The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
What to Watch: Thursday
- Today is the beginning of the race weekend in Talladega. ARCA Racing Series haulers began pulling into the infield at 7 a.m. this morning. Later today, Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series haulers will park as well. XFINITY teams have six hours to work on their cars and go through inspection as well.
Thursday's TV Schedule can be found in Couch Potato Tuesday here.
by the Frontstretch Staff
Brett Moffitt Returns to the No. 34 at Kansas
Ty Dillon to Race No. 33 Cup Entry at Michigan in June
Jeff Gordon to Drive Indy 500 Pace Car
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Nice to see Kurt Busch make it to victory lane at Talladega last weekend. To be honest, I haven't been a big fan of his, but I feel like he got a rotten deal over that experience with the ex-girlfriend. I think NASCAR was correct in making him eligible for the Chase, since they suspended him before any charges were ever filed.
And yes, I'm still waiting for them to take action against Travis Kvapil for his incident in which he pleaded guilty to domestic violence a few years back. I guess it'll never happen because NASCAR is apparently refusing to believe the incident ever happened.
Kurt has been strong from the moment he stepped back into that 41 car, and his success seems to justify Gene Haas' judgement in putting him there in the first place and bankrolling the team on his own since there wasn't a sponsor available.
Nothing succeeds like success, and I can't understand why somebody hasn't jumped at the chance to put their name on that car, because it's been up front continually and getting lots of TV exposure.
Now, the talk of maybe making his little brother eligible for the Chase is another matter.
I'm told NASCAR feels like it's their fault he's out with serious injuries, since there wasn't a SAFER barrier where he hit that wall at Daytona. OK, understand that. However, as another writer pointed out this week, there's a big difference between missing a few weeks and missing half the season.
My comments about the oval track at what is now Lucas Oil Raceway Park brought something else to mind this week. Something I've had on file since I copied it a couple of months back.
I don't ordinarily take very seriously much of what Michael Waltrip says, but I saved his response to a question from Jeff Gluck of USA Today because it had to do with one of my favorite places.
The question was, "If someone paid you $5 million to design a new racetrack and gave you an unlimited budget, what kind of track would you build?"
Michael responded, "I would probably build somewhere between a half-mile and three-quarter-mile track. It would be sort of like (then) Indianapolis Raceway Park. When I was a kid, that was my favorite track. And I loved that race — the Kroger 200. To go there and win it (in 1989) — for the masses, it's way down the list of crap I actually accomplished. But for me, it's way up there. Because I'm like, 'That's probably the greatest short track race in America.' I like that track because the banking encourages folks to run out next to the wall, but then there's a flat where you can cut to the bottom. So I'd want a version of that. It's pretty distinct — the difference between the banking and the flat — and there are ways to cut across it."
That night in 1989, he was on his game, and ran the top as well as it could be run.
And I agree, Michael, it was probably the best short track race on the schedule. A vote of the writers covering the entire series bore that out a couple of times.
Watching the Formula 1 race from Bahrain last week, I got a kick out of a radio transmission from one of those elite drivers. They're required to do their radio communication in English, and at one point this driver's crew wanted to know if he had any problems.
His response was a classic, "I seem to have a non-compliant car."
That's a perfect example of the difference between Formula 1 and NASCAR. One of the good ol' boys would have responded, "Yeah, this SOB ain't handlin'."
It made me remember an interview with Jim Clark at Indianapolis on a practice day at Indianapolis back in the 60s. The track announcer wanted to know how his Lotus was working, and he replied, "Well, we're having a problem with understeer, or as they like to say here in the States, it's pushing."
For those who haven't heard it, as Neil Bonnett once explained, "pushing" or "tight" is when you can see the wall before you hit it.
Actually, I was kind of surprised that Clark didn't say, "…here in the colonies."
On a similar note, I heard an explanation on a television program last week as to why we here in the colonies race counter-clockwise on ovals.
I can't speak for the accuracy of it, but these people said it was because one of the men who introduced horse racing to this country (a Kentuckian, by the way) was so anti-English that he refused to do it the way they did over there.
Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for Frontstretch. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"One rule that does help the single-car teams, though not the multi-car organizations among the underfunded, is the testing rule that allows an organization to send just one car and driver to NASCAR's open tests. For the multi-car teams, that means each driver is limited in the tests he can attend, while a single-car operation can send their driver to multiple sessions, which allows them to draw more information." - Amy Henderson, on how the smaller teams can actually benefit from the rule changes for 2015...that is if they make the effort to go.
Q: In the 2002 Aaron's 499, Kenny Wallace finished 21st in a DEI-built Aaron's Chevrolet owned by Michael Waltrip. However, Wallace didn't really finish there. Was happened to cause Wallace to be sent back?
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