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.
1. Drive It Like You Stole It! – According to police in Mooresville, NC, thieves broke into the Roush / Yates engine shop last week, loading three Sprint Cup race motors into a stolen Penske rental truck. The Ford engines taken were specially prepared for the Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series.
Don’t you just know that there is some Bubba in a barn somewhere in North Carolina trying to stuff one of those brutes into a rusted-out 1981 Ford Ranger?
2. Heap Of Trouble – In the aftermath of the post-race melee that erupted after Craftsman Truck Series driver David Starr spun the Germain Racing Toyotas of Todd Bodine and David Reutimann during the September 13th running of the CTS event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, NASCAR has dealt out its fines and penalties for the incident. Three crew members sat out Saturday’s Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350, hit with suspensions that last until September 24th: Mike Hillman Jr., crew chief for the No. 30 truck driven by Bodine; Mark Hillman, crew member for the No. 30; and William Divel, crew member for the No. 11 truck driven by Starr. Also, Hillman Jr. has also been fined $2,500 and had his NASCAR probation extended through Dec. 31, while Mark Hillman and Divel have also been fined $1,500 and also placed on probation through the end of the year. Additionally, Starr has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
But that’s not all. Richard Gay, crew chief for the No. 11 truck and Jason Overstreet, crew chief for the No. 9 truck driven by David Reutimann, have both been fined $1,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31st. Two crew members – Brandon Hopkins for the No. 30 and Tony Jilson for the No. 9 Germain CTS teams, have also been placed on probation until Dec. 31st. And if that’s not enough, all three team owners — Steve Germain of the No. 30, Tom DeLoach of the No. 11, and Bob Germain of the No. 9 — have had their entire teams placed on probation through the rest of the Truck Series season.
If only our nation’s judicial system worked so swiftly and decisively!
3. Gentleman Rules Apply – Claire B. Lang, the well-respected NASCAR reporter for XM Radio, opined on the fracas between David Starr and crew members from the Germain Racing organization that entered Starr’s pit box and confronted Starr while he was still strapped in his race truck. Wrote Lang, “Members of several teams said that they are not even to confront another driver – or ask him why he did something verbally – and that the level of pulling another driver out of his vehicle would definitely result in them being fired. The team haulers of the No. 48 and the No. 18 teams are parked next to each other in the garage here. The team guys said to me that they get along really well, and that if their drivers got in a fight they would not think it was their place to get involved in it… unless a driver came to their pit area, and then that is their turf. What happened violated an unwritten rule. You fight for your team – you’d do anything for your team – but a crew member does not confront a driver.”
Sounds like some pretty solid unwritten rules there… to let drivers settle their differences. What are the unwritten rules in this case, though? Would it have been acceptable for both Reutimann and Bodine to confront Starr together and jerk him out of the cockpit of his race truck… or would the unscripted etiquette dictate that they take turns whoopin’ up on him?
4. Chicken Soup – On Saturday, NASCAR announced a new random drug testing policy beginning with the 2009 season. Beginning in January, all drivers participating in preseason testing in Daytona for the Sprint, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series will be tested — along with all racing officials and crew members planning to be at the track on a weekly basis. Thereafter, about a dozen drivers and/or crew members will be randomly selected for testing at most scheduled race events, with the process to be handled by an independent, third-party agency.
But despite the tougher rules put in place for next year, there remains no list of prohibited substances that the sanctioning body will test for. “We’ve never had a list. It states right now in our policy that cough medicine could be abused if you’re taking that too much, and it’s going to affect the safety on the race track. That won’t change,” said NASCAR Vice President of Operations Steve O’Donnell. “We’ll test for anything. Our experts are very familiar with prescriptions people may be taking and legitimate medications, but we will not have a list.”
What a bummer for drivers and crews … February is right at the height of the cold and flu season!
5. Really…Nothing Happened! – The two NASCAR officials accused of exposing themselves in former NASCAR official Mauricia Grant’s $225 million harassment lawsuit have reportedly now been fired after having been placed on administrative, paid leave. However, NASCAR continues to deny the charges that Grant has asserted in court papers, in which she alleged both sexual harassment and racial discrimination from these men.
Ummm, guys… why are they being fired, then?
6. More Than Just Colleagues – During last week’s race at New Hampshire, NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. once again — as he often does when frustrated — ranted and raved on the radio to crew chief Tony Eury, Jr. concerning his No. 88 Chevy’s dropoff in performance as the race continued. Junior’s profanity-laced tirades have his boss, Rick Hendrick, concerned and talking to his high-profile driver during the course of races recently in an attempt to calm him down. “They’re cousins and they’re like brothers, and they can bust [out] and say things; but when you have got millions of people listening, Tony gets some unfair [criticism],” Hendrick said. “If [Dale] doesn’t want Tony to go anywhere, if he’s put a stake in the ground that he wants Tony Eury Jr., then he needs to treat him a little bit better on the radio.”
Ahhhh… don’t worry, Rick. Those two already tried the splitting up thing – and it didn’t work so well for either one of them!
7. Every Man For Himself! – Roush drivers Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards put on one heck of a good show Sunday over the last 20 or so laps of the Camping World RV 400 from Dover, Delaware. The three Roush Fenway stablemates battled one another for the win like three drivers intent on winning the 2008 Sprint Cup — but not so much like teammates. As a result, the Ford drivers provided some of the best racing for the win we’ve seen all season, bumping, banging, and rubbing one another before sweeping the Top 3 spots.
No “team orders” rock!
8. Apparently… Winning Isn’t Everything – Though Kyle Busch notched his 19th NASCAR win of the season in its top three divisions during the Nationwide Series race at Dover Saturday, he finished dead last Sunday in the Sprint Cup event. Busch, who finished 34th at New Hampshire a week earlier after suffering mechanical problems, blew an engine 173 laps into the Camping World RV 400. The 23-year-old had entered the 10-race championship playoff seeded No. 1, but after just two events, he now finds himself 12th in driver championship points. “At this point, it doesn’t matter [if I think I have a chance to win the title],” Busch said after falling out of Sunday’s race. “Same thing happened two years ago – exact same thing: Wrecked at Loudon, blew up here. So where did we end up [in 2006] — dead last.”
Wow! 19 wins for Busch and he’s not threatening for a championship in Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Craftsman Trucks. Isn’t that just strange?
9. Comin’ On Strong! – Jack Roush isn’t the only team owner leaving Delaware with a deserved smile on his face! Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick finished in sixth place Sunday, with Clint Bowyer taking eighth and Jeff Burton ninth in the Camping World RV 400. Burton, Harvick, and Bowyer are now fourth, fifth and sixth in the Chase standings, respectively.
Don’t look now, Jack Roush and Rick Hendrick … but there is another superpower knocking at the door!
10. Calling All Clairvoyants – After a late-race pass at the Monster Mile, Greg Biffle has now won his second race in a row… and the first two races of the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup!
Alright, tell the truth…who predicted The Biff winning at both Loudon and Dover? And better yet, who predicted that the winner of the first two races of the Chase would not be your championship points leader?
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Hey, Thomas. Just wanted to comment on your #5. Nascar can still deny culpability in the Grant suit because, in order for Nascar to be liable to Ms. Grant, it had to know and condone. Employers aren’t strictly liable for everything their employees do. The way I understand it, the employees have to be acting in the course of their employment and furthering the business of their employer. Two jerks exposing themselves to Ms. Grant or using inappropriate language to her aren’t furthering their employer’s interests. So, in order for Ms. Grant to prevail, she has to prove more than just that those incidents took place. And it seems very appropriate that Nascar’s taking action against them now if, as Nascar claims, it only recently learned of their misdeeds.
With Mclaren’s number 1 F1 thief headed to MWR next year, maybe the boy’s in Mikey shop are just getting a jump on things.
When Bob Osborne came on the radio and apologized to Carl Edwards for costing him the race.. Carl’s response was very succint. “The race isn’t over yet!”
Can you imagine the profanity filled tirade which would have taken place if this had happend on the 88 car?
There are drivers who find ways to win and drivers who find ways to lose.
I agree with wilbur on those three RFR engines. Rousch parts have already “mysteriously” shown up at MWR racing……
#4 Typical NA$CAR! Don’t tell anyone anything of substance, keep it on a sercet list, make it up as you go, and only inforce what makes you look the best. Wow, sounds like the rule book. They really are a joke sometimes aren’t they?
Very well said Steve O’Donnell . You are just as confused as the rest of the NASCAR management when it comes to pretending to implement a program ie; the driver diversity program . Press releases , tough talk by officials who no one takes seriously , mysterious secret lists of banned substances , make it sound official and then move on. I personally don’t think there is any real cause for concern regarding drug use in NASCAR . There have been a couple caught . There are possibly a couple who haven’t been caught . But O’Donnell tells us that since there is no list of what is or is not legal , NASCAR will have the only say . So if you are one of their favorites , sinus medicine for a legitimate use is fine . If you have not towed the NASCAR line , or have stood up to NASCAR in the past , then they may suddenly decide that the sinus medicine you are taking is a “ medicine detrimental to stock car racing” .
#1 The engines were Craftsman Truck and Nationwide series versions that were taken.
Battiman! Besides, TRD got a good look at Ford, Dodge, and Chevy Engines before they designed their engine from scratch. Maybe TRD is puzzled by how they are getting beat by them Fords now! After all, they did one of the best copy jobs anyone has done on a V8 pushrod engine that they never had before coming into nascar!
Larry: What’s your point The combination of carbs and pushrods have been around over 60 years…what’s to steal. It would have been simpler to hire Ford and Chevy engineers and designers.
Battiman, the point is Toyota had probably the first built from scratch engine in Nascar. Most of the the other engines were modified production engines. By designing an engine from scratch, it’s very obvious they had the best engines this year which in my opinion was a unfair advantage to the other makes. That’s one reason Nascar finally put restrictors on their Nationwide and Truck Engines. Trouble is, they’ve basically waited till two thirds of the seaon was over before doing it. Chevy does have the new R06 Engine in cup but Nascar will not let them run it in Nationwide even though it was proven the Toyotas had more power.