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.
Bowles-Eye View · Thomas Bowles · Monday October 9, 2006
One final lap on NASCAR's fastest superspeedway. That's all that stood between a jubilant Jimmie Johnson and Victory Lane Sunday, a signature win destined to get him back in the championship Chase. For Brian Vickers running behind him, he could have seen an opportunity lying ahead, too – a chance to perhaps write his name on a Nextel Cup trophy for the first time in 107 starts. Either way, it looked like nothing could go wrong as the Hendrick cars, ranked second and third, barreled down the back straightaway at 200 miles per hour, both with runs that would push them in front of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and clearly win the race for one of them.
Then, the front bumper of Vickers touched the back bumper of Johnson, and the speeds at Talladega could scarcely compare with the quickness through which the world of Hendrick Motorsports promptly imploded.
Six months ago, I wrote a "story" titled Cruel finish about how Brian Vickers was robbed of his first victory at Talladega in the Spring. Let's flash back to that moment : Vickers, putting himself in perfect position over the race's final laps, had vaulted himself into the lead with teammate Johnson pushing him on his back bumper. All they had to do was stay in line over the final 2.66 miles, and Vickers would have been standing in Victory Lane showered in champagne, smiles mixed with tears as the young star reminded us of lives lost in that Hendrick helicopter tragedy of nearly two years ago, including best friend and former team owner Ricky Hendrick. The monkey of a winless streak finally off his back, the storyline heading into Talladega this October could just as easily have been how all four Hendrick drivers, not three, were racing hard in the Chase for the Championship this year.
But teammates were not destined to work together on that day. Pulling out with a full head of steam, Johnson blew by him with help and went on to win the race. Afterwards, he was hardly apologetic, claiming he owed it to his sponsors to do everything he could to post the victory. It wasn't a team sport for Hendrick at that moment - it was every man for himself.
Well, that last lap pass was the time of momentum builder that sent Johnson's team over the top - and Vickers' team over the edge. The No. 25 car crashed out of the next three races, and by June Vickers saw his chances for the Chase disappear - as well as his desire to keep racing with Hendrick. Opting out of his contract, Vickers was on his way to a new opportunity with a new team, while the other three men in the Hendrick stable were well on their way to battling for a championship.
The move to switch teams for 2007, though, didn't mean Vickers lost his desire for gaining a victory for his fallen friend and an organization responsible for jumpstarting his career in Nextel Cup. Yet, since that announcement back about four months ago it appears the other Hendrick drivers look at him as little more than someone still on the team merely to help them succeed. Between Jeff Gordon's criticism towards Vickers at New Hampshire a few weeks ago, when he raced the No. 24 car hard for position late in the race, and Jimmie Johnson's public outcry against him this Sunday, it's clear they view Vickers as fourth man on the totem pole in their own personal pecking order. With the public announcement this week that the youngster is now getting shut out of team meetings within the own organization he works for, it's amazing Vickers has still been able to remain even casual friends with some of these guys off the track - because they're clearly not doing him any favors on it.
Still, despite every reason to turn his back on an organization that had turned his back on him, in the last lap of a race in which he clearly had a chance to win, Vickers simply stayed in line and tried to help his teammate win the race. Unfortunately, he made a simple mistake, a bump in the wrong place that sent Johnson and Earnhardt, Jr. into the grass and Vickers towards a win he'd lost through bad luck several other times in his three-year career. In the end, it was a desire to help a team member, the very thing Hendrick team members had criticized Vickers for, that caused the crash which won Vickers the race.
Afterwards, Johnson was livid. But it's Vickers who should be livid with how the Hendrick organization has treated him after four loyal years of service.
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Finally somebody talks some sense. As much as anybody else, I didn’t want that wreck to happen at the end of the race yesterday. I don’t think Brian Vickers wanted that wreck. But, just as Jimmie Johnson’s sponsors expect him to try and gain the best finish possible, so do the sponsors of the #25 car. I really think that Brian first had intentions on helping Jimmie because that in turn would help his position. We will never know what would have come after that because Jimmie’s car hit a pocket of air while Brian was moving forward fast and they touched. The rest is history.
Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon need to take a lesson on how teammates are there to help each other. It seems time and time again that the other Hendrick cars are there to support them. I lost a lot of respect for those two after the past few weeks.
I totally agree. I’ve read more articles than I care to stating that Vickers took out Johnson on purpose. Watching it unfold it didn’t come across at all like that..it seemed that Johnson started to make a move at the wrong time. I agree with your points that Vickers has been seen from his “teammates” as more of someone that should do everything in his power for the other teams to succeed. Its getting a bit tiring hearing from the guys in the Chase like the rest of the drivers should bow down to them or something…Interesting too that Johnson can’t seem to recall hanging Vickers out there to dry..call it Karma Jimmie…
I agree with this article. Hendrick may be the only place in Nascar where there is an “I” in “team”, in fact it might by the ONLY thing in “team” there! Jeff Gordon has been proving more and more each week that it’s all about him, as far as he’s concerned. He has been whining all year about someone else being the cause of his misfortunes. A week or so ago, he was complaining that Vickers was “not his teammate”. Earlier in the year, he was blaming Ken Schrader, one of the true “good guys” in Nascar for being in his way (when he clearly wasn’t). Sunday, he was complaining about Jr. Almost each week it’s seemed as if he is blaming someone else when he didn’t finish a race where he wanted to.
Jimmy Johnson complained Sunday that Vickers move was “out of line”, a comment that was clearly a case of the pot calling the kettle “black”. Vickers didn’t do anything differently than Johnson himself has done during many races. In fact, Johnson has caused a lot more accidents at super speedways than Vickers ever has! If JJ had any brains, he would have realized that the second place finish he already had in the bag Sunday would have helped him enormously in the “Chase” and losing it was not worth the risk of trying to win with a hazardous move on the closing lap. He seems to have the same attitude as Jeff Gordon, ie. that a win should be his at all costs.
JJ and Jeff Gordon have been showing their true colors in recent weeks and it ain’t pretty. They are showing more and more that they are two of the most selfish drivers in Nascar and I too have lost much respect for them.
as soon as that wreck happen i was pissed at jj for what he did. then the replays came and i said wow sorry jj its wasnt his fault. it was vickers. when you look at it vickers wanted to go low then he thought about it for split second. wrong thing to do. then as soon as he said wait jj hung me out 6 months ago and drivers never forget something like that. as he started to go back up he got cought in the draft off of the two cars plus jj slowing down cause from 1. junior came down on him, 2. and he got out of the gas to slow down and in that split second vickers was already starting to go back up and said the hell with this im going for the win and bam all hell broke loss. i dont blame bv at all. its racing. wait but i do blame hedricks. it will always be gordon-jj-the new kid who i dont think fits in anyways and then it will be mears. as long as mears nows his role as the clean up boy he keeps his mouth shut he will be ok there. well maybee knaus is right too much power for vickers. i dont think knaus understand there is no i in team. how would he hell gordon owns have that team anyways.
great article—-the 24 or 48 would have done the same to the 25!!! And it is always ok—-IF THEY WIN! 24 and 48 Do not whine!!!
Junior trusts drivers to drive clean. Johnson is selfish and so is Vickers, Hendricks thinks they aare the power house Cinderella team. Maybe if they started racing like there are other drivers on the track instead of just them bad things would not always happen. And they won’t have to whine (Jeff & Jimmie) all the time. Junior is the one that lost this one, he had no help. but help like jj got is no help at all
I have never been a Jimmy Johnson fan, and his attitude and comments after the race really turn me off. Jimmy is all about Jimmy. I could have understood negitive comments from Dale Jr, but he is a class act. Way to go jr!
I have nothing to add, Thomas Bowles said it all. Think I’ll kick back with a Bud.
jimmy johnson must have forgotten talladega last year, when his early aggressive driving took out half the field and cost numerous chasers a chance at the championship. jimmy has had a silver spoon in his mouth since day one and his actions and comments validate my point.
You said it all. I am not a Brian Vickers fan, but I have noticed that he has been the ‘good soldier’ for years, and that he’s gotten screwed on numerous occasions. I don’t think it was intentional, but if it has been, I would have cheered for him more.
Loud applause for your article. Vickers has been the stepchild at Hendricks for far to long. Good for him and his victory, Jimmie and Jeff think it’s all about them. They are the ones that WERE NOT good team mates to Brian. I hate it for Jr. But he showed major class in his post race interview.
What comes around goes around Jimmie and Jeff, be sure at the next plate race, NO ONE will be drafting with you guys.
I never was a particular fan of Vickers, but I am now. He did his job in spite of the treatment he was receiving. He made a little mistake and the rest of the team ( and a lot of fans) are treating him like dirt. Enjoy your victory Brian. You deserve it.
JJ always has been and always will be a whiner. It was CLEAR Vickers didn’t hit him on purpose. When drafting, you GO when you want to pass someone. JJ checked up while Vickers thought he was going forward with a full head of steam. I think any and all of the criticism Vickers is getting from the press and his spoiled, whiney teammates (in fact, Gordon, Johnson and especially Busch are all whiners) is completely uncalled for.
It’s nice to see more articles and blogs coming out on the RIGHT side of this argument today. If I was Vickers, I’d ask for an immediate release so I didn’t have to put up with these so-called teammates. Backstabbers is more like it.
Good article and right on the money. Gordon is the biggest taker on the circuit, and thinks everything revolves around him. Johnson followed in his footsteps. Gordon was a young man who was in the right place at the right time and took advantage. Good for him. But!!!!!!! there are other drivers that could have done the same thing, given the same circumstances. Since the invasion of youth Gordon has fallen into the mix, he isn’t special anymore. So given that Johnson has learned that Gordon take all and give nothing logic, he reaped what he sowed. Karma I say. Good luck to Vickers and I hope he blows their doors off.
Good read!! Interesting that JR and Kurt Busch sided with Vickers in the deal. Now it’s becoming clearer to me why I don’t like JJ….
for some of the morons that responded to this it’s spelled JIMMIE not JIMMY, seriously some of you make yourself look foolish when trying to bad mouth a driver.
Good article. It does amaze me that Jimmie Johnson has a pretty short memory – i still remember the in car camera from the spring Talladega race when he won – he was twitching around in the car like a spoiled little kid. Had the accident not happened, he would have no doubt expected Vickers to stay in line and not try to pass. And Vickers himself has said that the only reason why JJ even had a shot was becuase Vickers was drafting with him. The #25 has been treated as an R&D car by Hendrick to help the 24 and the 48. Between being banned from team meetings, and being thrown under the bus by Jeff Gordon after Loudoun, I doubt Brian Vickers lost too much sleep after winning that race. He didn’t wreck Johnson intentionally. If anything, Johnson should have let Vickers pull out first and then drop down right afterward – Vickers would have hit the air first, leaving enough room for JJ to drop down and then hook up and head to the front. Hopefully Casey Mears will be treated a little better by the Hendrick organization.
Even as a fan of the 24, I agree his whining has gotten tiresome this year…maybe it’s becoming time for him to hang up his helmet and and just put on his ownership cap…I hate to say it (believe me, anything not nailed down started flying when he got shuffled back Sunday then was caught up in the Big One), but perhaps this truly is a young man’s game and the drivers like Scrader, Jarrett, et al, are the ones who can hang on. JG, JJ, and KB are driving the legions of HMS fans away from them and need to get their act together…this is becoming ridiculous…
excuse me, jimmie not jimmy. i should have known that he would spell his name like a girl.
I agree 100% with your article. While not a Vickers fan, I say congrats Brian on your first victory. He was merely trying to help out his teammate and he gets bashed for it. I think the one question the folks at Hendricks Motorsports should be asked is what would their response have been if Vickers stayed in line with the 8 and left the 48 hung out to dry? I am curious as to why that hasn’t been asked yet. Seems like if he wasn’t a good teammate, that’s what he would have done. He would have finished second either way. He just wanted a Hendricks 1..2…Finish.
Thank GOD for this article. It’s about time that I find articles such as this one that actually saw what happened on Saturday for what it was.
A racing incident. Brian was trying to help Jimmie win. He wasn’t helping himself win. He wanted a 1-2 finish for HMS. Brian made a mistake, yes. He wasn’t blaming anyone. He was simply stating what happened. Brian barely got into him, and that’s all it took. For the individuals who believe it was intentional, they need to get out of the sport.
As a long time BV fan, at this point, I just want the season to end. I’m sick of seeing Brian treated as the red-headed step child at HMS.
I have instantly turned into a Brian Vickers fan after seeing another glaring example of how you get treated if your not one of Hendricks cronies, way to go Brian, you did NOTHING wrong and next year you’ll be in a car and with a team that actually cares about you.
Teamwork atHMS has always been put in a closet. Geoff Bodine and Ken Schrader put themselves out a few times until Rick Hendrick had a sit down with them.
I have to agree with most everybody here. It was a breath of fresh air to see this article after seeing all those others bashing Brian. Yeah, he made a mistake. But, he was trying to help a teammate to give HMS a 1-2 finish Sunday. I have seen race after race where Brian was helping out his teammates, but unfortunately, his teammates helping him has been a rare occurence. After the smoke cleared and Jimmie started his all too familiar whine, I immediately thought back to Talladega in May. I was beginning to think I was the only one. Glad to know I wasn’t. Jimmie Johnson is nothing but a spoiled selfish little boy. He absolutely deserved what he got on Sunday and he deserves to get his more often so he can realize this is Nascar and not the Jimmie Johnson show. All my congrats go to Brian and the #25 team and good luck to Brian next year with Team Red Bull. He deserves a chance to actually be able to race like a Cup driver for wins and championships and not feel like a second class citizen next to his teammates.
What has racing become today? What a bunch of whiners.. You are leaving our team so you attend any more meetings. Just like a bunch of little kids, you don’t play my game so I taking my ball and going home. As far as the race, how many times have we seen this before? Do you think Big E would have done the same as Brian Vickers?? Of course he would have!! Just ask Terry Labonte at the Winston. The reason that NASCAR is having issues with filling seats in both the stands and in front of the TV is that what you have now is a bunch of mealy mouth brats. Corporate big wigs love the mellow drivers, unfortunately it is killing what I loved about racing. Drivers with personality and talent.
Excellent article, and I enjoyed the reader feedback as well. Reader Mr. Blackburn is correct: what would the Hendricks organization be saying if Brian Vickers had stayed in line with Jr. and pushed HIM to the win? I am not a Vickers fan, but I recognize that he was put into a bad position and he deserves credit for trying to (belatedly) move with JJ to get the team win. Especially admirable in light of the really rotten treatment he has gotten at the hands of his so-called “teammates”.
Thanks for a reasonable, well-written article.
Loved the article, but couldn’t help but notice no one pointed out the recent trend of a Talladega race. Jimmie Johnson will wreck half the field then try to go on for the win, sound strategy when you don’t have enough talent to do it yourself vs the whole field. He clobbered Carl Edwards to start that mess to hurt Jeff Gordon’s chances, maybe if he would be a team player wait until Gordon and Kyle Busch (Note not who’s driving the #25) are ahead of him then slam on the brakes. I’m glad to see the #25 back in victory lane, it’s the red headed step child of the organization ever since Tim Richmond left, and I’m even a fan of Ken Schrader saying that. I say good luck to Casey Mears next year driving the equipment not wanted by Gordon, Johnson, Busch or Rick Hendrick’s dog who is probably higher on the pecking order than the driver of the #25 car.
Great responses,,,its good to see that there are some people out there that were watching the same race I was tuned into,,,Cheers to BV,,,and I hope he has the nerve to race his own race and not help his so called team mates in future races,,,TWC
If I were Vickers, I would wreck Johnson. Then after the race I would go to him and say now you can tell the difference….today I took you out on purpose, last week I didn’t.
Of course Vickers has way too much class to do that. I’m also very disappointed in Rick Hendricks taking his sweet time getting to victory lane. I didn’t notice Gordon railing against Johnson, who was the cause of the lap 139 wreck that did him in!
Red Bull racing just earned a fan!
The way I saw the thing is that Vickers had been running with the leaders all day and had one of the two fastest cars-Jr being the other. Johnson had run anywhere from 10th-20th and was able to stay up front because Vickers was pushing him. If Johnson had let Vickers lead, both could have passed Jr.. But Johnson was too selfish and self-centered to do the smart thing. So, when Johnson dropped down to try to pass he lost the push from Vickers and the draft from Jr.. His slower car lost momentum and Vickers tagged him as a result. The amazing thing was that Vickers tried to push Johnson to the win even after Talladega.
The difference between the spring race and the fall at Talladega is that Jimmie didn’t wreck Brian when he tried to pass him. Vickers is a Busch driver at best, you could put just about anyone in a hendrick car and they would win. It’ll be funny next year watching Vickers struggle to make the race in his Toyota
Being a diehard Earnhardt fan (Sr and Jr) I was mad as all hell when the wreck occured. Instantly wanting to blame someone for the wreck I pointed my middle finger at both of the Hendrick car. Jimmie for causing a wreck that seems to be his claime to fame at Dega and at Brian for not noticing Jimmies car darn near losing control as it is when he pulled out from behind Jr.and still trying to complete a pass. The “TEAM” efforts at HMS seem to really be slipping. Even Jeff and Jimmie really don’t work with each other. Not being much of a Hendrick fan I too am getting tired of Jeff and Jimmie and the other Bush whining. Seems to be a family trait. Always wanted to see Brian get his first win. Just didn’t think that it would take out Jr. Brian does however deserve better than he has recieved the last few years at HMS. Just to bad Rick never noticed it. I do however, think that Brian’s intensions were to get the win for himself. I believe if he would have went with Jimmie he would have remembered the spring race and tried to make it a three car sprint to the end. In which case I believe Jr. would have won. Jr. fan or not every one has to agree he had a pretty damn good car and arguably one of, if not, the fastest cars on the track that day. Not bad for a car that qualified 33rd. I enjoy reading these forums. Good to see everyones oppinions, even if I don’t agree with them. Here is to the past. May the best car actually win next time.
I LOVE the way all of the elitist Hendrick Motorsports buttheads responded to what was admittedly a REALLY bad move on behalf of Vickers. For example, take Chad Knaus and his “He simply ran out of talent” remark. Chad, if Jimmie is as talented as you want us to believe, then why do you REPEATEDLY cheat as his crew chief to try and come up with a winning car every weekend? Just let your TALENTED driver use his awesome abilities to drive away from the pack (what a hypocritical dork). Also, what’s up with Jimmie’s “He’s going to really feel isolated in the garage area now” remark? Jimmie, I hope you don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms the next time you run over someone on the way to victory lane—which happens, oh, several times a year. Other than your Hendrick Motorsports cronies, you isolated yourself from the competition a LOONNGG time ago, son. Vickers’ one-time act of overaggressiveness is not nearly as bad as the behavior that Knaus, Johnson and especially Whiner Gordon have consistently shown over the past few years. Hey Brian, since you’re being treated as a rival now instead of a teammate, feel free to apply the chrome bumper as often as you’d like.
I meant chrome horn, not bumper. Although his bumper worked pretty darn well too :)
Hey, they are giving out free beer in SECTION “8” on the frontstretch. The WHINE is all sold out.
You can’t compare the Spring and Fall races when Jimmie was wrecked and Brian wasn’t. Jimmie was clear in all interviews that he was sure the bump wasn’t intentional. Doesn’t JJ have a right to be upset. Chad was right Brian ran out of talent! After all both wins Brain has gotten in Cup has come by taking someone out. Give me a break! On to the next race!
I read all you had to say about talladega ,what you allforgot was If Junior didn’t block JJ none of this would have happened and no one would be blamed.It would have been a whale of a drag race to the finish line and no one could say or blame anyone .If you block you’re gonna get socked [MAYBE}
Here’s a second thought .The race was ruined when the accident that claimed Tony Stewart ,Jeff GOrdon ,Kevin Harvick and the :BIFF”.The race was caution free until some dumb move was made by GUESS WHO Carl Edwards ,It seems every one was focusts on that last lap ,but the real race and could have been a DOOZIE if those were in it to.
Hankus…Give me your address so I can send you a clip of that accident. Jimmie Johnson actually turned Carl Edwards sideways. That was what started the wrecking. It all started up front with a check up, but Johnson turned Edwards to start the big one. Next time you want to make a stupid comment, get the facts correct so you don’t look so ignorant.
I have been a Vickers fan for years and it is so great to see this article after the way he has been treated lately. It’s also great to see how many supporters Brian has now. He has gotten the shaft for far too long and his “teammates” have taken advantage far to much. I’m glad to see him get his first win and move on to Team Red Bull where they are building a team around him not some big-shot whiner!
Now that the commenting has died down a bit, I wanted to pop in and thank everyone for taking the time to write. It’s clear that this incident has stirred up a lot of controversy, and I don’t expect it to die down anytime soon! As always, I enjoyed reading what everyone has to say.
Johnson and Vickers were friends before this incident…I think people fail to realize sometimes how close that group of Hendrick drivers can be. It’ll be interesting to see if the friendship can continue in the midst of all this madness…one thing is clear, though. When Vickers moves to Team Red Bull in 2007, he now has even more to prove than he did before…despite his first win.
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