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 · Thursday September 3, 2009
At first glance, when little more than a month ago the NASCAR Hall of Fame 21-member Nominating Committee released its list of 25 candidates eligible for enshrinement into the inaugural Hall of Fame class, it appeared to be a pretty comprehensive list of the sports legends. The committee compiled its list of possible inductees from a broad spectrum of the sport; included were drivers, owners, and the founder of the organization. However, like most things NASCAR, there are those that have found fault with the sport for not including pioneering African-American driver Wendell Scott in the final cut.
Scott’s story is one that has been well-chronicled, and a name that most followers of the sport are familiar with. The driver, who campaigned in NASCAR’s top division now known as the Sprint Cup Series, competed in 495 events from 1961 through 1973. During his career, he campaigned almost exclusively in the racially divided Southeastern United States. Though enduring racial insults from spectators and at times unfair treatment from competitors, Scott’s story is a true example of personal grit, perseverance, and courage. It is a story that should continue to be told, and certainly one that should be honored.
But is inclusion on the list of NASCAR’s most influential and deserving candidates, or for that matter election into the sport’s inaugural group of five inductees, appropriate? The plain truth, absent political correctness or intimidation of being labeled racially biased is – no.
The criterion for consideration into the HoF is straightforward: Candidates will be selected based on their accomplishments and contributions to the organization. A survey of the top-25 candidates to be voted on for entry to the Hall would find that, without exception, all met at least one if not both of those qualifiers, far surpassing both Scott’s on-track accomplishments or contributions to the sport. The lone factor that distinctly separates Scott from dozens of other competitors, then, is that Wendell Scott was a black man.
Nonetheless, some feel that Scott should be honored as one of the top 25 or even top 5 individuals that have either accomplished or contributed the most to in the sport since its inception in 1949. Motorsports/Automobile Industry journalist Steve Parker believes that NASCAR made an error in excluding Wendell Scott from the first class of possible inductees, and shared his thoughts in his blog in the liberal-leaning Huffington Post. “NASCAR has a fabulous chance to grab some positive, international public attention as insiders and fans vote on the first five members of the sport’s new Hall of Fame,” he said. “But, as they’ve done before, the powers-that-be have blown it.”
The article then continued to bash NASCAR, complete with the issue of Confederate Flags being displayed by fans at race events and an indictment against sponsors that associate their companies with the sport. This was all, of course, in an effort to exemplify that racism is prevalent within stock car racing.
Now, as convoluted as Mr. Parker’s reasoning is, he is accurate in his belief that NASCAR could have generated some positive spin by including Wendell Scott on the list of 25 nominees. In fact, it may have been tempting for the nominating committee to take the easy road and throw Scott’s name into the mix. But of course, he would not have made the final cut, which then would without doubt bring about yet another round of jabs at the sport and the organization.
So really, what Mr. Parker and a number of others are suggesting is that NASCAR should have made a token and insincere gesture by including the Danbury, VA native’s name among the 25 most prominent people in the history of NASCAR. They are not asking for truth or accuracy – just political correctness.
Brian Donovan, who in 2008 penned the must-read biography of Scott’s life, “Hard Driving: The American Odyssey of NASCAR’s First Black Driver,” also takes NASCAR to task for the exclusion of Scott from Hall of Fame consideration. ‘‘Wendell Scott’s pioneering accomplishments certainly deserve recognition in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame. But it’s not surprising he’s not on the list,” Donovan said.
‘‘NASCAR doesn’t seem ready to admit that powerful officials in the sport repeatedly did him wrong.”
It’s true that Wendell Scott was, many times, treated wrong. It is hoped and assumed that NASCAR, like the nation, has progressed significantly in its racial attitudes since 1961. But mistreatment at the hand of some NASCAR-associated individuals does not in itself justify entry into the Hall of Fame.
Others, such as Allen Gregory of the Bristol Herald Courier, recently wrote, “He is NASCAR’s version of Jackie Robinson, yet that legacy was still not enough to earn Scott a spot among the 25 nominees announced this week for NASCAR’s first Hall of Fame.”
The Jackie Robinson of NASCAR? Not quite. First of all, Jackie Robinson not only broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, he was Rookie of the Year in 1947, a six-time All-Star, and the National League MVP in 1949. Additionally, Robinson opened the door for black players in the sport and thousands have since followed his path.
Over in stock car racing, though, there has been no African-American driver since Wendell Scott’s retirement due to injuries suffered at Talladega that has competed regularly in NASCAR’s elite series. Jackie Robinson’s entry into Major League Baseball was a monumental event that contributed significantly in changing the culture of the sport, if not the country. In truth, it cannot be said that Scott’s 1961 debut in NASCAR has had the same social impact.
Wendell Scott was a hell of a man and a dedicated racer. However, he was not part of any social movement nor motivated to race by anything more than his love of the sport and the freedom of being his own boss. In time, he gained through his tenacity, talent, and perseverance the admiration and respect of his fellow competitors and the fans that filled the grandstands.
Though his successes on the track were modest, his journey as a black stock car driver in the early days of NASCAR are noteworthy. The career of Wendell Scott in NASCAR was filled with instances of racially motivated injustices, as well as numerous examples of heartwarming, charitable acts by his competitors. Scott chose to be a black stock car driver at a time in this nation’s and the sport’s history when racism was commonplace, and there is no reason for NASCAR to hide from its past from admitting that.
When the much-anticipated NASCAR Hall of Fame opens next year in Charlotte, N.C. next year, Wendell Scott will not be among the first five inductees enshrined. Yet though his career did not meet the lofty requirement for inclusion, he should not be forgotten, either. The complete Wendell Scott story, both the flattering and not-so-flattering for NASCAR, should be prominently displayed. It is a story that should not be forgotten, and contains lessons that visitors to the Hall of Fame should never forget.
And… that’s my view from Turn 5.
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I finally do really think your on the NA$CRAP payroll!
One cannot discuss NA$CRAP’S past without mentioning WENDELL SCOTT!
Whatever sick spin you put on it, WENDELL SCOTT is NASCAR HISTORY!
Wendell Scott is part of the colorful, (pardon the pun)history of motorsports!
This article simply smells of yet another writer trying to make NA$CRAP’S “approved” list!
Maybe your trying to stay in their good graces by agreeing with what King Brian and group say and do!
First, you say the POS is GREAT!
Next you say that a part of NASCAR HISTORY is not given his proper due!
And in closing, you state the following: “It is a story that should not be forgotten, and contains lessons that visitors to the Hall of Fame should never forget”.
So, if Wendell Scott is not in the HOF, how will visitors REMEMBER him?
Wendell Scott should not be inducted just because he is black. I believe this article is well written and states the facts.
Douglas, no freakin’ way should Wendall Scott be among the 1st 5 inductees or even top 25 being considered. Are you saying that if he’s not he’ll be forgotten? Anybody who is passionate about this sport knows who he is. I’m sure the Hall will acknowledge him in one way or another, either as a pioneer or as a winner. To use him as an excuse to jump on TT is foolish, adding fuel to your personal vendetta against NASCAR. My hat is off to you, TT, excellent article.
I followed Wendell Scott when he was racing. I didn’t follow him because he was black, I followed him because he was so determined to race against impossible odds. I remember him getting out of his car to help change his own tires. He did nothing that would qualify him to be in the HOF but he will always be my hero.
You cannot compare Wendell Scott to Jackie Robinson. Robinson didn’t come into baseball and then play with a stick and work glove. No, Major League Baseball gave him everything he needed to compete and to win. Not so for Scott, he was driving with cars made with parts from the scrap yard, never having the chance to race in a top tier car, and was still able to win.
And just because no African American’s have followed in his footsteps full time that cancels out anything he did? That’s bull. It’s easy for a kid to get a baseball bat and ball and start playing baseball, it’s not so easy for that same to kid to get a car to take to his local short track and race.
Comparing Robinson to Scott is like comparing apples to oranges. Scott deserves to be in the hall, maybe not in the first class but he definitely belongs.
“Benny P” that is a good post. I definitely agree. Wendell Scott deserves to be in the Hall for sure, not the first five but in some five. I must admit I don’t know how it works…how he would get nominated or when. But if not this year then next. This article brings up some good points and some I agree with but in no way does it do justice to the issue. (and you dam right you cannot compare Jackie Robinson’s case with Scott; that’s just ludicrous). What if, just because of your color (or age or sex and ethnicity or just about anything on the menu) that you had your race car rejected at inspection or your entry rejected as Scott did at Darlington? Man I have been at Darlington in modern times as well as the 1960s…that STILL is a WHITE place. Hell I have even been in Victory Lane at Darlington with Race Hill Farm’s Sportsmans (ney Busch ney Nationwide) win in the mid 1980s. I know Darlington. I am from just up the road a piece. That’s not a place where modern thinking arose. I love the place just like I love my home state of SC, but just like this nation, we have some awful dark moments in our history when dealing with human rights. What about the US Constitution? Counts black folks as 3/5 for representation. Lemme tell ya, when have you ever met 3/5ths of a person? Lookit I am not apologist, my mantra is you pull yourself up by your bootstraps. But I can say that. I am white and I grew up in a time when a white, male youngster all across this land of ours had NO, repeat NO barriers to chasing whatever the hel I wanted to chase…dreams career women, etc…Wendell Scott had the worst this country had to offer guys and gals and yet he went on. Who had the dam right to block his dream? Huh? Tell me what King had that right? No one stood in my way to achieve. And achieve I did and did it well. But I might be a boil on a but if I had to face what Wendell Scott did. I might have run like a “frady cat” if I had to put up with what he did. Hey I can tell ya that Bill Gazaway was a bully in the worst way, who knows how many NASCAR had on the payrolls that they did and didn’t know about. They could do things my man and do it over and over where no one could suspect, or certainly prove…So my point is Scott deserves to be in the Hall, whenever he can get there. I don’t care about the first 25, there are a lot of people that did do great things for this sport. So if Scott ain’t in the first 25 so be it; just as long as he gets there. But no one can tell me or write that the man didn’t have guts and endured many many indignities to just do what he dreamed about doing. And NASCAR in the 1950s-1970s in the South was the toughest place on earth to do it in…just ask Hank Aaron or Ray Charles or John Lewis or read about Orangeburg SC or Rock Hill SC or countless people and places all across this land.
I’m tempted to say … WHO CARES ???? . Not regarding Scott , but regarding the latest “ please pay attention to us , we’re really a sport , look , we have an official hall of fame just like the stick and ball sports “ grab at the media . The ONLY reson that this blog constantly talks about the hof is that NASCAR e-mails them the latest breathless press releases every day , and if you don’t print them , you don’t get your press room credentials for the races .
Well I suspected we were in trouble when I saw in this article “liberal-leaning Huffington Post”. No one ever writes the “conservative-leaning Frontstretch” or the “conservative-leaning The State”. It’s always about Nancy Pelosi and the Huffington Post and all those evil doers out there, instead of just writing about an issue. NASCAR as you point out “marshall” has their stooges in the ranks of the news media and they use them mightily. On the other hand those people in the news media that were quick to whack NASCAR over the Jeremy Mayfield issue, well now that’s a study in EAT CROW. I would surely hate to put my media credentials on the line for Jeremy Mayfield. I would do it in a heartbeat for someone like Wendell Scott who may not be perfect but tried very hard to life his dream, while folks like Mayfield, well, hmmm…
NASCAR has no chance of ever being a “mainstream” and inclusive entity. By seeking to glorify its villainous, racist, inglorious past, it typifies and verifies its lack of desire to represent the true culture of our country.
“Nationl Association of Shamful Cretans and Racists” !
I’m starting to really be disgusted by racing, as a whole, especially, Brian, Bruton and all the BS.
Just have to straighten this out, as I hate seeing the 3/5 clause used to prove past racism. People who were slaves were counted as 3/5 for representation purposes. If you were black and free, you’d be counted fully for representation purposes. Quite frankly, it would have been better for the slaves to have been counted as 0/5, since they couldn’t vote and their slave owners were given increased representation in Congress simply for owning more slaves.
On topic, while Scott is certainly one of the more brave and heroic people associated with our sport, and a talented driver as well, it’s not like he would have won fifty races and five championships if only he were white… and it’s not like he had legions of pioneers to follow in his tire tracks, either; has there ever been a black driver who ran more than two or three races since Wendell hung up his driving gloves? If they keep picking five people a year to be in the Hall, though, he shouldn’t have to wait more than ten years. And in the meantime, we know he was one of the good guys.
How much does everyone want to bet that the very instant that one Rick Hendrick “retires”, they will hold a special induction ceremony for this guy!
A CONVICTED FELON, WHO DID NOT PAY HIS “PENALTY” IN PRISON LIKE THE POOR FOLKS, JUST GOT A PARDON!
So we have true CROOK revered by NA$CRAP!
But a REAL example of NASCAR HISTORY being shunned!
What a shame, what a friggin shame!
Douglas, you are right on the money with the Hendrick article.
Yeah Humpy got Scott a ride but it was no where near a top tier car that Scott couldn’t handle. It was a piece of crap that came from the scrap yard of someone’s team and had to be fixed up and painted pretty so it would look “nice” it was in no way a top tier car, it was along the same tier of car that Scott drove his whole career. As for the article read the book “Hard Driving” and it explains exactly what Humpy did; promised Scott a top tier car and then handed him a pos.
Ramblin Wreck you are entitled to your opinion. I wasn’t using the 3/5ths piece to prove racism, I was using it to show what many and deep shames we have as a country in human rights. History is replete with the wrongs we have committed on our own citizens. It just is. I don’t care how much revision you do to history. And I don’t care how much you try to change the facts, on point, Wendell Scott (black, white pink yellow blue or purple) was discriminated against in the worst way. It’s the worst kind of behavior we can do to each other—other than murder. So don’t give me your history lesson on this. I can betcha if you were subject to such criminal acts that you would run with your tail between your legs. Get over it—3/5ths was wrong and so was Wendell Scott’s treatment.
And Fred you are way way wrong and the people involved would tell you so. The car Scott got at Charlotte was way sub standard, it was a Junior Johnson car and he has said publicly that the car wasn’t up to billing because as he put it, he was working on his own stuff for the race and didn’t have the time to devote to the Scott car. He has said that, not me. The billing, like a lot of things at CMS was PR mish mash to sell tickets. They didn’t the same thing with a female and other stunts to sell tickets. But that is there right, no problem there. But don’t tell me Scott had “too much car for him.” The car was junk and billed as a top ride. So yall go ahead and argue that because the facts speak for themselves and the people involved all have spoken on that one.
NASCAR has some deep and wide shames as well. Not standing up for Scott; Tim Richmond…Come on Ramblin Wreck, tell me how that one worked. How about Talladega 1969 and the PDA. Ever heard of James Hylton? Well he won at Talladgea didn’t he? He ran in that first one though. NASCAR & Junior Johnson…Hey they didn’t call it the “company car” for nothin. Bobby Allison sued NASCAR for big engines, so to speak, and it took him a long time to win a championship. On point Ramblin Wreck? Just showing that what NASCAR wants NASCAR gets. And they didn’t want Wendell Scott a star in a southern based sport in the 1950s and 1960s. And they, unlike other places, COULD do something about it.
“a REAL example of NASCAR HISTORY being shunned!” Huh? Is Bobby Hillin Jr. on the list? No? Must be shunned. How about Phil Parsons? No?Inexcusable! Wendell Scott was a part of history and will be in the Hall in due time, the only one saying he was shunned is you, Douglas. If you folks would notice, TT did not compare him to Jackie Robinson, the idiot from the Bristol Herald Courier did. This omission from the present list is not about race. Don’t make it be so.