A reporter next to me then popped this gem: “Dale – how would you say you’re a different person last year than this year?” Dale Jr. looked over at him with an icy cold glare very reminiscent, if not a dead ringer, for his father. “Come on, man; how are you gonna ask me that?” He shook his head and continued to look down, saying, “I’m just really stressed out… this has been a tough year… but I have a job to do, and we just need to work harder and go do it.” That was pretty much the end of the interview.
2. Would You Like Fries With That? – Joe Gibbs Racing driver phenom Joey Logano, continuing to live up to high expectations set by the sports media and NASCAR insiders — such as respected veteran Mark Martin — set a new mark for the youngest driver, at 18 years and 21 days, to ever to win a Nationwide Series race. Logano, piloting the JGR No. 20 Toyota, crossed the finish line more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Scott Wimmer in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky. “Three starts, two poles, one win. He’s OK,” said a very pleased Dave Rogers, Logano’s crew chief. What were you doing at 18?
1 – Car that fell to the back of the field at the start of racing at Michigan.
(No. 15 Paul Menard for an engine change)
During Wind Tunnel on SPEED Channel Sunday night, another driver complained to Dave Despain that NASCAR needs to install better cooling systems in the Car of Tomorrow because of driver discomfort in the current model. But Despain responded in the same manner that I felt, stating that he does not think that improving the cooling system in NASCAR racecars should be a priority, because he has a little bit of trouble feeling sorry for men who get paid millions of dollars to drive them little more than a few times a week.
Michigan is a wide open 2-mile track that offers drivers plenty of options and room to make moves which, hopefully, will lead to on-track passes and its fair share of racing action. But for fantasy players that worry about their drivers being caught up in someone else’s problems, they can rest assured that it generally will not happen at Michigan. You have all of the racing room of a multi-groove track to thank for it. Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally break his losing streak, and what driver should you avoid at all costs? Only this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell… read below to find out.
The tricky triangle in Pennsylvania had several twists and turns for the Cup drivers this past weekend. Who left the track climbing up the Pocono mountains? Read on to find out in the latest edition of our Power Rankings, and see if you agree or disagree with the choices of your favorite Frontstretch writers.
A new segment of the NASCAR broadcasting season began this past Sunday, as TNT hosted the first of six races that it will cover this season. Many anticipated the weekend’s race at Pocono to lack the excitement and the drama that both NASCAR and TNT pride themselves upon. Fortunately for both, Sunday’s race delivered; and TNT had a huge hand in conveying that excitement to the viewers at home.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.
1. What Program? – NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program has now entered its ninth year of existence as of this weekend. There are 13 Sprint Cup teams, eight Nationwide Teams, and four Craftsman Truck organizations participating in the program. But after nine years only one ethnic minority driver — Aric Almirola — has graduated to NASCAR’s top series through the program, and even then only on a part-time basis. No women or African-Americans have participated in the Sprint Cup series full-time… and none are expected to anytime in the future. Looks like NASCAR’s best diversity plan is to hope for more open-wheel defections.
Q: How about my boy Kyle Busch? Not only is he dominating on the track, but he’s become NASCAR’s bad boy. Am I wrong to think that his driving style and persona are more like Dale Earnhardt’s than even the Intimidator’s son and fellow 2007 free agent Dale Earnhardt Jr.?