The past Wednesday gave us a glimpse at the future of NASCAR racing. The biggest plus was that it seemed right out of our textbooks reminding us of the glorious days of our past. The biggest disadvantage of the modern day NASCAR car models was that they were completely stripped out of their older era individuality and one could hardly distinguish in between the Ford or the Chevrolet or the Toyota. This was due to a major shift in trend which concentrated on bringing out cars that looked a lot like the ones standing in the showrooms to boost sales.
The Glorious Days Of The Past
However, this was not always the case. A few decades ago, every manufacturer had their unique cars which stood out in their individuality from one another. Most of these cars were built to get the little advantages a manufacturer could. One saw an amazing array of spoiler sizes or the nose changes or constant changes in technology from one track to the other. As a result, a car which ran beautifully in Michigan might not be as good at Daytona. This uncertainty was one of the most appealing aspects of NASCAR. However, following the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001, NASCAR underwent tremendous changes to improve driver safety. As a result, the cars were completely redesigned to improve their safety features which enhanced driver safety to such a tremendous level that drivers could walk away from major accidents unscathed. However, in doing so, the NASCAR cars were stripped out of their individuality. Thus, one of the main purposes of the manufacturers which was to promote their specific brands was completely defeated.
With a dozen and more drivers that participated at the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) last weekend most aiming for the trophy, the question whether or not NASCAR should limit part-time racers is looming ahead. There’s no denying that the crowd went really wild at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the race was undeniably packed with adrenaline and the venue was full of excitement and shouts with many drivers showing off for their first, and probably, only NNS race.
Elliot Sadler, a serious contender for the championship title, thinks that the race creates anxiety for the participants trying to bag the title. In an interview, he said that when a driver is racing against fellow drivers that are meaning to win the trophy, the competition gets very difficult – a far cry when you’re racing against those of your similar interest. Because while a contestant for the championship title can get through the game unharmed, the title can easily be stolen by a part-time racer that may not probably race again, leaving them empty handed in the end.
This reality fuels the argument between the pro part-time NNS racers and those that are against it. Deana Engel, a pro part-timer, said in her write-up that NASCAR is a sport for every American man and restricting part-timers will ruin the concept. She said that Villeneuve, Carpentier, and Tagliani are good hometown racers and seeing them participate in the race is one good thing. Engle also thinks that since NASCAR has to sell tickets to earn its keeps, accepting drivers like Villeneuve is a smart move because lots of his supporters will definitely buy to see his game. Engel simply believes in a fair competition and drivers should compete with the best men in the race to prove that they too, have the right to win the title regardless if they’re competing for the first time or for the nth time.
On the other hand, Bill Kimm also expresses his opinion about the issue and he says no to part-timers. According to Bill, NASCAR should really take a more thorough look at its rules with regards to accepting part-time racers in NNS. Yes, drivers should have equal chance of joining this very prestigious race but many of the participants are only joining for their ego’s sake. It doesn’t matter if serious contenders like Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, and Elliot Sadler are there for the championship; most part-timers only want to win. Bill also implies that if a contender wants a real career in NNS, the opportunity is all his. But if all he wants is to show off and outshine other drivers in one race then the part-time ideals is ridiculous.
Even Carl Edwards under the Ford Company shared his feelings regarding the news and said that it’s only natural for the company or person to decide what’s better for their welfare. So, if Dodge think that withdrawing from the Sprint Cup is the best move then they’re free to do as they please but he still believes that someday the company will come back to the race since everyone knows that NASCAR is one of the best ways to market their products. Besides, Dodge already made that on-off decision before so Edwards is still looking at the possibility of the same to happen again.
When asked for his feelings about the impending withdrawal of Dodge, Jeff Gordon, a Chevy driver, said that although he haven’t had experience in driving Dodge he was not surprise with the announcement. He though that the small number of team cars from the company is a telltale sign that the withdrawal is actually coming. He further added that he also feels sad about the fact that a well-known company like Dodge will be missing.
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup will soon be missing one good company as Dodge wave its hand goodbye to the competition starting this season’s end. The announcement was made public during the Speedway test at Martinsville for the 2013 cup.
As said by Ralph Gilles, one of Dodge bosses, the decision was made due to the difficulties that the company is facing with regards to the development of the correct structure in order to stay in the competition.
It’s widely known that Dodge has been on and off from the NASCAR for the past years, though they’ve been creating huge followers due to successive winning since 2001. Currently, only 2 Dodge cars are involved in the tournament, one being manned by Sam Hornish Jr. and the other by Brad Keselowski, both belongs to Penske Racing team. With Dodge’s withdrawal, these two racers will soon be switching to Ford. The teams Chip Ganassi, Evernham Motorsports, and Petty Enterprises used to be part of Dodge too but they later on transferred to another companies.
Despite the withdrawal, Martin Truex Jr. – a Toyota racer – believes that NASCAR Sprint Cup won’t be affected badly since only 2 Dodge will leave the race. Jeff Gordon, a Chevy racer also said something like Dodge withdrawal is something inevitable due to its small team number but though he somewhat expected it he can’t help but feel sad about the reality.
In the meantime, there are other two members of the Coca-Cola team who are outside the Chase. They are Joey Logano and Ryan Newman who will just have to win a couple of races to be included in the competitive lineup. On emphasis, Newman emerged victorious at Martinsville, fourth in Las Vegas and fifth in Daytona race this July.
In the tracks that lead to Chase, Newman managed to perform well in a number of races. He did fine at Pocono, which is the 5th best average finish in his whole career, and at Richmond, which is his second best. On these tracks, he was able to finish at 5th and 8th places last year. Also, he had top 10 finishes in four races a year before Chase started.
To make sure that he gets a spot, he must improve on Indianapolis. This track almost wreaked havoc in his career because here is where he had a finish of 20.2. This is the third worst average finish in his career. Nevertheless, he is doing well at Brickyard during the previous four years, averaging 14th place. As for the rest of the Coca-Cola team, Jeff Burton is number 19, Jamie McMurray is number 20 and Bobby Labonte is number 23. They need to win more in order to be included in the Chase.
There are only seven races to go before the Sprint Cup starts Chase and it looks like the Coca-Cola Racing Family will be well represented in the playoffs, particularly the NASCAR’s version. Those who will make it to chase are the top ten highest pointing drivers after 26 races. There will be two wildcards from the 11th to 20th place and whoever has the most wins will also be selected. And it seems that Coca-Cola drivers are going in to the battle.
Greg Biffle – Biffle gathered high points during the season, earning him the third place
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin won two races and now stands on the fifth place
Tony Stewart – Stewart, the defending champion, is currently in the seventh place. With a series of high-three wins, he earned lots of cushion that can guarantee him a spot on the wild card. He wouldn’t have any problems even if he does not make it to the top ten. Among the drivers that currently are in the top 20, he has the best average finish. He earned these credentials during the last seven seasons particularly in the remaining pre-Chase tracks.
Kyle Busch – Nine points ahead of Ryan Newman, Busch occupies the second spot for the wild card.
Ryan Newman pointed out that guys (riders) have put-up an innovative racecar and talked about having a Menards on the car and excellent Aggressive Hydraulics. He said that he is so excited in having to drive and ride those racecars and describe riders (drivers) to be very reverent and he will have some fun and excitement to race with them. He predicted his team had been fortunate to have some win and felt what have been good at practice will have them see themselves in the qualifying for the race.
On his thoughts about the Army’s decision to leave NASCAR, Newman calmly said that there’s some true politics involved in the decision. However, he said he is always proud to represent the army. He also uttered that the decision is from the top ranks and he will respect it whatever the consequences there will be. He likewise claimed that he and his team were proud representatives of the Army, the people and the colors and everything it represents. He said that it’s unfortunate that time has to passed and that they have to leave but still they’re struggling to win for the Army and will do get some wins before the end of the season.
Talks about U.S. Army leaving NASCAR has been the topics just recently and this caused intrigues on last weekend NASCAR race, as the second season is half way through. With or without official confirmation from NASCAR, Ryan Newman and his team will be racing to finish the full NASCAR season.
Meeting with few media men, Ryan Newman, member of #29 Army ROTC Chevrolet gamely talks about the US army parting NASCAR and shared his thoughts on other NASCAR topics.
When asked to talk about his thoughts about the season’s 2nd half pursuit and about the “wild card” stuff, Ryan told media men that he considered New Hampshire their place to triumph and have in fact been statistically well during their run on Friday and Sunday. He believes and hopes to see their car do the best run as they have a pretty good car for the season. He added that the ROTC (US Army) Chevrolet were pretty much good during practice. However, he added that he wasn’t able to get a perfect circuit during practice and hopes he’ll get the perfect turn in the qualifying rounds. He described how he was in a crunchy period when he took the seams wrong when he turned three or four times going down off beat. He said he’s going on a crunchy time but still hoping to come out good and have fun for the remaining hours during weekend races.
He is confident that the racing oval has the element of safety and he and his men have high expectations for Sunday Quicken Loans 400 that the race would not be of speedy race but more of a competitive one. He also agrees on Michigan’s importance in NASCAR series and Michigan race is one of the most anticipated race for those men in the garage. Although there are some drivers who are not comfortable with the Speed at MIS, Mike Helton insists on saying racing at 200 m.p.h is safe and drivers will hold up to the speed. NASCAR prexy Mike Helton says MIS safe.
Mike Helton is happy for what’s happening at the Sprint Cup and also shows positive reactions to the national practice. Although there’s reports of blistered tires, Helton said that’s the main reason for NASCAR ‘s official presence at the speedway is finding what’s happening at the moment and see for themselves some racing reactions from drivers and NASCAR fans.
Mike Helton, NASCAR sitting president since 2000 has a light mood when during a talk with Robin Pemberton, the senior VP of Competition and Racing development was quoted as saying that for a moment he sees Michigan International Speedway (MIS) as safe.
Mike Helton has the reputation of staring one down at the best or worst time and who loves wearing cowboy boots and sporting a black y mustache. He was in a good mood to discuss about repaved racetrack of MIS, which is considered the stock car racings fastest, but scariest oval. He talked about how he felt about MIS and its bursting power and strength while trying to keeping thing overboard. The sport events.
He talked about resurfacing and how it always been on the faster range experience. He pinpointed it to technology and how Robin together with his team done all the possible jobs on keeping the cars on the ground. He said that they’re always after safety and putting it at the highest level and that they have never stopped working to keep it on the ground. Mike Helton recognizes how speed can translate to excitement while on the ground and it would not be different if it’s from MIS or Talladega or Indianapolis. He even expanded on how drivers get excited going fast for 200 m.p.h. lap and considered it a cool thing seeing drivers go excited and comfortable with the speed. Helton however agrees that with speed, responsibility goes with it.