NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Thomas Bowles · Wednesday March 28, 2012
Did You Notice?… The emphasis placed on winning with the All-Star Race… sort of? On Tuesday, Sprint announced the 2012 version now consists of four segments, 20 laps apiece, followed by the traditional 10-lap Shootout that will give a $1 million payout to the race winner. Here’s the catch: the winners of each segment, one through four, will automatically be shuttled to the front of the field before the final pit stop.
That’s right. Even though the teams won a segment, they won’t be guaranteed track position – that’s based on how each car performs on pit road. So how big an advantage will that even be? Admittedly, not much if you guess four tires when everyone else takes two. Sounds like nothing more than a giant publicity stunt to me.
Meanwhile, the big question facing NASCAR’s All-Star Race went unanswered Tuesday: at a track where the aero push is dominant, combined with a hard tire compound, what are they doing to ensure the final ten laps isn’t a battle of track position? The reason there’s so much emphasis on pit stops now is simple; if you don’t get up front within the first few laps of the restart, or at least second place, your chances of winning are over. The cars are so equal, plus the tire compound in recent years so difficult to manage, it’s impossible to move up.
With that said, it leaves the battle to be won on pit road, not on the track, which has its drawbacks. Sure, there’s so much excitement within a 15-second stop to see who’s going to get out in front. I understand the precision required, combined with the strategy that makes or breaks a crew chief each week. But at intermediates, as we’ve seen all too often, you can’t have the battle for the win come down to 15 pit road seconds and a few short laps after the restart. You can’t have a fan see his driver fall from first to fourth and think “his day is done” because it’s impossible to push back through the field after four fresh tires. No amount of pomp and circumstance, changes to lap counts, or monetary bonuses will fix that.
No, only better handling cars and better tire compounds will. That’s why the next All-Star Race announcement should come from Goodyear. Boy, if there’s ever a time to try an aggressive compound, wouldn’t you do it at an event that’s supposed to be an exhibition for the fans?
Did You Notice?… The lack of momentum for the Sprint Cup Series in 2012? Sunday’s race in Fontana wasn’t just the lowest-rated of the season, it was the lowest-rated in the history of FOX coverage at the track. Overall, the network’s ratings are down nine percent this season, on a trajectory that could make them the worst in the 12-year history of television coverage.
Certainly, I know fans have had complaints about the broadcasts this year, but I seriously doubt that’s the reason; if there’s a good college basketball game on, are you really going to turn the television off because of bad announcers? No; at worst, you’re putting it on mute and that still counts in the Nielsens. I think the bigger problem so far is a lack of NASCAR storylines to date. The point leader, Greg Biffle, while a nice surprise, has been around awhile, hasn’t won a race yet and, while having a moment here or there, isn’t the most charismatic figure with the media. There are zero – that’s right, zero – rookie drivers running the full distance, while DanicaMania has ground to a halt in the face of wrecks and mechanical malfunctions (you know, with the car).
One other issue, too that is rearing its ugly head is the new Chase system. It was lauded in its first year, the “wild cards” putting emphasis on winning back into the equation. I think later in the regular season, it makes the months of July and August “must see NASCAR TV” once again, drivers jostling for a late boost a la Brad Keselowski to launch themselves into the playoffs. But this kind of system balances out with boredom early on. Take Jeff Gordon, who I wrote about last week as a driver in the “Danger Zone,” outside the top 20 in Sprint Cup points. But let’s look at it another way. Instead of the old system, where Gordon would have to charge to at least 12th, he needs a win, maybe two, and must climb only five positions in the standings. That lessens the desperation and makes it easy to relax, take a 15th-place finish and go to the next one instead of fighting all day for 10th.
The same goes for drivers like Biffle, who can secure their spots in the Chase by racking up these top-10 performances early on. Maybe in July and August, with his spot secure, Biffle will take some chances for victories, but this point system still preaches conservatism if you’re trying to get in the old-fashioned way. DNF equals disaster in the standings, meaning at a race like Fontana, where rain is in the offing the message sent is “don’t mess up and run 25th” instead of “take chances to finish in first place.”
Could there be a solution? I think the idea of having a “mulligan” might work, where drivers know there’s a safety net in the case of a bad finish. There are also ideas floating to add points for the halfway portion of the race, in 100-lap intervals, etc. I don’t know what the perfect solution is; all I know is single-file processions don’t woo viewers. Who wants to watch an athletic event where everyone “just goes through the motions?”
Martinsville will solve some of that, perhaps the one racetrack on the circuit where “casual contact” won’t keep your car from running up front. It’s the one place drivers still get lost in the heat of competition, no matter the circumstances. We just need to make sure that intensity transfers to racetracks where cars have enough room to run comfortably on their own.
Did You Notice?… The end of the road is here for Jeremy Mayfield? As expected, this week an Appeals Court struck down his motion to restart the trial versus NASCAR. As part of their decision, the court reminded Mayfield he had waived his right to sue, not once but twice, and that restricts him from pushing the case forward.
That leaves limited, if any, options left for Mayfield, who now must face criminal charges of his own stemming from stolen equipment and methamphetamines found in his Catawba County, North Carolina home. It’s been an inglorious end for a driver who has made two Chase appearances during his career; that’s more than Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, and Brad Keselowski combined.
But lost in the wake of the Jeremy Mayfield sentencing, like the Ryan Braun appeal is the sloppy drug testing methods brought up during his initial case. Just because the man may be a user after all, it doesn’t mean the points aren’t valid. What has NASCAR done to clean up its testing, other than make public a list of banned substances? Are the proper procedures being followed now? What will the level of trust be the next time a big name tests positive?
We don’t hear about any of that in the wake of Mayfield’s case falling apart. That makes it easy for everyone to wash their hands clean, but in reality there were no winners here. NASCAR took its public relations hit, Mayfield saw his career tank (and has a possible addiction on top of it), and lawyers spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to prosecute … what, exactly?
Only losers here.
Did You Notice?… Quick hits before we take off:
- One of the stranger stats I’ve seen this season: Jamie McMurray with two top-10 finishes – but they’re his only lead lap ones, combined with two DNFs. If only the No. 1 could make it to the end more often, they’d be showing how much better they really are after a miserable 2011. Can Martinsville offer redemption? If you’ll remember, last fall was the low point for the No. 1 team after Jamie McMurray tried to retaliate against Brian Vickers following an incident on the backstretch which destroyed the back end of the No. 1 to the point where the battery ended up on the race track. Not only did McMurray miss, but the front end of the race car was damaged as well.
- Five races in, Kurt Busch sits 24th in points while A.J. Allmendinger sits 26th in his old Penske ride. So far, it’s advantage, Kurt, although based on those stats it’s more like “nobody wins.”
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©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
The Chase and Top 35 have made “points racing” the norm at EVERY track…even Bristol. Now drivers are extremely conservative and it makes boring tracks like Fontana even more boring.
I’m extremely happy that the ratings and attendance are down IF that means there’s a SLIGHT chance that nascar will actually listen to the fans.
When it comes to nascar the fans have very little say other than to boycott tracks that aren’t exciting. Nascar listens when it loses money.
About ten changes to the Chase format now and the (remaining) fans still hate it. How many empty seats and new lows in TV ratings will it take for NASCAR to dump this turd???
The only race I’ve watched this year was Daytona because there was nothing else on a Monday night, and the most entertaining moment of that race was the track dryer Montoya incident. Well, that and Danica Patwreck being out before the third lap.
I tried putting on the Fontana race, and Fox’s theme song features DW shouting boogity at me before I can mute it. Goodbye.
I think the Nationwide race proved one of two things: either the Car of Tomorrow is causing bad racing, or The Chase is forcing drivers to be too conservative. Everyone constantly whines how boring Fontana is, but the race for the win among SIX DRIVERS all race long on Saturday proved that the track can provide awesome racing.
The question is, was it because it was 5 Cup drivers who didn’t care if they wrecked, plus one NWS driver (Stenhouse) desperate to impress? Or is it because the Nationwide car has a better aero package?
I doubt NASCAR will answer either question…
Both John’s are spot on.
I agree with the Johns and with Gordon82wins – each race used to be a standalone event and fun to watch to boot. Now, its all points racing for seeding for the stupid chase. Fan council and whatever, no one really listens to the fans. As you said, how about a better tire for the races?
Want to pass along best wishes to Jeremy Mayfield. He was the among the first drivers I ever met, and to this day among the top to or three nicest of all. Good guy caught up in bad circumstances. Keep yer head up brother! Do your best, get some sleep, get up tomorrow and do it all again… Promise it will get different!
Jerome nailed it! The John’s too. Most of us can only get to one race a year. Therefore the largest exposure we have to NASCAR is from TV and that means FOX is KILLING OUR SPORT.
Low ratings means Fox is not making as much money as they would have thought. My fear is that Fox will feel the need to dramatize events even more in the failed hopes of increasing the excitement.
Don’t think this could happen: look at the current media situation where everything is overdramatized in order to get ratings.
How’s this for a solution… rather than manipulating the points system every year and further ruining any legitimacy it has, why not take half or three quarters of the money out of the point fund and put it in the race purses: the winning team gets the entire bonus. Might that ramp up the intensity and put an end to parade laps?
This all star race has gotten totally out of whack! NASCAR has nearly perfected ways to screw something up.
Tom, I disagree that the pitiful Fox coverage is not a reason for the ratings drop. Yes, you can mute the idiotic drones they have as announcers, but if the cameramen continue to only show the lead car circling the track instead of the various battles going on further back; and if the tickertape only shows the top ten cars; how are you to know ANYTHING that’s going on unless you happen to be a fan of the lead car/driver? We’ve been muting Fox and listening to MRN/PRN and then it seems like “why do we even have the TV on?” No wonder non-racing fans say “That’s awful boring watching (a) car go around a track in a circle!” It’s obvious: they’re watching Fox!
Personally i think the answer to the second question is answer to the first, make a tire that gives up after half a fuel run so the people that take 4 tires aren’t out of the running after that stop
Just like last year, it will become an annnual thing, Dale Jr. will EMBARRASSINGLY have to use the PITY PASS to get into the Sprint All-Star Race.
I dont think the TV coverage is the reason for the low ratings. Maybe its because expectations have been raised, or, maybe there is more competition for peoples time now.
Don’t compare the basketball announcers (or any other announcers) to the Waltrips and Larry stooges. That’s a diss to real announcers everywhere.
Combine a plethora of aero-push tracks with inept camera coverage with tight shots rather than pan back and show the racing and you’ve got BORING.
It’s not (just) the coverage. It’s the (lack of) racing. I never watch Vegas or Fontana races unless I’m really, really bored. Sadly, what once was the most exciting track in NASCAR has now become just as boring. At least we still have Martinsville – for now. Oh yeah .. the chase sucks. Period.
I say dump the All-Star race altogether. The rules get more convoluted every year.
Also, I’m not buying Speed to watch it. Give the teams an extra week off or, even better, tighten up the schedule so that the season ends in early November.
The problem with NA$CAR, Brian France notwithstanding, is that NA$CAR was never intended to be a spec series. I think they had it right in the early nineties when the racing was exciting and the drivers were actually “real” people. Now we are left with constant meddling and rule changes by NA$CAR and the drivers are nothing more than prima donnas and spokesmodels. Earnhardt and Big Bill are most certainly spinning in their graves. Too bad for the diehard fans to be treated like second class citizens because of NA$CAR greed and stupidity.
The TV coverage is just downright insulting to anybody at or above average intelligence. The announceing team acts like a bunch of clowns and makes NASCAR look like a joke. Who exactly is FOX trying to attract to watch this garbage? What is the point of that stupid gopher? To someone who has never watched a NASCAR race before to tune in and see this abortion of a sports telecast must make nascar fans look like the dumbest people in the world. Who likes this crap? Is there anyone that is not retarded that can actually say they enjoy DW slobbering all over his mic over Danica or the cartoon gopher? Watch a F1 race sometime and see how a professional broadcast team handles calling a race. That is what is wrong with NASCAR.
God, I hate the CHASE. How about you? Come on everybody raise your hand if you think the CHASE sucks. Well there you are. Looks like a landslide. The CHASE sucks and the vote wasn’t even close. Well, now what are you going to do NASCAR?
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