THE SWAP MEET AT WALL STADIUM HAS BEEN CANCELLED
DUE TO THE SNOW. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE NEW EGYPT SPEEDWAY RACING / AUTOMOTIVE SWAP
MEET NEXT SATURDAY MARCH 14 ....... ALL WELCOME !!!
NASCAR Statement on Kurt Busch
Las Vegas has different feel without Busch brothers
Courteousy ESPN.com ( http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/):
Is 500 miles too long at Atlanta? Will Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson be in
the final four? Which team should go after Brett Moffitt? Are you surprised by Kyle Busch's tweet? Have at it! Turn 4 »
Kurt Busch Clears Legal Hurdle
Busch will not face criminal charges over the alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll in September. He remains
suspended by NASCAR. Story » McGee: NASCAR still made right call »
Move over, dad: Keelan Harvick roughs up father during 'race'
Here's a NASCAR Throwback Thursday stat that will blow your mind
FS1's Adam Alexander: Hamlin, Blaney lead XFINITY charge into Vegas
Favorites, underdogs share Las Vegas spotlight
Watch: Las Vegas will be true test for drivers
Courteousy Amanda Vincent
(Thanks Amanda !):
NASCAR power rankings: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
written by Christopher Sorbey
submitted by Amanda Vincent
Make no mistake, qualifying impacts plenty
Axalta to sponsor Regan Smith at Phoenix
Courteousy Amanda Vincent
(Thanks Amanda !):
Kurt Busch: Where does NASCAR go from here?
SN Power Rankings: Harvick too good to pass up as No. 1
Today's Featured Commentary
Inspection Troubles and AT&T U-Verse Squabbles
Well, it appears that I have to make another statement before getting on with this week’s
column: As God is my witness, I had nothing to do with the theft of Travis Kvapil’s Sprint Cup car from a motel parking
lot near Atlanta.
So NASCAR had another problem with qualifying, this time at Atlanta and this one causing 13
teams to miss the first session and some of them to miss the race. Teams had to go back through again for various violations,
as NASCAR said, and they just ran out of time.
First, a couple of driver comments…
Gordon: “ [NASCAR] should have recognized they had an issue. I'm sorry, but when you have this many teams
that are having issues going through, there's something wrong. There's something wrong with the system or there's something
wrong with the amount of time they allot to get through. There's no way this many good cars, talented people, that they can't
figure out how to get these cars through inspection. These guys are too smart. Yeah, we're pushing limits, but there's something
Mike Wallace (who missed the race): “ We had to go back around because
we were 40-thousandths of an inch red. The last six cars didn't have to do that, and one of those six cars sent us home. I
don't really understand all the things they do, but that certainly isn't the level playing field we're all told is there.
Shame on the team if you're wrong, but don't give five or six guys a free run at it. That's all I know."
Now, Sprint Cup managing director Richard Buck refuted Wallace’s claim, noting that teams had the opportunity for inspection
Friday. They were “pushing it,” he added, noting “…that’s their job.”
of the teams, Buck said, were trying to find some “mechanical grip” at a track where tire wear is crucial. He
said twenty cars, almost double the usual amount, had to be reinspected at least once.
OK. The key for me in
this situation is that the teams had the opportunity to be inspected on Friday. Yes, I’m sure they would have had to
go through pre-qualifying inspection again on Sunday, but they had to the chance to find out where they were wrong the day
before, and have the car in compliance for Saturday.
In a conversation Monday, my son Matt put it more bluntly
that I did.
“They were cheating,” he said. “They got caught cheating. Simple as that.”
Another thing occurred to me Monday after reading a comment on Facebook from an engineer.
guy wondered just how well the NASCAR equipment is calibrated after being moved cross-country from race to race. He said whenever
his company moves any kind of measuring equipment, it has to be re-calibrated before it can be used again.
Surely NASCAR has thought of this issue, haven’t they?
Of course, Jimmie Johnson and others who didn’t
get to qualify proved that the cream almost always rises to the top by charging to the front.
AT&T’s U-verse cable system has decided they’re not going to carry the XFINITY races live on Fox Sports 1
I didn’t know this fact until Saturday afternoon, when I tuned in and ended up with something
called the World Dart Championships. I had no idea there was any such animal as the World Dart Championships, but I am now
among the enlightened.
A quick survey on Facebook revealed that a LOT of people around the world were indeed
watching the race on Fox Sports 1. A few inquiries made it clear that they were with Time Warner, DirecTV, Comcast, etc.
I did hook up with a few people who were also trying to watch on AT&T, and they had the same problem. I
think found a news item stating AT&T and Fox Sports 1 were in a dispute over what the cable system would have to pay for
Naturally, I went to the phone to call AT&T customer service and after being put on hold for
20 minutes, I gave up. Back to the computer, where later a friend said he finally got to talk to a human being after 48 minutes.
This phenomenon tells me that the AT&T switchboard was jammed, probably with calls from irate stock car
racing fans. That, in turn, tells me that a settlement to the dispute may be in the offing before too long.
AT&T says they don’t want to pass the added cost along to their consumers. Considering the size of AT&T, I’d
say it would amount to less than a dollar per customer per month.
I’ve been with AT&T in one form
or another for over 15 years now. I’ve got my internet, cable, landline, and two cell phones “bundled” which
makes for a terrific deal. Haven’t had a landline for at least 12 years, but we needed one to work the intercom/buzzer
system in our new apartment; AT&T provided it as part of my package. At least I did get to watch the replay of the
race by recording it when it ran at midnight ET on Saturday. I don’t like the idea of possibly having to comment on
an event if I don’t watch it.
Until next week...
Critic's Annex: Dale Earnhardt Film Duel
by Phil Allaway
you've been reading my critique columns over the past six-plus years at Frontstretch or here in the Newsletter, you know that
I like documentaries. I'm a history nut and like to learn new things. So when NASCAR and SPIKE announced the newest
Dale Earnhardt special, I Am Dale Earnhardt, I was already hooked a week it before it aired. The question
that was at the back of my mind is how it holds up to Dale, the 2007 Paul Newman-narrated documentary that is
more or less considered the gold standard when it comes to NASCAR documentaries.
In the case of
I Am Dale Earnhardt, the overarching theme through much of the film is the apparent fact Earnhardt really didn't
care about anything other than winning until he was about age 45. While it seemed that way at times, that's not necessarily
true. The idea of Earnhardt driving like he was trying to feed his family was a common theme here.
I think that's a good notion, one that would explain a lot of his aggressive on-track behavior. The thing is, Earnhardt
kept that up well after the point where it really wasn't necessary anymore.
since Earnhardt died, stories of his generosity have become well-known. That was never particularly touched upon on
SPIKE, or in Dale for that matter. I Am Dale Earnhardt would have you believe that
he didn't particularly begin to mellow until he broke his shoulder blade and sternum at Talladega in 1996. The whole
mess surrounding that race is a story for another day. Long story short, the 1996 DieHard 500 at Talladega is the last
Sprint Cup race to be tape-delayed.
I Am Dale Earnhardt also insisted upon "Tarantinoing"
the story. In case you're unfamiliar, that is an editing technique in which you start with the ending, then work your
way back there. As a result, you start the special off kind of bummed because you have a bunch of people (including
Michael Waltrip) talking about Earnhardt's death before we went back into the past. It's definitely not the tone that
I would have preferred the documentary to start on.
While both films did use a number of interviews,
Dale tended to focus on interviews with colleagues, family and competitors. I Am Dale Earnhardt
had people in those categories as well (including a number of people that were interviewed for Dale). However,
there were others that had little to no connection to Earnhardt. The best example I can give here is Cassadee Pope.
Pope's a 25-year-old country music singer and a former contestant on The Voice. She essentially has no
connection to the story, yet spent her time on the show talking about how her father and grandfather were huge Earnhardt fans
and would go to races to root him on. That's nice and all, but as much as you support NASCAR these days, Cassadee, you're
a little out of your element here. I am perfectly fine with Kix Brooks chipping in since he was a personal friend of
DEI was mentioned as a business Earnhardt wanted to build up for his children. But aside from
putting Earnhardt Jr. in with the team, they really didn't talk about it all that much. There was no mention of the
team's struggles when they moved up to Cup full-time in 1998. Instead, the documentary made it look like they had near immediate
success when they originally tore up a bunch of cars, missed races and lost driver Steve Park to a broken leg within a month
to start the year (he'd miss nearly half the season).
Dale went a different direction,
talking about Earnhardt's Daytona 500 struggles before getting into his family life in Kannapolis. Ultimately, the race
played into most of the rest of the film. While Newman is listed as the narrator of Dale, Earnhardt (via
past interview footage) essentially narrates the film himself. There was more about the relationship between Earnhardt
and owner Richard Childress in the film.
Despite everything I said above, there are some aspects of the
story that I Am Dale Earnhardt does better than Dale. For instance, Dale doesn't really touch
much upon Earnhardt's relationship with Neil Bonnett, one of his best friends. I Am Dale Earnhardt included
clips of Earnhardt and Bonnett hunting and fishing together and just hanging out. Also, there were plenty of clips from
Bonnett's show, Winners, which aired on TNN (now SPIKE) on Saturday afternoons in the early 1990s right after
Inside Winston Cup Racing. When the show was originally on, I was between the ages of 7-10. I thought
the show was decent at the time, but the clips made it look like incredible fun for everyone involved, despite the fact that
Bonnett would rather have been driving at the time. They also went in-depth on Earnhardt's feelings after Bonnett was
killed at Daytona in 1994, which Dale did not touch on.
Overall, both films are enjoyable to watch.
I would rate Dale higher than I Am Dale Earnhardt, but regardless of which film you pick, I think you
would enjoy it. With a roughly one-hour running time, I would like to have seen what got cut out, to be honest.
There's probably some gems in there.
Frontstretch Line of the Week
From Tweet N Greet: Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin & More
Don't know how, but I made it 31 years without knowing what a narwhal is. Those were the good ol' days..."
- a tweet from Brad Keselowski about Sprint's ubiquitous Narwhals commercial
AT FRONTSTRETCH :
by Mike Neff
by P. Huston Ladner
by Beth Lunkenheimer
Courteousy Amanda Vincent
(Thanks Amanda !):
Kurt Busch won't face criminal charges
Dale Jr. likes odds, has car for Las Vegas win
Driver Reports: Previewing Las Vegas
Which Sprint Cup teams have best
handle on new rules package?
Surgeon weighs in
on Kyle Busch's injuries, prognosis
Courteousy The Stock Car Gazette
(Thanks Heather !):
C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S
From Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber On Safety … PHOENIX – “Following a review
of the existing safety barriers at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) with ISC and NASCAR officials, PIR will supplement
its existing barrier system. - See more at: http://www.catchfence.com/#sthash.VDxKdXkF.dpuf Deadline Approaching for Fans to Own Their Seat
from Daytona International Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway ticket holders who want to secure
a piece of history have until Friday, March 6 to purchase their own seat that ... - See more at: http://www.catchfence.com/#sthash.VDxKdXkF.dpuf Biffle
to Drive No. 16 Cheez-It Ford in Vegas ‘Cheez-It’ Crackers makes first Sprint Cup start of 2015 in Vegas CONCORD,
N.C. (March 4, 2015) – Greg Biffle will drive the No. 16 Cheez-It Ford Fusion this weekend - See more at:
Advance: Analyzing the KOBALT 400
Auto Racing Daily
The construction to build the superspeedway known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995.
Speedway Motorsports Inc.
News & Observer
The first NASCAR race held at LVMS was a K&N Pro Series West event won by Ken
Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996. Mark Martin won the inaugural Sprint ...
Inaugural Motorsports Cruise offers 2015 Trip with NASCAR Stars
Business Wire (press release)
The cruise will have appearances by current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers, racing legends, crew
chiefs, cup owners and racing executives.
BK Racing promotes Dubois to GM
LAS VEGAS – BK Racing has elevated Ryan Dubois from shop foreman to General Manager effective immediately.
Dubois began his NASCAR career ...
Green-white-checkered: 2015 NASCAR storylines
Darrell Waltrip says it best: “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let's go racing boys!” The Daytona 500
commenced the start of the 2015 Nascar season and ...
shrinking grandstands 'right-sizing'
"Right-sizing is the term," NASCAR's Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar told Reuters after addressing
the Sport Business Summit in midtown ...
Jack—The Brian Perry Story
N A S C A R * C A N A D I A N *
T I R E * S E R I E S
Inside Track Motorsport News
The season will open at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Victoria Day Speedfest, May 15-17, in support
of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
Courteousy NBC Sports
Jeff Gordon is off to a rough start in his final full-time
season, but he’s been in this spot before and bounced back. More
Stenhouse Jr. Looks to Add Name to Roush
Fenway’s Cup Success at Las Vegas
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hopes Las Vegas launches
his junior year in the Sprint Cup series just as it did in his junior year in
the XFINITY series in 2012. Stenhouse used the early win at Las Vegas that year
to launch into a season that would see him visit victory lane on five more occasions
Analysis: Atlanta win a huge
shot in the arm for Johnson, No. 48 team
Inspection breakdown: What went wrong at Atlanta
(Thanks Amanda !):
Brett Moffitt takes
over No. 34 seat for three races
Kobalt 400 odds – Driver-by-driver breakdown
of Sunday's race in Las Vegas
Courteousy The Frontstretch.com
Police Finds Person of Interest
in Team Xtreme Racing Theft
news out of Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
is reporting the Morrow Police Department is close to tracking down those responsible for stealing the dually truck and trailer
that carried the car Travis Kvapil was intending to use last weekend at Atlanta
Motor Speedway. Police are in the process of setting up an interview with
a person of interest in the case. Read more
Jeff Gordon to Be Honored at Texas Motor
Jeff Gordon requested prior to
the season that he not receive farewell gifts during his final full year of driving.
However, that hasn't stopped tracks from organizing their own way to pay tribute
to the five-time champion. Texas Motor Speedway announced Tuesday that Gordon will be honored in a special ceremony
next Thursday in Dallas. Read more
Today's Featured Commentary
Georgia on My Mind
by Dr. Mark Howell
We have reached the middle-point
of the semester here at the small college where I teach, so allow me to assign
a short quiz:
Question: Which of the following situations have been part of
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s legacy as a NASCAR track?
a) Having a favored Labor Day race date replaced
by one in early March.
b) Seeing its two annual events trimmed to a
c) Okaying the removal of grandstand seats because of
d) Home of NASCAR’s most-glaring technical inspection
e) All of the above.
The correct answer? Sadly, the right response would be e).
get me wrong: Atlanta has been home to many, many historic moments in NASCAR history.
It’s where Jeff Gordon made his Sprint Cup debut in 1992. It’s where
“King Richard” Petty, that same year and at that same event, drove
his final race. It’s where Kevin Harvick outran Jeff Gordon in 2001 to win his first career Sprint Cup race as a replacement
for the late Dale Earnhardt, just three weeks after “The Intimidator’s”
death at Daytona.
If you want to recall major events in NASCAR history,
Atlanta is one of the truly great speedways to consider. Unfortunately, it’s
also one of the racetracks most affected by the sport’s diminishing popularity.
How bad has it become?
enough for Atlanta Motor Speedway (or rather Speedway Motorsports, Inc.) to begin
dismantling 17,000 seats so “low demand” race attendance will not
look so horrible on television. All this downsizing at the track newly-minted-NASCAR-Hall-of-Famer
Bill Elliott called “home” – as in “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” who
scored five wins (and five poles) at AMS in 62 career starts.
If you can’t
put fans in the stands, just remove the stands. Such drastic measures, in the
“bottom line = finish line” view of NASCAR, are often necessary. That’s how Atlanta lost
one of its two race dates (starting in 2011) and its choice Labor Day/late summer schedule slot
(starting in 2014).
And the hits just keep on coming….
last weekend’s Sprint Cup event at AMS. All eyes were on “the Peach
State” as NASCAR rolled out its new rules package. Less horsepower and less downforce would mean better racing
as straightway speeds decreased slightly in favor of higher speeds in the corners.
Toss in a driver-adjustable track bar and suddenly, Atlanta Motor Speedway had
the makings of a 190 miles-an-hour laboratory. Race No. 2 on the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule
looked to be a great one….
Until Travis Kvapil had his No. 44 Team Xtreme Chevrolet stolen from a
nearby hotel parking lot, a circumstance that caused the team to withdraw from
Sunday’s race. This incident was, without a doubt, a most horrible occurrence,
but the theft seemed almost minor when compared to the debacle of technical inspection prior to
the first round of “knockout” qualifying.
Oh, yeah. That’s another piece of poor
judgment from NASCAR, as we learned from first-round qualifying for the Daytona
500. At least we didn’t see wrecks and crumpled stock cars like we did during
the opening knockout round for “The Great American Race.”
At Atlanta, we saw 13 cars
fail to clear tech inspection and turn first-round laps. Those drivers failing to run against the
clock constituted a “Who’s Who” of NASCAR Nation. The entire
inspection/qualifying experience seemed like something culled from a bureaucratic
nightmare – all red lights, red tape, and red faces.
Luckily only a handful of fans were present to witness
On the bright side, there were slightly more spectators
present on a cold, damp Sunday to watch Jimmie Johnson win by a margin of almost
two seconds over Kevin Harvick. If NASCAR still released attendance numbers, we’d actually
know how many were there.
Judging by the empty seats seen on television, I understand why the sanctioning
body sits on such statistics each week. The truth is sometimes hard to take….
the truth is: Atlanta Motor Speedway is a tragic example of NASCAR’s shifting
fortunes. Swapping race dates and dropping events has always been the excuse given
for growth; moving into new markets and drawing new audiences is necessary for building a strong future.
such growth good when your future is built on the wreckage of legendary tracks
with rich histories?
Granted much of the chaos surrounding last weekend’s
Cup race had nothing to do directly with Atlanta Motor Speedway. To use an already-exhausted
adage in 2015’s NASCAR schedule, last weekend at AMS was a “perfect storm” of bad weather,
bad circumstances, and bad luck that resulted in poor decision-making on the part
of NASCAR administration.
So teams who struggled to get though tech last
week at Atlanta will suffer an assortment of P1 penalties at Las Vegas this week solely because NASCAR’s
inspection process was too strict? Teams routinely push the rule book into all kinds of gray
areas, but is that not part of the sport?
As Richard Petty once said, “It’s
only cheating if you get caught.”
What wiggle room teams used to get
from NASCAR has wiggled its way into obscurity. Such is the case when a league or sanctioning body wants
to flex its bureaucratic muscles and show who the boss is.
The boss, as Atlanta Motor Speedway
has seen over the past few seasons, is NASCAR.
Maybe SpongeBob SquarePants
can make sense of all this mess now that he’s tied his boat to Brian France’s
corporate dock. We’ll see come Kansas in May….
AT FRONTSTRETCH :
by Tom Bowles
by Greg Davis
by Amy Henderson
compiled by Mike Mehedin
compiled by Brett Winningham
(Thanks Heather !):
Recap: Joe Gibbs Racing at Atlanta
by Steve Langley, MotorSportsNews.Net staff photographer
Team Kapusta Racing to Make NASCAR Debut at Phoenix with Olé Energy Drink (MOORESVILLE,
NC) - Team Kapusta Racing LLC is pleased to announce its partnership with Olé
Energy Drink for its debut entry into the NASCAR XFINITY Series at ... - See more
NASCAR asking for $1 billion over 10 years for Cup sponsorship
Yahoo Sports (blog)
is reportedly asking the next title sponsor of the Sprint Cup Series to
pay significantly more than Nextel did when it took over for Winston.
Qualifying was a debacle for the second week in a row, rain delayed the start of Sunday's race and Jeff
Gordon once again managed to crash into a ...
After Busch's accident
at Daytona, Speedway Motorsports met with NASCAR and elected to add a 130
linear feet of protective barrier on the inside
& Attitude: What's that NASCAR left behind?
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Yes, and unfortunately,
inside that steamer trunk is all the momentum NASCAR was carrying from
the end of 2014. The Boys in the Corner Offices ...
has been solid so far
Martin Truex Jr. stands
in his garage during a practice session for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
auto race at Daytona International Speedway,
2 articles, courteousy Amanda Vincent
Regan Smith still in
No. 41 at Las Vegas
NASCAR fantasy 2015:
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
written by Anthony Kernich
submitted by Amanda
Jimmie Johnson is again spearheading
an effort to recognize groups that support education.
With two top
10 finishes to begin the season, Martin Truex Jr. is off to a hot start and it's
all because of his team. More | Driver stats
NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon, who announced in
January that this will be the final season of his illustrious Sprint Cup Series
career, will be honored by Texas Motor Speedway, the city of Dallas and a Dallas
sports great on Thursday, March 12, during a special public event at Klyde Warren Park in
the Dallas Arts District.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for its first stop on a three-race
west coast swing – Sunday’s Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX). Following
Las Vegas, the series moves on to Phoenix and concludes its Pacific trip at Auto
Club Speedway in Fontana, California before heading back east to Martinsville.
Excuse Brian Vickers if taking the green flag to start Sunday’s Las Vegas race
seems as rewarding as a trip to victory lane.
When the Sprint Cup Series returns to Martinsville Speedway for the STP 500 on March
29, Chad Johnston is optimistic his team will have fully adjusted to the new technology
NASCAR is using to monitor pit road.
hat has Kevin Harvick done at Phoenix? Quite literally, a lot, and it’s being
celebrated by JR Motorsports with a creative, new video at JRMRacing.com and by
Phoenix International Raceway with a special ticket package for its March race
After career-best finish, Moffitt awaits next shot
Big Bill Excerpt 4: Saying Goodbye
Oh, the places Daytona 500 winning cars go
Ty Dillon gains valuable experience in Atlanta double-header
NASCAR Illustrated: Hang Ten