Jimmie Johnson wins the Sprint All-Star race.....again
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 19, 2013
Five-time is now four-time when it comes to the Sprint All-Star race. Coming into Saturday night’s race, Johnson was tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for most wins in the annual event with three wins. Johnson bided his time, restarted the last segment in the second spot, dueled Kasey Kahne for two laps to secure the lead and pulled away to a convincing win. Joey Logano started the last segment in the seventh position, took advantage of a slip up by Kyle Busch on the start of the final segment, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot. Kyle Busch rebounded from his slip up to muscle his way back to third. Kahne started the final segment on the pole but couldn’t hold off Johnson on the first few laps of the restart and ended up fourth. Kurt Busch won two segments, was the first on pit road for the money pit stop, but finished the event in fifth place.
Jimmie Johnson summed up his results in two words, “we’re lucky”. It was tongue in cheek but Johnson was poking fun at the people who continue to accuse the No. 48 of preferential treatment, fixed races, and a blind eye to cheating. Johnson has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history and it comes from natural talent and chemistry with his crew. This race also now ties Johnson with Davey Allison as the only two drivers to win the race in back-to-back years.
Logano and Busch visited with the media after the race to speak about their runs. Logano was understandably upbeat about his second while Busch was quite dejected, having another All-Star race slip out of his grasp. Kahne spoke about the elephant in the room that is the length of the segments in the race during his post race availability on pit road. He noted that the inherent problem with the format is that the car is designed with downforce, on a track that is cool and has a bunch of grip. The only way to make the races exciting after the first couple of laps of racing would be to extend the segments to the
The first 20 lap segment was won by Kurt Busch. Segment two went to his brother Kyle. That segment win allowed Bruton Smith to breathe more easily since he put up a $1,000,000 bonus to anyone who won all four of the segments. Segment three also went to the younger Busch, while the fourth segment win was tallied in brother Kurt’ s account.
Kyle Busch wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
posted by Mike Neff
Friday May 17, 2013
‘Rowdy’ Busch was back in his familiar No. 51 truck at his favorite track on the Truck schedule. Busch led 80 laps and thought he should have led more but had a fuel issue on pit road that resulted in him having to battle back through the field. The race was slowed by eight cautions that helped him work his way back through the field. Busch beat Brendan Gaughan to the finish by .488 seconds, while Max Gresham chased them both to the line for his first top three finish of his Truck career. Matt Crafton came home in fourth place after having to battle through a couple of tire mishaps during the event. Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5 for his first finish that high this season.
Busch led the race three times for his 80 laps. Miguel Paludo was second on the laps led board with 33. Gaughan, Gresham and Dillon also scored bonus points for leading laps. There were two cautions in the first 72 laps of the race while 29 of the last 62 laps were completed under the yellow flag.
Jeb Burton started the race on the pole but did not lead a lap. He did however end the race as the Rookie of the Race for his 13th place finish. Matt Crafton leads Burton by 22 points in the season standings after five races this season.
Matt Kenseth Snatches Victory from the Jaws of Defeat at Darlington
posted by Mike Neff
Sunday May 12, 2013
Kyle Busch appeared to be headed for another weekend sweep after winning the Nationwide race at Darlington on Friday night. However, a funny thing happened as they were bringing out the dustpan. Matt Kenseth chased down the dominant car of the night, passed him with relative ease and then strolled away to a 3.165 second victory. Kenseth led the final 13 laps after Busch had held the point for 265 of the 354 laps leading up to Kenseth’s race winning pass. After Kenseth worked around Busch, the No. 18 slid rapidly backwards over the final eight laps to fall from second to sixth place.
Joe Gibbs Racing did manage a 1-2 finish after sweeping the podium in Friday night’s Nationwide tilt. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race back in the car since his vertebrae fracture at California, soldiered through the pain of his arms, neck and shoulders more than his recovered back to wrestle a second place finish away from the Lady in Black. Coming home in third was Jeff Gordon, who turned his 700th career start into a top 3 finish. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 5 in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Kurt Busch started the race on the pole and led the first 51 laps before coming to the pits for a green flag stop. After the stops cycled through Busch was back at the point for 18 more laps before his brother began his domination. The race went green for the first 302 laps save a seven lap caution stint from lap 125 to lap 131. The final 65 laps saw four more cautions that flew for accidents involving Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and Kasey Kahne.
The race saw four leaders including Jeff Gordon in addition to the Busch brothers and Kenseth. The win is Kenseth’s 27th of his career and breaks a tie between himself and his teammate Kyle Busch. The win is Kenseth’s third this season which is the most among all of the competitors in the Cup series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Rookie of the Race. Jeff Gordon’s top 5 finish was his 300th of his career. He joins Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison as the only four drivers in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat.
Busch Dominates at Darlington as JGR Sets Nationwide Series Record
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday May 10, 2013
Kyle Busch dominated the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on Friday night en route to his 56th career Nationwide Series victory and fifth series win of 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing in general was the class of the field all night at Darlington Raceway, claiming four of the top 5 finishing spots, with only fourth-place Joey Logano keeping them from sweeping the top four spots. It was a historic night for JGR, as no team has ever before placed four cars in the top 5. Elliott Sadler finished second to Busch and Brian Vickers third, with Logano and Matt Kenseth rounding out the top 5.
Busch led 107 of 147 laps on the way to the win. Sadler was the best among the Nationwide Regulars, finishing second despite an early spin in Turn 2, and gained points on leader Regan Smith, who finished seventh. Kyle Larson continued to impress at the Lady in Black, posting a sixth-place finish in his first Darlington start as he runs for rookie honors. Sam Hornish, Jr., who remained second in points, finished eighth while Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier filled the top 10.
Smith now leads Nationwide Series points by 28 over Hornish. Sadler jumps two spots to third on his second-place run as Justin Allgaier fell one place to fourth. Vickers gained three sports and is now fifth, 49 behind Smith. Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Brian Scott, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing Penalties Reduced Following Appeal
posted by Summer Bedgood
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing had many of their penalties for the No. 20 team reduced during the appeal process on Wednesday.
Driver Matt Kenseth and owner Joe Gibbs had their points penalties reduced from 50 to 12 points.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension has also been dropped from seven races to one, though he will still be forced to pay the $200,000 fine.
Not all of the penalties were reduced, however. Toyota Racing’s manufacturer points penalty was increased from five points to seven.
All other penalties were dropped, including the suspension of Joe Gibbs’ owners license, the loss of bonus points for the Chase earned at Kansas Speedway, and the loss of eligibility into the Sprint Unlimited garnered from the pole at Kansas Speedway.
JGR has accepted the penalties and will not appeal further.
Following a dominant win at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago, Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection when it was found that a connecting rod was 2.7 grams below the minimum weight. Toyota Racing Development accepted the blame for the incident.
The reduction moves Kenseth up to fourth in points, 66 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
JGR has not announced who will replace Ratcliff this weekend in Darlington.
The appeal was heard by Mark Arute, Dennis McGlynn, and Jack Housby.
NASCAR cannot appeal the revised penalties.
Penske Has Suspensions Reduced On Appeal
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Roger Penske’s team got some relief Tuesday from NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, as he chose to reduce penalties assessed to that organization at Texas Motor Speedway in early April. Middlebrook, after hearing the evidence from both sides Tuesday chose to reduce all suspensions in the case from six to two weeks, plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18th. That means the final consequences for both teams are the following:
No. 2 car
No. 22 car
Middlebrook’s official statement was short, simply stating, “After looking at all the facts, data, and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties. However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the All-Star race to two points races and the All-Star Race.” However, it seemed both sides, after presenting their cases were far more pleased with how the case was handled during this portion of the appeal.
“We were able to talk about areas we worked in,” said Roger Penske, referring to the “gray area” of the NASCAR rulebook officials ultimately felt stepped over the line. “I’m very happy with the outcome. This sport has been built on innovation. All of us have tried to innovate in areas not defined in the rulebook. We were in that area.”
In conversations with the parties involved, it was clear the controversy surrounded parts designed to increase the rear-end angle at the back of both cars. In past years, with innovation limited through the Car of Tomorrow templates teams have played around with suspension systems designed to make the rear end of the car easier to “move.” The more the car skews in the corner, the easier it can be to handle and gain extra speed.
However, NASCAR had made rules designed to curb those types of innovations this year and made the determination Penske parts to build the rear suspension were unapproved. Why they had gone undetected in previous inspections was never addressed, along with claims someone else in the garage had alerted officials to possible inappropriate car construction. One thing Penske did admit, though is had this decision been issued by the initial appeals panel, he would not have pressed his luck with Middlebrook.
“All of us,” he said. “Have lost points for certain infractions over the years. The key thing is to have people back at the racetrack operating in full control.”
The end results leave Logano 18th in points, 146 behind championship leader Jimmie Johnson and 43 outside a Chase position. Keselowski is far more stable; fifth in points, he’s 69 behind and 45 ahead of 11th-place Matt Kenseth. Neither of the Penske cars have won a race this season.
“Moved on from last few weeks,” Keselowski tweeted Wednesday morning. “And ready to focus on @TooToughToTame (Darlington Raceway).”
The next round of NASCAR penalty appeals, focusing on Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth will be heard on Wednesday morning.
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Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday May 1, 2013
A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.
Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):
No. 2 team
No. 22 team
NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.
UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.
“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”
“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”
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Kyle Busch Wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown
posted by Thomas Bowles
Friday April 26, 2013
Who says Joe Gibbs Racing teammates don’t get along? Kyle Busch is certainly receiving gifts, from Denny Hamlin in the form of shiny trophies from winning the latter’s annual charity event. Rowdy was romping through the field again at Richmond Thursday night, taking control at the race’s midpoint and cruising during the latter stages to win the Showdown for the third time in the past six years. In a race that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, created to help those with cystic fibrosis Busch had his late model hitting on all cyilnders down the stretch. Pulling away from fellow Cup driver David Ragan, in the final segment of the 75-lap race the outcome was simply never in doubt following a 5-minute break for pit stops prior to Lap 47. Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett, Jr., and Garrett Campbell rounded out the top-5 finishers.
Other Cup drivers, including defending race champion Tony Stewart were in the field but never a factor up front. Smoke, actually extending his slumping start to 2013 into this race got wrecked before the halfway point and wound up 28th. Matt Kenseth, still distraught after a midweek penalty virtually negated his win at Kansas was never truly competitive, either; he finished 22nd.
Also on Thursday night, African-American driver Ryan Gifford won the first K&N Pro Series East race of his young career. Surviving a five-lap shootout, following a red flag he cruised home over Brandon Gdovic.
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Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Penalized As Engine Fails Kansas Post-Race Inspection
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Until the end of time, Matt Kenseth can say he crossed the finish line first at Kansas Sunday. NASCAR Record Books will say the same. But after a harsh series of penalties announced on Wednesday, should they stand that’s about the only thing Kenseth can hang his hat on after a successful weekend turned sour.
According to multiple reports, officials at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina discovered a connecting rod on Kenseth’s engine, brought in for Kansas post-race inspection weighed three grams less than the minimum weight of 525g. The consequences, announced today are crippling for both driver and team. Kenseth, along with car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 driver and owner points, actually reducing their overall totals heading into Kansas even though the No. 20 car won the race. That lost chunk of points drops Kenseth from eighth to 14th in the standings. More importantly, the win “won’t count” for either bonus points in the Chase or determine postseason eligibility; that means the driver, now in “Wild Card” position is considered to have one win so far this season instead of two.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on these consequences. Crew chief Jason Radcliffe, fined $200,000 based on the infraction has also been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, along with the All-Star Race. Toyota, whose TRD engine department ultimately supplies the JGR powerplants has had five points deducted from its total in the manufacturer’s championship. And finally, Joe Gibbs himself, already docked 50 owner points has had his license suspended by NASCAR, which means he’s ineligible to accrue owner points for the No. 20 until the next six Sprint Cup Series points races are completed.
Gibbs, NASCAR has clarified will still be able to travel to the racetrack despite a suspended license. In a tersely worded statement, the owner says he’ll appeal the ruling, which violated three parts of the series rulebook. The one most pertinent is Section 20-5.5.3(E) which states only magnetic steel connecting rods, with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4J, which gives officials the right to penalize for parts they claim do not conform to NASCAR rules were also cited in the sport’s official release.
Toyota Racing Development’s Lee White, in a statement released early this afternoon took responsibility for the violation.
During NASCAR’s routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth’s race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway,” he stated, “One of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas — JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been — and will continue to be — to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR.”
Kenseth, who has led 482 laps this season, two higher than his total last year has been one of the strongest competitiors on the Sprint Cup track in 2013. His engines have also passed several previous inspections.
Johnny Sauter Penalized For Fuel Cell Infraction At Kansas
posted by Thomas Bowles
Wednesday April 24, 2013
Thorsport Racing, along with former Truck Series point leader Johnny Sauter are reeling this Wednesday after a major penalty involving their No. 98 Toyota. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the team was fined $10,000, crew chief Joel Shear has been suspended for four races and 25 owner points were taken away as a result of a faulty fuel cell, confiscated during pre-race inspection at Kansas. Driver Sauter was also hit was a loss of 25 points, completely reshaping the championship Chase heading into the next race of the season at Charlotte May 17th.
According to NASCAR officials, the team violated multiple sections of the rulebook. The key ones involve Section 20B-16 and 20B-16.1B, regarding the proper size and functioning of fuel cells. “Once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified,” the rules say, “Modifications of any kind will not be permitted.” The 16.1B portion refers to black safety foam, with a minimum height of eight inches that must be used as a safety mechanism when putting together the fuel cell itself. By violating that rule, NASCAR is insinuating the team modified or enhanced the cell in some way by cutting back / replacing that foam.
Section 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing was also listed as a rules violation along with 12-4K, which gives NASCAR Officials the leeway to penalize teams when they feel previously legal equipment was modified, in any manner after being initially inspected.
Thorsport, as of yet has not said whether they plan to appeal. The penalties mean Matt Crafton becomes the new Truck Series point leader, by 13 over Jeb Burton while Sauter gets pushed back into a tie for second place.
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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.
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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.
Fast foward to when King Whine, Jeff Gordon was still a prince. Talladega was the place and Jeff put his teammate Schrader almost out of the track with a bone head move. The first person to talk to him after the race was Kenny. A class move.
After this race did Jimmie talk to Brian? No, he and the leader of his team Chad Knutt, showed how to throw a teammate under the bus by making snotty comments.
Leader Jeff Gordon should have thought back to his experience and shown his driver what class should be and been the first to victory lane.
HMS may have had some problems before but has gone straight to hell after JG and JJ came onboard.
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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