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.
Voice of Vito · Vito Pugliese · Tuesday July 29, 2008
Not sure if you have noticed or not, but Caddyshack (arguably the greatest movie ever made, and easily the most quoted) has been on cable a lot lately, most recently having been on the Golf Channel and ESPN Classic in a steady rotation. I mention this because as I slipped in and out of consciousness this past Sunday, sprawled out prostrate on my Aztec-print sofa watching the abomination that was the 2008 Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, I remember thinking how great it would be if I were watching Caddyshack instead of the carnage that was being broadcast. It also would have been fitting to hear Dale Jarrett or Dr. Jerry Punch issue one of Zen-golfer Ty Webb’s classic lines:
“You’re not, ahhh … you’re not … you’re not … good.”
Wow. Did that really happen?! A 160-lap race punctuated by no less than 11 caution flags, six of which were “competition yellows” — code for “issuing a caution flag before something really bad happens.” But that still didn’t stop a few black eyes from being bruised on a number of occasions throughout the day. Just ask Matt Kenseth, whose car was apparently fitted with three Goodyear Eagles and one IED, as the back of his No. 17 Roush Fusion was obliterated as if it had suffered a thousand lashings from a possessed DeWalt sawzall. Juan Pablo Montoya apparently hit a landmine on the backstretch as well, seeing as the debris field from his mangled Mopar is most likely still scattered somewhere along the fairway of the 3rd hole of Indy’s infield golf course.
In my 25 years of watching motorsports, I have never seen the abomination that was, with a straight face, labeled a race, as the one I endured on Sunday. At least I got a front row seat to watch the debacle for free in 57 inches of High-Definition gore, instead of being there in person with the rest of the media horde. Those 1,080 lines of progressively-scanned resolution allowed me to better view the 6” x 12” swathes of steel and polyester cords from what, just six minutes earlier, were a $1,700 set of racing slicks.
Goodyear Tire Company had an ad campaign a few years ago that boldly proclaimed, “The best tires in the world have Goodyear written all over them.” Does that still apply if they are ground into a fine, black powder, decorating Kevin Harvick’s instrument panel? Again, Mr. Webb:
“The Zen philosopher Basho once wrote, a flute with no holes is not a flute. And a donut with no hole… is a Danish.”
… And a tire with no air in it at 200 MPH is probably not conducive to auto racing. How in the year 2008 — in the premier motorsports division in North America — this happens is beyond me. At least when Michelins were shredding prior to the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2005, the company offered to airlift new tires immediately to be delivered to the speedway — or suggested a chicane be installed to limit the stress that was being applied to their product. When both of those options were nixed by the FIA, Michelin-shod competitors had the common courtesy to pull off the starting grid prior to the green lights illuminating.
The 43 drivers that rolled off Sunday were playing a similar game of Russian Roulette with five rounds in the cylinder, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find many fans that would have faulted drivers had they all pulled in and parked themselves coming to the green flag after having bore witness to what transpired this past weekend. But instead of stopping, each one played a game of stop and start that was equivalent to going through the motions, collecting a check while watching the cash of 240,000 spectators promptly go to waste.
“Don’t sell yourself short, Judge. You’re a tremendous slouch.”
It is usually not a good sign when the president of the operation has to come on live television in the middle of a broadcast to explain why cars are running at three-quarter speed (witness Greg Biffle, lifting at the start/finish line late in the going) and why NASCAR is throwing a yellow flag so teams can change tires at 10-lap intervals. Imagine the uproar that would follow if, during the Yankees / Red Sox game on Sunday, Bud Selig was forced to appear in the booth with Joe Morgan and Jon Miller to explain why bats were shattering all over the field anytime a batter so much as swung at a ball.
For NASCAR’s second most prestigious race of the year at the most famous racing circuit on the planet, this was as poor of a showing as one could expect. The wagon-circling, politicking, and spin machine was turned up to 11, with the sanctioning body, tire supplier and many of the competitors shrugging off any appearance of ill-doing as soon as the race was over.
“Ahh, Danny, this isn’t Russia. Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia, is it?”
So who, or what, was to blame? As we begin to recover from this epic catastrophe, who is ultimately at fault? Let’s examine a few possible culprits:
Tire Wars: With as many tire issues as have been experienced in recent years and complaints by drivers growing louder and more pointed, some have suggested it may be time to break Goodyear’s monopoly as NASCAR’s official tire supplier. Many argue that competition is always good and promotes a better product. But it is also extremely expensive and — as has been proven in years past – not always an attractive option.
How many of you remember the name Loy Allen, Jr.? Right, three of you. Allen won the pole at the 1994 Daytona 500 for perennial powerhouse (sic) Tri-Star Motorsports. He finished 22nd, leading zero laps in the process. But Allen was on Hoosier tires then, which were a tick faster because they had less contact surface and therefore less rolling resistance. Geoff Bodine won three races that season on Hoosiers (and ironically, Rick Mast won the pole for the inaugural Brickyard 400 on Hoosiers) but the other races were won with Goodyears. Did it make for a better tire or better competition? Probably not, but what it did contribute to was a lot of accidents.
A tire war is not something that many drivers who have lived through one are clamoring for, as they are the ones who are situated on the front lines of such a fight — with their own lives at stake.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway: A few years ago, we were treated to “levigating” at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. At Indianapolis, we are now aware of “diamond cutting” as the potential cause for ills at America’s oldest superspeedway. The rough surface, some contend was the culprit for Sunday’s exercise in futility disguised as a stock car race.
The IndyCar Series didn’t seem to have an issue this past May with the racing surface or their Firestone tires. Come to think of it, last year the Cup cars ran at Indy without much trouble, running the final 83 laps with but three cautions – two for “debris” and one for oil. They didn’t have to stop the race every 10 minutes to retrofit everyone’s tires for their own safety. That leaves one more component to the puzzle…
The Car of Tomorrow: Ah, yes .. my favorite target. And why not? It is a big one. There it was, in all of its gaudy, front-splittered, big-winged, high center of gravity, no downforce and extreme right-side weight-biased glory. Who would have ever imagined that after a year and a half of teams begging NASCAR to let them work on it to gain some adjustability, balance, and desperately-needed downforce, that something like this would have happened?
An unbalanced, heavy car with a high center of gravity combined with a hard tire and a track surface that, by most accounts, is like that of a cheese grater … what could possibly go wrong?! Instead of going all out for the second biggest race of the year, NASCAR attacked this problem hard — by scheduling a tire test with but a handful of teams, then not following up on those results. Was there enough data to show what was going to happen once the cars hit the track? Would it have made sense to allow some more adjustability or leeway with the car to get it to handle properly, and not completely destroy a set of tires within a few minutes? Good God, imagine the bloodbath that would have ensued had there not been the scheduled caution flags, or if the cars still had the standard 22-gallon fuel cells rather than the new 18-gallon pieces. Not that they would have ever made it halfway through a fuel run anyway…
Elton John had a hit in 1976 with the song “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” whose chorus of, “It’s a sad, sad, situation; and it’s getting more and more absurd,” came to mind after hearing the explanations from Robin Pemberton, Goodyear officials, and the rest of the NASCAR brass. Even ESPN was a bit beige in their observations of what was actually transpiring on the track, as if there was anything other than shock and horror that should have been expressed from competitors making essentially mandated tire changes as they were just coming up to temperature.
Much like the fans who attended the Formula One disaster that was the US Grand Prix in 2005, the 240,000 paying spectators, as well as the millions more frustrated at home, echo their sentiments — as well as those of Ty Webb:
“Thank you very little.”
©2000 - 2008 Vito Pugliese and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I’ve got several questions. What is Nascar going to do for the fans who paid for the race they never got to see? What about points? Obviously, several cars had problems due to the faulty tires, is it right to call this a points race when it might effect someone getting in the chase or even winning the championship? I don’t think so. With this the first COT Race at Indy, Nascar should have done a lot of testing and reacted to the results which they clearly didn’t do in this situation. I guarantee you that Nascar had made the rounds Sunday informing crews and drivers not to be bad mouthing Nascar. You know, the organization that is never wrong. The one where you appeal a ruling and is always turned down. Funny, Haven’t seen much of Nascar taking much blame for this. They keep saying Goodyear, Cot, Etc. but haven’t bellied up to accept responsibility for the so called race. Again, if Nascar is sincere with their apology then show the fans their money and give them at least half of their ticket price. Oh, and don’t forget about ESPN. I think they got screwed a little also. They need a refund also. Of course the cost of tires should definitely be picked up by Nascar.
Had I been at the fiasco at IMS. I would not have thrown a beer can on the track, I would have dumped a whole case of beer on the track at the start-finish line.
The only thing different at Indy this year was the COT…so who’s to blame? Every crew chief has said that any notes from a time before the COT are no use with the spec car. So Nascar and Goodyear rely on what has happened in previous years to assume the track would rubber up? This weekend just pointed out how unraceable the ‘new’ car is. Will Nascar ever wake up and admit that they didn’t design the ‘world’s greatest race car’ and make the changes necessary to improve it? I doubt it.
“The rough surface, some contend was the culprit for Sunday’s exercise in futility disguised as a stock car race.
Thank you. My thoughts exactly. How NA$CAR and Goodyear didn’t do extensive tire testing is beyond me. There is nothing more to blame than that. As usual, it is poor management at the top that is the problem.
will we see a re-run at
I have just one thing to say:
“Oh, this is the worst-looking car I ever saw. What, when you race a car like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?”
Perhaps Judge Smails should have told Tony George:
“Oh George, look at the rubber build up on that track. I want that rubber stripped off there, then I want it creamed and buffed with a fine chamois, and I want it now. Chop chop!”
I wish I knew the words to describe how bad the race at Indy was this last weekend. Thank goodness there are a lot of professional journalists who know the words and are speaking their minds. I just hope NASCAR takes the time to read some of those words.
This might be the last draw for many long time fans like myself. I went to my first Daytona 500 in 1972 and have been a fan ever since. That was until this last Sunday.
So many things have happened to NASCAR in the last 5 to 10 years that have tested my loyality. The race last Sunday is probally the last I will watch for awhile.
NASCAR…..please wake up and see what is going on. Get rid of the CoT or at least let the teams make it a race car. Get rid of the top 35 guaranteed starting spots and let the best 43 cars start the race. Get rid of the start and park cars in the Nationwide series. Put the Southern 500 back in Darlington where it belongs and not in the land of fruits and nuts. There are many more things that could be said, but as I stated when I started this I wish I knew the words.
This was not the worst race of all time. In fact, as bad as it was it was still infinitely more interesting than the Spetember 17th, 2000 race at Loudon, New Hampshire. NASCAR threw restrictor plates on the cars at Loudon to prevent a certain kind of crash caused by hung throttles. The result was a race with exactly ZERO lead changes. Jeff Burton led the race to the first corner and then led all 300 laps. Any time a car pulled out to pass it hit a wall of air and just stopped dead. Burton’s car could have been 10 MPH slower than the field and no one would have passed him. That was the worst, most boring race of all time. This one stunk too but not anywhere near the level of that fiasco.
A Fan Boycott of ASSCAR is the only solution to this stupidity that masqueraded as a race. When the stands are virtually empty, maybe just maybe Brian’s fogged up brain will finally wake-up to the mess he and his “brain-trust”(?) have created. Is it really that “big of a deal” to let the teams experiment with spring rates and suspension modifications to improve the race-ability of the COT? The cars have to be able to drive through the corners, not just slide up the track, grating the tires.
It’s easy to grin
A driver worthwhile
Uh huh huh Uh huh huh, okay Pookey, do the honors…..
I hear that NASCAR is preparing a new “MOT”(motor of Tomorrow) to be mandated come 2011. Just kidding……maybe. LOL
“I hear that NASCAR is preparing a new “MOT”(motor of Tomorrow) to be mandated come 2011. Just kidding……maybe. LOL”
Don’t laugh. There was talk of that not long ago. I’ve predicted for some time now, once Chevy and Ford pull out, they’ll sell the “official car of NASCAR” rights to Toyota or Honda, and there will be one make. Then you’ll have those stupid looking cars with Honda badges and NASCAR stickers all over them on the street.
The sacred cow is nearly out of milk.
The common Template cars, Do you remember when nascar would go out to a dealer and get a car to make the templates,do you remember when any one could bring a tire if you could supply the field, do you remember when you could watch a race on TV, not the race snippets in-between commercials, do you remember when a you could tell a Ford from a Dodge and a Chevrolet does not look like Toyota, do you remember when team or a company that did a good job with there motors was not penalized for doing so. Stock car racing is no longer stock car racing, this is not a sport where the best car and team win, what it has become is a feeding place for greed, its time for the people that made this sport what it once was to step up and take control, There is one way to stop the stupidity of an, origination stop feeding it.
A few years ago CART came to Texas Motor Speedway, and after a couple of practices they just decided speeds were too fast to be safe, and refused to race.
I said at the time that this would never have happened with NASCAR because NASCAR would have found some way to get the race run. Put a chicane on the backstretch or something to drop speeds.
I think this race at Indy has showed this to be true, but as a race fan, I’m honestly not sure which I prefer. We can all complain about how we got there, but once the situation arose, NASCAR found a way to get the race in. As a fan sitting at home I got to see at least a few laps of decent racing. Now had I spent thousands to be at that track itself I might have a different opinion on what should have happened.
This piece of crap called a “race car” by only Brian and his hangers on, the ones with all the brown on their noses, and probably large bank accounts, is the root cause of Sunday’s fiasco as witnessed by millions!
And dear old GOODYEAR did not have the cajoneys to stand up to NA$CRAP and tell them we do not have a tire for the Cot!
AT ANY TRACK!
My honest opinion is as follows: The CoT design, the high C/G, the “splitter”, and so forth, all contribute to an untested design! So GOODYEAR supplies a very, very, hard compound tire, so who would be surprised the rubber is not soft enough to stick to the track?
Isn’t that common sense! A “hard” tire is going to shave off in dust! While the soft tire pieces stick not only to each other, but to the track?
And the CoT as presented by Brian and Company simply cannot run on the softer compounds!
Thus, an INDIANA SUNDAY is born!
Poor Tony George, first the F-1 tire problems!
Now along comes GOODYEAR!
Wonder what Tony Stewart is muttering under his breath right now!
BOYCOTT NA$CAR! DO NOT GO TO THEIR SICK EVENTS AS LONG AS THE CoT IS INVOLVED!
Oh, and did they say that the CoT will be the car of choice in the Busch, err, sorry, Nationwide series next year? Bet those boys can hardly wait!
Hey Skip the cart drivers were blacking out and crashihing would you think Nascar put on a great show if Kenseth or Montoya hurt themselves when their tires blew up. The Indy race was joke those who had the best pit selections did well becauese you could not pass
I’ve been trying to figure out for two days why in the heck I watched that event on Sunday. Only thing I can figure is it was like the typical train wreck. Every lap I somehow couldn’t believe it could get any worse. But it did.
Everyone is quick to criticize, but I see no offers of what YOU would have done given the circumstances on Sunday. What would YOU have done differently with what YOU had available ON SUNDAY?
Tim, the point is I’m honestly not sure which I prefer. In the CART situation NASCAR would have done something. A chicane or two on the backstretch would have basically ensured that they didn’t hit the speeds that were the problems, but then it wouldn’t have been an oval race.
“Everyone is quick to criticize, but I see no offers of what YOU would have done given the circumstances on Sunday. What would YOU have done differently with what YOU had available ON SUNDAY?”
Tested BEFORE Sunday. The problems all happened well before the race. The signs were there months ago when Earnhardt tested and said tires did that after 7 laps. NASCAR and Goodyear did nothing.
It’s not what they did on Sunday. It’s what they DIDN’T DO for months on end before Sunday.
There wasn’t a whole lot Nascar could do Sunday, but they clearly should have done something before Sunday. They should have known from the tests run that tires were wearing out too soon and should have done more tests to ensure the tires would last. Bottom line, Nascar’s Fault and they need to refund money. You haven’t heard Nascar mention that, have you? And, I’m betting you want either.