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.
What's Vexing Vito · Vito Pugliese · Thursday March 11, 2010
Editor’s Note: Have you heard of our FREE Frontstretch Newsletter, delivering more NASCAR news, commentary, trivia, and more right to your inbox every morning? If not, well, it’s time to sell you on it. Today, we’re showcasing the weekly column that one of our most popular columnists, Vito Pugliese, writes for the newsletter each Thursday. If you like what you read, well, it’s time to become a subscriber by clicking here to sign up! One simple click, and you’ll be checking out Vito’s work in your email inbox every Thursday; if not, then it’s one less chance to see one of your favorite Frontstretch experts!
With all of the hullabaloo from the Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski fallout dominating the headlines and people’s thoughts since Sunday, the main theme dominating the headlines has been the action – or rather inaction taken by NASCAR in regards to disciplining an aggressive driver.
Part of the explanation behind the sanctioning body electing not levying any sort of meaningful penalty against Carl Edwards has been linked to their preseason mantra of leaving things in the drivers’ hands, and for them to sort things out on the competition side among themselves. Regardless of where you come down on that issue, one area where the racing is clearly not in the drivers’ hands takes place before the green flag even falls on Sunday – qualifying.
As we head into one of the few off-weekends of the still young 2010 NASCAR season, it leaves us with one more race at Bristol for teams to fall back on 2009 owner’s points standings, meaning that the following week at Martinsville, the 2010 owner’s points will be in play. The Top 35 in points are guaranteed to make the race, and those who have been using last years owner’s points to make races are going to have to get in on time if they are 36th or lower.
If all of this sounds a bit contrived and convoluted, well, it’s because it is.
Take last weekend’s Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta for example. There were three drivers who failed to qualify for the event: Aric Almirola, Casey Mears and Terry Cook. These three drivers posted speeds that were 39th, 41st, and 43rd respectively. There were three cars that were significantly slower that did make the race: Travis Kvapil, Kevin Conway and Boris Said, who qualified nearly 10 mph off the pace. In the case of Said, he was nearly one second slower than even the 39th fastest Almirola, whose team was forced to load up their No. 09 James Finch Chevrolet, and head for home. Kyle Busch in particular took note of this lack of performance during an encounter with Said during final practice on Saturday.
“Just guys that don’t belong out there,” said Busch. “He’s run off the pace at every single track that we’ve been to. He’s been the slowest car at the racetrack. He’s got owners’ points, so he gets to make the race because he bought his way into a car number from last year that had the owner’s points.”
Roush Fenway put together a “comprehensive services contract” with Said’s Latitude 43 Motorsports that promised the new team a guaranteed start in the season-opening Daytona 500 using the 2009 owner’s points from what was once Jamie McMurray’s No. 26 Roush Fenway Ford. In 2008, a similar arrangement was made transferring owner’s points from the No. 2 Penske Dodge of Kurt Busch over to the No. 77 of teammate Sam Hornish, Jr., in an effort to help make sure Hornish, Jr. qualified for all of the early races – including the Daytona 500.
That is not to cast aspersions on Boris Said or Latitude 43 for simply taking advantage of a rule that exists. It isn’t as if he is a poor driver; after all, he has won poles at Daytona and Sonoma, and has instructed half of the field how to drive on a road course. However, being a second off the pace during qualifying and practice coupled with contact involving an established car highlights an area that desperately needs addressing.
Considering the state of the sport and the delicate economic situation that each team finds themselves in, now is not the time to create barriers to entry on the track. In a perfect world, the fastest 43 qualifiers would race every week. Don’t get me wrong – start-up teams like Latitude 43 (revel in irony of the name) have every right to go out and compete for a starting spot in the race. That being said, qualifying nearly 10 mph off the pole speed should not entitle you to a guaranteed spot in the field, even if you’re just turning a lap to get a pit stall.
Now, I can appreciate the need for the sponsors who drive the sport and provide the funding to keep it running needing to have their cars out there. If there absolutely needs to be locked in starting spots in the field, fine. 20th place in drivers’ points – not owners’ points – should be the cut off, with a provisional for a past champion who has won that title within the last 10 years. You might as well get something for the effort. This will help prevent point swapping between teams, where simply having a number means there is points associated with it, as long as it meets an undefined criteria by NASCAR.
Another issue that needs to be revised is the qualifying procedure itself. Through the 1990s, there were always two rounds of qualifying; one on Friday and a second round on Saturday. This was scrapped in the interest of time spent at the track and trying to save teams money on tires and short-lived qualifying engines. With the one-engine rule in place now, and a camera crew capturing everything from game shows to hot dog vendors at the track during a race weekend, you might as well have something going on that is competitive, or at least throw the vendors a bone and attract some more people in the stands.
Back in the day, it was not uncommon to see a car qualified in 26th position on Saturday that would have turned in a top 10 time the day before. If you lock in the top 25 on Friday, and have a second round on Saturday to set the back half of the field, it gives the smaller teams two chances to get in the show, and if a front runner is struggling, to have another go at it the second day.
This practice would also eliminate the inconceivably frustrating event of qualifying being rained out and the field set by points. What good does it to haul a car and team to the track to practice all day on Friday, only to get to the last handful of cars and it starts raining? Everybody’s time, effort, and perhaps most importantly, limited financial resources become wasted. Teams who had worked so hard to prepare decent cars are forced to go home, simply because it got wet out. With two rounds of qualifying, there would be a second opportunity for everybody to post a time at least once.
As I repeatedly say, in this economic climate and with a sport that is struggling to attract new viewers and maintain the existing ones, getting back to racing’s roots is a great idea, so long as it does not stop at state-sanctioned demolition derbies. Allowing everybody a fair shot to get into the race is good for everybody involved; big teams, small teams, new teams and old, and for the health of the sport in general.
There is nothing that runs so contradictory to the nature and spirit of our sport than just being granted something arbitrarily. If we are going to continue to promote the throwback era during 2010, let’s work on brining back a fair and equitable qualifying system, that would attract new teams and sponsors who would welcome the chance to compete in our sport.
©2000 - 2008 Vito Pugliese and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
HERE’S THE BIG JOKE ABOUT QUALIFYING AT BRISTOL. SCOTT SPEED IS 10TH IN POINTS YET HAS TO QUALIFY ON TIME WHILE BORIS SAID DOESN’T. SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. IF SPEED HAS A PROBLEM,HE’S OUT. WHAT A JOKE.
I still say that the 43 fastest qualifiers should start the race, period! As far as having 2 day qualifying, not anymore, the economy isn’t favorable enough for that anymore.
I say have the Top 20 in driver’s points and the Top 20 from the previous race be locked in. Obviously there would be some overlap. All other positions are in on qualifying time. No provisionals.
Boris Said’s talents on road courses are undeniable, and as this article mentioned, half the drivers in Cup are probably better because of him. And fortunately we’ll only have to deal with this for one more race before switching to 2010 points, and I seriously doubt the #26 will make it back inside the top-35 as slow as they are week after week. Still, this team’s efforts over the last 4 races have made it clear that there is a problem.
Just taking the fastest 43 will never be a viable solution. What happens if we get down to Homestead and the point leader has a mechanical problem on his qualifying lap? A whole season’s worth of work can’t be ruined by one little problem, and teams have to have some kind of guarantee. Personally I’d like to see us return to a provisional system but with only 3 provisionals after taking the top-40 speeds.
I think there should also be a provision for teams such as the 82 who get off to strong starts to lock them into the field as well.
Qualifying should be top 43 fastest, period. Get rid of this farce called top 35. No more provisionals either. Get it on speed in two laps or go home and come back next week to try again. As for the start-n-parks…how about payout based on percentage of laps run. If you only manage to get 25% of the laps in then you only get 25% of the payout for that poistion you finished in. Hit em where it hurts.
DMan – I totally agree with pro-rating the payouts based on laps completed.
I agree with having a LIMITED provisional system where ALL drivers have 3 – 5 do-overs. If you have none left then too bad – regardless if you are in the Chase or not.
If you thought the top 35 rules stunk, the old provisional system was even worse. NASCAR was so embarrassed by the old system that they would never even list the rules on their official website.
I remember one year Elliot Sadler should have missed 9 races based on speed. However back then anyone in the top 25 have unlimited provisionals so it never made a difference. So his team quickly learned it was far better to spend your time on the race setup than to bother with qualifying.
I guess the kink is that you would still have some system on how many drivers are locked in or not. But pay me B. France money and by golly I think I could come up with a better system by the end of today (For BF money, I will throw in a better racing schedule by the end of tomorrow for free!!)
Both the Top 35 and the rest of Qualifying needs to be overhauled.Every race there should be a Mandated Qualifying session before the race if from thursday to saturday there’s just isnt anyway to do it then the field should be set from the race of the year before at that Track until the third race of the season is done instead of five.
Although it is the minority view, Nascar DOES need to provide a guarantee to top cars that they will race on Sunday. A lot of tracks depend, either officially or through scalpers, on walk-up sales for attendance. If Dale Jr or Tony Stewart doesn’t qualify because the car broke down, no one is going to come see the race. However, locking in 35 cars is far too many, since the Chase is 12 cars, I would lock in 24. This would guarantee that the “stars” will be there but also give a reason and some excitement to qualifications instead of just pit selection.
The Chase has 12 drivers go for the championship. Why not have whoever is in the top 12 in points for that week is locked in and 13th on back must qualify on time.
Should be fastest 43 cars, period. NO locked in spots. Also, the shootout in Daytona in Feb. should go back to the pole winners from previous year, even if it means dumping Budweiser!
nasbutt talks about a level playing field so why do they not fix it so all cars get the same amount of practice?? in stead they drag thier feet thru in spection so the top guys get practice and the ones who need it most only get 30 to 45 minuets.
Drivers who are running qualifying laps should have to avoid a piss drunk Swirvin’ Irvin on the track. That would make Nascar more enjoyable.