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 · Tuesday November 20, 2012
Did You Notice?… As the dust begins to settle on the 2012 Sprint Cup season, a look inside the numbers tells you the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on the state of the sport. Let’s get right to it:
The Good: A total of fifteen different drivers won a race this season, roughly one-third of what would compose a 43-car grid in a total that’s roughly in line with previous years. Also, for the second straight season parity took center stage as no driver got more than five wins apiece. Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin, drivers from three different organizations and manufacturers shared the honor. It’s hard to get competition any closer than that; NASCAR hasn’t had league-leading victory totals this low in back-to-back years since 1991-92.
The Bad: None of those fifteen different drivers were first-time Sprint Cup winners. None of them drove for a car owner that had never visited Victory Lane, either. Other than perhaps Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s name, ending a drought that had extended all the way back to Michigan in 2008 none of them are huge surprises, either. Perhaps the biggest stretch would be Joey Logano, whose Pocono victory legitimized his Cup career to an extent, but those “upsets” were few and far between.
So who’s left as a full-time driver who has yet to win a Cup race? Of those who ran full-time in 2012, the short list includes Travis Kvapil, Aric Almirola, David Gilliland, AJ Allmendinger, Sam Hornish, Jr., Dave Blaney and Landon Cassill. None of those drivers, after the ‘Dinger’s release from Roger Penske’s team, were in position to cash in with the exception of maybe Almirola at Kansas. Combined, they had a total of one top-5 finish between them in 2012. Where are NASCAR’s new stars?
The Ugly: The two combatants for this season’s Rookie of the Year Award, Stephen Leicht and Josh Wise finished a grand total of one race in 45 Sprint Cup starts this season. Neither one was driving for a funded operation, making this season the first in the modern era where no real “rookie” truly competed within the sport’s top level. With the addition of Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., that changes entering 2013. But no healthy sport, even during down times, stops evolving. The fact NASCAR has now gone three full seasons without a major-impact rookie (even Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, remains without a full-time Cup ride) should sound alarm bells everywhere.
The Good: NASCAR has a new champion, in Brad Keselowski, who’s a big departure from the politically correct robot-human who goes by the name Jimmie Johnson in private. Need proof? Look no further than Keselowski doing a championship interview “drunk off his ass”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBTTN0mrehM less than 24 hours after Homestead. If Johnson ever got caught dead with that, five apology letters, a random charity donation from Hendrick Motorsports and some sort of “Men In Black” flash to try and erase the incident from the public’s memory would surely follow.
Keselowski, just 28, is the youngest titlist since Kurt Busch in 2004, the one auto-connect to a blue-collar, 18-to-34 male fan base in a list of star drivers that’s rapidly aging out of it. Of the up-and-coming driver sect, he’s got the most social media marketability, the most engaging personality and perhaps the best upside in terms of on-track potential.
The Bad: Every driver who made the Chase this season had been there at least once before. Only Martin Truex, Jr., who went winless this season and finished an all-but-invisible 11th in the playoffs had gone longer than three years without a postseason appearance. The teams involved, with the exception of Michael Waltrip Racing, had also been there before, a cadre of predictability in a postseason that’s supposed to generate the exact opposite. How can you be excited when you know going into the season it’s the same handful of drivers who will wait 26 races to really compete for the hardware?
The Ugly: NASCAR’s television audience in the Chase, in particular the season finale, reached an alarming decline. The viewership for the 36th and final race, on ESPN was just 3.44 million, a dropoff of nearly 50 percent from the record high of the Carl Edwards-Tony Stewart battle last season. The average number of people watching on television, throughout the 10 races of the Chase was the lowest since the current postseason format debuted in 2004.
A couple of thoughts here. First, of course, the numbers were going to go down when Keselowski all but had the title wrapped up entering Florida. But as NASCAR looks to sell the second half of its schedule for 2015 and beyond – far more difficult to price out than the FOX deal – it’s now made its season finale as volatile as any stick ‘n’ ball sport. While you used to be guaranteed a ratings number for Homestead under the old “pre-Chase” points system, everything has officially changed. Now it depends on this ridiculous ten-race postseason concept, one which also fails to gain any traction throughout the first nine weeks of its existence.
Any talk of ditching the postseason format has died down for the foreseeable future. But I don’t think it’s a given it sticks beyond the 2014 season. I’m calling it now… TV networks will have a say here, and no exec is going to look at a line graph slanted downward and want to pay more money. Thankfully for fans, it’s a business decision as much as a sports/entertainment value one and the Chase, at the moment, is clearly not good for business.
Connect with Tom!
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
You don’t like the Chase, I get it. But the argument you’re using – bad ratings for Homestead – aren’t a function of the Chase per se, but rather what is to be expected for any season ending race where the championship is pretty much already determined.
You want to get rid of the Chase, fine, just come with some better reasons.
Steve your point may be true for the “last” race, but what about the massive downward trend of “chase” viewership? The Chase sucks. There is no other adjective to describe it. I hate it! Its manufactured excitement that doesn’t excite anyone!
Stephen Leicht and Josh Wise actually combined to finish 6 races – not one as mentioned in the text.
The ratings are in the tank because they have managed to dumb down the broadcasts and gear them towards 12 year old girls and young women. It’s not about the on track action anymore, but instead is about marketing.
I totally gave up on Nascar this year and I used to be a hard core fan who would never miss a broadcast and attended a couple of races a year. It’s been a continual decline of interist for me since 2001 as I keep hoping things would change, but it never happened and now I am gone.
RIP Nascar. I’m glad I was a fan back when it was real.
Nascar is in the body farm and now they can study how it decomposed.
I really don’t know what else can be said other than what nascar is doing, and what Hendrick is doing, is not bringing in fans and is, in fact, driving fans away.
Talledega was the holy grail and even THAT “race” is declining.
Yes, it’s a real breath of fresh air to have Brad K. win the championship, but that only goes so far.
I hope Nascar isn’t banking on Brad’s social media marketability.
Reality, Brad is only 5th just above JJ in twitter popularity. He was 19th till the Daytona tweets and hasn’t gained much since then. Even the mayor of Newark, NJ has over a million followers (over three times more than Brad. Even going down to the 200th most popular on twitter that person has over 3 million followers. (10 times more than Brad).
Nothing against Brad, just saying his social media popularity is overblown.
No, the Homestead race tanked versus last year because last year’s was delayed by rain into prime time when there were more viewers to watch, though the close championship was certainly a factor too. You’d have thought NASCAR would consider making Homestead a night race, with only one football game to compete against instead of the brunt of the NFL schedule, after seeing last year’s ratings, but nope…
If you compare to the 2010 and 2009 races, the ratings are still down quite a bit, but not as bad as versus last year.
Another possible reason for this year’s decline is Jimmie was involved and was not last year.
Congrats brad K. But I am glad the IROC, I mean, cup season is over. Until the Daytona dorks actually start listening to their fans, this downward death spiral will continue. I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Sue Rarick just gave credence to my earlier post with the “Twitter” analysis. What does that have to do with racing?
How many tweets does “Honey Boo Boo” get?
The sad part is people have been saying these things about The Chase since 2006 or 2007 and we are heading into 2013.
The majority of 2012 will be remembered for incredibly boring racing. The most memorable aspects of the entire 2012 season did not happen in green flag competition.
We began at the Daytona 500, which was postponed to Monday for the first time. Juan Pablo Montoyta’s collision with the jet dryer is the defining memory of the 2012 Daytona 500.
Penske announced it was leaving for Ford early in the season, leaving Dodge without a team. We watched Dodge search until throwing in the towel mid-summer.
The first Martinsville race was one of only two memorable races in the first 21 races when Ryan Newman moved into his only win of the season.
We said goodbye to Dr. Dick Berggren at Dover in early June. The only memorable moment that day was a dozen car wreck that involuntarily parked several S&P cars.
Later in the summer, fans were shocked when A.J. Allmendinger was suspended for failing a drug test. Allmendinger and KFC were the only memories from this snoozefest at Kentucky.
The second on-track highlight of the season was Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning at Michigan and finally ending his winless streak.
ESPN began their stretch of the season at Indianapolis. The track started the super weekend to try and gain back lost fans. The move only alienated fans of Indianapolis Raceway Park and led to lower attendance at the Brickyard 400, which was won by Mr. Excitement – Jimmie Johnson.
In a frustrating year, Mother Nature finally granted Jeff Gordon a victory at Pocono, but the lightning storm wrecked havoc on the fans, killing one and injuring a number of people.
The season got much more exciting at the final pre-Chase races (for those that survived watching the first 21 races.) The final lap of the Watkins Glen race was thrilling. The revised Bristol was a success. Richmond featured lots of drama between Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon battling for a Chase spot.
The Chase was an off-balance mix of 4 good races and 6 clunkers. Chicago, Loudon, and Dover were asking fans to watch the NFL. Talladega lived up to the hype and mixed up the Chase.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. shocked fans by sidling himself for 2 races due to a concussion. His announcement overshadowed a snoozefest at Charlotte.
The races at Kansas and Martinsville were entertaining and added some life to a dull Chase.
Texas offered another 1.5 mile forgettable snoozefest.
Phoenix was the climax of the entire season. Jimmie Johnson’s championshp went into the wall, Jeff Gordon’s frustrations put Clint Bowyer into the wall – which erupted into chaos in the garage, and Kevin Harvick broke his winless streak the same weekend rumors broke out he would be leaving RCR after 2013.
The only noteworthy thing that happened in Homestead was Brad Keselowski got the Sprint Cup trophy. Maybe they can edit that into the end of the Phoenix race.
2012 was a banner year for NASCAR as we finally got rid of Matt McAwful as a weekly columnist.
Tom, when do you name his successor? (read: Randy Goldman) so we can finally say “Clap, Clap, Goodbye” to him forever?
Also, please take that “Clap, Clap, Goodbye” link down already… it’s almost 2 years old. You can put it back up the next time you run Matt McAwful’s Tim Richmond story (due for it’s 9th and 10th run sometime later this month I’m sure)…
Remember when people used to comment on this website? What changed… oh yeah… RG peaced out. Let me know when you want me back Tom…
The cars have been a huge turn-off in the past few years. They’ve been ugly to look at and also put on terrible racing at the schedule dominant intermediate snoozerdomes. Hopefully next year’s attractive fleet of cars plus the rules changes lead to a better product.
I followed the series and it was an incredible experience to watch F1 race in a great view, VIP hospitality, luxury travel and accommodation. I got nothing to look for!! Thanks to GP Monaco for the wonderful experience!!
the good – a couple of truly enjoyable races – brad k – clint boyer
the bad – continued inconsistent application of rules – the amount of advertising it takes to sustain nascar sanctioning body as well as the teams – asinine commentary from the booth – manufacture departures – sponsor departures – drivers hanging on well past their prime and the lack of new talent
the ugly – absolutely mind numbingly boring events – aero tracks – ratings, attendance, lack of new teams and other downward trends – the car (and it really ain’t getting much better looking) – the actual “on screen” product as a whole – the fact that the sanctioning body refers to it’s sport as a product transparently shows how they actually view the sport and indicates what will guide their decision making process
Recent articles from Tom Bowles:
Did You Notice? ... Keep On Asking, And You Will Receive A Qualifying Sigh Of Relief
If you want to know more about Tom Bowles or to view all of his articles here at the Frontstretch, check out his archive and bio page.
Want even more Tom Bowles? Check out Tom's archive at SI.com.