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.
Kurt Busch is most definitely a punk. At times, his younger brother Kyle is, too. Kasey Kahne? Casey Mears? Brian Vickers? All punks…how could they not be? They are all young men under the age of 30, and it’s just a fact of nature that this is what I think young men do at that age. Some are better than others at projecting the idea that they are mature beyond their years, attempting to show the cool demeanor of a veteran. It’s an image they have to project because it is what the sponsors and the fans expect from them…but underneath? They are still young men and thus, they still have some punk in them no matter how hard they try to bury it. Push any young man far enough, and the punk will come to the surface.
In the letters sections of other publications, I keep reading submission after submission from readers complaining about these drivers and their behavior. Some fans, admittedly mostly older ones, feel these drivers lack respect for their elders, respect for their teams, and even respect for themselves at times. They don’t like the image these drivers project. They worry about the future of NASCAR if it is to be left in the hands of these drivers.
Their fears are not without basis. But these fans are missing the big picture. This might be the new generation of NASCAR, and these drivers may be the ones who are left to carry on as the veterans depart, but Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and all of the others will not be twenty-somethings forever. They will most likely mature and truly develop the temperament the fans seem to desire, but that’s only going to come with age.
Don’t believe me? Turn back the clock on some of NASCAR’s current veteran stars. Better yet, start with the reigning champion. No one will argue that Tony Stewart spent the early part of his NASCAR career being the biggest punk out there. He has always had a fun and caring side to his nature, but it was often lost behind the tantrums and the bad attitude. NASCAR’s reigning champion is now 34 years old, and what do you think of him now? He’s all grown up, and the mature side has started to come out. Few will argue that he’s a changed man, and his popularity has gone from NASCAR deadbeat to fan favorite nearly overnight.
Michael Waltrip once tried to punch out Lake Speed. Waltrip was a punk. He was only following in the footsteps of his older brother Darrell, who was the biggest loudmouth punk NASCAR had ever seen in his younger days. Kyle Petty, son of NASCAR’s version of royalty, had a few scraps in his day too. If memory serves me, one of those fights was with Michael Waltrip. Punk. Davey Allison had a temper that would’ve rivaled Tony Stewart. Punk.
Ask Richard Petty what he thought of Dale Earnhardt in his early years, and you know what he would probably tell you? Punk. It’s no secret that the veterans of that time didn’t think much of Earnhardt or his driving style when he first appeared. Ricky Rudd? Rusty Wallace? Punks, all of them. And yet, today, they are the respected veterans and the ones most fans point to as the example of what the younger drivers should aspire to be.
Most young men grow up eventually, and with that growing up comes the maturing of manners and attitude that Tony Stewart has undergone. It’s just going to take a little patience on the part of the fans. If you’re still not convinced, I know who you might be thinking of…Robby Gordon. Still a punk and older than Stewart. Well, I can account for that too. First thing you likely think of when you think about Robby is that he’s a punk. The second thing you might notice about him (or at least the second thing I think of anyway) is that for a guy in his mid 30’s, there still a lot of a little boy left in him. Gordon is one of those who surrounds himself with "toys" and approaches things with the enthusiasm of the young. What can I say, it just takes some men longer than others to grow up. For those of you unfamiliar with Paul Tracy, you’ll see when he arrives in NASCAR that the "Thrill from West Hill" approaches life in much the same way. I guarantee you the powers that be at NASCAR are well aware of this fact, and I can also guarantee you that as we speak, Mike Helton is already preparing a seat for Tracy in the big white trailer in anticipation of his imminent arrival in the NASCAR ranks.
Still don’t believe me? OK then, I have one more little exercise for you. Think back. Think back to when you were a twenty-something. This is for you women, too. I’m not sure if women are properly called punks, but that’s what we all were. See Danica Patrick. She’s a punk, too. Anyway, think carefully about yourself. Maybe you had excellent manners, and that’s great, but think deeper. While you were respecting your elders and minding your manners, think about what was going through your mind. Did you believe everything they say every single time they said it? Or did you turn the other cheek?
Now, the next time Kyle Busch or Brian Vickers flash that temper and act like a punk, remember that they are young men, and put yourself in their shoes. Fast forward twenty years, and I can just see myself writing this same article to explain the behavior of the sons of these same young drivers. Twenty years down the road, those sons will be the punks, and today’s young drivers will be the veterans we wish their sons would emulate.
©2000 - 2008 Toni Montgomery and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Don’t even mention one of the classless Bushes with the likes of Allison, Wallace,Rudd, Petty. No comparison
Times are different Wallace, Rudd, Petty, Elliot, Labonte(s)and Martin all grew up in a different era, when kids were all taught to respect their elders. By the way im 25
We may have been taught to respect our elders and perhaps we outwardly showed some degree more of it (although in the search of my memory to find a decade when that was truly the case—that the young truly respected what their elders stood for instead of rebelling against it, I have to say historically I’m back to the 1920s visualizing flappers and still looking…) but in truth, most of us still have to pee on the electric fence for ourselves and suffer the consequences before we really grow up and admit they may have been right. By the way, I’m somewhere over 30.
Well, I can tell you this, I am 31, just hitting the wall (no pun intended)...and I know I handle things differently now than I used to, though I am still a punk, I am changing…I believe every man does. Those who bitch about nascar’s youth are missing the big picture. Sales. If you dont have the youngins you dont have nascar, period. No one wants to see a bunch of old guys (no offense to any vet) out there driving perfect and doing it w/no emotion. Youth have passion, conviction, emotion, determination, tenacity, and lots of talent and balls….this is what sells tickets and tv packages….and that is the bottom line.
Perhaps the “silver spoon” shines brighter than in the past.
Tony, I agree with all you said 100%, Thanks, hag
Robby, I respectfully disagree with your post. I don’t think you have to be young to have those qualities you mentioned (passion, conviction, etc.). I look at guys like Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, and several others, who have all those qualities you describe. And while it may be the younger drivers that have brought NASCAR a little more publicity, there are plenty of people who watch NASCAR because of the veterans. But it’s not about age. It’s about respecting those who have come before you and who have made the sport. From Lee Petty to Tony Stewart, these “kids” coming in today need to remember that tenacity, determination and talent are fine, but they need to respect their competitors, too, whether it be a veteran or a fellow “punk”.
My name is HUDSON HORNET, and I’m a punk.
I’ve been around at least as long as NASCAR and, although I have mellowed somewhat, I still haven’t successfully completed a 12 step program.
I often wonder if there’s any hope for me? Getting this through my head is about as hard as it was passing Dick Trickle before he retired. But, with age goes memory. I forget what Dick called his farewell tour.
Interesting light you shed on the subject. Two thumbs up.
Very good points and I personally feel that the new young guys have physical ability but the lack of seat time the way we did it in old scholl was to earn it not buy it. NASCAR,Hendrick,Rousch etc. ate allowing the wealthy to buy their way in and the “kiddies” simply lack maturity,both knowledge and personal respect.
... IT’S EASY TO JUST MAKE A LIST & CALL SOMEBODY A PUNK …... WHERE ARE YOUR EXAMPLES OF WHY EACH OF THEM ARE A PUNK ? I AGREE ON SOME , SOME NOT …... CASEY MEARS IS ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTFUL YOUNG PEOPLE I’VE SEEN IN YEARS AS IS KASEY KAHNE ( HE SHOULD NOT HAVE LOST HIS TEMPER ON THE RACETRACK THO , FOR WHICH HE LATER APOLOGIZED ). I CERTAINLY AGREE THAT THE BUSCH BROTHERS ARE PUNKS WITH A CAPITAL “P” (WITH SO MANY EXAMPLES , YOU CAN’T LIST EM ALL ) & VICKERS STILL HASN’T STOOD UP LIKE A MAN AND ADMITTED HE TOOK OUT WHAT’S HIS NAME IN THE ALL-STAR RACE …. HE’S THE BIGGEST PUNK IN ALL THE SPORT …...
Kurt Busch—well we all know why…Kyle Busch-Richmond and the post race press conference in Phoenix (although I personally agree with Kyle on that and would likely have walked out too-I felt like the media were the punks there)...Kasey Kahne-Loudon and his comments on TV after that incident…Casey Mears-got ticked off by requests from Chasers to be more careful around them or move over for them-declared he intentionally got in their way and made it difficult for them after that…Brian Vickers—the All Star Race. Far as that goes…Rusty Wallace-The Winston (aka The All Star Race)...Dale Earnhardt-The All Star Race (Bill Elliott is still mad about that by the way)...Ricky Rudd-got in a pissing match with then-teammate Ken Schrader—they took each other out with absolutely no regard for the equipment or what it cost owner Rick Hendrick. Mr. Hendrick had a little talk with both gentlemen the next day. Did I miss anyone that I didn’t give an example for before?
By the way—I should mention—I’m just the messenger here—I’m not saying this is necessarily my personal opinion of any of these drivers or that I dislike them—I’m just saying these names have all been complained about in one place or another and called punks and the above examples are some of the “offenses” these drivers have committed to offend fans to the point of firing off a letter to one publication or another. The point of the article was actually more a defense of the punks by showing that today’s respected elders were once punks too. And no, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. You’ll find some of those punks among my list of favorite drivers below.
I guess that’s why Adam Petty touched so many people so completely. There wasn’t a punk bone in his body, and you could tell that just by looking at him.
First off, I think you should have defined your definition of a punk. There are several.
Secondly, just because a person does not follow the status quote, does not make him a punk. We already have a generation of people who blindly follow each other step for step. We need more people who will take the less traveled road.
You wrote of respect. It goes both ways, you have to give if you expect and demand that you receive it. I do not care how long you have been doing your “thing”.
Lastly, I can think of only two in cup that I would consider punks and yes, I think they are the Bush brothers, but there is quite a few that needs a wake-up-call and they are not necessarily in their twenties.
“Casey Mears-got ticked off by requests from Chasers to be more careful around them or move over for them-declared he intentionally got in their way and made it difficult for them after that”
You’ve GOT to be kidding. That makes Mears a punk? Because he wants to race, no matter who’s on the track and when? Since when are “Chasers” untouchables, anyway? Casey has every right to be out on that track, same as them. And considering his finishes in those last 10 races, and how he almost won several of them, he did WAY better than most of the “Chasers”. If those races proved anything, it’s that those “Chasers” who can’t keep up better get out of HIS way on the track.
I agree with you completely Sabrina. I had no problem with Mears getting angry with the chasers. I probably would have too. I didn’t say I think it makes him a punk, as noted in paragraph two, these are complaints I’ve seen in letters submitted to various publications from other fans, not me. My intent was to complain about the fans who constantly dump on these drivers for every little thing and to maybe give them a reason to give these guys a chance.
Toni, I never meant to say you were calling him a punk, sorry if that’s how it came out. I’m just more incredulous that people think that kind of behavior is punkish. It’s certainly not what I think of when I think someone’s a punk.
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