You have to expect the Big One at Talladega, because under the current rules package, there is no throttle response and nowhere to go on the racetrack. But you don’t usually expect one on lap 7. But you got one when Matt Kenseth tried to go low, realized there was no room, and cut back up the track smack into the side of Jeff Gordon, who lost the points lead as a result. Plate racing at its finest.
It’s been a while since my last diary and I apologize for keeping you waiting, but as many of you know, I’ve been a little busy. On March 12th, my wife Kim and I welcomed our son, David Jr. into our lives and it’s been a little crazy since. Even though we don’t sleep much, it’s all worth it. Being a dad is unbelievable and an awesome experience, and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. It’s been tough, but the joy definitely outweighs all of the sleepless nights.
After the longest break on the 2009 schedule, the Camping World Truck Series returns to the track this weekend at Kansas Speedway. There are 37 trucks listed on the entry list, and despite preseason fears of short fields, this will be the fifth consecutive full field this season. Last season the Truck Series saw short fields in their second and third races. Before the trucks hit the track, I want to take a little time to recap the news around the series over the last couple weeks.
Like almost everyone else that watched Saturday night’s race, I felt that there was far too much emphasis on Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. It was insane – to the point it definitely didn’t feel like the seventh race out of 35 on the schedule, for sure. It’s almost like the production crew thought that the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 was the November daytime race at Phoenix instead of the April night race. Viewers were treated to constant reminders about the points, along with constant updates on where Edwards and Busch were running at the expense of covering the rest of the race. I know that the director and camera crews have to pick and choose what to cover on the track with 43 cars starting each event – but this was a travesty.
With the off week in full swing, it presented an opportunity for the Frontstretch experts to do something a little different. Instead of grading the Cup guys, we took a look at those drivers who often get shunned from the spotlight these days… the drivers exclusive to the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series desperate to make a name for themselves. These divisions are filled with established veterans and young guns mixed together to provide a cornucopia of driving talent. And since you never know when a Cup ride will become available… we thought it’s high time to figure out who’s proved himself most worthy of filling the spot as of late. Read on to see if your favorite non-Cup driver made the list in this special edition of the Power Rankings.
Something that both the Nationwide and Truck series do share is a two-driver breakaway in the points standings. However, while one of those battles is just heating up, the other threatens to cool down as soon as Kansas in two weeks considering one or both of the drivers involved may not run the full schedule. Which championship in which series am I talking about? Find out by checking out the HOT, WARM and COLD drivers of NASCAR’s second and third biggest series. Not surprisingly, the way things are these days, you will notice a familiar name or two from Sprint Cup on the list.
Today, the cars race on the day before Easter (Holy Saturday) at Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval near Nashville, Tenn. This past weekend’s Pepsi 300 was the first standalone event of the new season for the Nationwide Series, so ESPN2 decided to use it to try some new things. For the final practice session, ESPN decided to essentially “adopt” a team and follow them all through practice. In this case, they chose the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier for Penske Championship Racing. The broadcast basically showed how the team was fine-tuning their Charger every step of the way, using shocks and other changes to perfect the handling of their racecar. I found it quite interesting, to be honest, and it wound up being a great addition to their show.
As the Camping World Truck Series takes its longest break of the season, sponsorship woes continue to plague the series. When the economy started taking a downturn, I never imagined how serious an impact it would have on NASCAR, and more importantly the Truck Series.
It was reported this last week that the defending Camping World Truck Series champion, Johnny Benson, had a sponsorship dilemma. The team’s lack of sponsorship was already well known. The problem was, Johnny and his Red Horse Racing team now have a sponsor lined up… however, they were told that if he used the said sponsor, the networks that cover the races would not give him coverage.
Jeff Gordon notched his 82nd career victory in the Samsung 500 last weekend. Where will he end up on the all-time wins list, and what will Gordon be remembered for years down the line?