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 June 19, 2013
Did You Notice?… Daytona grandstand seating, once at 168,000 five years ago, will decline to 101,000 by 2016? It’s all part of NASCAR’s grand plan to renovate the 2.5-mile tri-oval, announced Tuesday by ISC and track President Joie Chitwood, III. The revitalization, expected to cost $400 million, will take two and a half years and include 11 fan concourses, each with different areas for people to congregate and enjoy the action. The centerpiece of them all, entitled the “World Center of Racing,” will celebrate the best moments at the historic facility through the years. (For those longtime fans, think Daytona USA for the 21st Century). Breaking ground during the Coke Zero 400 weekend in early July, officials expect all improvements should be complete by the 2016 Daytona 500.
To willingly cut seat capacity by 40%, as a part of these changes, seems to be a bit against the grain when you’re making things better. All of the backstretch grandstands, a huge portion of the facility, will actually be ripped out and thrown away for good. But here’s why that also makes sense. Number one, the tickets simply aren’t selling; even the Daytona 500 hasn’t filled capacity in recent years. Number two, what we’re seeing here by ISC is a gamble that will determine future investments. So many stadiums around the country these days are focusing on increasing the level of fan experience, making it “worthwhile” for them to spend their hard-earned money rather than picking up MRN, TV, or whatever makes them comfortable to watch the race at home.
Executives have seen independent Pocono Raceway, with President Brandon Igdalsky, keep the fans coming through the turnstiles with a variety of off-track enhancements: free concerts, better facilities, children’s entertainment… anything to make the overall weekend, aside from the race, worth traveling to. By fixing the speedway, offering up these extra “perks” as the price of admission they’re hoping fans will still make the trip even if the racing itself is in the bit of a down year. It’s clearly putting their eggs in one basket, nearly $400 million committed to the project out of $600 million committed by ISC to use for these types of projects through 2017.
If it doesn’t work? Then ISC is in serious trouble; I still believe competition, above all, will determine whether people show up to the racetrack. (Pricing is second on the list, location third, off-track experiences fourth). But with this price tag, the project, still pushed through even though the State of Florida declined to help subsidize it, is a realization by key parties that NASCAR needs to change something. The status quo, in the form of flunking ratings and attendance, is unacceptable, and the only way you’re going to fix this stuff is through big money.
At first, that cash was thrown towards repaving the racetracks; we’ve seen how well that worked (see: Phoenix, Kansas, Michigan et al.) Money’s been thrown at the cars to make them better, a Gen-6 chassis NASCAR still hopes will develop into a competitive vehicle everywhere. Improving the off-track experience is the third step in the equation… but on this one, the sport can’t fail. Three strikes and you’re out, says the baseball ump even as America’s pastime is threatening NASCAR in the ratings tally once again…
Did You Notice?… How virtually every underfunded team is employing a road course ringer this weekend? Just 43 teams are scheduled for Sonoma; of those, only 35 come equipped with their full-time driver. Who are these guys? Let’s give you a crash course, because if there’s ever a year for a breakthrough with these teams it’ll be 2013. With the new Gen-6 chassis leveling the playing field in terms of notes, combined with underdogs like Phoenix Racing overachieving, there’s no better time and place for the stars to align. Since TV might not introduce them…
Victor Gonzalez, Jr.
Did You Notice?… Quick hits before we take off…
- After a hot start, both Earnhardt Ganassi Racing drivers have fallen outside the top 20 in Sprint Cup points. That means there’s no guarantee, should Juan Pablo Montoya or Jamie McMurray even win a race, that they’d be eligible to sneak into the Chase as a “wild card.” Meanwhile, EGR’s Kyle Larson just had one of his best Nationwide Series performances, coming in a solid second to Regan Smith at Michigan. Is the plot thickening for a possible driver change after all?
- After Michigan, the scales have tipped the other way for Denny Hamlin. How many more struggles before both he and Joe Gibbs Racing make a mutual decision to let him heal up further? Should they? There’s a point at which this becomes a lost season, and with a possible fourth car down the road, wouldn’t you want to see if Elliott Sadler could still get the job done? Or has the organization given up on Sadler to Cup, period, after an awful weekend in Kansas and an underachieving year in Nationwide?
- People are looking at Montoya and Marcos Ambrose for the steal this weekend. Well, what about Jeff Gordon? One of the sport’s best road racers, he has five career Sonoma victories, the last in 2006, and is overdue. The No. 24 would love to have that safety net of a win considering the roller-coaster luck they’ve experienced in 2013; keep an eye on him Sunday.
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©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Once again, Nascar puts it’s focus in the wrong place. In the ‘good old days’, Bristol used to sell out. People didn’t go there for the ‘fan experience’, but the racing. Since the character of the racing there changed (starting right after ‘the chase’ was put into place), more empty seats are showing. If that isn’t proof that the racing is what puts butts in the seats, nothing is. If I’m going to shell out the money to go to a race, I want a better than even chance I’m going to be entertained by what’s on the track, not by a ‘fan experience’ that will probably cost me more money.
Well, Nascar, like everyone else, needs to hold on to their pocket book. Not only does the economy still stink, but combine that with an increase in taxes, gas, and the shock of the true cost of Obamacare….I suspect there will be plenty of available seats in the stands.
And take a look at the NFL who this past weekend banned women from bringing in purses. My mother has held Titans season tickets since they came to Nashville, but this will be her last season (she’s already paid for this year).
It’s obvious the Chase, the COT/Gen-6, “FIVE TIME!”, and debris cautions haven’t brought the fans to the track. Not to mention the COST of going to a race.
I’m not too sure that “fan experience” improvements are going to make much of a difference at Daytona. If the track was in a remote location, like Darlington is, I could see it being a viable solution. However, there’s a lot to do in Daytona already, even in February. Nightclubs, restaurants, entertainment… and a big ol’ ocean with a white sandy beach. You want to put those travelers in a seat at the race track? Give them a great race for four or five hundred laps, not a play-it-safe parade for all but the last ten or fifteen laps.
Also, the price for a ticket needs to reflect what fans are willing to pay and still provide enough revenue for the track to survive. I’m not sure that’s possible with the current on-track product.
Well, I guess my dream of ISC tearing down Fontana and building a short track for the LaLaLand region out here ain’t going to happen any time soon.
Understandable I guess. Fontana is a really nice facility. It just doesn’t put on good stock car racing.
Is this 400 million coming out of NA$CAR/ISC’s pocket or from the tax payers?
Why won’t Brian admit that “The Chase” the huge stupid gimmick, is that a gimmick and has contributed to declining $$$$ going into his pocket. Let them race till Homestead and get rid of it!
Kennedy has a sponsor, and will race the full distance this week in the 19.
“If it doesn’t work? Then ISC is in serious trouble…” Whoa….I think NA$CAR is already in serious trouble. Once you have shot yourself in both feet, in the ass, what’s left? Oh yeah – the ole brain bucket. I kind of equate this to a toilet. When first you hit the flush handle, things start to swirl around slowly, then gaining speed, faster, faster, until it all disappears….right down the drain. Keep it up NA$CAR, you’re on about the third swirl. One more and it just might be drains-ville for you.
I agree with pretty much everyone elses point about Daytona. Doesn’t anyone from Nascar remember when Nascar was in its heyday. You didn’t need ferris wheels and rock concerts to get people to come, and most of those tracks were in very remote locations. All you needed was good racing. After all these years Nascar still doesn’t get it.
Why in the world would Ganassi put Kyle Larson in a Cup car so soon? Does anyone remember what happens when you put a guy in a Cup car too early? Does Joey Logano, Reed Sorenson, or Casey Atwood ring a bell. Let the kid develop and when he’s ready put him in the car. He hasn’t even finished his first NW season and we are already putting him in a Cup car? Talk about setting this kid up for failure.
Needed all those 1.5 D-D’s to get enough fans in..How’s that working?..I Go to see the racing . when it’s just an F1 (80’s & 90’s) parade it’s Dull..oddly enough F1 now has more competetive pass’s than Nascar…& Can’t the France family remove king brian before it’s to late..Racing NOT Gimmicks!
I agree 100% about Kyle Larson. He hasn’t even won a Nationwide race yet, though he’s come close twice. EGR should do with Larson what Roush did with Ricky Stenhouse… give him adequate time to develop his skills in the second-tier series. Larson’s got a ton of talent but there’s no way he’s ready for cup.
“Racing NOT Gimmicks”.
1: Quit racing at all these venues twice
2: Race at Iowa, Millwaukee, and Rockingham
3: Race at more road courses
4: Betweem Cup, Busch, Trucks, ARCA, and K&N, give me two races Saturday and two races on Sunday. I go to see racing, not a concert and not a fly over. At Mid-Ohio I get three races IndyCar Sunday for $40. Thats value.
Agree with the other posters here, I don’t go to a race for the concerts, the casino or what have you. I bought a ticket to see the race and since the chase and the COT, there hasn’t been enough of that to interest me. I’m barely interested enough to watch it on TV in the comfort of my home, let alone pay $ for ticket, travel and all that goes with it AND use up my vacation time as well.
NASCAR/ISC/SMI all made decisions when NASCAR was soaring like a rocket – because the racing WAS that entertaining. They built mega-tracks with lots of seating and charged mega-bucks, forced the fans into buying packages if they wanted to go to a particular track. Now they reap what they sowed because they changed the “product” into racer-tainment instead of racing!
End the stupid chase, loosen up the “rules” and get rid of “skeletor” so that teams can build a race car and let them race.
Seems as if ISC is admitting what many people have seen coming. That given the inability to attract the 18-34 old crowd they need to position themselves to generate other revenue streams.Concerts and the like.
I wonder how many of the people who go to Cup races today have been to a short track? In the good old days , when you went to Michigan you saw a lot of short track t-shirts and caps. You could go to a short track and see Bobby Allison, DW, Cale and others racing the home track drivers. I remember Bobby landing on the strip behind Cayuga Speedway and racing his Coke Camaro there and at Pinecrest and Flamboro. Dale also ran away with a race at Cayuga. Benny Parsons ran a lot at Cayuga and Delaware.
It was like following a AAA team in Syracuse. Every once in a while you want to go see the Yankees. It seems the new “fans” don’t stick around very long.
Mike, the article clearly states that the money is coming from ISC after the state of Florida refused to pay for it. Even if it did come from the taxpayer, you have to understand that spending taxpayer money is not always a bad thing because there is a chance it will return more money to the economy than was spent. If they did spend the $400 million it would easily make more than that back in a few years based on the people Daytona attracts for the two races each year who will be spending money on the race, lodging, food, gas, etc.
Also, I’d like to say that while I don’t like The Chase, it is nowhere near the worst points system NASCAR has ever used. The one based on money and the one based on leading laps/track size were a lot worse.
i think sal and carl d. got it right. good exciting racing sells tickets. if you have to look for other things besides racing to sell a ticket to a race, i think you’re in trouble. big trouble.
Humpy Wheeler didn’t add promotions and gimmicks to fill the stands. He promoted to get fans in their seats early (spend more of their money at the track) and to ease traffic congestion. A fancier “stadium” may get fans to come once, but it won’t have the staying power.
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