Posts tagged: Nascar News

Apr 14 2009

Joe Gibbs Spends $1,000 Per Gallon of Oil

Or, at least that’s what it comes out to when you figure how many gallons they use a year and how much they spend on R&D. In an article from the Wall Street Journal, you can see exactly how competitive Sprint Cup racing is becoming since Nascar has made all the cars exactly the same, they throw big money at something you really wouldn’t think would make as big of an increase as it does.

Joe Gibbs Racing, a team that owns three top-level Sprint Cup cars, has spent about $1 million a year over the past decade to perfect its motor oil. As a result, its engines have squeezed out an extra 10 horsepower, a roughly 2% increase that can be a serious advantage in Nascar races, where the typical margin of victory is about one second. $10 Million, Just for Motor Oil

The forced similarity of the cars is what’s making Nascar boring, if they could just give them some wiggle room and allow them to make the cars look like they are more stock, it would go a long way to making the racing more interesting. The biggest change that would help the racing every single week would be some controversy, some conflict, people saying how they feel and getting a little rough on the track. Now, I’m not talking about taking somebody out because you can’t beat them, I’m talking about if someone is holding you up, they should expect to at least get bumped out of the way, and if they can’t save it, they shouldn’t be racing upfront anyway. From a post on Twitter:

backedNthefence I miss Dale Earnhardt…more importantly I think NASCAR misses Dale Earnhardt.

I think all of racing misses Dale Earnhardt. I have always been a Jeff Gordon fan, I heard all the wonder boy jokes, all the homo jokes, everyone hated Gordon and Dale’s light hearted ribbing of Gordon was a big cause of it. And I miss Dale Earnhardt. When he was still alive and racing, Nascar was a lot more interesting, I missed his heyday, but I saw him spin quite a few people out to win a race. You may not like it, and you may really hate it when it’s your driver he spins out, but you have to admit, it was a lot more exciting. At least it seemed more exciting.

Am I remembering it too fondly you think? I know I like it when they go full out to win, taking a chance on running out of gas, bumping people out of the way, and I thought it was great when Carl Edwards hit the wall hard trying to pass Jimmie Johnson for the win. Raised my respect for Carl Edwards immensely. When Kevin Harvick was being restrained as he talked to Greg Biffle, ya that was good, would’ve been better had they started wrestling or something, but you can’t have everything.

Which brings up an idea, maybe they could introduce a little rassling promotion to the mix. Maybe they could add Mean Gene Okerlund as an announcer, “Jeff Gordon looks to get revenge on Kyle Busch today, predicts that at one point the Shrub will get mowed over.” “Kyle says bring it on Wonder bread.” Maybe they could even through in Kevin Harvick running across the hood of the 48 team car and tackling Jimmie Johnson mid-interview. “I think Kevin just told him to shove that hammer up his, wait a minute, Jeff Burton was just attacked from behind by Carl Edwards. “I can’t believe you would do me that way…ugh..” “Oh my god, Hammond just punched McReynolds in the mouth, told him to try to push him again.”

Okay, maybe that’s not what Nascar needs, but it sure needs something. Maybe they could offer bonuses for especially good bad behavior.

Sep 26 2007

Nascar Schedule for 2008

Nascar has released the schedule for the 2008 season.

02/09/08 Budwesier Shootout Daytona International Speedway -/– -/–
02/17/08 Daytona 500 Daytona International Speedway -/– -/–
02/24/08 TBA California Speedway -/– -/–
03/02/08 TBA Las Vegas Motor Speedway -/– -/–
03/09/08 TBA Atlanta Motor Speedway -/– -/–
03/16/08 TBA Bristol Motor Speedway -/– -/–
03/30/08 TBA Martinsville Speedway -/– -/–
04/06/08 TBA Texas Motor Speedway -/– -/–
04/12/08 TBA Phoenix International Raceway -/– -/–
04/27/08 TBA Talladega Superspeedway -/– -/–
05/03/08 TBA Richmond International Raceway -/– -/–
05/10/08 TBA Darlington Raceway -/– -/–
05/17/08 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge Lowe’s Motor Speedway -/– -/–
05/25/08 TBA Lowe’s Motor Speedway -/– -/–
06/01/08 TBA Dover International Speedway -/– -/–
06/08/08 TBA Pocono Raceway -/– -/–
06/15/08 TBA Michigan International Speedway -/– -/–
06/22/08 TBA Infineon Raceway -/– -/–
06/29/08 TBA New Hampshire International Speedway -/– -/–
07/05/08 TBA Daytona International Speedway -/– -/–
07/12/08 TBA Chicagoland Speedway -/– -/–
07/27/08 TBA Indianapolis Motor Speedway -/– -/–
08/03/08 TBA Pocono Raceway -/– -/–
08/10/08 TBA Watkins Glen International -/– -/–
08/17/08 TBA Michigan International Speedway -/– -/–
08/23/08 TBA Bristol Motor Speedway -/– -/–
08/31/08 TBA California Speedway -/– -/–
09/06/08 TBA Richmond International Raceway -/– -/–
09/14/08 TBA New Hampshire International Speedway -/– -/–
09/21/08 TBA Dover International Speedway -/– -/–
09/28/08 TBA Kansas Speedway -/– -/–
10/05/08 TBA Talladega Superspeedway -/– -/–
10/11/08 TBA Lowe’s Motor Speedway -/– -/–
10/19/08 TBA Martinsville Speedway -/– -/–
10/26/08 TBA Atlanta Motor Speedway -/– -/–
11/02/08 TBA Texas Motor Speedway -/– -/–
11/09/08 TBA Phoenix International Raceway -/– -/–
11/16/08 TBA Homestead-Miami Speedway -/– -/–

Sep 25 2007

Coors Light: Official Beer of Nascar

Just saw this today, Coors Light has announced a $20 million dollar deal to become the official beer of Nascar over the next five years.

Coors replaces Anheuser-Busch as the official sponsor. The new deal includes renaming the pole award to the Coors Light Pole Award from the Bud Pole Award.

For Coors, the NASCAR deal also replaces its sponsorship of the No. 40 Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series.

“Our deal was up with those guys, and this opportunity came up,” says Andy England, chief marketer for Coors. “It feels like we are elevating our game.”

For consumer product marketers, a league deal opens up greater opportunity for strong retail display — especially in and around cities when races occur. Source: Coors Light to become the official beer of NASCAR

Apparently, Anheuser-Busch is backing down their sponsorship money a lot as they will no longer sponsor the Busch series either. Maybe they have figured out what some of the top advertising minds are beginning to figure out, it’s not all about the branding anymore. I don’t know about you all, but I’ll still be drinking the old Bud Light.

Sep 07 2007

Nascar News Roundup

Yates to retire, hand team to son at end of season Travis Kvapil to take over No. 88 Ford for retiring Rudd in 2008 and David Gilliland will stay in the 38 car. Sponsorship is still up in the air, Masterfoods, the owners of M&M’s, may not be back next year, they announced a deal with Roush Fenway Racing, and, Robert Yates announced he will be retiring at the end of this season.

Stremme unlikely to return to 40 Dodge next season David Stremme is the latest driver on the free-agent market, as his ride with Chip Ganassi Racing appears to be coming to an end amid speculation he’ll be replaced by Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

Stremme is in his second season driving the No. 40 Dodge, and Ganassi holds an option on next season that the car owner has yet to exercise. Stremme referred all questions about his status to his agent, Jeff Dickerson of Motorsports Management International.

For Junior, odds aren’t insurmountable, but close For Dale Earnhardt Jr. to qualify for the season-ending Chase for the Nextel Cup, NASCAR’s most popular driver will need an effort Saturday night similar to the one Jeremy Mayfield turned in on the eve of the 2004 playoffs. With one exception — Earnhardt is going to require a little more help.

Notes: Martin, Almirola to split DEI’s No. 8 car in ’08 Before he agreed to step into Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s flagship racecar, Mark Martin wanted the blessing of the one man who might best know the late team owner’s wishes. So he sat down with Richard Childress.

“I know what Dale’s intentions were when we had the 3 car,” said Childress, who owned the car Earnhardt made famous. “He wanted the number to stay with us. He was going to pick the person to drive the car, and Mark Martin was one of the guys we had talked about. Jeff Burton was who he wanted to see in the 3. I explained that to Mark. I said, ‘Mark, Dale would have wanted to see you in that 8, and he’ll be proud to see you drive it.’”

Kenny Wallace is best known as the funny brother. Now, he’s hoping to take over the number 88 car now that Ricky Rudd is retiring, and Robert Yates is giving him a tryout now that Ricky Rudd has separated one of his shoulders.

Jul 07 2007

Qualifying Rained Out, Nascar Warns Crew Chiefs

Mother Nature took over with 14 drivers left to qualify yesterday, so they will be starting according to points position now, knocking out several drivers who would’ve qualified on time, including one who was sitting in the pole position when the rain started. Boris Said was on the pole, yes really, and after the rain out, he will be going home instead of racing, as will several others.

Boris Said and two others were poised to make the race, but steady rain forced NASCAR officials to cancel the qualifying session with 14 cars left to make runs. NASCAR couldn’t postpone qualifying much longer because of the Busch Series race scheduled to start later Friday.

The top 35 spots in the field were set using owner points. Brian Vickers will start 36th because he won a race last season. Dale Jarrett and Bill Elliott got the next two spots as past series champions.

The last five spots went to Riggs, Blaney, Paul Menard, David Reutimann and Wallace — based on owner points and number of qualifying attempts this season.

Ward Burton would have gotten in over Wallace, but he had made one less qualifying attempt this season. Source: Gordon to start from pole after rain washes out quals

I have posted the starting order below.

In other news, Nascar in an attempt to warn the suspended crew chiefs has issued an order that says, if you are suspended, don’t show up at the track. In an article from Nascar.com, the writer had a funny remark that is absolutely true, because we heard Earnhardt confirm it on national TV, the crew chiefs are still in contact with the teams trying to help in any way they can.

The sanctioning body, miffed at the sight of a supposedly-suspended Tony Eury Jr. sitting atop his motor coach Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway, has issued an informal edict: If you’re suspended, don’t show up at the racetrack. Nextel Cup director John Darby told The Associated Press that NASCAR would “throw the fear of God” into anyone who does otherwise.

But even NASCAR’s power has its limits. Suspensions used to mean crew chiefs couldn’t enter the garage and pit area, but didn’t specifically prohibit them from buying a ticket or obtaining an infield pass and showing up to confer with their team. That’s why Eury, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr., was at New Hampshire even though he was in the final week of a six-week suspension for mounting rear wing brackets illegally at Darlington.

Evidently this routine bit of subterfuge was common knowledge to everyone but the top brass at NASCAR, which seems stung by what they perceived as Eury flaunting his punishment, and in retaliation has taken a hard line. But as they are paid to do, crew chiefs will find that line and stand one inch behind it. Because working in the gray area isn’t limited to the cars. Source: For crew chiefs, gray area isn’t limited to the cars

And that is what everything is about in Nascar, working and finding the best spots to work in the gray areas, and with the COT and some of the rules they have set this year, maybe we should change what Nascar really stands for. Much as they call the NFL the no fun league, maybe we should start calling Nascar “Not About Stock Car Auto Racing anymore”.

Here is the qualifying order:
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Pepsi / DuPont
2 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Kinko’s
3 17 Matt Kenseth Ford R+L Carriers / DEWALT
4 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s
5 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility
6 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot
7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot
8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil
9 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet Principal Financial Group
10 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / NWTF
11 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg’s
12 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel’s
13 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser
14 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL
15 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Marathon Saw Blades
16 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite
17 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries
18 16 Greg Biffle Ford Dish Network
19 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Pillsbury / Cinnabon
20 42 Juan Montoya* Dodge Texaco / Havoline
21 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC
22 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW
23 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV
24 6 David Ragan* Ford AAA Travel
25 7 Robby Gordon Ford Camping World
/ RVs.com
26 40 David Stremme Dodge Coors Light
27 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
28 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target
29 14 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Waste Management
30 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Haas Automation
31 88 Ricky Rudd Ford M&M’s
32 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s Red, White & Blue
33 13 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Charleston S.C. Fire Dept.
34 45 John Andretti Dodge Tire Kingdom
35 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation
36 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull
37 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS
38 21 Bill Elliott Ford U.S. Air Force
39 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools
40 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar
41 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards
42 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Burger King
43 78 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing

Did Not Qualify
44 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 360 OTC
45 84 A.J. Allmendinger* Toyota Red Bull
46 49 Larry Foyt Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America
47 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
48 37 Kevin Lepage Dodge Taco Bell
49 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet State Water Heaters
50 160 Boris Said Ford SOBE No Fear
51 109 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts
52 104 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty
53 27 Kirk Shelmerdine Chevrolet Batista Grading / Lilly Trucking

Jun 27 2007

Nascar Inconsistent on Penalties Once Again

Yesterday, Ted Musgrave was told he is suspended from this week’s race at Memphis, docked him 50 driver championship points, fined him $10,000 and placed him on probation until Dec. 31, 2007. Bob Germain, listed owner of the No. 9, was docked 50 owner’s points. Musgrave was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing; hitting another competitor’s truck during a caution period) of the 2007 NASCAR rule book. Lets see, this sounds awfully familiar for some reason, oh ya, Kurt Busch was in violation of the same rule at Dover. Busch was penalized 100 championship driver points, fined $100,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2007, for violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing — reckless driving; endangering a crew member on pit road) of the 2007 NASCAR rule book.

See that? Musgrave slams another truck on the track under caution, where only he and the other drivers are in danger, unless, I guess, they were around some track workers. Kurt Busch could’ve run over a pit crew member from Tony Stewart’s team, but he doesn’t have to sit out a race.

Does something like this happen because of sponsorship money? I couldn’t even tell you who Musgraves sponsor is, while we all know that Kurt drives the #2 Miller Lite car. Could this be because of car owners? Roger Penske is a big name in racing, and even when Robin Pemberton was quoted in an article on Nascar.com, he was in contact with Penske officials all week. Why does he need to talk to them to decide how Kurt should be penalized? The owner of the #9 truck driven by Musgrave is Bob Germain, not sure if he is a big wig in racing or not, but I never heard of him. Musgrave even had a plausible excuse after the incident, saying he could barely steer the truck, Kurt Busch said what he did was wrong and did not deny it.

So what’s up Nascar? I want to know how this is fair, how you all are being fair and why do we have so much difference’s in penalties?

Jun 08 2007

Kurt Busch Penalized 100 Points and $100,000

Nascar announced the penalty today for Kurt Busch’s little incident on pit road Monday in Dover, 100 driver points and $100,000 dollars and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2007, for violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing — reckless driving; endangering a crew member on pit road). Roger Penske was also penalized 100 owner points for the infraction.

Now, I don’t know about you all, but I think that is kind of weak for what happened. All Nascar did right there is tell the drivers you can have one major infraction before you are suspended for any races or anything more severe than just points and money. Sure, the points are big, it dropped him from 11th to tied for 18th with Bobby Labonte, 720 points behind Jeff Gordon, and the hit to the wallet is never good, but I’m sure he can handle it.

Remember in 2002 when Harvick got a little payback in a truck race? They parked him the next week in the cup series, so, how does that compare? I realize Harvick was on probation at the time, but he was put on probation because of something that happened in the Busch series, did a little payback in the truck series and was penalized for it in the cup series.

Jimmy Spencer was suspended for a weekend for punching Kurt Busch after the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway, something that only could’ve damaged Nascar’s image, although it probably made more people interested. How does that compare? Jimmy Spencer punched Kurt, Kurt endangered a pit crew members life and possibly some others had he lost control of his car while doing it. If Kurt was really that unhappy, punching Stewart should’ve been his reaction, not sliding into his car on pit road.

Nascar continues to disappoint in how they handle the rules this year, and they are only hurting themselves right now, a similar incident on pit road could end up with people being seriously hurt or even killed. Just ask Ricky Rudd how he feels after loosing control of his car and running into a crewman on pit road in 1990, I think it was. That crewman died and is what led to Nascar implementing the pit road speed. I they don’t want a similar incident in the future, they need to make a harder statement than they did.

Jun 04 2007

Bill France Jr. Dies at Age 74

Bill France Jr. died today at the age of 74 from cancer, and although it was known that he had cancer, he never officially said which type that he had. He lived and died with his life immersed in Nascar, helping his father build Daytona International Speedway, which meant operating the machinery himself if need be, “I ran a motor grader some and a bulldozer, but mostly I was on a compactor,” France Jr. said. “I did a little of this, that and the other. I even had a mule out there one time pulling trees out of the swamp.

His father may have been the architect of NASCAR, but throughout his life, Bill France Jr. proved to be the ultimate general manager.

His plaque at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame may put it best: “Other than the founding of NASCAR itself, Bill Jr.’s appointment to leadership is probably the most significant event in the history of the sanctioning body.”

France Jr.’s ability to transform his father’s original vision into something greater than the sum of its parts was his greatest accomplishment. Under his three decades of leadership, NASCAR evolved from a regional sport to one with a world-wide fan base. He was a trailblazer in the field of corporate sponsorships and the guiding force behind a television contract worth billions of dollars. Source: Bill France Jr. dies at 74

Rest in Peace Mr. France.

Nascar.com has several web pages you can see and leave messages on:
Post your condolences to the France family.
Share your memories in the Tribute Crew.
Motorsports world remembers Bill France Jr. with quotes from drivers, crew chiefs, Nascar officials and more.

May 31 2007

Nascar Considers Relaxing Testing Policy

I recently posted about Jack Roush complaining about teams testing at tracks the cup circuit doesn’t race on, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing come to mind, because Nascar rules say you can only test so many times on the tracks they race at with the tires they race on. This allows teams to test at tracks that are similar to the tracks they compete on as long as they don’t use the same tires. Nascar appears to be rethinking this rule as teams test the limits in figuring out the car of tomorrow. The rule was put in place to make it easier on the teams with less funding, who could not afford to test anywhere and at anytime they wanted.

Currently, rules limit teams to seven tests on Nextel Cup-sanctioned tracks, and crew chiefs help NASCAR decide the venues and dates. NASCAR adopted that policy two years ago to help under funded teams keep up with big-budget organizations, who could afford to test anytime.

But as the Car of Tomorrow was rolled into competition, the top teams found ways to test it outside of the rules.

“It appears that we’ve got teams that want to test more and teams that want to test less, and teams that test on tires that are not made by our tire supplier,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“So we’re going to start looking at a lot of different things, from eventually lifting the test ban completely, or get as restrictive as we cannot let teams test anywhere at any time, or land somewhere in between.” Source: NASCAR considers relaxing testing policy

It will sure be hard to find a happy medium on anything in Nascar, as the haves and have nots compete for titles and sponsorships. Teams are buying tires from Hoosier or BF Goodrich, and are even buying Goodyears from 2005 and earlier, so they do not violate the rules. But, running on different tires may not help these teams and could even hurt them, although, that certainly hasn’t happened to Hendrick Motorsports so far this year.

Whatever Nascar does, it needs to be fair for everyone and it needs to take into consideration the number of teams involved, which tracks, and how long they actually test the vehicles.

May 24 2007

COT Full Time in 2008, What About 2007?

Kyle Petty's COT
Nascar announced yesterday that the COT will be full time in 2008, It’s official: COT will be used full time in ’08 season, sparing all of the Nascar teams the burden of having to prepare two different cars at different race tracks over the course of the season. This will allow everyone to try to catch up to Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, but why not the rest of this year?

NASCAR decided this week to run the Car of Tomorrow full-time in 2008, but at least one Cup driver says that’s not soon enough.

Kyle Petty says he thinks the COT should run in the second half of the current season. He says there are smart people in the NASCAR garage, and there are smart crew members, crew chiefs and smart drivers. They can make it work.

The bigger, boxier and, hopefully, safer car was introduced this season after seven years of development. The COT already has run five of 16 scheduled events this season. It was supposed to be phased into the full 36-race schedule in 2008 and 2009.

Instead, at the request of the teams, the schedule was compressed to save money and time. Petty says it’s a great move by NASCAR, but says the car needs to race more and more. Source: Kyle Petty: COT Should Run Rest of ’07 Season

The only downer that I can see is it will keep the cup drivers from getting the extra practices by running a Busch series car, of course, that has the side benefit of the cup drivers not running in the Busch series and we can have an actual Busch series driver end up as champion, when was the last time that happened?

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