Brusso Stakes Claim To Louisiana Title

Brusso Stakes Claim To Louisiana Title

Also Earned Track Championship At Revolution Park

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kody Brusso’s life consists of managing horsepower – the kind with four legs as well as that with four wheels.

A horse trainer by day, the Pensacola, Florida, native spends her weekends as a race car driver. She did the later good enough in 2014 to earn the Revolution Park Racing & Entertainment Complex track championship and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state title of Louisiana.

2014 NWAAS TRACK CHAMPIONS  |  STATE/PROVINCE CHAMPIONS

Brusso is a second generation race car driver. Influenced at an early age by her racing father, Donny, Brusso took to go-karts at the age of four. Along the way she took an interest in horses as well as basketball. Hoops eventually became the dominant focus and led to a two-year college scholarship.

Brusso had no set plans to revisit her auto racing roots, but upon returning home following college, she was surprised to learn that her father had a car ready and waiting.

“I got home from school and he was like ‘we’re gonna go race, so here you go,’” Brusso said. “We had all of the stuff to do it. We do it for fun as a family hobby, it’s something we can all do together and everybody is involved.”

Brusso’s introduction to stock cars came in the 2012 season finale at Revolution, a .375-mile concrete oval in Monroe, Louisiana. Her first full-time season was 2013 when she finished as the championship runner-up to Brandon Kelly.

Heading into the 2014 campaign, Brusso felt the team was primed to attain the top spot.

“We knew that we could do it, we just needed everything to fall in place for us,” Brusso said. “We knew that we could win races, and I had enough laps under my belt that we could really do something, and we did.”

Now 22, Brusso posted three wins and top 10s in all 12 starts behind the wheel of her No. 7 AAA Custom Cabinets/Morris Transmissions Ford to finish as the pro late model division track champion at Revolution. She entered the last week of the season in a virtual tie with Ryan Humphrey, but double feature wins set the final margin at 523-498. She also ended Kelly’s two-year run as the Louisiana NASCAR titlists by 20 points over Brandon Kent.

Brusso’s crown was earned with the help of her father, who is the team owner and crew chief, as well as her mother, Debra. Zac Zearsoss, Ricky Beasley and Charlie Phillips all played integral roles in the team’s success.

Brusso will likely not defend her Revolution title. She was offered a seat with a different team to compete at various tracks in the Gulf Coast region.

“We’re going to venture out and see what we can do with this new car and the new team at some different places,” Brusso said.

Wherever her racing travels lead in 2015 and beyond, Brusso vows to maintain the perspective her family has for the sport.

“It’s a hobby,” Brusso said. “We want to win races, and we do win races, but that isn’t our main focus. If we do go further – great – but if not, that’s fine too because we do it for fun. If a hobby becomes a job, then it’s not fun anymore.”

In two seasons at Revolution, Brusso has posted points finishes of second and first. Monica Hemphill

NASCAR Atlanta: New Rules May Mean War

Moving the Atlanta date up to earlier in the season may have weather implications.

Moving the Atlanta date up to earlier in the season may have weather implications.

Going into this weekend’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is the first real opportunity for teams to get a handle on the new rules and whether they will effect the drivers handling in the way NASCAR intended. Which is to say, harder to drive.

Thursday’s open testing provided no real insight as to what to expect for the weekend other than the usual suspects. The teams with the most money will be at the front when it comes time to put the hammer down.

All the teams participated in the Thursday open test in an effort to gain as much knowledge as possible as racing under the new rules package begins. It was cold and clear for the test with the speeds dropping in the afternoon as teams searched for balance in the cars with less horsepower and downforce to work with.

The top speed of the morning was set by Jamie McMurray at 191.549 and in the afternoon long run by Jeff Gordon at 188.424. What does this mean? As Edwin Starr so eloquently put it in his famous 1969 song “War”—“Absolutely Nuthin”.

According to our technical expert, Bill Marlowe, “All the teams want to do in an open test before a race weekend is get the balance of the car somewhat dialed in and make sure nothing falls off”. Well said. But he added, “Given that the teams with fewer resources have no experience of any kind with the new car, they’ll try and run as fast as they can just to see what they think they might have.”

The new qualifying format.

The new qualifying format.

According to Marlowe the times on Friday practice, weather sunny or cloudy, should be faster than Thursday test. It’s very much an unknown as to what the teams have to work with considering the weather.

Friday is forecast to be cold, in the 45 degree range and partly sunny. Partly sunny? Isn’t that really mostly cloudy? Either way the times in practice should drop about 1 to 1.5 seconds per lap.

Getting a feel for this track, arguably NASCAR’s fastest, needs to be done as soon as possible to see how these cars run in real qualifying traffic. Last year in the heat of August Kasey Kahne took the pole with a speed of 190.398 running alone. Plenty of downforce helped to mitigate the slickness of this track then.

Not this go around, the cold air will give the engines more horsepower thus only placing the engines at about an 80 horsepower deficit from 2014, despite NASCAR having reduced it by 100.

The cooler track will give the cars more grip, which is advantageous as the lack of downforce may prove to be tricky during the race. The race could be a sprint to the halfway mark as its forecast to be cloudy with a 50% chance of rain. If that looks more and more likely then qualifying will be a premium and the race a small war.

The bottom line is that the race will probably be as fast as last years Atlanta race run in August due to the weather.

Whose got the edge? Those who always have the edge.

The armies with the most money usually win the war.

 

PK Carsport Confirms Winning Team

PK Carsport Confirms Winning Team

Kumpen and Longin in ELITE 1, Stienes Longin full-time in ELITE 2

After an extremely successful first season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in which they conquered all the major titles, Anthony Kumpen, Bert Longin and the whole PK Carsport team immediately decided to confirm their presence in the increasingly popular European NASCAR championship in 2015, fielding  again two cars, with the full-time involvement of Stienes Longin in the ELITE 2 Division.

With the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Trophy, the ELITE 2 Division Trophy and the Teams Championship Trophy shining in their troops room, PK Carsport couldn’t start their adventure in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in a better way and obviously both Kumpen and Longin want to build on last year’s success.

DRIVERS: ANTHONY KUMPEN PROFILE | BERT LONGIN PROFILE | STIENES LONGIN PROFILE

CARS: #24 HEINZ PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET SS | #11 HEINZ PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET SS

“The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a wonderful championship,” says reigning champion Anthony Kumpen, who recently cashed his prize for the 2014 title by finishing a positive 14th in his K&N Pro Series East debut at new Smyrna Speedway, during the Daytona Speedweeks. “Every meeting attracts a lot of spectators, also because the organization ensures that during a weekend so a lot to see and do beside racing. In 2015 the calendar will see the addition of an event in the Netherlands and one in Zolder, for the season finale – we are excited to be again at the start of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.”

“Indeed,” smiled Longin. “I want to take advantage of last year’s experience to make the new season difficultier for Anthony (grins). I’m absolutely and unconditionally going for the title. To reach that goal we will have to do extra practice session on ovals. Oval racing is a lot more difficult than most people think”. The Leuven-native driver also got a taste of NASCAR in the US by racing in a Pro Late Model race at New Smyrna Speedway under the supervision of former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Mike Skinner. “Racing there was amazing! During the race I was fighting for a top-7 and I was really impressed by Mike both as a coach and as a spotter”.

Fielded in a part-time schedule in 2014, in which he collected 3 top-5 and 4 top-10, 23-year-old Stienes Longin, will aim for the ELITE 2 Division title at the wheel of the #11 Chevrolet SS, sharing the car with his father Bert. 

“I like everything in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series very much. It gives me a very special feeling to be part of a renowned team like PK Carsport, with experienced drivers like Anthony Kumpen and my father Bert Longin,” said the young Belgian. “I will go for the championship on the #11 Chevy SS in the ELITE 2 Division, while he will drive in the ELITE 1 Division. I’ll be very motivated and I’m looking forward to the two oval races and of course to my home race at Circuit Zolder to be the highlight of the season!”

The team is still evaluating drivers for the second ELITE 2 seat and is looking to expand to three cars in the future and will definitely be among the season’s favorites when the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series kicks off at Valencia on April 25-26 with the second edition of the Valencia American Fest.

David Ragan: Corporate Crisis Management 101

David Ragan, JGR's interim replacement driver for Kyle Busch.

David Ragan, JGR’s interim replacement driver for Kyle Busch.

What do you do when your driver, Kyle Busch, who is arguably one of the top three drivers in Sprint Cup, is going to be sidelined for as long as 8 months? That’s a real problem. It isn’t a simple matter of calling up a reserve driver with the skillset to run with Kenseth and Edwards. They don’t exist.

The solution really isn’t a solution. It’s high dollar corporate crisis management. There are a number of drivers, who are journeyman drivers that for whatever reason will never be in the winners circle with any regularity. You have to choose one of them, but which one fits?

Fits what? First the driver has to fit the entity who pays the big dollars and that means M&M Mars. There are a number of drivers who could take that level of equipment and keep it at the lower end of the top twenty, but they need more than that.

M&M cannot afford to be embarrassed by a personality, off the cuff remarks, a possibility of trashing the car every time it goes out or not giving top notch representation to the company.

Hence the selection of David Ragan. Ragan fits all of the criteria that the sponsor needs. He won’t win, though he has every chance now. He can put it into the top twenty and may even do better. Most importantly, he’s calm, speaks very well and can mitigate the damage to the sponsor by doing a good solid journeyman job.

Young Erik Jones, JGR's future star.

Young Erik Jones, JGR’s future star.

If you look at his record with Roush he never came close to Edwards, Kenseth or Biffle, but he represented the sponsor well and didn’t destroy equipment like a Russian dashcam junkie.

M&M Mars has directed the next 6-8 months to be an interim crisis management period where the effort is somewhat like a physician’s first rule: Do No Harm.

Make no mistake, this was not Joe Gibbs decision. If it were, they would have given that ride to Erik Jones. The 18 year old kid is fast, he wins and is part of the future of JGR. It would have been the perfect time to give him the Cup experience needed to go into 2016 as the next Kyle Larson, if not better. But he’s unknown to M&M’s as a corporate representative.

Could he have handled the Sprint Cup pace under the new rules? Most likely yes, even though the cars should prove to be harder to drive. Often you find the new guy hasn’t embedded old habits into his driving style and could have adapted quickly. But this isn’t about an interim driver winning races, it’s about doing the sponsor’s bidding.

Once they ascertain whether or not the young baby faced Erik Jones can actually represent a company as large as M&M’s and Ragan doesn’t perform to an acceptable level, things could change.

For now it’s one of those unforeseen second chances that drivers at this level just don’t get. David Ragan has the opportunity to move from a forever mid-pack runner to a front runner.

He has to take every opportunity that he can to prove his worth as a driver or he will forever be regulated to contracts that are race to race with teams that are admirably capable, but not JGR or Penske level.

Mr. Ragan had better pull up every ounce of competitive ability and talent that he may never have accessed in order to become a driver that other top teams might look at as a high level performer.

And he has to do it with grace and aplomb. He wont get another chance.

Colorado’s I-25 Speedway Latest Addition

Colorado’s I-25 Speedway Latest Addition

Whelen All-American Series Racing Comes To Pueblo

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR’s presence in Colorado has doubled with the addition of I-25 Speedway to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly racing program for the 2015 season.

“We’re pleased to welcome I-25 Speedway as the newest member the NASCAR family,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR’s vice president for regional and touring series. “The thrilling competition each and every week that I-25 delivers to fans in Pueblo will be a great addition to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.”

I-25 is a quarter-mile asphalt oval located on the north side of Pueblo. The track, which originally opened in 1963, is two hours due south of Colorado National Speedway, a longstanding Whelen All-American Series facility in Dacono.

Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. Competitors at nearly 60 paved and dirt tracks throughout North America vie for track, state and province, and overall series championships in Divisions I-V.

“This is a great opportunity for our drivers, the fans and staff here at I-25 Speedway,” said Chris Cullen, owner of the facility. “I am very proud to be a part of it.”

I-25’s first night of NASCAR-sanctioned competition will be Saturday, May 16. Super late models will be designated NASCAR Division I at I-25 while the Grand American modifieds will be Division II, sportsmen Division III, street stocks Division IV and mini stocks Division V.

Dan Alamaa is the reigning track titlist out of the super late model division.

Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North America and Europe are among the many showcases for Whelen products.

For more information on I-25 Speedway, please click here.

Dan Alamaa won the 2014 track title at I-25. Kimmick Kreations

Holden Follows His Father’s Footsteps

Holden Follows His Father’s Footsteps

Wins Evergreen Track Title and Washington Champ

Daytona Beach, FL – Last season exceeded all Mike Holden’s expectations.

He was crowned the champion at Evergreen Speedway as well as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Washington champion on the strength of his Speedway Chevrolet Super Late Model Division title run.

“We were a new team last season,” said Holden. “We built a new car and went out there and won half the races. It went beyond anything we imagined the season to be.”

Being the track champion at Evergreen holds a little more meaning for the Snohomish, Washington native, who had five wins, eight top fives and nine top 10s.

“It was pretty amazing,” Holden said. “My dad won the track title there 30 years before me. To win the same title as his is very special for me.”

Winning the NASCAR titles is something the 34-year old has been dreaming about since he was a kid.

“My dad got me into racing,” Holden said. “He raced on the Northwest Tour, so I’ve always been around it and wanting to do the same.”

Holden credits his team for his success last season.

“Without my car owner, Brian Estrian, and all of my crew, last season wouldn’t have happened,” said Holden.

Holden is eager to get the season underway.

“I’m most excited to get back out there,” said Holden. “I’m really looking forward to the first race and getting the car going again. It’s a really exciting time of year.”

Holden doesn’t have to wait too much longer to get back out there. Saturday, March 21 will mark Evergreen’s first NASCAR practice.

Two weeks later, Evergreen will open its doors for the NASCAR Season Opener featuring the Super Late Model 75-lap event. Fans can also see Minis, SS F8, Stinger 8, Bump to Pass, Mr. Dizzy and end the night with a firework display.

 Holden’s goals and expectations for this season are pretty clear: To win.

 “I want that championship title again,” said Holden. “We want to improve where we need to improve and to go out there and win more races.”

Jeff Harris, Evergreen Speedway Staff Photographer

Mike Holden (32) slips past Doni Wanat (89) at Evergreen Speedway. Jeff Harris, Evergreen Speedway Staff Photographer

Poitras Joins Canada’s Best Racing Team

Poitras Joins Canada’s Best Racing Team

Canadian Tire Series Team Expands Driver Roster

TORONTO, Ont. – Kevin Poitras took the TA2 Trans Am racing circuit by storm during the 2014 season. Driving for Mike Cope Racing, Poitras finished all eleven races, ultimately placing fourth in the series. Now he is looking forward to the opportunity to expand his racing portfolio by joining Canada’s Best Racing Team (CBRT), along with teammates Joey McColm and Erica Thiering.

Poitras grew up around auto racing, however his career took him down a different path before he started racing full-time. His passion and dedication for the environment influenced his decision to create Post Plastics in 2000, a plastic recycling company based out of Toronto, Ontario. Poitras’s addition to the team follows a recent announcement made regarding CBRT’s new partnership with Green Sports Alliance. This makes for the opportune time to introduce a new driver who has personal goals that not only add to, but strengthen CBRT’s vision of creating a more sustainable environment for future generations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kevin to our roster of top-notch drivers, all of whom share CBRT’s core values and goals,” said Bud Morris, Team Owner. “As a leader in marketing solutions and strategic partnerships, we embrace the opportunity to work with drivers who can use their background and expertise to strengthen our messages to partners, sponsors and fans.”
 
General Manager, Joey McColm, connected with Poitras at a local event last year. “The connection was instantaneous,” said McColm. “Our mutual passion for the environment and racing led to a strong bond, and I knew right away that this was a driver we wanted to represent our team.” The relationship was solidified when Poitras took McColm’s race car around the track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park late last year. “Within 4 laps, he was posting fast times which shows how adaptable his driving ability is. Kevin’s natural talent behind the wheel is unique, and something we want to support within our team environment,” said McColm.

Poitras will race three races with Canada’s Best Racing Team in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. He will also continue racing in the Trans Am Series with a goal of winning the championship this season. Poitras joins his teammates at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 17th, for the first race of the NCATS season. He will also race at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres on August 2nd, and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30th.

Goede Comes Back Home Wins Titles

Goede Comes Back Home Wins Titles

Experienced Driver Wins First Track & State Titles At Elko

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In a family reunion that the Goede clan holds each Saturday night during the racing season at Elko Speedway, it was the elder of two racing brothers that retained bragging rights in 2014.

With family patriarch John presiding over the team, brothers Jacob and Matt Goede battled weekly in 2014 for supremacy at the famed .375-mile Minnesota asphalt oval. It was Jacob who came out on top of the amicable sibling rivalry as he won the Elko track championship out of the Minnesota Corn Growers Super Late Model division, and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state title.

“We had an up and down year, but in the end it turned out pretty good for us,” Goede said. “We started the season well the first week and then we kind of went through a tough stretch starting with a fender bender in week two and then we went through some motor issues that took us a while to figure out.”

It was also a homecoming of sorts for the 30 year-old Carver, Minnesota, native. After competing in the ARCA Midwest Tour from 2008-2013, Goede returned to his home track to compete full time for the first time since 2007.

“This was a special year winning my first super late model championship at Elko in front of my wife Erica and daughters Reese, 2, and Johanna who was born last November,” Goede said. “I had finished second about three times before there, so to finally get a title there is something special to me and my family.”

Goede went on to score seven wins during the season and always had a fast car in qualifying as he won the pole almost every week, but the power plant issues kept happening.

“At first we thought we had an issue with the oil pump and we worked on that and seemed to have it fixed and we went on to win a race,” Goede said. “But when I got to Victory Lane the next week the car blew out all of the water while we were celebrating and we found a gasket problem. We thought we had it fixed but the next week the motor ran hot so we decided to make a change in motors.”

After overcoming those problems, Goede also had a night where he broke a transmission and his brother Matt was able to pick up one of his two wins on the season.

/>“If I can’t win, it’s great to see Matt celebrate a win and keep a Goede in Victory Lane,” Goede said. “It was really nice when we both won a race one night when they held a doubleheader. That was pretty neat.”

Goede was able to put his No. 72 Goetz Trucking/Big Johnson Tire/ Karrow Jewelers Ford up front thanks to the dedication of his crew led by dad John, younger brother Alex and father-in-law Randy Waibel.

“We are a small crew but we work hard and I couldn’t have won this season without their help, and also other sponsors who stepped up and believed in me,” Goede said. “I just have to thank all of them: Randy’s Auto & Fab, HEI Collision Center, MURGIC Racing Engines, Northern Racing Products and Lefthander Chassis. Also my wife’s company Baby Gowdy.”

While the mechanical engineer plans on returning to go after a second title, he hopes to race his brother Matt down to the wire for the title – and hopes they can do it without too much action.

“We have always raced each other hard but clean and I would imagine it would be that way if we can compete for the title next year at Elko,” Goede said. “Besides, we can’t wreck each other, because if we do we have to help each other fix our cars.”

Jacob, his brother Matt, and all the other competitors will return to action at Elko Speedway when the 2015 season opens on Saturday May 9.

Matt Goede (28) races against his older brother Jacob at Elko Speedway. The brothers combined for nine wins last season at their home track. Photo courtesy of Elko Speedway.

Logano’s Career Path Takes Him To The Top

Logano’s Career Path Takes Him To The Top

From 2007 K&N Pro Champ To 2015 Daytona 500 Winner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — First was Trevor Bayne. And now Joey Logano.

The 24-year-old Middletown, Connecticut driver won the 2015 DAYTONA 500 Sunday afternoon at the Daytona International Speedway. With the career-definining victory, Logano joined Bayne as drivers who scored their first NASCAR win in the K&N Pro Series since 2007 to go on to win “The Great American Race.”

Logano, the 2007 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year and series champion, held off the field in a green-white-checkered finish to become the second youngest DAYTONA 500 winner in history. Only Bayne, who was 20 when he pulled off the upset win in 2011, was younger.

“As a kid, any young racer dreams of winning the Daytona 500,” Logano said. “It’s the biggest race we have all year.

“To be able to pull that car into Victory Lane, see my team there, see my family and my friends. Everyone was here. It couldn’t be any better. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Logano broke onto the scene in 2007, benefiting from NASCAR’s decision to lower the age from 18 to 16 for drivers to race in the touring series.

The change opened a floodgate of young talent cutting their teeth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, turning it into the sport’s top developmental series for drivers looking to make the jump to one of the three national series.

Austin and Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson, Darrell Wallace Jr., Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Truex and Ryan Blaney — among others — have followed Logano’s path. Elliott won the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship last season, and rising stars Cole Custer and Erik Jones have eclipsed Elliott’s mark as youngest winners in the national series.

It was Logano, though, who kicked open the door.

He won his first start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Phoenix International Raceway. Then he won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener at South Carolina’s Greenville Pickens Speedway. Both set series marks for youngest driver to win a race. His big statement came in May at Iowa Speedway when he won the inaugural K&N Pro Series combination race in the first NASCAR event at the track. To get the win, Logano beat Kevin Harvick, less than 24 hours after Harvick had won the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte.

Logano went on to win five of 13 races in the East and cruise to the series championship. He capped the year with a victory in the NASCAR All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (California) Speedway, the showcase event on the calendar that year for short-track drivers.

Since, Logano has won 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and, after a stumble out of the gate with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he has found a home with Penske Racing.

“The youth movement, I feel like I’m still involved with it,” Logano said. “I hope to kind of feel like the leader of it because I’ve been here before, I kind of understand how the sport works a little bit, what I need to do. As a driver, you want to take advantage of that, try to build our sport bigger and better all the time.

“It’s a role I want to be able to take on because I’ve been here for a while.”

Last season, he won five times en route to making the final cut and racing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Seris championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A faulty pit stop cost him a shot at the title, but three months later, the biggest win of his career has put him right back in the Chase.

With Logano’s win, four of the last six DAYTONA 500 winners have got their racing start in NASCAR’s touring & weekly series.

/nknps-west_phoenix_joey-logano_2007-win_022215

Joey Logano scored his first NASCAR win at Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Eight years later, he won the DAYTONA 500. Getty Images for NASCAR

NASCAR: Daytona 500 and Bandicoots On Acid

A jubilant Joey Logano celebrates his Daytona 500 win.

A jubilant Joey Logano celebrates his Daytona 500 win.

This past Sunday the 57th Daytona 500 was held and Joey Logano can finally be comfortable with the “Sliced Bread” moniker given him several years ago.

It was a strong indication that Penske Racing is going to be a factor in 2015 and is the default ‘Factory’ team for Ford.

The weeks leading up to the storied event, however, weren’t so kind to NASCAR.

A change in the qualifying was in order and NASCAR certainly changed it, to the chagrin and openly critical display of the drivers.

To NASCAR’s credit something had to be done. Three hours to qualify for a race is simply too long and takes up far too much valuable broadcast air time leaving a potentially new audience who might tune in to the marathon with a feeling of boredom.

“If qualifying is this boring how much more interesting could the race be” was the comment that I heard most. The problem was that NASCAR simply isn’t Formula One and can’t use a knockout style format with the same level of execution, there are simply too many cars and too many desperate drivers to not have carnage. Carnage they had.

Kyle Busch did not walk away from this crash.

Kyle Busch did not walk away from this crash.

As posted in a previous article our technical expert, Bill Marlowe, suggested the following format, which is worth repeating:

(1) Have all 48-50 cars line up diagonally on pit road.

(2) Each qualifying group would consist of no more than 8-10 cars

(3) In a blind draw, the first 10 cars are selected 5, maybe 8 minutes before they run. This ultimately gives a total of about 5-6 groups.

(4) In a second tandem blind draw, each car selected is given its starting position from pit road.

(5) The 1st ten cars have 5 minutes to line up on pit road.

(6) When the signal is given to go, group 1 has 5 minutes to accelerate, get up to speed and set a time.

(7) While the 1st group is out the blind draw process repeats itself.

(8) While the 1st group is on its cool down lap and coming to pit lane the 2nd group is already being released.

This format would take approximately one hour allowing for any engine failures, crashes or debris on track stoppages.

"The Lunatics Are in the Hall"- Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon

“The Lunatics Are in the Hall”- Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon

Let’s hope that something is changed for Talladega.

On Saturday Kyle Busch, during the Xfinity race, exited the racing surface and laterally contacted an inside retaining wall that did not have the advantage of a safer barrier. He broke his left leg and his ankle. He’s fortunate not to have lost his life.

You have to believe that the only reason there wasn’t a safer barrier in place is that NASCAR has become so large in its bureaucracy that by committee it couldn’t have foreseen such an accident. That’s what happens when delegating authority too quickly or by committee is employed. After all, the wall was certainly in place for the next day.

How hard was that? Not as hard as Busch’s crash.

Then comes the story that had everyone from TMZ to Al-Jazeera writing about it. Kurt Busch’s indefinite suspension from NASCAR due to a restraining order obtained from his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll.

It’s no secret that Kurt Busch has an anger problem. It’s no secret that NASCAR really has no warm and fuzzy feelings for the elder Busch. It’s no secret that by all outward appearances, both he and Driscoll are crazier than a pair of Bandicoot’s on acid.

However, it seems that NASCAR does, from time to time, exact revenge on it’s detractors or troublemakers. Travis Kvapil really screwed up. He plead guilty of domestic abuse and was given probation and no disciplinary punishment handed down by NASCAR.

Again, NASCAR may have had every reason, and they certainly have the right, to kick Busch to the curb.

It does seem, however, on the surface, to be a bit hypocritical. Maybe yes, maybe no. No one can argue that domestic abuse is both unacceptable and appalling, but how often is it used for revenge? Often enough.

How easy is it to manipulate the courts? Damned easy many times.

Having been a witness in a Florida Capital Case I can tell you that what you hear in a courtroom is not necessarily what happened. Truth becomes an abstract. I watched a very guilty person walk away.

But this is NASCAR and not a courtroom. They are a private, not a public company.

They have stabilized, to a large degree, their loss of viewership. Perhaps not the actual attendees to the race, they may never return, but NASCAR and it’s cadre’ of high paid lawyers weren’t going to take the chance that Kurt Busch could, and he certainly could have, won the Daytona 500 only to be charged with a crime later on.

Ms. Driscoll has exacted her pound of flesh, for now, NASCAR has saved face in the American public’s eyes and there is now a safer barrier where there should have been one all along.

The Daytona 500 went off without a hitch and perhaps NASCAR has listened to the suggestions of others erudite in technical matters regarding qualifying on large tracks such as Daytona and Talladega.

Oh, and Joy Logano won his first Daytona 500 with authority.

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