jump to navigation

Post-Indy Emails…Goodyear Tires July 29, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Claire B's Mail, Controversy, Listeners, NASCAR.
Tags: , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Ginn Racing executes a pitstop at the 2007 Day...Image via WikipediaHey: I wanted to share with you some of the emails that I have gotten regarding Sundays Sprint Cup Race at Indianapolis. The takes are all valid and interesting and they cover both sides of the issue. Some fans are angry, others understand and say move on. Some even say they liked the twists and turns of the circumstances that made the race a series of shoot outs. Everyone is clear in saying that this should not happen again because it does not reflect well on the sport. I thought I’d share some emails that I have gotten for your reading, and discussion pleasure. Thanks to all who wrote the emails – you guys are awesome and I appreciate every single one.

Claire B
_______________________________________

From Marc in AZ:

Claire,

The Indy Race was what it was. While NASCAR tried to do what was best for the race, they completely missed an opportunity to have a real race! They should have limited the teams to a single can of fuel per stop! Something like they have done in the past when they limited the fuel bladder size to conserve tire wear. Instead of thinking on their feet, they went the safe route and made the race into a bunch of heat races with extremely dangerous pit stop in between. They may have got the safety for the drivers correct but they missed it for the over the wall crews!

While everyone is falling all over themselves praising NASCAR for keeping the race safe, they totally missed having a competitive race! NASCAR fans want to see green flag pit stops, not planned pit competitions! We want to see a race and allow teams to have a bit of strategy. When Mark Martin stopped a lap before the planned yellow, they got smart and closed the pits one to two laps before the planned caution. Now there is a way to defeat strategy!

Hopefully this will never come to pass again but history has a tendency to repeat itself! Hopefully the next time we can see a race and NASCAR can find an alternate way to regulate time on track by restricting fuel and not go to planned cautions. Maybe we could even plan a test session before taking the racing brick to a track and allow all the competitors to participate!

Just my thoughts!
Marc Mills

Tempe, AZ.

_______________________________________

From Ronald:

2 consecutive off weekends for a Sprint cup race is torture. During Sundays event (wasn’t a race) I went on mowed my yard because I prefer to torture myself in 100 degree heat than watch a bunch of caution laps. 52 laps under caution is inexcusable.
_______________________________________
From Jerry in Indiana:

How many times has goodyear screwed up a race ? To many. Thay should not make the teams pay for those crapy tires. When you have to stop the race every 10 laps and replace a crappy tire with another crapy tire. There is no race left. Jerry. In.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
_______________________________________
From Kurt in LA

The racing was bad. JJ won because he had the best pit crew. Gordan came out 5th cause he had the 5[th best pit crew. During the race I looked forward to the pit stops. They were awsome! No matter how bad the race was, it was better than watching bowling or golf.

Kurt Cazayoux
Lafayette, LA
_______________________________________
From Travis in Kansas:

Damn I thought having a whole bunch of “heat races” in the form of the Brickyard 400 was extremely exciting.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. And goodyear doesn’t make money on race tires, they lose money on every set of tires used at the track according to Smokey Yunick’s autobiography.

Travis from Kansas
_______________________________________
From Bob in California:

Wow back to the Tony George of old “I’m not wrong, don’t blame the track” we cannot be held responsible for Nascar’s & Goodyear not testing.
Does he have stock in Firestone?
Bob from CA

_______________________________________
From Rick in AR:

This reminds me of the mess Indy had a few years back when F1 ran at Indy and 75% of the teams pulled off the track because of unsafe conditions on the track. If I recall, it had something to do with tires and one of the corners on the Indy road course.

Fans are the ones who suffer in the end. As tough as things are in NASCAR, fans should cast their vote with the pocketbook. That would get NASCAR’s attention.

Rick Aron
Rogers, AR
_______________________________________
From Parker:

I haven’t bought Goodyear tires since 1994 and yesterdays race confirmed my choice to use only Michellins. If I had paid to go to that race I would have left and been angry.
Parker
_______________________________________
From Marv:

Hey Clare,

If the scheduled cautions were really for safety, they should have required 4 new tires each stop and let them keep their place in the running order. That would have been much safer on pit road with the 35-36 cars and the mad scramble that ensued each time. There were lots of near misses involving crewmen on pit road. Teams could have still done the 2 tire/4 tire deal and hurried stops during the unscheduled cautions.

What do you think?

Marv Odell
_______________________________________

From Bob:

Mark makes a great point in regards to the pits closing. They should have put the race into the teams hands, had the competition cautions and not made it mandatory to stop on them.
As far as stopping and putting the Pocono tires on with no idea how those tires would have performed not sure that would have been a good idea. Maybe they should have tried those tires (Pocono) the day before, because they knew they already had the problem.
Bob from CA

_______________________________________
From JS in ND:

This was not a race. It was awful. The cars at the back of the pack
never had much of a chance to move up and stay ahead. The
commentators have been talking about how Jimmie Johnson had the best
car, fastest in practice and on the pole, that he would probably have
won anyway. He could take four tires each time and get back to the
front, whereas those drivers who were trying to gain track position
had to take two tires and couldn’t keep up with the four tires. He
had the first pit stop which helped him tremendously, along with the
cautions, which also was to his advantage. I agree with the drivers
who said they were embarrassed at how this turned out. I am thankful
that I did not pay to sit in the stands and watch this debacle. They
owe all those fans tickets to next year’s race. Throw out the
results to this race and give the fans a “do over”!!

I can’t believe that Nascar didn’t try the Pocono tires. I would
rather have seen that instead of what we saw yesterday.

JS from ND
_______________________________________

From Clifford in Texas:

Claire B –

Last week on your show someone, I believe it was crew chief Kevin Hamlin, made the statement that the NASCAR races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are more competitive, and better races than recent Indianapolis 500s. HAH!

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star called yesterday’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard “the Lamest Spectacle” in racing and I totally agree!

Kravitz also said: “This was the Tire de Farce. A fiasco. A joke. An embarassment for NASCAR and for Goodyear. Unfair to the fans, who paid good money to attend the Competition Yellow 400. And unsafe for the drivers who were screaming around the track on rubberized time bombs that couldn’t last beyond 10 laps.”

Please advise Mr. Hamlin (and any others as appropriate) to direct their apologies to:

Mr. Brian Barnhart
President, Competition and Operations
Indy Racing League
4565 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222

I think one is certainly in order!

Thanks,
Clifford D. Wuertz
Houston, TX
_______________________________________

From Bob in MD:

I am an HMS fan I am glad JJ won.

I am not blaming Goodyear, the blame lays squarely on NASCAR. This is yet another example why the COT needs to go away.

If you are going to have a manditory caution the field should be frozen with no change of position as a result of the caution.

NASCAR needs to pentlize themselves.

Bob in MD
_______________________________________
From Shiela:

Give the Brickyard date to another track. Don’t go back, problem solved.

Sheila Matthews, CPhT

_______________________________________

From Joe in California:
CBL,
I watched the race on TV. I am a fan of Newman. It was a race, it is not a diminished win for JJ. He earned it, the other 42 drivers dealt with the same conditions. It was just inexcusable on NASCAR and Goodyear’s part. It would have been stupid to go to the unknown Pocono tires.

Joe – Arroyo Grande, CA
_______________________________________
From C Greensos:

Claire B,

The only good thing about the race is that the guy who won deserved the win. He was the pole sitter and was fast in traffic and Chad is his crew chief. He deserved it.

A 17 fan.
_______________________________________
From Leslie in GA:

hi claire,
Íwas there yesterday as well as the atl race in the spring both had tire problems and it was handled better at indy than atl. However it was not what I paid for …. But it is still Indy and it is still way cool to go there every year, and we will renew for next year. OK we had many yellow flags but we did see cars going around vs no cars and rain!! It happen, let’s fix it and move on

leslie back home in atl
_______________________________________
From Mark:

I hold ALL fault with Goodyear. They knew at the test, as Jr. said, that the tires would not last more than 5 laps. If I were Goodyear and knew it was that bad, I would:

a) go back to the drawing board and re-design the tire and then

b) schedule another test with a newly designed tire.

At the very least, bring a few sets of every tire they make and see if any hold up better than the others…

It appears as though they knew of the problem and figured it would all work itself out come race day. Absolutely pitiful.

Maybe it is time to revisit multiple manufacturers. We all know that the teams only get better because they have to face each other week in and week out. If Goodyear knew they had to face real competition week in and week out, maybe they would do a little more homework.

_______________________________________
From Dan in Green Bay:
Of course the angriest people are the ones who were at the race. The rest of us were able to walk away from the TV without feeling the pain of having spent money to see it. With cautions being dictated through the entire race it took out the aspect of team strategy. They shld have put it in the teams’ hands at the half-way point. *Dan from Green Bay

_______________________________________
From Butch:
At least the 18 did not win the Allstate pitstop 400, did the Pace car lead
the most laps? I kept waiting for the pace car to take tires.
Send that 48 & 24 around
_______________________________________
From Joyce in Arkansas:

Hey Claire B.,

Finally home after what seems like forever, so glad to be able to tune into Dialed In again!! I am so glad I did not buy tickets to the Brickyard 400, as much as I love the local short track heat races it is not what I expect from the top series of NASCAR. Even though NASCAR did what they felt best in the name of safety from the testing and practices they should of seen this coming and stepped in and done something about it. I know this is not their first rodeo, they should act like it.

Joyce Bell
Newport, Arkansas
_______________________________________
From Jimmy:

NEWS FLASH… GOODYEAR IS GUILTY OF VIOLATING NASCAR RULE # 12-4-A, ACTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO STOCK CAR RACING… THEY ARE HEREBY FINED 12 MILLION DOLLARS, 5000 OWNER POINTS, AND SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY… MR. NEWTON OF THAT INDIANA TIRE CO. THAT MAKES DIRT TIRES THAT WORK WELL WILL SUPPLY TIRES NOW… CAN WE SAY “HOOSIER DADDY”?

Jimmy Grant
_______________________________________
From Sandy in GA:

Claire,

I am sooooo Thankful that no one got hurt in yesterdays race.

I am sorry for the fans that traveled to the race and spent so much to attend it. I hope they found something positive about their experience in attending a NASCAR race. Each one is different. Surely, this was one of those.

Sandy in GA
_______________________________________
From Sue in Ill:

Dear Claire;

I look forward to the Indy race, but Sunday’s race was a disaster. And there is certainly plenty of blame to go around, but it is pointless to cry over spilled milk. I think that NASCAR was between a rock and a hard place yesterday and their decision to throw all the competition cautions was the best solution to a very bad situation. It prevented a cancellation or half the field in the garage with torn up cars. Still there needs to be a re-evaluation of tire tests and the compounds used. In my opinion Goodyear needs to have more teams at each of the tire test to get more information and more opinions on the tires. But I will go further I think NASCAR needs to have their own test teams at tire tests to give their opinion on compounds. But NASCAR needs to do more work on the engineering and physics of this new car, because of the heavy loads on the right side of the cars there are tire issues at every track, work needs to be done on the cars. In hind site it may not have been such a good idea to implement the COT at all the tracks this year, but that is a decision that can not be changed so work with it. NASCAR R&D needs to go back to the Windtunnel and the track and work with all the teams to find changes that can be made to help the teams and Goodyear to make the tires safe and competitive.

Now as for the race itself, the best car won the race, Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team were outstanding all weekend and they were smart and the got to kiss the bricks. And the tire strategy of both the 48 and 24 was absolutely the right choice; take 4 every time till the final stop. Both of those cars could pass at will and their crews deserve much of the praise for their excellent days. I am very happy with how my driver Jeff Gordon performed all day, he was good all day and I think they have turned the corner with their program and will be a contender for the rest of the season just like the 48 team. And Carl Edwards was also excellent all day even after having their tire issue, they battled back and finished strong. Frankly all the drivers who finished in the top 10 had excellent days, none of them were able to get into a rhythm but they all ran brilliantly all day. Now there were some drivers who just didn’t do so well, first Mark Martin didn’t seem to be a factor all day, it is never a good idea to say you are going to win publicly because you are bound to get bitten. And I was very surprised by how poorly Tony Stewart’s car ran, I expected a solid day and he just was off all day, as was Kyle Busch, though I was less surprised by his performance. And finally Matt Kenseth, I couldn’t believe that when he said the tire was going that he waited to pit, if he had been smart like Dale Jr. he may have ended up with a torn up car. Knowing what he did it was reckless to wait till a caution, he hurt his chase chances. And I thought Kurt Busch was a stand up guy, he said he made a mistake and accepted the blame, that is how a sportsman behaves.

Thank You,
Sue from Shorewood, IL

_______________________________________

From Snowfalls:

Hey Claire,

The race wasn’t the best as we all know, but Nascar had to make it safe. If they Nascar didn’t do the competion yellows, you would have had drivers crashing all over the place.

I listened to Dale Jr on the radio and watch the hotpass coverage and it didn’t matter what driver it was they were just blowing through so many tires after seven laps because the tire was showing cords. There was just no grip on the track. In ten laps Dale could pass eight ten cars in that run. What you saw was short track racing. But I saw that with a lot of Drivers

Over all it wasn’t a total mess. Nascar just made it safe under the circumstances for what they had.

Oh by the way, did you notice that at one point you had three Hendrick cars up front?
_______________________________________

From Annie in Iowa:

Hey Claire B!

My husband looked over at me at the second competition yellow yesterday while we were watching the race on TV and said, “I can hear Claire B.’s phone ringing already!”

While I understand that everyone did the best they could with the situation at hand yesterday at Indy, I cannot understand how NASCAR let that situation come to be? How can you not require testing a tire on a car that’s never run at a race track? Yesterday was a mockery of all that’s held holy by fans at any racetrack. NASCAR should be ashamed. Ashamed!!!

Annie in Iowa
_______________________________________
From Ratnrace:

Jeff Gordon 101 – Was that a race I watched yesterday or a 43 car tire test?! A caution every 12 laps to check tire wear?! I could’ve sworn that NASCAR does tire tests during the off season – as well as – all throughout the regular season?! Did you see the wear on those tires?! Did somebody at Goodyear get the shipping papers mixed up and send the wrong tires?! I have never seen anything so ridiculous as yesterday in all my years of watching NASCAR!!! I am glad that I didn’t spend money on transportation costs getting to Indiana, spend money on lodging, spend money on tickets to the Brickyard 400, etc. because I would be so damn livid today if I had indeed spent money on that circus show that NASCAR put on yesterday!!! That was absolutely ridiculous!!! I would love to give you some more from the soapbox, but I really am speechless!!! The good thing from yesterday – Gordon had a strong car, led a few laps, crossed the checkered in 5th, and remained 6th in points…other than that – that race (tire test) was an absolute joke!!!

Please send the 24 car around 20 more times to get us to 101 wins!!!
_______________________________________

From Ruth in Cincinnati:

CBL,

Wow, am I glad I didn’t lay out any money for a ticket for that “RACE”? I was at qualifying and practice on Saturday and believe me I think it was more fun and much better then the actual event on Sunday. Where’s Tony when you need him…how come he hasn’t said anything about that travesty that happened on Sunday? Goodyear and Nascar should refund at least ½ of the ticket price for all of those that attended that disaster. Don’t be surprised if next year the tickets aren’t ½ price, if you only see ½ a race you shouldn’t have to pay full price.

Send that #20 around.

Ruth in Cincinnati
_______________________________________
From Rich in GA:

I have two questions for you that maybe you could ask, one is for NASCAR and one is for a crew chief.

Once NASCAR Realized that they were going to continue to do competition cautions yesterday, why didn’t they try to set the race up to maybe have a 12 or 13 lap shoot instead of the 7 lap one they had, cause they knew the tires would hold up about that long.

Why didn’t one of the teams that were 15 to 20 try to gamble and pit with like 15 laps to go right before NASCAR closed pit road and before the last competition caution. If I was a crew chief I would have tried it!!! Cause you know you could run about 12 laps and I would have tried to get a top five out of it if not the win!!! Did no one think of that?

thanks
Rich
Peachtree City, Georgia
_______________________________________
From Eric:

Allstate at the Brickyard tickets $170.00

Air Fare to Indianapolis $950.00

Hotel $800.00

Rental Car $320.00

Misc Expenses $900.00

Telling Gooodyear Racing and NASCAR to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine Priceless!!!
_______________________________________
Hi Claire B.

We awakened this morning still angry from the debacle we witnessed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday. It was our 15th Brickyard and is amongst 6/8 Cup Races we attend each year. The attendance yesterday estimated at 225,000 (the highest attended Cup Race this year) was still a disappointment as the usual crowd would approach 300,000 or more. When we arrived at the track we were shocked to see the large amount of empty seats when the race began. Obviously, the gas prices and economy kept people away from the famed Brickyard. Still, 225,000 stedfast fans were loyal and ready to see a great race at one of the premiere Sprint Cup races in the series. We spent our money knowing that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it’s staff were prepared, as in years past, to put on a great show and make sure the fans got their moneys worth. The Speedway did everything in it’s power to insure this would happen. The Race be gan after an amazing Pre Race program, rivaled only by the Indianapolis 500 and possibly the Daytona 500. Soon, it became evident that Goodyear Racing and possibly NASCAR had totally dropped the ball. Why on earth would NASCAR and Goodyear not test at the track where the COT had not raced before is beyond any imaginable reason. We and the other 224,998 fans were treated to, without a doubt, what was one of the worst races in NASCAR history. Shame on your Goodyear and shame on you NASCAR for allowing something like this to happen to your fans and IMS. We deserve much better. I feel sorry for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway who surely will be the one to suffer from something totally beyond their control. We love NASCAR and we particularly love the Brickyard because of the pageantry and history of the track. With that said, we, in all likelihood, will not attend the event again. I predict that what happened yesterday will cost the Bri ckyard another 25,000/50,000 attendees next year. Our feelings at this point are that Goodyear and NASCAR should refund the cost of tickets and expenses of getting to the race to all fans in attendance. What infuriated us further this morning is what we read in the Indianapolis Star, that neither Goodyear or NASCAR is accepting blame for what happened yesterday. Such an occurrence can only be rivaled by the cancellation of the CART Race at Texas Motor Speedway several years ago on race day and the F-1 Michelin debacle at the U.S. Grand Prix a few years back. Shame on you, shame on you Goodyear and NASCAR. If this isn’t a call for Hoosier Tire Company to re-enter NASCAR, I do not know what is. Maybe a bit of competition for Goodyear will be the medicine needed for them to get their act together. There is no reason and no excuse for something like this to occur—-EVER!!! We the fans, the Sprint Cup teams and Indianapolis Motor Speedway were the big losers and we deserve much better.

We truly want to remain Loyal NASCAR fans but if we ever attend a race were something like this happens again it will be Good Bye NASCAR, Hello IRL. That also,was the sentiment of most of the fans in our stands yesterday.

Eric in Tucson (still in Indy)
_______________________________________
From Coe in Alabama:

Clare:

On my lunch hour so keeping it short.

Indy was a farce. I listened to the race on the radio (over broadcast radio not the ‘dog’) coming back from Louisiana and time with the grandsons and the race was pathetic. I will grant that no one was injured, but no one was lapped on the track, either.

NASCAR issuing a warning that 12 laps was all the tires could take and warning that they would be black flagged at 15 laps would have been better.

The pit stops should have been under GREEN. Those that could get a couple more laps would be evident after the first two stops. It was a farce.

If ever Tony should have blown up at Goodyear, yesterday was the day. HOWEVER; I am betting that in the divers’ session and even earlier in the post-practice debriefings by officialdom it was made D*** clear that the teams, drivers, and owners better not be disparaging or they would ‘pay’.

Kyle Bush: Time to start a rumor.
If I were Home Depot, I would be very very upset at the Lowes Chevy consistantly finishing better than the Home Depot Chevy/Toyota over the last two and a half seasons. Soooo…. you need to put the bug in JD’s ear that this is what they need to do:

Zippy and crew should swap crews with the 18.

Joey Lagono would take over the ride with Zipedelli on the 18 team.
Kyle Busch and the entire crew on the 18 would take over the #20 Home Depot! If JD will offer that to Home Depot, JGR might be able to keep the Home Depot sponsorship, IF Home Depot is not set against staying with Toyota.

BTW: A die hard 24 fan is now so disgusted with NASCAR that he does not even DVR the races!!!! He has gone back to following open wheel!

Coe in Alabama.
_______________________________________

Zemanta Pixie
Advertisements

BLOG breaking news MAJOR TIRE NEWS CONF TODAY – TIRE ISSUES TRANSCRIBE July 27, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

2007 Allstate 400 at the BrickyardImage via WikipediaIndianapolis Motor Speedway
Race Day- Allstate 400 at The Brickyard

Claire B Lang – July 27, 2008 1:00 p.m.

Hey: Just about to head to the grid for the start of the race. I wanted to transcribe part of the news conference this morning regarding the tire issue so that you could read it. I finished most of it and am posting it now before running back into the garage and then to the grid.

The News Conference began at 10:00 a.m. EST this morning and was called this morning:

NASCAR Spokesman Jim Hunter: All of you probably know why we are here. The track improved between practices yesterday which is a good sign and once the field takes the track today – we think the track will get back to normal conditions. We’ll have a competition caution at lap 10 and we will evaluate and announce additional cautions if needed. As a contingency we have Pocono tires on hand. Goodyear is mounting back-up tires in an impound area. At 12 noon the teams will have access to the tires in an impound area. That’s only to prep them and everybody gets the same opportunity to prep them at the same time. The back up tires will remain in the impound area in the unlikely event we need them. Then all teams will be required to switch over at the same time. So at this time we are going to take questions. I think everyone knows the folks up here – Greg Stucker is Director of race tire sales for good year, Robin Pemberton is our VP of competition and Joey Chitwood is VP and General Manager…

Chitwood: ” President”

Hunter: “President…damn,”

Pemberton:” Let’s see how the day goes..”

(Loud laughter from the media audience)

Chitwood: “So I’m glad you could all join me for the F1 race today (laughter) I’m sorry 🙂

(More loud laughter)

Q: What’s the likelihood and I assume you are considering mandated intermittent cautions?

Pemberton: “This track surface and the tires – this is not anything that we don’t go through leading up to the race and for the most part early in the event. Jim stated that we’ll have a competition yellow at 10. We will evaluate how the tire wear comes. We’ll make a call on if it’s ten more laps or 15 or however we grow the green flag laps and we’ll make a call from there and see what we’ll have to do. It looks like it will be multiple competition cautions – at least two right now.

Q: What is the criteria used as to whether you get to the point of switching over to Pocono tires? Will it be NASCAR getting word from the teams that they have gone through most of their Indy tire supply?

Pemberton: Exactly. We’re going to monitor that. The teams will have the opportunity for about ten sets when it all unfolds. We know that a number of teams yesterday didn’t run all their tires so that inventory has gone into their race sets so there are many teams that are out there with 12 sets of tires without getting another set. We’re going to monitor the wear and the laps that we can run and early on we’ll be able to make a call as to how far we will be able to go with the Indy tires. If the wear characteristics do not improve enough…ahm once again it’s not unlike everything we deal with at this particular place getting the track rubbered in so like I said we started with about 5 or 6 laps in the first practice , got to about 10 yesterday in the second practice so we anticipate that it will fix itself and we’ll make that call early on – we’re going to have a good plan.

Q: If the field is going to be switched to Pocono tires will you simply red flag the race and bring everybody in at the same time – and make them switch then – how will the mechanics of that work?

Pemberton: “If it gets to that point. It will be a caution and the teams will already have had their tires up in their pit area. It will be similar to if we had rain tires or dry tires. We will make a call..all the current Indy tires will come out of the pit area and we will issue the Pocono tires and everyone will be on the same tires at the same time.

Q: You guys have mentioned before and we’ve heard talk in the garage about how this is not an unusual situation for this track how we’ve been through it before. But if we’ve been through it before and if you guys came in and had a tire test then why are we sitting here having this press conference.

Pemberton: “We have been through this before but one of the things that has changed is that we have a new car. And as everybody understands the car loads right side tires different than what we’ve run over the last 15 or 20 years. We had a chance to tire test here and when you come to tire test and you only have two three or four cars – it’s difficult to rubber in the race track. Obviously you’ve seen it with 43 cars out there yesterday -it’s still difficult to rubber in but it does happen. So this being the first event on this car and I think the way the tires have extra load on them – we have had tire improvements the cars do handle good and I think they are doing a great job with it and next year under different circumstances and test policies we will probably see some improvement early on.

Stucker: “Just to reiterate, I mean we have seen an improvement. If you look at history last year the actual number of tires that people used was well within what they have available to them now so being we run a very similar tire and using the same right side compound we expect that same thing to happen so we’ll be fine once we get into the race.

Drivers Meeting:

The drivers meeting was relatively quiet. The above (tire issue) was mentioned.

Pit Road Speed: 55 mph
Caution Car Speed: 70 mph
Pit Road Speed Begins: 180 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 150 feet past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 56.16 seconds

I’ll be back with more later. I wanted to get this posted ASAP.

Claire B

Zemanta Pixie

A little more..too got not to share July 26, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, NASCAR.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Allstate 400 at The BrickyardImage via WikipediaMcMurray Claims He’s Solid
Claire B Lang – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jamie McMurray was 7th fastest in the NSCS Practice 3 here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will start 8th in Sundays Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. After Qualifying on Saturday I asked him about Jack Roush leaving his name off when listing his drivers that nobody could take from him on Friday – and other reporters joined in.

CBL: YESTERDAY JACK (ROUSH) LEFT YOUR NAME OFF A LIST OF DRIVERS THAT NOBODY COULD TAKE AWAY FROM HIM. ARE YOU THE ODD MAN OUT WHEN THEY GO TO FOUR CARS? McMurray: “I don’t know. They haven’t discussed that with me and I don’t think that’s really even been discussed. I can’t control what Jack says and sometimes Jack will go off a little bit and it maybe gets out of control, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s been a tough season for sure and this is a performance-based business and the 26 team, if you look at the results, hasn’t been as good as the other four teams, so Jack is just kind of stating the obvious. We’ve got to get our performance better. It’s not where I want to be, the team or Roush Fenway or Crown or Irwin, whoever – we’ve got to get better. The good thing about our team is that our cars have been really fast, and I think the hardest part in this sport is to have fast cars week-in and week-out, and when happy hour has been over every week we’ve had good cars. At Sonoma, running second with a few laps to go and we got run into, and cut a tire down at Chicago. I can give you a long list of things that if it would have been just a little different, we would have had some really good finishes. So I’m optimistic with all that, so we’ll just have to move on.”

DO YOU THINK JACK WAS TRYING TO SEND A MESSAGE? McMurray: “You’re asking me to speculate and I’m not into speculating.”

ARE YOU CONFIDENT YOU’LL BE BACK AT ROUSH? McMurray: “I tell you what, if you guys want to print the truth, the truth is I’ll be there with Crown Royal. There’s not a question. It’s 100 percent. I know there’s been some reporters that have speculated again on where I’ll be and who the sponsors will be, and certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wish that for all of the media that they would just base it on facts. If they’re gonna say they have a source, then they should reveal that source, but, 100 percent, I will be here with Crown and with Irwin and at Roush Fenway.”

CBL: WHAT ABOUT THE RUMORS OF YOU AND THE FOURTH CAR AT CHILDRESS? McMurray: “There’s no truth to that. Richard is looking for a driver and I’m somewhat flattered to have my name on a list that another owner would want you, but I will be in this car and not at Richard Childress Racing.”

McMurray continues to insist that he’s secure – even saying he’s 100% sure he is coming back next year. Jack was clear that the performance of McMurray has not delivered – but stopped short of saying that the team would be dropped or that :McMurray would be gone.

Jack Roush: “Jamie is important to me but today you know Jamie is not the driver that has been productive to the extent the other four are. I certainly expected and expect great things from Jamie but the productivity has not been there at this point.

Reporter: If you have to go down to four teams is that the team that could be going somewhere else?

Jack Roush: “It really has more to do with the sponsorship relationship than the driver but one of the reasons that I fostered the relationship I’ve got with Max and with Doug (Yates) is to be able to have a place to put a sponsor. We do help them sell their sponsorships – we do help them with their marketing programs – we do all the engineering- we do build all their cars so it’s a closely affiliated relationship that maintains the covenant , the barriers that NASCAR wants to put up for competitive considerations but it has not been determined that the 26 program or the Crown Royal will go. I’ve got two more years, I’ve got the rest of 2008 and 2009 to sort that out.

This story is one that continues to be discussed by media here in the deadline room. Watch McMurray’s team bust off a solid performance this weekend in the Allstate 400.

I’ll keep you posted on what is happening here.

Claire B

Zemanta Pixie

SATURDAY INDY BLOG July 26, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Drivers, NASCAR.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two drivers have ...Image via WikipediaClaire B.log – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
July 26, 2008

It’s been too long since I’ve written and I’m sorry I’ve been on the run. I’ve been on the road trip of a lifetime back to the midwest broadcasting from Chicago to Wisconsin, seeing family, and then off to Indy.

Friday at Indy was insane – there were so many interesting stories developing. Tony Stewart’s news conference across the street from the track kicked off the day and the action didn’t stop for a second until air time. Between Rusty saying that Ryan Newman was fired by Roger Penske to Ryan denying it strongly to Jack Roush omitting Jamie McMurray’s name when mentioning the drivers who were secure with him – well it was a wild day.

I’m here in the media center now overlooking the track and I’m about to head down to pit road for qualifying – I will have more for you when that gets done but I wanted to write a few things before I headed down to the grid.

Everyone’s talking about what Mark Martin said about racing here. Was it a guarantee of a win here at Indy this weekend or just confidence. Here’s the Mark Martin quote:

“I’m planning on winning the Brickyard in the 8 car. We’ve got the stuff, we’ve got the team, the cars are awesome on the flat tracks – Phoenix and Richmond and I have never planned on anything any more than my plan is for the Brickyard. That’s the crown jewel and if you look at how that car ran at Phoenix – I believe that we can adapt that set up to work there and make that — ah the team is strong enough on pit road and Tony Gibson and those guys who work on that car are due a win. You know they got several disappointments last year when they had great race cars and had failures and what have you. Nothing would make me happier than to see their face in victory lane.”

Anyone who knows Mark Martin knows that is quite the statement. But later – yesterday when asked about his statement (above) – Mark Martin said this:

MARK MARTIN: I’m not sure I said exactly what you guys take and run with. I’m not sure I did a Mohammed Ali. You know, I do feel very confident that we’ll have a car here that will be strong enough to be a contender to win this race. I might say that every week – maybe. But, you know, believing it deep down inside I usually know that’s a bigger challenge than it might be here this week.

I believe that you can run the same stuff here that you can run at Phoenix. And I believe that we had the fastest car on the racetrack at Phoenix. It’s that simple.

My translation is that while Mark is confident – his first statement earlier was not a guarantee of a win – which some of the headlines read his statement as saying. It was just confidence in his team and his car and a strong desire to turn that into a win.

Kevin Harvick had a few interesting comments yesterday. I laughed loud when he answered a reporter asking him about the excitement of racing here at Indy. LOL:

Reporter: DO YOU AGREE WITH ALL THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN AND SAID ABOUT THE RACING NOT BEING AS EXCITING AS IN THE PAST WITH THIS NEW CAR AND WON’T ALLOW FOR ANY SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING HERE AT IMS? Kevin Harvick: “That is why I don’t read anything you guys write or talk about. (LAUGHS) I try not to pay attention to people who don’t necessarily understand how our sport works. I think the races have been as good as races as we have had in a long time at Daytona, Chicago. I think in the garage, everybody is getting a better handle on the car. I don’t there has ever been any side-by-side racing here. The opinions come from a lot of people who really don’t understand the sport. Unfortunately, some of our amateur fans that haven’t attended a lot of races, have to the read that stuff and get kind of a false opinion of what they should expect when they come to this particular race track. This track promotes single-file racing, not necessarily this car. You can take an Indy car, you can take a stock car and you are not going to run side-by-side. If you want to blame something for single file racing, I would blame it on the track and not the car

And KH’s answer on a question about the engine modifications in the Nationwide series:

Reporter: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ENGINE RULE CHANGE MADE IN NATIONWIDE SERIES? Kevin Harvick: “When is the Truck Series rule coming? (LAUGHS) If you look at most of the engine stuff that they have from all the other types of race tracks, I think, it is pretty evident that the No. 18 was on the chip and doing a lot of things after the race that probably affected those chassis dyno numbers and the No. 20 car went high right off the bat so I think they did the right

Clint Boyer had an interesting note as well – his about how they have been running about him being in the rumor mill and his being discovered by Richard Childress:

Reporter: EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT HOW YOU GOT YOUR BIG BREAK IN THIS SPORT, RC (RICHARD CHILDRESS) WATCHING THE ARCA RACE AND EVERYTHING. GIVING THERE’S NO SCOUTING, NOTHING LIKE WE SEE IN THE NFL, HOW MUCH OF MAKING IT IS TIMING AND LUCK AND JUST BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE? Clint Bowyer: “It is a lot timing and luck. You only get one shot at it unfortunately. I’ve seen a lot of guys get an opportunity that I thought they’re going to set the world on fire and for whatever reason didn’t rise to the occasion and racing late models or dirt cars whatever their background was they were the heat. Then it got to that opportunity to where maybe it wasn’t the right opportunity. Things went wrong. It’s seems like if you’re not running good in those first couple of races you’re pushed by the wayside pretty quick. It’s unfortunate. Sometimes guys come in so far behind in experience they don’t even get a chance to showcase their talent. Unfortunate but it is a very competitive, very close form of racing in any sport. It’s hard to get inside and then we get so much experience, so much seat time inside the car with testing, practice, racing Nationwide, racing cup you’re just in the car so much a new kid that grew up racing late models, it’s hard for him to catch up to that.”

YOU ARE 13TH RIGHT NOW, BAD LUCK IT SEEMS, ARE YOU HURTING REALLY?
Clint Boyer: “We’re not running well. We took a step backwards. We really did. We started out this season with seven straight top-10’s, more than anybody at the time. We won at Richmond and then the bottom fell out. The short tracks have been well for us. We’re running good. It’s the 1.5-mile tracks that have really, really been the dagger right now and we’re trying to figure it out. We’re working harder than we ever have testing. We don’t have the answer right now. It doesn’t fall in your lap. It’s due to hard work, what got us here and the hard work is going to get us out of this slump. It’s definitely crunch time, we’ve got to get going. Top-10’s are what will put you there, but we need to start running in the top five and contending for wins. At the beginning of the season I was happy with the way that my team was running. We’ve answered the call and been doing the things that we need to do to get things turned around.”

THE 07 HAS BEEN IN THE MEDIA RUMOR MILL FOR MONTHS, DOES THAT CAUSE A DISTRACTION FOR YOUR TEAM? Clint Boyer“Richard and I were talking about that. It doesn’t help anything. When everybody’s wondering is the driver going to be there and whatever else and we got that taken care of. I think it can hurt you a little bit but that doesn’t make the car handle better. Still things have got to work, the car has to handle and you got to do your job inside the race car. It’s not like I’m a distraction, I forgot how to drive. It’s an unfortunate deal that we all have to go through. It’s uncomfortable. Nobody likes going through that especially the people that have given you everything, given you the life and everything else. They are uncomfortable times and things I don’t like to go through. Thank God you only have to do it every three years or so. I really enjoy this sport. I enjoy the challenge. It doesn’t matter what kind of racing it is at what level there’s always challenges. The challenge has presented itself, now we’ve got to answer the call.”

I I didn’t have time to tell you much about the Aflac news conference regarding sponsorship of Carl Edwards. Aflac will be the primary sponsor for his car and Aflac will sell the primary spot out for a number of the races but will still have presence on the car.

In the question and answer session – Carl enjoyed cutting up about driving with a Duck on his car – and Edwards answered a question about making the Aflac commercial:

“I can’t tell all the secrets to it but it’s amazing how they make the duck do all that stuff. It’s hard to get a duck to talk and to scream and to look at Jamie when we go by him in the car. You know the driving part is tough for him cause he doesn’t have thumbs and that’s kind of the thing that helps…… It really was pretty neat. We had a really good time.”

In the move “Stroker Ace” the driver was sponsored by a chicken company and had to wear a chicken suit. A reporter asked if Edwards would ever be seen in a commercial wearing a duck suit. Here’s what Carl said:

“That was Clyde Torkle’s Chicken Pit and Aflac’s been much better than he has been. We actually talked about that last night. There’s a lot of potential for that Carl in a duck suit commercial but I don’t know don’t give him any ideas. That was a pretty fun part of that movie yea!”

Carl helped design the look of his new Aflac race car….something that was new for him and he was asked about what that experience was like:

“We just talked about it. The way it usually works is they say -hey here’s our paint scheme here’s what we’re thinking about doing. Everybody looked at it – everybody from Bob (Osborne) to the crew guys to Randy (Pr person) to my assistant Angela. Everybody just looked at it and said hey here’s what we think and then we got with Paul and all the guys and everybody just said hey we want it to have this color this aspect and then they came up with a bunch of designs and it kind of became a pretty cool process but it wasn’t a plan where we set out like hey said hey here’s how we’re going to figure it out. Everybody just kind of tried different things.”

That is it for now. I’ll be back with you but am headed to Gasoline Ally and see what I can find out down there. Then, to the grid for qualifying.

Hope all is well were you are at.

Enjoy the morning!

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Zemanta Pixie

Claire B.Log – Road Trip! July 15, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Fun Stuff, My Show, NASCAR.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments

City of MinneapolisImage via WikipediaCharlotte, NC – Chicago – Minneapolis – St. Cloud, Minnesota, Indianapolis

I wanted to let you know what I’m up to this week and that “Dialed In” 4-7 EST will have some exclusive new interviews mixed with some classic best ofs Tuesday-Thursday.

Me, I decided that I needed to see some family and friends that I have not seen for many years and take a little bit of time during this off week to rest up in preparation for the rest of the season and the chase. I had the idea that I could go from Chicago to Minneapolis and to Minnesota where I worked 7 years in radio in St. Cloud. Road trip!

I am broadcasting from the road and will cover breaking news stories – and insert some cool new interviews each day that you have not heard before as well as any breaking big news.

I feel pretty strongly that since the XM listeners pay to listen I don’t want to skip a beat -and I want to deliver for all of you. Most of the crew chiefs and drivers are gone this week on vacation and taking their last break before the big push to the chase. I can’t wait to cover it – it’s going to be so interesting and battle to the line for the points. If you can listen to the show -and I hope you can- I have prepared some race fan interviews for the white flag lap from my trip to the campground(s) at Joliet. I met some really cool race fans that were up on the wheel and so fun to hang out with. Of course I took my microphone.

I will post your emails this week and write to you from the road. Email me at insidercbl@aol.com and I’ll post your emails on the blog. What is your report card on your driver look like half way through the season?

Friday on the show, I will be live for the most part from northern Wisconsin where my parents have a lake home. Isn’t technology great? I am a little worried that there will not be cell phone service and that my computer air card may not work. So – get ready, we’re going to be in the North Woods together roughing it, all of us, and we’ll see what happens! Bring the bug juice.

I then head to Madison, Wisconsin to do the show Monday – and then early to Indy to join up with engineer Robert Morrison and the XM Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit.

You never know what to expect this week and I’ll be keeping you posted on the blog.

Right now – there’s a fish fry planned for tonight here in Holdingford, Minnesota at the farm. Do any of you know where Holdingford is? Thanks for listening and take care.

Enjoy the show and the day!

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

Zemanta Pixie

Sad Day- Steve Peterson July 15, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Hey All: It’s a very sad day for us all – someone you may not know well but who had an important role has passed away. Steve Peterson helped make NASCAR safer and he had the respect of all in the racing community. I’m saddened for his family and am sending prayers on behalf of us all to them.

Claire B.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 15, 2008) – NASCAR Technical Director Steve Peterson, 58, was found deceased today at his home from what appears to be natural causes. Steve began his NASCAR career in January, 1995 and led many of NASCAR’s safety initiatives including development and installation of SAFER Barriers, management and approval of head and neck restraints and improved seat belts, and coordination of the safety features in NASCAR’s new car.

“Steve’s accomplishments to increase driver safety will continue to be a benefit to every NASCAR driver that gets behind the wheel for generations to come,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s family and friends; he will certainly be missed throughout the NASCAR community.”

NASCAR President, Mike Helton said, “Steve was a tireless worker and passionate about all aspects of safety including the car, the track and the driver. Steve was our R&D effort long before there was a formal one. His accomplishments were recognized in motorsports worldwide.”

Steve worked closely with many recognized national and international motorsports organizations and was the recipient of the 2006 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Motorsports Achievement Award. SAE presents this award to the individual that has shown outstanding leadership or contribution to motorsports over an extended period of time.

In 1982 Steve served as a crew chief for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin and had experience as a race team engineer and design engineer. He was an avid go-karter and lifetime member of the World Karting Association. Steve could often be found running laps at local go-kart tracks. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Peterson had more than 25 years of experience in the automotive engineering industry. He lived in Concord, N.C.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Zemanta Pixie

Drivers Meeting- Chicagoland Speedway – July 12, 2008 July 12, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR, Trackside.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Chicagoland Speedway logoImage via WikipediaThe driver’s meeting here at Chicagoland Speedway was full of star power and there was some really moving moments involving the “King” Richard Petty. I’ve seen moments with drivers and retirements announced at the driver’s meeting and the drivers stood for a standing ovation -and clapped heartily. But this was special.

NASCAR President Mike Helton marked Petty’s 50th year in NASCAR as he addressed the drivers. “On behalf of everybody in the industry,” Helton told Petty from the Microphone, “Congratulations on your 50th anniversary. We hope you’ll be around to celebrate 55 or 60 or 70 of them and thanks for being all you’ve been to NASCAR and all the people around it and to reminding us that there’s a lot to be thankful for in the fans who are the heart and soul of what we do.”

Helton, who does not throw compliments around, continued, “You’re the King – you’re the Icon of our sport. I don’t know what else to say – we have a token, it cannot ever ….give back the full appreciation of everything that you’ve done for our sport – the standards that you’ve set, the records that you’ve given this crowd – the drivers to shoot for – some of which can never be accomplished – but if you’d step up here –

Petty stepped to the front of the room and was presented with a crystal bowl. Not only did the drivers stand and give him an ovation there was loud cheering and hollering of approval. It was pretty impressive and I wish you all could have been there.

Petty stepped to the microphone and looked straight at the drivers and crew chiefs, “I appreciate what you are doing now ’cause I am making a living out of racing now – that I probably didn’t make back when I started ok?,” he said. ” So its up to you all to carry it forward from here. I always told them, I said, Richard Petty was maybe where everybody came to. I didn’t do anything by myself. I had all the people, the sponsors the NASCAR deal. Again to redo that whole deal – without them fans guys – you all take time for the fans. They the ones that buy the products that we sell. The reason we’re here is because of the fans. Not because of NASCAR…I hate to beat on that drum deal but always remember that you know we are not alone the fans is what makes it work. Again I just want to say thank you for all the support that everybody’s done for me over the years and I’m going to still stay around and aggravate you all ok?”

More hollering and loud cheering from the drivers and crew chiefs.

Richard Petty is indeed special.

Speed Rules –
Pit Road Speed 45 MPH
Caution Car Speed 55 MPH
Pit Road Speed Begins – 210 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends – 75 feet past the last pit box
Minimum Speed: 34.90 MPH

There were no questions from the drivers and we prayed. I asked Race Director David Hoots if he had seen the weather radar and he said the storm system was passing us and we’d be good for the race. I’m banking on his assessment. It looks like good news and Hoots aught to know. “Have a great race,” I told him. Up to the tower he went.

Zemanta Pixie

BLOG BREAKING NEWS- Ryan Newmamn July 12, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Breaking News, Drivers.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Saturday – July 12, 2008
Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Illinois
4:37 p.m. EST

Hey: I’ve got so much to tell you and it’s been crazy busy here with a short weekend show. JD and Joe Gibbs are in the deadline room right now – I’ll get back to you later on that. The driver’s meeting is coming up so stay tuned. What about Ryan Newman – is he going to Stewart-Haas Racing? Here’s what he had to say a few min ago.

Penske Racing — Alltel Driver Ryan Newman:

Newman: “In generally I have a career here – I’ve had a career here at Penske Racing and if it works out to move on then I will move on with them but I don’t know the answer yet. I talked to Roger (Penske) a little bit this week – talked to him a little bit last week. Still working on performance – still working on a lot of things – it’s just a matter of when we decide we’re going to move on -when we’re going to said we part ways if that does happen.”

Tony said the ink was dry for a month before he announced it – are you that far along? Have you agreed with somebody already?

Newman: “Are you a month ahead of me? – is that what you are asking? No I haven’t agreed – I told you point blank. I have never lied to you guys I won’t lie to you. I haven’t agreed I don’t know my answer.”

Is driving for Tony’s team an option?

Newman: “Driving for Tony’s team is an option. He has a seat. Obviously you know even you guys have marked me as one of the guys – the lead candidates to get in there so yea it is an option.”

Have you had discussions?

Newman: “Have we had discussions? I’ve had discussions with a lot of people.”

Any of the discussions involving you owning a team?

Newman: “Actually yea. I haven’t decided yet.”

What beats in your heart?

Newman: “The most important thing to me is performance – winning the championship achieving the goals outside of what I’ve done which was a lot of poles and wins and the Dayona 500. There are still a lot of things out there for me to achieve.”

Have you been frustrated – because you should be a winner – you should have been a champion already.

Newman: “Coulda woulda shouda. All things happen for a reason – we’ve been close we just haven’t succeeded in ways and times that we could have or should have but that’s all in the past. Like I said I’m working on working forward I just don’t know my final answer. I have a – b – c – and D – and I don’t have a 50 -50 right now and I don’t really even have phone a friend – I’m just working on a final answer.”

Zemanta Pixie

Mobile Unit Chicagoland July 8, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR, Trackside.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Check out my unit location for Chicago at https://claireblang.wordpress.com/mobile-unit-locator/

Chicagoland 400 – “Dialed In” With Claire B. Lang – Broadcast Location, Joliet , Illinois
July 9-11
Claire B. Lang will be with the Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit and broadcasting from this location while in Joliet, Illinois on Wed. July 9. Thursday, July 10 and Friday July 11th from:

Heroes West Sports Grill
1530 Commerce Drive
Joliet, Illinois 60431
(815) 725-1234
www.heroeswest.net

Wed, July 9
4-7 EST
“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang LIVE Broadcast
Heroes West – Sports Grill

Thursday, July 10
4-7 EST
“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang LIVE Broadcast
Heroes West – Sports Grill

Friday, July 11
4-7 EST
“Dialed In” with Claire B. Lang LIVE Broadcast
Heroes West – Sports Grill

I will be broadcasting live for three days from one of Joliet’s finest sports bars. During the day CBL will be in the garage from opening until show and then will broadcast nearby at Heroes.

The Chevy XM Mobile Broadcast unit will be on display at Heroes as well.

Come and say hi!

Coke Zero 400 – Sprint Cup Series Drivers Meeting July 5, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

Todays driver’s meeting was typical for pre-Daytona.

Rule change regarding suspension changes announced at driver’s meeting:
“Crew chiefs – any major suspension parts must be changed behind the pit road service work wall and this will include springs and that’s a change. Major suspension parts must be changed behind the pit road service work wall,” Hoots explained.

Race Director David Hoots gave drivers the normal pre superspeedway warning:
“I would remind you drivers that this is your warning about racing above the yellow line. You’ve had this rule down here for several years and you understand it and abide by it and we’ll enforce it. Along with that there is an aggressive driving zone that will be considered all the way around the race track – and we’ll be watching it very closely. Any questions?”

This week two questions were asked – one by Jeff Gordon the other by Carl Edwards – interesting questions from the drivers. When drivers ask questions sometimes it’s not just because the don’t know – but sometimes because they want NASCAR to make it clear to others in the room or to look at a rule to clarify something that others are not following. The answers came from Sprint Cup Series Race Director David Hoots who leads the Drivers Meeting.

On coming on to Pit Road side-by-side:
Question: Jeff Gordon: “If it just so happens that two cars come on pit road side by side – even though we’re not supposed to but if we do -Does the car that’s ahead when they get to the yellow line have the position and the other guy has to get in behind?”
Answer: David Hoots:”If that happens -You should attempt to make every attempt to come on single file. You are the worlds greatest race car drivers..this should be a very easy task…and I have all the confidence in the world…we’ll police it you come on single file. There’s no reason to try to come on two wide You know that you are planning to pit in turn three and four.”

On going past timing loop to avoid a wreck (what happened to Carl Edwards in the Nationwide race Friday night).

Question : Carl Edwards: “If we were to avoid a wreck and go past one of those timing loops or whatever is there a video replay thing that you guys can look at?”
Answer: David Hoots: “Last (Friday) night when we had an accident on the back straightaway -the car went below the timing loop and was not picked up and we incorrectly positioned Carl on a restart. We have taken some steps to correct that – if there’s a miss we’ll go back and look at it under a caution for that one particular instance.Good luck to each and every one of you…Tim are you going to lead us in prayer?

And we prayed for a safe race for all competitors

Pit Road Speed : 55 mph
Caution Car Speed: 70 mph
Pit Road Speed Begins: 190 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 88 feet past the last pit box

Media Center/Drivers Meeting Highlight:
Actor/musician Kevin Costner was at the drivers meeting. He sat on the stage off to the left and wore a red cap – and his band played pre-race. He came into the media center prior to the race and addressed the media. We got a chance to ask questions and I had to ask him what was on my mind. Well part of it anyway 🙂 :

Question: What do you think about NASCAR and NASCAR drivers in general especially racing at places like Daytona as you watch that?
Costner: “You know… I’m going to go back to that word DNA you know when you don’t grow up with it – it’s hard to grasp it. But, you know, my wife came in and we brought our one -year-old and we drove through here and our eyes were just like we were looking for a new home – we ended up with a pool. We thought, these people are really smart we’re going to get a little pool for Cayden so Cayden is swimming right now he’s 13 months old. There seems to be, like with anything great, a lot more than just the race. But the passion is really strong and it’s a phenomenon to me. You know somebody told me – the first time I heard about how popular the sport was and, forgive me, was about seven, eight years ago when somebody said, ‘You know, that’s the most well attended – its the biggest thing in the United States.’ And if you grow up kind of playing the national pastime you almost can’t believe it but I do and I have. There’s another problem – I’ve never been a speed guy ok? I never had to get that out of my system in high school. In fact ,nobody wanted to go with me because I was like 20 mile-an-hour-Costner. I was the guy that got everybody kinda home. So speed has never been a thing so even they asked me today, ‘Do you want to go around the track ?’ and I went , like, ‘No, I don’t think so. Are you going to go fast?’ and they said, ‘We always go fast.’ I was, ‘No am not going to do it -I’d rather go to the press conference.’ I know most everybody in the room goes – what a weasle – why would you not take the opportunity to go…..I think weasle is the wrong word..woosie.”

Commentary on Costner:
Kevin Costner was clever and funny and seemed humble and appeared as if he was just checking out the phenomenon that is Daytona in July at the Coke Zero 400. He seemed to be having a great time. It’s fun to watch these celebs come to the infield and soak it in. There are pools everywhere, and the set ups that the infield race-watchers have assembled is, in itself, a sport to view.

Enjoy the race!

Kyle Petty on driving the pace car said he might not go back to the booth because, “This is the first time I have led anything for about 20 years,” which drew loud laughter from the journalists working on their computers here in the deadline room.

Zemanta Pixie