The Dog Days of summer are in full force in the Sprint Cup Series. Temperatures are expected near 90 degrees in Bristol, Tenn. this week, part of the hottest year on record down South leading up to Saturday night’s heated 500-lap showdown under the lights. But these ugly temperatures aren’t the only problem turning some …
At the end of the 2009 season, Dusty Whitney, Nationwide Series car owner since 2007, evaluated the landscape of his sport and resulting position within it. He did not have a sponsor or a Sprint Cup car, and his team had made just 70 Nationwide starts with a revolving door of drivers – producing only …
The Nationwide Series ran a wild and crazy race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, with rain tires and a roller-coaster running order jumbling up the finish. Was the competition overall better than last year, and is this a venue where NASCAR should explore sending the Cup teams at this point?
Well the 24 Hours of Charlotte finally came to an end late Monday afternoon and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 was dominated by Kyle Busch and the weather. The race never went green on Sunday and suffered rain delays again on Monday before finally being called and producing a surprise winner. So to see which bubble teams gambled on the weather and won, and which wound up all wet, read this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.
JJ Yeley always looked good on camera with his sunny disposition and clean-cut, family man image. Unfortunately, a not-so-sunny reputation earned on the racetrack resulted in removal from his ride just before the Watkins Glen race in August.
Did You Notice? NASCAR’s TV ratings at Martinsville were down significantly this weekend, an overnight 2.9 as compared to a 3.3 in 2007? That low rating isn’t going to do the Virginia track any favors when it comes to whether it keeps a second date beyond the 2009 Cup season. Personally, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the circuit, a short-track bullring that epitomizes racing the way it ought to be. But just like with other tracks that have lost dates through the years, NASCAR fans need to start putting their money where their mouth is – or in this case, their remote – before it’s too late.
Well, it’s another fairly slow news cycle for the second week of August. Silly Season has quieted down a bit, although we’re all pretty much waiting to hear Ryan Newman make it official that he will be driving for Tony Stewart — and of course, we’re still waiting with baited breath to hear where Casey Mears will end up next. So, with nothing new in the pipeline, I could have gone to the well and written another Kyle-Busch-Is-Pretty-Good piece after his eighth win of the season; but instead, we’ll explore a few random thoughts and observations that are dancing through my head as the season is just over 60% complete.
I speak of none other than the satisfying news that JJ Yeley has been released by Hall of Fame Racing effective immediately! Oh, what a difference a year (almost) makes, eh JJ? Turns out that Tony Raines, whom Yeley replaced in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota at the beginning of this year, should have never been let go. No, Raines’ record was not stellar for the two full years that he drove for HoF… but he was improving. So much so that by the time Yeley made the “agonizing” decision to “leave” JGR to oust Raines at HoF’s request, Raines had successfully kept the No. 96 in the coveted Top 35 throughout his tenure. To fully understand how “agonizingly” full of horse hockey Yeley is, lets step back a few months.
By all accounts, JJ Yeley is one heck of a nice guy. I haven’t dealt with him directly during my three-year tenure on the NASCAR beat, but he’s known to be funny, relaxed, excitable, and just an all-around good person. Too bad that reputation couldn’t translate into on-track success in a stock car. Yeley was released by Hall of Fame Racing Wednesday, putting him out of his misery after a 21-race stint that defied everyone’s lowest expectations. You know you’re in rough shape when your team releases you just half-a-season into a three-year deal; not only was Yeley signed through 2010, primary sponsor DLP has re-upped for next season and shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon.
Did You Notice? That, to me the man who showed the most class of all during the Tony Stewart – Joe Gibbs – Haas CNC Racing saga is Greg Zipadelli. Here’s a man who’s been paired with Stewart through thick and thin for the past decade, providing the foundation needed for his driver to mature into the two-time Cup champion he is today. The longest crew chief/driver combination left on the circuit, they’ve stuck together like glue through the highs and the lows, becoming synonymous with success to the point neither one expected to part ways with the other.