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 @onpitrowOctober 15, 2008 3:03 pm UTC No Comments
It was a wild weekend. ARCA brought off one of the best Championship Weekends in the organization’s history thanks to perfect weather, a convincing ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series finale and Justin Allgaier’s come-from-behind ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship.
Oh, and there was that little thing with Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse Jr, taking each other out of the race and championship. There was that.
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 @onpitrowSeptember 22, 2008 10:02 am UTC 2 Comments
Scott Speed is good. But his stay in the ARCA RE/MAX Series has taken on a different tint from the glowing comments of early this season. Speed leads the series points but has been vocal about how relatively unimportant the ARCA RE/Max Series championship is to him. He has told national media how the ARCA equipment is crude, compared to even the Truck Series and how he “would rate himself an “A” and his team a “C” even though his Eddie Sharp Racing Camry was clearly one of the two best cars in the series, at the half-way point. He has become known among some as “Speedo the Clown”. And others think less of him than that, due to the above attitude and, lately, actions on the track.
I don’t know what any of this means for a Cup career. Maybe nothing. And Scott will have a Cup career regardless. There is speculation that Speedo will replace A J Allmendiger at Team Red Bull for the 2009 Sprint Cup season. Allmendinger has taken some well publicized shots to his ego, and for the good of the Red Bull No. 84 team (and admittedly, his own survival in the team) swallowed his pride and toed the company line. Not sure Speed would do that. And at the very peak of Cup competition – on the teams that contend for wins and championships – team chemistry is often the final piece of the puzzle.
Photo credit: BethAnne Heisler – ON PIT ROW
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 @onpitrowJuly 30, 2008 7:18 pm UTC 6 Comments
Red Bull Racing development driver Scott Speed was our featured guest INSIDE ARCA Tuesday night. Scott is heading to Pocono Raceway this Saturday in his Eddie Sharp Racing Toyota Camry, with a two race ARCA RE/MAX Series win streak and a real shot to make it three in a row.
Speed is the first ARCA driver to win three races in 2008, having won early in the season at Kansas Speedway in addition to the last two at Kentucky Speedway and Berlin Raceway. The Red Bull driver is part of a very strong 2008 rookie contingent in ARCA’s top touring series. That group includes series point leader and Roush-Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
We’ve talked with Scott several times now. I really like the guy. He’s brash, confident and always seems to be enjoying himself. He does not embody the corporate NASCAR image. Very refreshing. But it’s obvious, in discussion, that he takes his racing career very seriously.
Steve asked him about his 2009 plans which, Scott said, look to include a full Craftsman Truck Series campaign and several Sprint Cup races. So I asked about the balance of this 2008 racing season.
Although he didn’t give any details, Scott did say that he is getting a lot of seat time in the Cup cars and that he was pretty sure he would get a few races in Sprint Cup before the 2008 season ends.
Don’t let the antics fool you. He’s going to be good at this. I can’t wait.
Photo credit: Bob Costanzo – ARCA
by Charlie Turner
NASCAR has proven this year that they don’t want you messin’ with the Ugly Little Toad, that is the New Car. It’s the France Family toy and they will decide how you play with it.
But that fact really changes a big part of what auto racing is all about.
Last Tuesday, one of our guests on INSIDE ARCA was Shawn Umphries, trackside services representative for Mr Gasket and Mallory Ignitions. During a break, Shawn, Steve and I were talking about what we would discuss with Patrick Donahue, our next guest on the show who is the crew chief for Scott Speed’s Red Bull Racing Toyota in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Patrick’s car had gotten nailed for a height infraction after winning last weeks race at Kentucky Speedway – an obvious topic to get into. Shawn has twenty plus years with his company and has been around racing a lot. He made the point that as a team owner, or sponsor, you want the guys running your teams to get caught pushing the envelope sometimes. It means that they are doing their jobs.
Jeff Hammond, in his blog on FoxSports.com today, said this…
I love bending the rules, don’t get me wrong. When I came into the sport, that was the nature of the beast. But now you can’t mess with the beast because it’ll eat you every time.
So the game of stock car racing at its highest level has been changed. NASCAR has taken something basic away. It kind of makes it less interesting.
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.
by Matt Mercer, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I'm the former blogger of The Catfish Show NASCAR Blog and a contributor to On Pit Row. Follow me on Twitter: @mattmercerJune 5, 2008 2:25 pm UTC 5 Comments
The ARCA/ReMax Series will head to Long Pond, PA this weekend to team up with the Sprint Cup Series, and with the Trucks in Texas and Nationwide Series in Nashville, this could be the spot in which someone impresses the right person and moves up through the ranks. This race has been dominated by either Cup rookies moving down to get track experience, or a hotshoe from a Cup team gaining experience for a future foray into the series.
Since 2003, Cup drivers or Cup development drivers have won 8 of the 10 races at Pocono. These drivers include Casey Mears twice, Scott Riggs, Ryan Hemphill, Travis Kvapil, Chase Miller, Chad McCumbee, and Michael McDowell. Only the series’ great one, Frank Kimmel, broke the streak, taking the July races in 2005 and 2006. Also competing in these races have been drivers such as Kyle Busch, David Reutimann, and David Ragan. Previous polesitters have included Mears, Riggs, and Kvapil, as well as David Stremme.
As for the 2008 edition, there is no shortage of candidates to win. This season has been an exciting one in the series, as young drivers have come in and performed exceedingly well. Current points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr., second-place Matt Carter, and sixth-place Scott Speed have all won this year. Speed also won the Truck race at Dover, and will compete in Friday night’s Truck race. Still, there are others who will pose a threat. You can’t discount Kimmel, who still maintains a top points position despite working on a shoestring budget with his own team. He could use a win, and it could come as soon as this very weekend.
Photo credit: AP
by Charlie Turner
Did you see the ARCA RE/MAX Series race from Kansas Speedway Saturday? Former Formula One driver Scott Speed won the thing but he had to come back from a black flag for a window net infraction. According to Speed’s crew chief, Patrick Donahue, there was no attempt to find a competitive advantage in tweaking the nets – even though Speed’s teammate nearly had the same fate. Nope, it was simple, human error, which I am intimately familiar with. I work with Steve.
So things got a little loose ON PIT ROW and now they will get Loose in Turn Three. TZ from Do You NASCAR?, Bruce of NASCAR Bits and Pieces and I will hash out some NASCAR opinion and you are REQUIRED to comment. Please.
Would NASCAR be better off if it had never instituted restrictor plates?
Charlie: In the era BCoT - Before the Car of Tomorrow - races at Daytona and Talladega were contested by plated cars and were pretty much universally complained about by owners, writers, bloggers and the drivers who drove the cars. Fans usually gasped in wonder at the close, three and four wide racing and the big wrecks that the plates promoted. I would say that more casual fans got their vision of what NASCAR is by seeing highlights of plate races than anything else.
Restrictor plates brought NASCAR more excitement and more fans per race than any other innovation the Frances tried. Plates also, almost certainly, saved lives at Talladega and Daytona, where unrestricted cars would have ended up in the stands at some point without action to slow the cars down. Plates are a good thing.
Bruce: I agree with Charlie. Without plates, it would have been a matter of time before a car ended up in the stands. I go back to pre-plate days, remembering a car pulling around another car on the backstretch of Talladega and doing it’s own backflip at 200+ mph. Thank God it wasn’t in the bootleg in front of the stands.
And for the record, I’ve always liked plate races. Even if the drivers don’t think it’s racing, it has to be some form of racing requiring the same degree of experience or the same names wouldn’t be up front in most of them.
TZ: Interesting question for me, because here’s the deal…restrictor plate races TYPICALLY bore me to tears – at least with the old car, anyway. And, really, I think my grudge against the plate races started back in 2003 when I made the trip out to Daytona to watch Greg Biffle win the race on fuel mileage, though I know that’s not really the norm. It’s just in the past there’s not a ton of passing, and the guys for the most part always seemed to play it overly safe through the first 7/8′s of the race but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.
But really, even before this year, the plate races have been a great commodity for NASCAR to carry. Much like the road courses they bring a certain level of diversity to the schedule that really helps keep things interesting. I enjoy being able to watch a different type of race each week.
Once more, that’s what we think. What do you think? Let us know what your thoughts are on these two topics too.
TZ’s post at DoYouNascar.com : NASCAR recently took a win away from a driver in the Camping World Series on technical inspection grounds. Should this be the new practice?
Bruce’s Bits and Pieces post : Does Dale Earnhardt Day merit all the attention it gets on April 29th?
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.