Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Voice of Vito · Vito Pugliese · Wednesday July 21, 2010
The biggest NASCAR story this week is not the upcoming Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but fallout from a Nationwide Series race last week in Missouri.
The reason? Carl “The Enforcer” Edwards wrecked Brad Keselowski. Again.
In a scene that was replayed over and over since March, became the enduring image of “Have at it, Boys!” and used as a promotional tool by Texas Motor Speedway, Edwards has once again intentionally involved Keselowski in a violent, unwarranted, late race wreck.
Entering the first turn of the final lap, Keselowski drove his No. 22 Charger inside of Edwards, and slid up a bit in the middle of the corner, making ever-so-slight contact with Edwards. Keselowski gave Edwards plenty of room exiting the corner, as well as down the backstretch and through the entrance of Turn 3. To clear up any characterizations of Keselowski’s slightest-of-contact to the No. 60 car, he did not move him out of the way; Brad got a little loose, slid up the track, and barely nipped the rear of the No. 60.
It was not a bump and run. He did not dump him. It was classic flat-track racing between the fastest two cars, battling for the win.
However, exiting Turn 4, Edwards turned left sharply, hooked the right rear of Keselowski’s Dodge, and sent him head-on into the frontstrech wall. As Edwards beat Reed Sorenson to the line, Keselowski’s car veered back across the track, coming to rest on the inside of the pit wall, where upon it was struck at a 90-degree angle in the front fender by Shelby Howard, sending it into violent spin, shedding parts and pieces — including pieces of the fuel system — with the back side of the car sheered off by a hapless Tayler Malsam.
Several cars were involved in the wreck, including many of the Nationwide regulars that were competing against a field that included only four Sprint Cup drivers, providing them at least a shot at a decent finish, instead of being relegated to lap traffic or start-and-park status, as they are most weekends.
After wheeling into victory lane, Edwards executed his trademark back flip – which, following the carnage on the front straight that he was solely responsible for, was in poor taste to say the least. Unknown to himself (or anyone else for that matter), was if there were any injured drivers on the track — yet Edwards was celebrating a win earned through ill-gotten gains, with little to no regard for the other drivers and teams who he involved with his vendetta against Keselowski.
His brazen response and first thoughts spoke volumes:
“I just couldn’t let him take the win from me,” Edwards said. “My guys work way too hard for that.”
And the No. 22 guys didn’t? What of the other five cars that became soup cans under the flag stand?
Hooray for Edwards securing companies such as Aflac, Fastenal, and Copart.com as Nationwide Series sponsors, but what of the teams that struggle from week to week trying to make the show that is their livelihood? Why are they left to pick up the pieces and foot the bill for a Cup regular with a documented anger-management problem?
While waiting for his son to be checked out and released from the infield care center, Keselowski’s father, Bob, was visibly upset. His voice was trembling, emotions barely contained below the surface.
“Brad got into Carl getting out of Turn 1 — racing — they bumped, they rubbed, typical rubbing-racing deal,” Keselowski said. “Carl flipped out like he did at Atlanta and tried to kill the kid. I’m sick and tired of this. I’ll get my own damn uniform back on and take care of this. He ain’t going to kill my boy.”
Had Bob Keselowski followed the Have at it, Boys! mantra that lead to Edwards’ actions in March at Atlanta and now Gateway, he would have likely been seen walking towards the winner’s circle with a jack handle in hand. After all, that’s also how they settled things back in the old days.
It is episodes such as these that lend credence to the suggestions that changes may be forthcoming to help limit the involvement of Cup regulars in Nationwide competition. There was a reason why, in years past, Nationwide regulars welcomed the opportunity to compete against the likes of Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte, or Jeff Burton – mainly because they didn’t hook them head-first into walls creating track-blocking wreckage, due to a beef from a few months ago.
In the past we’ve seen drivers do foolish things in the heat of the moment. In the case of Edwards, we are now at three instances in four months where he has intentionally wrecked another driver, resulting in a violent accident that could have resulted in broken limbs, fire, or some other mortal outcome. There is a significant difference between dumping somebody on a short track or a road course, and wrecking them either at a 190 mph superspeedway or turning them head-on into the wall in front of the field.
Sure, Edwards can say “I never had any intention of him getting airborne” or “I didn’t mean for him to get t-boned in the door and have his fuel cell ripped out.” Those words, though, will ring as hollow as “I didn’t know it was loaded,” should the unthinkable happen the next time he overreacts.
Edwards has shown no concern for the safety of others anytime he has even perceived to have been wronged – or even contested. At the end of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona three weeks ago, Edwards turned right again as the cars crossed the finish line, deliberately wrecking Kurt Busch, who was then t-boned by Mike Bliss, and pushed hundreds of yards down the front straightaway.
Busch’s crime? Trying to side-draft Edwards, and making the slightest of contact with him – for sixth position – using a normal and accepted maneuver in restrictor-plate racing.
Thankfully, Jimmie Johnson didn’t have a similar reaction when Edwards sideswiped by him for his first win in Atlanta in 2005.
What continues to baffle me is how this nonsense all started in the first place; by Edwards repeatedly wrecking himself. At Talladega in 2009 it was the result of him turning down across Keselwoski’s nose in an effort to block him. In Atlanta this past March, it was Edwards who taco’d the roof of Keselowski after sending him airborne. And there was little displayed in the way of regret or reassessing his actions.
This persona of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Ed that has displayed repeatedly in recent years, between the Keselowski incident and the punch-gesture he gave to Matt Kenseth in 2006 in the middle of a television interview, stands in stark contrast to the aw-shucks/golly-gee good-guy that appears in most of the interviews and television commercials. It makes you wonder what is really going upstairs.
If there is a NASCAR competitor that should be referred for a random drug screening, it is Edwards, and not a no-name tire guy on a Nationwide team, or the catch can man for a start-and-park Truck Series effort.
These feuds have consequences and NASCAR had best reign in the lunacy before it maims or kills somebody. That isn’t hyperbole or melodrama for the sake of shock value for an internet NASCAR story. Edwards’ consistent disregard for the safety of others, coupled with the lack of concern for the outcome of his actions, has become a liability to the racing series that has much of its credibility invested in him.
NASCAR is in a bit of a bind with this one; do they now finally take control of the situation and exercise their responsibility as a sanctioning body, or do they continue to let the inmate dominate the asylum? Edwards is a spokesman for NASCAR’s Home Tracks program, NASCAR.com, and a prominent fixture for the companies who represent him. As if Danica Patrick wasn’t enough of a ratings bump, now allowing its feeder series to devolve into something between Fight Club and Every Which Way But Loose looks beyond desperate to those on the outside looking in, as well as those who have followed and supported the sport for decades.
If there is anything right now that is detrimental to the sport of stock car racing, it is drivers taking things – including the safety of the other competitors and fans – into their own hands. While most of the dustups this year have been innocuous slap fights, sound bites, and finger pointing, Edwards has crossed the line on several occasions. And it needs to be addressed.
For a sport that has struggled to sustain credibility with its fanbase the last few years, letting one driver run roughshod through the series and play by his own rules is not going to help.
©2000 - 2008 Vito Pugliese and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I think Harvick summed it up best… (paraphrased) “there is a right way and a wrong way to wreck someone.” Harvick has wrecked his share of cars and they have never ended up looking like the driver shouldn’t be able to walk away from the wreck. Edwards obviously hasn’t figured that out.
But should Edwards be punished? I’ve always hated NASCAR’s inconsistency with handing out penalties. So my initial thought was that he should get another 3 race probation and that NASCAR needs to set a line that can’t be crossed.
Well, in reading another article on here tonight, I found out that NASCAR already told Edwards (and everyone else) after the Atlanta incident that there is a line. Knowing that now changes my entire feelings about what should be done. I believe that he should be parked for at least a couple races in both series, with fines and point deductions to match.
I’ve always hated Edwards for how two-faced he is. (And he is the only driver I actually hate.) Quite a few people I talked to didn’t think he was really that two-faced, but I think this season has really proven it beyond a doubt.
Perhaps Nascar needs to do something less public? Have a talk with Carl, suggesting that anything other than incidental contact that results in a major crash could get him the loss of enough points to put the championship well out of reach? And maybe he should compensate (out of his own pocket) the teams whose cars were destroyed because of his vigilantism?
Sal, supposedly that’s basically what NASCAR did with Carl and BK after Atlanta. You haven’t seen BK putting Carl in the wall. So it seems like they got through to him.
What a great article. Nascar needs to park the bully.
If my memory serves me correctly…NASCAR did tell the media after Atlanta..“there is a line and we will know it when it is crossed”…so we will wait and see if drilling the only car that could beat you on the final stretch of the final lap..and taking out 10 other cars…“crosses the line”. I would think so. I won’t go on about “what could have happened”..to this point NASCAR doesn’t seem to care “what may happen next time”…and trust me..there will be a next time. I’m just wondering how deep are NASCAR’s pockets..and exactly how good are their lawyers..cause if the “worst happens” next time..they are going to need them. I keep reading about BAD BRAD..but besides a little normal beating and banging..and maybe some rookie mistakes..what has he done that warrants the backlash he is getting since Atlanta? Seems the rookie got the message..but the veteran is hard of hearing.
IT IS SO SAD TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE SO FULL OF HATE.I DON’T LIKE A LOT OF THINGS I SEE AND READ. BUT I’M SURE TIRED OF ALL OF THIS. CAN’T SAY THAT I THINK THIS ARTICLE IS GREAT!
Thanks for saying so convincingly what many of us have been thinking all week.
Great article Vito! I too hate Nascar’s inconsistencies, but this mayhem has to stop! Edwards is a bully who thinks he has a green light to exact his revenge on others! Too bad he doesn’t have to spend some of his millions to fix or replace all the cars he wrecked in that incident!
Good article. Nascar has been so inconsistent with their penalties that their decisions lack credibility. What seems obvious to the race fan eludes the governing body. They are focused on making money. Period.
Make a new rule that all competitors involved in accidents on the track be required to drug test, just like all employers to to employees who has work related accidents.
Which side is Democrat and which side is Republican?
You can’t use credible and NASCAR in the same sentence.
I never have followed the careers of either driver but have instead watched each incident from a perspective that makes me wonder if NASCAR is watching the same video.
In the heat of the moment racing, things happen. Going for the same section of real estate, rubbing and getting together happens. Talladega 09 was Carl trying to block Brad and was made a little too late. The early incident at Atlanta started out by impatience from Brad in trying to get a position, hence wrecking Carl. But blatant comments and returning to the track for one reason such as sending a car airborne at 200 is not the answer. And yet this latest twist is that the two leaders were racing for the win at Gateway, Brad drove in deep and made contact with Carl. It is not the same as what Carl did coming to the checkerer flag. I am not rooting for either one of them but it is all too apparent who deliberately continues to show a lack of care about competitor safety here. Did Edwards believe that he could turn someone into the frontstretch wall at a narrow place like Gateway without affecting all of the other cars behind them, most who rely on bringing their cars home in good enough shape to race them again the next weekend in the same part of the country? After all, I would think that a seasoned professional like Edwards would know that there were 30 cars behind him trying to run their fastest laps of the race, and would have nowhere to go with Brad’s car stuffed into the fence. Gateway is not like Atlanta in the least.
And on another subject, yes, Clint was wrong for what happened earlier this year with Denny. But I am a Tony Stewart fan, so what do I know?
I’ve said it before, but Edwards seems almost pathological bordering on sociopathic/psychotic with his on track behavior…
Nascar needs to sit him, then put him on probation for two years and as a condition of that probation mandate counseling.
But they won’t, this will be ignore and Nascar will give their typical “We gave him a stern talking to” speech and it will happen again and again and again until somebody gets killed.
Nascar has become the WWE on wheels.
They want a national audience and fans but they keep reaching for that lowest common denominator and the fans have tired of it.
Several Points in my comment:
1) Good to see someone address Carl’s actions with drivers other then BK
@Ed ONeil: great suggestion.
Here’s what will probably happen: Kez will go for retribution, most likely a bump and run, and NA$CAR will come down on him like the hammers of hell. But of course they won’t do that to one of the chosen ones. Edwards needs to be parked for at minimum one week, not for any incidental contact but for intentionally wrecking others. I mean, c’mon! Edwards admits its intentional in victory lane, for cryin’ out loud. Rubbin’ might be racin’, but wrecking is BS. And yeah, he should be made to pee in a cup.
Great article, Vito. You have said what a lot of people have been thinking. The win will be tainted and the lack of compassion or interest for their safety that Edwards shows or showed toward others involved in his retribution really shows what kind of person he is. How could he be proud of it? He is definitely two faced and thinks he is above it all.
J.J.- I totally agree with you.
Bette Geraud: If you dislike the articles and responses so much, stop reading and responding to them then. People are not full of hate. They see what is really going on and base their comments accordingly.
Let them race. I’m so sick of watching parades every week and this was an awesome finish. Wah Wah BK!
Well, AnnieMack, I certainly hope you’ll be sufficiently entertained when a driver gets seriously injured or killed due to the diliberate actions of another driver. Be sure to do a ceremonial backflip when that happens.
So, Nascar has announced the “penalties” for Edwards. 60 pts and $25K fine and a lecture to “not be such an idiot.” And probation until the end of the year.
Keselowski gets probation, too.
And this for a DELIBERATE act on Edwards part. Not a “racing deal,” but a planned, thought out deliberate act with malice of forethought (which in any other world other than Nascar would be a criminal charge punishable by real and very serious prison time).
Nascar’s wisdom never ceases to amaze and disgust me.
And now Nascar just lost me.
They just lost a fan (and onetime member as a sometime driver—a very long time ago—and former Cup team employee—for two very short years) of more then fifty years.
They won’t miss me, I’m sure.
Fantastic article. Finally someone who “gets it”.
I get a kick out of Nascar when they say they’ll “know when someone crosses the line”. It sounds just like the members of the Supreme Court when they say, “I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it”. Yeah, right. At least maybe now that the Cat in the Hat lost owners points, he’ll do something about Carl. BTW, does anyone know if Aflac has sounded on this like Scotts did a couple months back? Scotts contacted Roush and said they will not tolerate Carl behaving in such a manner.
Well said Vito! Excellent article. I still wonder what “The Turnip” would say, but Nascar drove him away like they just did to J.J. above. After 45 years plus of being a Nascar fan I got to say I am feeling less and less enchanted about the sport I have loved with every passing bonehead rule/call from Florida. Don’t get me wrong, I love good, hard racing and emotion…the hard wrecking on purpose is wearing thin – along with the spec car etc.
Thank you for saying everything that needed to be said.
Rubbin’ may be racin’, but turning someone head first into a wall is not. Nor is launching someone into the air at 200 mph, and then pretending to be shocked that cars fly at that speed, when 3 weeks earlier in the Daytona NW race, Carl was the one who launched Junior on his roof when he triggered the big one there, while fighting Brad, of all people, for space on the track.
I suppose 60 points so he didn’t benefit in the standings from that move is something. I wish the monetary fine had been enough to help the innocent victims like Shelby Howard’s team, defray their costs.
So why did Kes also get put on probation?
On Sunday The Aflac site was congratulating Kissin Cousin Carl for his actions.
If you feel that Carl is wrong and should be punished more than the slap on the wrist that NASCRAP has given him again, go to the Rat in the Hat Roush website, copy down the sponsors of Mr Roid Rage Edwards and send them each an e-mail that you will not purchase any of their products. Money talks and maybe Carl walks(into another profession).