Tuesday , February 9 2016
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Did You Notice?

Did You Notice? … Busch Brothers Burn Crew Chiefs Out, Officiating Mistakes, And NASCAR On WWE?

*Did You Notice?* … Both Busch brothers caused their crew chiefs to burn out at the same time? It’s ironic that NASCAR’s moodiest siblings are transitioning to new head wrenches after a similar time span: about two years. That’s how long Steve Addington worked with Kyle Busch, taking him to 12 wins and one Chase appearance, while Tryson led Busch to four and two, respectively (Tryson came on board with Busch in mid-2007). But working with such successful drivers has its downside. Read More »

Did You Notice? … The Wave Around Needs Fixing, Ownership Is Aging, And Who Kansas Bumps

*Did You Notice?* … Hidden amongst the stories this week was ISC claiming Kansas will still get a second date in 2011 as long as their casino gets approved? Whether the racing has been good enough to deserve it is open to debate (though I’d argue it’s been ten times better than at its sister track, Chicagoland). With 100,000 fans at the track for last Sunday’s race, the fan support is there for a second date, and it’s not like the Midwest has a ton of tracks to choose from (Iowa, and Chic … no, that doesn’t count). So why does this move makes the headlines now? Because it’s widely assumed, even reported that expansion would finally cost California its much-maligned second date – especially with attendance numbers generously estimated at 70,000 this Sunday. Eh-eh-eh…. not so fast, people. A quick look at the attendance numbers shows that it’s Martinsville at the bottom of the list for ISC... Read More »

Did You Notice? … Mark Martin Abandoned, F-1/NASCAR Flavor, And Earnhardt Needs A New Crew Chief?

*Did You Notice?* … Despite Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s insistence he’d like Lance McGrew back as crew chief, Hendrick is reluctant to award him the job for good in 2010? The official statement says it’ll be a “couple of weeks” before a decision is reached … and for good reason. That’s because even though the No. 88 has shown some promise in recent weeks, it still has yet to finish what it's started. Read More »

Did You Notice? … The Death Of NASCAR’s Killer Instinct, Sauter’s Surprising Resilience, And Who’s Desperate Already?

*Did You Notice?*… Joey Logano’s state of mind after that horrifying wreck heading into Turn 3 at Dover? If you check out the “interview,” what you’ll see is the equivalent of a 19-year-old "scared out of his wits.":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_giMrOfXQk In case you missed it, here’s some highlights of what was said once he had a chance to stand back on solid ground for a minute… “It just really scared the heck out of me. I'm not sure I want to see a replay. It started rolling and I was in there like, 'Damn, please make this thing stop.' And it wouldn't. It just kept going and going. It just startled me." Read More »

Did You Notice? … Liquor’s Love Affair Turned Divorce, Throwing Caution To The Wind, And Finding Earnhardt

*Did You Notice?* … NASCAR is so quick to throw a caution for “debris,” yet so hesitant when there’s actual danger on the race track? The first Chase race came packaged with its share of debris yellows; a total of three cautions that threatened to change the outcome of the race. Yet during the last lap, when A.J. Allmendinger’s car was stalled in the middle of the front straightaway, NASCAR held off until the cars were coming off of Turn 4 to throw the caution flag – a situation that left a number of drivers themselves scratching their heads. Read More »

Did You Notice? … Kenseth’s Collapse, Scheduling Snafus, And Best Bets To Spoil The Chase

*Did You Notice?* … The weird strategy in play during Matt Kenseth’s Richmond flop? Under the last caution flag of the night, Kenseth did the wave-around in a desperate effort to get himself back on the lead lap. But why didn’t they try that strategy with 80 laps to go, after the No. 17 finally had the fuel to go the distance? At that point, the team had nothing to lose by staying out; and although hindsight is 20/20, a caution flag almost immediately afterwards would have kept them back on the lead lap, allowed them to pit for fresh tires and perhaps given the momentum boost needed to make at least a semblance of a late-race charge. Instead, getting that lap back with less than 20 to go was too little, too late for a team increasingly in turmoil. Read More »

Did You Notice? … The Power Of Motivation, Danica Drama, And How To Shoot Yourself In The Foot

*Did You Notice?* … How the simple threat of future job security in NASCAR can motivate drivers sitting in midpack? Every year about this time, there can be so many drivers who enter that ugly malaise of just going through the motions. They’re not _bad_ enough to have to fight to stay within the top 35, but not _good_ enough to contend for a spot in the Chase, delivering what’s become the equivalent of a C/C- performance on paper each week. With a 36-race schedule becoming the equivalent of an office daily grind, it gets to the point where they simply collect their weekly paycheck and muddle on through a year defined by complacency. It’s like the guy in _Office Space_ before he realizes the job has started boring him out of his mind; the most exciting thing about his job is finishing up at the end of the day and going to watch kung fu. Read More »

Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s A Young Man’s Game, Chasing Survival, And Highway Robbery

*Did You Notice?* … That with Michael Waltrip and now Bobby Labonte possibly out of full-time rides in 2010, the Cup Series has become more of a young man’s game than ever before – and the age of gray-haired success stories may finally be gone for good. Looking at the lineup of 2010 full-time teams, just four men age 40 or older are set to show up with fully-sponsored cars: Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Robby Gordon, and Greg Biffle (who turns 40 in December). Why is that such a big deal? A quick look back at the landscape of Cup Series champions shows that 40 used to be the age drivers would reach their peak … not fall into either retirement or obscurity. Just look at the average age of Cup Series champions from 1990 through 2000... Read More »

Did You Notice? … Smith Full Of Hot Air, And Why Hendrick Cares About Keselowski

*Did You Notice?* … That Bruton Smith doesn’t have as much power in NASCAR as we think he does sometimes? For the second straight year, Smith has been adamant that Kentucky will get a Cup Series date, his primary goal behind purchasing the track in the middle of 2008. Yet here we were Wednesday afternoon, listening to Smith admit he’d seen a copy of the 2010 Cup schedule … without his newest purchase on the list. "I think it's a dead issue,” he said, blaming the well-known lawsuit from the former owners of the speedway as the reason for the continued impasse. “NASCAR now has the schedule, and if it happened tomorrow I don't see NASCAR changing the schedule to accommodate Kentucky." Read More »

Did You Notice? … Whether Family And NASCAR Really Mix?, No Chase, No Crew, And White House Snubs

*Did You Notice?* … How amazing it is Jeff Gordon’s competing for the title this year? I say that not because of his ailing back (although that’s another story all to itself) … it’s because he’s busy changing diapers at home. Who in the world is capable of doing both? Now, I’m mostly joking around with that comment, but not completely. We brought the issue of raising a family and competing in NASCAR up in the "Athlon / Frontstretch podcast":http://www.athlonsports.com/racing/inside-racing-podcast last week, so I decided to take a closer look. Here’s a list of the top 15 drivers in the points and their marital status ... Read More »