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.
Thompson in Turn 5 · Tommy Thompson · Wednesday October 22, 2008
Who will win the 2008 presidential election is still anybody’s guess. But when it comes to NASCAR, who they want to win isn’t even in question these days.
Considering the rash of “honorary” guests from John McCain’s presidential campaign team recently attending Sprint Cup events, the sanctioning body clearly is supporting the Republican Party ticket, and is willing to offer its services to their effort to win the White House. What NASCAR is serving up to their political party of choice is a captive audience of 100,000 motorsports fans that really came to watch a race, but are getting — whether they want it or not — a low-key partisan political rally as well.
However, truth be told, the majority of fans in attendance have no objection to the not-so-subtle support of the Republican presidential ticket at the races. Demographics show supporters of NASCAR to be overwhelmingly conservative and white, not dissimilar from the general makeup of the stereotypical Republican. All and all, Republican Party candidates and their surrogates are in “safe waters” when campaigning.
Oh, and by the way, Richard Petty offered his endorsement of the McCain / Palin ticket at Lowe’s Motor Speedway ten days ago amongst the festivities leading up to the Bank of America 500. In the meantime, the grounds of the track were heavily laced with campaign stickers, signs, and buttons for the Republican hopefuls. “What we need right now in these uncertain times is a steady hand on the wheel, a leader we can trust to put country first ahead of politics,” the King said in a prepared statement.
That possibly the most liked and known figure in NASCAR offered his public support to the Republican nominees is not at all surprising, as Petty has never made any secret of his political persuasion. He, in fact, ran for election as the Republican candidate for the Secretary of State of North Carolina. Further, Petty’s endorsement is on par with what has become the norm for other NASCAR drivers as well. During the previous presidential election cycle, nine of the Top 10 drivers openly supported the re-election bid of President George W. Bush. Additionally, many of NASCAR’s top drivers from the present and past worked to get out the Bush vote during both of his successful presidential campaigns.
To be sure, NASCAR is a bastion of support for the Republican Party, dating back to the days of the sport’s founder, Bill France. Between NASCAR, ISC, and individual France family members, public records show that about 90% of financial contributions find their way to individual Republican candidates or directly to the GOP.
So, what about the Democrats? A Democratic candidate at a NASCAR event is a rare sighting. That’s not to say there haven’t been attempts, but the reception by race fans has been less than lukewarm, as former President Bill Clinton discovered when visiting Darlington in 1992 in an attempt to ingratiate himself with the NASCAR community.
Perhaps Eddie Gossage, the Vice President / General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway, gauged the reaction best. “It was rude, to be honest. I’m talking in terms of booing and airplanes flying over, saying, ‘Clinton is a draft dodger.’ Banners on the back of planes and stuff. He got a very cold reception from the fans, competitors – everybody.”
Clearly, a NASCAR race is not the best venue for a Democrat to make friends and influence voters.
Well, Republican-friendly or not, it is puzzling as to why NASCAR allows itself to become involved in the no win game of politics. Republican fans of the sport will support Republican candidates regardless of whether John McCain, Cindy McCain, or Todd Palin are given a meaningless “honorary” title for a race and allowed to say hello over the PA system and give a wave to the crowd or not.
And without a doubt, should a candidate supported by the racing organization get elected, there may be some rewards for the aid and comfort lent them during their campaign. Yet, how much consideration can they expect on political matters important to the sport by a Democrat that defeats their candidate?
The risk that comes with betting on the wrong horse is greater than you think.
From simply a strategic standpoint, it would only seem prudent for the organization to cover its bets and spread the support. NASCAR is big time sports now, and they might take a lesson from their sports entertainment peers whose athletes and executives are generally reluctant to publicly support either side.
The sports support for the “The Grand Old Party” is not without risk to its own best interest, either. Supposing that a typical NASCAR crowd does, in fact, overwhelmingly sway towards the Republican candidate by a margin of 70% to
At Daytona during the last two presidential election periods NASCAR, drivers, and owners have politicked hard for Bush, with an estimated crowd of 200,000 spectators subject to the overt campaigning. At the 70%-30% number, there would be 60,000 paying race fans sitting amidst a mini-political rally for a candidate that they may well be opposed to.
Now, that’s certainly not a situation that many are likely to appreciate or find particularly enjoyable. Remember, a lot of race fans come only to watch a race! I know I’m not the only one that has been advised by my elders to not discuss politics or religion – especially in a crowd of strangers. Wise advice, indeed.
Besides … why does NASCAR want to mix such an honorable and enjoyable endeavor as auto racing with the nastiness of politics, anyways?
And…That’s my view from Turn 5.
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I always find it interesting that anyone pays attention to any endorsement that a celebrity makes . NASCAR drivers for example . What would Richard Petty know that the rest of us don’t about what makes a great presidential candidate ? As far as intellect goes , race drivers on average are no smarter than the general population . So why would their endorsements of anything sway us ?
Well, I think you might have missed the key issue here on why NA$CAR supports “politicians”, mostly of the republican persuasion!
According to my information, embedded in the $700 billion “bailout”, there was some $150 million in tax breaks for race track owners!
Of course NA$CAR is going to “honor” politicians, it is more money in the bank!
The reason race fans tend to be Republican is not difficult to figure out. Republican support is strongest in small town and rural America and that is where most race fans live. Democrats are strongest in ultra rich Hollywood and poorer inner city areas where race fans are few and far between.
NASCAR has always pandered to certain things. The “family values” thing is so phony. Do people really believe that Democrats as a whole don’t have families or family values? Come on…Anyone remember Jim BakKer, Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard (now there’s a christain family values man if there ever was one), etc. And when Jeff Gordon was under NASCAR’s and his ex-wife’s thumb he used to preach at every victory lane ceremony…“the lord drove that car for me today not me.” That is a direct quote. It used to bother me to no end. What message did that send? So the guy in 15th place who is just as much of a believer (aka christain) as Gordon who spun out and hit the wall, so the “lord” wasn’t driving that car? Hmmm, guess not cause “the lord” only supports winners.
And as far as Richard Petty? Well I love him as a racer and he has done more for this sport than anyone except France and Bruton Smith and a few others. But Petty has been hard-core Republican for a long time. And even the great RP showed us he was human when his road rage took him slap out of that Secretary of State race back in the 1990s. Did the “bump and run” on I-85 in NC thinking he was at Daytona just gave that one right away to Elaine Marshall. And she still has that office today. Gawd love him but political advice from him ain’t like racing advice.
And what about Michigan Speedway? Are the vast majority of those fans Repubs? I don’t know but that’s Union country and I would think that a lot of Michigan and Pennsylvania and maybe Chicago and maybe Upstate New York and Dover and New England could be homes for a lot of union workers, as in likely Democrats.
So to your point it’s a risky ploy to pander to Repubs—to any party really. But they are pandering to the ones that have a large part in getting us into this mess. Yea yea I hear it now, “it’s Nacy Pelosi and ‘that crowd.’”…Well let’s not forget that 8 of the last 8 years the White House has been under “R” control and hmmm, 6 of the last 8 Congress is under “R” control. Don’t tell me little Nancy Pelosi can screw up a country in less than 22 months…
Bottom line seems a slap in the face to many fans nationwide to pander to Repubs. And Todd Palin? Who is he? Just another Hilary Clinton, that’s all.
Were I to base my voting decisions on Who Richard Petty,or the France family, who least we forget, are billionaires. Or Madonna, or Michael Moore, for that matter. Then I should be disqualified from voting, by virtue of being too shallow, & uninformed. I am however tired of being beat over the head with someone else’s convictions. I can, however take comfort in the fact that they are pretty much preaching to the choir, & therefore wasting their time.
“Don’t tell me little Nancy Pelosi can screw up a country in less than 22 months…”
Wait and see bud! San Fransicko soon coming to a city near you. America will soon know of the term, “Buyer’s Remorse” – A super-majority that is unable to be stymied; the rash of spending and tax increases might be “Change”…but the only change many will have is the loose change in their pants pockets and seat cushions.
Oh, and pry my guns from my cold, dead, bitterly clinging hands too.
“Don’t tell me little Nancy Pelosi can screw up a country in less than 22 months…”
Why not? The liberal left have claimed George W. Bush screwed up the country in less time. And Pelosi is part of congress that actually does the spending. Bush only approves or denies that spending.
Kevin and Vito I knew I could draw you out. And the retort is almost verbatim what you have given. Go ahead “Bud” vote for McCain and Palin. You get what you pay for: more tax breaks for the wealthy; more war—the wrong war; more cozying up to lobbyists; more deficit spending (tax and spend Repubs, now that’s a new thing.); socialism (yep Repubs giving it to GM, Bank of America, JP Morgan because capitalism as it’s been practiced lately is bankrupt in more ways than one…but’s let’s bail out all those special interest who fund campaigns while sticking it to the little guy (me, obviously not you); and we need more than ever political leadsership like Karl Rove…Yep yall just vote for that crowd and we should all be OK in a few months…
Proves the point of the writer of this piece: politics and racin don’t mix. I wanna see side-by-side racin, not Palin. I wwanna see rootin and gougin, not COT plowin. And I wanna see the chrome horn givin not the chrome finger. Rough and tumble NASCAR has given way to sound-byte NA$CAR and loop data. Yep, that’s what I want to know, how many passes in turn three at Pocono. Where is Ramsey Poston when you need him. Better yet, where is Bill Jr. when you need him?
And by the way Tommy Thompson, weren’t you the governor of Wisconsin?
Hey Kevin in SoCal, where have you been hiding?
“And Pelosi is part of congress that actually does the spending. Bush only approves or denies that spending.”
Did you really say that?
Does the name “HALIBURTON” ring a bell?
And those famous words of G.W. Bush himself: “If you don’t believe me your un-american”! “Now, please pass me another $60 Billion to support my lies”! “Ooops, I meant $160 billion, sorry”!
“After all Congress, you MUST support our troops”!
Kevin, I am shocked, postively shocked, anyone would place the blame on this congress for spending money!
Bush is by no means the best leader we’ve ever had, however my 2nd Ammendment Rights have remained intact the last 8 years. I will not be able to say that 8 years from now. That is a bit more important to me than cars going around in a circle for 3 hours. The 1st exists because of the 2nd.
And just for the record, I haven’t seen too many jihadist in our streets lately killing Americans civilians as they did 7 years ago. They’re over in another country being whacked by our military. If the enemy calls Iraq the frontlines of their quest to destroy us…then so be it. Because they’re losing.
Even at our weakest, we’re still better than everybody else.
Hey Vito, actually the terrorists, at least the majority of them, responsible for 9/11 came from SAUDI ARABIA!
So, why did we not invade Saudi Arabia?
Saddam Hussein threw Osama out of his country!
Unfortunately, IRAQ is not called the “front-lines” by our “enemies”, whoever they may be!
Gee! Do you like G.W. that much that you continue to believe his lies? PROVEN LIES? (about Iraq).
Oh, I also should mention, both my wife and myself are licensed to carry (CCW) if you please.
But under Republican rule, I have good news and I have bad news:
The good news is we “may” not have to worry about stricter gun controls!
The BAD news is we will have to hock them at the local pawn shop in order to survive!
Douglas you are on it. I wonder if Vito is the one that Sarah Palin is talking about when she said that thing about ‘real americans’…while you and I are sorta, well half american you might say. Real Americans according to her logic bow down to special interests and campaign PR while uhh, er, you and I who question the direction of this country, well we are not REAL americans…And Oh, by the way Vito, while we are at it since you are giving lessons on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, maybe you could go over their to Palinville, err, Palin’s campaign and teach them a little bit about what a Vice President does…seems she doesn’t quite know yet. “make good policy in the Senate…” Geezuz! For chrissakes can’t we get someone to run that can think? And you want this woman just be a breath away fro the presidency?
For the record, I have met John McCain. I worked for someone a few years ago who has since passed away that led his 2000 effort. I thought for a long time that he might be a good president…Then all hell broke lose the last few months:
1. He names Sarah Palin, a ‘good ole boy’ er girl who is as corrupt as the next politician. But hey it’s in Alaska for chrissakes and no one was watchin until 60 days ago. Changed her ethics reports recently? Why? Cause she found out the press was sniffin on that, uh, “official function trip(s)” she took her daughter on and billed back the state.
2. He “suspended his campaign” to win the vote for the bailout. Yep, now there was a success if you ever have one. MCain was yackin about how he worked it out the moment it was falling apart and he didn’t even know it. Hey his own Arizona delegation didn’t vote for it the first time around. And then he has the audacity to blame Dems.
3. Wailing on Bill Ayers, for chrissakes, Obama was 8 years old. Who gives a dam about that while our 401k goes out the window while McCain cozies up to the banks PAC money. And hey let us not forget about the Keating 5.
4. Iraq. So let’s see our financial system is in meltdown and McCain still wants to spend $150 billion a year to fight em tearrroists! Those comin to the shores of America! Vito, you know your kind, I am just amazed. You are putty in the hands of Karl Rove and his disciples who sold terrorism as a political ploy to the American public to keep them scared out of their wits in the 2004 election.
Man we can disagree on politics or racers, but we can’t disagree that we are in trouble in this country and a new outlook—oooooohhhh not those San Francisco sinners—is what we need!
Just remember, Vito and I think you guys are blind fools for your beliefs, too! LOL
Kevin, we don’t have to remember. It’s evident you do. You don’t know what I believe. But I can tell ya you vote in these guys and they will wrap you up in the flag for the next 8 years and steal you blind like taking lollypops from babies. Every single one of them is corrupt. I don’t know what you do for a living Kevin, but let me ask ya, can you bill back your employer for frivilous trips with your family? Palin can.
Have you ever used the name of someone else to get prescription drugs to feed your habit? Ms. McCain did and didn’t serve one day of time. But go find out what happened to the doc that wrote her those perscriptions.
Would you lie to no end to win the presidency? Would you use the U.S. Justice Department to do your bidding for you on the campaign trail? Could you spend $150,000 on clothes right now? Would you do anything to win?
Let me tell ya these people make Richard Nixon and John Halderman and Charles Chapin and John Dean and on and on look like choir boys. Hey man vote your conscious. You reap what you soe and wow! are we ever reaping the benes of 8 years of stellar leadership with world respect and adulation of the most powerful, most free, most righteous nation on the planet. If you guys really think we are OK, then I want what you are smokin…Kyle Busch could use some of it to get hi mojo back.
Thanks Ed, appreciated!
AND! Of course “we” did not start this conversation!
But the “facts” are completely on our side!
Lets see now, some 30% of our countries “debt” (which really did not exist before G.W. and his band of thieves came along) is held by China & Saudi Arabia!
30% of a debt we may never pay off, why, because we just went ahead and borrowed another $700 BILLION OFFSHORE to fund our “correction” program!
And remember two (2) things, very important things:
1. some of that was borrowed from that TERRORIST SPONSOR, SAUDI ARABIA! (oh yes, we invaded Iraq instead, that had ZERO to do with 9/11)!
2. The rest was borrowed from that COMMUNIST COUNTRY CALLED CHINA!
So G.W. and his cronies not only went thru a HUGE BUDGET SURPLUS! But now have borrowed TRILLIONS of $$$ from corrupt countries!
And more unbelievable, is that some people, (does Vito & Kevin ring a bell), STILL THINK THIS IS GOOD GOVERNMENT!
Wonder when China will call in it’s markers?
Oh, and lest we forget, blame Tommy Thompson! He started this mess!
Thanks Tommy! Great Job!
And! Next, Vito & Kevin will be comparing the CoT to a Ferrari!
Douglas, man! The CoT IS a Ferrari! Brian Z says it’s beautiful.
And Sarah Palin says “Obama pals with tearoists”, and she says that the VP is in charge of the U.S. Senate…And she says she stopped the bridge to nowhere!…Anyway the emperor wears clothes too!..Oh and there were 160,000 fans at Lowes a few weeks ago and 90,000 fans at California…It’ Pato’s Republic in America! Pigs and CoTs fly. Your bank is safe. Nixon didn’t know about Watergate. Bill Clinton never met Monaca Lewinsky. Petty’s engine wasn’t big when he beat out Cale and Bobbby Allison that day. Carl Edwards didn’t bang Gregg Biffle in the rear at Talladega. And according to NA$CAR there is now more passing in the Cup series than ever. Of course it occurs on pit road but nevertheless there is more passing.
The only thing I believe is real these days is the tooth fairy. Everything else is up for graps…
I understand the point of the article.
However, in reality Politics are now embedded everywhere in our lives. Religion, schools, etc. To think that Sporting events should be left out is a noble thought.
We, all Americans, have allowed the government to play a larger role in our lives. Stock market, housing, health care, etc. if it isn’t working for us we want the government to do something.
Our Founding Fathers had a vision of a limited role of government. Unfortunately, we the people, have allowed the government to grow. As such, it stands to reason that government and politics are going to encroach on every aspect of our lives, including leisure activities. We are to blame.
Only we can change that.
Hey Ed, very good, but you of course left a few out! One that comes to mind is that JR. really did win Talladega a couple years back, he was “forced” below the line!
And I think I will go outside this morning, I want to see the pigs a’ flyin!
You mean a $7500 dress for Palin? Designer at that?
She should fit right in with the “OIL” crowd now in office!
She buys clothes like Bush/Cheney award contracts!
Hey Chris, you are so correct: “We are to blame.”!
The problem is, that with people that never learn, such as our close friends here at “The Frontstretch”, this country will just bumble along relying on memories of the past, and what could’a been!
We actually are a nation of wimps! and they always seem in the majority! (or totally ignorant of what is really going on) Whatever comes first!
My only argument is I would rather have a Republican idiot in the White House than a Democratic idiot. Most Republicans support American automobiles, hunting, fishing, guns, and AUTO RACING! With a Democrat in office, we’ll be racing Toyota Prius’ to see who gets the best gas mileage, if we’re even racing at all.
Actually Douglas, she buys clothes like Hillary buys clothes. Hillary’s pantsuits run about $6,000 each.
Not that it matters. It’s just a way of diverting attention from the fact that there are two choices that don’t even make one good choice this election year.
Hopefully the true conservatives will regroup, recommit and save the government from the folks whose only concern is continuing the culture of big government and oppressing the lower and middle class with their nanny state giveaways.