Articles

10 Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

1. Monkey See... Monkey Do - The nip and tuck championship battle between Ron Hornaday and Johnny Benson Jr. continues after the two squared off at Phoenix Friday night in the Lucas Oil 150. The fact the two Craftsman Truck Series drivers continued their points fight was made more remarkable after Hornaday incurred significant damage to his Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet on the first lap of the race. Repairs to Hornaday’s truck took 29 laps to complete, and he wound up finishing 25th, 34 laps down. However, a lap 87 wreck with TJ Bell sent Benson behind the pit wall for extensive work on his Bill Davis Racing Toyota. The current point leader did return to the track to salvage a 26th-place finish in the final running order -- winding up one position behind Hornaday.

Read More »

Happy Hour: More Excitement? The Chase Hasn’t Even Done That

I’m not going to dwell on the irony that the title race would actually be closer without the Chase right now, although it is significant. As is often said, the rules are what they are and I’ve expounded plenty on what might have been. What I am questioning, though, is how a playoff format whose main goal was “more excitement”--a format that punishes performing drivers and teams unfairly and yet is justified in the name of “more excitement,” a format that has forsaken what had been a perfectly acceptable system for determining a NASCAR champion for “more excitement”--has produced, in four out of five years of its existence, some of the dullest title runs in recent memory?

Read More »

Driven To The Past: The Best Way To Slow A Racecar Down

Once again, one thing leads to another. In trying to explain how easy it is to misjudge a slower speed after you’ve been traveling really fast, I mentioned that I first heard the phrase “You lose your reference to zero” from Dick Trickle. He said that after the first ASA race at Milwaukee, on May 7, 1978. We had never run on anything bigger than a 5/8-mile track, so it stands to reason that most of our guys had never seen the kind of speeds they were experiencing on that big ol’ mile. Neither had I from the flagstand, actually. When the first car went out to qualify, I threw the green flag and then told the tower to wake me up when he got to turn 3.

Read More »

David Starr Driver Diary: New Sponsors and a Bright Future

Since the last diary, there have been a lot of changes for our Red Horse Racing team. At the end of September, Zachry Holdings Inc. joined our team as our primary sponsor for the rest of the 2008 season. I am so excited to have them on board. Zachry Holdings Inc. is an engineering construction company that is dedicated to the planning, building and renewing of our world’s most critical industrial facilities. They have over 25,000 employees nationwide and are just a really great, family company. Everyone at Red Horse Racing is excited to have them as a part of our family, and to have their name on our No. 11 Toyota Tundra. What’s really cool for us is that their No. 1 goal is their commitment to safety, and that really fits what we do in the Craftsman Truck Series. Obviously we are always trying to beat our competitors and get that extra edge, but one of the top priorities is safety.

Read More »

Voices From the Heartland: Almost On Cue, Bruton Dangles a Carrot, And Other NASCAR Tidbits

For years now, there has been a fantasy by the fans that someone should start a second race series. However, as appealing as that may be, we all know that there is only one man that could even attempt to have the where-with-al to do that, and that man is Bruton Smith. Smith is the man behind Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), which owns and operates all your “…Motor Speedway” tracks, such as Bristol, Lowe's and Texas, to name a few. Now, Bruton is known for stirring things up, but his statements this last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway have really set me to salivating! While having breakfast with a few reporters, the topic of his long known desire of the outright purchase of NASCAR from the France family was brought up.

Read More »

Thompson in Turn 5: Blame Slumping Attendance On The Economy And Oh, Yeah… Jimmie Johnson

There is no denying that the sport is and will continue to be adversely impacted by a downward economy. Though in recent years NASCAR has shifted more of their attention to attracting upper-income Americans, it is still the working class fan that saves a little back from each paycheck for a NASCAR weekend or two a year that fills the stands. Many of these fans are the same folks that have recently lost their jobs, or are in fear of becoming unemployed. In short, one has to consider that there certainly are many fans that have recently discovered that they truly cannot afford to attend the races.

Read More »