by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowAugust 24, 2012 10:13 am UTC No Comments
After the spring race at Bristol, track owner Bruton Smith, claiming that he was responding to complaints about the “New Bristol” racing experience, altered the racing surface by, basically scraping the top two grooves out of the track. Nobody knows for sure how the new pave will affect the racing. We just know that it will. There was a Wednesday modified race and the Camping Word Trucks ran that night too. There will be 2 and a half hours of Cup practice on Friday that might be critical to fantasy pickers. See what the experts think below.
The other big story this week was Brad Keselowski’s comments about what some of the fast teams – namely Hendrick Motorsports and Roush-Fenway – are doing with their suspension setups. He alluded to cheating. Jack Roush and others say they are within the rules. We talked to Tommy Baldwin Racing car chief Patrick Donahue On Pit Row Tuesday. He says it may be both. Called it a “light gray” area. Watch the interview below. Photo credit – Glenn Bure for OnPitRow.com
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMarch 13, 2012 10:05 am UTC No Comments
I enjoyed both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series race from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The racing has come a long way, on the track, since the intro of NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow prototypes.
The evolution continues. So does the aesthetic weirdness. That aero device attached to the driver’s side c-pillar and deck lid – the so-called sharkfin – just keeps getting bigger.
In the NNWS race at Vegas, I kept thinking that the cars had a winged sprint car look to them. Maybe that’s why Ricky Stenhouse Jr was so good in his. He can wheel a sprint car.
I know that there is often a trade-off between good looks and performance on the track. I also know that NASCAR is working with the manufacturers to make the cars more street-car like.
NASCAR – and the teams – also fight the urge for more billboard space to sell to sponsors. That fin has possibilities.
But I digress. It seems to me that it’s only a matter of time before Bruton Smith gets a second date in Las Vegas. The France family parlayed their Kansas City combination of casino games and stock car racing into two dates for Kansas Speedway. With the show that LVMS puts on, I’d like another one there too.
by Chris Leone, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I do weekly Fantasy Pick'Em columns here at OPR, as well as the occasional opinion and analysis piece. I also provide the IZOD IndyCar Series coverage. For more on that, head to my site, OpenWheelAmerica.com. My Twitter handle is @christopherlion.June 28, 2010 11:04 pm UTC No Comments
You’d think it impossible, but the IZOD IndyCar Series nearly upstaged NASCAR’s best and brightest this past weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway without even staging a race. And although they didn’t quite pull it off, they certainly did their damnedest.
For one, Danica Patrick made her much-discussed return to the Nationwide Series. That wasn’t too successful, as an early-race accident put her off of the lead lap for the final 190 out of 200 laps, rendering her goal of a top-15 impossible. But Patrick did begin to grasp some things by the end of the event, and did manage to score her best career stock car finish (let’s ignore the fact that it was 30th).
The next day, the sport’s top names – CEO Randy Bernard, top driver Dario Franchitti, and SMI CEO/track mogul Bruton Smith (the man whose purchase of NHMS has greatly upgraded the facility) joined track promoter Jerry Gappens and New Hampshire governor John Lynch to announce next year’s return of the series to Loudon.
The press conference lasted nearly 30 minutes, and touched on topics from NHMS’ potential loss of a Sprint Cup race date (especially if the IndyCar event is a great success) to other potential additions to next year’s IndyCar schedule, especially other SMI tracks like Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Charlotte.
Dario wheeled his No. 10 Target Dallara-Honda out on the track for a few hot laps in between the national anthem and starting command for the Cup race, and although TNT’s cameras didn’t catch it, thousands of longtime NHMS ticketholders sure did. IndyCar has come a long way from where it was in 1998, the final year that NHMS hosted an open-wheel event, which was won by Tony Stewart (before he was Tony Stewart).
Granted, NASCAR sure gave IndyCar some help in the interest department as the race soldiered on. The massive gap between cautions, over 200 laps, had some taking to their Twitter accounts and praying for debris cautions. But in perhaps the greatest proof ever of the theory of relativity, the race that seemed to drag on was actually on pace to tie or eclipse the record for fastest race ever at NHMS until Juan Pablo Montoya crashed out.
All the discussion over the past few weeks about drivers lacking respect for one another vanished. Listening to Stewart apologize for getting into Kurt Busch in the media center, in a last lap battle that Busch called “fun” no less, suggested that such arguments had lost some of their bite.
And all of the hype surrounding Joe Gibbs Racing over the past month or so vanished as Kyle Busch fell back at the end, Denny Hamlin spent time off the lead lap, and defending race winner Joey Logano was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, those who wondered if Jimmie Johnson had finally lost a step were treated to a nice helping of their own words as he fought back from a poor early pit stop for the victory.
This brings NASCAR back to Daytona for its Independence Day spectacular, and at a perfect time – as the series begins to limp from the loss of new and interesting storylines, and the re-emergence of the same old song and dance up front.
IndyCar, on the other hand, heads into the second half of its season at Watkins Glen with more momentum than it’s ever had since reunification in 2008. Promoters are fighting to put their events on its schedule, chassis manufacturers are fighting to put their cars on track for 2012, and best of all, the drivers are fighting for three distinct championships, with all still very up in the air.
Next weekend’s events will be very interesting to see where momentum takes both niches of motorsport. Will NASCAR produce a story for the ages coming out of Daytona, or will IndyCar continue to nibble away at the big picture and increase its market share? We can only watch and find out.
by Clance' McClannahan, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieFebruary 26, 2010 8:40 pm UTC 1 Comment
Dear Bruton Smith,
You have more money than God. Please fix the traffic coming in and out of the track. In fact, could you just fix it in all of Las Vegas? The wait at the airport sucks too. Wayne Newton would do it for his fans, I bet.
All of us that make you have more money than God.
P.S. Good job with the track. It’s really fast! The traffic may be worth it, if the race is as good as qualifying was. Too bad we missed 10 driver’s attempts, including Kurt Busch beating Jeff Gordon who beat out Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the pole.
But that wasn’t your fault.
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMarch 12, 2009 1:07 pm UTC 6 Comments
Mindy even has a NASCAR trivia question for you fans of such stuff.
There’s that, assorted brain farts and how not to win fans and influence holiday giving. Watch it all right here on Bench Racing TV.
by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.February 3, 2009 8:17 am UTC No Comments
During the NASCAR Media Tour, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. president Bruton Smith and most of his companies promoters have called on drivers to help sell tickets.
Whether Smith is looking for Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon or Junior to spend some time in the ticket booth or just to present a more “fan-friendly” face to the fans; NASCAR is scrambling to fill seats. It has been a long time since many tracks have had to hustle to get its tickets sold. For over a decade the line from Field of Dreams held true; “Build it and they will come.”
Well this isn’t a corn field in Iowa and tracks are struggling to have their races look full to the television cameras. But if you were a former ticket owner at a particular track who had not purchased tickets this year; would you change your mind if you recieved a phone call from Kasey Kahne asking you to re-up? Would you venture off to Darlington if you thought Bobby Labonte might be at the ticket window?
Do fans feel slighted by NASCAR’s elite drivers? The truth is that most fans believe that the majority of NASCAR personalities are quite accessable and give their time as much as possible. Fans line the walkways to and from the garage area at all tracks hoping to get a look at and maybe an autograph from, their favorite driver. Those drivers more times than not will take time to sign something or otherwise interact with the fans.
Rarely are those fans critical of the driver for not doing more. And that leads us to this weeks BUZZ ON PIT ROW:
Should NASCAR drivers be expected to do more to help track owners and promoters sell tickets?
Let us know what you think and we may use your response on this weeks radio show. Tune in to ON PIT ROW, Tuesdays from 5-7pm ET at www.onpitrow.com Give us a call and let us know what you think about THE BUZZ or anything NASCAR at 1-877-502-8255 during the show.
photo credit: Icon Sports Media