting pit road about to be deployed to Afghanistan, or the wife of a special ops member who gave his life to the cause of protecting our country.
Well, like it or not folks Michelle Obama is part of that military family, too. She’s the wife of the President, who also, last I checked the history books serves as our Commander In Chief. You may disagree with her politics, but why does that matter in the middle of a race weekend where her presence is merely to help honor those who serve? There’s a chance to express your displeasure with the current regime: at town hall meetings, through formal protests, and at the ballot box this coming November. But in the middle of NASCAR pre-race ceremonies? With thousands of impressionable children present, looking how to act at these types of public functions? Wrong place, wrong time. It’s as simple as that.
Did You Notice? … Some quick hits:
- I don’t understand why J.D. Gibbs won’t let Greg Zipadelli out of his contract. (It runs through 2012, but sources tell me Zippy wants out in order to jump over to Stewart-Haas Racing next year). For a dozen years, Zippy has done everything this organization has asked, including taking care of a cantankerous Stewart in the early years while delivering two titles, nearly three dozen wins and propped up Joey Logano for three years.
- This Silly Season, it was clearly the drivers, not the crew chiefs who moved around. Entering 2012, only about 15 crew chiefs will begin the year in the same position and team they were in as of February, 2011 – that’s roughly half of what that number looks like on the driver side.
- Matt McLaughlin mentioned the Kurt Busch rager, so I won’t double up on it here. But here’s another question: who’s gutsy enough to step up and be Busch’s crew chief next year, after the way he’s handled both Pat Tryson and Steve Addington? Who in their right mind would volunteer to take that type of weekly abuse? I think it’s going to be a harder position to fill than even insiders at Penske Racing might think.
- Chris Heroy is the new crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya. Chris who? The same engineer who was responsible for Mark Martin’s resurgence during his 2009, runner-up season and has also helped Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s recovery at Hendrick Motorsports. Assuming he can handle the promotion, look back on this hire in six months; it could be the most significant shuffle we’ll see in the offseason, considering how badly Earnhardt Ganassi needs to retool their cars in order to get back on track.
- And before we take off, a quick note as this column is my last before Frontstretch enters “winter vacation.” (I’ll still pop up every now and then, here and on “Twitter)”:http://www.twitter.com/NASCARBowles/ I want to just take a moment and thank everyone who’s followed my ups and downs this season in what’s certainly been a rather unusual year. Your continued support on here, Athlon, and my work with SIRIUS has meant more than even the best wordsmith can relate.
Connect with Tom!
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
First off: Many NBA owners ARE losing money. It was different in the NFL. The NBA has guaranteed contracts which kill them. Regardless, I hope the whole season gets cancelled. I could care less for the NBA.
Second: The “first lady” was there for votes. And we remember the remarks made by her and Barack Hussein Obama regarding nascar fans and believers in the second amendment. They specifically said that they wanted to FUNDAMENTALLY change the country. Ponder that for a while.
While I’m VERY happy someone other than JJ won….it’s still another Hendrick car. The man and organization with all the money and power. It’s where everybody wishes to be. Just let him field 42 cars and be done with it. The Hendrick Cup.
Oh, look…..Roush Fenway Racing laying off 33% of its workforce, downsizing by a team while Red Bull Racing prepares to shutter its operation and lay off another 150.
And there’s another problem….NO kids that I know of have ANY interest in Nascar. Last week I tried explaining the chase and points system to my cousins teenager and got the “deer in the headlights” look. He shrugged and went back to his playstation.
The fans need to “occupy nascar”.
If you believe the First Lady was there to Honor the Military, I feel sorry for you and better understand why this Country is in the shape it is.
Most Military Members both past and present are PROUD AND RESPECTFUL of this Country. While both Mr and Mrs Obama have shown thier LACK OF RESPECT AND PRIDE for this Country. So why should those of us who are PROUD of this Country show RESPECT for those that are not.
I DO NOT REMEMBER nascar ever STOPPING a race to Honor the Military. Humpy and Charolette Motor Speedway have always done a GREAT JOB of Honoring the Troops on Memorial Day, but stoppoing a race. I do not believe so.
As a DAV I threw up a little in my mouth when I read “…is part of that military family, too.”
No, not at all. The CinC is not part of the Military. His family is in no way a military family.
Every CinC is a civilian. Always have been. They make none of the sacrifices our military personnel and families make.
Why is IndyCar getting new sponsorship while NA$CAR isn’t?
It costs around $5-6 million to sponsor an IndyCar team for an entire year. In NA$CAR it costs $25-30 million to sponsor a team for a year.
NA$CAR is pricing itself out of the market. It now takes two, three, four or more sponsors to cover the cost for a season for one team. With the big guys taking up all the sponsorship dollars to cover their teams, there are fewer sponsors to pay for the little guys.
If this trend in NA$CAR continues, they’re going to price themselves rith out of business.
Thomas,Michelle didn’t booed, no the Bush family got booed. Kyle and Kurt Bush, now they get booed.
Yvon, wcfan, & Dennis
It was still a rude thing to do, and dare I say, cowardly. It is ever so easy to boo and catcall inside a crowd. Doing so changes nothing you do not like, but nevertheless shows you for what you are: a yahoo.
I say boo to you AncientRacer-You’ve complained and belittled people this past year in many posts.
Respect is EARNED
And this family has shown nothing but DISREPECT for the people of this Country.
The First Lady was FAR from the First Non Racer/Celb Booed at the Race Track.
All this was was a Photo Op and they got Exactly what they wanted. A mainly WHITE, SOUTHERN CROWD showing thier displeasure.
I would have booed her even if i was close enough to touch her. Cowardly my @ss.
Regarding the booing of the FLOTUS, you say:
“Wrong place, wrong time. It’s as simple as that.”
Respectfully disagree, sir. (respectfully) Not so simple, I surmise.
The Obamas are pro-abort, pro-sodomy (same-se* “marriage”), pro-euthanasia, pro-fetal and embryonic stem-cell research, etc. etc. (moral issues, not political issues)
NASCAR fans, last I checked, are mostly God fearing folk – and mostly do not support the above issues of morality.
Whereas, if it had been GWB per chance, he would have been received rather warmly because of his stance against said moral issues (now, his wife waffles on some of those, granted).
In my opinion, (just an opinion…granted), this is why those folks booed the FLOTUS.
I would have too.
Spot on! Kevin
Give me a break Kevin! I’m a small government conservative and Ive been a Nascar fan for 40 years. My feelings about abortion, gay marriage and religion are none of your god damned business. The only thing that should matter here is racing! The country is in an economic tailspin and you want me to worry about moral issues?? Bullshit. We do need new leadership but leadership that focuses on getting our economy up and running again, so spare me that God-fearing bullshit. You worship your way; I’ll worship mine; privately. As to the booing, I would never vote for Obama in a thousand years but its really classy to boo two women…really really classy. So much for southern hospitality!
Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend
Thank you Chairman Mao and a happy thanksgiving to you and yours!!! Maybe Chairman Brian will lead a new Nascar cultural revolution! LOL
I’m surprised Addington didn’t ask you for a critique of Stewart before he OPTED to go to Stewart Haas. Let’s see, gee…. Stewart doesn’t like the media, probably
Can’t add much to what Don Mei has said, but as one of those liberal pinko’s that Kevin clearly has issues with I might point out that I have attended many, many races and have sat quietly through the years as NASCAR has paraded Republican after Republican in front of me. Sitting quietly out of respect as well as indifference to whoever the politician of the week is. I’m there to watch a race. Booing Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden was classless. But then again, who should be surprised to find there are some classless folks at a NASCAR race?
wcfan — The Coca Cola 600 in 2009 was rained out that Sunday and we lost out generator in our motor home. We debated not holding over for the Monday race (Memorial Day) but did and have always been glad we did. NASCAR honored President Obama’s request for a moment of silence by at 3:00 pm red flagging the race and having all the cars kill their engines. It was THE most moving Memorial Day memory of my life. Sorry you missed it…
Dennis: Forgot about Ike?
Technically, he was out of the military when he was President, but the man was a freakin’ five-star general in WWII. Don’t say that he wasn’t a military man.
It was before NASCAR, but Presidents Teddy Roosevelt & U. S. Grant were military guys, too. Oh, yes, let’s not forget George Washington. History says that he was a military guy, too—you know, the leader of our revolutionary troops and called the “father of our country.”
I probably missed some, but these brave military men who became Commanders-in-Chief come to mind immediately.
Tommy “Booing Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden was classless” Have you been to one of there apologue tours , you must have missed that, have fun in your cloud this is the USA we can BOO if we want.
Love the comments about the booing. why boo any one? i have but they were race car drivers. not someone who was just there to be seen. Remember when President ragan came to the 500 and Petty won that race . that was a great day for all of us that live in the usa. But look at our country then and look at it now. What a mess we are in.[BIGGEST MESS I EVER CAN REMEMBER.}
Tom, would you allow me to address Don Mei, please? (delete if you like, I totally understand)
Don, you say:
Give me a break Kevin! I’m a small government conservative and Ive been a Nascar fan for 40 years. (great! me too)
My feelings about abortion, gay marriage and religion are none of your god damned business. (Did not realize I was trying to make it my business, Don, I was making a hypothetical about Some NASCAR fans to Tom, not you personally)
The only thing that should matter here is racing! (Um, the FLOTUS and SLOTUS are political figures, yes?)
The country is in an economic tailspin and you want me to worry about moral issues?? (you can worry about whatever you like, I suppose – but, maybe the acceptance of such moral issues is the reason our country is in an “economic tailspin,” yes?)
Bullshit. (I call it El Toro Caca – sounds less vulgar)
We do need new leadership but leadership that focuses on getting our economy up and running again, (an opinion I share to a degree but, maybe we should clean up our act some so the Good Lord will continue to bless America, per chance?)
so spare me that God-fearing bullshit. (wasn’t directly addressing you, Don, but may I ask you to spare me your non God fearing El Toro Caca?)
You worship your way; I’ll worship mine; privately. (hmm, so I am not supposed to follow the Divine Commission and “Make disciples out of all nations” [Mt. 28:19-20] then? Oh, right, you said “privately” – since you posted it on the world wide web your way is not so “private,” is it?)
As to the booing, I would never vote for Obama in a thousand years but its really classy to boo two women…really really classy. So much for southern hospitality!
(um, maybe those moral issues they so worship aren’t considered too “classy” by some of those who booed, yes?)
Peace to you!
Let’s face it folks Michelle Obama and the shoe leather taste testing vice president had no business being there. If it were not for an election year coming up neither one of them would have been within a thousand miles of the racetrack. One reader had it right only there to garner votes for her lame blame game husband. The only reason she is part of ther military is because of the empty headed people who helped her husband get elected.
No Spin – Never insinuated that you are prohibited from acting in a classless manner…only that it is classless.
“You may disagree with her politics, but why does that matter in the middle of a race weekend where her presence is merely to help honor those who serve?”
Ms. Soetero was there to garner votes for her husband Barry, and nothing else. She was using the Sniper and Children as human sheilds to the inevitable boos.
Boo! She was out of her element, she had no real business being there.Who invited them anyhow? No one who comes to a race wants to be reminded of our horrible political situation on race day.She don’t give a damn about our troops and we all know it.
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