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.
Thomas Bowles · Wednesday September 11, 2013
Did You Notice? … The way in which Clint Bowyer has steered through the aftermath of “Spingate?” As one of the sport’s more personable drivers, the way he’s handled it brings another “P” word to one’s mind: perplexing. Monday’s NASCAR penalties, aimed towards Michael Waltrip Racing in essence let Bowyer off the hook. Sure, the driver was hit with a 50-point deduction, part of an equal first-degree punishment across all three teams but as the one who caused Richmond’s race-altering caution, via spinout one could argue he was guiltiest of all. Yet Bowyer escaped with a misdemeanor compared to the felony sentences assessed to everyone around him. Those 50 points, a devastating number if used correctly were applied to the regular season, pre-Chase, failing to have an effect on his new 2,000 point total. That leaves him with the millions in bonus money, the national exposure, and – let’s face it – very much in the hunt for the title trophy. Entering Chicagoland, this Sunday he sits 15 points behind Matt Kenseth and could conceivably walk out of the race with the points lead.
That’s something teammate Martin Truex, Jr. is unable to say, at least this year after this same 50-point penalty knocked him right out of the Chase. It’s unfortunate, for sure considering how the driver knew nothing of what was happening around him. But it seemed he became a Mayan sacrifice, the lamb offered up to NASCAR so MWR could fight the real battle it wanted: keeping Bowyer, their number one championship hopeful from losing that prime opportunity. Sprint Cup officials knew, despite the high level of circumstantial evidence on the No. 15 car they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Criminal court is about “beyond a reasonable doubt;” at no time did Bowyer say clearly, “I am going to spin myself out” either on the radio or in public. Additional penalties would cause an appeal, perhaps a lawsuit based on that “shaky” evidence and that’s not a war the sport wants dragged out at this stage. Could you imagine if week five of the Chase came around and the top story is a final appeals hearing with NASCAR’s outside judge, John Middlebrook?
That’s why this course of action is the equivalent of saying to Bowyer, “Not guilty.” But if there’s nothing for the man to be concerned about – repeated denials he spun intentionally lasted long into yesterday’s live SportsCenter appearances – then why call Ryan Newman ten minutes after the crackdown, apologizing? If the spin wasn’t intentional, if it didn’t alter the outcome in some way one would think there would be absolutely nothing to apologize for. The fact Bowyer tried to back off said apology, uncomfortably over the airwaves after some public relations guy finally realized the ramifications speaks volumes. It’s almost like the veteran knows what he did was wrong, feels bad about it, and wants to come clean. But the price that team, along with sponsorship loss will pay with a “guilty” admission means the truth must remain unspoken for decades.
Did You Notice?… Quick hits before we take off…
- In the midst of one of the sport’s most controversial moments, a fair journalistic question to ask: Where is Brian France? You’ve just handed down one of the harshest penalties your sport has ever seen, removing a competitor from your playoff system (virtually unprecedented) and are fighting allegations races could be rigged. So your response to that is to lay low, throw President Mike Helton to the wolves for now and hope for the best?
Let me put it this way: if Frontstretch were being charged with fraud, as much as I love them Amy Henderson and Beth Lunkenheimer, my two top assistants wouldn’t be out in front of the microphone. Tough problems require tougher answers, keeping the faith in a sport so many have dedicated their lives to. Where’s France now, a calm guiding force his dad summoned so many times to steer things in the right direction?
- Question #2: If Ryan Newman doesn’t have a bad pit stop, coming out first and winning the race Saturday night are we even wondering if Clint Bowyer cheated? I’d have to think the answer is no. Worst-case, we’d think it was fishy but the public pressure just wouldn’t be there for NASCAR to investigate the issue.
- How close are some of these spots to make the Chase? Think back to Pocono, this August where teammates Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon battled it out. Kahne beat Gordon into 1, held on through some perilous side-by-side action and shut his teammate out of Victory Lane. That, up to this point has made the difference as to which driver is in or out.
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I think that Bowyer should have been removed from the Chase and Gordon should be in.
Yet another reason the whole ‘chase’ gimmick is ridiculous.
Sa far as this “Spingate” goes, it appears that Ty Norris is the Jack Billmyer and Jim Cardiges of Toyota Racing. (These two guys were principals in the big Honda scandal a few years ago, and were both heavily involved with Rick Hendrick.) Steve Lynch, the author of the book “Arrogance And Accords”, the book about that scandal, should visit the NASCAR garage and write a sequel to that book, and call it: “Stupidity And Camrys – The Michael Waltrip Racing Story”!
As for poor Jeffy missing the Chase through all this, think about this. Last year, with all the garbage that was going on between him and Bowyer that ended with Gordon taking Bowyer out at Phoenix, anyone remember the third driver who was an innocent victim in that crash? Isn’t it real karma with it being that same driver who got into the Chase by one or two points, and not Gordon?
Also, I wonder if David Reutimann and Mark Martin have stopped laughing and gotten up off the floor yet?
Good one about David and Mark.
First Clint said that he thought Jr. got in to him and caused the spin. This morning paper said that the itch comment came from the fact that he had poison oak on his arms from cutting down a tree last week. Is this another spin.
I’m sure that the folks who still hate Jeff are happy he’s not in. That’s fine.
Leaving Bowyer in to potentially WIN this chase could have bigger ramifications than NASCAR expects IMO. If he does, expect a lot of fans to be even angrier than they already are.
I honestly don’t care about the next 10 races. I don’t plan to watch. This gimmick needs to end, it has spoiled the fun of watching a race – tired of it all being about points every single race.
I do agree though with the “where’s Brian” question. funny isn’t it how he’s never around – it’s like they only trot him out twice a year for special events. Useless git.
First of all folks, I’m not a big Jeff Gordon fan but don’t dislike the guy. But, there is no way you can leave him out of the chase because without Bowyer’s Spin, Jeff is in and Logano is out. What if Bowyer or Logano win the Chase? Whoo, talk about a mess! Hey, I got an idea, if Bowyer is truly innocent, give him a polygraph test by a polygraph expert and if he passes I will buy the results. You want to bet Bowyer won’t take one? We know why. Come on Clint, take the test. Clear you name. You cost a good friend a win and without Nascar stepping in Neuman wouldn’t even be in the chase. If I had a friend and he cost me a race he wouldn’t be a friend for long. There is too much evidence that Bowyer spun on purpose to ignore. And, like has been mentioned, the Bowyer penalty is meaningless and really needs to be looked at. Nascar had better step up because if one of two people who shouldn’t be in the chase happen to win it then you will really have a mess on your hands. And, what about Gordon? We all know that Gordon could win it all because after all he is a four time champ. This ruling could very well cost him a championship. Again, Nascar better right this wrong and they could really be red faced when it’s all over. And, we are not even talking about all the money that Gordon could lose because of not being in the chase. Either way, Nascar has not fixed this issue yet until Gordon is put back in and Bowyer has been give some meaningful punishment. And, if you read a lot of article there are some very well known writers who agree that Nascar hasn’t fixed this and that Gordon needs to be put in.
Larry, go read my comment above about Logano getting in instead of Gordon. I am finding all this garbage very ironic how people are saying that MWR was also trying to help Joey. What bunk! If Joey still drove for Coach Phoney, I might suspect that. But Joey drives a Ford, and there is no way in you-know-where that a Toyota driver is going to do anything to help a Ford driver, especially a Ford driver who used to drive a Toyota.
Oh, and I forgot about Rodney Childers. I’ll bet he’s laughing too! And Mark more so. Look who Mark is driving for right now!
Agreed, Bowyer got off too light. However, I was encouraged to hear pretty strong statements from NAPA and 5 Hour Energy today. In the end, sponsors not tolerating this will go farther than any NASCAR penalty could.
If you need a “calm, guiding force” to be out front in this situation, I’d much prefer Mike Helton over Brian France any day. Just sayin’.
Also, regarding the Bowyer (non)penalty – I believe a deal was made. In exchange for MWR not appealing the penalties, they would be allowed to keep one car in the chase, probably to appease the sponsors. I also now believe part of that deal was that NASCAR would be “blind” to the obvious intent of that spin, giving MWR the ability to downplay the extent of their acts to just the action with the 55, based on what we saw in interviews yesterday.
Just my $.02.
I believe it was Gordon last year that cost Bowyer a CHASE berth. hmmm? What goes ‘round, comes ‘round. I feel so bad for Gordon. NOT!!!
What really would be funny is if NAPA or 5hour drops MWR and goes to Gordon….I would hate it for Martin, but not MWR or Clint. I think Michael and Clint took a quote from Earnest T. Bass from Andy Griffin show. “Ask me know questions and I will tell you No lies”
As I said yesterday, SPONSORS. I bet Tony is liking his chops with the
SHOEMAN- did not Clint take Gordon out several times during the year, Mr. Hendrick even said Clint hurt the entire Hendrick team by wrecking Gordon at Martinville where so many Hendricks people died, while a win would not have brought anyone back, I think it would have helped the healing process…If I were Gordon, Clint would not win a race or the Championship.
Shawn, I agree. Bowyer cost Jeff and/or Jimmie the win at Martinsville and then raced “rough” all year. At Phoenix, Bowyer knocked Jeff out of the way again and he didn’t need to or even really need the position – he just decided he could push the 24 around. Yeah what Jeff did as payback was pretty ugly – no disputing that, but IMO Bowyer got what he deserved – he got wrecked after wrecking the same car multiple times. Sort of the same way Hamlin & Logano had issues this year.
I sincerely hope that Bowyer doesn’t win the 10 race trophy this year or any other and it will be interesting about how the sponsors do react. Nobody likes to be embarrassed like that. I know that I’m not buying any parts from NAPA. Who is 5 hr energy owned by? I don’t use the stuff, so I guess I’ll have to look it up.
I agree the points over the season or lack of them made Jeff Gordon’s bed as to get in the Chase. I am not happy he isn’t in it, I think its the right thing to do. His season has been subpar and he has no wins. Ingrid and Rick are tweeting about their outrage. Heck, Nascar has lost what little shred of dignity they had so I am sure Jeff will show up with his party dress on, and be allowed in the Chase. Logano 100% deserves to be where he is. Gordon got his Golden Ticket last year with his rain shortened win at Pocono. A half of a race where you showed up does not make a Chase caliber driver. NOBODY knows what could have happened the last laps of the race, Newman might not have won and lord knows what could have happened to Jeff. Rewarding on a unknown is giving someone a freebie, and at the expense of those who proved their stats, how is that fair? Nascar has really opened up an ugly can of worms. People always want more, Newman is in, the mob says why not Jeff and so on and so on and so on.
Fear not Biffle detractors, he will not win the championship this year. Nascar will make sure of that. Bad luck will hit Clint in the form of cautions for debris at the wrong time.
Wait! Isn’t that manipulation? Hmm.
Add in the possibility that Gordon gets some retribution and it will be some kind of uphill battle for Clint to win the title this year.
BABYD is spot on. Agree with everything you said.
Steve, did you really mean “Bowyer”, and not “Biffle”? Personally, I hope Biffle does win it. He would be the only one with a Championship in all three top series’.
As for NAPA and 5-Hour Energy, their statements are speaking volumes. If both did decide to dump MWR, the one I do feel sorry for is Truex. But, while Tony might be rubbing his hands together, if NAPA did decide to seek more ethical pastures, why not go with an underdog team like the #34? I know restrictor plate races are a crapshoot, but David Ragan has won two of them. What would that team, or the #38 team, be able to do if they had the kind of funding that NAPA brought to MWR. They probably wouldn’t pull off wins, but they would at least make their presence known. Just saying!
Whoops. Yes I meant Bowyer. It starts with a B at least. Does that count? ;-)
A general misconception is that MWR was trying to help Joey be in the Chase by knocking Jeff out. I’m quite sure that is incorrect. If Jeff “point raced” his way into the Chase then Joey would be the “1 win Wild-Card recipient” which would keep Truex and Newman out. Of course Joey would lose the benefit of the bonus points for his win… but he would still be in the Championship hunt.
I agree with Ken’s implication concerning “Hendrick’s complaining” about Jeff being manipulated out of the Chase by MWR. Talk about being a “hypocrite!”
Ken (11:57AM) – Fact checker here…..MWR racing needed Logano to be in the top 10 otherwise the Truex wildcard spot would go to Logano. Nothing to do with caring if Logano made the chase, but he was a domino that needed to fall to make the whole scheme work. This wasn’t just planned on the fly…
Steve, speaking of manipulation, they never showed the debris that caused the Lap 270 caution that got Gordon back on the lead lap and put him back in the Chase hunt on Saturday. I’m a 24 fan, I was hoping for a caution, and I had a feeling NASCAR would pounce at the slightest excuse to make the showdown for the Chase spots more interesting. And pounce they did. I think Jeff’s been screwed over by the whole MWR/Penske deal and the subsequent penalties, but he wouldn’t have been in that position if not for a caution that was very likely bogus, so I’m not as upset about the whole affair as I’d otherwise be.
I’m pretty surprised that NASCAR actually did something. Then add the sponsor factor on top of that. It’s better than Housewives of ‘pick your city’.
OK, first we have the infamous Spingate, and now it appears a lesser Ford team helped Logano to get one extra point to knock the biggest crybaby in NASCAR out of the Chase.
To Brian France: Your circus is in serious trouble. You have allowed NASCAR to become the biggest laughingstock of the sportsworld. I urge you to reconsider the Chase just for this year, just until you can develop concrete rules for everyone to race by honestly. This includes “Felon Racing” (aka Hendrick Motorsports) and “Dumb-As-a-Doornail Racing” (aka Michael Waltrip Racing). For this year only, drop the Chase crap and reset the points back to what they were at the conclusion of the Richmond race, with penalties included. This will have Carl Edwards one single point ahead of the second biggest whiner in NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson. Then, for the next ten races, run them as per normal. While this will make it a full season championship, it will be the only way for NASCAR to get any credibility back. Unfortunately, with this being a 36-race Championship, instead of a 10-race Championship, that might through off “Chammie”, your largest financial contributor’s top team.
What do you say, Mr. France? Can you sober up long enough to comprehend what I have asked for and agree to it?
I am willing to take bets that neither NAPA or 5 Hour will leave MWR as a result of this. Likewise Toyota. Basically they are all using PC spin tactics to make it sound like they care. Don’t believe me? Just think back to M&Ms, Gibbs and Toyota when Kyle got in trouble. Lots of babble and posturing, but no action.
With that said, as much as I think they should, NASCAR is not going to put Gordon in now. Their playbook now is to just hope it blows over. Unless he eventually wins a championship or sets some meaningful record, Bowyer will now be remembered for this “Black Sox” moment in NASCAR. That will be his legacy. Unlike Jeff Gordon he doesn’t have the championships, wins and poles to overshadow those controversial moments.
I think Clint Boyer has been hanging out with Nelson Piquet Jr. too much.
Its been 5 days now and we still have not heard from Nascar’s fearless leader Brian France on the issue. Guess he can’t sober up enough to take control of his own racing organization.
His absence is very telling. This ship just took and iceberg, so maybe he’s spending his time inflating the life raft.
@ another Andy D –
The 48 “dropping out” the last 4 weeks had zero effect on whether or not the 24 or 5 made the chase. Unless the 48 dropped COMPLETELY out of the top 10, that is. The 24 was chasing the drivers in 9th and 10th in the points to get in. What happens at the top of the standings had no bearing. Jimmie DNF’ing doesn’t bring them any closer to 10th.
I agree with Sully @1:31pm.
allisong, It wasn’t about getting ahead of Johnson, it was about having the opportunity to accumulate more points each week to close in on top 10 or wild card spots. Think of it like a 42 car race without the 48. Remember Pocono? Johnson out, Kahne and Gordon score max points.
Anytime one of NASCAR’s “Golden Boys” don’t make The Chase they look to blame something or someone other than the driver and/or team. Of all the controversy that has been mentioned the only thing that was wrong is Clint spinning out on purpose to bring out the caution and that is questionable. The rest is just someone fishing for a reason to get Gordon in to The Chase since he could not race his way in.
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