NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
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
Monday March 3, 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!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Thompson in Turn 5 · Tommy Thompson · Tuesday October 10, 2006
Last Friday at Talladega, Mark Martin announced his future racing plans, raising more than a few eyebrows with his intentions. As you’ve likely already heard by now, Martin will leave Roush Racing to drive the No. 01 Chevrolet presently driven by Joe Nemechek and owned by MB2 Motorsports in 2007. The arrangement is reported to have Martin compete in twenty Nextel Cup races, as well as the Bud Shootout and the All-Star Challenge; rookie Regan Smith will finish out the schedule, driving the other sixteen events.
The announcement has left some NASCAR observers bewildered as to why Martin has chose to run a limited Cup schedule, as opposed to his previously announced intentions to race full time for Roush in the lower-tier Craftsman Truck Series. But a closer investigation of Martin’s decision-making process proves that this move should work out for the best for everyone involved.
In attempting to explain why he has chose to continue to compete at NASCAR's highest level, Martin said, "I was 39 years old when I started making my plans for the future (after racing). I realize that was way too early. (But) I thought that, at the age that I am right now, I wouldn't be able to compete with these young guys the way I have in the past (by running full-time). And I think everybody knows I'm not interested in just riding around."
Then, as if to validate his assertion that he is still, at 47 years old, more than capable of competing, Martin promptly qualified on the pole for Saturday's John Deere 250 on the high banks of Talladega, and came back from a lap down to win at the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race at the 2.66 mile Superspeedway. To further punctuate his fitness and ability to still compete, the four-time runner-up to the Nextel Cup Championship then proceeded to place eighth in the UAW-Ford 500 that Sunday. A solid Top 10 finish, after qualifying 30th, allowed the Batesville, Arkansas native to not only maintain his third place position in the current championship standings, but actually narrow the margin between him and points leader Jeff Burton to a mere ten points.
Judging from Martin's ability to get the job done over the last three years, he clearly misjudged some eight years ago just how much reserve stamina and talent he possessed. Martin, one of three drivers that have qualified for the "Chase" in each year of its existence, has two fourth place end-of-season points finishes under this format, both times finishing just over one hundred points behind the eventual winners of the Championship. The strong performances have convinced Martin that leaving NASCAR Cup racing altogether to spend more time with his family and guide his teenage son Matt in his budding racing career is simply more difficult than he originally thought it would be. “When you can compete like I have been the last couple of years in this type of competition,” said Martin in his Friday press conference. “It's hard to step away from it."
Some have suggested that Martin's move to MB2 Motorsports is in some way a betrayal of Ford Motor Company and Roush Racing, who he has driven for and gained his fame and fortune with since he returned to Cup racing full-time in 1988. However, Jack Roush has made his sincere best wishes for his longtime driver abundantly clear, exhibiting not a hint of acrimony as Martin’s decision was made public. In fact, Roush was present for, and sat with, Martin during Friday's announcement. "Mark is my dearest friend outside my immediate family," Roush said; having previously referred to Martin "as the brother I never had," he quite obviously does not believe that Mark has been anything less than "above board" with him throughout this process.
Critics immediately decried the move as stabbing both Ford and Roush in the back; but any such suggestion of disloyalty by Martin would simply be without merit. Intending to leave the Cup circuit full-time at the end of 2005, Martin agreed at Jack Roush's urging to pilot the No. 6 car for a 19th and final season, as Roush did not feel he had a driver ready to replace Martin. “I love my team and Jack Roush too much to leave them with a total empty hole for 2006,” Martin said at the time. Since then, he’s fulfilled that commitment with maximum effort and steady determination… he’s not obligated to return for 2007 and beyond.
Ford Racing has expressed disappointment in Martin's decision not to compete in a Ford F-150 full-time for 2007 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In one sense, that’s understandable. Martin has dominated the series in his Roush prepared truck, winning five of the ten races he's entered to go along with five Top 5 and eight Top 10 finishes on a limited schedule. Additionally, Martin, who owns a Ford dealership in his hometown, will be behind the wheel of Chevrolets at MB2. While no “official” contract was breached with Ford, the Blue Oval was understandably livid to hear of Martin’s defection; but in the changing landscape of NASCAR, who knows if the manufacturer will even by around by 2010? Clearly, Martin owes nothing to the automobile men in suits.
Once Mark came to the conclusion that he would prefer to still compete at the Cup level, but in a lesser capacity, he was somewhat limited as to his options. Although still welcome at Roush as the full time driver of his No. 6, Roush had nothing to offer him in the way of a part-time team or car. It is reported that he had discussions with Robert Yates Racing, who likewise could use him on a full-time basis, but were also not willing or able to accommodate his preferences for running part-time.
After making contact with MB2 owner Bobby Ginn (pronounced Ghin) an agreement that benefited both Martin and MB2 was reportedly finalized relatively quickly, within 10 days. Ginn, a wealthy Florida developer, had just six weeks earlier purchased controlling interest in the race team, and seems set on taking it to a higher level of competitiveness. With veterans Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin already in his stable, he decided that a third team needed to be created to more adequately compete against the larger NASCAR superteams. Additionally, Regan Smith, a driver that has driven in both the Busch and Craftsman Truck series, was identified by the organization as a prospective star of the future and hired by MB2. Smith and Martin will co-drive the No. 01 car, while Nemechek will move to the new No. 13 team. Not only does Martin's agreement call for him to drive the limited number of races, but also serve as a mentor to Smith in the races he’s not a part of. Martin has expressed pleasure with the idea of helping in the development of the young driver, at a place where he would have a signigicantly higher amount of info and influence than he would have at Roush Racing.
Given Mark Martin's desire to still compete in Nextel Cup, albeit occasionally, he seems to have found the best possible fit. Unlike other NASCAR legends, such as Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott, that have continued to race part-time with part-time teams, experiencing little success, Martin will have a full-time car and team behind him when he straps into the seat next year. Of course, for Martin to be a contender for wins, MB2 (its name will change to Ginn Racing in 2007) will have to far exceed this year's performance, with both Nemechek and Marlin spending more time fighting to stay in the Top 35 in owner points rather than competing for wins as 2006 winds to a close. But with a new and energetic owner in Ginn, Martin believes that on track performances will improve significantly.
There is no reason to wish Mark Martin anything but the best as he makes this move, obviously step one in an unknown number of steps toward eventual retirement. His departure from Roush Racing was amicable, and his nineteen years there were filled with innumerable successes. Both Jack Roush and Mark Martin credit the other with making them a better person, and their profound respect for one another is still intact despite Martin bolting the Blue Oval for Chevrolet. If there's anything not right in Martin leaving, it’s simply that he and Jack Roush could not leave together. Instead, Roush will continue to be a part of the sport every week, cheering Martin on from the pit box in any race he’s in, just like any driver for his own team. With a decision that was made professionally, amicably, and understandably, Mark Martin supporters should have no reason not to do the same in 2007.
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Well put Tom, Mark Martin will always be a Roush man no matter what he drives a bow tie or a yugo. But as usual the new NASCAR wana be fans will never understand this. Martin will always be known as a gentleman and a great driver, just think of the hard work and commitment he has to go thru to still be racing a the top level at his age.
A great article!
Bottom line is….after 19 years Mark Martin is doing what Mark Martin wants to do. I think he’s earned the right to do so.
I’ll still cheer Mark on no matter what team he drives for….simply put, I feel that there is no better race car driver than Mark Martin. He has led by example and it would be refreshing to see some of the younger drivers coming up act more like Mark Martin than some of those young-guns who think everything is owed to them.
Im sad to see mark leave the blue oval camp…ill have to get used to that i suppose…but as far as mark not being able to race in the trucks for roush….why not? its been said by roush no because he will be driving a chevy…well didnt matt kenseth drive a chevy in busch for quite some time and jamie mcmurry drives a dodge? seems to me to keep a person of marks stature, there would be some leeway….just my 2 cents :-)
I have to be one of the biggest Martin fans ever. I can’t believe that he is a Ford dealership owner and now drives a Chevy. I will have a VERY difficult time rooting for him. As far as I’m concerned, he sold out just like all the others who put only money at the top of their want list
I have been a loyal Mark Martin and Roush Racing fan for over 15 years. I believe that the Roush organization, and particularly Geoff Smith screwed up royally in letting him go. I was listening to Trackside and agreed with most of the comments that were made: “How do you let somebody like Mark Martin go?” granted he may not have a championship trophy, but without his loyalty for 19 years where would Roush Racing be? I am a proud Mark Martin fan and will follow him wherever he goes, I’m just glad that he is still racing. I will now take my merchandise dollars over to his new sponsor and not buy anymore Team Caliber merchanise.
Three words—preparing for Matt
Tom, your article was well put. It’s very unfortunate that critics will try to blemish one of Nascar’s greatest drivers. When it comes down to it, it does not matter which manufacturer you drive for when your passion for racing comes first. Mark Martin has always put out 110% in whatever car or series he was in. I will always be a proud Martin fan. I wish him the best of luck and maybe one day we will see a Martin Racing Team with Mark as the owner and Matt as the driver in Nextel Cup in the new GM/Ford Monte Fusion.