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 November 19, 2008
The growing worldwide financial crisis seems to be growing larger, more confusing and more controversial every day. While not be a topic particularly appropriate for the sports page NASCAR, more than any other major sport in the U.S., is directly related to the business world. One look down pit road is a colorful exhibit of corporate logos and company colors attesting to how important corporate sponsors and good economic health are to NASCAR.
In the past couple of decades it has been a darn good relationship for both corporate America and NASCAR. The sport provides to the corporate world sophisticated billboards capable of speeds reaching 200 mph at venues that can be seen by fans and potential purchasers of their products throughout the country and by millions more 38 weeks a year during national television broadcasts. In return, some of the country’s most successful and well-known companies have poured tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of the sanctioning body, track owners and team owners. Seemingly a win-win arrangement for everybody concerned…at least until now.
Tough times have arrived for U.S. corporations, and thus NASCAR as well. This has prompted some of the sport’s best known and respected personalities to come to the aid of stock car racing’s most important partner – the U.S automobile manufacturers. As the heads of the Big Three car builders gathered in Washington D.C. yesterday with hats in hand to beg for further financial aid to stay afloat, a “grassroots” campaign kicked off within the NASCAR community to encourage fans to support Chrysler, Ford and GM in their quest to be the next segment of the U.S. economy to get in on the new trend of taxpayer-backed loans.
General Motors is leading the charge. The 2008 Sprint Cup manufacturer’s champion has called on the most successful team owner in the business, Rick Hendrick, and some of the Chevy brand’s most popular drivers to appeal to their fan-base to rally around the bailout notion. Drivers such as Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and 2008 Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson are lending their support to the cash-strapped auto seller’s cause.
Said Johnson in a press release from General Motors in conjunction with NASCAR’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday, “I have been with Chevrolet my entire racing career, and I honestly can’t imagine what our sport would be like without them, let alone what our country would be without Chevrolet. I’ve raced their Silverado trucks in off-road and both the Monte Carlo and Impala SS in NASCAR. Our personal and business relationship has grown over the years and now includes Jimmie Johnson Kearny Mesa Chevrolet near where I grew up in Southern California, so it is far-reaching for me. I hate to see all these economic troubles and we are all affected by the current situation. We need to reach out. I hope everybody will contact their congregational representatives and ask for their help and support in this current economic crisis for Chevrolet; in fact, for all three U.S. automakers.”
Does Johnson’s statement seem just a tad self-serving? Would anyone, based on the three-time champion’s statement contact a U.S. Senator or Representative because Chevrolet has been good – apparently real good – to Jimmie Johnson? The other drivers issuing statements in support of government financial assistance for the Big Three were pretty much on par with Johnson’s, not much in the way of substance on a very complicated and far-reaching issue. The message to fans was more that if you like me as a race car driver – please do what I ask in this political matter.
The sport’s most popular personality, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., stated, “All I ever raced is Chevrolet. They’ve been with me throughout my entire career and have supported everything I have done. Now I want to do everything I can to support them. I have awesome fans and I hope they will reach out to our leaders in Washington to help Chevy and our other domestic car makers. There is nothing more American than Chevrolet and we need to make sure it stays that way.”
Would any NASCAR fan, based solely on not much more than testimonials by their favorite driver as to how much a manufacturer has meant to their career really lobby their government representative to commit to billions of dollars in risky loans to any U.S. auto maker?
We can only hope that the answer is no and that NASCAR fans are smarter than that.
That’s not to blame GM for trying. These guys are clearly getting desperate. Estimates have them running out of operating cash sometime in mid-2009. Heck, they have been a big supporter of NASCAR and it doesn’t hurt to try and get a little of the love back.
There is nothing wrong with a fan loyal to a particular driver supporting the sponsor that allows the driver to compete. Shoot – spending a few cents more for a box of laundry detergent to say thanks to the soap company for financing a driver’s race effort is understandable. When a fast food franchise that supports a fan’s favorite sport is located next door to one that doesn’t, which drive-in to choose is understandably not difficult.
Loyalty though has its limits. The decision to make billions of dollars more available to the U.S. auto industry at a risk to the tax paying public is not quite the same as a fan’s choice to purchase wall paint at Home Depot instead of Lowe’s because of a driver preference. Certainly the good of the country trumps any loyalty to NASCAR or its drivers.
Whatever the thought process was for General Motors to solicit the support of NASCAR personalities in their efforts to avert the bankruptcy courts – it is a futile effort. Fans of the sport will not unquestioningly follow the advice of a driver on such an important issue without fully investigating the facts and weighing the various pros and cons that exist in the matter.
At least I hope so.
And…That’s my view from Turn 5.
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Oh great! Just friggin great!
The MULTI-MILLIONAIRES of the sport, the Jr.‘s, the Johnsons, etc, are asking the fan base, you know, the ones working at Wal-Mart for some $7/hr, to support a “bailout” for the “BIG 3”!
Yep, thats good thinking, I am gonna run right out and contact my congressman or senator and implore him or her to send $25billion to the Auto Industry so the millionaires can stay millionaires, at the expense of the McDonalds employee, and the K-Mart employee, and so forth.
And on CNN yesterday, a GM UAW employee was pleading the case also, when asked about what he earned, he (finally after much hesitation) said he made $29/hr + benefits!
And would not answer when asked if he would be willing to take a pay cut to help his very own company!
So we are being asked to bailout a poorly run organization, with tax dollars, and their very own employees, the fat cats if you will, the only ones that can afford their big oversized SUV’S, are not willing to sacrifice on their own!
How sick is that scenario?
I don’t want a single $$ of my money eventually lining Brian Frances pockets as that is exactly where some of this “bailout” money would end up via the Big 3! He, (specifically the ISC) already have some $150million in tax breaks for running their own race tracks!
Reminds me of the cigarette company having Richard Petty as their shill .” cigarettes don’t hurt anyone and we sure don’t want to talk bad about R J Reynolds “ . Some racers have no integrity , some do .
I AGREE!! Let the UAW make some cuts I aint maken $29 an hour + Benifits
If my options are “Bailout” or “Chinese auto companies SAIC and Dongfeng buy GM and Chrysler”…I’ll take bailout, thank you.
Currently, that’s the hot read…that 2 of the big Chinese auto makers want to buy GM and Chrysler. Make no mistake, they have the cash to do it.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that UAW and the Big 3 need to renegotiate, because they do…but they need to stay afloat long enough to do so.
Hey “chris”, may I remind you of a few facts:
1. GM’S largest mfg. facility is OUTSIDE the USA! and bailout money will go to help expand that plant for sure.
2. Just how much of the $25billion will actually be spent by the big 3 buying domestically? Not much for sure, have you ever walked an assembly line and taken notice to where all their parts come from? Certainly not the USA! I venture a guess that at least 50% of the bailout money will be sent overseas for “supplies”!
3. Never, ever, have I seen mention from anyone in the big three that these dollars will not go to improve the plants in Mexico, India, China & Thailand!
4. And the UAW is the first to go on strike if wages were to be reduced!
5. Pray tell me just who makes $29/hr PLUS BENEFITS in the country? Nurses? Workers at suppliers? The McDonalds clerks? None of them for sure, and thats the dollars the big three are after!
Our domestic auto makers have plants in Canada and Mexico because our lovely US Gov’t has made it difficult to compete with tax laws and environmental laws. At the same time, our gov’t has given huge tax breaks and incentives to foreign companies (including Toyota and Honda) to come over here and build plants on US soil. Not to mention the greedy UAW unions and get-rich-quick CEO’s have gobbled up all the available money instead of spending it on making quality cars and trucks the public wants.
I’m with Chris, I would rather have GM, Ford, and Chrysler remain owned by Americans rather than the Chinese, but the bank bailout has created a slippery slope that has left everyone with their hand out waiting for a bailout. I certainly dont have the business sense to know what to do here.
Douglas, thanks for agreeing with my second point.
“1. GM’S largest mfg. facility is OUTSIDE the USA! and bailout money will go to help expand that plant for sure.”
“3. Never, ever, have I seen mention from anyone in the big three that these dollars will not go to improve the plants in Mexico, India, China & Thailand!”
As far as the terms of a bailout, well…I’m pretty hardline on that. But, that has nothing to do with whether or not to help them, or let companies that are fronts for the Chinese government buy them.
Personally, I’d like to see the Bailout Money be used to acquire a stake in the manufacturers. After all, Japan’s government owns a stake in all of it’s auto manufacturers. Same in China. Same in Korea. The government retains Majority voting power in VW due to a law regardless of the amount they own.
My point is, there can be stipulations placed on what can be done with the money, and that’s primarily what the argument is about.
btw, My wife bought a Jeep about 3 months ago. Percentage of US parts in it: 74. That’s not too bad for a “world economy.”
Considering that the 700 billion wall street bailout has done absolutely nothing for the man on the street…all the big banks are doing are acquiring smaller regional banks and I am sure in another year or two citibank will be asking for more money on the grounds that they are too big to be allowed to fail, the bailout for the auto industry doesn’t seem like much more than chump change. I remember Chrysler being saved from bankruptcy and paying 100% of the loan back. I would like congress taking the money out of the remainder of the bank bailout, lending it to the auto industry with STRICT strings attatched,including only allowing it to be used in the USA and be done with it. AS to the drivers contacting Congress, why not? They have as much right to do so as I have and yes. I have contacted my Congressman and senators in favor of of the bailout, just as I contacted them some months ago against the bank bailout.
“During the House hearing Wednesday, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., asked the three auto chiefs seated at the witness table before him to raise their hands if they had come to Washington on commercial airliners. No hands went up. Then he asked if any planned to sell their corporate jets. Again, no hands went up.
And more arrogance from the big three: “Ackerman said there was “a delicious irony in seeing private jets flying into Washington D.C. and people coming off them with tin cups in their hands.”
From the congressional hearing today!
Great, 74% domestic content on a Jeep, so if thats the percentage, than 24% of $25billion, or some $6billion to be spent overseas of OUR money! (Or more)
And for Chris, where do you think all of GM’S operating money is going? To build plants overseas! That’s how they “got broke” to begin with! And if I am not mistaken, GM right now is making a HUGE addition to a plant that makes motors in a far eat country!
Hey Shane Flaherty, I was writing while you were posting, sorry! But great minds think alike, and if someone does not believe me, they have you to fall back on!
What a sick scenario we have in the big three. And they, GM particularly, is burning thru some $4 -$6 billion A MONTH! So my question to all you “supporters” (no, not jock straps) is how long do you think GM can operate on their share of the $25billion?
Two months max! Then what happens? Oh I know!!!
The UAW will offer a new contract at 50% of the current wages and benefits wages to help out!
Hey Douglas, Visit the import statistics site and see how much crap is imported into the States and then tell me where you think the Auto Industry is gonna get parts? Not here in the States, know why? Cause they are not made here anymore. Know why? Cause nobody took a stand and said enough is enough! You think the Auto Workers make to much? If they didn’t have the Unions, just like the Teachers, Nurses, Doctors Electricians, do I need to go on? Everybody in the States would be working for that $7.00 hour job. By the way most Walmarts have Unions or are working on it. Instead of running your mouth at every post that is written or arguing with every one why don’t you take a stand for once and make it count. You want to lose that many jobs to overseas and then pay the workers and the support companies workers unemployment benefits, medical cards, welfare? Later on you can pick up the retirees medicare and medicaid while the Chinese and other Foreign Countries finish taking over what’s left of our Country.
If everyone in the United States made around $7.00 an hour, without unions, then maybe houses might still cost $50,000, cars might still cost $3,000, and a college education might still be afordable. Instead, I firmly believe that unions forcing employers to pay outrageous salaries for general work (unskilled labor) has caused prices to skyrocket out of site in the last 30 years. Face it, without the big three having to pay so much in pensions, benefits, and salaries, one of their cars might cost $20,000 instead of $30,000.
I’m not defending douglas (tire management) but you ask “You want to lose that many jobs to overseas…?” jobs that are negotiated by a union that would allow those jobs to go away instead of renegotiating a contract to keep the jobs? Sure.
Won’t happen though. That’s what Chapter 11 bankrutcy is for. Which also won’t happen since the socialist government wants to be your over protective mother and not allow anyone to fail.
When everyone is special, no one is special. I forget who said it first.
Chris: “I’d like to see the Bailout Money be used to acquire a stake in the manufacturers”
Are you insane Commrade? That’s nationalization and that’s against everything that this country was founded on.
How about allowing the companies to fail so that the market can reorganize, taking care of any union or legacy issues. People are eventually going to need to buy new automobiles. Others will take the place. Like DeSoto, Studebaker or AMC. OH! Wait, they already were allowed to fail and we’re none the worse for it.
I do miss the 2010 Retro-AMX though.
Hey, we bailed out the banks and the insurance giant. Now the Big 3 want a piece of the pie and who can blame them? Next will be the airlines… we can’t let the airlines fail, right? And besides, we bailed out Amtrak some years back.
Where does it all end? When we let the markets do what the markets always do. If that means Jimmie Johnson has to drive a Nissan and Carl Edwards a Honda, then so be it. If it means I have a difficult time finding parts for my Mustang down the road, well, that’s not the taxpayer’s fault.
Gotta keep it up, I suppose.
April 18, 2006
Lifestyle drugs — chiefly Viagra
mmmm, hey graceann, I said what?
“You want to lose that many jobs to overseas and then pay the workers and the support companies workers unemployment benefits, medical cards, welfare? Later on you can pick up the retirees medicare and medicaid while the Chinese and other Foreign Countries finish taking over what’s left of our Country.”
Not sure where you are going with that statement
And it makes no sense whatsoever to bail them out when they pay their workers in excess of $29/hour plus benefits!
Please do not interepret things differently than stated, or assume things not stated!
I personally know UAW hourly employees making over $200,000/year in an assembly plant.
And these are the folks (partly) responsible for the exhorbitant prices of new vehicles.
And lets now get back to reality. A few years ago, the big three in total, spun off their supplier divisions and sold/turned them over to private ownership. Why? Because each of these divisions were UAW and REFUSED to negotiate contracts with lower wages! So, the supply division, the Delphi’s and such, were dumped by GM so they could then go overseas to buy parts and avoid the UAW high wage plants. Do the research. FORD did it! GM did it! CHRYSLER did it!
And a big part of this was to generate even more profits that were eventually sent direct to the stockholders, and not used to re-invest in their own companies!
And further, ask yourself just how many times GM has been hauled into court because they, GM, took benefits away from retirees?
I support the bailing out of Ford, GM, and Mopar.
Right after we bail out Hudson, Bantam, and Studebaker.
You have got to be kidding me. They are failed business models and need to die.
Gas cost has been up since the Mid 1970s, quality has been down since then too. What have they done?
They make cars people don’t want and they don’t care.
They are a perfect fit for NA$CAR today, same motto “screw ‘em, they’ll take what we give ‘em”..
The original “bail-out” from a few weeks back was to cover Barney Franks ass. Along with Chris Dodd.
This auto “bail-out” is to kiss the union’s ass.
Our current congress has done more damage than Enron did ten times over. But somehow I doubt justice will be carried out.
Yep, the Dems owe the unions big time for helping them win OH, MI, and PA.
I’m not in favor of ANY bailouts. If I lose my job and can’t pay my bills, who will bail ME out?
All of you have made your views clear. I assume you were not one of the fans protesting when Toyota entered NASCAR? If you were that would make a hypocrite. You are not willing to help save an American Company, they will not file bankruptcy they will move those jobs over seas like the rest of our jobs. All of you will be affected in some way whether you want to admit it or not, if you are to blind or stupid to see it that is your problem. You have consented to take part in helping spread the poison that has now made it impossible for these companies to recover be it by Government aid or on their own. Don’t sit back and say I am being dramatic because it will be devastating to our economy. The loss of Tax dollars from the employees of these companies will be in the billions. Whether the Government helps them now or not does not matter anymore, you see you will pay with your tax dollars. You will have to take up the care of these people that lost their jobs, close to 3 million people. The retirees losing benefits will fall back on the Government to pick up the tab, well I guess that would be you people again. So you see it would have been cheaper to have given the bail-out and support an American Company with hope they survive than to condemn your fellow neighbor because of your GREED. Humm you sound like the CEO’s.
Hey graceann, if I may?
So shallow, your so very shallow! Your quote, one of many that are “suspect” as to their meaning, “ Don’t sit back and say I am being dramatic because it will be devastating to our economy. The loss of Tax dollars from the employees of these companies will be in the billions.”
As you sit at your Chinese made computer, and watch the Sunday race on your Chinese wide screen, and lounge around in your Mexican made Levis & Wranglers, all the while talking on your Taiwanese made Cell Phone, my question now becomes???
“did you lead the charge when all these products became “foreign made”?
Do you know not a SINGLE pair of Levis are made in this country, none, zero, nada! And furthermore, not a SINGLE
And did you know that about a year ago GM moved all (well most) of their design centers to INDIA, so if this bailout money is provided, and GM needs to design new products, that money will be paying wages in INDIA?
You arguments are shallow and do not reflect what is happening, or has happened in the auto industry! Or any other industry that has now TOTALLY moved overseas!
Your quote: “All of you will be affected in some way whether you want to admit it or not, if you are to blind or stupid to see it that is your problem.”
You need to look in the mirror, we are not the blind ones, or the stupid ones as you call us! It is the average citizen like yourself that “occasionally” jump on some bandwagon, maybe because you might be a Jimmie Johnson fan!
You drink orange juice in the morning? If it is not FLORIDA NATURAL, then your buying foreign grown oranges!
Why don’t you take the Japanese spark plugs out of your SUV, and see how far you get? And remove all the light bulbs in your house that come from China?
Although there are many reasons for the big three being in trouble, deep trouble, #1 is POOR MANAGEMENT! And #2 are the arrogant UAW leaders that refuse to recognize what is happening in the worlds economy and marketplace. How many times has GM particularly, caved in to UAW demands and given higher wages and more, and more benefits at the expense of us, the consumer? Over my years being involved with the big three, being employed there, relatives employed there, and still are, I have watched the UAW systematically destroy any semblance of “fair wages” paid to it’s employees, going for the jugular at each and every turn so now a $15,000 vehicle costs $25,000!
If the UAW does not get what it wants, it simply goes on strike shutting the factories down!
And you want us to pay for that through “BAILOUT MONEY”?
Thanks Douglas. There may be some acid on your tongue but it speaks the truth.
Thanks Carl D. but just wait till I really get started!
If it wasn’t such a sad state of affairs, it would almost be funny!
It certainly is in the “un-believable” category this big 3 bailout!
By the way, I have eaten in the “EXECUTIVE DINING ROOM” at GM, bet that still exists!
Prime Rib for lunch anyone?
Graceanne, you really are thinking short term if you think that the three months of operating capital that the automakers are begging for would even begin to help make these companies profitable.
Barney Frank wants the government to own 80% of the automakers as a concession of the loan. Do you really think that the US government can make a competitive car? Heck, if they had done this back in the 80s, Chevrolet would still be making the Chevette.
Go ahead and have another sip of that delicious union Kool-aid baby, because you have been sold a bill of goods by the liberal congress and media that is leading the country into more hardship than you could imagine.
Rick Hendrick announced that he was in favor of the bail out. No kidding. He owns dealerships. However, if the big three go down, he’ll just change the sign out front because there will still be a market for cars even if the over-priced and lower quality ones have dropped by the wayside.
For Graceann, http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2007/08/27/stories/2007082751700300.htm
Please read this article and you will see that GM has every intention of using this India based design center for “global use”, and will employ in excess of 1600 design engineers, replacing those laid off by GM in the USA!
And more for Graceann as printed in today’s FREE PRESS from Detroit.
“Chrysler shuts down in Missouri a shift building the Dodge Ram, while continuing to build the same vehicle in Mexico”, — “and then shuts down an (entire) plant in Missouri building the Dodge Caravan while continuing to run three shifts at a plant in Ontario”! (that plant is in Windsor)
This was from comments made by Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.
And then Sherman asks Bob Nardelli if Canada or Mexico have been approached for bailout money also, and if they, Chrysler do not receive assistance from these countries will they shutter the plants there. Of course, no response from Bob Nardelli, and remember, before becoming the CEO of Chrysler, he “ran” The Home Depot, and not too well at that!
Wonder what selling lumber has to do with making cars?
And further, boy, does this get involved and complicated, it was only recently that CEREBUS purchased Chrysler from Daimler (who were more than happy to dump Chrysler by the way), so my question is?
Ta-Da? Didn’t CEREBUS know what shape Chrysler was in when they bought the silly company?
As I remember it, when Cerebus made the deal for Chrysler, they had cash enough to continue operations, that’s why they bought Chrysler. Now it seems that there are “FREE HANDOUTS” to be had, so they are standing in line with their tin cups hoping for some change!
Your change, my change, anyone’s change!
Maybe the Big Three will get the Salvation Army involved to collect donations!
Can anyone say “Bill Clinton was a bungling idiot”? NAFTA took the jobs to Mexico, then to the Pacific Rim, allowing the big 3 to follow suit. America IS A VICTIM OF ITS OWN GREED. I did not support a bailout of the stupid bankers, and I do not support a bailout of the stupid automakers. Throwing good money after bad has never been a wise investment. American investors, with capital, can put America back on its feet. The government is flat WRONG for buying shares of banks, and cannot do it in private industry. First comes nationalization, then socialism, then plain old Communism. Most of you have forgotten about that, haven’t you? Oh yeah, it was the GOVERNMENT who first allowed foreign cars into our nation at low tariffs, and us as consumers who bought the Jap crap. This was only the beginning.
American should demand items made in America by American workers, and we should get the illegal aliens out of here. If they want to come back legal, that would be OK. We have given it all away folks, wake up.
How does it feel to be held hostage by corporate America?
From where I sit, it makes me sick.
Hey, It was also our CONGRESSMEN who first allowed foreign investors to buy into American companies!!! And you want to leave our future to those idiots.
Hey Marc, your quote: “American should demand items made in America by American workers, and we should get the illegal aliens out of here. If they want to come back legal, that would be OK. We have given it all away folks, wake up.”
is a good one, but there are no “American made” products anymore”, nothing you can live on, wear, or as a matter of fact even drive these days! Your 100% correct about Clinton, he not only opened up NAFTA, he signed agreements with the Chinese allowing the free flow of good from China to the USA!
And in case no one knows it (they will now for sure) the I-10/I-55/I-65/I-69 corridors of our interstate system, per the NAFTA AGREEMENT, are to be maintained, at the total expense of the USA, to provide easy and safe access for trucks carrying NAFTA goods to go direct from Mexico to Canada”, of course no stop required in the USA!
What that means is per NAFTA, we spend our monies maintaining truck routes that provide us ZERO BENEFITS!
And, on your “illegal aliens”, (now I am not sure of the precise amount here, sorry) but it has been reported that ILLEGAL ALIENS of the Spanish persuasion, read that Mexicans, work here ILLEGALLY, and send back to their families in Mexico over a billion $$$ a year of American $$$ they “earned” illegally, paid no taxes on, sucking whatever the actual amount is out of our country!
Sure would help if those billions of american $$$ were spent here in this country, rather than supporting the corrupt governement of mexico.
Are you finished yet? I could really care less what any of you think. I don’t work for any of the 3 nor do I work for a Union but I do know why they were put in place and probably all of you have benefited from them in some way at some point in your life. Maybe not directly but something they have had a hand in making sure the working people received. The only stake I have in this mess is watching the people around me lose everything. There are 2 plants in our City that employ 5000-6000 people that would be a severe loss to our State. So say what you want to me. I don’t really care. The human factor means more to me than your condescending words.
Nothing personal Graceann, just wanting to make sure you have an understanding of the TOTAL scenario re: any potential bailout for a selected group of people, a very small group at that compared to the millions of lost jobs in the past, 10 here, twenty there, 5,000 there, another 150 there, get the idea, a steady but sure downsizing bit by bit!
Now we get “excited” because the Big 3 want some cash.
And who is going to bat for the big 3? Why Carl Levin, Sander Levin, and John Dingell, ALL people that have stood behind the backward thinking of the auto industry for years and years. Every time the Feds wanted to increase the CAFE standards, yep, those three politicians stood up and PROTECTED the big three at the big three’s request.
Now the big three are stuck with SUV’S that get 12MPG, and not enough fuel efficient cars coming down the assembly lines.
Strange that on the very same day the big three are in begging for federal money, the biggest advertising campaign is from FORD advertising their new MUSCLE CAR!!
Sick I tell you! Just plain friggin sick!
Let me say I do not intend to offend anyone (well, most of the time anyway), but it galls me to no end that people don’t have a clue as to how we got here in the first place, only when it affects your home state or town as the case may be.
I have been in manufacturing management for the better part of my career, retired now thank goodness, and I have seen the plant closings, the layoffs, and the reasons why!
And it is not good.
A short term cash infusion is not going to solve any problems, only the big three can do that, and thus far they are complete failures at doing so!
Thanks for writing, I know it gets tough, but short term fixes and emotion are not going to fix our current problems!
I know where you are coming from,I have watched the jobs leave here in a steady stream myself. I was one that that was outsourced 10 years ago. This is not a jump on the bandwagon deal for me. I could care less about the CEO’s and the upper management. I know the Union is not perfect, I never said it was, but at times is is useful. What I care about is the people, some of them are hard working people that don’t deserve this. Nobody has even mentioned these people or their families. I know where our jobs are, I have seen the import lists, I check them. That is what amazes me, alot of people have no clue how much comes into this country or where it’s even from, most don’t even care. I do and I don’t want to see another job leave the States. So I do voice my opinion to anyone I can. Maybe I don’t say right, or maybe I don’t get my point across but I won’t quit. If you don’t agree that’s your right.
Graceann, we are all very concerned. But the government got us into this mess, and I don’t think they could pull a sick cat out of a litterbox, much less fix the broken economy. I am worried everyday about what will happen over the next few years. All we can do is pray.
And thank you Graceann for continuing to post here on this very complicated subject!
We all have different experiences and views and it is refreshing to have the opportunity to discuss these with people like yourself.
So once again, thanks for hanging in there. Hopefully this mess we are in will be resolved sometime. But as you know, we are in a very deep hole!
Have a great Holiday Season!
Marc & Douglas, Thanks for not dismissing my opinion because they differ from yours in some ways. I hope both of you and your families enjoy the Holidays. Yes Marc, I will pray!