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.
Tommy Thompson · Thursday June 4, 2009
It has been almost a month since the suspension of Sprint Cup owner/driver Jeremy Mayfield and the matter is no closer to resolution. Wednesday’s scheduled hearing before a North Carolina Superior Court Judge in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, was cancelled due to an 11th hour move on the part of NASCAR to have the case heard in a federal court. Mayfield and his attorney, Bill Diehl were attempting to gain a temporary restraining order from Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges that would have lifted NASCAR’s suspension of Mayfield on May 9th for allegedly violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. If successful, Mayfield would have been allowed to attempt to qualify for Sunday’s Pocono 500 and following events until the matter is settled in court.
NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston offered the following in way of explaining the request for a change in venue, “Administration of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy extends to every state in which it races, which is why the logical forum is federal court.”
The ball is now in Mayfield’s court as to whether to fight the change or wait for a court date to be scheduled at the federal level. Either way, Mayfield will not have his day in court as soon as he had wished.
In the mean time, the sordid affair will continue to gain headlines and attention in what will become a permanent black eye for both NASCAR and Jeremy Mayfield. It’s a fiasco that would have never occurred except for NASCAR’s unwillingness to stick to the heretofore sensible and considerably more practical “reasonable suspicion/just cause” substance abuse policy that it jettisoned last season, a policy that required drivers and team members to submit to testing if they exhibited suspicious behavior or the organization had information that an individual may be using a banned substance.
Instead, following an ESPN interview in April of 2008 by former Craftsman Truck and Busch Series driver Aaron Fike in which he said he had used heroin on race day, NASCAR began transitioning to a random drug testing policy that was fully implemented by this season’s opener, the Daytona 500. The Fike incident brought to a crescendo the criticism by many, both outside and within the sport, that NASCAR’s drug screening policy was too lax and too lenient. Faced with the mounting negative PR nightmare, NASCAR opted to take what seemed at the time to be the easy way out and implement its new screening procedures.
Here is the crux of the matter as it pertains to the Jeremy Mayfield saga (and if it isn’t a saga yet – it will be before it’s done!) – had it not been for the newly implemented drug screening policy, there would have been no pending court case. Under the old policy Mayfield would have not been tested because there was no justifiable reason for him to be tested. There is no one stepping forward suggesting that he seemed impaired in anyway that would have prevented him from competing at Darlington (where the test samples were obtained.) NASCAR did not receive a tip that Mayfield may be under the influence of any substance or was a user. Mayfield would still be struggling to make races and NASCAR would have gone about its business trying to revitalize the sport.
In April of 2008, this column addressed the random drug testing premise in an article titled Random Drug Testing: Harvick, Earnhardt, Stewart and Granny, Form A Line Over Here! in which the following position on the topic was expressed: “Random drug testing is to some — myself included — an undignified and insulting process that is highly resented. That a person functioning not only adequately, but in many cases exceptionally both on the job and socially should have to prove to anyone that they are not substance abusers is by its very nature the antithesis of being a free person in a free country.”
Whether Jeremy Mayfield had used unprescribed drugs or not is still an open question. He is adamantly denying any such use and as a result of the drug screening has been compelled to divulge what should be private medical information to explain his test results. Mayfield contends that a mixture of a allergy medication and a prescribed drug for a medical condition that the world now knows is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the reason for the failed test results.
Judging from the extent to which Mayfield is willing to take the issue of his suspension, it may very possibly turn out that he is being completely honest. The prescribed drug in question (Adderall) does test positive as an amphetimine in drug screens. So, should Mayfield eventually be exonerated and reinstated he’ll now be known forevermore as the driver that takes drugs because he has ADD, most probably a private medical condition that he had preferred to not share with the public…or NASCAR.
What’s the big deal if he has ADD? First of all, it doesn’t need to be a big deal for a person to want to keep it, or any other personal imformation private. However, it is certainly not information that will be a positive for his career as a driver or attract sponsors as a team owner. He now forevermore has the stigma of a guy that requires medication to focus normally. It could be the “deal breaker” when competing for a driver’s position on a race team or asking sponsors to entrust him with millions of dollars of their money to field a team. Yes…business men need focus as well.
There is little risk of drivers being injured or killed on the track in today’s NASCAR due to drug or alchol abuse. Certainly not as great a danger as the average person traversing the highways or bi-ways in this country faces everyday due to a great number of individuals that routinely drive under the influence of illegal and prescribed drugs, as well as alcohol.
As stated in the aforementioned April 2008 article, “Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant in this country; that is not news. But I would bet my bottom dollar that is not the case in NASCAR, after these admissions [Fike].There are just too many obstacles in the way of a driver to compete at the high level required of them; not just behind the wheel, but off-track as well. NASCAR drivers are under more scrutiny than perhaps any other athlete, and are not only required to maintain their finely tuned reflexes in the seat of the race car, but be able to function lucidly and appropriately for their many sponsor and media events. Clearly, that does not foster an environment conducive to hiding a drug or alcohol problems for long.”
Make no mistake about it, NASCAR knew that it did not have a serious drug problem on the track. They held out as long as they could and defended what was a reasonable substance abuse screening process, one unnecessarily intrusive, but effective when needed. However, in the end they gave in to public pressure.
Now, they have a mess on their hands. NASCAR is being crucified for the administration of the new policy and their reluctance to provide a list of banned substances. Others are aghast at the organization allowing Mayfield to take part in practice at Richmond while awaiting a second batch of samples. All this while wrestling with the possibility that they may have at least one driver that uses illegal drugs and the fear of not knowing how far-reaching the problem may be.
The legal maneuvering that has delayed Jeremy Mayfield getting his day in court may, or may not ultimately work to NASCAR’s advantage. But the can of worms has been opened and Jeremy Mayfield will not be the last one to crawl out of it.
And…that’s my view from Turn 5
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
(quote)That a person functioning not only adequately, but in many cases exceptionally both on the job and socially should have to prove to anyone that they are not substance abusers is by its very nature the antithesis of being a free person in a free country.” Sir, unless you walk around this country with your head in the sand, I think you should know that this is no longer a free country! The example you cited above is just the tip of the iceberg. Drug testing for a job, having lost most free speech rights, the list goes on and on……….
Very good article!!! NASCAR did fold under public opinion regarding this issue. I believe the Fike deal is an isolated incident. Back in the day when you had Dick Beaty and Gary Nelson as Cup Director monitoring the competition and these Teams would push the gray area not all was caught via Tech inspection. Other Teams would see or suspect the “Cheating” and would report it. This garage area watch’s each other to make sure no one else is getting an edge. They are the most competitive individuals in sports. You have the Jeff Burton’s out there that are as concerned with safety as they are winning. So to tell me the previous policy was not good enough I do not accept. Shane Hmiel was caught, given a chance, failed again and now permanently banned. Fike is gone. NASCAR has sent the message in the past regarding drug use. What they have done now is what you reported, created an environment that if you want to challenge them you have to reveal personal and private medical information. How sad Political agenda’s seep into racing….
No matter what happens in court, I believe Mayfield’s career is over. It’s hard enough to find sponsors without negative publicity.
Great article, and due to the recent actions on not only this matter, but the Carl Long matter, I am now in a letter writing campaign to ALL NA$CRAP sponsors stating I will no longer be buying their products due to their affiliation with NA$CRAP!
INCLUDING cancelling my ALLSTATE INSURANCE policies on my SIX (6) vehicles, 3 motorcycles, 3 cars/trucks, along with a letter to ALLSTATE explaining why I have taken this action.
If we could get a few more to do the same, ALLSTATE will listen!
As will all the other sponsors of this circus!
Please, please, Please! Send your letters out to those that sponsor this crap and let them know how dissatisfied you are with NA$CRAP!
This is the ONLY way NA$CRAP will get the message!
Nascar didn’t cave to public pressure on drug testing . Instead , Nascar did what it always does . Nascar developed one of their typical knee jerk responses to a perceived problem . And , as Nascar is woefully undermanaged , the knee jerk drug policy was over the top and destined to end up in court .
If,& that’s a very BIG if. Jeremy were able to get an injunction, to allow him to race, pending resolution. Quite frankly, I’m as biased toward Jeremy as anyone you’re gonna find. Having said that, if I were a judge. I would not overturn this without way better proof that has been publicly stated. I would think a controlled test with the substances he says triggered the positive. If it could duplicate the results would do it. Let’s just say for the sake of argument, they either get an injunction, or win the suit. Who thinks Jeremy could ever get a car through tech? This is a very vindictive bunch. Win, lose, or draw. Jeremy is done in NA$CAR.
Mayfield is done.
Even if he wins his case, and gets back on the track.
The first time he opens his mouth Nascar will ban him for 12-1 (action detrimental to stock car racing)
I think Jeremy should ride this out, retire, and then write a tell-all book that exposes the hypocrisy in NASCAR. He’ll make $millions!
I would love to hear their logic for calling out a driver for taking medication that is NECESSARY for him to be able to concentrate. Whatever the outcome, NASCAR will regret this. We all know that Mayfield is awfully vindictive himself, and I don’t think anyone would blame him if he were to become NASCAR’s Jose Canseco.
Great article as always Tommy, it will be interesting to see how this plays out, I just wish we could hit the fast-forward button on the whole situation.
The reasons NASCAR adopted a new drug testing policy were that Fink showed you cannot always recognize who is using drugs and the all-knowing media, as usual, kept beating up NASCAR. The Mayfield situation is yet another example of the biased and sloppy reporting by much of the NASCAR media.It was not until this week that I saw an article on a wide-distribution site (espn.com) where the author bothered to compare NASCAR’s drug testing program to that of another major sport, the NFL, and found that NASCAR’s compares favorably with that of the NFL and with WADA guidelines. Much of the NASCAR media is more interested in bashing NASCAR and a story that will attract readers than whether the story is based on facts.
Hey Casey B!
Actually it’s CORN flakes I eat! Not cheerios.
Because anything to do with that illustrious group called NA$CRAP is pure CORN!
And for the record it is King Brian that is “peeing” on our fun and excitement!
And for Richard in NC,
BUT, the way the Mayfield thing came down i.e. NOTHING IN WRITING!
PLUS the fact NOBODY, but NOBODY, trusts NA$CRAP, leaves this whole drug testing thing up in the air!
Who knows, we only hear what NA$CRAP wants us to hear! And that ain’t much my friend!
Sure, on the surface the drug testing program is similar to other sports, but is it totally above board when the results come in?
Me suspects not!
The NASCAR drug testing program is in writing and, according to David Newton, compares favorably with the NFL’s. In his complaint, Mayfield’s attorney says that Mayfield was told on May 7th by the medical reviewer what he tested positive for – but a week later Mayfield told the press at LMS that he had not been told what he tested positive for. My real beef is with the media, who increasingly seems more interested in the story than the truth – or maybe they’re still trying to get back at NASCAR for the way the run-in between Tony Stewart and Mulhern was handled years ago.
Richard in N.C. , let me see if i get this straight . You think the “ Nascar “ media is trying to portray this as mean old incompetent Nascar is out to get this driver . And you feel that Nascars’ drug policy is being unfairly malinged since it is world class , just like the NFLs . And then you tell us the punchline , you’ve based all of this on the writings of David Newton ??? Might i point out , hes’ a ranking member of the “ Nascar “ media himself and certainly no expert on drug test policies .
No, I feel the NASCAR drug testing policy has been unfairly reported because the only writer I have found who has made an effort to compare the NASCAR program to that of any other major racing series or sport is Newton and the results of his reporting is contrary to that of most of the other reporting of the NASCAR program – and I’ve read the NASCAR program and Mayfield’s complaint. I’m no expert on drug testing policies, and I’m sure Newton isn’t either, but it seems only reasonable to me to compare NASCAR’s to that of other major sports, but I would have preferred a comparison to the testing program of another racing series. Also, Newton’s article says he interviewed the head of a drug testing lab in Charlotte. No I am not involved in any way with NASCAR or Aegis except for being a fan of NASCAR racing.
I have to side with Jeremy on this one. I think that any doctor in their right mind wouldn’t perscribe a NASCAR driver a drug that would inhibit them from driving. I think NASCAR doesn’t like Jeremy, and they are looking for any excuse to keep him from doing something he loves. Wasn’t it just a year or two ago that NASCAR was pleading with teams to show up, qualify, then park just to get full fields? Now that they have more cars attempting to qualify than starting positions, I think they are going to try and find any reason to park anyone who isn’t jeff gordon or dale earnhardt junior.
I guess we can just chalk this whole thing up to bad judgement on NASCARs’ part.
Nobody has even mentioned the Ritalin Kid himself, Mr. Carl Edwards. Mr Hyper.
I don’t believe Aegis would be willing to jeopardize their business just to help NASCAR. A prescription by a doctor does not guarantee that the patient will not knowingly or unknowingly misuse the drug. I still believe it is possible that the issue is misuse or overuse of a legal substance, not abuse.
misuse or overuse of a legal substance is the very definition of Abuse There is no comparison to the NFL policy, they have a list of banned substances, not a line of bullshit a mile long
Well I guess I didn’t say that very well. I was trying to contrast misuse by accident or ignorance from recreational use. I have not had a chance to try to find the NFL’s policy, but they don’t have to worry about a player falling asleep during the game. NASCAR’s policy says “prohibited substances are those substances that, in NASCAR’S determination, may affect adversely the safety and well-being of the Competitors, Officials and/or spectators….” If the NFL has a list of banned substances, I suspect there is still some language like the above and that the list is supplemented frequently – but then I believe the NFL and the players union had to agree on the NFL policy. The World Anti-Doping list of banned substances is a 9 page list of chemical substances, only the last page of which deals with illegal drugs like cocaine.