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!
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.
Bowles-Eye View · Thomas Bowles · Tuesday July 25, 2006
Throughout my life, I've yet to meet a person that doesn't have a breaking point. No matter how easygoing you are, there's some internal code going on inside your brain that, if entered correctly, will push you over the edge. It's a natural part of being a human being, the internal frustration caused by the ability for someone or something to get you so angry in the first place.
On Sunday, Carl Edwards became a bit more human.
Edwards ended the 2005 Nextel Cup season the sport's hottest young starâ€¦from substitute teacher to champion driver in just a few short years, the fan favorite, G rated personality from Missouri was clearly on top of the NASCAR world. Then 2006 began, and Edwards started the year on top of Kyle Petty's car in the Daytona 500; things have seemed to go the route of a roller coaster for the 26-year-old ever since. Even so, Edwards and anger go along, well, just about as much as Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt do these days, no matter how poorly he's performing on the racetrack. So, excuse me for being just a bit surprised that the mild mannered kid compared more often to Beaver Cleaver than an angry mobster left Sunday afternoon at Pocono ticked off enough to matter-of-factly suggest he'd punch someone else out and leave them bleeding.
That's not to say Edwards doesn't have good reason to be mad. In case you've been living in a cave the past 48 hours, you know Cousin Carl's most recent tale of woe all too well; on lap 31, while riding behind the race cars of Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer, Edwards watched innocently while Bowyer ran Stewart up the race track going through Pocono's treacherous turn three. Stewart's temper didn't like that so much, especially when his car scraped the wall heading out of the turn; so, without thinking he bodyslammed Bowyer going down the frontstretch as payback for his mistake. Bowyer's No. 07 car quickly spiraled out of control, slowing down and turning sidewaysâ€¦right in front of Edwards.
Just like that, Edwards went from a darkhorse contender for a victory at Pocono to seeing his Chase dreams all but end up in smoke. One lap behind in 42nd after repairs were made to his race car, Edwards was downâ€¦but certainly not out. A series of cautions falling at the right time could give the 99 car a Lucky Dog pass, getting it back on the lead lap and giving the team at least an outside shot at a solid finish. Meanwhile, an out-of-line Stewart was penalized a lap, serving a just punishment for unwittingly causing a crash he had no business causing.
Bottom line, the court of NASCAR had served Edwards justice, and while his car wasn't in great shape, there was still hope for a reasonable finish. _Too late_â€¦after two and a half years of being Mr. Perfect, Edwards had finally reached his breaking point in public. Too many weeks this year where he'd seen good runs go down the drainâ€¦too much private anguish over the loss of his crew chief, Bob Osborne, midseason to Jamie McMurray's operationâ€¦too much internal pressure to get back in the win column this season, to repeat the success he'd achieved the year before.
All that caught up with Edwards as his Sunday afternoon at Pocono reached a fever pitchâ€¦just as he caught up to Stewart 35 laps later, on his way to pit road, after Stewart had gotten back on the lead lap. That gave Edwards a perfect opportunity to release his frustrationâ€¦with the perfect push â€˜n' spin to Stewart's already damaged car on pit road.
Around Stewart's car went, putting innocent bystanders on pit road in dangerâ€¦and around Edwards went to his pit box, in line to serve a one lap penalty for the type of rough driving that got Stewart in trouble in the first place. Yet that still wasn't enough to satisfy an infuriated Edwardsâ€¦he made sure to give reporters outside his hauler after the race a thrill ride of comments rarely seen by someone who uses words like "Gosh!" as regular parts of his vocabulary:
"(Stewart) turned into Clint and took both him and I out and probably made it just about impossible for us to make the Chase, and then when I pull up beside him and wave my hand like, "What was that about?" He gives me the finger. I mean, what a jerk. I don't even know what to say. It's amazing to me that someone can be that special."
"If you hold that guy up (Stewart), he gets so upset and then he can wreck two guys and give you the finger. That's spectacularly self-centered. I can't imagine being like that."
"Let me just say this, if it weren't for respect of the sport and the people watching and his team and everything, (Stewart would) be out there bleeding right now."
Of course, as time went on Edwards slowly sank back from PG to a G rated version of his former self, apologizing profusely for putting crew members in danger on pit road with his spin and expressing his regret things couldn't have worked out differently. Unfortunately, that's a regret that may stick with Edwards awhileâ€¦after his lap penalty on pit road, he was put two laps down and clearly thrown out of reach of getting any sort of decent finish. Yes, Edwards' car appeared to be junk after that wreckâ€¦but what if he had controlled his temper, and gotten the Lucky Dogâ€¦what if that gave team and driver the extra motivation to fix that car and bring it to a Top 20 finish, which would have kept Carl with at least a fighting chance in the race to the Chase. What ifâ€¦instead, Edwards is now 235 points behind the very man he spun for 10th in points, six races too little, too late to make up the gap.
All around Edwards on Monday, tired citizens picked up their lives and went to work, dragging through their Mondays with the dull pain that can only symbolize the beginning of another long workweek. It's the type of dull pain Edwards woke up and experienced, realizing that his next set of workweeks will almost definitely no longer consist of battling for the championship he was favored to win back in February.
For Edwards, that pain will last the rest of the seasonâ€¦and then some. After two years of unparalleled success, happiness is no longer the only emotion permanently entrenched in his public persona. And while that makes Edwards more human, that may already have him wishing for simpler times just one year ago.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I agree Carl Edwards became a bit more human but that patience would given them a good finish? Get real.
They were four laps down at the end and even without the one lap penalty for spinning Stewart they would have finished one place ahead of their eventual finish. Wait, they didn’t even get the lucky dog on the caution he spun Stewart any way.
A series of cautions? at Pocono? Pocono is a track not known to produce a lot of cautions that’s why there’s quite a few gas mileage runs there. Kinda’ like a series of cautions at Michigan.
NASCAR did not serve either Clint Boyer or Carl Edwards justice. How in the hell is Stewart’s seventh place finish justice for Boyers 41st and Edwards 39th. With his run, Stewart’s back in the top ten in points and Edwards and Boyer are on the outside looking in with little or no chance of getting there thanks to him.
Stewart wrecked two contending cars and got a slap on the wrist for it. Penalize him for five laps and make sure he has the day he deserves for needlessly ruining two other drivers days as well as their runs toward a championship.
Racing is racing and there will always be incidents and wrecks as long humans drive race cars but intentionally wrecking someone is WRONG. Edwards was not justified in spinning Stewart anymore than Stewart was wrecking Boyer. Until the penalties for this behavior given some serious teeth and it cost something major things won’t change.
Edwards behavior could be expected given his age, experience and level of frustration but Stewart’s should not as he is a two time champion.
As for Edwards’ comments about Stewart during and after the race. Maybe letting the King Bully of NASCAR that someone who can might remove his head is a good thing. It might make him think twice before the stupidity bug bites him again.
To start, Stewart’s reaction to Bowyer was extreme. A bump from behind and a closed fist in the mirror should send the message just fine. But to put the guy in the wall is too much. Yes, Clint needed to be addressed but in a safer manor.
For Carl he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He really got the short end of the deal . Even with a solid car I doubt he could have won the race while Denny was running a rocket but a top ten was possible. Let’s face it, his Chase contention just flew out the window ( a lot like Tony’s finger).
Now have to say I don’t respects Edward’s reaction to Tony. This put Carl at Tony’s lower level. I know Edwards is just human and emotions are hard to control at times but this would have been a great time to show just how much more class he has compared to the two-time champ. I still respect Carl and will continue to enjoy watching his career grow but I hope he continues to put forth the good example. I think that others may understand that ol’ Cousin Carl is not afraid to throw down when called to the carpet.
The one lap penalty served by both Tony and Carl was not enough. Tony still finished 7th after showing his disrespect for anyone younger than himself. But if a stiffer penalty was given to Stewart I think Carl may not have reacted that way. When someone gives me the one-finger salute my rationality automatically turns off and the primal side of my nature comes forward (guess I should stop talking about that at this point).
AT least NASCAR gave the same sentence to Carl that was given to Tony. Fair is fair.
Do I think this drama is over? Yes, I do. Carl has regained his normal composure and will continue to race clean when possible. I will be shocked to see Carl give Tony the boot two weeks from now. Tony will find someone else to pick on and start a new saga in the Tony Tribulations.
i had no problem with how carl handled himself. i would have preferred he put a decent amount of damage on the 20.
i used to be a big stewart fan. i can not stand the dude now, and i am surprised he hasn’t been popped in the mouth yet by another pissed off driver. with all his little temper tantrums on the track, no one should be giving him any slack.
i still can’t believe he got away with blatantly and purposefully crashing someone. hell, if you’re at a go cart track and run into people like he hit clint, they throw you out.
i wonder if tony cringes when he watches tape of himself giving his pocono post race sermon? he has to know he sounds like a complete knucklehead.
anyway, i hope carl can somehow pull off the impossible and make the chase, and that stewart drops to 15th. it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Tony Stewart is the biggest baby on the track right now. it’s a clear case of “do as I say, not as I do.” I don’t know when this foolishness will stop, but given NA$CAR’s kid glove approach to it, not any time soon. Is it not time for NA$CAR to put some teeth into their penalties. Think about what we save… Stewart called into the pits for a one lap penalty – great! Allowing him to work on his car will serving the penalty… how stupid it that. What he ended up with was the freshest tires, on the inside when they went green, and quite able to regain a reasonable position on the track. What NA$CAR needs to do is create penalties with some true teeth to them. If you’re called to pit road to sit for a lap or two or THREE, then your crew can’t touch that car… Period. What Stewart got was a simple slap on the wrist, he knew it, NA$CAR knew it, and most of the fans knew it. But, he is one of their ca$h cows…. can’t upset the gravy train to the NA$CAR bank accounts no can we.
I think that the Edwards response is totally justified!! Tony Stewart is a self centered Jack@#$. He get’s away with alot. If he’s such a stud meet with Edwards after the race and I’m sure Edwards can give him a class a knock him off his high horse. Why shouldnt edwards and bowyer be mad? I think tony should lose points or the points he got for finishing the race should be given to edwards and bowyer.
I think Mark has hit one something. This problem has more than one layer. Yes, NASCAR needs to step up and make their presence known in these kind of situations. I agree that the car should sit on pit road for serveral laps without a crew member touching the car at all. Unless the damage is severe enough to visit the garage, send the car back out for at least one lap before repair, tires, and fuel can be addressed. Now lets not stop there. In this case collateral damage was suffered by another driver. Hit the primary offender with a points penalty. In the past money has been fined but that is nothing to these guys. Get them where it hurts.
At this rate I see Tony causing the next big one at a plate race. And then what, put his nose in the corner? NASCAR, walk the walk!
Tony over reacted and got penalized for what he did-game over. The past few weeks he has been the victim of other drivers, who I might add were not penalized. Too bad his name isn’t Gordon, then he could go out and take out anybody he wants and not get penalized. Oh yeah and to those who are calling him a crybaby and saying that he will cause the next big one at a plate race-you guys try driving one of those race cars.
The trend I see forming with Tony is he’s making quite an effort to become legendary in NASCAR. His intent and my perception are strictly divided though.
Eveyone talks about Stewart’s generosity. I would agree that anyone as giving of his money as he is would be. But, my ‘perception’ has now become that Tony tries to donate his way out of negative publicity AND it also appears to me this is the only way he can clear his conscience.
By invoking Earnhardt in his rheteric this weekend, I also perceive he feels these are the shoes he is trying to fill. He’s FAR from becoming the next Intimidator.
It’s becoming cliche to say that Stewart needs to live by his own rules, but when is he going to get it? Have the temperment issues of the past that lead to his ‘rumored’ time spent in anger management caught back up with him again? I feel embarrased for Mr. Gibbs and Zipadeli almost weekly.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a statement that started off with “I USED to be a Tony fan…”. I think the line is becoming clearer between the true NASCAR fan which enjoys the sport for it’s intended purpose; competition, and those fans who take time out from their WWF schedule to tune in on Sundays. Stewart seems to be catering to the latter.
My advice to Tony…save the money you’re donating to appease the press…you’ll need it to pay off the lawsuit for whichever driver you kill or severely injure in the years ahead. That, or go back to your seat at the front of “Anger Management: 101”.
Like a lot of people, I expected Carl Edwards to have a phenomenal season this year, especially considering all he accomplished in 2005.
While his amazing success last year firmly entrenched him as one of NASCAR’s superstars, it also had to have brought an untold amount of pressure to perform well.
Perhaps missing the Chase this year will be a blessing in disguise for Edwards and his team. Once he’s out of the Chase, the only thing he can do is go for wins – forget about racing for 11th – that team should just focus on the week to week and winning races. I would not be surprised that once the pressure is off, Carl rips off a win or two before the season is out. Granted, they will have to start next year with the same “big picture” mentality, but hopefully with more perspective about things. The guy is a real talent, not a flash in the pan and it’s sometimes easy to forget that this is only his second full year in Nextel Cup. If I was Mr. Roush (and I certainly am NOT!) I would not have Carl run the full Busch series schedule next year. While he’s won a few NBS races this season, I wonder how it’s impacted his Cup campaign.
From what I’ve saw, if a side-by-side bump causes Clint Bowyer to spin out on a straight strectch, maybe he doesn’t need to be in NASCAR’s top level. And thank god drivers still do get mad and bump each other on the track. It’s what made NASCAR so popular. All these newbies to the sport don’t like it, watch the IRL. Who really cares what you think about Stewart. Call him what you want. Here’s something else you can call him; a 2 time Champion,
I am SICK of this innocent bystanders in danger crap. What about the innocent bystanders, in this case, fellow competitors that Stewart put in danger in the first place!? And at race speeds.
Just cause someone is a Champion in any particular sport doesn’t mean they are a stellar individual. (Unless you are a mindless ‘follower’. Lord knows we got enough of those in this country.)
There is a tremendous divergence between the Louden incident and the Pocono incident, and its quite obvious, Ryan may have caused the issue with driving hard into the corner, there was no obvious malintent in the incident.
Tony at Pocono obviously had control of is car, or he would not have gestured out the window prior to swerving to his left, and in to Bowyer.
Quite simply, and the only way to address this type of blatant action, is when intentional action is taken, the instigator should not be allowed a finnishing position higher than the car or cars that were damaged as a result of an obvious intentional act. Intent is the hard thing to judge, and I would believe NASCAR to err on the side of caution, however, I would be hard pressed to find anyone who would not have judged Stewart’s actions at Pocono to not be intentional.
CARL LET YOUR FISTS DO THE TALKING, DON’T BACK DOWN TO A BULLY. MAKE A STAND! THE CARL ARMY
The problem I see is that this isn’t the first wreck Stewart has caused. If there are incremental penalties, getting increasingly more severe as the infractions occur, just as they do the Crew Chief for cheating, then Stewart should have gotten more than one lap.
People who are saying they used to be Tony fans all I’m going to say to you guys is FAIR-WEATHER fans. I can admit what Tony did at Pocono was stupid but I’m still proud to be a Tony fan.
If anyone of us had any idea what it takes to be a champ in motor-sports racing, we wouldn’t be reading this stuff anyway. However, since we are, Smoke is free to do what is allowed by NASCAR to protect his title. No matter if is is the 24, the 17, the old 31, the 07, or the ALL-Tel Dodge…in a season as long as NASCAR has, you show how you should be treated. Nobody is a nice guy at 200mph. Smoke has earned a few free rounds at my house whenever he wants to collect!!! jwc
Tony make things happen. I just love to hate him. Comparing Gordon to Stewart is comparing apples to oranges. Jeff was methodical on his payback and did it when it really counted. Tony just blows up
Carl was never going to get the lucky dog…the cautions just didn’t fall that way. And although we knew he’d be penalized for it, a huge cheer went up in Edhead land when he spun Tony…sure, he shouldn’t have done that anywhere near pit lane, but it’s nice to know our guy is human, and won’t take things lying down. Great article, Tom.
Had stewart been penalized and put on probation for intentionally wrecking Kenseth at Daytona then maybe he would calm down or maybe he could set out Indy
Tony definitely needs to sit out a race or two. I would love for it to be Indy. Carl made a lot of new fans Sunday. I’m so glad he didn’t put up with Tony’s bs. WTG Carl!
Carl Edwards better look out at Indy or he might just get Smoked!!! Like he would stand a chance in a brawl with Tony. All he can do is backflips.
First off, what Tony did was silly, but I agree with Rusty Wallace’s view on ESPN.com. He said Bowyer jerked the car away from Stewart’s bump, which caused him to spin. ROOKIE mistake…although it was a ROOKIE that kicked the field’s butt twice at Pocono. So Bowyer is part of the mistake. Edwards is another. Who tries to pass two cars bumping against one another?? DUMB!!! And now we come to Edwards’ payback. ON PIT ROAD??? How stupid! He could have really gotten someone hurt. And for those who say Tony doesn’t get what he deserves…HORSE CRAP. He spun Jeff on pit road at Bristol and was fined and put on probation…but not NASCAR’s new POSTERBOY. And for all those “I used to be a Tony fan”...I USED TO BE A CARL EDWARDS FAN. And to those Earnhardt people…TONY IS THE NEXT BEST THING…a heckuva lot better than Earnhardt JR…
Recent articles from Tom Bowles:
Did You Notice? ... The Details Behind Busch Double-Duty And NASCAR Teams/Series Needing A Boost
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.