NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2015 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

Who’s in the headline – For the third week in a row, a driver led more than half of the laps in a race, and for the second week in a row that driver won. Joey Logano took the lead on lap 77 of the event and, outside of pit-stop cycles under green flags, Logano led the rest of the race. Logano secured a spot in the final eight of the Chase and doesn’t have to sweat Talladega in two weeks.

What happenedMatt Kenseth and Kyle Busch started the event at the front and made it look like it was going to be another Joe Gibbs Racing domination. However, on lap 77, Logano grabbed the lead on the fourth restart of the day after leading off of pit road, and obliterated the field from then on. Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Busch all had difficulties that have relegated them to the outside looking in regarding the final eight. Austin Dillon was the highest finishing non-Chase driver, coming home seventh, as eight of the top-10 spots were claimed by Chasers.

Why you should care – The only real reason to care is that Kenseth was the point leader coming into Charlotte and now he’s nearly a full race behind the eighth transfer spot. That can all be changed with a win at Kansas, but for one of the most dominant drivers in the series over the second half of the season, and a title favorite, the climb to the next round is now quite difficult. For Logano, the win locks him into the next round so he doesn’t have to worry about the potential calamity at Talladega.

What your friends are talking about – Medallions, franchising, entitlement, exclusivity, whatever you want to call it, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that some form of ownership protection is going to be unveiled in 2016. The current rumor is that owners who have attempted every race over the last three years will be able to buy a secured starting spot in the field for the entire 2016 season. The story is 36 teams will be secured and the field may be shortened. Whatever the case, the number of spots available for any new owner to try and enter the sport is going to be incredibly limited.

The finish at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks may be different from years past. NASCAR is considering changing the green-white-checkered rule for superspeedways so that only one attempt is made. It is an effort to reduce the potential for destroying a large number of racecars. There is also a possibility of making it single file instead of double file, which was how the series did restarts in the final 10 laps years ago. The sanctioning body knows it may not be popular with fans, but it will save owners money, which seems to be the direction the RTA is pushing the sport right now.

Justin Allgaier doesn’t know where he’ll be next year, but it sounds like it won’t be with HScott Motorsports. The word around the garage is that Harry Scott was told he would be allowed to expand to three teams in 2016, but the third team would not run for purse money or the money would be drastically reduced. With Clint Bowyer coming into the fold and Michael Annett already inked, that is going to leave Allgaier on the outside looking in. The young driver confirmed that he has at least three opportunities in the works but at this time does not have any idea which one will play out.

The 2016 schedule is still not released. Some tracks have confirmed they know their dates because they have already signed their agreements with NASCAR. Other tracks have not inked the deals so their dates are estimated at best. Atlanta did file a request for a new date so that very well could be part of the reason the announcement is being delayed.

Who is mad – Earnhardt Jr. was madder than we have seen him in quite some time. After going into turn 2 following the caution for Allgaier’s oil down of the track, Earnhardt went above the oil absorbent material in turns 1 and 2 and hit oil. The result caused enough damage to his car after hitting the wall to push him three laps down into a 28th-place finish and next-to-last in the Chase standings. Speaking after the race he was told that the track safety crew got out of their vehicles to look for oil on the racetrack and there wasn’t any. He replied “I f$%@ing hit it and hit the f$%@ing wall. If they’d like to argue about it I’ll be glad to.”

Speaking of Chase drivers who are in trouble after one race, points leader Kenseth left Charlotte last among the 12 drivers in the Contender round. Kenseth overshot his pit on a mid-race stop and ended up back in the pack after sitting on the pole and battling among the leaders early. He made contact with Ryan Newman that put him into the wall and damaged his car on lap 177. His team thrashed and flailed on the car for several pit stops and kept him on the lead lap. Unfortunately for Kenseth, he blew a tire on lap 240, smacked the outside wall in turn 3 and was done for the day. As a result, Kenseth is 12th among the Chase contenders, 32 points behind Brad Keselowski in eighth.

Busch has won a bushel full of races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but none of them have been in the Cup Series. Busch had a strong car on Sunday, leading the first four laps and running near the front for almost the first 200 laps. However, on lap 195, the field was coming by pit road and Kyle Larson was alongside Busch and both were waiting to see what leader Logano was going to do. At the last minute, even though Logano was staying out, Larson’s crew called him in. He made the left turn to try and miss the commitment cone and drove over the right front of Busch’s car. The resulting damage ended up costing Busch a lap that he was never able to regain. The 20th-place finish puts Busch 10 points out of the eighth and final transfer spot for the next round of the Chase.

Who is happyAric Almirola is putting on a late-season charge. After missing the Chase, Almirola has notched three top 10s and one top five in the first four Chase races, only stumbling at Loudon with a DNF for 43rd. Almirola is probably hearing the rumors that his teammate is out of a ride after the season and feeling the pinch to step up the performance heading into 2016. Whatever the reason, another top 10 has to have him heading to Kansas with a smile.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran 13th for the second time in three weeks, with an eighth-place run in the middle. Stenhouse has to hear his name being swirled about in the Silly Season whirlwind, and turning up the wick over these final 10 races of 2015 can only help plead his case to stay in the car beyond next year.

Dillon has shown over his career that he is very strong on mile-and-a-half race tracks. Friday night he pulled off the sweep of Charlotte in the Xfinity Series for 2015. After several subpar weeks in the Cup car after a fourth-place run at Michigan, Dillon ran strong all day at Charlotte and brought the iconic No. 3 home in seventh position. The former Truck and NXS champion is still trying to be the first driver in history to win the title in all three of the national touring series. Since Slugger Labbe came on board he’s been making strides in that direction.

When the checkered flag flew

Logano won the Bank of America 500 for his 12th career win in 249 career starts. Logano is now 57th on the all-time wins list. This is Logano’s fourth triumph of 2015. He has never won in the Cup Series at Charlotte before this weekend.

Kevin Harvick finished in second position for his 14th top-two in 30 races this season. Harvick has finished first or second six times at Charlotte in 30 career starts. In his career, Harvick has crossed the line as the first loser 42 times, tying him with Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Buddy Baker for 13th on the all-time runner-up list.

Martin Truex Jr. crossed the line third on Sunday for the fifth podium run of the season. This is Truex’s best career finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex is now tied with Dick Brooks on the all-time podium list for 73rd, with 23 career runs in the first three positions on the results page.

Round two of the Chase is one race old. Logano is locked into round three thanks to the victory at Charlotte. The other eleven drivers have two chances left to lock their spot in round three with a win at Kansas or Talladega. The remaining drivers and their points position:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Carl Edwards
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Ryan Newman
  9. Kyle Busch
  10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  11. Matt Kenseth

Takin’ it to the Bank

Cup winners this year have pocketed $10,015,341 in 30 races, while the last-place finisher has taken home $2,348,598.

In the Xfinity Series it has been $2,061,912 for the winners and $377,115 for last place in 29 races.

After 18 Truck races the winner has $868,151 in his coffers and the last loser has banked $166,555.

What is in the cooler – After the race was rained out on Saturday night, many people thought the racing action on Sunday would actually involve a little more passing with the heat of the day in the racetrack. Unfortunately, the ridiculous amount of aero dependency the cars have in the 2015 race package overcame even the tougher racing conditions, and the result was a monotonous parade of cars with minimal passing anywhere on the track for position except on restarts. The resulting domination of the No. 22 of Logano only made it an even greater snoozer. The end result is one room temperature Carolina Blonde.

Where do you point your DVR for next week – After a night race that turned into a day race at Charlotte we head to another mile-and-a-half day race at Kansas. The event starts at 2:15 on Sunday October 18th. It can be seen on NBC. If you would like to listen to it you can hear the action on your local MRN affiliate or SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. You can also see it streamed on NBCSportsExtra.com

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Richie

The Kyle and Kyle snafu just seemed like one of those things, both at fault really. Pit stop shenanigans doomed them both. I figure Kyle B. will get crucified for his interview, he was obviously pissed and pretty blunt. Jr. raising hell about the oil is quite telling. Anyone heard comments from Brad that backs up KB and Jr.? Just one more failure in a season of failures by NASCAR.

Aaron

The race sucked. It was a parade the likes of F1. If not for Kyle & Kyle, Earnhardt, and Kenseth’s issues there would be nothing to talk about. Just a horrible event that the geniuses in the Ivory Towers in Daytona will try to spin as a “Game 7 Moment”. What a farce.

The Chinese have a saying, “Fu bu guo san dai,” or “Wealth never survives three generations.” BZF is proof of that. He has managed to take the rocketship his Father gave him and managed to preside over a 50% decline in popularity, escalating costs, and now doing something that his Grandfather fought Curtis Turner about….a “union” of owners. The conversation has changed from the owners paying the organization the right to race, to now “partners” who are more into protecting their backsides that anything.

Mark my words, after the current TV deal expires, NASCAR will have a contraction the like of CART/IRL.

GinaV24

Aaron, so right!

JohnQ

NASCAR remains viable at all only because the cable providers have several hundred channels and they need so much programming that they televise basically anything. Television will keep NASCAR solvent regardless of what future missteps the organization makes. Seriously, how much worse could it get?

GinaV24

JohnQ, remember that Brainless is in charge of NASCAR now and the things that go on in his mind are so strange, I do believe it could get worse.

JohnQ

Oh my God, you don’t think they will give us kit cars so aerodependent that they will have to throw a bunch of fake cautions and dream up a bunch of ridiculous gimmicks just so that there is a pass or two per month do you? They wouldn’t do that would they?

J. Smith

Lay off open wheel Aaron, F1 & Indycar are like nicotine patches for some of us trying to kick a bad habit.

rg72

Maybe I’m in the minority but I wouldn’t mind seeing a return to the old restart rules at all of the tracks, not the just the plate tracks. It would also rid us of the cars jockeying to get off pit road in an odd number restart position at places like Martinsville where being on the inside lane is a huge advantage.

GinaV24

rg72, yes, I would prefer that, too, but if NASCAR did that, they’d have to admit that they have been doing all of this to manufacture excitement because the actual “racing” is so bad.

Bill B

I have been against the double file restarts since the beginning. To me they are only there because the racing itself is lacking. The restarts are not fair to the competitors and basically create chaos and entertainment for the viewers. Restarts have also become too important in determining the winner considering restarts account for about 1% of the racing.

janice

i all but nailed this race in my comments last week to an article at frontstretch. shame i can’t pick winning lottery numbers.

glad i didn’t waste daylight hours on sunday watching this. i’d check periodically, but it was the same song, different verse and church.

kind of got hearing, what i heard of the race, about ‘dega.

Charles Jenkins

Janice, yes you did. Like you, I wasted no daylight on this farce. I did see the drop of the green. Checked back to confirm they were in parade formation and caught the competition yellow as it was displayed. Checked in one more time and guess what… in commercial…. that is my Nascar viewing for yesterday. It does make me sad in a way. I used to watch it all: quals, practice, race, post race, Windtunnel, anything Nascar. As Matt M. said last week, “nothing to see here”. I still read a little because of a decades long following of racing but that is fading too. Motor Sports entertainment is not racing.

janice

charles – i share the same sentiments. 20 yrs ago my weekend revolved around na$car. not any longer. i’ve been a fan since the 70’s.

Carl D.

As horrible as the last two races have been, at least the dominant car has won each one. I hate in when a dominant car gets screwed out of a win by a late-race caution for a hot dog wrapper or other such nonsense.

Who else is mad? Jimmie Johnson. Another mechanical failure for the #48 team. I can’t count the tears I’ve shed.

I’m sure I’m in the minority but the helicopter stunt by the Erendira Wallenda was a little too dangerous for my taste. Watching her fall due to a wind gust or a pilot error would have runined the day for the dozen or so fans at the race

Another race where Brad Keselowski might as well have been driving a Yugo. His teammate won the race with a dominant car. I don’t get it.

janice

guess penske figures it’s time for logano to get cup instead of brad.

Carl D.

Yeah but it seems they should be focusing on both cars at this point. Maybe team cooperation and information sharing goes out the window once the chase (oops!.. “playoffs”) start.

Mike

I didn’t watch it at all. As mentioned before, why waste a pretty fall day? To the extent I care, I come here or jayski.com to find out what happened.

NASCAR now is “fat Elvis” i.e. a not-so-funny parody of itself. Too bad the X-1R CARS tour doesn’t come this far west (Alabama). It’s the “young Elvis” i.e. the way stock car racing was & ought to be.

Jim

Man, the racing is boring, but still I watch….just can’t turn it off due the Chase implications on every lap. I’m probably not the sharpest knofe in the drawer, but they have certainly reeled me in. Maybe I can turn off the middle third of Kansas next week.

I think that single file restarts at the Superspeedways is a good idea, but RG, if you did that at all the tracks the way the aero rules are, you’d never have non-pit sequence lead change.

For the record, NASCAR said they had boots on the track and found no oil…not that anyone in Junior or KyBusch nation will want to hear that.

Capt Spaulding

Your second paragraph is right on, its why they changed restarts in the first place….manufactured excitement.

GinaV24

It was way too nice of a day to sit inside and watch the race, so I didn’t. I checked in a few times and followed via twitter but considering that is sounds like what has become far too typical of NASCAR racing – the lead car gets clean air and no one can catch or pass, well, not much reason to really watch. Unless it is nasty weather next weekend, I doubt that I’ll tune in for Kansas either.

BTW, I don’t know of any of my friends or anyone else talking about the items listed in “what your friends are talking about”. Most anyone I know who follows NASCAR is talking more about how lousy the racing is.

Not surprised the 2016 schedule isn’t out yet and considering how few changes NASCAR ever makes to it, I don’t know that it really matters if it doesn’t come out until January.

Tim S.

I’ve been away from home and did not waste a second of data except to check and see the finishing order when I thought it might be over. I knew the odds were low for anything exciting save for artificial “Playoff implications!!!!!”
Came here to read the comments of the regulars. That’s all I wanted to see.

As to the schedule, amen to you. We knew even before we got the latest version of the “happy with” line from BF that nothing was changing of any real substance. Take it one further and the things out the morning teams report to Daytona.

garry

Can we PLEASE STOP USING THE “PUNCHED TICKET” phrase???? It’s old, stupid, and thought up by ESPN.

Michael

Why would HScott motorsports not be able to collect purse money for a 3rd car next year?

Richie

I think HScott would collect the purse money. But, the driver and crew on the 3rd team would only receive a flat salary. In other words, say the driver earns $100 per race. He wins the race that has a purse of $200. He would still only receive $100 and the purse would be absorbed by HScott.

DoninAjax

If Kyle was behind Kyle like he was supposed to be instead of accelerating up beside him the collision wouldn’t have happened. Busch, as predicted, keeps finding ways to bite himself in the a.. er rear and blame everyone else.

Johnson’s horse shoe has fallen out in a big way and Brian’s given it to Harvick. It seems he’s got Johnson’s car too.

The diva has the same car as Happy and Kurt. It appears the results aren’t exactly the same.

No Biffle leading a restart. No controversial restarts.

It was a BORING “race” but no different than all the others for a long, long time. Thank you Brian for all your brilliant ideas, and he’ll tell you they are. It’s too bad the sound has to be muted, just like listening to the other clowns.

Richie

C’mon man, are you saying that 42 has no responsibility for that fiasco? Since we’re doing IFs, what if Kyle had continued down pit road instead of pulling back on? 42 still would have caused a screwup, they both share blame on this one. Yeah, the inevitable shot in the foot has happened to the 18 once again but, man, he had help this time.

Bill B

They were both responsible. One was trying to fake out coming into the pits and one was trying to fake staying on the track. They both got what they deserved. Stop trying to fake out other drivers and do your own thing. I am surprised this doesn’t happen more often.

DoninAjax

If he’d stayed behind him like he was supposed to they wouldn’t have collided. Why should the car running third hit the car running second in the driver’s door?

Bill B

Because once the 2nd place car decides to stay on the track the 3rd place car decides to come in they are going to take up the slack, to the degree they can without speeding, to close up the gap with the car in front of them coming into the pits. Watch it again. They weren’t running in a line. Busch was in the line of cars staying out, Larsen was in the line of cars coming in. Then they both changed their minds pretty much simultaneously. They weren’t running nose to tail.

Richie

Drivers have accelerated out of caution on to pit road for eons. If 18 had stayed committed, he was perfectly in his right to do that as long as he got her slowed down inside the pit road timing loops. 18 screwed up by cutting back on track. 42 screwed up by making last second cut on to pit road. They both did a stupid thing. Equally stupid.

Bill B

Duh, guess I got it backward Richie. I thought Busch was staying out and Larsen was coming in and then both changed their mind. It must have been the opposite but I still stand by the fact that both were to blame because they were both playing games coming into the pits.

Richie

Bill, I knew what you meant and yes, we are in agreement. Always a first time for everything, right?

babydufus

For the actual event yesterday I’ll ascribe to “if you can’t say good, then don’t say anything at all.”
I will however comment on my waning interest.
It was quite foggy here in costal norcal so ‘i stayed in.
The tv was on and I watched maybe 10 or so laps in between cleaning chores.
and then i thought to myself…what? my chores are now more exciting/interesting to me than this “event” that used to be racing?
A self assessment revealed something relevant…
I really truly just didn’t care about it. for the first time since i started watching in the wide world of sports day….
i
didn’t
care.
they really did kill a great thing didn’t they?

I’ll no longer be “following” this entertainment venue as I’ve got plenty of other better “real life” things to keep me “entertained.”
I’ll probably still be using the dvr just in case nascar does something to earn my attention because that’s what it’s all about now. Nascar you need to show me that you’re worthy of my time, I’ll not unconditionally give you my precious time, trust or even the benefit of the doubt. You’ve done nothing recently to prove that you’re relevant and legitimate, in fact, quite the opposite. All evidence points to the fact that you are a phony and a liar to boot. A pig with a pearl necklace… of sorts.

Isn’t this really the heart of their problem? Illegitimacy and irrelevance?

Bill B

I agree. NASCAR has tipped the scale so far to the entertainment side that it has diminished the competition/legitimacy of what used to be a sport. It morphs more and more toward reality television each year. I don’t know what the answer is but the first step needed is new leadership. This current regime seems more interested in propping up their own legitimacy than the sport’s. No matter what the ratings and attendance show them they will not budge because it’s more important for them to not admit to making a mistake than to make things better.

capt spaulding

I’m waiting for 2016 when Brian brings us “the intercontinental champion,” for the points leader for the first 26 races.

GinaV24

well said, babydufus. It seems that NASCAR has reached that tipping point for a lot of folks, otherwise there would have been people in the seats at CMS for that “exciting” chase race and people would have been watching on TV.

Carl D.

I always DVR the race. I used to do so just to fast-forward through the commercials. Now I find myself fast-forwarding through huge chunks of the actual race. No only do I not waste as much time watching the parade, but I hear less blathering about the “playoffs”.

Richie

Carl, I’ve been watching the same way for a long time. Even with one of my favored drivers dominating yesterday, I couldn’t watch without FFWD through a bunch of it. Finally I just put FFWD in high gear, stopped to see what cautions were for and then watched the last 5 laps and post-race. Pathetic.

Aaron

I have found that I can “follow” the race on twitter better than spending the time to actually watch the event. In the chance I do turn on the DVR and watch the race, it is FF the same as you. Find out what the cautions are for, and watch a few laps.

Funny thing is I love going to my local track. I find it more exciting and more rewarding than spending an afternoon watching a race. I don’t think racing, as a whole, is the problem…but NASCAR is the problem. A big bloated clueless organization.

Bill B

Aaron,
The fact that I watch the race on tv and don’t feel like I ever know what’s going on is really what annoys me most. There were long stretches where I couldn’t tell who was a lap down and how many as well as the intervals as to who was moving up and who was falling back. It’s a real shame when you need to follow twitter or have a computer handy to know what they hell is going on. Shame on NBC and shame on NASCAR. If I am going to spend the time to watch the race I think I should know more than someone following it on Twitter or a computer feed but that is no longer the case.

JohnQ

If the numbers are bad now can you imagine how bad they would be without the DVR. If not for the ability to skip the hours of mind numbing commercials I would have ditched NASCAR years ago.

babydufus

agree.
the dvr is a friend to us and nascar alike.
It enables us to palate the otherwise unpalatable and I believe it counts toward the ratings.
wonder what the ratings would be without them…

Chris

I didn’t watch the race yesterday as I was at a family event. What I did find interesting was that there was a TV at the event which for the most part switched between football games as there was a bunch of sports fanatics there. You name the sport and they’ll tell you the current stats. When there was a commercial break I actually attempted to switch to the race which was met with a chorus of “Who watches that anymore?” “It’s fixed” and “Turn it back to a real sport”. Keep in mind of the 15-20 people watching probably about half I remember being hardcore NASCAR followers only 10-15 years ago. In fact I was thinking about all the die casts that they used to have displayed around their houses and now there isn’t a sign that they ever watched NASCAR. Out of everyone there I was the only one that had a remote interest in NASCAR and that was only to see where Aric Almirola was running. Not that I needed any more proof that the publics opinion in NASCAR has changed and their interest waned but I found it very telling.

JohnQ

Wow, we all seem to be posting the same thing. I didn’t watch a minute of it. Spec cars and spec drivers on parade. A waste of my time.

janice

shame na$car doesn’t monitor this site.

janice

i love how the seats at charlotte are such that they create the optical illusion of people being in them when show in a television shot that’s just a passing shot of the cars speeding by. only after focusing realized empty seats. now i realize that a lot of people who were planning to be there on sat night might have had to travel on sunday, but die hard racing fans always made arrangements in case of rain to plan for an extra day at the track.

Chris

I picked up on that too Janice! I like how they are colored randomly in order to make it hard for the eye to detect if the seats are empty or full.

Bill B

They weren’t fooling anyone. It was obvious attendance was terrible and there were lots of open seats. Oh how the mighty hath fallen.

capt spaulding

But remember, Charlotte is home for NASCAR

JohnQ

And remember that they recently removed 41,000 seats from Charlotte. 41,000! Nothing wrong though, the racing is exciting.

Capt Spaulding

Most of the fans were underneath the stands buying concessions when overhead pics were taken…………I also wonder what the discount is on the trackside condos as compared to their 2002 price.

GinaV24

Wow, JohnQ, I had forgotten that. 41K seats removed and it still looked sparsely populated!

LOL at Capt. Spaulding — ah yes the Fontana excuse.

rg72

Apparently, people chose to look elsewhere for their moments of uncontrollable passion.

GinaV24

I think the days of people spending extra $ or planning an extra day into the schedule for NASCAR has passed. Since it now costs at least $200 in change fees if you have to reschedule your flight, plus maybe another night in hotel and rental cars, well that winds up being quite a bit of cash. Add into that the fact that the racing itself is not very interesting. I would be curious to know how many people had bought tickets for the race ahead of time though. I know I was still getting offers to buy tickets from CMS a week before the race.

Plus NASCAR has lost a lot of its diehard fans — after all, we were the ones they didn’t want any more so surprise – many have taken that “get lost” from both NASCAR and some of the tv networks, too.

russ

A comment about people attending rescheduled races.

I transported the Toyota executives to the spring race at Richmond this year. You may remember that the race was rained out and rescheduled from Saturday night to Sunday. NONE of the executives rescheduled their flights to attend the race. Instead they started departing at 5:30 am on Sunday as planned.

janice

m email is still being bombarded by talladega about ticket options and deals for the race in a few weeks….no thank you i say!

GinaV24

gee, when even the mighty Talladega crashfest can’t sell out in advance, that’s a big kicker.

rg72

It seems like we have the perfect setup for a spate of debris cautions next week at Kansas, depending on the position of the 88 car at any given time of the race.

Ken

Well, I know everyone absolutely hated yesterday’s race, so allow me to be the dissenting voice. While the race was no barn-burner, I thought it was reasonable, if for no other reason than because a Ford won. But, if you look past the race itself, there were some things that made you go “WTF”. The Kyle vs. Kyle move was just dumb on both their parts, but leave it up to Busch to place 100% of the blame on the other Kyle. Not to mention that Busch is a chase contender, while the other Kyle is on the outside looking in, want to bet NASCAR has a little talk with the other Kyle? And while I do acknowledge that Hendrick has a strong following across all four of his primary teams, what is up with them? I guess Kasey either had his brain somewhere else (baby watch?) or Hendrick’s R&D branch is laying major eggs! As for JimmieChad, I guess they have started to experiment for next year, despite the expected rule changes.

I was already admitting that the “final four” was going to an all-Gibbs affair. Now, thankfully, it doesn’t look like it. And I’ll bet the operators of Homestead will be breathing a little sigh of relief. Harvick and Logano should make it to the final, and if any Toyota can make it, I hope it’s either Kenseth or Edwards, and not the two divas. Call it still having some loyalty toward two former Ford drivers. But, I don’t think the 20 team has the capability to pull off the same stunt that the 4 team pulled off last week. As for the diva in the 18, has his chase implosion stated?

I am baffled as to why Joey is so much better than Brad. But, I really don’t care. At least there is one Ford that can sort of keep up with a team from Hendrick’s second string. I was also surprized that NASCAR let the race play out the way it did. After all, there were two Chevrolets right behind a Blue Oval. I was fully expecting one of those famous debris cautions NASCAR is famous for so they get the desired result, ie, a Chevrolet win. Kuddos for NASCAR for not rigging the race, like they usually try to do.

janice

na$car is saving their rigging points for dega. saw where they’re re-thinking 2 times g/w/c at dega to avoid the carnage that typically happens. guess “no rule changes” doesn’t apply to tweaking rules for specific races.

Capt Spaulding

consider yourself registered, current tally 53 to 1, but if you enjoyed it, good for you, in my case it just has gone too far from the racing I used to enjoy for more than 40 years.

Ken

Capt. Spaulding, obviously from your remark, you have the opinion that because I actually enjoyed the race yesterday, that you think I need a little more wedge and a little less bite. Truth is, I do not like the overall competition, nor do I like this farce called the chase. it stinks and I will be the first to admit that it stinks worse than the coke ovens in a steel mill. And I do know what that smells like. I do not like races that are manipulated so NASCAR gets the winner it wants, which is why I wa surprized that NASCAR allowed the race to play out the way it did, and didn’t throw a caution to give Harvick a shot at that dastardly Ford Driver. I do not like the blatant favouritism of certain teams and manufacturers. Chevrolet, particularly anything out of Hendrick, has received way too many concessions over the years, and now, Toyota is attempting to take over and dominate the sport. Look at the domination of Toyota in the truck series. Notice how many times the pace vehicle has been a Camary or a Tundra. I wonder how Brian the buffoon feels about that with the latest negative publicity about a certain group overseas who have fleets of Tundras. Talk about bad publicity.

Go back and read what I said as to the main reason why I liked the race. It wasn’t manipulated. With some big teams having some serious issues, it made things interesting. The negative side is the point system. Yes, given if it was a 36-race championship, it would be down to a two-man race. But with this contrived crap called the chase, someone who is actually in 23rd place can still steal the championship from two drivers who have worked their hind ends off all year. Refer to my earlier comment about coke ovens.

I’m sorry you are offended, that I apparently am too stupid to realize that I should not have liked that race because it sucked worse than a hovercraft. I guess I saw something else that nobody else saw.

jer

Ken, hey you are entitled to like it for whatever reason you choose. I admit that when Gordon has a good day, the race looks better to me, too, so I understand your point of view.

I agree, too, that I was very surprised and happy to see NASCAR NOT throw a caution at the end there to make it more “exciting”. Like you, I don’t enjoy seeing the sanctioning body manipulate a race.

Of course, seeing Johnson have a bad day two weeks in a row worked for me, too.

J. Smith

Latest rumor is that BZF was just spotted in Germany courting Volkswagon’s ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn to replace Richard Buck. Buck hasn’t been cutting the mustard and infuriating Junebug was the last straw. NASCAR looks forward to working together with Winterkorn to bring NASCAR to yet another level.

Capt Spaulding

I think Mike Neff may be setting a record…with this post we are at 60………Today’s NASCAR has really generated a buzz after this weekend.

rg72

I’ll go Roger Maris. I guess bad buzz is better than no buzz at all or is it?

GinaV24

rg72, I don’t think so in this case, although Brainless usually thinks so and I’ve seen media people make the comment – well people are talking about the playoffs, aren’t they? Well, yeah, but when the comments are more negative than positive, that would seem to me to be a bad thing.

Chris

Does anyone find it odd that almost all of the 61 comments posted are directed at the sanctioning body (NASCAR) and not drivers, teams or on-track issues? I was thinking about it and thought of what other sport (NFL, MLB) where a bulk, if not all comments were directed towards the sanctioning body week after week and I couldn’t come up with any. No one here is talking about their favorite driver or anything like that, its always about the train wreck that is NASCAR. I’m not sure how many people follow Frontstretch as it isn’t displayed on the homepage anymore but I can’t say that I see many commentators defending NASCAR in various articles. Sure some could say that people that are fine with the status quo would be less likely to post a comment but I’d like to think that there would be a few comments from time to time. Obviously there are people following the sport (even if it is a 1.8 share) but it seems to me that as time progresses things are only going to get worse for NASCAR unless major changes within sanctioning body come along. When is the media going to pick up on this? How about a few articles that actually delve into the current state of NASCAR, analysis of what brought them to this point and what can be done to bring in more fans to the sport.

Bill B

Good points Chris but I bet you can’t come up with one sport that allows all the teams to participate in the playoffs after they’ve been eliminated either. :)

Chris

Dodge ball?;-)

Chris

You are right though Bill (and yes dodge ball does eliminate players and there isn’t any sport that actually allows eliminated teams to participate that I can think of) . Like yourself, many of us see the absurdity in the Chase concept which on its own would be enough to deal with but NASCAR has a host of other issues that it needs to deal with in my opinion if it has any hope of building up its fan base back up. There are other issues that are out of NASCAR’s control such as the economy but I think we can all agree that the sanctioning body does have room for improvement.

J. Smith

I can buy a slow economy hurting ticket sales but at the same time it seems like all the people forced to stay home would be driving TV ratings up. NASCAR cheerleaders also told us that gas prices drove ticket sales down and last week I paid $1.94 a gallon. I think the 500 mile stock car format has just run it’s course and a desperate and delusional BZF is grasping at straws trying to sustain what is no longer sustainable.

GinaV24

J.Smith, the “economy” excuse worked for a few years but IMO that is no longer valid. NASCAR’s “product” is the problem and they have had opportunities to fix it but prefer not to. Fans go to the track and see terrible racing at the track or tune in to broadcasts that are all about “the chase” and points and also show parade lap racing, so they don’t spend the $ to go to the track.

rg72

If anyone in the media did take NASCAR to task, you can bet NASCAR would see to it that said media member would love their credentials and NASCAR would probably pressure his/her employer to see that this media member would be “pursuing other opportunities”.
Heck, remember when Larry Mac was critical of the COT several years back?
Now, he’s the star pupil of King Brian’s obedience school.

Chris

You are correct Rg72. I realize that unlike MLB or the NFL that NASCAR, due to being owned by the France family are able to “control” the media by simply pulling credentials on anyone that speaks against the great job that the sanctioning body. I understand that one can’t really write against the only game in town that the writer is covering. I still find it odd that the mainstream media hasn’t covered the decrease in NASCAR attendance as well as the drop in television viewership. It’s pretty darn obvious.

Capt Spaulding

so your saying that Summer and Jerry are ensuring the credentials don’t get revoked…

GinaV24

rg72, yeah, NASCAR neutered Larry Mac when he spoke up and he’s been compliant ever since.

Capt — I consider both Summer and Jerry examples of catering to NASCAR’s point of view. Both usually spend a lot of time telling we, the fans, that we should be grateful for whatever crap NASCAR is serving.

Richie

I hate the Chase/Playoff/Farce as much as anyone else here. However, I’d be a little more accepting of it if NASCAR would adopt the low down-force package, stop throwing in-needed cautions, cut out this wave around crap and the double file restarts. At least the individual races would be more interesting.

Chris

I agree that would be a good first step in the right direction.

GinaV24

Chris, you make good points. I think one reason people commenting are focused on NASCAR, rather than their favorite driver, is because NASCAR is run by one family and essentially everyone else is captive to that.

BZF is so egocentric that he doesn’t even recognize that there may actually be something wrong with all of his “great” ideas. Since he does a great job for the France family (at least as of right now) of bringing home the bacon in the form of TV and “official whatever” of NASCAR sponsorship, well, he doesn’t need to care what anyone thinks of the issues facing the actual racing and many in the paid media seem to be unwilling to address it – probably because NASCAR would make their life hard by pulling their “hard card” for access. Some of them do actually write articles that are semi-critical, but most of them just say how wonderful it all is.

One of the big things though is that NASCAR did a great job overall of ticking off a big part of their fan base with a lot of the decisions they have made in the past say 10 years and there aren’t enough “new” fans to offset the fans who have either already left or are planning to either leave completely or become “casual” fans, like me, when their favorite driver retires.

I enjoyed the ride. The sport for a long while was a lot of fun for me and I don’t regret the races I went to and the fun I had with family and friends.

My personal opinion is that unless NASCAR ditches Brian France and reinvents itself by getting back to the basics of good racing – which includes being able to catch and pass a car on the track, not just on restarts or making big gains on pit road, they will have made themselves irrelevant. There was a poster yesterday who said that he was at a party and wanted to watch the race during the commercials of a football game — people who had formerly been fans of NASCAR wanted to know “do you still follow that?”. When Charlotte, the home track of NASCAR, can’t put more than a few thousand fans in the seats on a nice October day, well, that says a lot, doesn’t it?

Chris

Yeah Gina, that was me at the party and I did find it pretty telling. I agree with you but I am afraid that at this point NASCAR is so corporate that even if Brian France resigned tomorrow the new regime would be so far removed from racing that they too would make decisions based on marketing analysis not racing.

GinaV24

Yes, sorry, Chris, I looked back and realized it was you who posted that but I didn’t want to use the wrong name in my post. I don’t know if it is because they have become too corporate or not, but IMO they certainly have not paid attention to what made the sport rise. Hiring PR people to “tell” the fans that everything is wonderful and force the drivers to do the same or be punished by fines or deducting points, is not the same thing as actually looking at where it went wrong and correcting the issues.

They’ve had opportunities, including the testing of a change in rules for the cars, when it was obvious that the 2015 package was a stinker but rather than implement it, NASCAR went back to dull and boring. I’m not sure how that is a win for anyone.

I happen to agree with you about knowing a lot of former NASCAR fans. People that I went to races with and who watched every week no longer pay attention. I will be one of those casual fans after Gordon drives his last race at Homestead.

I’m sure I will still watch some of it, old habits are hard to break and Gordon will be in the Fox booth (unfortunately so will DW & Motormouth) but during the winter it will be more likely that the weather will keep me inside, but the summer and fall will be ALL mine again.

Chris

I agree Gina, I still watch even though I really don’t agree with much that NASCAR does at this point. Their decision-making process appears to be centered around a “Magic 8-Ball” at this point. I’m glad to hear that NASCAR will run a new downforce package next year that should help with the actual racing. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about Gordon in the Fox booth as I respect him as a driver and all he’s accomplished up to this point and I’d sure hate for all of that to be tarnished when he starts uttering phrases like “Four fresh Goodyears” or “Full tank of Sunoco racing fuel!”. I’d sure be bummed to start looking at Gordon the way I do the Waltrips although for the record Jeff seems waaaayyy more low key then those two hyper-merchandising fools so I would really be surprised if he follows them down that path.

Countray

NASCAR has to do something about these races. Based on what I’ve seen it looks like Low downforce will be the way to go. Either way, I haven’t even watched a Chase race this year. Football has been great. Races have been boring. I love NASCAR, but when there’s great football games on every week, and NASCAR hasn’t put on a good race in 2 months. I’m sorry. I’m watching football.

Steve

Another shake your head moment from Nascar. We can’t change the package to improve the racing during the “playoffs” but I guess restarts at Talladega are not off limits. What a joke.

Be careful what you wish for folks. Typically the only passing happening during a race is during double file restarts. If you go back to single file restarts, you will be lucky to see one pass all day.

Didn’t see the Kyle vs Kyle incident but a question came to mind. Aren’t cars supposed to be single file going down pit road? So why were they side by side heading to pit road?

Glad I didn’t spend any time on this race. Saw the 277 laps led by Logano and realized it was another parade, which I easily predicted earlier in the week. Next we go to Kansas. Looks like it will be another 3 hour parade, so I will skip. But the casino is there so its worthy of 2 races, right?

Earner

Race = Typical Dull-D , Follow the leader (aero car issue) do the networks / sponsors listen at all(we know brian doesn’t) as maybe they could get us back to some form of actual competitive racing. We need double file restarts as its generally the only passing we’ll see(I have never had an issue w/double file restarts)
As long as this downforce package exists it will be dull combined with the same Dull-D tracks = Dull
Dega having 1 grn/wht/checkers is a great money saving idea for the owners but will always be just a crapshoot race & not real racing(as soon as braking is gone) & piles up the innocent victims everytime. If every Toyota competitor is taken out in that race ,can you imagine the howl there would be…It should not be the last race in a segment & the victims have no chance to recover…More bbp (bad brain planning) Oh well more dullness at Casino Kansas to go…(will having been an avid casino goer I sure don’t need it when I go to a race)…Best to All

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