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 September 19, 2012
Did You Notice?… For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., there’s no such thing as a “family business” anymore? Just five years after leaving Dale Earnhardt, Inc., getting scorned by stepmother Teresa Earnhardt by his bid for control of the organization Dale Jr. has turned a blind eye to a different set of relatives. Tony Eury, Sr. and Jr., his uncle and cousin respectively have been kicked to the curb from his JR Motorsports operation, a Nationwide Series team that admittedly hasn’t won a race in two-plus seasons but also features a car, the No. 88 solidly inside the top 10 in championship points with rookie Cole Whitt. Add in third-year driver Danica Patrick, 11th in the season standings and it’s not like this organization is the laughingstock of the league. Far from it.
So why make changes? The first move, letting Eury go the beginning of September was surprising enough. The crew chief of Dale Jr.’s Daytona 500 win, in 2004 his uncle is largely credited with guiding the driver through the most successful years of his career.
“I honestly thought he would be there until the place closed down,” Eury Jr. said to the Sporting News shortly after the announcement. “But things don’t happen the way we plan them all the time.”
Less than two weeks later, he’s been handed a pink slip, too, on the outside looking in while former driver Danica Patrick gets paired up with fresh blood in Ryan Pemberton. Patrick, who has struggled this season has a total of five top-10 finishes in 51 career starts. In nearly three years with the organization, she’s led a total of 55 laps, failed to finish 21.5 percent of the time and is still searching for her first podium performance, let alone victory on NASCAR’s second-tier level.
Those numbers apparently weren’t enough to please Earnhardt’s sister, Kelley who “runs” the day-to-day operations while Junior focuses on driving. Of course, the problem here is that in any other situation, the driver would be the one to go and not the crew chief. Kelley knows that all too well; after all, she fired Kelly Bires from the No. 88 car, back in 2010 after collecting just one top-10 result in five races. Whoops; if you’re doing the math at home, that means he was on pace for double the results Danica’s accomplished with just over ten times the patience. Turns out at JR Motorsports, based on the example they just set all you need for driver immunity is breasts and a multi-million dollar internet company calling the shots.
And therein lies JR Motorsports’ problem: the family itself really isn’t calling the shots on their own. Sure, they’ll sit there and tell you this decision is all about preserving the future, kicking a team in the pants that hasn’t won a race since 2010. That’s a load of horse… you know. Earnhardt’s autonomy disappeared the second his team “merged” with Hendrick Motorsports’ operation to begin the 2008 season. Suddenly, the organization became more than a mom ‘n’ pop organization Junior craved, the DEI alternative where family members could keep jobs while trying to keep pace in NASCAR’s second-tier organization as best they could. Instead, they were commissioned as the “farm team” for future HMS drivers, whether it was Brad Keselowski or the once-presumed Jeff Gordon successor in Landon Cassill. As with any local business consumed by a corporate giant, the local bosses kept their jobs but only if profit margins and major sponsors maintained their support. Personal connections define the mom ‘n’ pop organization – that’s what makes it tick. But with big, bloated corporations (of which HMS is one?) you never let feelings cause you to fail to your bottom line.
What other reason is there for a mom ‘n’ pop business, built by family to not weather the ups and downs together? Obviously, times have changed with the arrival of Patrick, who after three years is headed to Stewart-Haas Racing and Sprint Cup full-time beginning in 2013. With millions in endorsements and the belief she can attract a larger audience into the sport, JRM has no choice but to not only employ but develop her as best they can. The biggest asset within the organization is no longer the family that once defined its makeup but the driver signed by a corporation above; Patrick is capable of making her backers millions regardless of on-track performance. Winning is tied to a bank account; if she is unhappy for any reason, or the sponsor dissatisfied with development blood doesn’t get in the way of a business defined by cold, hard cash.
That’s where the Eurys got tripped up. In a corporate environment, the direction Dale Jr. chose they’re considered expendable in the face of the client. Loyalty? There is none in a world where sponsors are becoming increasingly difficult to keep. It’s the latest sign that Earnhardt, when unable to get what he wanted in DEI chose the option of maximum equipment – for him – and minimal responsibility once stepping inside the Hendrick camp.
It was a world his cousins were never completely comfortable with, and now they don’t have to be.
Did You Notice?… Less than 4 million people tuned into the start of this year’s Chase? That’s the lowest audience for any race this season with the exception of Kentucky the end of June. So much for the playoffs driving up numbers and interest; a clear audience deduction at the start of this NFL season remains. Consider that in 2002, before this postseason format was even a thought more households (according to Nielsen) were tuned into the 27th race of a full, regular season slate (New Hampshire).
Considering the sobering reality of such numbers, the fact NASCAR wants to keep pushing the postseason smells like they’re not calling the shots, either. What normal person would look at this set of numbers and say they were healthy? You have to figure that, to some degree Sprint or the networks, as much as everyone wants to hate on Brian France’s “idea” may have a role in its retention.
Did You Notice?… Some quick hits before taking off:
- It’s great to see A.J. Allmendinger reinstated. Just don’t rush to the track to see him inside a competitive ride anytime soon. The damage, both personally and professionally in NASCAR has been done and the amount of available options at this time of year are slim and none. I expect an open-wheel transition in 2013.
- If anyone in the back half of the Chase can catch up, following a one-race disaster it would be Greg Biffle based on the fact his consistency propelled him to the front of the Sprint Cup standings for much of 2012. But right now, in a point system that punishes poor performances like no other you’ve got to be thinking the two favorites actually finished 1-2 on Sunday.
Connect with Tom!
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
“Turns out at JR Motorsports, based on the example they just set all you need for driver immunity is breasts and a multi-million dollar internet company calling the shots.”
While I agree with you 100%, pease don’t do Mitt Romney any favors by writing speeches for him.
As happens so often with columns Tom writes, the facts are swept under the rug and his warped opinions are the rule of thumb.
This piece is worthy of a National Enquirer publication suitable for lining a bird cage.
Tom, you just hit a new low. You have at last reached the bottom rung where you so appropriately belong.
what a “hater” column here. wow… is it new to you that the sponsor drives the sport? do i have to use Paul Menard for an example? Would it be easier to look at the fact that the cars have not improved throughout the race as maybe being the reason for change? anywhere else it would be ample reason for change if the company is commited to a driver. happens all the time but NOW that, and i quote you “breasts” are involved it is different? only in your eyes and by you making it a big deal. wow.
Just another example of the power of the almighty dollar. Sell your soul. Neither Dale or Kelly run JR Motorsports, decisions are being made by three-piece suits at board meetings. Same goes for Jack Roush another example of not being in control. The Dillion brothers better take notice because Granddaddy Richard may not be able to save them if their performance is not up to par according to their sponsors’ expectations.
Let’s face it. Danica will not become successful in any form of nascar. she has not shown any improvement in a year and don’t expect any improvement in the future. she is about sex and a sponsor nothing more. won’t be around in a couple of years and that will benefit racing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. nas$car sold it’s soul to the devil (tv networks) years ago. Brain fart and Mike Helton DO NOT control their sport. The chase is a complete joke and it’s the ruination of nas$car as we knew it. “Family” stopped stopped being a priority years ago too. Dale Jr. is just the latest to sell out to the highest bidder. I’ve been a nas$car fan (once a fanatic) for 30+ years, but for the few of those years my once avid interest has turned to apathy. I watched very little of the first chase race last Sunday because I knew what the script would be. Another boring race at a boring track. I keep hoping things will get better for the sport I’ve followed for over half my life, but I’m not optomistic. Because once apathy settles in, it’s all downhill.
any driver with a sponsor being gone will not help. i was at chicagoland this past weekend and i think there were 32 cars running at the end. yeah 1 less car will be great for nascar. she is attempting to do it how “they” say she should by running nationwide and testing cup but we hope she fails and is gone in 3 years??? really? i hope her, Johanna Long, JJ Cobb all make it and are around because going to a track and seeing only 32 cars running at the end when 2 smacked the wall and suffer damage is not good for the sport either. at least with going to the race and paying big money is i get to see my driver battle for position all day long since i know the tv coverage won’t catch it. thank god for MRN and PRN. please nascar do NOT buy them and make them yours. they are our only hope
Danica may have the sponser dollars behind her but she has no talent nor breasts in front of her.
She is just waisting GoDaddy’s money, James Hitchcliff did better in the GoDaddy indycar then she did, just think what a driver with talent can do in the GoDaddy Nationwide or Cup car?
Patrick was the high point driver for Andretti for her hast 2 years. Better than Marco, better than Tony.
Much as I like the Eurys I believe they are not up to the “tech world Nascar has become & Tony Jr has had a past negative experience with the Hendricks boys (engineers etc) …Danica may make it or maybe not & Tony Jr was a great teacher at the start (Nascar ins/outs/do’s don’ts etc) but she’ll need a lot more to advance…However the cash & viewing demographic are outstanding for Nascar..I To hope Joanna & long & Cobb make it…Also Danica lives in a world of constant press pics sexual comments IE: Real pressure all the time this has to be very hard to recall why she’s there in the first place..TBowls …Big miss on this one …& by the way isn’t the press who’s always pushing the breasts part to sell to readers?
Stupidity on all sides is what I see here. Jr. knows Danica can’t get the job done but he keeps her around because he needs her money. Danica knows she can’t get the job done but has to keep racing for a living. Tony Stewart knows she can’t get the job done but she brings the money Newman can’t. The Eurys know she can’t get the job done but they weren’t going to quit and as a result got fired. Now I agree with whoever said that Eury Sr. wasn’t probably as tech savy in this day and age as he needed to be for the job he had, but Tony Jr. probably is. In fact, wasn’t Tony Jr crew chief for McMurray in the last race the JR Motorsports team last won? I know he was crew chief when Jr. drove the #3 to the win at Daytona in 2010. In a perfect world Danica would have been out on her ass and so would Cole Whitt and a real driver would have been behind the wheel and sponsorship wouldn’t be a problem and making the decisions, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Jr.‘s not just worried about sponsorship dollars for himself, he makes plenty of money. He needs the sponsorship to keep the team operating. There are other employees at JR Motorsports besides the Eurys and his sister, and if he shuts down for lack of money they’re out of a job.
Tom, you really lost me on your contention that Danica (apparently because she has boobs and a .com sponsor) got the Eury’s fired….which is absolutley ludicrous. Danica is gone at the end of the year, so why would they dump the Eury’s because of her? Your biased towards her has reached an all time low.
Also, if you haven’t figured out the Chase is what Sprint and ESPN wants and the reason why we still have it, you haven’t been paying attention. I thought this was common knowledge from those that have been following the sport for a while.
Like a previous poster said, your opinions got in the way of facts in this article.
Larry Mac said about the same thing . He probaly got took off some x-mas card list for saying it .
when eury jr got canned, i knew it was the hendrick side of the ownership table that made the decision. jr let his sister run the joint but hendrick has a lot of pull in the organization.
dale jr best wake up and realize that this isn’t his father’s nascar. what has saved him was his ability to lure sponsors, but apparently that’s no longer true. he’s still a big name, but even gordon is having sponsor issues.
With numbers like that, why would Sprint be for the Chase? Makes no sense at all, to push for something that can be shown as leading to declining viewership.
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